This was my first Groupon purchase – a P450 voucher for a haircut, hot oil, back and scalp massage, and eyebrow threading at David’s Salon. Imagine that!
So after my final therapy session we went straight to the salon – at the SM Hypermarket Adriatico branch. Aria was with me and so my mom and our helper took her around the mini-mall. She tried on this trike:
After a few minutes of “me time”, I looked like this:
Groupon works by offering discount vouchers which should be purchased by a certain number of buyers. For example: the deal of the day is this:
You wait at the end of the day if the deal is on, then they will send you a confirmation email with the voucher that you can just print and use. That simple. I did not want to recommend unless I used it myself. And it’s worth it. I also got another deal for a photo session which is perfect for my daughter’s pictorial.
But warning: this may cause Groupon anxiety. This is the case presented by The Economist. Follow this link:
Happiest New Year from the Macanayas and Alcantaras!
Aria’s now four months old. Time flew so fast. She’s reached many milestones earlier that we expected. She can roll over both sides, shriek, hum as if she’s singing, talk as if she wants to say something, and yes, she caught a Christmas cold. I’ve brought her to Christmas parties here and there, and once she smiles or coos at someone, she instantly receives a Christmas gift. Good girl!
But I still have not watched a movie, or a concert, or at least have one alone time. At least I was able to sing twice at church and conduct my children’s choir again. Everyone’s scared to take care of the baby without me because she might cry for food anytime. Yes, four months of breastfeeding her exclusively, no bottle, not even expressed breast milk (except when I tried it out three months ago, after which, I felt guilty). Imagine if we were giving her formula, we would have spent P4,000 a month plus all the efforts in putting it in the bottle. Celebrate!
There were also a lot of singing engagements that I turned down, and still turning down more engagements. I don’t know when will I return to my usual self. All I know is that I will live this unusual life with my little toothless smiley face (who, by the way, is sleeping like a log this morning!).
So, I introduce to you, yours truly, the Queen of all envy!
Like this weekend, I will miss my two favorite choirs in concert. My husband knew I want to watch those concerts. He offered to take care of the little one and leave a stash of milk in the freezer. I didn’t know what to say.
Anyway, please do me a favor and watch these concerts. They’re all good.
The Ateneo Chamber Singers will share the stage with the Gaia Philarmonic Choir from Japan and SYC Ensemble Singers in TATLO: A Choral Celebration on January 8 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. My husband is a pioneer member of the ACS since its inception in 2001 and has sung for the festival when it was first held in Singapore in 2006. Visit www.threefestival.com for more details.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers will be featured in a concert of Sal Malaki and Kit Viguilla-Navarro, both Madz Alumni on January 8 and 9 at the Philamlife Auditorium. I was fortunate to have sung with the group for five years and was part of the batch that have won competitions in Spain, France and Italy. Visit www.philippinemadrigalsingers.com or their Facebook fan page for more details.
Now I wish that concert halls would have sound-proof areas for breastfeeding mommies like me so that while we watch, our little ones can also listen to these wonderful music. Wishful thinking.
Happy Second Anniversary! Since I wasn’t able to buy you a card, let this post tell you how happy I am today.
This day, two years ago, we woke up early and got married. This day, last year, we woke up early again (should I say, we did not sleep) to catch an early morning flight to Hong Kong. Today, we woke up a few times during the night and early morning, this time to change diapers and feed the little one.
Time flew so fast.
I am happy because I wake up each day seeing you and Aria. Though the past two months gave us sleepless nights, droopy eyes, and aching bodies, it also gave us loads of patience and sacrifice. We are newbies in this career. And we have to admit, nothing beats the reward Aria gives us – that toothless but charming smile.
I am happy because you have been a good provider. I know how hard it is for you now that I assume the role of a full-time mom. We are just so blessed because God never left our side. Let’s just keep trusting His ways.
I am happy because you love your family and mine. You also never fail to share what you have and know to other people. Soon, our daughter will make music with us, or probably she will be your uke. I know you can’t wait for that to happen.
It has been a good two years so far. We’ve traveled, sang, laughed together. Now we work together to become good parents to our firstborn.
I shall never cease to praise and thank Him for this gift of marriage and family. I love you and Aria very much. You both inspire me to be a better wife and mother.
It still hasn’t dawned to me yet. Motherhood, that is. I quickly transformed from busy career woman into household slave. My newest boss, the six-pounder I carried for nine months.
Let the pain remain, or not
From the time I knew I was pregnant, I’ve been looking forward to a normal delivery. I had a good reason for this: it would hurt my husband’s wallet much less. Physical pain was another story.
