year two


good morning!

people say that you only truly find out if you’re lucky in life after you get married. if that’s the case, then i am. 🙂

the herb garden project

some of you may remember our, um, slightly unsuccessful gardening attempt some time ago. well, now that we live in a space the sun’s rays actually reach, alvin and i decided that it was time for attempt number 2, and that attempt number 2 would be a window sill herb garden.

first, let me make it clear that this is alvin’s herb garden. each day, he goes to the window sill and inspects his row of herbs as soon as he wakes up. he makes sure he waters them before leaving for work and goes straight back to check on the herbs when he arrives home. he mutters darkly about the birds who peck at the leaves and plots revenge against them. i mainly just cheer him on from the bed while sleepily rubbing my eyes.

alvin's herb garden

alvin’s herb garden

the very first herb we got was a lanky dill seedling from one of the plant stalls in mine’s view park, and because it seemed a bit sad to get just one, we also bought a korean pepper seedling along with it, which had pretty, red peppers dangling from its stems.

the weekend after, we went to manila seedling bank along quezon avenue to get proper plant boxes and stock up on more young herb plants. alvin got all excited and researchy and meticulously picked some sweet basil and flat leaf parsley. we left with the new herbs, five clay pots, a sack of potting mix and a gardening trowel.

in the little over two weeks that the herb garden has been in existence, the plants did thrive under alvin’s careful care. the dill, in particular, has grown so much so fast it’s almost scary.

korean pepper, dill , flat leaf parsley, sweet basil

korean pepper, dill (with a new branch that wasn’t there when we bought it), flat leaf parsley, sweet basil

while alvin was at work last saturday morning, i wandered over to the window sill to have a look at how the plants are getting along. to my surprise, there was a tall weed growing right beside the korean pepper plant. it was almost as tall as the plant itself, and given the almost-obsessive attention he’s been showering the plants with, i was surprised that alvin had missed it.

korean pepper and potmate

korean pepper and potmate

just in case he was trying out some avant-garde gardening technique he neglected to mention to me, i decided to check with him first before yanking the thing out. i didn’t want to be responsible for the failure of some case study he might be in the middle of, after all. turned out, there wasn’t anything avant-garde or scientific about it.

me: may potmate na giant damo yung sili mo? (your pepper plant has a giant weed for a potmate?)

him: haha, akala ko mga wala lang yun, tapos lumalaki na sya. should i pull it out? baka kasi mag stunt ang growth nya e. (haha! i thought it was nothing, then it started growing. should i pull it out? it might stunt the pepper’s growth.)

me: hahaha! yes! it’s getting your pepper’s nutrients!

alvin: pull it nga, it can’t be too rooted naman.

me: got it out. you’re funny. haha!

change of address

in preparation for the arrival of the fetus currently residing in the general area of my tummy, alvin and i will be moving to a slightly bigger condominium unit next weekend. this will be my fifth move in six years.

up until six years ago, i’ve only remembered living in one house, the one we moved into before i turned one and where i grew up, became all teenagered and angsty, and eventually got over most of my life issues in. nobody in my immediate circle regularly changed houses and, growing up, i’ve always assumed that everyone picked a location, hunkered down and stayed there forever.

i’ve lived in four other houses since, each one a witness to a different stage in my life.

when i moved out of my childhood home and into a condo unit with a friend, it felt like a fresh start. it was a few months after arlie’s death and i desperately needed that fresh start.

i was doing something new, something rebellious, even, in this society where homes overflowed with the belongings and limbs of extended families; i was moving out! never mind that we were renting the unit from my sister for a fraction of its real rental cost, we felt like such adults being on our own.

i cried and questioned the universe a lot in that unit; it provided me the solitude i needed to freely grieve and move on and i emerged from it months after, changed but still whole.

the apartment i next moved into, still with a friend, was blue and airy and mirrored how i felt about my life at that point in time. i had just met alvin, was getting to know him, and everything felt light and bright, like i had left all the darkness and sadness behind. i lived in that apartment for two years.

then i moved in with alvin and the twins, and into the chaos of constancia, which was another fun couple of years. i’ve never lived with a boyfriend before and although there was the fear of over-exposure, moving in each other’s space made us grow closer and more accepting of the other.

