The Graduate shots

Still some signs of happy endings and new beginnings, we got the printed copies of Mischa’s graduation photos. She looks so grown-up, I couldn’t believe this is my baby!

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Better yet, I couldn’t believe she’ll be finishing pre-school soon, and entering the world of big school. As I said in my previous post, new challenges ahead for my little girl. I know she will do good but this mommy’s heart is thudding with anticipation of what lies before her.

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Maxine’s newborn photoshoot

The bunso had her newborn photoshoot last weekend with Baby Love Studio in Paranaque City. Baby Love specializes in babies, kids and families, and is owned by a classmate way back in grade school and her husband. Maxine was 21 days old when this was done, and I have to say that the studio and photographer are really great with babies! I love the way they handled the shoot and are ready for almost anything related to photographing very young babies. Maxine got a little cranky at times, and peed A LOT, but they handled it pretty fine and dandy.

The package we got includes three sets, meaning three concepts. We threw in an additional set so the sisters have one set together. I am ecstatic how the shots turned out. We got all the raw files but here are the edited ones.

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The Sights and Smells of Vancouver

I spent a total of 7 days in Vancouver, hours of it spent aboard aircrafts.  It was short and sweet.  We didn’t even get to see much of the city save for downtown and a couple of touristy spots.  But what I saw, smelled and tasted, I loved!  For one, being accustomed to heat and humidity, I gloried in the cold but sunny air. It didn’t matter that my arms felt like they were locked in a permanent cross over my chest to keep warm, it still felt like sheer bliss.  To a person like myself who is only used to blistering summers and clammy rains, it seemed like the perfect autumn weather to me.  I didn’t get to experience this in the United Kingdom way back in July of 2006 since we went there smack in the middle of one of the hottest heat waves the country has ever seen.  And Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand couldn’t very well boast of any cool season as we all experience tropical paradise almost year round.  So it was really a nice and very pleasant change for me.

Second, I just marveled at the cleanness and quiet charm of the surroundings.  I live and work in and around Metro Manila, and while it will always be home, I couldn’t help but envy what Canadians have.  I know, I know.  Filipinos are at fault why we have left Manila reeking in filth in many areas.  There’s a lot of work to do to be done here–beginning with ourselves and our surroundings.  I’m just saying, it would be great to raise a child there.  The country would absolutely do them good what with all that fresh air, nice and clean parks, moderate population, low crime rate, not to mention the excellent social services.

Vancouver and its suburbs just rock.  There is a place for everybody.  For the first time in my existence, I actually entertained the thought of migrating.  No other country that I have visited has tugged at my insides like Canada. But this needs more thinking and much contemplation between the hubby and me.  It’s not all about us anymore.  Mostly, it’ll be about Mischa and our future child(ren).  There’s a lot to consider here. We’re comfortable where we are right now although a bit tight at the moment. Plus there are our families…lemme just think this through and catch my breath here. Wouldn’t want to get carried away.

For now, I leaving you guys with these pictures.  Too bad they aren’t my own but my colleague, Rod, took some excellent shots.


























* photos courtesy of Rod

New toy

Although hubby and I are not professionals, we absolutely love taking pictures. There’s something about capturing every momentous occasion, especially now that we have a kid who we want to document every milestone. We got along just fine with a point and shoot for years. We have not delved into the technicalities of lighting, shutter speed, etc. etc. What mattered most of the time was the subject. Anyway, after my recent trip to North America, I got ourselves this:

Hubby is most excited, I think he’s going to pop the question to her soon. lol.

I know we’re certainly going to have fun with it. I don’t know if we can actually be photography buffs or anything, because that is going to be pretty expensive, but yeah, we’ll try to learn the ropes of taking good quality photos. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more trips so we get to try this out in the real world. We hardly ever get to pamper ourselves with stuff and I saved up for this one as an early Christmas treat 🙂

pictorials

on separate occasions, mischa had informal pictorials with tito sam and tito frenz. people just love taking her pictures. she’s getting the hang of smiling and posing, and is starting to take to the camera, especially the SLRs. she doesn’t smile as much with mommy’s point-and-shoot. teehee. takes a while to warm her up but when that beautiful, infectious, gummy smile appears, we’re all goners 🙂

tito sam’s, while in her jammies:









tito frenz’, before the office christmas party:















the new love of my life

the new love of my life at 33 weeks. sometimes i still couldn’t believe how we could have created something this special. i guess, one would always marvel at how life comes into being no matter how many times you see it. thank god for 3D/4D technology that we are able to see baby even when she hasn’t gone out yet at this time, and made her presence felt in this world.
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we had a really hard time trying to get her to cooperate. she’s not like mommy and daddy who love to get their pictures taken 🙂 she would always drape her arms, sometimes her foot over her face when the kind doctor would put the transducer over mom’s tummy. thank god for their patience and gentle coaxing. it took us several trips to the In My Womb ultrasound center to get baby’s facial images. even then, shots weren’t very clear. but it was definitely worth it. words couldn’t describe how we felt when we saw baby for the first time. sigh! it was love at first sight. i have had several scans throughout my pregnancy and i’ve seen a lot of her movements from the first heartbeat to her boxing stances to her swallowing fluids. but seeing her outline made my heart leap by miles. i am sooo excited and could hardly contain myself! i can’t wait to see and hold her, to touch that nose, eyes and lips!! i have imagined and daydreamed about her for the last 9 months, and in a couple of weeks’ time, she’ll really be here nestled in the crook of my arms.

