Mothering Monica: Year Five

From a baby who blabbers to a little girl who aspires to write and illustrate books because that’s what she has imagined herself to be. This and more in Monica’s Year Five.

I remember when Monica was a newborn, I told myself I will breastfeed her for as long as she wants. Fast forward to today, she still breastfeeds and weaning is nowhere in sight. I remember asking her when she will stop and she would answer “on my birthday” only to extend until the next one.

I remember this year when Monica stayed home and did not have the chance to play with many kids. She lost the time to spend with family and friends. I remember her starting and ending the day in our little home because the threat of the pandemic is there. I remember us trying every activity possible just so she can get thru the day. I remember boredom paving way for your imagination to be limitless.




I remember you enjoying online school despite the challenges left and right. I remember you learning how to be patient and wait for your turn to sing or dance. I remember you cherishing your classmates and T. Lex because they mean so much.

I remember how happy you were with video calls and chat messages with family. It made you so excited knowing you can share your stories with them or play stickers and games on Messenger.

I remember us getting into plants; we would water them together, you will sing and talk to them. I remember setting up a very small inflatable pool in the balcony just so you will enjoy despite not being able to swim in the beach.

I remember when the condo admin finally allowed kids in the amenities area – it made you really happy. I remember going down to get some vitamin D — for you to run around and for mommy and daddy to exercise. I remember how this made us gain new family and new bubble. I remember you screaming, running, playing, and getting all sweaty with Kuya Jax and Riley. I remember the three of you being Super Speed, Speed Bubble, and Speed Weed and how you easily understood each other.

I remember when you bravely tried to “dive” in the pool; how you managed to swim on your own and overcame your fear of deep waters. I remember how it made you feel confident. I remember you composing a song based on the things I always tell you: “Don’t be scared, be brave. Don’t panic, it’s okay.”

I remember you looking for your books the moment you opened your eyes. I remember telling you I was never like that. I remember being honest to you when I don’t know  a lot of things. I remember directing you to your daddy because he knows more than I do. And that’s okay with you.

I remember how your face lit up every time we give you a new book. I remember all the stories you wrote, but I remember more of how happy it made you feel. Your eyes sparkle with every word you formed and every idea you thought of. I remember making a blog site for you so you can make more stories you can easily go back to. I remember tons of stories made in a pad paper, with illustrations and dialogues.

I remember when you were crying and I asked you to stop. You said “mommy let me cry first because my heart is still sad.” I remember the very first time you got mad at me. You didn’t want to hug me right away because you want to calm down first. You said you still love me but you just didn’t feel like hugging me. I remember shouting at you many many times because you wouldn’t go to bed early. Only for me to shower you with hugs and kisses in the middle of your sleep. 

I remember you reasoning out and standing your ground. I remember you being fearless of trying new things out but would scream frantically when you see insects flying around. I remember you being hard headed at times that it annoys us so much. I remember you finally eating on your own, and eating everything at that. But it does not mean it’s always stress-free because you eat soooooo slowly.

I remember you asking for “hug break” whenever your daddy is working. I remember you looking forward to Saturdays because that’s when you and daddy watch a movie. I remember your daddy reading a story every night even though he’s busy. I remember you hugging and kissing me 1000x a day because you want to show me you love me. I remember you asking me to play Scrabble, Pick-up Sticks, Whisper Whisper, Rock Paper Scissors, and Mommy-Monica game with you. I remember reading bible stories and devotions with you on most nights.

I remember when we finally decided to get a house so you can have more space to play. I remember telling you that you’ll have your own room and we’ll build book shelves for you.

I remember getting my time back — I remember taking 1-2 hours so I can workout and you understood why. I remember feeling good about myself but sometimes doubt if I am contributing just right.

I remember this year to be challenging but this pandemic proved that the three of us can live harmoniously (most of the time) in our small unit 24/7. I remember how our family has thrived to adjust and just accept reality as it is without getting bitter. I remember us looking forward to better days ahead.

I can try to remember many things for the past years but on your 5th birthday tomorrow, June 24, I want YOU to remember how life was for us through mommy’s words in this blog. I want you to always remember that you are loved. We love you so much, anak. May you continue to shine and spread your light. Happy birthday to our bright little star.

