Thursday, February 27, 2014

My 7 parenting hacks

This post is brought to you by Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion.

My blog sponsor Green Cross asked me to blog about parenting hacks. Hacks is what you call techniques that increase productivity or efficiency. It's computer programmer language that's been adopted to mean anything (short cuts, tricks) that can make life easier and less complicated. So today I'll share my parenting hacks.

I am all for minimalist parenting a.k.a. slacker parenting. I know that's shocking in this Age of the Supermom where moms cook organic food sourced from farmer markets, or where iPads and TVs are the tools of lazy mothers, and infant formula is milk straight from the gates of hell. There seems to be a prevailing belief these days that anything that makes your life easier is proof that you don't deserve to be a parent.

Okay. All valid points.

It's a good thing I don't care what people think hehe!
Yes, we use the iPad!

What matters to me is I'm a happy mommy because when I'm stressed out and angry, then I'm an unhappy mommy, and the kids suffer because I yell and throw things around and cry behind the bathroom door. For example, one night, while Vince was out running, I decided I wanted to surprise him with my special adobo. I had two kids, no household help. But I was sure my husband was going to be impressed with his very pregnant wife, who not only cared for his two kids while he was at the gym but cooked him a fabulous dinner as well! How hard could it be? I can't even begin to describe it.

I was running out of the kitchen every few seconds because the boys were climbing on top of the dinner table and I caught Iñigo swinging from the chandelier. I ran back to the pot to find that it had bubbled over and I cursed aloud because that means I'll have to clean up the sticky mess after. Then I ran out again because I heard the boys banging their die-cast metal cars on the glass coffee table. Then I ran into the kitchen again because I smelled something burning (I forgot to turn down the fire). By the time I set the table, I was such a nervous and angry wreck that I broke one of my gorgeous gold-rimmed plates (because I wanted to serve my special adobo on the pretty plates of course), the kids were crying, Vince arrived to find not a fab dinner but chaos, and I wanted to run out into the night and smoke a cigarette except I had already quit 4 years ago.

All this drama and pain could've been prevented if I had just ordered Chinese food! We all want to do our very best but sometimes the best doesn't have to be so difficult. Perfect parenting is not what I aspire for. I just want to be a good and loving parent and to be that way, I have to be relaxed and happy, so I've resorted to a few tricks to keep me sane and parenting fun!

So, without further ado, I hereby present My Parenting Hacks:

Order in. Eat out. 
1. Order food. I think my story up there explains this. You don't have to order every meal (that's expensive and unhealthy!) but neither do you need to cook every single meal your family eats. Unless it's your thing since some moms love to cook. I don't. It's a stressful activity for me even though I'm actually a really good cook. So if you're too tired from a too long day, don't be a martyr. Call for pizza now. It's okay!

2. Give kids fresh milk. Of course nothing beats the ultimate hack of all: breastfeeding! But since both my boys weaned on their own (I'm very proud of this no-drama development) and yet they're still just 3 and almost 2, they still need milk. I considered powdered milk (I still haven't said no to powdered milk yet!) but we found it easier to just buy fresh milk in the carton. Instead of making timpla pa, we just pour it out. Easy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why do babies get diaper rash?

This post is brought to you by Pampers.

As you all know by now, I use Pampers disposable diapers on the kiddies. I detailed all the reasons why in this previous post so today I want to talk about diaper rash.

My boys! Always mussed up, rumpled and crazy!

Iñigo never had diaper rash. Vito's the one who suffered from it until we switched to Pampers. We tried the cheap diapers and the cloth diapers, too. The cheap ones just worsened it. The cloth diapers are actually a great help but only if we change the diaper often (and we do because they're cloth). Vito's diaper rash was always mild since I'm always on top of it, whipping out the zinc oxide ASAP. Still, this puzzles me. Why does Vito get it and Iñigo never did?


First, let me state my observations with Vito. He got diaper rash when...
1. He used cheap diapers.
2. We introduced solids.
3. He had diarrhea.

Second, here are the reasons why diaper rash happened under those conditions:
1. Cheap diapers are made of substandard material and are of poor design. So what happens is they may irritate baby's sensitive skin, the plastic lining that prevents leaks may also prevent air circulation so the moist environment causes bacteria to grow.

Actually, it's not entirely correct for me to say that just because a diaper is cheap, it's automatically going to harm your baby. But you know the saying, "You get what you pay for," really applies to most things, especially the stuff we need to be of high quality, like the stuff that touches our babies' skin!

