All the butterflies

A few days ago, I saw my HS crush on my timeline. He posted an out of town photoshoot with his girlfriend, to which he has also proposed. You know my thing with him was a loooooong time ago but that feeling when your crush is finally taken and not by you?! Right in the feels.

I became obsessed with him the days after, reminiscing those days when I’ll get excited if I got to sit near him or have chance encounters. It was all butterflies in my stomach and a lot of giggles.

Until last night, I dreamt of him. It was set like HS, with my HS group. It was sort of like a field trip. I left a couple of my friends behind because they were taking too long and went inside the bus. And poof! He was seated near me. I felt so kilig, exactly how my HS self would feel. I kept glancing at him, hoping he’ll move closer and we’ll get to talk.

Then I woke up. I saw my sleeping baby beside me and my asleep husband, his back turned on me. This is reality. No butterflies on my stomach but felt a lot more peaceful.

I couldnt go back to sleep so I just thought more about my HS crush. It’s not as if he was just a simple crush. We were boyfriend-girlfriend during 1st year for a short time. He was too torpe (chicken) to make a move on me that I said “yes” already without him making an actual move, just for encouragement. I waited and waited and waited until finally, I just went along with another guy who was really persistent in getting me.

My whole HS life, I waited for him. He never had a girlfriend all throughout HS; though we heard about him making moves on some girls but he never persisted. His friends would sometimes set us up but he would just scold them for putting me in that situation. We simply just stared at each other from afar the whole 4 years of high school.

At college, he did gain confidence. We would regularly be bus mates during the first year, until his college switched locations. He sat beside me, until such time we were getting along well, then maybe, out of desperation or whatnot, he started groping me to the point that I was slapping him. I felt crushed. I put him high on a pedestal and he did that to me. Well, it was my fault as well; that other guy I gave a chance to was his friend. Not to mention I ended up going out with his brother.

He didnt stop. Up until we were already working, he would send me messages. Very persistent. There would be times I obliged. The problem was, we were both in a relationship. I wanted to be with him but I didnt want a relationship that started with cheating.

And as I looked on my husband and daughter, I remembered why this is my reality now. I am in a much better place, with a guy who worked hard to be with me. This is the guy who thinks I am worth the world.

Just the same, I am happy for him. The mistakes were from my end (at the start) but he ended our thing with mistakes. So, no regrets. We were really not meant to be.



Earlier, I placed my LO down on her crib. Yet again, as always, she started pulling herself up and cried. Progressing. Louder and louder. I called out to her every now and then, saying I’ll be back.

As I was finishing up with the laundry, she cried out, so longingly, as if desperate, in between sobs (and I imagine with her cute little frown and teary eyes while holding on to the crib rails with both hands, as if it’s a prison)…


My heart melted.

She has said mamamamama before but it didnt mean anything, just babbling. But this, really got to me. She was calling out to me. “Mama, dont leave me here alone. Come back. I want to be with you.”

Anyway, I finished up what I was doing then hurried back to her.

Ahhhh. My little girl. Only 6 months old but can crawl, stand and say Mama. So precious.

A rude awakening

Finally, we had the house repainted (after a year!). Only the two rooms were left unpainted and we couldnt afford to have them done at the same time – we need a few days for the wood paint smell to disappear. So we had baby’s room done first.

It was an opportunity as well to clean up and throw out stuff, especially since we’ve been guiltily using that free space (for now) as a bodega. I’ve thrown away boxes and several garbage bags already, but when it was time to bring stuff back again inside, there was still a lot to discard. It was time to finally get things out of the paper bags and to touch my husband’s stuff.

I opened a familiar torn paper bag – I’ve seen this when we has still living at the ministerial workers’ communal house and has always been stuck at the trunk of his old car. It was full of junk – a broken CD, the plastic case of a pair of earphones that has been damaged 2 years ago, and a leather bound planner. I took everything out and proceeded to throw the paper bag. In the process, the planner opened up and I saw it – it was unmistakable – the name of the girl she went out with before.

