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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday ZD!!!

Dear ZD, when you get older, I hope you'll spend time to read this post. Hehe. Happy 1st birthday! I'm so amazed with how active you have become! I remember when your mama was still in labor and in the hospital bearing the pain of all the contractions and doing this all by herself, I know how happy she was to finally see you out for the first time. I remember we were still texting while she was in active labor lol!
That smile though, ZD! haha!
I didn't see you when you were newborn 'til you turned about 6-7 months but I was surprised you were so white when I finally met you. Haha! I hope you and Nate will continue to be great friends just like how good friends your papas are with each other.

Cutie patootie!!!
Thank you sa mga hinanda ng mama at papa mong pagkain nabusog kami! hahaha. Keep smiling. I pray that you will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and that through your parents and us, your ninongs and ninangs, you will know Christ even more.

Happy first birthday!!! God loves you more than we do. :)

MORE ZD PHOTOS:
:D

Gigil!

ZD and Nate

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Going North!!! Wooooh!

Next month will be our LGYC (Luzon Grace Youth Fellowship) and we are going NORTH!!! I'm so excited about this already. My next posts will definitely be about our experience during the fellowship. :) I'm excited for a few reasons:
Source: Google Images
1. Fellowship!!! I grew up attending fellowships (church gatherings). It's either a thanksgiving, children's fellowship, Women's (married women's) fellowship, Nationwide youth fellowship (even when I was still 9 or 10 I guess), even men's fellowships, any fellowships that we could attend, we'd go. Fellowships will always be exciting for me. I get to worship with other co-believers in the Lord from different places, I get to meet old and new friends, I meet our church pastors are workers and be blessed by their lives.

2. New lessons to learn. Preaching from the speakers and lecturers are really wonderful and we get so many new things and we are being reminded of our practical living as well as encouraged spiritually, to hear new things from a speak you don't hear giving a message very often is always exciting too.

3. The Venue! Ok, I cannot and will not deny this, the venue is always something I look forward to as well. This year, we're going to Baguio!!! woooh! It's going to be Nate's first time, my second and Dane's 3rd I believe! So that, even adds excitement to it. I can't almost take it off my head. haha.

There are many more reasons why I am so excited about this upcoming fellowship but these are the first 3 reasons why I almost daydream about this fellowship. Lol. I hope that Nate's colds will be gone by then, that way, he can also enjoy the place. We are getting his things ready and I am amazed as to how many I needed to bring just for him alone.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

6 Steps in Breaking a Baby's Fever

It's inevitable that babies easily get sick. It could be a common colds, cough, or fever. Nate himself, is not an excuse to this. There's not a month that he doesn't get sick. And it's really frustrating for mothers like me to watch our little ones struggle. I wish I can just have his sickness, but that's just not possible too. According to www.medicalnewstoday.com, the reason for babies/infants to easily get is is because:
"What happens at early age is that natural killer cells, like many other immune cells, do not complete their functional maturation until adulthood. During this time, we are left with an immature immune system that cannot protect us against infections, the reason why newborns and infants are more prone to infection."

Dane and I felt, since yesterday, that Nate's temp was hotter than usual but today, after we woke up, he was very hot. We're unsure of the cause but we're thinking it's either because of his colds or a new tooth. When he was still a few months old, I would start to panic but I was advised by my boss to just stay calm so that's what I do when Nate gets sick now. What I do when Nate has a fever are:

Dane and Nate looking like Naruto in their Kool Fevers. lol

1. Check his temperature. It's always a must for mothers to have a thermometer handy so we can check their temps as soon as possible when needed. A normal temperature is between 36 to 38 degrees Celsius (97 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Earlier, when I checked, Nate's temp went up to 39.4, I thought the temperature wasn't working properly, but when I redid the test, it was indeed 39.4. It's the hottest temperature he had so far.

2. Sponge with lukewarm water. The weather today could be another reason why he was so hot, summer's coming so that could've added to it. Using lukewarm water to cool them down don't just apply to babies, this is like the very first step we do even to adults and toddlers. So I handed Nate over to Dane and prepared a lukewarm water. Using lukewarm water has been a proven method to bring down a fever gradually.

