the nanny horror story

and so the nanny has gone, leaving the kid with me and alvin. the universe’s version of saying haha, i suppose.

let me backtrack. sometime in july, the nanny came to me, saying she had to leave in september because her father was sick and her mother needed help during harvest season. i asked if she would be coming back. she said yes because she wanted to finish her als (alternative learning system) classes (she goes every saturday), which will end in november. i said okay.

then a couple of weeks later, she came again, saying she wouldn’t have to leave because her brother was going to go and stay home from august to january. i said okay.

august came. a-ko stayed with us for two weeks because she had her cataract surgery, which meant she stayed home with roque and the nanny on weekdays. at around this time, we noticed the nanny being on the phone more often than usual, and we learned from a-ko that she apparently had a new suitor, someone she met through facebook.

now, while i’m not one to meddle in someone’s lovelife unless invited to, i would understandably be concerned if you were on the phone most of the day everyday, because then when would you have time to take care of my kid? so alvin spoke to her about it. not harshly, if i may objectively say so, it was all kind of casual, while she was helping him get dinner ready.

then she got mad at a-ko for supposedly tattling on her. which got me mad because how dare she think that a-ko would put her feelings above my son’s safety. and so i spoke to her about it. as nicely and as motherly as i could.

a week later she said she’s decided to go home. she would be leaving at the end of the month, a week away. i asked if it was for good. she said she didn’t know. after i pressed her for a more definite answer, she admitted that no, she would not be coming back. i said okay.

a day later, a sunday morning, she came from her room, sat behind the sofa where i sat watching tv, said she got a call the night before from her sister, who told her that their father had suddenly died, then promptly burst into tears.

she left the following afternoon with all her belongings, a full month’s salary and a little extra from us to help with the funeral expenses. we brought her to where her brother was supposed to pick her up so they could make the trip home together.

fast forward a week. the nanny’s cousin used to work for alvin’s brother’s family and so are friends with the other help at their family’s compound. when they texted her to send their condolences for her uncle’s death, she messaged back, ‘who died?!’

and the whole story started to unfold. the nanny, all sixteen years of her, eloped. i think i was more confused than anything. confused about the need to lie about her father dying when we had already agreed on her leaving in a week’s time. then i became angry. we treated her well during the time she stayed with us. she never went hungry, we were loose with day-offs, her workload was light. i even washed the little ingrate’s clothes, dammit.


so the last couple of weeks have been spent coping. i bring roque with me to work, alvin and i split the chores when we get home. it’s been really tiring, but kind of liberating too, to not have a stranger in our home, to not have to think of anybody else’s welfare apart from my family’s, to be able to do and say anything in my own home without worrying about somebody else seeing or hearing.

i’ve never been comfortable with getting help, and this whole drama has made me even more wary. so we’re going to try it this way for a while and see if we can manage. i’ll work from home when i can, and roque will still spend a couple of days a week at his grandma’s which will give alvin and i time to catch our breath.

wish us luck.


5 days to 1

the little boy is turning one in a week and with it comes a whole new set of fun challenges.

davao 08

his steps are more sure now, his sturdy legs constantly walking from room to room. upon reaching a low shelf, he would squat, fingers quick to explore whatever he could grasp, brows furrowed and mouth open in concentration. legs spread wide for balance, his stubby fingers would happily pry open and push shut cabinet doors over and over again.

he recently discovered several new decibel levels and is never shy about using them to get his way, which is to say all of the time. he would wake up in the middle of the night, grab his two long pillows and stand straight up in his crib, hollering to be brought to mommy and daddy’s bed. he would grab my finger and start tugging, wanting me to walk with him. when i dare not respond right away, he would grow impatient and start screaming like there was no tomorrow.

sometimes, a random toy or household item would fascinate him (the wooden laundry clips brought much joy) and he would stay still for a few minutes, intent on figuring out how it works while emitting soft, yodeling sounds.

he has learned to be firm when saying no, but has yet to master refinement. having had enough water to drink, he would brusquely push the cup away with an annoyed ‘heh!’. if i try to feed him while he still had a mouthful, he would rudely swat at the spoon i held, spraying rice and pieces of meat all over us both. regardless of whether he was just given a bath or not, food that didn’t quite reach his palate’s standard were unceremoniously spat out.