2. Introducing solids will change your baby's poop and pee. Maybe a new food will make your baby's waste more acidic, for example. So your baby's skin reacts to the new chemical composition of his poop or pee. If your diaper isn't a good one, or if you got lazy to change him out of his diapers/wet pants, or if your baby fell asleep with poop in his nappy, then his skin is exposed to the irritants in his waste longer.

3. When Vito had diarrhea twice, his skin got red and sensitive. It never got bad. Like I said, Vince and I are super vigilant with changing his soiled diaper, washing him with gentle cleansers (we like Mustela), and applying diaper rash cream. But the more than usual exposure of his skin to wet poop did take a toll on his skin. Hence, the redness.

And last, why does Vito get diaper rash and Iñigo never?
Well, I don't know. Maybe Iñigo's skin is tougher? Maybe his solid food intake never affected his pee and poop? Maybe because he never had diarrhea? I don't know really! I'm just glad he never had it! Did your kids ever have diaper rash?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Nice vs good

Vito's favorite bedtime story now is Wreck-It Ralph. The other night, it occurred to him that the bad guy (Ralph) was actually the hero in the movie and that the Nicelanders (the sweet, normal folk Ralph had for neighbors) were the cruel and mean ones. So Vito asked, "Mama, can nice people be evil?"

And, because I'm brutally honest, I said, "Yes. Not all, but in my experience, it's the nice people you watch out for."

Tonight, Vito asked for "Raf stowy" again and this time he asked, "Why are some nice people evil?"

And I told him what his father told me: "Because they are afraid. They're afraid of new things, of different things, of change. They feel threatened that their way of life, their way of thinking, their beliefs will be challenged. Not all nice people are like that but usually the nice ones like everything to be perfect, so when someone looks different or acts different or lives differently than they do, they get very afraid. And you know what Master Yoda said about fear, right?"

Vito nodded in the dark and said, "Afraid then mad then hate then sad!"

Wreck-It Ralph with the nice people of Niceland. Even perfectly nice guy Fix-It Felix isn't really a good guy
since he completely failed to see Ralph's suffering for 30 years!

I've always let Vito trust his gut when it comes to people. Some people he instantly likes, some people he just can't. I don't force him to like everyone. In fact, when Vince and I notice that Vito doesn't like someone, we find out later on that that person is a bad person. The Spidey sense of that child is pretty sharp.

Meanwhile, I'm a very bad judge of character. I think it's because I'm a girl and I was trained to be pleasant and tolerant. All my life, this has resulted to me being used and abused by so-called friends. I'm very picky with my friendships as a result. Despite the fact that I'm the friendly sort, I have very few friends, and you'll know you're one if you've eaten at my table, I've spent time at your house, or if you know certain things about my marriage and kids. I may spill my guts all over my blogs and tell my life story to complete strangers, but the secrets of my marriage and my kids, I protect ferociously. A lot of people think they know a lot about my husband and my boys but only my friends know our problems, our fears, our hopes. All of my friends are as transparent as me (they also all happen to be the eldest girl in their family!), but I trust them with my deepest hurts and joys. And these words will never be used to describe them or me: "She's a nice girl."

Nice is different from good. Nice people try very hard to be nice. That's because they desperately need you to like them. They need approval, they need to belong, they need affirmation. They need something. I've seen that good people are just good. They don't pursue the need to be loved or accepted or affirmed because their very goodness attracts all that. They are secure.

I hope my sons learn to discern who is good and who's just nice. It's very hard to do this. Until now, despite my caution, I still get betrayed by so-called friends who talk about me behind my back and then are super nice to me to my face. I hope my kids learn to love their fellow man without fear or suspicion but have the wisdom to guard their hearts from such nice-but-nasty people. Sadly, I don't know how to teach that as I am learning this myself.


*image from HD Wallpapers


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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Family fun at Mövenpick Mactan

Our first trip this year was to Cebu for the wedding of our dear friend, Kat. She was getting married at Mövenpick so we decided to stay there, too. When you have kids with you, you want everything to be as easy as possible!

Mövenpick used to be the Hilton. They're doing extensive renovations on the place so if you plan to stay there, do ask for the refurbished rooms. The place is airy and modern. A wee bit too modern for my taste but I love how airy and spacious everything felt. Like the lobby, for instance.