I couldnt help it. I sat down on the floor and began to read the pages. He poured out his thoughts – his longing for her, how he motivated himself to continue to pursue her, and the ways the people around him gave him hope. My heart sank. I flipped the pages and read 2 more entries.

I finally couldnt bear to read anymore. I closed the planner and headed to our room. I showed it to my husband with a playful frown on my face. He was surprised; he asked me where I got it and why I have been snooping around his stuff. I answered, I was cleaning up then it opened so I read it. He laughed, told me it was nothing, and it was old. I asked him why did he keep it. He said he meant to throw it out, he just keeps on forgetting to do it.

Being a verbal learner, I couldnt get the words out of my head. Once upon a time, here was my husband having intense feelings and longing for another girl. He asked for 7 signs (that she’s the one) and he got it all. He also pursued her for a long time. I was heartbroken – with me, he didnt even get to write a single diary entry. He didnt even have to make an effort – I was already there, available, and took the bait at once.

He then explained that he exerted more effort with me; when he asked my dad for me, when he wrote down for the Church’s administration’s approval, when he had to resolve the situation before the wedding, especially it already involved both our families. The thought kept popping into my head; he kept insisting that it was just stupidity (the diary and his feelings for the girl). All I need to do is to look around me: we’re married, we have our own house, the big frame on our wall that has our name and wedding date (used during our wedding), and our baby.

He also told me nothing happened with them, that it was just me. The thing is, for us women, the fact he had feelings for someone else, while it can be just infatuation, hurts more than the physical aspect. So it was really hard for me. I did try my best to shake it off and no longer mention it to him.

I didnt want to know his past nor the girls he went out with. We never talked about it; only why our previous relationships didnt work out. No names, no faces. The problem was, people knew who that girl was, as she was a commercial model, and my cousin just randomly threw out her name when she was dissing her and telling me about what she did to my husband (before). Oh no. No names. Of course, I couldnt help myself; in this day and age, all one has to do is type a few words and you’ll have information at your fingertips. I saw her – of course she was beautiful. Not only that, she also works at the TV station (where my husband works) and hosts the show (which happens that my husband was the former production manager). He also frequented her locale, and was officiating worship service there most of the time.

My heart sank further. All those time, they had plenty of chance encounters. And I wasnt even there. I couldnt even been there. The only incidence that he told me about an encounter with her was the premier of the short film she starred at, and he was sitting at the back of her (we were already married that time). I felt small. Especially to her, a model. People would think that he settled with me only because it didnt work out with her. Second choice. One who would easily say yes.

I normally wont be insecure. But when the previous girl appears on TV or billboards, there’s a sting to it. Even the brethren knew and love her. Like, who am I? No one.

I reflected. Recently, I have been too harsh on my husband, complaining left and right on the things he hasnt done. We’ve been having misunderstandings because of our differences in opinions and manner in handling a situation. I have been taking him for granted.

I turned that rude awakening into something positive. I remembered when we started going out, he told me about his previous relationships and why it didnt work out. What I felt that time is sorry; sorry because he didnt deserve to have his heart broken. I wanted to shower him with love, a whole lot of love to cover up the pain he went through. I want to make him forget he had ever been broken. I have too caught up with motherhood and being a homemaker that I forgot all about it. I am wife first. And I wanted to give him that much love again.

One night when the LO slept earlier than usual, we prayed then we talked. I told him about my realization and asked for forgiveness. I also told him how much I loved him. I told him how much I appreciate him and that I’ve been reading up as well on ways in keeping the love alive. He hugged me as we fell asleep.

The days after, I still have those thoughts in mind. The words from the diary kept popping up randomly, though not as frequent. And I thought, well, even if people would think he settled for me, they dont know the truth. I do. I knew all the hoops he put himself through just to be with me. He didnt have to, but he did. And no one would go through those, unless they’re dead serious in marrying me and wouldnt have it any other way. Some guys would have given up midway, but while he was angry at things that happened, he never budged. I was actually the one who wanted to call it off.

