10 Things Friday Vol. 3

Today's 10 Things Friday is about Jarvis who just turned 9 months yesterday. Oh, how time flies.

I put up this blog to document our life as a family and that includes Jarvis' progress. Facebook status is no longer enough for what this momma has to say about her little boy!

Here are 10 things about Jarvis at 9 months.

1. He's a very active boy. He now weighs 9.5 kg. and he's 73.66 cm tall. They said he's kind of tall for his age. All I can say is that he's heavy. He makes my back bone ache... (Sakit sa back bone bes) Hehe..

2. He loves broccoli and still prefers veggies over fruits.

3. These are two of his favorite books. The Owl Babies is what we read as bedtime story for several months now. I already memorized the book. This book is so overused that it's falling apart. It is a paperback which is not sturdy enough for babies as young as mine, so I searched for a board book version. It was a challenge, but I succeeded. I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail

He also loves the Smart Babies 123's so much that I can keep him engaged with this book for minutes. Jarvis loves to count.

4. He can now sit without support for a short period of time. I know some kid can sit on their own longer at this age, but not our little boy. You know what? That's totally okay. He will get there eventually. They all do!

5. He prefers to play with ordinary things like feeding bottle, it's lid, remote control, and anything plastic/made of cellophane than real toys. Thus on his 9th-month, I had a treat for him. I cleaned all the stuff he usually attempts to grab but we forbid him to do so.

He played for 2 to 3 minutes to each of the items I put in his wooden plate. Gives me plenty of time to clean the rest of the room while sneaking a glance at him from time to time.  He played with the remote control for 3 minutes or so then left it behind for a real toy. It's the first time I saw him ignoring the remote lying around. Fascinating! What can I say? #followthechild #Montessoriathome. It's amazing!

6. He talks a lot. He can sometimes utter "mmmmummm" "vahvah" "ya" one time I even heard him say "ate".

7. Maybe he really did say "ate" because he adores his 9-year-old cousin Ate Hailee. All Hailee needs to do is pass by in front of Jarvis to make him smile. If she jumps or did something amusing Jarvis will be beside himself. I love to watch them.

8. I am still his most favorite person. I can also do very minimal things to make him smile or laugh. I love it when our eyes met and laugh at the same time. It's like we share a private joke. I think that makes his Dad a little jealous.

9. He loves his Dad too. When Dad's around he usually says "vahvahvah". So my husband and I think when he says "vahvahvah" that Jarvis is calling for him.

10. He already has his own language and manner on how he communicates with me. When he gets fussy or when he makes irritable sounds it usually because he needed some assistance like he probably pooped and want a change of diaper or hungry or sleepy. He turns his head side to side if he doesn't want to eat or drink anymore.

It's fascinating how someone as little as Jarvis can express himself in a certain way. I love that I am witnessing his transition. Several times a day I am thanking God for giving me this opportunity. It hasn't been financially easy for my husband and I since I have to quit my job to take care of our baby. But it's so so worth it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

This post will probably pick the interest of very few people, my husband and selected family members included, but like I said, this blog is about my life as a mom and a wife so you will encounter many posts similar to this in the future. I just hope that you will stay/ come back to take this journey with us!

Thanks for being here!

A Little Space for our Little One: The Start of Our Montessori at Home Journey

In my previous post, I've mentioned that I am loving anything Montessori, particularly Montessori at home in a small space. I've been reading related topics for the past weeks to get ideas on how to start Montessori prepared environment in our small space.

We have a small house with only two bedrooms. One bedroom is being occupied by my Papa and the other I share with my husband and son. But even though we have a limited space we still want to bring a little Montessori into our home for our little one.

As as result, husband and I set off to work yesterday. We finally decided to let go of our home office desk in our bedroom along with other things to make way for Jarvis' space. It was really a tedious job because we didn't know where to put most of our stuff. But my husband and I were two determined folks. So we combined our heads, rolled up our sleeves, took turns in watching Jarvis and went to work to bring Montessori at home in a small space like ours.



If one is going to be technical, those rubber mats should be in neutral colors. However, they are hard to come by and I don't have much free time and budget to hunt them. My brother was available last Sunday to drive us to the nearest mall so we can find mats to kick start our Montessori at home in a small space project.

