Thursday, 26 May 2016

Super Busy

Really really really!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Red Egg and Ginger Party: First Month Birthday

Traditionally,  Chinese people don't celebrate baby showers. Instead, we celebrate the 1st Month and the 100 Days of the baby.

The first month birthday is called the FULL MOON BIRTHDAY or the RED EGG AND GINGER PARTY.

In the olden days, because of the high infant mortality rate, the couple only celebrated and announced the birth of their child after 30 days. The mother would send odd number of red eggs to announce a boy and even to announce the birth of a girl.

Nowadays, the Red Egg and Ginger party is celebrated with a small banquet, usually in a Chinese restaurant. The 30th day marks the end of the mother's confinement and the  baby is introduced to the rest of the relatives. But it's not really strict and you can celebrate anytime between the 30th day or the 100th day.

Filipino-Chinese don't celebrate this tradition but we do have something similar called MWA GE. The family celebrates with  a simple dinner and after the mwa-ge the baby can go out of the house. 

Ideally, the mother and the baby should observe the 30-day quarantine period because of their weak immune systems. So it is advised that there should be no visitors within the first 30 days or during the Ge Lai period.

The Red Egg tradition is being followed by my relatives in Hong Kong and friends in Singapore. I decided this to follow this tradition because I love celebrating just about anything!

I prepared red eggs by dying hard boiled eggs using a red food coloring.

Red eggs symbolize the renewal of life. Ginger represents "hotness" or yang which is an important element in the mother's post partum recovery. You can serve your red eggs with pickled ginger, fresh ginger or even ginger candies! 

Since I'm pretty sure no one will enjoy eating red hard boiled eggs and ginger, I ordered cookies egg-shaped cookies from Little Whisk (@thelittlewhisk). It has a monkey on it because my daughter was born under this zodiac. Monkeys are said to very clever people. Mana sa ina.

I ordered a cake too. What's a party without a cake right?!

Even our juice was red!

We also ordered Chinese food from UNO. 

And because I'm chaka, I asked my husband to decorate the place even if we were not really expecting visitors! 

Charan! My mini dessert table.


We didn't really have any guests because I'm still here at my in-laws house.  G's first month party also fell on a weekday and traffic to is hell. It'd be a nightmare for my brother and friends to go all the way to New Manila.

Nevertheless, I had fun!

How about you? How did you celebrate your baby's first month birthday?

Very grateful,


Monday, 9 May 2016

The Most Thoughtful Mother's Day Gift

To be honest, my first Mother's Day was not really a big event. 

was (and still am) in confinement. I haven't had a shower in weeks and my food and beverages are still restricted. 

So on my first ever Mother's Day, I ate my lunch alone.

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly in the best and the most appreciative of moods.

The day before Mother's Day, I received flowers from my husband. My first reaction was to ask him, why he got me daisies. 

I actually love daisies but the last time he got me daisies, they arrived wilted and he threw a fit at the florist. The florist had to replace the flowers.  I got two flowers on Valentine's day.

So when I received the delivery, my first reaction was to ask him why he ordered the same thing from the same florist.

My husband frowned and thought I was complaining. I wasn't. I just didn't want him to get stressed yet again.

The daisies were beautiful except for one that had worms. Thank God, he didn't made a big deal out of it again.

On Mother's Day, he got me cookies. They arrived together with my other order from Little Whisk.

By afternoon, he was cranky because of his allergies and I felt quite upset that he wasnot cheering me up on my special day. Instead, he was busy rubbing his eyes.

By evening, I really wanted instant noodles and sprite. I was feeling resentful that on my first Mother's Day I had to eat alone and I had to avoid all the food that I like. 

I truly was a bundle of joy. *sarcasm*

I slept early because I wasn't in the best of moods. 

When I woke up the next day, I found a red box on top of my husband's pillow. Inside was a diamond pendant.

Then I saw a card.  

I knew he wanted to give me this gift earlier but I have this uncanny ability to pre-empt and ruin "special moments."

But the pendant was not the most thoughtful gift that I wanted to share with you.

It's the Mother's Day card!

It has Giuliana's footprint!  My husband is a genius for thinking of it! I thought it was very clever.

So the most thoughful gift was not the flower or the cookies of even the diamond pendant.

 It was the card with my daughter's footprint! I will treasure it forever!

Truly, the best gifts area most often free. 

I don't know why husbands can't do this all the time.

Mind you this principle didn't come naturally to my husband. 

I cried 2 Christmases ago because I didn't receive a card or a gift! Now, I'm not materialistic. Infact, I don't actually wear jewelries.