But with a low-lying placenta diagnosed on my fifth month ultrasound, I was doomed. Good thing, it went into perfect birthing position on the last trimester and lo, I got what I wished for. I even opted for an anesthesia-less labor, if only to shout out to my husband that he did a great job taking care of me during the past nine months, accompanying me to every single pre-natal visit until labor time.
My, I never thought I had that much tolerance to pain! I almost give in to the very tempting epidural when it was just an hour or two before showtime. My mind is focused on giving the best push so we won’t go CS. And I was very cooperative, listening and following every direction given out by my doctor, while my husband held my hand and cheered all the way.
So she was born. She is the most beautiful thing that happened in our almost two years of marriage. She is the best thing God gave me, our contribution to mankind. And she was born on August 31st.
Bring on the breast
I never thought breastfeeding could be very exhausting! Much more than birthing itself, breastfeeding gave me only three or four hours of sleep each day, with those hours spread throughout one day. I would just pass the day sitting down and waiting for feeding cues from my baby, sometimes forgetting to eat, drink and pee. I can’t even poo in peace because here she is again after a few minutes, crying shyly for food.
It also made me a captive of our condo unit. I’ve been waking up and sleeping with the sight, sound, and smog of Manila for the past month. I haven’t gone out except for two hospital visits – the week and the month after.
I don’t know when this will end. I can simply end this by giving in to formula feeding. I would, at times, be discouraged to continue breastfeeding, especially when I think of going back to the usual lifestyle I had – work, church, and more work. But I know I should not.
One thing’s for sure, I’ve given my daughter the best gift – my breasts.
The month after
Much have happened, much have been said and done. And much have changed with the way I see things.
First, that motherhood is the best career any woman can have. Just taking care of the household and the children says it all.
Second, without previous experience or diploma to show, you become a mother just like that. The past month was hard, especially the first week. I was forced to learn how to bathe, breastfeed, change diapers and clothes, carry her very fragile body and soothe her when she’s crying, check 24/7 if the baby is doing fine (as almost all she did was sleep in the first weeks), make sure that every nook and cranny of the room is clean.
Finally, you can’t do it alone, even if you’re a superwoman. Of course you can’t make a child, unless Immaculate Conception would still happen after the Blessed Virgin, but you get to share this wonderful experience with the one person you truly love. And while you’re at it, you should have family and friends to assist you being a novice mom.
It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s parenting someone who came from inside of me, flesh and all. She is God’s greatest gift to us, and I am just so happy and humbled to experience all of this. This is just the beginning of a new stage in my life.
Not until I saw the Oven Toaster Brownie Mix at the grocery!
My cousins bake, and for that I envy them. I’ve tasted their cupcakes, cookies and cakes, and I can only dream of making those myself. When my daughter grows up, I want to teach her how to bake. Now that she’s arriving any minute, I should start practicing.
I do not have an oven! I have an oven toaster, though.
So, out of curiosity, I tried.
Tedious as it may seem, it wasn’t. The Brownie Mix has it all. Just soften one-fourth bar of butter then add one egg, a tablespoon of milk (instead of just water), and the mix. Mix everything and place the mixture in a disposable aluminum tray greased with some oil and lined with wax paper. Then cover loosely with aluminum foil. You may have to spend a little for the baking equipment but nevertheless, you can use them next time should you crave for more.
So the mixture looked like this. Just by mixing alone, my right arm got a good workout. Then it’s a ten-minute trip to the oven toaster. Turn it to the other side and add another six minutes. Check if the middle is cooked by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out clean, your brownie is done!
Let it cool at room temperature for a while and voila, you’re ready to eat your brownie!
Hubby said it was yummy. So I think I fared good in my first baking experience. I ought to try other oven toaster delights like the Banana Cake and Bibingka. So it’s off to the grocery for me!
Aside from my singing and musician duties, little do people know that I write.
Since Grade School, I’ve always been into writing. I started as a news writer for our school paper. I’ve also contributed essays and poetry. I’ve written a lot before I entered college, where writing took a side step and music moved in the forefront.
After taking a degree in music, writing came in again, this time as a full-time job – a writer for the country’s military organization. On the side, I’ve accepted other writing jobs like emcee scriptwriting.
Now that I am a stay-home expectant mother, I would like to spend more time in writing, and here in this blog, I wish to share more of my experiences as a musician, wife, and mother-to-be.
Why the blog name, you might ask. Two things.
First, I love traveling. Being with a world-famous Filipino choral group for five years showed me how wonderful God’s creations are, and this great group brought me to Europe, USA, Asia, and around the Philippines.
Second is I’m a self-confessed Hello Kitty lover since childhood. I have some of that pink stuff at home, some gifts from my friends. I even have this magic wand toy that lights up and plays music when you press a button. More of that wand and her travels at this website.