My husband loves me. Sometimes, I forget. I dont see it. I dont appreciate it. I took it for granted. But deep down, I’ve always known, he loves me to the point that he’ll die for me. And he loves ONLY me. I have never doubted that – that’s why I’ve trusted him since day 1. I’m not going to stop now.


When I handed over the planner to him, he placed it inside his cabinet, which made me mad because there might be a chance he’ll be able to keep it. He said he didnt want to leave it lying around and give me an opportunity to read it again. He asked me if I wanted to burn it with him, to which I said no because it wasnt environmental friendly. When he left to do an errand that night, he probably took it with him and shoved it into a bin somewhere because I never saw it again, even after cleaning the entire house and car. That planner existed up to that point to remind me to love my husband again, like I did at the beginning.


3-6 months must haves

I did a newborn list a while back wherein I included my favorites, things I werent a fan or, and mommy essentials as well. My LO is about to turn 6 months on Monday so I might as well do this one.

Things I love

1. Onesies

My LO became colicky late. Getting her tummy exposed for even under a minute was enough to ensure we’ll have a crying baby throughout the night. While I didnt like onesies when she was still a newborn, I loved them now. She eventually learned to lift her shirt which exposes her tummy – a onesie covers it at all times.

2. Diaper pants

Have you ever tried putting on a taped diaper to a rolling baby? Lost my mind. Never thought about that becoming a challenge – it just so happened at one time, only pants were available for Mamy Poko’s small size and I refuse to try another brand. Always went with pants thereafter until I tried going back to tape (read: a few pesos cheaper) which I regretted big time. The girl version is better than generic one – it has a tape to better wrap it upon disposal. Plus I found the generic one too tight fitting even though I got the right size – it leaves plenty of garter marks.

3. Bandana bibs

I found it weird everytime I see it online. But the moment your baby starts drooling like there’s no tomorrow, to the point of making her clothes soaking wet (not to mention the drool rash on her cheeks and chest), you will realize this baby is a genius. Again, having one was an accident. I bought a onesie and leggings set; unlike the other designs, it came with a bandana instead of a bonnet. I noticed how much it helped; plus it was more fashionable than taking a cloth diaper (the old school ones) and wiping her drool every now and then.

4. Teethers

At first, I thought she loved it because she like chewing on everything. Until that fateful night wherein she wouldnt stop crying and banged her mouth on my shoulder. She bit on her teether until she calmed down and went to sleep. I bought 2 teethers, a Fisher Price and a Playgro, both with dual surfaces. Fisher Price (purple) has a silicon side and a terry cloth; the Playgro one has a chilled side and a hard plastic end as well. This is to make sure she can find the surface that would soothe her itch/pain.

5. Organic Baby Wipes

I’ve always bought my wipes in bulk and I ended up disappointed all time, then impatiently waiting for all of it to be used up so I can buy a new one. My favorite so far was the one I first bought, the 99% water Pigeon. Tiny Buds was too dry for me, Enfant was nothing extraordinary, Pigeon with chamomile smelled weird. After little success with baby wipes searching, I thought I should buy it at the mall to ensure I get the newest stock. I already grabbed a bunch of Enfant when I saw the Organic one. I always see this online and noticed my cousin also uses this. From the first pull, I have loved it! It has a clean, aloe scent, moist enough, thick, best of all, organic and biodegradable. Oh, and local.

6. Bright Starts plastic rattle

There are hundreds of rattles available but I got her a Bright Starts one. Has rubber on the handle for better grip and difference in texture, brightly colored balls inside, and sound loud enough to catch her attention. Some bells were too soft to hear. I wanted a cloth at first, but I realized it was much easier to clean up a plastic one. After disinfecting, she can play with it again. No need to wash. (Best of all, I got this at a bargain! Unused, still attached to the board.)

7. Tiny Buds In a Rash Cream

I like that it’s watery and that the brand is known for using natural ingredients. I was confident enough to place this on her face for her drool rash.

