When playtime becomes my mirror

One day, I found our daughter playing with her dolls – Cherry (the panda dressed in cherry blossoms robe), Kiko (the monkey), Bunny (obviously a rabbit lol!), and Sweetpea (the other panda holding a heart, which was my gift to her papa when we were still in a long distance relationship).

She arranged her friends in one line, seated next to one another on the sofa. Then she took one of her cups and let them drink water. I could hear her sternly say “sit!” and “dink!” (translation: drink).

And just like that, Isla’s playtime became an opportunity for some self-reflection. I know I’m just trying to discipline Isla, especially during mealtimes, but I don’t want to sound that strict, the way Isla was to her friends at playtime.

Finding that balance is really difficult. There are SO MANY parenting books available for me (I’ve read a couple of the gentle parenting books of L.R. Knost). In the end, it all comes down to how I want to parent my child, what fits our dynamics and my child’s personality. I know there’s no one-size-fits-all concept for parenting. Along the way, I’m hoping to find the balance to being a parent and my daughter’s friend.

Here’s to hoping!

And here’s to more playtimes that become a mirror to my parenting ways.


The worst is over!

I’m not pregnant anymore, and I feel relieved. I’m no longer carrying a blighted ovum (aka an empty pregnancy sac). I thought expelling a blighted ovum would be like getting my period, only more cramping and more bleeding. I didn’t expect to:

1) Cry and writhe in pain from cramps that come and go every 6-10minutes, as if I’m in labor.

2) Feel sore, as if I intentionally pushed something out (I didn’t. My body just expelled the thing by itself with every “contraction”).

3) Feel light-headed from dehydration after (maybe) 2hrs of intense bleeding. (I ate a banana and finished 1L water after the 2-hr ordeal).

4) See the actual semi-solid 3-month contents of my uterus which, by the way, won’t fit in a huge coffee cup/cereal bowl because it will overflow! (Yes, gross – the reality of miscarriages!)

5) To feel weak the next day. And, with the best of luck, still feel cramps! (But thank God it’s no longer as intense as the night before)

I want to say that the worst is over. I believe the entire contents were expelled. As of this writing, I’m no longer bleeding as intensely as Tuesday night. But I do know I have to see my doctor to make sure I don’t need surgery. Hopefully I won’t need it.

I’m pregnant! (Technically)

By all accounts, I’m pregnant. But I’m carrying a blighted ovum.

What does it mean?

It means the sac inside my womb has no embryo. No fetus. No baby.

Strange, huh? But according to my doctor, it’s not an unusual occurrence.

I’ve been carrying an empty sac for 3 months now. So, technically, I’m 3 months pregnant. But Ed and I know that (literally) nothing alive will come out of my pregnancy. My body will get rid of it naturally. And, based on the frequency of abdominal cramps I’m having, it will happen soon. It’s just going to be like getting my period, only heavier and may be more uncomfortable because of the cramps.

It’s easier to talk about it now that last month. And, for some reason, when I found out that what I’m carrying has a name, it was easier to fully accept. I don’t know why.

I’ve been trying to get back to my usual physical activities. There’s no treadmill at home, but there’s a Gazelle. I ride it for about an hour while watching a Korean drama (Descendants of the Sun). Being active helps me feel like myself, and the Kdrama is a welcome distraction from the cramping and the knowledge that I’m carrying a blighted ovum.

I’m really hoping it comes out soon. The sooner it’s gone, the better for my psyche.

Falling in love with stars

Source: IMDb

Have you heard of and watched the Korean drama “Goblin”?

If you haven’t, look it up and watch it. You wont regret it, trust me! (I watched it with English subs)

But I’m not here to write a commentary about the drama.

I’m here to write about how I’ve fallen in love with the actors Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun.

Yes, I’ve fallen in love with movie stars after a long long time.

Gong Yoo. Where do I even begin. Let me just say that I didn’t find him attractive enough, not until I watched the second or third episode of Goblin. The same goes for Kim Go-eun. It took me a while to see how beautiful she is. Her beauty has a simplicity to it that draws you in slowly, especially when she smiles and wrinkles her nose at the same time. And when you’re in, you can never turn the other way.

See, I don’t know Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun (I don’t follow news about Korean stars), so it’s easy enough for me to associate the actors with the characters they portrayed. And I think that’s when trouble begins.

For example – I haven’t seen “Train To Busan” or “A Muse”. Someone who has, but hasn’t seen Goblin, may have a different perception of Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun in their minds.

Another example – When news comes out that the actors did something “out of character” in real life. Some would react violently, scream their disappointments (cry?) Who says it was “out of character”? What was that judgement based on? Is it based on how they personally know these people? Or maybe on how they perceived them based on the characters they portrayed?

Like that one time when Kim Go-eun posted a selfie in Instagram, where she wasn’t wearing any make-up (I think she was lying on a hammock then, while on vacation).  She received a lot of flak for it, from comments about how very unlike an actor she looked to how ugly she was.

