Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dear World

By now you would have heard about the devastation brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda (aka Haiyan). I received many concerned messages from abroad, from family, friends, and colleagues. We were spared (it was nothing more than a rainy day in Manila), but our fellow Filipinos down south weren't so fortunate. Thousands dead. Hundreds of thousands displaced. Millions affected.

It's been over two weeks, but it will take a very long time for our country to get back on its feet. If you live far away and feel compelled to help, you can find more information here. If you're in town, there are so many ways to help--Cosmopolitan Philippines has this fund-raising activity this Saturday, for one.

My heart keeps breaking: Seeing pictures of the aftermath. Repacking a box of baby clothes at a relief center (baby clothes!!! Those poor, poor babies!!!). Reading about the survivors arriving at Villamor, looking dazed and defeated. Getting frustrated at the inefficiency of all these different government units.

But it also keeps swelling: Reading about street kids pooling together what they have to donate a couple of canned goods. Seeing friends who are tirelessly collecting relief goods and mobilizing volunteers. Hearing about the help coming from all over the world.

If you've contributed to relief efforts in some way, thank you. If you haven't, we'd appreciate any help you can give: a box of goods, a dollar, a prayer. Every little bit counts. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Ninth and Tenth Months


Tenth month. He's perfectly capable of eating books and toys, but still just smooshes food in his hands without putting it in his mouth.

[Insert token apology for not blogging here]

The past two months have been hectic (who am I kidding? All months are hectic!) and A's got quite a few tricks up his sleeve (er, sando) now. His milestones:
  • He eats meat now. Well, chicken so far.
  • He claps.
  • He waves goodbye.
  • He blows kisses. (It's been a while though...this kid, he quickly gets bored with tricks and moves on to the next.)
  • He plays peek-a-boo (in Filipino, bulaga), with him doing the peek-a-booing.

  • He's now a crazy fast crawler. And he cruises and walks (and runs) with assistance.
  • He dances! He is his mother's son after all.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Things That Have Got My Heart Racing

The resurrection of one of my all-time favorite mags.

Click here.

A movie based on one of my all-time favorite books, one that made me cry an ugly cry.

Possibly a sleeper hit and Oscar contender

A movie based on a book by one of my all-time favorite authors. Oh, and the award for the Sexiest Dragon Voice goes to Benedict Cumberbatch.

And while we're on the subject of Benedict Cumberbatch, I am late to this whole party but I am completely, undeniably Sherlocked!

Photo from here

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Eighth Month: My Son Is A Model!

So he could get to a sitting position by himself and all that (hurray!), but the main highlight for this month is that A booked his first modeling gig!

From Smart Parenting Magazine, September 2013--that's him in the onesie with a peace sign, and in the tuxedo-onesie!

I was so flattered when the Smart Parenting editor in chief asked me if my son could model for their onesie special. *tear* There were going to be four other baby models, each one with a different personality--preppy, quirky, and so on. When I asked the EIC what my son was going to be, she answered, "He's the rocker. Siga!" (roughly translated as "tough guy"). That's my boy! Lol.

When we got to the studio, there were racks and piles of baby clothes. Like a proper fashion shoot!

Each baby was to model six outfits. I was a bit worried because dressing A had become quite a challenge (he won't stay still!), so I couldn't imagine how he would react to all those outfit changes. But he was such a trooper, not putting up much of a fuss as we changed him. Halfway through the shoot though, he took a nap. (At some point, all the babies were asleep!) What a diva!

The photographer was Patrick Martires, one of my wedding photogs. His super cute son, a few weeks younger than A, was also part of the shoot (that's him in the first photo, wearing a hat). A had just started sitting without support, so his nanny and I were seated nearby, ready to swoop in in case he fell over. I wasn't sure if he would cooperate, but thankfully he did--he sat still for a lot of the photos and it wasn't difficult to get him to smile! The first few shots though, he would give his smolder.

I was so eager to get copies of the photos that I actually took pictures of Pat's laptop! Hashtag stage mommy.

Some of the outtakes were priceless. Such as... 

West side!


A couple of other shots...

After the shoot, I was asked to sign an invoice for his talent fee! My son is an actual working model! We're going to be rich!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Seventh Month

Awesome milestones before he turned seven months--and because his brain was on overdrive, we had to deal with a few weeks of this little thing called sleep regression: You think his sleep pattern has become predictable and then, bam!, he wakes up every hour to feed/be cuddled/no reason at all. Because his brain was processing so many things, he couldn't seem to get long stretches of sleep, and would sometimes wake up in a crawling position, freaking out because he didn't know what was happening. (Poor thing.) There were nights when I slept seated in my feeding chair, with him in my arms, because it was the only way he could get any sleep. Fun!