These mats are what I can find in the mall so we paid for them and made them work. Well, I guess as long as I can keep it clean and cluttered free, it's still relaxing for Jarvis hence hitting the structure and order principle of Montessori prepared environment for babies/children.

Anyway, the main reason we are incorporating the Montessori method in our home is because we want Jarvis to be independent and basically enjoy himself in our room. We want him to feel that he also owns the space and he should be comfortable. We also want to be comfortable with him exploring the space allotted to him.

Since he is still crawling, practicing sitting up and tasting every single thing presented to him, he still has limited access to the whole room. However, gradually, we will give him access to other areas of the room. We still need to prepare those "other areas" for him. We are also planning to baby proof the whole living room next. Although, I still think this little space is enough for him as of now.

He seems to really like it though. At first, he seems a little confused and didn't know what to make of his new space and new found freedom. He will play with few selected toys I presented to him for a while, then he will come to me and make me hold him. When I put him down again he will get fussy. But towards the end of the day, after a lot of encouragements, I think he warmed up to the idea of having a space of his own where I allow him to move freely.

Before I sleep last night, I selected toys for him to play with today. Also part of his sensory activity for today. He was playing with different textured balls and some soft animal toys from his play gym yesterday. I learn from other Montessori practicing moms that's it's best to rotate the toys to keep the baby engaged in a few selected toys longer rather than presenting them with many toys at once.

Upon observing Jarvis, I noticed that he doesn't seem to mind what kind of toys I presented to him, as long as I allow him to taste them, then he's happy. So I make sure they are clean and toxic free and all that kind of jazz.

We are going to add some stuff in his space that is in line with the Montessori prepared environment at home. I will definitely blog and show you if we made some major update on Jarvis' little freedom space. My husband and I are both very happy that we were able to start to incorporate Montessori at home in a small space like ours. Thanks for being here and have a blessed Holy Week!

10 Things Friday Vol. 2

It's time for another 10 Things Friday, where I share 10 significant things that happened to me this week or about anything actually. Why am I doing this? Uhm… I want to, and because this is my blog, so you know, I can do whatever I want! *insert winking tongue out emoji*

Without further ado, here are my 10 Things Friday...

1. Yesterday was my Moms birthday and we celebrated it with the whole family. We just had dinner out. I thank the Lord for giving my Mom another year to live and for keeping her healthy and strong.

2. Jarvis is beginning to sit up on his own. He also shows indications that he's going to be one heck of an energetic child. Well, good luck to me! I still look forward to it though.

3. Finally published Jarvis' Birth Story on this blog. If you want to read that click here. I wrote that a couple of weeks after giving birth but I only published it this week.

4. Remember those flashcards I printed out last week for Jarvis? I'm still working on them. Jarvis was extra clingy this week probably because of his colds which we are still trying to treat. It took me several attempts in a span of an hour to get out of bed and work on this post last night.

5. I also didn't get enough sleep for several nights now because Jarvis always wakes up and cries (I feel sorry for him). As a result, I try to get some sleep when he naps during the day which makes me unproductive with my other projects.

Jarvis normally sleeps through the night. He only wakes up to feed which require so little effort on my part. One of the perks of exclusively breastfeeding.

6. I'm not complaining about the lack of sleep, I'm grateful for the opportunity to personally take care of my baby. Not everyone was given this chance.

7. I've been obsessing over Montessori environment for infant. I try to read as many resources everyday as I can to educate myself. My husband and I are planning to make a small space for Jarvis in our small room where he can freely explore. 

I love Montessori principles/method.  I have no idea what it meant until last week when my best friend cousin suggested I follow @diycorporatemom on Instagram.

8. I decided to cut back on my Facebook time. Instead of scanning Facebook mindlessly whenever I am not doing anything, I decided to use my FB time to read materials online related to how I can improve our home environment for Jarvis. I also try to use this time to read my favorite blogs or just be more productive in general. 

I was so surprised how often I catch myself unconsciously tapping the FB icon on my phone in a day.  I will scan the page for a few seconds before realizing that I should be doing something more productive with my time.

9. I also did the same thing with YouTube. I love YouTube. I follow a lot of people on Youtube. I can spend a whole day watching what other people do with their lives, especially when I don't have Jarvis yet. However, even though I have him now, I still feel that I spend so much time watching YouTube videos. Lately, I've been trying to cut back on that as well.