Things I dont like:

1. Lamaze wrist and foot finder

She’s not even looking at it! I was kicking myself for this purchase. It seemed so good theoretically, plus a lot of articles and reviews said so. (Or maybe, it was too early for this.)

2. Absorbent changing pad (minky)

This used to be on my ‘love’ list. But now that she doesnt pee anymore during diaper change, there was no need for an absorbent one. And since she has explosive (too much) poops, I have to wash this every time she does poop. Now I miss the rubber mat they lost on the way home from the hospital.

3. Nail clippers

Well, they do make the nails sharp even after clipping. I tried buffing to no avail.

Mommy essentials

1. Natalac

It’s probably because I stopped pumping so the time I needed to stock milk, I only had a few drops. Just one capsule of this supplement a day ensures that I can leave my LO with food while I’m out.

2. Moringa tea

Gone are days where we had to ask for malunggay (moringa) leaves then include in our every meal, or have it dried to make it as a tea. This is already in powder form, easily dissolves even in cold water. Plus the flavor is just like infused water.

Still on the love list

1. Ergobaby carrier

Grocery shopping becomes so much easier with this one. Also, she’s now excited and stops crying when she sees me wearing it – it means we’re going for a walk. Since she doesnt need the newborn insert anymore, we can even wear this around the house.

2. Playgro playgym

I was surprised she still loves it even though she can now turn. She loves destroying it and looking for the piece that makes a crinkling sound. Also, she can better pull the dinosaurs off so she enjoys it a lot.


Enfant Golden Care Fabric Wash

I’ve always used Tiny Buds (and is a big fan of their product line) even before I gave birth. In fact, almost, if not all, of the baby products I bought were from Tiny Buds. I was happy since I dont have to order online all the time – department stores and groceries carry this particular baby detergent as well.

Until one time, we went to a different supermarket. They had plenty of choices – sadly, they only had Tiny Buds’ fabric conditioner. Though they really do have a powder detergent and fabcon, the liquid detergent is best for newborns up to 1 year old.

I didnt have time to order – I only had one wash worth of detergent left. So I chose to buy another brand. They have Cycles (which I know is widely used), Smart Steps (oops, I’ve read some not-so-good reviews), Johnson & Johnson’s (long trusted baby brand) and Enfant (pretty decent reputation). I chose between J&J and Enfant because they were the cheapest. I asked my husband to pick; he pointed at Enfant because it had a seal of something, certification of health experts. I wanted J&J however Enfant was cheaper.

It had a scent, something stronger than Tiny Buds’. My husband thought it smelled nice but I didnt like it because it didnt smell baby-like. Though I’m not saying it’s bad. One of the first ones I washed was my LO’s poop filled cloth diaper, which I soaked for a couple of days (because I forgot about it). So I started to associate the Enfant smell with poop. Even newly washed clothes reminded me of poop thereafter.

I slowly disassociated the poop from the new detergent – it was starting to smell nice for me. Still not my favorite scent but ok. Then I noticed that my LO’s clothes were more wrinkly. You see, I dont iron baby clothes – unless it’s very unsightly or will be used for an important event. It doesnt feel as soft as well. Reminded me of instances I ran out of fabcon (for our own clothes).

My verdict? Tiny Buds still win. I cant wait to buy a new refill. The price difference explains a lot.


My husband’s act of love

It was just pure coincidence that it was Valentine’s Day yesterday – because the day doesnt mean a thing to us. It is just one of the many holidays our faith does not celebrate.

From Sunday til Wednesday morning, I have been growingly frustrated – the chores my husband promised to do were all left undone plus my LO has been extra fussy when trying to sleep. I couldnt put her to sleep because she keeps on fighting in whenever her eyelids droop. I’ve been wanting that sleep so I can finally wash the dishes – I’ve been fighting to keep ants and cockroaches from our house since we moved in here.

As I washed the dishes Wednesday, Feb 14, morning, I was already screeching in frustration. Why do I have to do everything? How many times will I have to request my husband to help me out? I want to rest! If he wants me to do everything, he better take care of the baby!