All worth it though, because the reason his brain was hyperactive was:
  • He discovered the wonders of opening and closing his hands. He has this look of amazement when he holds his hand up in front of his face!
  • He started sitting up without support...
  • He began sort of crawling. (Up to now, he hasn't quite mastered it, but his nanny thinks he's one of those babies who skip crawling and go straight to walking. Hmm.)

  • He started putting his toes in his mouth. (I wonder if this, er, achievement is included in Baby Center's list of official milestones...)

  • He kept being an absolute sweetheart.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life Pegs and the Myth of Perfection

Just wanted to share my editor's note from this month's issue of Good Housekeeping.


We at the GH staff have what we call our “life pegs”—people with seemingly perfect lives that we want for our own. You know the type: They posts photos of their fabulous European getaways on Facebook, tweet about the many fabulous blessings they receive on a daily basis, and Instagram their fabulously made-up selves.

I used to look at all this evidence of perfection with envy. But recently, a friend told me about how she thought my life was perfect, and she enumerated all the things that made it so. “Some girls have all the luck!” she said. I was surprised and flattered, but inwardly, I chuckled. See, at that very moment, I was going through something major, but all she could see was what I chose to show the world.

That made me think about our life pegs—if I could be seen as having a perfect life at a time when it was so imperfect, then all these other women must have their own problems too; they just choose not to show it. It made me wonder about what was going on behind their beautiful selfies. And I was reminded of something we’ve been told over and over again: Nobody is perfect. No life is perfect.

I’ve thus decided to stop chasing after perfection. There are good lives, there are seemingly better lives, but we all have our struggles. Instead of making over every aspect of my life to make it just so, I’ve made over my mindset instead: Life doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be happy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Sixth Month

I can't believe my little man is half a year old. *tear*

We celebrated his half-birthday in Anvaya Cove with my big extended family (more on that weekend in a future post)--my cousins, nephews, and nieces were here from all over. 

And that's not even everyone. They actually had to rent a bus.

H and I decided that we weren't going to throw A a big first birthday party (because he won't remember it anyway), so A, this is pretty much it! Hope you enjoyed it. Haha.

The highlights of the month: A is now an ambi-roller (he couldn't roll left from his tummy before), and he's finally on solids!

His first meal: brown rice cereal mixed with breast milk. He was just chill the first time, but he's loooved every meal after that. We've since introduced potato and will be moving on to squash in a couple of days. Figuring out how to get him to take more water though.

And because this post was written in a rush, I would like to make up for it by ending with this...

One of my most liked photos on FB. I love you, little man!

Will post again soon. Pinky swear.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Fifth Month

Five months. How quickly time flies!

This little man is getting more entertaining as each day passes. He keeps rolling and rolling and rolling (you're right, Ric, he didn't forget!), and as he does so, I sing all these songs with "roll" in them ("You gotta roll with it..." "Rollin' with the homies..." "Rollin' in the deeeeeep..."). He says "mmmammmaaaaa." He super enjoys his bath. He has started showing an interest in food--he was looking at a cake display and we could see him smacking his lips! He's all serious around his daddy. He also tries to get my attention by crying, and sometimes he doesn't stop until I pick him up. Sometimes he cries before I leave for work. Worst part of my day! (Personal update: My hair has seriously started falling out. Ack!)

A few photos from this past month...

My first official Mother's Day! 

Baby's first road trip!

Babiators borrowed from cousin Xabi

I couldn't resist buying him a hat and swimming trunks that could only fit him that one time (and, horrors, I had to squeeze into a swimsuit)...

Baby's first swim! He was just quiet and he kicked the water a bit. I think he couldn't wrap his head around the giant palanggana.

I now truly understand that saying about the days being long but the years being short. I've had some pretty long days and nights, especially this past week! He seems to be in the middle of a growth spurt, so he feeds every one to two hours. It's insane. I haven't had straight two hours' sleep in ages. Oh, what I would give for four straight hours of sleep! It's amazing though how one's body adjusts. I can still manage to play with him when he wakes up at 6 am, and even function at work. Motherhood is an upper unlike any other.

Even with the lack of sleep, I just want to hit the pause button. It's going by so so so fast. He'll be crawling then walking then running in no time. I am enjoying this phase immensely--he still wants to be carried and cuddled, he still makes the funniest sounds, don't have to run after him yet. I get why mothers of older kids just want to carry him!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Before the Month Ends... grab a copy of Good Housekeeping's very special 15th anniversary issue! Not only is it our thickest issue evur, it also has a brand new look. (Check out that logo!)

We took our cue from our 128-year-old big sister, US GH, and revamped the entire mag. And I must say, it's beautiful and much more fun! If you want to find out more about this massive undertaking, read this interview with the US bosses, this press release, and this blog entry by one of the people on the redesign team (our stalker-art director tells me he's Filipino).