10. I am just glad that I have a blog again. I may not blog regularly because Jarvis is beginning to be a handful. But I am at peace knowing I have a home online again where I can share my thoughts whenever I want to.

That's it for this week's 10 Things Friday! Happy Weekend!

Jarvis' Birth Story

 I gave birth to a baby boy almost 9 months ago and today I want to share my birth story. I hope that future mothers will find something in my story that would be helpful in facing their own childbirth experience. I just have to warn you that it is going to be a long post. I just want to put every detail of what transpired that day, not only for my readers but also for myself, so I have something to read back in the future. So if you are ready, let's get started...
My estimated date of delivery was supposed to be July 18, 2016. However, on July 10th, Sunday, I woke up and saw blood on my underwear yet I don't feel any pain. I immediately sent a message to my doctor describing what's happening to me. She then advised me to go the lying in where we usually meet and request a midwife to check on me.
I did as I told. At 8:30 am the midwife said I was 2cm already and was bleeding profusely. She reported to my OB who then advised me to go to the hospital. The doctor there will determine if I am going to be confined for delivery or not.
Since I am not in pain yet, I did not hurry to the hospital, instead, I asked my father (who drives me to the lying in) to take me home. My husband was still sleeping by then because he works graveyard. I did not bother him to go with me to the lying in because I have a feeling it's not yet time to give birth.
Once home, I ate breakfast and told my husband to get ready because I was advised to go to the hospital. At this point, all our hospital bags were packed. (If you are interested to know what I packed in my baby's hospital bag you can read it here). We arrived at the hospital at around ten in the morning. The attending physician examined me. I was still at 2cm with profuse bleeding (according to them) but without contractions. They called my OB and she ordered that I should be admitted to the hospital.
To make the story short, I was admitted to the hospital. Brought to the delivery room. Stayed there and chatted with the nurse for about 2 hours. Around noon, my OB finally arrived. She checked on me, did yet another IE and checked my stomach for contractions which still absent at this point. She said that contrary to the midwife's and attending physician's findings, I was not profusely bleeding. 

She also asked if I want induction labor since I was already in the hospital. I refused. I want to give my baby a  chance to come out on his own. My OB agreed. So she ordered me to go back to my hospital room for observation until 4 pm. If things did not improve, meaning if I am still at 2 cm then with no contractions, I can go home, walk a lot to trigger natural labor. 

 At 4 pm, everything was still the same, so we were discharged from the hospital.  I spent the following day walking and squatting but still did not feel contractions. I bled quite a bit but it's not alarming.
On Tuesday, July 12th, at 4 am, I was awakened by a pain in my belly. It felt like I was going to have my period. I haven't felt this kind of pain for almost 9 months so I know this could be an early sign of labor pain. I timed the pain interval and it's already on 4-5 minutes interval. I told my OB and she said to observe first. She asked me if it's too painful, I said no, the pain was tolerable. She then advised me to observe and go to the hospital when the pain becomes unbearable and if I'm on a 3-2mins interval. In the meantime, I should walk around. I did as I told. I walked around the house, did a lot of squats and walk again.
I've been in constant 5 mins interval contractions for almost the whole morning and mid afternoon. Around 3 pm, the pain interval was shortened to 3 to 2 mins but still, the pain was tolerable. 

At this point, my OB asked me to go to the hospital. Once in the hospital, they checked on me. I was already at 4cm but they think the baby isn't ready to come out yet.  They asked if I want to be admitted or go home and walk some more. Since I don't want to stay in the hospital and since the hospital was just 15 minutes away from home, without heavy traffic, I decided to just go home. We dropped by to a nearby mall before going home so I can walk around.
Around 6:30 pm of that same day, I felt water spilling (for lack of better term) on me. It's not overflowing, like those exaggerated scenes in movies when someone was about to gave birth, but enough to wet my undies, my dress into the bed. My OB said it might be my water bag leaking. She said I really need to go to the hospital at this point. She added that I have no choice but to be confined and induced labor if necessary. At this point, I can still tolerate the pain. I guess years of dysmenorrhea prepared me for this. 