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The Power Of Movement: Thank You Jump Rope ➰💛

Pre-pandemic, I was already happy with my weight — all thanks to Low Carb and Intermittent Fasting (LCIF) way of life. Because of this lifestyle, I was able to lose 11kgs and maintain a 58kg body with no exercise or any physical activity at all. So I said, it’s all in the food intake (which is really true naman).

Then lockdown happened. Ube-cheese pandesal, dalgona, cinnamon rolls, and everything else happened. I gained 4kgs in just a few months, went up to 62 kgs around July. I felt anxious, moody, tired of this pandemic, heavy. I was not feeling good about myself. That’s when I tried working out — thanks also to my momma friends who kept posting their daily workouts. Sabi ko pa “ano ba itong mga ito, exercise nang exercise. Nakakapagod.” Pero nood naman ako nang nood; before I know it, naimpluwensyahan na akong gumalaw. Hahaha. Shout to April, Shella, Marie! Hahaha.

At first I was doing yoga, following Youtube workout videos; but I found it too boring. I can’t keep up. I swear I can’t finish one full workout no matter how short it is. It’s true, different strokes for different folks.

Good thing, we were organizing our little condo that time. I found my old jump rope (the one I used as warm-up for boxing back in 2014) and tried jumping.

My jump was too high and heavy, form was bad, and all I could do was 50 jumps a day. But I found this movement interesting. Why? All I needed was a jump rope and my will to move.

Then I set a goal of 100 straight, then 1000 skips a day. It made me happy and want to skip everyday. Then I reached 3000 per day. I was so happy jumping to different songs. I would allot one hour a day just to jump. A friend suggested for me to learn tricks. Good thing, our condo allowed residents to go to the amenities area already. Took my chance and that’s when I started learning (albeit slowly) tricks. 

On my 3rd month of jumping, I decided to buy another PVC rope, this time from JUMP MANILA. And wow, this totally changed the game. I know because we also bought cheap ones from Shopee and oh my goodness, tangled agad isang jump pa lang. Haha. my first JM rope was the 2.0 – it was perfect. Swings became better, tricks came in one by one. The quality of rope is just too good, not to mention, affordable too.

Sharing with you my ropes — so far I have 3 PVC ropes, 1 Heavy PVC 1/2lb rope, 1 soft beaded rope (All from Jump Manila. Beke nemen charot!) and 1 beaded rope from The Jump Shop PH (it’s a customized rope from The Jump Rope Coach Chris!

For a beginner like me, getting a very good rope is the key to maintain consistency. Syempre pag feel mo yung rope, gaganahan ka diba? Hence, mas malaki chance na mag-improve. With regard sa tricks, I honestly cringe looking back at my old videos. I thought I was doing good before but NO. Haha. We all start talaga looking like a fool but with jump rope — there’s so much to explore and improve on. I no longer count my skips nor calories burned. I just enjoy every move; unlocking tricks or not.

From then on, I would jump 5-6x a week, drills on drills. Some days I am unlocking new tricks, other days, I am not. Some days, it takes me hours to learn, other days, it takes me weeks. I just keep pushing. Yes I get frustrated when I can’t unlock but I keep reminding myself that my jump rope journey is mine alone — and I am not in a competition with others. Soo here I am, approaching my 9th month into this journey. Still a beginner, but definitely a happy learner. 😉

From this:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CI0oxsgggjT/?utm_medium=copy_link

To this:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPX_H8xDkSD/?utm_medium=copy_link

Little by little, I saw and felt changes in my body. It became easier to move, easier to accept what I see in the mirror. I still eat what I want – chips, bread. No rice for me (since I am used to it already), but I am not depriving myself of carbs anymore. I still do Intermittent Fasting, 16-20hrs depending on my mood. Lost my quarantine pounds but weight plateaued at 59kgs. They said it’s because I gained muscles. Not bothered with the weighing scale anymore because what’s important is how I feel and what the tape measure shows. Hehe. Lost inches in my waist and thighs so who am I to complain right? Eating what I want, sweating almost everyday. Win-win.😄

Tips:

▪️Don’t mind the weighing scale too much, measure your body instead.
▪️Watch what you eat.
▪️Find time to move and sweat. Find a workout that suits you. No excuses.
▪️Focus on YOUR progress, big or small.