So, how do we look? Let me know what you think of the new GH!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Fourth Month

On his fourth month, A:
  • Gained 17 grams a day (above the average 10 to 15 grams a day).
  • Grew 4 cm.
  • Started showing off--he now easily rolls over from his back to his stomach, both left and right sides. And he does this again and again and again. But he seems to have forgotten how to roll from his stomach to back.
  • Would wake up at 4 am, wanting to play. This is supposedly called reverse cycling--when baby wakes up at odd hours to spend time with mommy, who's at work all day. I'm flattered, sure, but I also need my sleep! I try not to make eye contact when I change his nappy in the middle of the night, and when he gets chatty, I just turn off the light and let him babble away in his crib til he falls asleep again.
  • Started using cloth diapers. Yay Mother Earth!
  • Discovered that next to milk, he likes the taste of his lampin.
  • Started really laughing. (He loves our helper's antics, and I can get him to laugh sometimes by having him do a boxing combination. In the words of my former trainer: "Jab-strit-uppercut-right hook-lip hook!") Such a joy to hear!
  • Started changing...on some days he looks like his daddy, on others, he looks like me. And since I was once told that I look like Jericho Rosales (whut?), it looks like we've got a future Mr. Pogi!
How you doin'?

We be chillin'.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Shopping from a Stylist's Closet (Or, The Best Ukay Ever)

What do you do when one of the country's top stylists (and my good friend and life peg) posts this announcement?

You text the damn number.

And you set a budget, because you can seriously go broke at The Best Sale Ever.

Super stylist Pam Quinones finally decided to let go of a lot of stuff--clothes, shoes, accessories from her styling jobs as well as her own personal stash. Pam is my go-to girl whenever I need specific outfits ("Pam, I have a beach wedding!" "Pam, I need a 20s outfit!" "Pam, my niece's birthday party is safari-themed!"), plus the girl is never less than uber-chic, so I HAD to go to this sale. I also needed new clothes for this unrecognizable post-preggo body, but was unwilling to spend a bundle when I now have other priorities (like the kid's monthly vaccines!).

So, off to the sale I went. And let me tell you, it was the best decision I ever made.

We walked into the first floor of Pam's gorgeous studio (she's a frustrated interior designer) and were told that "shorts and pants are on this floor, dresses are upstairs."

Nina (GH's assistant fashion editor, whom I dragged along) and I went straight to the second floor. And ZOMG it was a frickin' black hole.

There was a room just for accessories and shoes (thankfully not my size!).

And another room with racks and racks of dresses.

We started going through the clothes, neatly arranged by color. Some items hadn't even been used, tags on and everything. One of Pam's assistants encouraged us to start in another room, where all the designer duds were. We figured our budgets were just enough for this room, so we politely said, "No, thank you." Then he said, "The prices are almost the same." That was our cue!

The designer room also had several racks of dresses. Amid the Martin Bautistas and Charina Sartes, I found this confection.

An absolutely dreamy Lanvin dress for--wait for it--P2,500!!! WHERE ELSE AM I GOING TO FIND A FRICKIN' LANVIN FOR $60?!

I had to be smart about my shopping trip though. I had a small budget, and I wanted to stretch it as much as I could, and a Lanvin that I couldn't wear that often just didn't make sense. But I figured my best friend would LOVE the dress. So I sent her a photo, and next thing I knew, she was reserving it. Which means I could borrow it some day. Yay!

I couldn't resist trying it on though. Tee-hee. Sigh, so pretty!

I ended up getting a Chloe dress (!) instead. And a couple of other dresses, a top, and a cover-up. All for P2,000!!!

Nins had a similar budget, and she thought long and hard about her purchases:

Nina: There's a cute leather jacket, pero hindi ko alam kung magagamit ko kasi ang init dito (I don't know if I'll be able to use it since it's so hot here.)
Me: Magkano ba? (How much?)
Nina: P100.
Me: PINAG-IISIPAN PA BA YON?! (Do you even have to think about it?!)

Here's Nins with her haul--her "splurge" was a P500 Zara dress, then she got a bunch of P100 dresses and tops! (Btw, you might want to check out her fashion blog, cute outfit posts!)

As our totals were being tallied, more stuff was coming in, including some YSLs and Charlotte Olympias.


Will probably do another post on my finds. So happy!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Work through the Eyes of Instagram

So this is what work looks like.

A cover shoot at a super cute store (more in a future post).

An outfit photo for our OOTD posts.

Lunch at a new restaurant.

Mad for Garlic, an Italian resto from Korea

A date with a star(fish).

Shocking pink nails from the launch of Orly's new line of polish.

 Hmm my phone didn't save the Instagram version. I thought this thing was supposed to be smart?

Invitations to events. "Special dessert buffet," you say?

...I'm there!

P.S. We got to take home six cupcakes of our choice!

A malunggay bouquet from our office security guard--he says he has an abundance of it at home and he thought I, being a nursing mother, would want some. Aww.

A sweet treat!

I can't see myself ever going back to a desk job.

Follow me on Instagram, @tishietishie.