I felt bad about the induced labor because I know my baby will be stressed then. They gave me 12 hours from the time my water bag leaks to wait for the baby to come out on his own. I was admitted around 7 pm on July 12th. It was the longest night of my life. I was lying in the labor room waiting for my baby to come out and at the same time enduring pain on 3 to2 minutes interval. I waited and talked to my baby to come out and get this over with but I was still 4cm at three in the morning of July 13th.
When the clock hit 4 am, I felt so tired for being in labor for 24 hours and my baby constantly moves every contraction so I know he's also awake for the same number of hours as I did.  At this point, my OB talked to me and suggested we conduct C-section because my water bag was leaking already and it might be dangerous for the baby if we waited. Also, the baby does not show any sign that he's coming out on his own.
I remembered feeling very sad because I wasn't able to give birth naturally, but I have to make a decision. Eventually, I agreed to a C-section. They called my husband for consent and they prepared me for the operation. I got a glimpse of my husband before they sent me to the delivery room and he has his most reassuring smile. I felt a little better. But still nervous as hell. I really don't want to undergo any operation if I can avoid it. But this one I cannot avoid. I told myself that everything is going to be ok.
They prepared me for the operation. I was a little groggy at this point. I told my doctor to knock me out but apparently, that isn't the norm. She said I need to be awake so I can see the baby when he comes out. They will just sedate me a little. 

Later, a guy came up introducing himself as the anesthesiologist. They injected the anesthesia shortly after the introduction and they started the procedure. I started shaking so bad. I heard them saying it's the combination of the effect of the anesthesia and my nervousness. That's probably correct. I don't feel anything but I was nervous as a wreck. I was shaking nonstop through the whole procedure.  I only calmed down when I heard my baby boy's cry. 

And oh man, the feeling when I heard him cry the first time. I felt relief and a kind of happiness I didn't know exists. I saw the nurse cleaning my baby and then they bring him to me so I can kiss my baby for the first time. I'm pretty sure I cried. I cannot be certain because I was so groggy. All I know was that despite the nerve-wracking procedure that was C-Section, something amazing happened to me, I became a mom on July 13, 2016, at exactly 5:42 AM, My baby came out weighing 2.8 kg or 6.16 lbs.

My childbirth story wasn't exactly how I planned and envisioned it to be. In fact, it was the total opposite of everything I planned for. But in the end, I delivered our baby, safe and sound and that's the most important thing.
I was also overwhelmed by the support of my husband who really went out of his way just to make sure I'm as comfortable as I can get. Husband's role in childbirth is very crucial too. They also deserve recognition. My family as always was outstanding! I am very blessed indeed.

Thank you for taking your time to read this post. :)

10 Things Friday Vol. 1

There was a blogger before who's hosting a link up called Friday 10 Happy Things. I always participate on that link up because the concept was really good. The idea was for participating bloggers to write down 10 things that made them happy every week and post it on their blog every Friday. That link up helped me to stay positive. Recalling all the good things that happened to me in a week made me feel good about myself and my life in general.Unfortunately, she discontinued the link up.

But the good news is, there is no reason not to continue doing that on my blog. I will call it a little different and modify it a little bit.

Today is the start of my 10 Things Friday where I am going to share all the significant things that happened to me in a week. Not necessarily all "happy things" I will also include some challenges, if I've encountered any, during the week and share how I dealt with them. It could also be about 10 anything really, to make it even more flexible for me. I'm sure you get the idea.

I'm pretty sure 10 Things Friday is not original but I am too lazy to look up if someone else is already using it. 

So without further ado here are my 10 things Friday this week.

 1. Jarvis has started using his walker and seems to enjoy it a lot which means plenty of time for mommy to do other things than carrying him around or watch him on the bed. We just packed up his crib. He hates it. 

2. Number 1 gives me an opportunity to squeeze in a few minutes of workout on our morning routine. I am not trying to lose weight just yet. At this point, I just want to strengthen my cardiovascular system for a more intensive workout later on (may ganun?). Basically, I want to ease my body into working out regularly again. 

I breastfeed. Therefore, I am still my baby's main source of food. As a result, I am always hungry, which makes it difficult for me to watch what I eat. So I might not lose weight just yet. 

3. My best friend cousin will buy educational toys for Jarvis. I am also thankful for her wisdom as a mom. I am learning a lot from her. I am developing this love for Montessori because of her and a blogger she suggested I follow. 