We arrived early so our room wasn't ready. It was okay since Vito and Iñigo had so much fun exploring the lobby. It was super fun just watching them jump on the huge chairs and lounges, running around the space, looking out at the pools. Beautiful place!

This is the façade of the hotel from the street. Okay, this isn't really going to be a typical review of the hotel so I won't be posting photos of the facilities. There's a ton of travel blogs that have featured really great photos of the hotel so do check those out. Suffice it to say that we loved Mövenpick a lot because our kids loved it there.

But Vince and I are kinda hotel snobs so, if it were up to us, the hotel still needs a lot of improvement. For one thing, the bathrooms. The bathrooms made me faint! The bedrooms were renovated but the bathrooms were completely ignored. While the rooms are bright and airy, all turquoise and white, the bathrooms are still from the 80s, all dark blue tile and marble. The contrast between the fresh room and the dank bathroom is startling and unpleasant.


But that's my only complaint! Everything else is wonderful. The hotel staff were so helpful and friendly. They totally doted on the kids. The food was good. Not excellent, like the food at Shangri-la or Sofitel, but good enough. Okay lang, kumbaga. There are restaurants right down the road outside the hotel and we suggest you eat there instead.

However, at Kat's wedding reception down at one of the hotel's restaurants, Ibiza, the food was OMG good. The kinilaw was the BEST EVER! I don't know if that means the food at Ibiza is really better or it was because the food was specially prepared for the wedding.

The beach is fake, of course, since Mactan is a stony island, but Mövenpick imported really good sand so we enjoyed the beach very much! Plus, we loved the thoughtful touches like toys for the kids, then a hotel staff brought us sea water in a cooler so the boys can build sand castles, then up the steps from the  beach to the garden were wooden buckets filled with fresh water that you can use to wash your feet. All those thoughtful touches really made our stay special.

So will we go back to Mövenpick? YES! For the service alone, they should be loved! It's 5-star service definitely. We love all the smiles and how everyone just jumps to our needs—a glass of cold juice when we arrived, towels handed at the beach when we weren't even thinking about towels, staff looking out for the boys when they were running about wildly, a hotel staff offering to drive us to the airport himself when we realized we were running late!

If you're a mommy planning a trip to Cebu, then do try Mövenpick Hotel. I highly recommend it! I had an easy time booking our stay, and the reservations staff were so helpful even when I had so many demands (haha). Plus, since I booked early, like months before, we got a discount! We love Mövenpick! Just be a bit patient with it because they're renovating, but the service, the beach, the gorgeous lobby are fantastic. Our sons had such a lovely time! So of course their Mama and Papa had a blast, too!

More on Mövenpick at their website!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

My first print ad ever

This post is brought to you by Vicks Vaporub.

Because it was Valentine's Day and I remembered this:

Heehee. I hope the title of this post didn't make you think I'm a glam model now haha (I don't think that will ever happen huhu). But I just wanted to post this Vicks ad that featured my husband and myself (and RJ Ledesma and his wife Vanessa) because I like that the first ad I ever did was of me as a wife and mom. I like that it celebrates my happiness.

This ad came out in parenting and home magazines last November but I only remembered to tell you guys about it now. Funny lang that the copy of the ad made me sound like a teenager. "Gush" and "ardently" made me giggle.

Thanks, Vicks, for making me your brand ambassador for the ManChild campaign!

Find out more about Vicks and how you can care for your family on their new website: vicks.com.ph

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

I'm Elin's first brand ambassador!

Hi, pregnant and nursing mommies! I have great news for you. Elin.ph has a line of comfortable clothes in the softest material, just perfect for our changing bodies.

The other great news is for me—I'm Elin's first ever brand ambassador! It's a cute gig—a friendly favor so I'm allowed to wear other brands heehee—but it thrills me still because I have never ever thought I'd be gorgeous enough to be an endorser of clothes. And I'm endorsing fashion when I'm 37 years old and at a time when my body is so imperfect! How crazy is that?
Read more here!

The first Elin dress I wore is the Delsey. Its soft material fits loosely around the body, has stretch, and features Dolman sleeves for those self-conscious of their arms (like me).
For the non-pregnant.
For the pregnant.
But Vince (happy birthday, love!) took one look and said, "It's too long." My husband likes it when I'm showing a bit of skin so the Delsey didn't really impress him. So I shortened it by tying it into a knot around my hips. Vince loved it!


