December 31, 2015

Christmas Gifts

I didn't receive a lot of gifts this Christmas. Not that I'm complaining. My family and friends actually know that I'm  easy to please when it comes to present. Just visit me at home, or call me, or meet me over a cup of coffee. That's it, because I consider giving time to someone is already a gift in itself (pang Ms. Universe na sagot, hehehe!).

This gift is the most unexpected gift. It's actually more of a pamana because this is a collection of my Aunt Linda. This Madonna and Child is done by an Italian artist; 99th of only 100 pieces. I feel so loved and special to be entrusted with this piece. We placed it where it will welcome our families, friends and guests as they enter our home.

This gift is actually a surprise, given by Luigi. I'm so touched that I'm loved by Juan's classmate.

Tita Gaye, Gabe and Meeca's gift

Mamu Agnes' gift

Although I told my husband and kids not to buy me anything, they still made an effort to get something for me.

John's gift

Julia's gift

Juan's gift

Rafael didn't give me a gift but I appreciate that he does not get cranky lately and that he kisses before going out and upon coming home without being reminded anymore. Sya din ang taga karga ng mga pinamili ko, taga walis ng bahay at iba pa. In short, dahil wala syang regalo, sya ang aking alipin sa buong Pasko. (Joke lang, hehehe!) Love and service daw ang Christmas gifts nya sa akin.

"Every gift which is given, even though is be small, 
is in reality great, if it is given with affection."

December 30, 2015

Aunt Cynthia

I have a secret. It's an open secret among my family and relatives and my close friends knew about it. I actually blogged about it last December 28, 2010 with a title Wishful Thinkinghoping that Ellen De Generes can read it. 

The secret isn't something embarrassing; it's about adoption. I was supposed to be adopted by Aunt Cynthia (my paternal grandmother's sister) and be brought in the United States of America. We've tried several times but the adoption did not materialize.

When I was a young kid, half of me was hoping I made it to Aunt Cynthia but destiny has its own course. Although happily married to a good and gorgeous man (wink, wink!), with three wonderful children, I still consider Aunt my "mother from another country".

Aunt Cynthia visits the Philippines from time to time but I did not have the chance to meet her until I got a call from Kuya Bob yesterday saying Aunt Cynthia is in the country and is inviting us for dinner. 

Out-of-town schedules were cancelled, all for the love of Aunt Cynthia.  

My kids got to meet and bless Aunt Cynthia.

The night was made more special because Papa, Tita, Kuya Bob, Ate Che, 
aunts, uncles, cousins, and distant relatives were there.

December 28, 2015

Raising Twins

My twin kids, Julia and Rafael just turned 13 last December 8. I just realized I haven't written an article about raising twins.  It's never too late, as more and more people I know are giving birth to twins, just like Vangie, my favorite bank teller. I hope this can be of help to those who are expecting twins.

While it is true that twins can bring double the joy, parenting twins can also require double the work . Allow me to  run down important things I have learned for the past 12 years. You can never be too prepared for two. 

1.  Shop early on for baby equipment and prepare your house. Set up a portable crib or playpen in the area where you will be spending most of your time with the babies, so that you have a safe place to leave one baby in case you need to attend to the other.

2. Hook up with other parents of twins because they can tell you what to expect.

3.  Hire 2 nannies (if you can afford). If not, be sure to enlist the help of friends and relatives. You'll really appreciate an extra set of hands. 

4. You can breastfeed both babies at the same time, although nursing two infants at once is tricky, yes you can, really! Buy a U-shaped nursing pillow because  fits comfortably around your waist and keeps both babies at the breast, leaving your hands free to adjust each baby's mouth.  Just experiment with different positions to find what works best for you.

5. If you cannot breastfeed both babies at the same time, don't be guilty to bottle-feed the other. Sit down on the floor, breastfeeding one infant while the other lay on a pillow in front with a bottle. The whole feeding experience would require coordination, balance and patience.

6. Refer to them by name rather than as "the twins".

7.  It's important to treat your babies as individuals so that they begin to see themselves that way too.  and as they get older, make sure they have their own clothes and special toys.

8.  Celebrate their individuality. Twins are two children who just happen to be the same age, born on the same day but they have different personalities and likes.  Encourage the differences between twins and never compare them to one another.

9. Avoid favoritism. As a mom, sometimes you may need to remind yourself that when you feel particularly frustrated with one twin for behavioral reasons, it is not that you favor his/her sibling. When you are exasperated and exhausted, remember to separate the act from the actor. Don't guilt yourself into believing you "favor" one of your twins.

10.  Separating the twins eventually is also helpful. When they turned elementary we placed them on a separate school. Julia in an exclusive for girls, and Rafael in an all boys school. It is in their best interest to be separated and to get their own group of friends because it encourages independent decision-making and better self esteem.

Contrary to popular belief that raising twins is hard, raising twins is easier because they have each other to play with so they learn the value of sharing early on. They' may be double the work, but twins are also double the love, kisses, and hugs.