My husband has this principle : Gifts must be valuable and expensive and they need not be limited to special occasions. Cards and flowers are a waste of money.

I operate on the principle that cards and meaningful things must be given during special days to show your love one that you think of them.  They need not be expensive or valuable. 

Hence, thoughtfulness.

I'm glad he is trying to learn to speak my love language. I still can't speak his language because I don't have the money to buy expensive gifts.

How was your Mother's Day? How did you greet your own moms?



Saturday, 7 May 2016

A Letter To My Daughter Written On My First Mother's Day

Dear Giuliana,

As I watch you sleep in my arms, I can't help but feel a tug in my heart. 

You are so helpless now. I am your only source of sustenance and comfort. 

You need me. I am your world.

When I breastfeed you,  I feel that I have the most important job and I'm the most important person in your life. It's something that no one else can give you but me.

Giuliana, I was so worried that my life will be over the moment I become a mom. But when I held you in my arms for the first time, I realize my life is just about to begin. 

I realize that the life I had before you had no reason. It was filled with excitement, success, love and happiness but it had no reason. 

I had no reason to live. Infact, I didn't mind dying anytime. 

I have built walls to protect my heart from pain.

But when I held you, your small hands tore down all the walls I have built and I can't protect myself from loving you. I know that loving you will make me vulnerable to all type of emotions, emotions I'd much rather avoid. 

I am your world now but I can almost see the future.

I know that by the time you become a teenager, you will want to be with your friends instead of me and daddy. When you turn 20, you will want to be on your own. 

My time with you is so short. 

I don't want to sleep because I'm scared that time will run out in a blink of an eye.

You are not mine Giuliana. I only brought you into this world...but you are not mine. 

You are your own person. 

God only gave you to me so that I have a few years to have purpose and meaning. 

Every night, I pray that God gives you everything you need to survive life without me. 

I promise that I will teach you to be self-sufficient, strong and confident. 

Most importantly,I promise to love you and to give you a childhood filled with happiness. 

I love you Giuliana. 

Yours always,



It's my first Mother's Day!  And while I wish to be the queen and the center of attention, I also wish to greet other moms. 

I asked my husband to get me TOBLERONE chocolates with the special sleeve for Mother's Day.

One will go to my own mother, one for my mother-in-law and one for Giuliana's nanny. 

mentioned in a separate post that our nanny also has an 8 month old son, who she had to leave back home. This is also her first Mother's Day.  

If you have relatives, friends and employees, who are far away from their own kids, I suggest you get them a TOBLERONE chocolate too. It doesn't cost much and I'm sure it will help ease their sadness of being away from their loved ones on this special day.

Happy Mother's Day to you all!



Friday, 6 May 2016

Pregnancy Weight Gain

During my pregnancy, I gained a total of 25lbs.

After I gave birth to a 5.5lbs lbs baby, my weight gain went down to 15 lbs.

Now after close to 4 weeks of Ge Lai and breastfeeding, my nett weight gain is 9lbs.

I don't think I can lose the 9lbs without exercise and diet. I don't belie breastfeeding alone will bring me back to my post pregnancy weight.

I am planning to ease my way back to exercise by doing post natal yoga on my 3rd month of post partum. After that I can start walking again. Then hopefully on the 5th and 6th month I can sign up for a membership at Fitness First. Maybe, I can even get a trainer.

How much was your total weight gain during your pregnancy?



Wednesday, 4 May 2016

No Visitors Allowed

I gave birth quite unexpectedly. My water broke around 2 in the morning. So after hours of being in painful labor, I was tired.

I didn't want to entertain visitors in the hospital. It was a good thing that I had a prior discussion with my mother-in-law that I do not want their friends and relatives to visit me. At first, she didn't really like my decision but I explained it to her through a letter and she understood.

When I came to live with my in-laws,  I was also clear that I don't want visitors for myself or for the baby, atleast for the next 6 weeks.

The pediatrician also said that visitors should be limited since the baby's immune system is still not strong enough. Only 2 visitors can enter the room and they should wear masks and wash their hands. The doctor gave these orders.

Only one group managed to enter the baby's room without me being given prior notice and without my consent. After that my husband told his parents that no visitors are permitted until we are informed and we are comfortable enough to expose the baby.

My friends also want to visit me but to set a good example to my in-laws,  I told them that I can only entertain them towards to the end of May.  I think it is only fair that if I won't entertain visitors from my husband's side, then I shouldn't show any bias towards my side.

Some women, want visitors. Some women, want to be alone after child birth. I am one of those women who wish to be alone. 

I am an introvert and entertaining people, especially those I do not know, drains me. 

