Mar 30, 2011

One of Many Milestones

We thought we would never see this day. Seven years ago, I gave birth to Jake 5 weeks before his due date. Unlike my first two childbirths which were unmedicated and Lamaze aided, this 3rd time was an emergency Caesarean delivery. It was because 2 weeks before my 8th month, the ultrasound image of my abdomen indicated that there was no fluid in my placenta. In medical parlance, it was a case of oligohydramnios.

Jake weighed an alarming 2 pounds when he came out! He was so tiny his skin was all wrinkled and looked literally like a bag of bones. I fed him via syringe the whole time he was in the NICU, because his mouth was too tiny to latch on to anything.

feeding through a syringe, too tiny for a regular bottle -

At that time, we feared the worst but hoped for the best. We stormed the heavens with our prayers for our little boy while keeping in mind that we were ready for anything...

fighting on... -

he was wearing the tiniest diaper we could find and it still looked huge on him

That was then... Our miracle baby celebrated his 7th birthday this month and graduated from preschool with excellent grades.

Early for the ceremonies...
all excited and early for the ceremony :)

we couldn't be happier!

like any other precocious boy

yes this is the same 2 pound miracle boy, now proud to show his preschool diploma to his grandma

the handshake with Fr. Manny
the congratulatory handshake that marked the end of one and start of another milestone

***slideshow of grad pics here***

Mar 28, 2011

Pink Flamingo?

That was the character played by my preschooler for their Disney musicale. My initial reaction was: "WHAT? Of all animals, a flamingo?" but I chose to just keep quiet. He said his friend Federico would also play the same character. So after seeing how excited he was about the whole activity, I let him be.

Instead of the required tights and leotards as their costume, I chose to buy him a black long sleeved Speedo sun top which he could use to the beach later on. Yes, I'm quite stubborn like that. The mom of his friend, Federico, also decided to ditch the leotards and bought the same sun top. :) Now they look almost identical onstage. Hehe.

Except for 1 day he was absent and 1 time he was late, I dutifully drove him to and from school for the daily practices while bringing with me his lunch. Yes the practices lasted the entire day. And I had magazines with me so I could kill time as I waited. Fuel price is P59/liter here and I dare not waste it by driving to and fro unnecessarily. I thank my lucky stars I don't have work and my schedule was wide open to do all the waiting. But I digress...

After the week-long practices, it was finally showtime!

The flamingo ensemble didn't look too shabby though...

The whole cast... Aren't they all cute?
Jake is the one wearing black on the right.

Jake on the left with his white undershirt peeking out. He seemed to be having fun.

He actually HAD fun!

We chose the nearest reserved seats we could find so we could take a good video and shot of Jake. From where we sat, we could see how full of energy he was as he danced and followed the formation onstage. No sign of squeamishness to the pink he was wearing. The two flamingos actually blended nicely with the other animals. Haha!

It was one of my proudest moments. The kids and teachers who participated in the presentation were simply amazing. All the preparation was so worth it!

I guess I just needed to lighten up and put to heart the very song they sang and danced to, that day: "Hakuna, Matata", a Swahili phrase which means: "There are no worries."

Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

Mar 27, 2011

His Name Means Sanctified

We met each other when we were in Islacom (now Globe/Innove in Visayas) way back in the mid-90s. I was supervising the Accounting department then, while he was with Sales. Our paths crossed again in 1997 at RCPI/Bayantel (before RCPI spun off from Bayantel, and became USSC) where I headed the Finance and Admin Group for Visayas and he eventually led the Sales team in the same region. Our friendship went beyond the 7 years I spent with the company. The bond was such that we even moved out of the company at the same time. :)

Indulge me in recounting a few of the fun times we had. The one activity (among many others) that stands out, and never fails to amuse me each time I remember, would be our occasional trips to downtown Cebu to buy pirated cds. LOL. I know... bad! But now we know better.

Then there was a time in the early 2000 that instead of buying new desktop computers to replace our old ones (as a matter of practice, the old units were passed on to new employees), we bought ourselves laptops. Yes, laptops! Hala!

Our boss then was game and approved the purchase since it was within budget and allowed the Sales Manager to be mobile and online even in remote areas in the region. Hehe... What a trailblazing act at a time when the internet was not yet mainstream (at least for Visayas)!

Having him as colleague, with all his funny and witty retorts, made crunching numbers on spreadsheets and meeting deadlines a bit more bearable. Having him around is like having a resident stand-up comedian in our midst. Hilarious. Patawa talaga.

This post would be too long if I keep on with the nostalgia...

Fast-forward to year 2011. He is now based in the Middle East with a very promising career and he came to visit Cebu last January for Sinulog. We exchanged stories over coffee at Starbucks which he insisted on buying me (haha! katas ng ME) and everything seemed like it was the year 2004 all over again. Funny guy this Mike Sanchez... as always. describes "Sanchez" as a patronymic surname derived from the given name Sancho, meaning "sanctified". Very apt, for Mike has a generous and compassionate heart. To me, however, his name would have easily meant "comic" too.