4. My Nanay (mom) started getting sick a couple of weeks ago. She has a heart condition, so it really made us worried when she complained about chest pain and upset stomach. Good thing she is getting better now.

5. I'm not into makeup, says my old self but recently I am developing a fascination for them. Maybe because I watch too many Pinay beauty gurus on Youtube. Or maybe it's because I am beginning to show signs of aging. Whichever! The point is, I was able to talk my husband into allowing me to buy few makeup items.

6. My first ever makeup primer, liquid foundation, contour palette, makeup brushes and final powder. I used some of my Valentine's cash gift (from hubby) to buy them. By the way, these are all drugstore products and really inexpensive. 

You might probably ask, why bother when I spend most of my time at home? Well.... Who says one cannot wear makeup at home? ;) Plus they make me happy. So that's that! 

7. I created some DIY flash cards for baby. I was able to find free Baby Can Read DVDs but they don't come with flash cards and other miscellaneous that comes with the original package. The whole package is a little expensive. So of course to DIY is the only way to go. Along with that, I also made some number flashcards because Jarvis loves numbers. I might share them as printable on this blog. I know I can just buy flash cards and be done with it. But I enjoyed making them and I can personalize them according to Jarvis' interest. So there you go!

8. Preparing Jarvis' food is still a bit of a challenge for me. We follow the no salt no sugar until 1-year-old. So I have to prepare food especially for him. 

I don't enjoy cooking, I am more into baking, but I have to do it for my baby. I am also running out of ideas on what to feed him. He prefers veggies over fruits at the moment. He loves broccoli.

I prepare my son's food. My husband or my Papa prepares mine! That's how we roll in this household people. 

9. I love it when Jarvis smiles at me. Like when he sees me first thing in the morning or when I get out from the bathroom. You know, just those random moments when our eyes met and he smiles at me. I love that. 

10. I have the best husband. He makes and serves me breakfast every single day! 

That's all for my first 10 Things Friday on this blog. Make sure to come back for more next week! If you are interested lang naman. :) Thanks for being here. 

Quality Weekend with the People I Love

This blog post is not accompanied by a perfect photo taken from our DSLR. My old self will never post a photo with poor quality such as this one on my blog or even on Instagram. It's a blogger thing. At some point, I became like everybody else. I tried to curate perfect photos for my blog and Instagram. But the truth is, it's hard to create those photos and to be honest, I think I don't have the knack for it. 

Although there is nothing wrong with curated perfect Instagram photos. Most of them are inspiring and I follow quite a few people who has a perfect Instagram feed. All I'm saying is that I am over that phase in my life because I already accepted that I cannot keep up with them. So here I am putting up an imperfect photo for the world to see because the moment it was taken was perfect.  

Today's post is about simplicity and the joy of having a simple life with the people I love. 

Last weekend was perfect. I spent it with my two favorite people, my husband, and my son. My son was sleeping on his dad's chest and I was leaning on my husband's shoulder while we softly talk to each other. We have to contain our laughter from time to time to avoid waking up the baby.

My husband works graveyard and sometimes even on his days off (during the weekend, thank God!) he's sleeping during the day. So we don't get to spend a lot of time together. Also, the last two weekends were spent outside or with other family members. Although it was fun and it gave us a different kind of joy, we missed our quiet Sunday at home.

Moreover, since we have a baby there are always seem to be a lot of things to do. When the baby is sleeping, often times, we are roaming around the house doing whatnot. But last weekend was chill and it was amazing.

I feel happy that the simplicity of this weekend makes my heart rejoice. That I don't need to be in a 5-star hotel with this two to feel blessed. It only proves that not all the things that can make us happy are expensive, that moments are better than material things and that happiness is really a state of mind. We can be happy if we choose to be even if we are facing challenges in life.  I hope we can get more weekends like this in the future. How was your weekend?

How to Save Money While Having a Baby Part 2

I am a stay at home mom. My husband and I chose that I quit my job and personally take care of our baby. It was a hard decision considering we are not rich. But we did it anyway because we think it is what's best for our baby. 

Our baby is now eight months old. That means we've been living on a single income that long. Initially, we thought that it's not possible to save money while having a baby but eventually we find ways to stay afloat. I am sharing our experiences because I know that there are a lot of Filipino household who lives in one paycheck for the same reasons that we do. 