early last year, i got married and moved into the condo unit where alvin and i live now. our first home. when we moved in last year we only had a handful of things with us, not even a sofa to our name. i remember it took a few days before the electricity kicked in and we spent our first night in our new space, which happened to be valentine’s, in the dark, feeling all giddy and newly married.

we’ve been really happy in our small home and have created wonderful memories of our first couple of years of marriage in it. i didn’t think we would need to move so soon, and the prospect of packing everything up and carting it all the way down the end of the hall is frankly stressing my pregnant brains out (especially since we own big, bulky, heavy adult appliances now), but it seems that every major new stage in my life obliges a change of residence.

so okay, i’ll happily exchange unit 404 with unit 422. after all, the universe hasn’t led me astray yet, and there will be new happy memories to fill the new unit with, along with baby pee and poop.

knocked up

well. it seems that i am pregnant.


alvin and i have been officially trying to get pregnant since march. after getting my period month after month and one false alarm, we were half resigned that it might not happen at all, at least not ‘naturally’.

i’ve been putting off going to see a doctor to have our aging reproductive systems checked out because, well, i’m me and i’m lazy about these things. (don’t follow my example, people.) thankfully, the universe cut me some slack just when i thought there was no escaping getting ‘worked-up’.

we took a home pregnancy test thursday morning, roughly a week after i was supposed to get my period. watching that second purple line grow more and more visible was like helplessly giving my life permission to change forever.

aside from the missed period and a very, very slight queasy feeling at the pit of my stomach though, i felt nothing different. no fatigue, nausea or food aversions that all pregnancy websites said would be there.

i felt so normal that i began to doubt the result of the home pregnancy test. how reliable can a lightweight piece of rectangular hard plastic be, after all?

then i started reading up on being pregnant and all the things that could go wrong and actually hoped the test *was* wrong. how can they call pregnancy wonderful and in the same breath talk about spina bifida, anencephaly, and other possible fetal development problems? seriously.

and here i thought all i needed to brace myself for was the actual birth, which has been giving me nightmares since they made us watch that video during biology class (wide shot of woman giving birth. cut to extreme close up of something abstract and strangely damp. giant thing suddenly barrels out of abstract thing and then you realize that what you were staring at was a f*cking vagina! yes, *that* video. i’m sure you’ve all seen a similar version in school at some point in your lives.).

we finally went to a doctor to have it confirmed and now, i have sheets of thermal paper with black blobs along with a box with two purple lines as proof that i have a little alvinjona swimming inside me.

babysitting pledge forms are available at the door.

alvin’s birthday motorino

gift giving is a bit different in the alvin and jona household. we do away with a lot of the traditional elements associated with gifts, like shiny wrappers and ribbons and mushy gift cards, instead, we allow our presents to shine in their natural setting, which meant christmas shoes and holiday graters handed over in their respective store boxes and bags.

we like this no-frills way of gift giving, it’s so much simpler than having to struggle with giant bows.

another thing we tend to not put much emphasis on is the actual event date. christmas is on december 25? well, let me give you your gift on the 5th! this way, you get to enjoy it earlier!

in the five years that alvin and i have known each other, i don’t think we’ve actually given each other a gift on the occasion date itself; we’d always get too excited about our gifts for each other and would wind up eagerly handing them over days before they should officially be handed over.

this year, knowing how alvin has always wanted to listen to his vinyl record collection but couldn’t because he didn’t have a turntable, i got him a motorino for his birthday, which is on september 18. i gave it to him last night, july 31.

no day but today, right? 😉

happy super advanced birthday!

alvin’s very own motorino!

he zoned out for a while.

i think he likes it!

now that all this gift giving business has been taken cared of, we can concentrate on the really important things on alvin’s actual birthday, such as eating cake like there’s no tomorrow. 🙂


you can get your own motorino here:

buns in the oven

soon, our home will be filled with the smell of baking bread because we just got ourselves a spanking new oven! (and by ourselves, i know *you* know i meant alvin.)

happy alvin and his oven!

it’s pretty and white and hangs out with its new friend, the black refrigerator.

all dressed up!

we also got ourselves a giant can of pik-nik! (and by ourselves, i know *you* know i meant me.) everybody goes home happy!

my very own giant can of pik-nik!

true or false

it’s bizarre, how i can want something and be scared of getting it at the same time; one minute, i desperately want it to be a yes, and the next, a no with all my might.

equally hoping for and against a certain outcome with bated breath.