Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ben turns 5 :)

As Ben's birthday months comes to a close, Bry and I would like to say thanks to the special people who helped made his birthday fun, meaningful and memorable.  I admit, I like seeing him happy and I exert a bit of extta effort doing so every January. 

Ben wanted a Minecraft party so we asked a little help in making it possible for him and his classmates at school.  The bento boxes from the Bentomommas were a hit and tasted good, too! I inquired if they can personalizes the bento boxes with cheese slices.  Even the teachers found them cute.  Oh, the twins also enjoyed eating the extra meals I ordered for them.

Then we capped of his birthday week with a swimming playdate.  I was so thankful to Bry that he suggested we set it on the 17th. I originally set it on the 18th which would not have been ideal since it was the date of the pope's mass at Luneta.  We booked the kiddie pool of the Quezon City Sports Club.   Thank you to my parents for being members of QCSC.  Thanks to family and friends who took time out of their busy schedule to drop by (even the adults!).  The kids seemed to have enjoyed, not wanting to get up from the pool, except to go up the slide.  I hope the adults had a good time, too.  Personally, I was glad to have gotten the chance to chat with other mommy friends.

I received a lot of compliments about the way the pool area was decorated.  I'd like to once again say thank you to Mic Tatad-King and the Twinhouse Creatives team.  The set-up was simple, lovely and fun.  We had a welcome area, a space for the water pistols and water balloons, and a dessert table.  The centerpieces were a nice touch, too! I have a soft spot for fresh flowers.  Here are some photos courtesy of Twinhouse Creative's Facebook Page.  

Thank you, once again to those who celebrated with us.  To our Ben, please remember that you are loved.  May you grow up to be wiser, kinder and closer to God each year

The Power of Collective Prayer - Vsit to St. Clare's Monastery

I believe in the power of collective prayer.  Pope Francis would often ask people he meet to pray for him, and I think by doing so he doesn't only show his humility but also recognizes the beauty of being able to pray for someone.

Anyway, I've heard about asking for prayers from the nuns of the Sta. Clara Monastery for quite some time now.  I also know that most devotees ask for her intercession for good weather.  I know this may seem petty, but I’ve been praying for good weather during Ben’s swimming playdate for quite some time.  It may not seem like a big deal but it was the first time I’m directly handling an event that is weather dependent.  So, I decided it was a good time to go there. 

Here are some snippets:

The monastery is being run by the nuns of the Catholic Order of  Poor Clares.  It’s the oldest one in the country dating back to the Spanish era when it was originally located at Intramuros.  It is located along Katipunan Avenue, below the flyover, right side if you are coming from Santolan or White Plains.  Slow down and look for the signage so you won’t miss it.

You’ll be greeted by a lovely fountain where some visitors would toss a coin and make a wish.  The challenge is tossing the coin to the higher part of the fountain.

Of course, a beautiful statue of St. Clare is also in the compound.

Then as you go inside the compound, you will see where devotees write their petitions and give their offerings (usually eggs).  Yes, I went there to pray for good weather, but my prayer note contained other things as well.  You drop your prayer requests in a box and your offering is a window that swivels.

There is something beautiful about visiting a church for the first time.  For a monastery that’s located in a busy part of Metro Manila, the mood inside the compound and church is quite solemn.

For me, what is important is recognizing that there is merit in asking help to pray for something.  I don’t know about you, but there is comfort and strength felt when you ask family and  friends to pray for you.  I also remember during our baptismal seminar for the kids, we are asked to name the kids after a saint so they have a patron saint, someone to serve as an example of how a good Christian should be.  (Thus, the names of our kids)

How about you, given the chance, what prayers would you ask your love ones to intercede for you?   

PS. credits to  for the photos of the monastery's gate, chirch and St. Clare Statue

PPS. We were blessed with good weather for Ben's Birthday.  A bit cloudly with only about 10 minutes of very light drizzle. Thank you, Lord :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

LATCH Breastfeeding Classes 2015

When I was pregnant with Ben, I was not fortunate enough to attend a breastfeeding class.  Luckily and thankfully, I had the support of family and friends who helped me through the challenging first weeks.  Looking back, I wish I attended a class.  Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the opportunity to inform families about breastfeeding by being part of LATCH.  One of the things that we do is conduct regular breastfeeding classes for pregnant moms and future caregivers of their babies.  In line with this, I would like to once again stress the importance of attending these classes.

In a breastfeeding class, you will be informed of the benefits of breastfeeding, what to expect during the first weeks as well as how to sustain your breastfeeding relationship for long term.  Why is this important? Because most pregnant moms really intend to breastfeed but need the information how to go about it.  Most pregnant moms need to know why breastfeeding is best for the baby so that they’ll be motivated to overcome the challenges.  I am not saying that attending a class will make you 100% successful in your breastfeeding journey, but it helps a lot.

On a personal note, as a breastfeeding counselor, I try my best not to be preachy, but I am willing to talk to anyone who is interested to learn why breastfeeding is best.  So I encourage you to book a class now, or if the current class schedules don’t work out for you, to get in touch with me or with LATCH for other options.  We do this for free and from the bottom of our hearts.