Left photo: Takot sa carbs and doing 16-18hr IF; no movement, no exercise; full of “sanal all”, “ang sipag naman nya magwork-out”, “ano ba yan wala akong time”

Right photo: Hindi na takot sa carbs and still doing 16-18hr IF; daily movement, daily jump rope; no more “sana all”; full of jump rope tricks to explore

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What’s up?

Hey mama! How’s 2021 doing so far? I hope you guys are good, and if not, hope things will be a bit lighter in the coming days. Just dropping by to ask what you’ve all been up to.

As for me, been really enjoying jump rope. That’s my sanity saver these days! I’ll write about it soon!

Love and light,

Din

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Monica the Storyteller

Monica, at 4yo, has written a lot of stories already. She enjoys putting her thoughts in writing — whether in paper or saved in our laptop. I love that her ideas evolve and improve each time. Or probably, I am just being a biased mommy. Haha.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CHSjjg8rp5O/


Anyway, thinking of putting up her own website as early as now — just so we can preserve her “writings” as early as now. 🙂

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Isla Sugbu Seafood City (Venice Mall) Experience: DISAPPOINTING

WARNING: LONG POST BUT BETTER READ IT:
This is a Public Service Announcement, not meant to degrade, talk shit, or put down someone or something. This is purely factual and objective as it’s based on our experience.
A lot may have seen or checked out Isla Sugbu Seafood City in Venice Mall. I was one of those who got curious because who wouldnt, it’s unlimited seafood for only Php 888 promo price (regular rate is Php 1300).
So I forced my friends to go there for lunch. Here’s our experience. Again, this was OUR experience.
1. The staff who answered my call for reservation, Lady, was very nice and accommodating.
2. Place is new, so it looks and feels clean. Lighting was really good and very inviting.
3. Food seems fresh because you can see aquarium and all but then, the only things included in Php 888 are the ones on ice. Pwede na. They will assist you in choosing and knowing the type of dish you want. Very Dampa.
Those are the only 3 good points I can say. Here’s the sad part:
1. While waiting for our food, may nabasag na baso about 2-3 tables from us. Nahulog ng waiter. Of course they were quick to clean it up. While cleaning up, the waiter accidentally kicked the bottom part of the glass and it went straight under our table! It could have hit me, my friend, and worse, Monica since she was about to go down from the chair!!! Imagine!!! Pano kung natamaan ng bubog ang anak ko sa katawan or mata or whatever?? That thought made me really furious and went straight to them. The waiter said sorry but I still called the manager. To be fair they apologized but it’s still not enough. Yes accidents happen, but they better be extra careful. Sayang I was not able to take a photo of the broken glass.
2. I asked for a high chair and had to make kulit 3 waiters for me to be accommodated. Worse, binalibag lang at first kasi inuna yun ibang table. They could have atleast informed me to wait. This is 15 mins after I got mad from the first incident. Talaga ba, ganon na lang? Customers don’t matter? Or yung mga sikat lang dapat nyo iaccommodate?
3. I was told to wait for about 30mins for our orders to be cooked and served. Ayun, more than 1 hr, dumating yung sea grapes. After 10mins, yung buttered shrimp. Then sigur 1 hr 30 mins dumating yun iba. Take note, patapos na kami kumain, di pa kumpleto ang orders. We had to ask na ipagluto ulit kasi syempre gutom na and super tagal. Mali ulit yung order, hinayaan na lang namin kasi andun na eh.
4. Nothing special with the food. Mas masarap sa Dampa or even you can cook it. Di rin super fresh and di na crunchy yun calamari pagdating samin.
5. Kinain na lang kasi super gutom na and hello sayang ang Php888!
So there. It was really a bad experience to the point that I will use the hashtag #NeverAgain. Sure it’s new and probably on a dry run or beta phase but hindi ba dapat best foot forward rin naman sa umpisa? Overall, no value for money, food and experience-wise, it’s 1/5.
Lesson: Don’t ever believe what you see online lalo pag mga celebrities ang nagpost haha. Not that they are liars but because they’re treated more importantly than regular people. It’s a fact. Hope they will be better in the coming days. Sayang ang hype.
 
PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THE REGULAR CUSTOMERS, WE ARE THE PAYING ONES AND WE DESERVE BETTER.
UPDATE: The COO contacted me this morning and he apologized. I appreciate the gesture and I felt the sincerity but some things never change. I don’t think my impression will get better. But hopefully they will learn their lesson and improve.
 
