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.



My Week in Photos #13

Checking out the new coffee shop, Craft, down the street from my parents house


Digging the reclaimed wood furniture


Split pea soup for dinner (recipe from David Lebovitz) – my first time to make it!


Yogurt, granola and strawberries makes a healthy-ish breakfast


Waiting for my turn at the cashier


Christmas display at Shangri-la Plaza mall. I wish I had brought Bea along to see it!


Drove to Anilao for the weekend. Two lolos (grandfathers) vying for the little one’s attention


Sorting the shells and corals


Look at that face!


Wrinkled fingers from soaking in the water too long, trying to get Bea accustomed to swimming


Siesta time!


Blessed to be able to wake up in a place with this gorgeous view


Life in the middle of stones and dead corals


Missing the husband, who stayed home


More photos soon!


My Life This Week #3

More like, My Life Last Week!

One of my sister’s many bridal showers – a cookbook shower! Awesome idea.


Bubble fun!


Attended the last of several real estate seminars I signed up for.


Went grocery shopping with the little one, who didn’t take her afternoon nap.


Rainy Saturday dinner with my in-laws (and my nephew’s Thomas the Train collection).


French toast with a strawberry-mascarpone topping for a lazy Sunday breakfast.


Visited one of my  friends and her newborn daughter. So precious!


An afternoon blogpost writing (and gossip) date with my two best friends. Coffee and cake. What can beat that?


My parents hosted a despedida de soltera for my sister – a farewell-to-singlehood party traditionally thrown by the bride-to-be’s family. That’s my husband, Julio, grinning at the camera.


Stay tuned for the next installment in this series!


My Life This Week #2

Another week gone by. Same old, except that I turned 33.

Here’s how last week went:

An attempt at eating healthy.

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A birthday gift from my husband – a not-so-subtle way of telling me I need to start exercising?

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Lunch with my parents and sister – but honestly, I chose the restaurant for its tomato-cheese fondue and to-die-for coffee pie!

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Birthday dinner with Julio. I love sashimi and uni. Except maybe I had a bit too much. Enough to make me not want to look at it again. Or, at least, not until next year.

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Merienda with two of my best friends at The Royal Picadilly, our newest go-to restaurant. And cocktails at 3:00 in the afternoon? Why not!

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A rainy but lovely Sunday morning spent with the little one at a cafe then a bookstore.

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Stay tuned for next week’s installment of My Life This Week!


My Life This Week #1

I know, I know. I’ve been off the blogging grid for a while. I haven’t had any new woodworking projects because I’m waiting for the Kreg Jig I ordered from Amazon to arrive – can’t wait! I could’ve written several posts on what I’ve cooked but honestly,  I’m always in such a rush to finish cooking that I haven’t had the time to stop to take photos!

Sooo, I’ve decided to come up with a series that will kind of force me into posting more often.  Introducing: My Life This Week. It’s probably going to be more like a photo journal, although the pictures won’t be anything great because I have no talent in photography whatsoever.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Buying dinner at Mr. Kebab

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Passing the time in Toys “R” Us

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Ramen and an iced orange mocha for dinner

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The little one enjoying her cupcake at The Royal Picadilly

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Slow cooker oatmeal with cinnamon-maple mascarpone for breakfast. Recipe from Bakeaholic Mama.

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My loves playing

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Watching people wall climb inside ROX

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Waking up to Bea reading a book

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What I like best about biking in UP

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A very close game that we unfortunately lost – and Bea’s first basketball game!


Traveling with Baby

Note: This post is long overdue!

Back in March, Cebu Pacific held a seat sale so Coach and I booked tickets to Singapore for August. Our intention was to take the train from there to Kuala Lumpur, to Penang, on to Bangkok, take the bus to Siem Reap then Ho Chi Minh City, then do it all again in reverse to get back to Singapore. We weren’t planning on bringing Little B along. But honestly, when I was booking the tickets, I wasn’t thinking about her too much. I was worrying about being able to still get cheap tickets! Fast forward to June. Coach and I decided we’d take her with us, after much deliberation on my part.


Notre Dame Cathedral in HCMC

I wanted to bring her and I didn’t want to bring her, for several reasons. But I’m glad we did. Everyone kept asking us why we wanted to bring her along. We’d have such a hard time, they said. We won’t be able to enjoy, they said. She proved them wrong because Little B turned out to be a fantastic traveler. She was no trouble at all! She didn’t cry on the planes, didn’t cry on the trains. Granted, there were places we couldn’t go (Patpong anyone?) and things we couldn’t do (I couldn’t go into the Cuchi Tunnels carrying her!) but we found other activities nonetheless.

I carried her in my baby carrier when we couldn’t be bothered to bring the stroller around with us. She often napped while we were on the go, most likely lulled into sleep by my walking or the movements of the stroller. She ate everything we ate – even the street food. My mom specifically warned us about it before we left, but obviously we didn’t listen. Little B seemed to be enjoying the food anyway!

Eating carrot cake in Penang

Eating carrot cake in Penang


In Bangkok

Dinner at the Ben Thanh Market, HCMC

Dinner at the Ben Thanh Market, HCMC

One thing though – the people in the cities we visited LOVE babies. Everyone was playing with her (especially on the trains!) and trying to engage her in some way. Several times people would try to carry her but she wouldn’t have any of it, and let them know via a shriek or a cry.

We skipped Siem Reap due to the HFMD outbreak (she ended up getting it anyway, but that’s another story) and flew from Bangkok to Ho Chi MInh City, and from HCMC flew to KL. We finally had a play date with her cousins in Singapore. She took her first steps in Bangkok. For that alone, it was worth it.


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!