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 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 / only_wood@yahoo.com

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.

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: https://satchmi.com/