My husband went home a bit late for lunch, as usual. I was lying down beside LO, the little girl having just woke up. I greeted him with a feeble hi. He asked me if I read his message. I told him there’s no message. He checked his phone and saw that there was an error sending. He sent it again while I waited for it.

It read like this:

Dear mahal kong mahal! Thank you so much for doing your best to take care of the house and to care for me and baby! I super appreciate all of the things you do for us. You make us both very happy and make me feel very fortunate and blessed for having you. Thank you rin because there are times that I can’t be with you both for a long time because of my duties but you still try to give a positive vibe sa house. Thanks for your love and support. I love you so much mahal! Love, mahal.

I teared up. It was very timing. I needed it at that moment badly.

Being a wife and a mom (not to mention a homemaker) can get very tiring. No amount of money will justify the effort, sacrifice and love we put into it. Sure, tokens and gestures are nice. But an appreciation from your husband and children certainly makes it all worthwhile.

Just the same, wives/mommies, dont forget to show appreciation to your husband and children as well.

No matter what I say (read: complain about), I love my husband to pieces. I would never ever trade him for anyone or anything else.


Alone time (at last)

I’ve been reading in a lot of articles that moms shouldnt be too hard on themselves and should take a break once in a while. In the 5 months that I’ve been a mommy, this is the first time ever I’ve been on my own.

Sure, there are times I would ask my husband for a break – he’ll leave me for 10-15 minutes at the living room, just doing my thing. There was a time that we left our LO at my in law’s so we could go out. Still, I need space to think about nothing but myself.

So thank you articles from Smart Parenting, Kelly Mom and Kelly Misa. I was contemplating how to break the news to my husband when suddenly an opportunity presented itself. And I grabbed it real quick – like the last piece of Nutella that is 50% off.

It’s hard to take the wife, mommy and homemaker out of me so, actually, my me time was spent on errands. A couple of years ago, me time meant manicure/pedicure with foot spa sesh, whole body massage, finding a really good drink (juice, or coffee) with matching cake. Yesterday, I went to the mall (the 2 humongous malls near me which are adjacent to each other) to buy home and baby stuff.

I asked my husband to drop me off at SM North EDSA because it was at his side of the road. I had 2 SM rewards cards (BDO Advantage and Mom card) so I wanted to do the bulk of my shopping here. My husband lost my H&M little black umbrella for the 4th time (I’m not even exaggerating) so I went there again. Of course, I didnt come out with just one item: I had a nail buffer and a bath mat as well. There’s this organizer with stars design that I really wanted for my little girl’s cabinet but this shop was really out of budget.

Went straight to the department store. My number one agenda here really is her Tiny Buds In A Rash? cream. But of course, if you’re at the baby section, you’ll end up buying more than you should. I got a Playgro cooling teether, floor puzzle rubber mat, Mamy Poko diaper pants, anti mosquito patches, and white lace socks. I didnt buy their soft ball with bell sound because it looked mediocre, plus the patches seemed too small for my girl to notice. The electronic toys were also expensive so I left that for another time.

That round was already too tiring due to the sales people pushing their products on me (I got tired deciding which ones to get). Their Tiny Buds section only had a couple of products – no rash cream! Bummer. I went to a farther counter to avoid the queue. Aaaaaannnndddd I pulled out my BDO Rewards card instead of the Mom Card. What a waste.

I looked for Healthy Options to find an organic cereal for my baby, which will be her first food. It was at the lower ground level, near the end of the hall. Nothing. Just pureed stuff. I didnt want to get those because those had to be consumed 2 days after opening. Too expensive.

I traversed the long walkway going to Trinoma – I had to, a lot on my list are still unchecked. Good thing that major pedestrian lane heads straight to Landmark’s grocery floor. I deposited my baggage then headed upstairs.