 

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For Beejay <3

First appeared in: SmartParentingPH

 

I have so many awesome photos of my daughter, and each one is made possible by my very patient and eager husband. I think it’s the same with my fellow millennial moms.

My husband takes the most beautiful candid photos of my daughter (and me!) because he knows what will make us look and feel good. No photographer will be as patient, kind, generous and loving as my husband is with my daughter and me.

FULL STORY HERE:  https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/tag/instagram-husband

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I am Stay-At-Home Mommy

First appeared in SmartParentingPH:

I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) by choice, and it’s the best thing so far — but also the most challenging.

When I was working in the corporate world, I used to lead a team. I used to mingle with lots of people, attend meetings, brainstorm, handle deadlines and quotas, and many more. So imagine how my life changed when I decided to stay at home and take care of the household 24/7. I had been asked before, “What’s going to happen to your career?” to which I remember answering, “My family is worth putting my career on hold for now.”

FULL STORY HERE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/real-parenting/sahm-a1741-20180601?ref=feed_1?ref=home_feed

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Smart Parenting

I’ve been an avid follower of SmartParentingPH and never in my wildest dream that I thought of writing for them. I am not even a writer, duh? Haha. But the joys and cries of motherhood make me want to share my experiences to the world. I used to just write in my blog, write notes, write long captions in Social Media but now I have the avenue to express myself and be of help (somehow) to other parents out there.

I have 9 articles to date and it keeps getting better! I have an amazing editor who unselfishly and willingly help me out! Thanks Ms. Leah!

Super shout out to our friend, Rej, for paving the way for this to happen. I will never ever forget this. Thank you again, Rej!!!!!! <3

I will be posting my articles here! Yay!

 
Link: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/author/din-real-bautista?ref=article_author

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Bautistas in Boracay

This is a super late post but posting anyway! I am now motivated to update my blog haha. <3 :-p

So last February 27-March 1, we went to Boracay to celebrate our 3rd Wedding Anniversary. Why Boracay? We wanted Monica to enjoy the fine sands and see the beauty of Boracay – even if only a little or none probably will stay in her mind. Haha. Plus we’ve always wanted to go back ever since we spent our honeymoon there in 2015.

There were a lot of firsts for Monica – first plane ride, first boat experience! It was awesome! When we were at NAIA3, Monica kept saying “ehypleyn!” “wow many ehypleyn!” These simple moments really convinced me that traveling with Monica is a must for our little family (of course if resources permit).

We stayed in Ambassador Boracay in Station 1. We rate it 7/10. Location is great, food is uhmm, so-so, service, average only, room, good. But still, it was fun.
Sharing you guys our photos from this very memorable trip.


And Monica became Ariel! Hahahaha. Super cute crochet costume from Tina of Posh Dollies. We ordered a number of costumes from them for Monica’s monthly celebration before. <3

 
That’s it! Thank you to my husband for the beautiful photos and for booking this trip for us! More to come, baby! I love you and Monica! <3

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Our Birthing Story: Hello there, Monica

Birthing Story: Part 1
Birthing Story: Part 2
At 7pm, I was brought to the operating room while Beej was signing documents (about change of package from Normal delivery to Emergency CS). I was feeling cold in the OR while they prepare for the operation. I think I fell asleep (probably because of the extra dosage of epidural) for a while because the next thing I remember was they called Beej already and my OB said, “Oh konting press lang to ha…”
Beej refused to look at my open tummy haha. He just took photos of what’s going on, took a video, and reassured me that it’s gonna be okay.
After a few minutes, we heard Monica cry.
Then they brought her to me for Unang Yakap and they had her latch on me. She’s beautiful. This little human being came out alive and healthy. Thank You Lord.
I cried of course and passed out.
I woke up after an hour and found myself in the recovery room. I was too excited to see and hold Monica. I was advised to move my legs while the effect of anesthesia is still there – it’s for me to cope better and to heal faster.
I can’t remember being tired. All I felt was happiness. Seeing Beej so smitten with our daughter was enough to forget what I went through.
Monica is love. Thank You God.
PS: And because of what I went through, NO, you cannot just tell me: “Ay CS ka pala?” TRY MO? Haha. #Galit 😛

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