Ayan Mike, as promised. Here are our pics. Nilagyan ko pa ng tribute ha! LOL. Stay safe and away from chaotic Libya and other warring ME countries.

Shokran (شكرا)! Thank you for the friendship!

PS: Feel free to grab the images from my Flickr page. I know di clear yung nasa DSLR mo. LOL....

With Mike

With Mike and Ann
Here with another very good friend, Ann

Mar 23, 2011

Everything Happens For a Reason

This month is going to end very soon and I would say it's both good and bad. First week, I closed a deal enough to pay arrears. I was so happy.

Second week, I was surprised to get an sms from the agent of the owner of the house which said our former housemate who left us last Dec (breached the contract of 2yrs) called the govt housing board and reported that we're doing illegal subletting just to force us to shell out our own money to refund him his deposit which is with the owner when we moved in. We already told him to wait until the contract ends because that's the only time the owner will give us back the deposit but he refused to understand. Hence, the owner was alarmed because it may cause her to lose the house or she may not be allowed to rent it out again. Before she made a decsion to evict us, we just told her that we're moving out. It only took us a week to raise the money, pack our things, arrange for movers and prepare the new place.

Moving out is not easy because thru the years, we have accumulated a lot of stuff. It was good that my other housemates helped us.If you wanna know what happened to that stupid guy, he didnt get his deposit and he resigned from work (scared for his life I guess because all my housemates even my husband work in the same building). He went back to his old company. It's a blessing in disguise because we are now in a better and bigger place. We can swim, go to the gym, cook bbq, etc.

This week, while all news on tv talk about Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and radiation scare, I was mostly affected when I heard that my close friend's mom died this afternoon after suffering from a stroke. I wish I was there to console her. May God give them strength.

I believe everything happens for a reason and life will be boring without problems so we just learn from it and move on.
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Mar 16, 2011

I Could Smell Summer Break

Today is the last day of tests for our high school boy. Our youngest is graduating from preschool this Saturday. Eldest son is at the tail end of his third term in uni. And then, vacation promptly follows.

This summer, high school son will join his batch mates in an immersion trip to Xiamen and will be away for two months. That practically means the whole summer break (April-May). It also means no family trip for us, unless we want to proceed with one member lacking. :)

Although schedules are tight or conflicting for all of us, we will find a way to spend quality time as a family with or without planned trips.

Meanwhile, here are some shots from a beach trip we had last January where we were all complete...

Stolen shot of me...not!
a stolen shot of me...

Through the hole
through the hole


Kyle, Jerry and Matt


Matt and I

Mar 10, 2011

Cried Self to Sleep

by Linnor

My afternoon routine with Jake is for me to put him to sleep. That is around 130pm right after lunch and a short tv time with him. Usually he would sleep for an hour or two while I do some chores or paperwork. Lately he would find it hard to sleep at night even late at 10pm. Perhaps it's the afternoon nap that is causing him to be extra alert even way past his bedtime.

There were a few times I ended up sleeping ahead while he tugged at me and begged me to stay up with him. I would force myself to wake up and I would pat or rub his back to lull him, but there were times when I would literally just struggle to keep my eyes open.

The other night, I fell asleep ahead of him because I stayed up late after a business meeting the night before that. When I came to, I noticed I was asleep for 30mins. I then checked on Jake who was lying next to me but facing the other way.

My heart just melted when I saw that he was softly crying himself to sleep. Ooh... My guilt was unimaginable! Part of me felt so bad, while part of me didn't want to beat myself up because it happens to the best of us.

I hugged him snugly and made sure he was already asleep before I thought of doing something else.

Yesterday, I didn't let him take his afternoon nap. We stayed up and went to church in the afternoon for the Ash Wednesday mass. He was still up and about at 9pm, but was out by 930pm. I guess it's bye-bye pm naps for him from here on...

A Call in the Middle of the Night

by Linnor

We got home late one night after the meeting. I guess it was already about 1am when I finally got to feel sleepy. No thanks to the breweed coffee at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf that I drank.

I thought it was only a dream but I heard the ring quite louder the second time. Who could be calling at 3am? And why on this night of all nights? I need to rest... I have to wake up at 520am to get the boys ready.

I found myself jolted awake and tried to tell Jerry his phone was ringing. It was Matt on the other line. He was having abdominal pains that wouldn't go away even after 5 trips to the toilet and a dose of Imodium. I always fear the worst, you know, and started asking questions. I was afraid he might have something that might require a visit to the hospital. No appendicitis, amoebiasis or hepatitis for Matt please. I'd take intestinal flu or LBM anytime!

We advised him to rest/sleep and just drink fluids and have crackers to soothe his digestion. And we gave him the go to call us ANYTIME he felt like it was not getting better.

Because we didn't want to take any risk and be totally helpless in case the tummy pain comes back tonight, we decided for Jerry to take an early flight to Manila to get to Matt asap (Tue instead of the booked Wednesday flight).

* Got a call within the day that Matt was feeling better and was able to attend his am and pm classes.