3. Change his clothing. Extra layers of clothes may just trap the excess heat in his body so we wanted to make sure to use sleeveless or any lightweight fabrics to make him feel more comfortable. Our babies will most often sweat a few minutes after because of the heat in their body so it's important to change their clothes when they're already soaked with sweat.

4. Use Kool Fever. This is not necessary to do but for me, Kool Fever helps a lot in cooling Nate's temperature down. Kool Fever has absorbent gel that quickly releases the heat. For me, it's like a lukewarm clothe that's put in the forehead, the difference is, this once stays in place no matter how active our kids are.

5. More and more fluid. Fever is a headache for mothers, Dehydration is another problem. I made sure to breastfeed Nate more often and give him water as well. That way, they'll have enough fluids in their body. It’s common for babies to get dehydrated. They are sensitive to fluid loss because they’re small. Some of the reasons for dehydration is fever and overheating.

6. Giving him acetaminophen/paracetamol. Nate's pedia advised us to give him paracetamol if his temperature is too high. I believe it doesn't matter what brand we use but what we have is Tempra and that's what we always give him when he has a fever.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Greatest Disadvantage of Working at Home

While I was doing my tasks at work a few minutes ago, I was surprised to see that my internet connection's gone. I am left with no choice but to wait. Unfortunately, loading a broadband stick here in our area won't work since we don't have a good cellular signal here as well.

This, for me is the greatest disadvantage of working at home. This is something that you don't have control over and what's worse is you can't do anything. You're stuck, waiting. Or, you call your ISP most often don't resolve your issue or will just tell you something's wrong with the connection in your area.
Image source: ASEAN DNA
Back when I was working office based, down-times due to power outage or other technical related issues are a happiness to us but when you work at home, down-times are one of my frustrations. Our internet connection here in the area is unsatisfactory. We even had a nightmare with the ISP before. A few weeks after that, the connection started working fine until this week where it's just very intermittent.

I wish our country will have a better internet connection. According ASEAN DNA (Facebook), at 3.6 megabytes per second (Mbps), the country lags behind Laos (4.0 Mbps), Indonesia (4.1 Mbps), Myanmar and Brunei (4.9 Mbps), Malaysia (5.5 Mbps) and Cambodia (5.7 Mbps). That's too far out compared to the average internet speed for the ASEAN region which is 12.4 Mbps (our 4x faster than our current internet speed). Wish ko lang, umangat naman kahit papano.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Visit

Our church mates/friends who also have a baby invited us to take our little ones to Wildlife and we've been planning for a few weeks already but it always gets cancelled. We were finally able to go there last Monday, March 9th. Before, we would only have double dates when we go outside, now that we have kids, I don't know what it's called anymore but it's a "2-family date" of some sort. Lol.

The view of the lake from where we stayed
We had a really great time, we brought our baons and arrived at around 10:30 AM. It was a very busy Monday, after 3 years of working at home, I forgot/never realized we were going with the rush hour. Although it wasn't traffic in Commonwealth Avenue, our friends had a hard time looking for a vehicle to ride since there were too many passengers. It was our babies' first time to be in Wildlife and I think they had fun as well. We stayed near the lake and settled with our mats/blankets and food ready. Lying down under the tree and just staying there, chatting is the best part. We all needed that fresh air and cool breeze - we were couples who turned into first time parents and we can relate to each others' challenges and joys raising our own little ones.

We all had fun. :) I think it's safe to say that the babies enjoyed it! 
It's just nice to have that break every once in a while, do something different, forget about our problems and just do simple things that's not part of our routines. Honestly, I forced myself not to think about the laundry and our messy room! I wanted to just take that moment to relax and rest. Nate and ZD (a month and a half older than Nate) loved the place too, they played, watched nursery rhymes and ate, they weren't fussy at all (except when they became sleepy). I think it's because of the place too.
Before leaving the place, we decided to take some pics. Nate doesn't look happy anymore. lol.
That moment brought me back to my childhood memories in our small farm, it was almost the same. I wish I could go back, I definitely miss the times when I was a little kid, didn't have a job, only worried about what to eat. Things are just so different when you have a family. Not that I regret having a family of my own now, not at all. It's just nice to be reminded of our childhood memories. It was a great place, it made all of us really sleepy, some of us even fell asleep. hehe.