Don't get me wrong, I am very entertaining. People find it very hard to believe that I am an introvert.

On top of that, I do get episodes of Post Partum Depression. It's tiring to hide that feeling and feign a smile for guests.

I think that hard thing about living with in-laws is that I always have to explain myself why I don't want things done a certain way. 

It's quite hard for me to explain to my MIL that I have OCD. She worries the moment she hears "Post-Partum Depression". So, I just keep my feelings to myself. She is not my mother, so I don't think she will understand.

My mother-in-law is taking care of me very well. She cooks my meals and boils the herbs for my O Tso Tong Sim. One of my sister-in-law even researched on cold and hot food so that they can diversify my menu. They really try their best to make me comfortable in their home. 

I appreciate them very much.

I guess, they just find it hard to adjust to the fact that I wish to be alone...most of the time.

 There are days I am talkative and there are days that I just want to stay in a dark room.

I have invisible walls which I build and tear down anytime I feel like it.

I'm a bundle of contradictions. I am fun yet sad. I am brave yet scared. I am loving yet vindictive. I am kind yet selfish. People who don't talk to me often will find it very hard to understand me.

The thing with Chinese parents is...they find it hard to ask "exploratory" questions. Most sentences are declarative rather than interrogative. Obedience is a Confucian value afterall.

I'm actually enjoying my confinement. For the last 20 days, I have been staying alone in my room. I only see my husband, the baby, the nanny and occasionally, my mother-in-law. Most of the time, I am alone with the baby.

Now, I'm alone in my room.  I have the sniffles...I will still breastfeed but I want to minimize exposure of the baby to what seems to be my imminent flu.

In silence,


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Diaper Math: Making the Decision to Use LAMPIN and Cloth Diapers

I realize babies are so expensive. Thank God, breastmilk is free! Diapers, however are not and G changes diapers 15 times a day, at the very least. 

Since her father refuses to use cheap brands, she only uses Pampers. Each diaper costs around  8 pesos. Spending on diapers is literally throwing money away.

Here's my diaper math:

15 changes
8 pesos

120 pesos/ day
30 days/month

12 months/ year
43,200 pesos!!!! In diapers for a year!

Because I'm Ilonggo, I'm naturally thrifty  (okay fine! BARAT! ). So, I decided that we should use lampin. As in the white cloth that I used to wear when I was a baby. 

However, the nanny pointed out lampin gets the  crib beddings wet. I suppose that's why my mom used a rubber mat when I was a baby.

She said, we need cloth diapers to keep the lampin in place and to help add more absorption.

We bought the lampin from Rustans for 60 pesos for a dozen. The BABYLEAF diapers we bought from for 395 pesos per piece. 
There are so many cute cloth diapers at Here are a few that I love very much.

(I think by now, you notice that I buy a lot of our things from Rustans and at

Anyway,  since I have G most of the time, I figured I need to give the nanny something to do otherwise, she may feel lost in her new role. It corporate this is what we call "floating" and this status is demotivating. Washing the lampin and the cloth diapers keeps her occupied.  Occasionally, I would wash the lampin and she would stop me. 

To shift from diapers to cloth diapers, you need the following

-12 pcs Cloth Diapers (atleast)
You don't actually change this all the time. You can change lampin 2-3 times and still use the same cloth diaper provided that the pee or the poop didn't spill. 

Each diaper comes with a free reusable liner and you can buy more liners. I personally prefer lampin. #oldschool.

395 php x 12 pcs=  4,740 pesos

- 3 dozen lampins

60x 3= 180 pesos

-Investment: 4,920

We didn't completely eliminate the use to diapers. We still use it when we go out.

Any more tipid tips you can share with me?

Cheap mommy,


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Lullaby: Ili-Ili

I never quite understood the meaning of "Ili Ili" until I became a mother...

"Ili-ili" is an Ilonggo lullaby that is so famous, it is considered a Filipino Folk Song.  

Ili-ili Tulog Anay
Wala Diri Imo Nanay
Kadto Tienda
Bakal Papay
Ili-ili Tulog Anay

It just means, "Please sleep for now. Your mom is not here. She went to the market to buy bread."

Such a simple and probably silly song...

...But when you are a mom and you have to leave your baby so that you can go to work and provide for the family...this  song suddenly takes on a new meaning.

The song is the easiest way to explain to a child why you can't be with her. 

Every time I sing this to my daughter, my heart goes out to all the OFW mothers.

I end up crying and chocking on my own tears.

3 weeks into motherhood and I have decided that I won't be accepting job offers anytime soon...

Who would've thought that I will be a hands-on and territorial mother...

Even I didn't even expect it.