This cute, colorful, informative and helpful book, Twice as Nice, written by Nicole Rubel, about raising twins is a good read. Try and find at online stores as they may be out of stock already from popular bookstores because it was originally published on October 6, 2004.

Fraternal twins Bonnie and Ronnie take readers on a whirlwind tour of twinship, interspersing informative segments on everything from "Where Do Twins Come From?" to "What Are the Odds?" with amusing sections of twin riddles, advice to twins, twin interviews, and snappy answers to dumb twin questions ("Wow, am I seeing double?" "Yes, maybe you should get your eyes checked"). Also included: a retelling of the story of two of the most famous twins of all time, Jacob and Esau, and dozens of fascinating snippets about amazing twins from history and the present day, among them Castor and Pollus, Abby and Ann, and Mary-Kate and Ashley.

December 27, 2015

My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore

My Bebe Love: Kilig Pa was initially submitted to the Metro Manila Film Festival as “Romcom-in Mo Ako, a comeback tandem for Ai-Ai delas Alas and Vic Sotto. The unexpected rise to fame of ALDUB (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza) has paved the way for their inclusion to the movie. 

I found myself chaperoning Mama-in-law and Ate Jo at Shang Cinema for the last full show of this movie yesterday because  Mama is a die-hard ALDUB fan

The movie, directed by Jose Javier Reyes and written by Bibeth Orteza, was able to deliver the perfect formula that Filipinos want–romantic-comedy that tickle the funny bones of Pinoys.

Although hindi ako kinilig, I must admit na natawa naman talaga ako with the performance of Ai-Ai and Vic.

More than the technical aspects of the film, I noticed the numerous product placements such as San Miguel Pale Pilsen, b Hotel, San Mig Light, One Esplanade, Bear Brand Adult Plus, O+, Glutamax, Nissan, Phoenix Petroleum, Tide, Goldilocks, McDonald’s, TNT, Krispy Kreme, Solmux, Google, YouTube, Google Maps, Kusê, PLDT Home, Cignal,  and Coca-Cola. Yes, you know that the film is going to be big because big products have placed their advertisement!

The movie also highlighted with the cameo appearances of Joey de Leon, Tito Sotto and the rest of Eat Bulaga stars, their sons and daughters, and their friends like Christine Babao-Bersola. 

My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore is a fun-filled entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Yes, Mama had fun watching this movie. She actually can't wait for Part 2!

December 26, 2015

Die-hard ALDUB Fan

Some daughters-in-law hated there mothers-in-law. Not me! I'm blessed having a mother-in-law who loves his son so much that her love for John radiates the same way with me. I first met Mama in the afternoon of October 24, 1993. She's a true "donya", with nails as long as my fingers, hair like that of Imelda Marcos, dressed sophisticated with high heels! I was afraid at first when she talked to me heart-to-heart. But I was wrong all the way. Mama treated me like her own daughter and the res day say is history.

Fast forward 22 years after, I haven't seen Mama so engrossed at watching television. Just this year, around August, I found Mama smiling, more like laughing between 12 to 2pm. I got curious; I investigated and found out it was because of ALDUB.

Although I'm an Eat Bulaga baby, I haven't been watching the show for over a year due to hectic schedule so I wasn't aware how big ALDUB is already. I only found about this phenomenal love team because Mama talks about it everyday. Imagine at 65, a widow for 13 years e kikiligin pa si Mama?

Mama just live a floor away from us, but she seldom goes up because of diffivulty walking. Pero sabihin mong, "Ma, may Aldub sa taas, want to watch?". Aba, dali-daling aakyat si Inay!

Mama is the kind of person who likes giving. Mahirap din sya bigyan ng gift because she's already happy with what she has. For this Christmas, her grandchildren know how to make Mama happy.

We gave her magazines with Aldub as cover.

Tita Gaye, Meeca and Gabe gave her an Aldub pillow.

Mama told me she was once a fan, a big fan of Susan Roces. She was never a fan of anyone after Susan. And then Maine and Alden Richards came! When asked, why she likes Aldub so much, she'd say, "Nakakatuwa sila, bagay sila. Ang ganda ganda ni May (that's how she calls Maine). Mabait pang bata.  If she's into social networking, she's probably have tweeted and intagram a lot about Aldub. Her Facebook profile could have been a photo of Maine. She loves Maine so much.

Mama also doesn't travel a lot anymore. She just likes to stay home and make sure that our money market (business) is well taken cared of. She only goes on an occasional dinner or lunch out when her two daughters based in the U.S, come to visit her. Other than that she wouldn't mind staying home and watch Aldub or read newspapers and magazines with Aldub in it. 

I wanted to return Mama's love so yesterday I asked her out, "Ma, nood tayo".  Her eyes twinkled and quickly asked, "My Bebe Love?".  I nodded; she shirked like a little girl!

Dear Maine and Alden, I hope you get to read this, suntok man sa buwan, dahil sikat na sikat kayo at busy, I hope Mama gets to see you two in person because Mama is a die-hard ALDUB fan.