Nate and Papa 
We didn't realize it was already 3:30 pm, we just laid back there and rested really. It was great and I wanted to do it again. Before leaving, we took ZD and Nate to the eagles and I can say they liked what they're seeing. It was a fun, simple and cost-efficient picnic. :)

Regarding Wildlife, we can see they're having some renovations going on and it's good that they're trying to improve their facilities. I would always prefer going to QC Circle than to wildlife because I think QC Circle is cleaner but Circle becomes really very crowded sometimes and we've been there several times already so we decided to go to Wildlife instead. Wildlife is always quieter and more serene. I hope to see more improvements when we go back, we're definitely taking our kids back there again.

"no girls allowed" photo :)
Wildlife is a place for photo shoots, I always see many photographers, amateur and pros going there to do a shoot. It's also a place for little kids where they can enjoy the zoo, we haven't really visited all the animals in there, we were already tired and just wanted to go home and rest so we only watched the birds. It's also a place for couples - parks are one of couples' dating place anyway, it's one of the places where couples can spend quality time together and most of all, it's a place for family and friends. It's a place that you can go even when on a very tight budget. The entrance fee per person is just below Php 15 and you can already stay all you want. A place doesn't need to be extravagant in order to spend quality time with love ones. What's important is you've enjoyed your bonding time with whoever you go out with. :)

MORE PHOTOS:
Sanchez family 
Matugas family
This little kitten loves Wildlife too :)
ZD and Nate watching the eagles :)

Nate, are you sleepy? ;)



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FORTUNE COOKIE!!!!

Last Wednesday, March 4, 2015, we were able to attend our weekly prayer meeting in the church as well as celebrate with a friend/church mate on her 40th birthday. We had fun and I was happy to be able to attend. We're unfortunately not regular attendees of the prayer meeting due to the conflict it has with my job. Anyway, while there, my friend, Melody handed me this fortune cookie which she got from work and told me to open it. This may just be a coincidence but this is what I got:
Yup, this cookie is really for me. 
Very true to me. Although I kind of understand them as I grew older but all these realizations of their sacrifices just came to me when I became a mother myself. A few months back, I was always thanking my mother and father when I get the chance to talk to them on the phone for being so good to us and I apologized to my mother for everything. I told her, "now I understand how difficult it is to be a mother." Some of the things I realized when I became a mother were:

1. How great parents' love is. I knew my parents love me, I knew that even before I even married but when I became a mother to Nate, I think that's the only time I realized how great their love was for me. They might be so happy during the time I was born. They might also be staring at me while I sleep and fill me with kisses to show me how much they love me. They may have cried for joy when I first stared and smiled at them. God's love is seen in how our parents love us.

2. How parents' sacrifice for their kids. The sleepless nights, the emergency wake up call to change my diaper,the urge to stay awake just comfort me from a very bad dream, not being able to go somewhere because they had to take care of me, work hard in order for us to live, these are just a very few sacrifices our parents make. Taking care of Nate was such a challenge that every time I feel so tired, I remember what my parents felt when I was still little.

3. How "wonderful" parents are. Wonderful may not be the right term for them, they may be a lot better than that. It's just amazing, I can't even put it into words. Sometimes, we dream about Nate becoming successful in his career path someday and being useful in the ministry and we'd find ourselves smiling just imagining what he will become. I'm pretty sure my parents did that when we were little too. Tuloy naiisip ko, sana naging proud sila sakin ngayon. I know I appreciated them before but now that I have a child, it's more than an appreciation, it's an admiration and thanksgiving and adoration for all the hard work and the love they showed us. Tuloy namimiss ko sila lalo.

I know they miss me and I miss them too, I always miss the time that me and my siblings were little and would race to get our father's arm for pillow. The times when we'd all have devotion together when we were little kids, the times we'd all go to the farm to cut the grasses on the plants or harvest coconuts together, everything simple that we do together, I miss them all. Our lives were simple, we were poor, we didn't have enough money but we have our parents, especially my father who works so hard for us.

So as much as possible, as long as they're still alive, I will pray for them and will do my best to be able to visit them or be with them. Our parents are one of the greatest blessings we have in this world.
We should do our best to make them feel that we appreciate them and all their efforts for us. No one can tell 'til when we can be with them. It's time we pay them back the appreciation they deserve.

