Mama’s Day Out

I love my kids and husband to bits but sometimes it’s nice (and necessary!) to have time away. I had much needed me time today. Just a few hours though, because I had only one bag of expressed milk for Paco and had to be home before he needed a second bottle.

So what did I do? Not get a mani-pedi, although my nails are in a sad state. I went out and ate.

First stop was SM Aura, where I had churros from Churreria La Lola. The churros is perfect, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s nice and quite big, unlike the Dulcinea churros which is a little on the scrawny side. At La Lola, they fry it in front of you, but it isn’t too oily, then they dust it with sugar. Mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm! I always order chocolate to dip it in. It’s warm and thick, not too sweet, and coats the churros just right. There are six pieces in the medium box (they don’t offer a small though) and I can finish it all. Oink, oink! I’d have taken a photo but I thought of writing this blog post only after I had wolfed it down.

I paired it with a flat white from Toby’s Estate.


Man, is that coffee g double o d good! The first time I ordered it, I knew it would be excellent because it didn’t look at all watered down. It was thick and caramelly and just seemed like the perfect cup of coffee. I’ve been hooked on it since! I seem to be craving good, strong coffee lately and have been drinking two cups a day. I didn’t spend too much time in SM Aura. I also bought a swimsuit but let’s keep that between us, shall we?

Next, I went to Bonifacio High Street for The Gourmand Market.


It’s an outdoor food fair and I believe this is the second time they put it up. It was quite nice, with wooden picnic tables around where you could sit and eat whatever food you bought from the stalls. There was all sorts of food – uncooked meat, ready to eat meals, drinks, ice cream, cakes and cookies.


I had every intention of having lunch there but nothing called out to me. Instead, I bought a couple of bottles of cold brew for Julio and some monogrammed hand-woven napkins. Lunch was so-so sushi from Marketplace, where I also bought potted herbs. I considered having a nice, leisurely lunch at TWG but I had lingered long enough and it was nearly time for me to head home.

Shortly after I got home, Julio and I went to an Aussie surplus store called Aussie Surplus (haha!). I’d been meaning to stop by to canvass for a circular saw or a jigsaw. That place was cheap! I ended up buying a compound mitre saw for only P1,100. It normally sells for more than P10,000 brand new! The owner of this brand must be Pinoy, because Ozito = Aussie ‘to. Hehe.


This purchase I was beyond excited about. The whole ride home, I kept mumbling, “Cool… Cool… Cool…” and wondered what my first project would be. My husband probably thought I was nuts. But, yeah, I’m so super excited – this will take my DIY-ing to a whole new level!


Ate Bea

Bea has quickly gotten used to having a sibling.

While we were in hospital, Bea stayed at my parents’ house. I decided that it would be best for her not to visit, because she could catch whatever sickness if she did. So she and my mom fetched me and Paco from the hospital on the day we were discharged. I didn’t want her to come home to find a strange baby in the house, although we prepped her months before. Julio and his mom rode in another car. I was sitting on a wheelchair by the hospital driveway, holding Paco in my arms, and suddenly there she was, standing a few feet away from me. I’ll never forget the look on her face. She was incredibly excited to see me, but she was apprehensive about the little bundle in my arms. Her Manang Gina brought her closer and I hugged her as best I could and told her I missed her. Then I introduced her to Paco. In the car, she sat on my lap and Gina held Paco. Bea was curious but didn’t want to come any closer. When we got home, she asked to hold him so I made her sit on the couch hold out her arms, and put Paco in her lap. After less than a minute, she asked, “Can you get him na?”


Bea loves to nuzzle her little brother and always pulls on my arm when I’m holding him so I can bend over and she can rub her nose against his cheek or give him a kiss. She used to pinch her tummy while she drinks her milk but now she’s taken to rubbing either one of his fingers or one of his toes.


We co-sleep (trying to move her to her big girl room is for another blog post!), and the first couple of nights after Paco came home were difficult for her. I was afraid it would go on that way for a while! The first night, I put a pillow between the two kids because I was afraid she would roll over him in her sleep. That was the least of my worries! Paco would wake up crying, wanting his milk, and Bea, not used to the noise, would also wake up but kicking and screaming. I had to tell her several times not to kick because she could accidentally kick Paco but in her sleepy and muddled state, she couldn’t/wouldn’t comprehend. Julio had to restrain her and she soon fell asleep again. So instead of nursing side-lying like I would have liked, I had to do it cradle-hold and hold Bea with my other hand to calm her down. The second night, the same thing happened but she kept kicking out so Julio picked her up and put her on the floor. That made her livid! She screamed louder and cried harder. I talked to her and told her if she was ready to stop kicking then she could come back up. Otherwise, she’d have to stay on the floor. After a while (it seemed like forever), she quieted down and climbed back on the bed. Since then, she and Julio have slept through Paco’s wails and I’m the only one who wakes up!



Enrique Francisco Veloso

Baby Paco is 2 months old! Enrique Francisco Bengzon Veloso was born on September 10, 2014 at 10:20 a.m.