On my last post, I shared what my husband and I did to save money before our baby was born. I discussed the measures we took that we know will help us still save money when we already have the baby. If you haven't already, you may want to read that post after this click here.

Today, I am going to share with you the things that you can do to save money while having a baby. This may require a little adjustment on your part especially if you don't practice most of them before the baby was born. However, I believe that any measures you can take to save money are always worth the sacrifice.

Here are some of the things that you can do to save money while having a baby.

Make a budget- I know it sounds very basic but a lot of Filipino household don't usually have or even know the importance of having a budget. A lot of financial experts suggest that we make a budget if we want to save money. Even if you are broke, the more you need to make a budget.

Sit down with your partner/husband and look at your finances. Find areas on your expenses where you think you can lower your budget. Always remember to be realistic in your budget.

For my husband and I, we lower our budget on groceries. We only buy stuff that we actually need. I make a list of the things we need before heading to the grocery store and I try to stick to it. It takes getting used to but I got there eventually.

We don't eat out as much. My husband and I love to stay at home even before Jarvis came along. But if you are the type of couple who loves to eat out and buffet all you want, maybe you want to limit that to once a month or every other month and spend more time with your baby instead. Doing that will save you a lot of money.

Live minimally- If you are the type of person who loves to buy a lot of stuff when you don't have your baby yet, maybe now is the time to re-evaluate yourself so you can save money while having a baby.

I am guilty of that. I used to buy a lot of clothes and other stuff like bags, accessories etc.  But when we already have Jarvis and I finally quit my job, I know I have to stop. At first, it was difficult because I still want a lot of things. Not to mention most of my pre-baby clothes don't fit me anymore. I felt like I need to buy a whole wardrobe. Good thing, I didn't because now I know better. 

It's okay not to have a lot of things. It's okay not to have designer bags and clothes. I'd rather walk around wearing the same clothes over and over again, as long as I get to take care of my baby myself. That's the path I chose to take and I am happy with my decision.

Also, being a minimalist is actually a good thing. A lot of people, mostly those who can actually afford to buy a lot of stuff, chose to get rid of their expensive things and keep only the things they need. They claim that they feel better after getting rid of the unnecessary things in their lives.

I can somehow relate to them. It's liberating not to want to have a lot of things that we cannot afford right now. I can focus my brain on something worth my time like taking good care of my baby and tending this blog. I also believe that memories are important than material things.

My husband and I will probably treat ourselves with something that we want from time to time but at least now we know our priorities and we are getting better and better in sticking to our budget. Therefore, allowing us to save money while having a baby.

Don't buy a lot of toys for your baby- Our babies do not need a lot of toys. They will not play with all of them anyway. If you must buy toys for your baby, just stick to those that can stimulate his /her brain development.

My 8 -month-old do not have a lot of toys. He has 3 teethers but he only plays to two of them. He has a play gym but he rarely plays with it. He also has tambourine because he likes to make sounds. We bought him several story books but we only read one book every night for the last couple of months because he loves it so much and will not listen to other stories. He wished I can add our TV remote control on his inventory of toys. He finds it very appetizing but obviously, we can't. 

Some studies say that children under five who have so many toys usually develops short attention span because they feel the need to play with one toy and transfer to another without fully immersing in one activity. In addition, children with few toys will most likely to develop their imagination and resourcefulness. So actually, you are not depriving your baby by not buying them many toys, in fact, you are doing them a favor.  And at the same time, you are not breaking the bank.

 Don't buy expensive coffee- I just want to add this for good measures. If you are the type who loves to drink overpriced coffee (I can't believe I am saying this, my husband will be very happy) like I do. Maybe this is the time to stop or at least lessen your consumption. You can satisfy your "expensive coffee" cravings without breaking the bank by concocting a coffee drink at home. You can find tons of recipes online. 

I personally like to just add cocoa powder and ice to my regular coffee and drink it using a straw to satisfy my "expensive coffee" cravings. It tastes like iced cafe mocha from Starbucks. One of my favorite drinks. If you have time, you can blend iced coffee and pretend that it's mocha frappe. Use your imagination, you'll get used to it. Hehe.

I'm sure there are tons of ways to save money while having a baby that you can think of. If you have tips that I didn't mention please feel free to write them in the comment box. Let us help each other out.

Thanks for being here!