What realizations did you have when you were a new parent? Did you appreciate your parents more after you became one? Share your thoughts. 



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nate's 10th Month Update

Well, what can I say? This boy is growing so fast and he amazes us everyday with things he's capable of doing. It's funny how having a baby changes everything in life from our perspective to our plans and goals. Nate is now 10 months old (parang ang bilis na parang ang bagal!). I am writing this while he's sleeping quietly beside me. Having him with us gives Dane and I mixed emotions. Ewan ko lang. It's been such a crazy roller coaster ride for our family.

This kiddo won't give me a good shot today, he wasn't in the mood. haha. This is the best I could get. 
Here are Nate's developmental milestones: 
-Has 4 teeth! (yaaay!!!)
-Attempts to stand without support and can do it in a few seconds.
-Was sick with colds, fever and cough the past few weeks which caused his weight to drop at 8.1 kgs. Thank God he's all well and is back to 8.4 kgs.
-Eats rice, chicken, cupcakes and fruits.
-Wants attention and is very mobile - sits, crawls, tries to walk, jump and all other movements.
-Says "mama", finally! I've been waiting for so long! lol. Before, it was just "papa", "dada", "baba", "blee", "leh", and "eeeee".
-Has his own "alone time" where he just sits in the corner and do his own "thing".
-Likes to listen when we sing to him (he's like so amazed or something).
-Has clear signs of separation anxiety. Cries when left in the room/bed, always wants to be with mama, became aloof and wouldn't want to go to other people most of the time (it's OK, I know he has to undergo this stage and we have to do our part to assure him that we're just here and there's nothing to be afraid of. It's just quite challenging to do!).
-Holds on to whatever he can to help him cruise around the house.
-Loves throwing things sooo much (nakakaasar talaga minsan! haha). But according to what I read, babies do it not because they're trying to drive their parents mad -- taking action and watching its immediate effects actually help her learn.
-Able to follow very simple commands like, "come here" and "give it to mama/papa".
-Pulls his clothes when fussy, mad or uneasy.
-Room is full of the sounds of babbling, crying and baby talk.



"A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men."
MARTIN FRAQUHAR TUPPER

Monday, March 2, 2015

36th CLAG Anniversary and CYEA Metrowide Fellowship

Yesterday, March 1, 2015, the Central Luzon Association of Grace Churchs (CLAG) celebrated its 36th anniversary. Members of the Grace Gospel Churches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces came to have fellowship together. This year's anniversary was held at Taguig City University in Taguig, Metro Manila. CLAG anniversary is always something we look forward to every year. For me, it's one of the annual gatherings I want to be able to attend to always. Not only will we be able to have fellowship and unified worship but it's great to see your co-believers from different church and have a small talk and catching up.


36th CLAG Anniv Attendees (photo grabbed from Ethil Estopia)
This year's CLAG anniversary was attended by more than 500 members which consists of Pastors, elders and lay leaders, bible women, bible students and church members. That count doesn't include children who had their own worship service conducted by selected Sunday School teachers. Attendees come from different churches, to name some: Dasmariñas, Cavite Church, Bacoor Church, Parañaque Church, Pasig Church, Taguig Church, Balagtas, Bulacan Church, Litex, QC Church, Golden Shower, QC Church (our church), Caloocan Church, Baesa, QC church, Montalban (Rizal), Valenzuela Church and many more (sorry if I forgot to mention a specific church, there's just too many of them! :D).