ten things

with the baby coming up in a few weeks time, my recent bouts of boredom with work and domain issues at home (which is another matter i ought to take up in the next posts), and in view of my turning 30 in less than a month, my mind has been going a bit to overdrive because of constantly mulling over the things that i still wanted to do with my life. of course, baby is so top priority, nothing can change that. but i want to take stock of things that i want to accomplish possibly in the next five years or so without feeling guilty that you’re sort of abandoning your child in pursuit of your interests. this is normal, right? for an expectant mom to still feel an itch or two about doing things for herself. sometimes, you try to stop thinking about things you want to do because you’re having a kid. but if one can do both (being a mom and doing the things she likes that doesn’t have anything to do with the baby), why not? and it’s never too late to learn something new. and so, here are my “must do’s”:

1. take up photography – i envy my colleagues who lately caught the bug from frenz, and bought their own SLR cameras in view of the various trips they have taken. while a good equipment is a must, what i want more really is to take up a course on photography. i did a few years back, but had not really taken in much of the lecture given to us. i want the real thing, not just two hours of a photojournalist teaching you how to operate your camera’s manual settings. i want the whole works! in the past, i’ve pretty much just took pictures of some sceneries of the places i’ve gone to (minus the artwork), and let somebody else took my pictures being the vain individual that i am.

2. learn how to swim properly – i love the water! i am at my calmest and most serene self when i am on the beach. i cherish the feel of being buoyant. but more often than not, i do not dare stray too far away from the shore, or if in a pool, i cling to the tiles on the sides or stay in areas not more than five feet. pathetic! i can float to save my life and do about 3 meters of laps (nyahaha). i can snorkle perfectly but that’s because of the vest enveloping me. but that’s about it. i want to be able to do the breathing thing, treading water, go across a pool and not have to gasp for breath when i could no longer touch the floor with my toes. i should’ve taken this up much, much earlier considering i am asthmatic and could’ve helped my poor lungs get the much needed exercise, thereby saving me from some attacks. swimming i think i can do with my kid as soon as i can put her in the water. her swimming lessons can be my excuse to attend them myself 🙂

3. be a really good cook / chef, if you may – fortunately (for my husband), i can cook. i can whip up those dishes in a jiffy or slave over the more complicated ones during weekends. i have naturally mastered filipino dishes, some pastas, chinese, etc. but what i really want to do is specialize in different cuisines. i want to try my hand at those french, mediterranean, greek, japanese food that i can only see on the food network and magazines. and also, one thing i haven’t done is bake, and do all those scrumptuous desserts. add to this, i dream for a really nice and fully-functional kitchen.

4. travel to europe – this should have been number 1 on my list for i have been dreaming of coming here for the longest time. i am quite the traveler. i love seeing and being in new places, trying out the food, walking through foreign streets with the locals, sightseeing. unfortunately, i have only gone to countries near the phils because of budgetary concerns. in the philippines, i have gone to lots of places of interest. still, my yearning for europe and its culture have not been extinguished. yeah, have gone to london but it only served to whet my appetite to be in mainland west europe. if only hubby and i had got enough money, we would have gone there for our honeymoon. but who knows, we might be able to get there sooner. keeping my fingers crossed.

5. exercise and lose weight – pregnant or not, i have always been on the round side. i really can’t call myself fat, but i am far from being rail thin. it doesn’t help that my family is on the short side. so you can hardly describe me as statuesque. well, you get the picture. and pregnancy of course, has not diminished my appetite, instead has more than doubled it as my young one is dependent on me for nourishment and energy. add to that is the knowledge that i will undergo a c-section so i kept on putting on the calories having in mind that i would not have to push baby out so it doesn’t matter if she gets big or not. but i know that i would have to pay for it sooner 😦 must keep in mind that i only not have to lose weight, but have to lose all those unsightly bulges, expecially around the tummy area. (hmmm, i wonder if they can do a tummy tuck while they’re closing my ab area after they take baby out..)

6. learn a foreign language – i tried to get into dfa’s free foreign language classes, which they offer for employees who are for posting abroad. obviously, didn’t get in. should look into getting this done soon. it’s my fondest wish to be able to talk in a different sophisticated language. i so love the way the words roll over the mouth when somebody speaks something different. my preference–french, japanese, greek, russian, italian, german, and all the nordic languages.

7. live in a beach house – why not? as i’ve said, i feel nature at its best when i am on the beach. so why not complete the picture of perfect contentedness by dreaming of spending weekends and vacations in your own tropical getaway. waking up each morning to the sunlight, walking barefoot down the sand, having your meals with the sound of the wind and water lapping on the shore, taking a dip, having a nap on a hammock in the front porch of the house..ahhh bliss…

8. do any or all of the following activities – maybe the adventurer in me longing to go out. or i just want the plain adrenaline rush.

9. read and write more – started on the writing part again. have to catch up on my reading, which i used to love so much. it would be better if i can get some of those earn-additional-income schemes by doing some writing online. if you could earn from doing that, then great! there’s no pressure at all because you work at your own pace. i wonder how you come across all that. and gotta buy those books i’ve been seeing on the shelves of my favorite bookstores. i am so behind in my reading. i’ve got books stacked at home which i have not opened or just gone over a few chapters. maybe i can do a little catch-up when i go on leave and am waiting for baby’s arrival.

10. save! – this i need to do straightaway. now i know that having a baby spells more expenses for the household. but this is a must to secure baby’s future. coupled with this, i guess is finding an additional sources of income or finding a higher-paying work. i don’t know how i could have gotten so lax with money in the last few years when all my life, i’ve been such a spendthrift. and the items i’ve listed above would likely cost me more money. oh well, time to realign priorities.