Ahh. The home floor. I’ve been here more than a couple of times but not at the end that leads to the grocery. There I noticed a section for all bathroom needs. Jackpot!!! THIS is what I have been looking for! I’ve found all the things I needed online but I figured, if the price difference isnt that big, I’d rather buy it there to save on shipping fee. I finally got myself small baskets to store bathroom needs (shampoo, soap, tissue, etc) – 2 in brown, 1 in dust blue. There was a stainless steel shower caddy, both good looking that it took me a while to pick one. The saleslady gave me a slip for the caddy because it was on sale. Yipee! I couldnt help myself so I got a towel holder as well.

I couldnt forget the clock I saw the last time I was there so I decided to get it. And there it was: only P349.50! Ding ding ding! Amazing! As the salesman went at the back to get me a new stock, I saw a nice looking clock near it. I stared at it, wondering if I should get it instead. It costed around P700, which is how a regular wall clock costs. I was convincing myself that I took the better one when I saw the other clock has a second hand, and the one I took didnt! I hate clocks with second hand because it keeps me up at night. Good choice!

When I got to the counter, I reminded the cashier about the caddy being on sale. She said yes, that she got it. Then she realized there was a slip. She cancelled out everything and punched all items again. Huh? Turns out, all items were 10% off because of Chinese New Year; the caddy was on 20% off that’s why I was given a slip for it! Oh man! Had I known, I wouldnt have dropped by SM at all!

I went to the babies’ section after depositing my baggage (again). There it was, the Tiny Buds rash cream. I bought a stage 1 toothgel as well of the same brand. I kicked myself, figuratively, of course. Landmark had a more massive (and better) selection, plus everything’s on sale! Screw the points! I went to the infant toy section as well. They had a version of the electronic percussion toy, a lot cheaper than the one at SM; it was a brand as well that donates portions of each sale to a certain charity. I nearly bought it but the label says 18M+. It was too big for my little girl as well. I got her a ball instead; the one that has holes for her to grip on and plays a music when you move it.

I looked for Healthy Options again, this time at Trinoma. The market difference of SM and Trinoma (Ayala Malls) is very evident here. At SM, it’s situated at a location that no one really passes by. The store itself was almost empty and no one seemed to mind they werent stocked well. At Trinoma, it was jampacked and there was a queue. I went to baby & kids section and immediately saw what I was looking for: Happy Baby Organic Probiotic Oatmeal. Yay!

Just in time, my husband called to say they were on their way back. I claimed all my baggages and waited for my husband’s call. I bought bread for him and his brother (none for me), and a lemonade.

I was ecstatic. I bought a lot for our home and my baby. Though the only thing I got myself was the nail buffer, I still feel like I treated myself. My shopping experience was pleasant as well because I didnt have to drag along my husband and my baby, who both get easily tired with my constant rounds of the stores.

It was a bit early so we were able to squeeze in a spa appointment. We decided to peep at our LO as we dropped off my brother in law. She was crying. I got her at once and she stopped shortly. Aww. She missed her mommy! My mother in law was out of her wits because they already did everything to calm her down. I made sure she was ok then we went out again.

The massage was at an affordable spa but it was good enough. The cost of our massages combined was the same as the price of one on the spa we used to frequent.

We went back to find our little girl sleeping. We were told she began crying as soon as we left. Mommy guilt kicking in. I was about 2 spoonfuls into my dinner when she woke up crying. My father in law told me to finish my dinner first but I got up to get her anyway. As soon as she touched my arms, she stopped crying. Aw. Poor baby. She missed her mommy!

She was being extra clingy so I just held her close. I think we should let her get used to staying with her grandparents from time to time. But I should be mindful of the time as well; I cant leave her for long periods of time.

Anyway, the articles were right. It’s very tiring to become a mom. We owe it to ourselves to be pampered or at the very least take a break. We are often told to tske care of ourselves but it’s very easy to forget everything and just focus on being a mommy. From this trip, I learned that it doesnt hurt to give yourself that space once in a while. Do what you feel will make you happy, no matter what that is. And do it alone.

Looking forward to my next alone time. Ideally, this should be done monthly but I can settle with quarterly. Maybe I’ll finally have a pedicure and eat cake.