Julio and I went to the hospital the night before. The admitting process was an ordeal in itself! The waiting time was crazy. When we were finally brought to my room, they put an IV in. Let me tell you, it was not easy wheeling the dextrose to the bathroom every time I needed to pee!


The next morning, the nurses prepped me for my c-section. In the OR, one of the nurses made me lay on my side and contort my body to expose my spine so the anesthesiologist could give me an epidural. When the anesthesia kicked in, so did my anxiety. They placed blankets on my torso and tied down my arms. Then I started to panic. I couldn’t feel anything below my chest but I knew the doctor was prodding and pulling. I suddenly felt claustrophobic – I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move my body, the blankets were too heavy and I was too warm. The nurse placed an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth and told me to inhale deeply. Soon after, I heard my baby cry. Then they showed him to me. It felt like one of those times when you order wine at a restaurant and the waiter brings you the bottle and pours you a teeny bit to taste. You take a sip and have no idea what it is you should be tasting but you nod and smile anyway and the waiter pours the wine for the rest of the party. When they brought Paco to me, I looked at him and smiled a little and said hello. Honestly, I don’t want to sound like a bad mother but I didn’t feel anything for the infant who was on my chest. I knew he was my son but there was no sudden outpouring of love for this child. It wasn’t instantaneous with Bea either.

They took Paco away to clean him up and check him before they brought him back to me to nurse him. The embarrassment of having my breasts exposed for the male nurse, who was holding Paco, to see was soon replaced by my coaxing Paco to latch on. I watched him as he suckled away, waiting for the emotions to hit me. We were both brought to the recovery room where I alternated between trying to move my toes and feeding him. I wanted to go back to my room, to my husband, and I knew that being able to wiggle my toes meant that the anesthesia was wearing off and they’d let me go. It was a while before I was finally brought to my room though. That night, I barely slept. Paco wanted to nurse every hour and the nurses kept coming in to check my temperature and blood pressure and Paco’s too. And that night, I wanted to give up breastfeeding. I didn’t have any trouble with Bea, but with Paco it was excruciating. We’ve kept at it though, and it’s now much, much easier. As I type this, he’s fast asleep in my arms but latched on and sucking intermittently. He still keeps me up at night, waking up almost every hour!


Going back to my confession. I was very protective of Paco but I didn’t love him. Not yet, anyway. When I would look at him, there was no warming of my heart or feeling of tenderness towards him. About a week later, it just hit me. I was looking at him and all the emotions came out. Suddenly he turned from just a baby to MY baby boy. The space in my heart that I thought I had given all to Bea expanded to make room for Paco, and my love has multiplied to encompass them both. It’s amazing how that’s possible. And it’s absolutely wonderful to watch him grow and develop. He has started to respond with coos and smiles when we talk to him, and it makes me melt every time.



Hello Again

Why, hey there!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? So much has happened since my last post, which was back in December. Seven months of silence on Spoon and Hammer. Wanna know what else is on its seventh month?


Yep, baby #2 is on the way! Julio and I are ecstatic, and so is Bea. She’s always asking what the baby is doing and insists on kissing and hugging my belly goodnight. Sometimes, when I’m putting her down for a nap, she’ll lift up my shirt or dress and rub my bump. Hopefully she doesn’t get too jealous of the baby when it’s born. I’ve already asked her to help me with the baby – help me take care of it, give the baby a bath, teach it to sign (it’s cute – she started watching Baby Signing Time again to refresh her signing skills!), teach the baby the songs she knows, etc. And she seems pretty gung-ho about it!

So… what is it? We’re having a BOY! I’m a little worried. I realized I have no rapport with little boys and have no idea what to do with one, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be as easy as his big sister was. Bea wanted a baby sister because she finds her male cousins a bit too rowdy for her taste. I told her she can help teach him to behave, and that warmed her to the idea of a baby brother. She now goes around saying she also has a baby in her belly, and she’ll have two baby brothers. Oh boy.




Mommy Confession

Motherhood has been pretty gratifying for me. I guess it helped that Bea was such an easy baby – hardly ever fussy and we could bring her everywhere. If there were any sleepless nights during her infancy, there weren’t enough for me to remember. When she was younger, she was not at all a picky eater. Julio and I took her with us on our Southeast Asia tour and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to travel with her. She ate whatever we ate, slept wherever we slept and hardly complained. My daughter will be two years old next Saturday, and I often find myself wondering where the time has gone. Bea is, of course, still my baby but in some ways she isn’t anymore. She’s starting to test her independence and sometimes it makes me a little sad when she won’t let me brush her teeth because she wants to do it on her own, or wants to use her utensils by herself. I’m still who she looks for when she wakes up in the morning, and she’s very attached to me. I suppose it’s because she and I are almost always together.

I work full-time for my dad and our office is in his house, so I bring Bea with me to work every day. Now that she’s older, she’s more mobile and more vocal.  Many times she comes to me while I’m working, saying “Play, Mama!” or “Mama, carry!” Sometimes I’ll stop what I’m doing and play with her for a few minutes, but there are times I’m working on something that can’t wait. I tell her Mama is working and, more often than not, she’ll throw a fit.