I wore it to the hospital for my lab tests. It was so comfy and light and cool, it felt like I wasn't wearing anything at all! When I posted a photo on Instagram, lots of women loved it, too.

Thanks for making me your first ambassador, Elin! Mommies-to-be and new moms (and even not-so-new moms who want something comfy and stylish to wear!), check out Elin's maternity and nursing collection here!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Butt-saving tips please!

I'm not talking about my butt haha but Vito's. He's already 3 and we're still in the throes of toilet-training. I see other moms talking about how their kids learned to pee and poop in the toilet in three days and I am in despair because it's been months and we're nowhere near big boy potty success!

It's my fault actually. One thing that's really stopping me is his diaper rash. As you all know, we use Pampers in this house. But since we started toilet-training Vito, we've taken out the cloth diapers again. Or cotton briefs. (I used to put cloth diapers on the kids all the time—except for sleeping and going out—when we had maids, but after the maids left and I found myself at 3am late at night, washing poop-and-pee-stained cloth diapers, I decided my sanity was more precious!). Anyway, since Vito gets wet, his sensitive skin down there gets irritated so I took out Pampers again so he can be dry. The rash goes away and we're all happy again.

Yes, it's my fault!
Vito is pooping here hehe. We're at Mövenpick's garden. He refused to go to the toilet!
My friend Jennie of Marriage and Beyond said cloth diapers helped her toilet-train her son because the wetness made Jed feel uncomfortable so he became more aware of the need to go to the loo. I'd do that were it not for the rash situation. 

Questions to successful moms:
1. How do I take care of his skin while toilet-training him, mommies???
2. Did you use a cloth diaper or a disposable diaper? I'm getting mixed tips from everyone.
3. Did you do the training the whole day? OMG, I don't think I can wipe up pee all day. I don't have a maid and it's so hard for my pregnant body to bend over to the floor!

I have the most helpful mommy readers so you're all madaldal haha. Why don't you blog about how you toilet-trained your kid and how you took care of their bums, then leave the link in the comments section? I promise to visit and read each helpful blog post! I really need to!!! Thanks!

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The hugs have been received

Thank you, thank you. I feel the love!


God bless you, my dearest, dearest readers!

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Five ways we keep the love alive

This post is brought to you by Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion.

Because it's Valentine's Day next weekend!

This blog is supposed to be just about motherhood (marriage topics go live on Topaz Horizon!) but since my blog sponsor Green Cross wanted me to share with you how I keep my love affair with Vince so kakakilig after 15 years, I'm writing a few of our secrets here. Well, I'm kinda shy because that's kinda spilling intimate details, ya know! But here's a list of what we do:

1. Prioritize your marriage. Lots of men and women think that their love story ends at the altar. They stop dating, they stop dressing up, they let themselves go, they put career and kids before each other. Then they wonder why they're so unhappily married.

True, in the hustle and bustle and the drudgery of life, prioritizing your marriage is difficult. As a pregnant mother of two toddlers, I confess this is not easy at all. But it could really be as simple as Vince kissing me first when he gets home from work or from a run before he looks for the kids, or if the kids pounce on him at the door, he hugs them then he always asks, "Where's your Mama?" It's also something as silly as posting a photo of me and Vince (no kids for once!) on Facebook. It's a shout-out to everyone that I think he's my super VIP!
My current Facebook profile photo is Vince and me when we just started dating!

2. Get a hobby that you enjoy by yourself. You don't have to share every interest. For example, Vince patiently listens to me talk about Hollywood while I try to understand his love for cameras. Vince likes to run, I like to sit on the couch and watch crime shows. Vince has his TV shows and music that only he enjoys while I read novels on bestseller lists that Vince sneers at.

We don't share the same hobbies or the same friends, but this delineation helps us keep our individuality. In a marriage, being one is vital, of course, but don't lose your personality. That's how you keep yourself interesting!

3. Take care of your looks. Speaking of interesting, our appearance to each other is very important to us. It's not about vanity, it's really about loving the body your spouse loves. Vince is turning 40 in a few days but because he exercises regularly, has no vices, and eats moderately, he still has the body of a man in his 20s. No joke. I like seeing him naked!!! I'm a little lazy on the exercise aspect (I'm pregnant and tired!) but I know my husband likes it when I'm dressed up, made up, with my hair in a tumble of waves or in a high ponytail. When I'm gorgeous, he can't keep his eyes or his hands off me, and he makes sure to tell our sons: "Look at the most beautiful woman in the world!" It may not be true but I love it anyway!