i can’t help but be fascinated by all this new activity and active decision-making i have a front row seat to. watching this tiny person function like a ‘real’ person feels surreal, like having a doll magically come to life. it seems impossible that this active boy was inside my tummy this time last year.

the mini tantrums that also seemed to have magically come from nowhere, however, i don’t like as much and leave me feeling frustrated. i’m still trying to figure out how to effectively handle the high-pitched screaming and flailing about on the floor, whose intensity is as unpredictable as its fix.

oh, and the second teething wave just ended. four baby teeth coming out at the same time, yup, that was fun.


the reupholstery project

alvin and i bought a couple of dining room chairs early this year. mainly because we realized we didn’t have regular-sized chairs and i was hugely pregnant, which made perching on the bar stools we were using as dining room chairs slightly difficult. we found some sturdy, folding ones on sale at s&r and grabbed them. they were very comfy.

unfortunately, they were beige.

i’ve been itching to reupholster them since day one but what with waddling, giving birth and taking care of a helpless baby, it was hard to find time to do it.

last night, because it was alvin’s birthday (really, his birthday had nothing to do with it), we finally hunkered down and transformed the icky beige seats into something more fun, and lucky you get to have a blow by blow. 😀


get a couple of chairs with drab-colored seat cushions.


unscrew the cushion from the frame.


find fabric you really like and cut it a few inches wider than your cushion on all sides. ours was canvas.


staple the fabric onto the back of the cushion. (we couldn’t find flat staple wires so we made do with cable staple wires and just pounded them flat, haha)


screw the cushion back on.


ta-daaa! instant new chairs!


before and after.

the calm before the storm







pregnancy report #8

once we began seriously preparing the baby’s things, it didn’t take long before it became apparent that even before he’s out of my tummy, the kid already owns more stuff than alvin and i do combined.

i was half-hoping we could just stash all the baby clothes and other whatnot into the remaining space in the cabinet we’ve been using to keep our towels and linens in, but the boxes and boxes filled with miniature things in the spare room beg to differ. there’s no denying it — the baby’s going to need his own cabinet.

so we began looking for one. we made the rounds of the furniture places — the home and furniture sections of various department stores, stand alone furniture stores in malls, secondhand shops, online furniture stores — and came up with nothing. the cabinets we saw were either too expensive, looked flimsy, or looked flimsy *and* were expensive.

we decided the best way to go was to have one custom-made.

now, we got this ivory-colored shelf  which we really love through a cashcashpinoy deal a few months back, it was made from recycled wood (another plus!) and we thought maybe we could get a quote for the cabinet from the seller. the company’s name was only wood but though we kept googling the name, we  couldn’t find a way to contact them directly so we thought that was pretty much the end of that.

shelf #1

ivory-colored shelf made from recycled wood

then one night alvin and i were driving along east service road in muntinlupa on our way home from somewhere and we drove right past only wood’s showroom! now if that wasn’t destiny, i don’t know what is!

they have such pretty, pretty wooden things but we fell hard for this cabinet.


love at first sight.

i was so in love with it i was ready to go find the nearest atm so i could buy the thing right then and there and carry it home with me if alvin, who is way less impulsive than i am, hadn’t stopped me. realistically, though oh-so-pretty i still dream about it up to now, the proportions of the cabinet didn’t really fit our needs.

so we ordered one that did and it arrived today!

roque's cabinet 01

whitewashed cabinet to be filled with all things baby!

roque's cabinet 02

i love the metal hinges and handles!

roque's cabinet 03a

we like it! 😀

of course it goes without saying that this cabinet is really mine and i’m only loaning it to the kid until he saves up enough money to buy his own. :p



only wood ecological wooden furniture

165 east service road, muntinlupa, alabang

jerome blin: 0917-595.9459 / 238.1134 /

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!

hello unit 422!

we decided we were going to paint stripes on our new living room wall, and so we googled diy tutorials, hustled a couple of quarts of free paint (thank you, leftover paint from a project from a year ago!), and spread some old newspapers on the parquet floor. how hard could it be, right? 🙂

painting 101


we officially declare you ‘the rustic focal wall’! :p


other images from our 3-day move.

stuff against walls

i am in love with these curtains.


being handy, my wonderful husband has learned since, can be really tiring.