Worship Service (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Everyone was welcomed by the CLAG supervising minister, Ptr. Buddy Nabus wherein he also recognized each churches that were able to attend. The worship service was led by Ptr. James Bermejo and everyone sang praises to God through hymns and songs.
Special Number for Message from Parañaque Church  (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
We were encouraged by God's word through Ptr. Boni Arguelles to "Go the Extra Mile". In his message, he reminded us to not underestimate what small beginnings can do. Everything big always starts from small beginnings - a well known company,  a famous school, even a church with so many members - all start from humble beginnings. CLAG itself, started from a very small beginning through Ptr. and Mrs. Gerson Bermejo and by God's grace alone, 36 years after it has become a growing church organization.
Special Number for Offering from Taguig Church (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Another reminder we received from Ptr. Arguelles' message was to leave something BIG for our little ones. That we should do our very best not for ourselves but for the next generation. We were asked a very challenging question: "itong ginagawa ko ngayon, ito lang ba ang kaya kong ipamana sa mga anak ko?". We, as adults are always what the little ones look up to and we should do our best to leave a legacy to our little ones for the glory of God alone. These new generation will follow what our example is. (Thank you Ptr. for the very moving message). I hope that all of us will continue to do our best for our future generation.
Ptr. Boni Arguelles speaks about "Going the Extra Mile for the Ministry"
After the worship service, we had fellowship lunch. It's always been a tradition for churches to bring their potluck food for lunch. Fellowship lunch is also a great time for everyone to meet and greet each other. It's always great to be able to fellowship with your co-believers in the Lord.

CYEA METROWIDE FELLOWSHIP
After lunch, we all prepared for the Creator's Youth Encouragers in Action (CYEA) Metrowide Fellowship. CYEA is the youth organization for Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The event's speaker was Ptr. Calvin Ralph Fermantes where he talked about the "Brilliant Blaze of Talents". Ptr. Fermantes reminded us that talents are given to everyone but "gifts" are only to those who are believers. We were also challenged to us our God-given gifts to nothing else but the glory of God.
Preaching contestants from different clusters (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Teaching contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Trio contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
The fellowship was about "God'given talents", and to prepare us for the upcoming Luzon Grace Youth Conference (LGYC) in Baguio, young people from each Clusters showed us their talents for the glory of God. It was a contest and the winner will represent CYEA for LGYC this coming April 2-5, 2015 that will be held in Baguio City (I am so excited for this, hahaha! Who isn't anyway?!).


Solo Contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Duet Contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Guitar Contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
Piano/Keyboard Contestants (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)
There were solo, duet, trio, guitar instrumental, piano instrument, teaching and preaching contests. As one of the audiences, I can't help but admire these young people's talents and I'm glad that they are using it to honor God. I pray that they will continue to use these talents for God alone.

The winners who will represent the upcoming LGYC 2015 are:

                                                  1. Solo - Cluster 2 (photo by Norbie Joy)

                                                  2. Duet - Cluster 2 (photo by Norbie Joy)

                                                  3. Trio - Cluster 2 (photo by Norbie Joy)

4. Preaching - Cluster 2 (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)

5. Teaching - Cluster 1 (photo by Norbie Joy)

6. Guitar Instrumental - Cluster 1 (photo by Norbie Joy)

7. Piano Instrumental - Cluster 3 (photo grabbed from The 4:12 Grace Youth)

I know most of them but not all so I chose not to name them anymore! Haha. And I hope my list of winners are correct. If there are any mistakes, don't hesitate to let me know and I'll update my list right away. :)


CYEA officers with Ptr. Vincent Quiñones (photo grabbed from Ethil Estopia)
Lastly, on February 28, 2015, Saturday. 2 family members of Pasig Grace Gospel Church of Christ were affected by the fire in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig. In Pasig City, GMA report said 500 houses were destroyed in a fire at a residential area at Bolante 2 in Barangay Pinagbuhatan. The fire reached the general alarm but was put out at 1:25 p.m. Sketchy initial reports indicated the fire started at about 9 a.m. and spread quickly, partly due to strong winds. Firefighters could not immediately get to the area due to the narrow roads there. Also, other firefighters in Metro Manila were busy fighting another fire in Quezon City.For their part, residents helped fight the fire. A Philippine Air Force helicopter helped douse water on the residential area.
Screenshot of a post from Ate Remy
Individuals and churches gave their financial help to the affected families. What's the most wonderful part in this situation? They were still there during the CLAG anniversary to fellowship with us. I saw the Arcangel siblings and honestly, they don't look like they lost their homes. I am so moved by them. Being able to look at a positive side and still be able to worship God in spite of everything that happened? That's something. And I hope that many were encouraged by their lives as well. Ate Merly even told me, "blessed pa din" when I had the chance to talk to her. I hope they'll be able to get back on their feet right away - by God's help, I know they can.


See you next CLAG Anniversary and CYEA Fellowship! :) God bless us all! 

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