We met when I was 22 and he was 25 but to this day, my husband tells me I grow more beautiful each year. I know this isn't a lie because he's very supportive with my salon visits and beauty regimens and shopping. In other words, he tells me he wants me to take care of myself. Like, he'd tell me, "Do you want to buy new dresses?" (a.k.a. he's tired of my old outfits haha). Some women tell me that's nerve-wracking, having your husband scrutinize you, but that only means one thing to me: He's looking at me, not at other women!

4. Talk regularly. Nothing too serious or romantic or lengthy. Just a little chat every day is enough. With two kids, no household help, and our work, gone are the days when we would talk and talk and talk for hours on end. Now we talk when the kids have gone to bed. While Vince does the dishes, he likes me to sit across the sink and chat him up. I like talking when I've just showered and he'd massage lotion on me. We also chat on the couch before we go off to work at our computers (we work at night because we do chores during the day). Or, if we've had a terribly busy day, we sneak a cuddle in bed and whisper in the dark till we fall asleep. We do this every single night!

We talk about the kids, of course. But we also like talking about books we've read or the movie we watched or something in the news. We also gossip a lot. It's our guilty pleasure!

5. Enjoy sex, lots of it. I know, I know. Marriage isn't all about sex but it isn't a marriage if you don't consummate it. And it isn't a happy marriage if you don't consummate regularly. Regularly can be daily or weekly or twice a month. I won't say how often Vince and I have sexy time but it's very often (Vince says not often enough!). That's why I'm pregnant every year, folks!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sangobion donates to Yolanda victims

This post is brought to you by Sangobion.

Being pregnant again, my iron needs have nearly doubled (preggy women need 27mg a day while non-pregnant women need just 18mg) so you can bet that I'm relying on Sangobion more than ever these days. 

Unlike other iron supplements, Sangobion contains Ferrous Gluconate. It's organic iron! The body has an easier time absorbing it (no constipation!). Not only does each chocolate-scented capsule contain organic iron, it's also packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Copper Sulfate, and Manganese Sulfate. A Sangobion organic iron capsule a day helps us women have healthy blood, which translates to pinker cheeks and redder lips, the ability to focus more, and be at our best! 

I'm really happy that aside from the iron supplement I've trusted since 2009, Sangobion has also been my blog sponsor last year, and now it also helped the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda with generous donations. Here is my family when Sangobion donated to the Red Cross just before Christmas.     

All of us Filipinos know about the devastation Yolanda caused last November throughout the Central Visayas region. Here is what one of the hardest hit areas, Tacloban City, looks like today: 

Our fellow Pinoys are still struggling! Actually, I read somewhere that it's always rebuilding that is hardest for the survivors. That's also the part that the rest of the world forgets about. So we can't stop helping, mommies! Here's what Sangobion, my fellow brand believers, and the media did to help: We attended a fund-raising event just before Christmas where Sangobion pledged to donate cash for each guest who attended. So the more, the merrier!   
The event was at Shangri-la Makati, where we were entertained by comedienne Giselle Sanchez.
Me and Vito enjoying the show.
Iñigo entertained by his brother (in the striped shirt!).
Oh,  I was part of Giselle's skit! I found out just a few hours before the performance so I was really nervous!

Monday, February 3, 2014

What Vince wants for V-Day: 7107 Music Festival!

This post is brought to you by SMART Communications.

Take a break from your mommy duties, mommies! The most anticipated music event of the year is here! And my husband wants to be part of it. Because I'm a Smart subscriber, we just might be able to get even more than just watching and dancing and singing along.

The 7107 International Music Festival will be headlined by the best international acts (including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kaskade, Empire of the Sun, and Kendrick Lamar) and the most talented local bands (like Up Dharma Down, Taken by Cars, and Radioactive Sago Project, and more). This music fest will be held at Global Gateway Logistics City, in Clark, Pampanga on February 22 to 23, 2014. And if you're a really, really lucky Smart subscriber (and I'm hoping that would me moi!), you can win free tickets to the event!!!