The breastfeeding classes for year 2015 in The Medical City will be on March 7, May 9, July 4, September 5, and Nov 7 from 1-4pm.  You can reserve your slot by calling the trunkline 988-1000 or 9887000 and have yourself connected to their center of patient partnership at loc 6444

PS. photo courtesy to fellow LATCHer Kate De Los Reyes :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Catching a glimpse of the pope :)

Jan 15, 2015 6pm at home
Watching live streaming of the pope's arrival online.  Wow, he's finally here! Time to get ready for Ben's birthday dinner

Jan 15, 2015 7:30pm at Ben's birthday dinner
Papa was talking about going to the vicinity of UST to see the pope.  I asked what time he's planning to go. He's planning to leave the house at 2AM.  Oh my, I don't think I can make it that early since I am in charge of the twins during the night.  Memories of going to Luneta when St. Pope John Paul II came back to me.  I don't remember much except that there were a lot of people and we tried climbing up a tree to get a good view.

Jan 16, 2015 1am while soothing Bree back to sleep 
Maybe I should try catching the pope's motorcade.  If I am to do it, today is the day since I have the driver and none of the helpers (thankfully) are on their day off.

Jan 16, 2015 3am while soothing to sleep 
Researching online about the pope's schedule today and the road blockages.  I wonder when and where is the best time to catch him

Jan 16 2015 5am while soothing Bree back to sleep again
Oh my, the twins have Little Gym class in the morning so I guess the best time would be to catch him at MOA

Jan 16 2015 8am while eating breakfast
After brainstorming all-night long.  I told Bry that if I were to plan my trip to catch a glimpse of the pope, I would ask our driver to take me to MOA via his motorcycle.  This would be the best way to go there so that I won't be stuck on traffic.  

Jan 16 2015 9:30am 
Talked to driver Jeruel if he is willing to take me to MOA.  He said he would.  Told him I am grateful but  I'm still undecided.  I printed out the guidelines for him to study just in case.

Jan 16 2015 10:30am at Little Gym
about 70% chance I'm going to MOA, I think

Jan 16 2015 11:00am
asked driver if he had an extra helmet, he said we can borrow from his friend who is a driver of one of our neighbors

Jan 16 2015 11;30AM
wanted to go to MOA already but Ben wanted me to keep him company so I stayed with him for a while. ate a quick lunch and placed some books, the ipad, some crackers and milk inside ziplock bags then place them inside a netted bag.

Jan 16 2015 12:15
Here we go.  Nervous, I guess i can go back if the crowd is too big

Our route was smooth until we were stopped by a checkpoint near MOA.  I was a little nervous but we were allowed to proceed after answering some questions 

Jan 16 2015 12:45pm
Arrived and parked at an open carpark at MOA.  Hoping the crowd is not that large yet

Jan 16 2015 1:00pm
Found a shaded spot by the rotonda near the globe. A lot of people already but not that bad.  Let the waiting game begin.  Started reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Powell

Jan 16 2015 1:10pm - tried sending a message to Bry but no signal, uh-oh

Jan 16 2015 1:20pm
Getting a little restless, checking the time every 10 minutes.  Maybe I should have brought a different book or use the ipad.  But I saving the battery of the ipad.  It's probably the heat and the crowd making me difficult to focus.

Jan 16 2015 2:00pm
Getting hooked at Eleanor and Park and getting more comfortable sitting on the
ground with flyer found on the floor as a fan

Jan 16 2015 2:45pm
The 2 year old boy beside me is getting restless despite the attempts of his mom and aunt to entertain him.  The elder woman beside them gave him a snack and some coins and he stopped crying.  People around us were clapping.

Jan 16 2015 4pm
One hour to go, a lot of people would get up and cheer when a vehicle would pass by.  The person on my right had a radio so he knew that the pope is not yet on his way remained seated.  I'm going to take his cue

Jan 16 2015 4:50pm
Finally. the pope is on his way to MOA.  Big LED screen showed him riding the popemobile.  Everyone is getting excited.  I said a prayer and reflected on something I would ask the pope to help me pray for.  

Jan 16 2015 5:00pm
Everyone is getting their cameras ready. Wished I was taller! Time to tiptoe

Everything went by so fast but I'm glad I made it.  I raised my rosary up as he passed.  One may ask, is a 5 second view of the pope worth the 5 hour preparation and waiting time? What I can say is you can really feel the energy of the crowd as he passed by.  So thankful for this opportunity.

Jan 16 2015 5:25
Crowd ddispersing So many people!

Jan 16 2015 5:40
Finally on my way home.  Our route was malate-makati proper-rockwell-boni-nueve-shaw-home

Jan 16 2015 6:15
Home, not bad.  Taking the motorcycle was a good call after all

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Theme for 2015

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I've been thinking of how to challenge myself this year, and after much thought, here it goes ...

During the recent parent teacher conferences, the kids' teachers and I discussed how being consistent in both at home and school has helped them (the kids) reached their milestones.  With Ben, we do our best to have a united front when it comes to encouraging him to regulate his emotions and with packing away.  With Bree, we have to constantly remind her to be open to new experiences and trust the adults in the classroom.  With Bea, we see much improvement with her verbal skills by making sure she uses her words and not just gestures.  We're taking baby steps but we are slowly making progress with each of them.  

Being consistent may seem simple but it's not that easy.  When Bry and I make rules for the kids, there are times when we had to have a long discussion before we agree on them.  Sometimes, it's tempting to bend the rules a bit when we are in a hurry or to make things more convenient.  It's an effort to look at the big picture and remind ourselves to stick to the plan.

Anyway, so this year, that will be my theme.  I will try to be consistent, as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee and counselor.  I will follow through with the rules, plans and goals that Bry and I have set for our family.  It may not be much but I pray that by doing so we can be quiet but positive influences towards the people around us.

How about you? What's your theme for 2015?