Come on, people! These actors are normal human beings who happen to work in front of the camera for a living! (For the record, Kim Go-eun is beautiful, with or without makeup.)

But that’s not the crazy part. The crazy part is how we (yes, including myself) let our minds keep thinking that Gong Yoo = Kim Shin and Kim Go-eun = Ji Eun Tak. (Or whatever character). It IS difficult to separate the actor from the character he/she portrays, but at some point we draw the line.

I try my best to do just that when I realized I fell in love with stars again. I know that by drawing that line, I will be able to love their work more, rather than just how they look. I’ve already started making a list of Gong Yoo’s and Kim Go-eun’s shows/movies. Yes, I plan to watch them all.

But after my rescreening of Goblin. I’m not ready to let go of Kim Shin and Ji Eun Tak just yet.


Sexist and you don’t know it

You’ve heard of how sexism is prevalent in our society, but it’s different when you experience or hear it firsthand. Other people are intentionally sexist, but I think it’s sadder when someone doesn’t even realize he or she is being a sexist. I think that goes to show how sexism is deeply ingrained in us.

Sample scenario: While talking about a future sibling for Isla, someone says he hopes it’s a boy so that he can learn (insert sport involving a ball, like basketball or tennis).

My immediate reaction: Hey, Isla can learn that, too.

Well. It’s true! Whatever she wants to learn, she can. She’s a human being with a functioning brain and, as far as I can tell, a strong physique. She can certainly learn anything she puts her mind and heart into, and she can excel in them.

I admit, I’m guilty of sexism at times, too. And I beat myself up when I catch myself stereotyping women or men. But I do hope that our daughter (and our other kids in the future) understand that their gender will never define what they can do.

“Remember who you are”

That was what Mufasa said to grown-up Simba, who ran away from home when he was a cub. It may have taken a baboon and some “strange weather” to help Simba remember who he is, but I don’t have those.

In 2012, left everything and everyone I knew in the Philippines and moved to New York City to be with the man I love. Instantly, I became a wife in a new country. I had to adjust to the four seasons and to my new role as wife. Fast forward three years later, I became a mother.

While these two roles are just that – roles – I realized that they have started to define who I am. Don’t get me wrong. Being a wife and a mother are the two most important roles I play in my life, and I don’t mind being identified as a wife and a mother. But, somehow, along the way, I lost who I am.

My recent trip to our Motherland helped me remember who I am. Or was. Being with my rambunctious family, hearing them speak our dialect – These reminded me that I am a woman who loved to have fun (with or without alcohol), who loved spending time with family while sharing a delicious meal, who loved relaxing by the beach. It reminded me that I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, an aunt. While those are roles in themselves, those roles reminded me that it’s ok to ask for help from time to time; that, while I’m growing up, my parents are growing old and spending as much time as I can with them is the most precious gift I can give them; that the most loyal and dependable people around me (besides my husband) are my siblings and cousins. Being with my family in our Motherland reminded me that I am strong, dependable, resourceful, patient, fun, ambitious, humble.

Trying to emulate this image of a Superwoman/Wonder Woman Mom is not only damaging to my psyche, but also EXHAUSTING. It also makes me too proud to ask for help when I need it the most. Being with my family reminded me that I can still be the Wonder Mom even if I ask for help, or accept help when offered, and no one will judge/curse me for that.

It was refreshing to be back in our Motherland. It felt like a reset to my whole being. I feel like I can be a better wife and mother now that I remembered who I am before assuming those roles. I’m so glad I took that trip before the end of 2016.

Bullet Journal: How it’s saving my ass

I first heard about Bullet Journal from one of my friends’ Instagram post. I thought it took too much work. But after reading about this technique, I realized that I can use it without a lot of colored pens. LOL!

I started doing it in the first week of September, utilizing the Future Log, Monthly Log, and Daily Log modules. I won’t tell you how to do it because you may read all about the Bullet Journal system in bulletjournal.com. But trust me when I tell you that it is saving my ass from constantly feeling overwhelmed, and cranky (resulting from feeling that I didn’t accomplish anything throughout the day).

Less than a week after using the Bullet Journal system, I realized that my head has been cluttered with so many tasks that I needed to complete, not knowing that most of them were tasks that I didn’t need to worry about right away. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed multiple times by things that I felt I needed to do, and it turned out that what I needed was to learn to prioritize. Sounds easy, right? For someone like me, I realized it was difficult to prioritize if I didn’t see everything laid out in front of me. This system enabled me to see the whole picture without the clutter of regular journaling. Now in my third week of using the system, my daily tasks have dwindled from at least 10 to up to 5. Writing down things that I thought of doing and prioritizing them also helped me fall asleep quicker and better. Tossing and turning before bed has significantly decreased. It has kept me happier and sane. LOL!


PS: This is not a sponsored post.