Not only will more than a thousand Smart subscribers get to win tickets, we also get to experience the following:
  • Smart Headquarters at the venue so we can all lounge in comfort
  • A chance to meet and greet the artists backstage
  • Take home exclusive merchandise
  • Get exclusive perks on the festival grounds
  • Free WiFi for a truly interactive 7107 experience! Post photos on all your social media accounts so everyone knows you and your hubby and kids are at a historical music event! 
As a happy Smart subscriber, I can vouch for its claim that Smart has the ‘nationwidest’ and most reliable mobile and broadband network in the country.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pregnant mommy guilt

I'm sad today. I had a bad day with the kids. Been having bad days with them lately. I think it's because they're growing up and becoming more rambunctious while I'm pregnant and getting even more tired each day. The exhaustion is testing my patience and certainly not helping my temper. Perhaps what I'm also struggling with most is this: The most difficult thing about being pregnant for the third time is the fact that I can't take care of myself the way I did when I was pregnant the first time.

The first time, when I was pregnant with Vito, is all magic. It's just me and this new life inside me. All I did was focus on him and him alone. I devoured books on pregnancy, followed week by week the development of my growing baby. I slept and rested all day if needed. I ate only healthy food. I religiously took all my vitamins. I was on the dot with all my tests and appointments, the lab results all filed neatly in a clear book. My first pregnancy was love.

The second time, with Iñigo now, was easy, too. Vito was (and is) a fiercely independent child. When he was just three months old, he'd push me away when he was done breastfeeding. He only asked for me if he wanted to eat or to play or to cuddle. He was happy to be on his own. He made motherhood so easy because I always had time for myself, my husband, my friends, my work. Even though he was only a year old when I was pregnant with Iñigo, he understood what was going on with me, and he preferred playing alone or with his friends or with his Papa than to bother his slow, sleepy pregnant Mama.

Vito demanding I get out of bed and play. Well, it was 9 am! Lazy mommy!

This third time I'm pregnant, however, is very hard. Iñigo is a clingy child. This second son of mine, he can't let go of me. He refuses to let me out of his sight. When I'm in the bathroom, he pounds on the door, crying. He follows me everywhere. He's really like that, since he was born. Iñigo's always happy when I'm within touching distance. So I always brought him along with me, carried him in a sling, did all the attachment parenting things with him, even breastfed him exclusively till just a few days ago because I read that breastfed toddlers are more independent than formula-fed ones.

I don't really mind. Well, okay, I do sometimes, especially since I don't like clinginess—from parents and my friends and even to my choice of husband. My parents knew that I was a better daughter when they respected my need for distance. My friends are like me. We just pick up where we left off and that could be weeks and months in between. Vince isn't high maintenance. He's not the type who wants to be with me all the time. He doesn't reply to texts. He doesn't call except if there's an emergency. As long as he has his books and his writing, he's fine. He and Vito are exactly the same. So when Iñigo came along, I didn't really know what to make of him. Except love him, of course, and if this is how he wants to be loved then so be it. But now that I'm pregnant, I'm just too exhausted having someone stuck to my skin nearly 24/7.

How can anyone resist that guy? Seriously.

It's just not Iñigo, of course. Having no household help and yayas, Vince and I are constantly caring for the kids. Plus, there's the house. It needs to be cleaned, vacuumed, wiped down. Food has to be cooked, dishes need to be washed. Clothes need to be laundered, folded, steamed. So when the kids are asleep, Vince and I take turns working and housekeeping.

I can't eat properly. I can't sleep when I want and as long as I need. I forget to take my prenatal vitamins. I haven't been able to schedule my lab tests. I haven't even been able to just bask in this pregnancy. Today, as I was cooking dinner, I recalled that when I was pregnant with Vito, I wouldn't even cook because I didn't want my tummy, which was at level with the stove fire, to get hot. That was how much I took care of myself, to the point of silliness. Now, who has the time? Kids need to be fed. House needs to be cleaned. Work needs to be done. I don't even blog anymore, unless it's a sponsored post. There really is just no time to sit down and type. To stay sane, I just get on my phone when the kids are watching TV and scroll through Facebook.

The other night, I felt the baby move. I was so amazed. It's always an amazing thing. I focused my thoughts on the darling baby, "There you are. Please be alright. I know Mama's not taking care of herself. I know I'm not taking care of you, but please know that I love you and that I think of you." And that last part I felt guilty about because that's not really true. I don't think about the baby. I forget that I'm pregnant because I'm always running around, washing butts, picking up toys, sweeping crumbs, yelling at the boys to stop hitting each other while I'm cooking their lunch. I'm too busy with my kids to think about the child I can't see.

Please pray the baby will be as perfectly healthy as Vito and Iñigo. Thank you, everyone!

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