Who else whips out their iPad or throws in the TV card when this happens? Anybody? Is it just me?

That’s where the guilty feelings come to play. I tell her that Manang Angie (our helper) will play with her, or tell her to go watch Baby TV, or give her the iPad. And I know I shouldn’t, that I should be taking the time out to play with her. I tell myself I’ll play with her when we get home. But when we get home, I have to prepare dinner and she hangs out at my in-laws’ house until it’s time for bed. There are also times I’m not doing anything important, just surfing the net or checking Twitter (fine, and Facebook) and Bea will come to me, asking me to carry her or play. Most of the time I’ll do it but there are days when I just don’t want to be bothered, and I’ll turn on the TV and plop her down in front of it or hand her the iPad.

At the rate she’s growing, the day is going to come when Bea won’t want to play with me anymore and I’ll end up being the one imploring her to spend more time with me. So I guess work can wait even 10 minutes while I go cuddle and play with my little girl when she asks me to.


First Birthday

Little B is a year old! How time flies. It seems like not too long ago that I was getting up from the hospital bed and painfully walking over to the NICU to visit my new baby. She finally came home with us 11 days after she was born. Back then Little B was so fragile and helpless. A far cry from the independent, energetic, talkative but incoherent, curious and sweet baby she’s turned into in just a year.

And so, to celebrate a year of love, immense joy and poopy diapers, we threw her a small party. There weren’t any other children, because they had prior engagements, but our closest friends and family came.

I made a tutu and stenciled a onesie for her to wear. She toddled around, holding up one finger whenever asked how old she was.


I’m One!

I DIY-ed the decorations, with the help of some Etsy purchases.



We practiced blowing out a candle the day before the party, to no avail. And of course a few days later she started blowing on her own.


She had her first taste of icing, which she loved. I dipped her finger into the icing and put it in her mouth. She didn’t need much encouragement after that!


I suppose it was more for me and the Coach than it was for her, because we ended the party way past Little B’s bedtime!


Have you ever been in a place where there’s always this one kid who screams the house down? Where you stare icily at the mother thinking, “Control your child, woman!” Well, last Saturday that kid was Little B. 

She and I attended our first La Leche League meeting. We were the first ones there, aside from the 2 moderators. Women trickled in – some alone and some with their husbands, but always with their child in tow. The meeting started and Little B sat quietly on my lap, picking rice puffs from my hand. I peeked into the container – uh oh. Just a few pieces left! Thinking that maybe she would keep quiet longer, I gave her everything in it. A few minutes later, when she realized nothing more was coming, she began to squirm. Started to grunt and wriggle. Let out a couple of ear-piercing shrieks. So I put her on the floor. She crawled this way and that, trying to go under the chair. I kept picking her up to keep her close to me but she protested quite loudly. I gave her a water bottle to play with. Big mistake. She spied the water bottle of the woman sitting to my right, and went straight for that. I picked her up and she screamed. Oh lordy. This went on the entire time. Thank god the meeting was just an hour! I couldn’t keep track of what the group was discussing, as I was busy trying to keep Little B from crawling between the legs of other people. 
I couldn’t help noticing how the other babies were well-behaved and quiet. I suppose maybe because she was the oldest of the bunch (well, there was one who was older but her dad whisked her away) and the others were less than 6 months old. The woman sitting next to my right had her daughter, who was a month younger than Little B, with her. I was pretty happy that Little B was finally able to interact with another baby. I gave her a spoon to chew on and she would promptly hand it over to the other baby. Then the mother would take it from her and give it back to me, and I would give it back to Little B to play with. Then the whole pass-the-spoon thing would start all over again. I got the impression that maybe the woman might have been a bit wary about cleanliness because Little B had been crawling on the floor and put the spoon in her mouth.
I guess I won’t be attending another meeting any time soon, not unless Little B learns how to behave in public!

Babyproofing Fail

It’s about time J and I start babyproofing the house. Little B is constantly in motion which, I must admit, is quite entertaining. She crawls quite fast now and has started to explore beyond the rubber mats we set up for her.


Her go-to place now is the kitchen cabinet. She’s learned how to open and close the cabinet doors and can sit in front of it, quite contentedly swinging it open and shut. I’m worried she’ll get her tiny fingers caught in it so J and I bought a cabinet lock. There were a few for us to choose from but I chose this because it looked nicer.

I should have chosen better because it’s too short to hook around both knobs! J hooked it on one knob, unscrewed the other, and voila! It worked. But it’s going to be such a hassle unscrewing that knob every time I want to open the cabinets!

Cereal for Breakfast

I feel like I hardly slept last night. We all went to bed at close to midnight and Little B wanted to nurse what seemed like every hour. I set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. but we (really meaning “I”) finally rolled out of bed at 6:40 a.m. I remember mumbling to my husband, “Cereal for breakfast.” Little B slept on, oblivious to the state her mother was in.