Life Journal

Good riddance 2020!

I cannot believe that I’m now writing my annual yearend post. How was it 1 year already?? I mostly just stayed at home and before I know it, its been a year!😂

And also how it was so different from last year, when I travelled almost every month, not saving for the rainy days. And the rainy days did come, and I am left dead broke for many years to come.*sniff

Anyways, it was January this year when we had the biggest scare of our lives in Taiwan. It now appears as a vague memory and I pray I won’t be experiencing that to any of my kids ever again. We had Jolo seen by a Neuro when we got back.

I was glad we did that Sapporo trip in February. The kids had fun with snow everywhere. I miss travelling the most and it was a good last memory of travel for now. Who knows when we can travel as family again?

By March, Jolo had a series of Neuro tests. Also on a different occasion he was diagnosed with AGE, and had diarrhea for 10 days. It was a bad experience at St. Lukes ER for kinda discriminating us since we just got back from Japan that time. Before the lockdown hubby and I got to watch the musical play Matilda, and Sophie had her ballet recital pictorial, which sadly, was postponed indefinitely.

March, April, May, June were pretty much uneventful. Those were the ECQ days and all I remembered were food deliveries, swimming of kids, buying my first few plants.

By June I came off Visanne (yes!) to try conceiving again. The adeno pain came back almost as immediately🙄 Mid June I started feeling THE neck pain and THE migraines, which went on for the next 3 months or so.

July, August, September were all about my neck pain and all the physical therapies I went through for relief. There were nights when the pain was so bad, I looked at my kids and thought about not being able to wake up. Those were the worst nights.

Sophie started with her online classes by August. Honestly I feel sad for her with this setup, but this makes our lives more convenient imho. She can wake up late since her classes are just on the next room. Schoolworks are light and not too strict, plus she’s somehow safe from catching the virus.

Ciao passed on September. It was a heartbreaking moment since we had to euthanize him. Play in paradise Ciao!

My adeno and neck pain were the worst in October. I even wrote a letter saying goodbye to my uterus! But I want to remember this as a happy month. The kids celebrated their 2nd and 7th birthdays, and we had small celebrations with the rest of the family. Jolo also started his speech and occupational therapies this month.

Come November I became a plant seller! The quarantine months I sold almost anything to my neighbors- masks, thermal scanners, face shields, etc. I even sold a lot of used stuff online. I collected a lot of plants over the quarantine so I thought maybe I could sell some of them. I also found a good supplier of cactuses and succulents. Prickles Manila was then born!

November and December were pretty much all about Prickles Manila and the 2 plant bazaars I joined. I remembered endless days of repotting, and procuring supplies.

How was it the year was short but the days were dragging? This year was so bad for me financially, but we are all fine and thriving. Kids and oldies are in good health. I somehow got through my herniated disc, the cause of my neck pain and headaches. My adeno pain, on the other hand, I know I will win over it. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I maybe crawling on my knees, but I’m not going to surrender.

What a year it has been! Thank you 2020 for the challenges and life lessons. 2021, we are hopeful! 🥂

My October kids

My kids were both born on October, so this has been my favorite month since, next to December. Though I get sad as another year passes, I look forward to the kids’ birthdays every year. I watch them grow right before my eyes, and as hard and painstaking sometimes tending to them, I sincerely would like to have another one, another Sophie or another Jolo to love and care for and watch him or her grow.

Anyways, Sophie turned 7 this year! It felt like yesterday when I was crying and complaining of having a newborn, breastfeeding day and night. But it really did passed, and 7 years felt like a wind whizzed by. Sophie has grown into a beautiful and obedient kid. She is smart, charming, funny and caring to her brother. Though she has her mood sometimes, I couldn’t ask for a better firstborn than her.

And Jolo turned 2, too! Jolo is our sunshine. He is a ball of energy! He goes everywhere, climbs everywhere, tinkers with everything. Though he cannot talk yet, he has his own gestures, and is already forming his personality. Boy, he is such a sweet baby. He gives me sloppy kisses when its my turn to take care of him.

We would have celebrated the kids birthdays grandly this year, had it not been for Covid. I made sure we still celebrate though simple, the days they were born are always celebrating for. As in every year, I also had them photoshot in a studio.

I’m always nostalgic when their birthdays come, but really, its just me getting all sentimental. I’m always grateful for these little beings in my life. Happiest of birthdays to my little rascals sunshines! You both are my favorites in the world! 👫🏻

Some of my favorite shots from the kids’ prebirthday shoot, and snippets of their birthdays.

Prebirthday shoot
Prebirthday shoot
Jolo is 2!
Sophia turns 7!

Prebirthday shoot done at The Concept Room

Caricatures by Artist Josh Lepasana

Ode to Ciao

You were once a smart handsome young one

How I love your fluffy fur, your thoughtful eyes

You were the most loyal trusted friend

You fill our home with warmth and fond


Other people and dogs alike were impressed

By how good looking you can get

You always stand proud, run free

We received tenfold your unrelenting love


But all the good things, they do not last

You got older, slower, weaker

Your legs failed to run and stand like before

It must be painful, said your cries on the wee hours


You have done your part now its time to rest

Let me take care of you til the very end

Its difficult to accept you are gone soon

I miss you earnestly, for now and hereafter


But how do I say my last farewell?

Flashbacks, they came flooding in

As I touched your face one final time

It gave me comfort, peace to my heart –

you are home at last


Thank you Ciao

Lets meet each other again in happier times ❤️

Just another sadder news

I turned another year older few weeks ago, and as much as I would like to post something about the good things happening despite the world’s bad situation, I simply could not.

I’m currently in the middle of hate affair with my body. Over the last 2 months I’ve been suffering from intense neck pain and neverending headaches. I’ve done 11 sessions of physical therapy, even had a consult with a neurologist. Finally went to a different ortho and had an XRAY and MRI. The result was I have cervical herniated disc. I didn’t know if I should be more worried. But at least now I have an answer.

PLUS the 7cm adenomyoma just turned 8cm in just 2 months. I have a high pain threshold, but the pain! Pain is so intense, it gets worse and worse as months and years go by. Its making my life miserable. 😭

My OB was skeptic about me trying to get pregnant again. I’d be on my fertility pills in the next few days. Lets just say, I want to try for the last time, before I say adios to my uterus.

I’d be doing PT again for my herniated disc, I’m pretty skeptic too about the fertility pills and TTC, but who knows. Nothing is impossible.

Oh God! I’m not even 40 years old! If there’s a painful realization over my diseases is that I should have kept myself healthy, or at least active, during my younger years. OB is also worried about my kidneys, having taken painkillers constantly for more than 4 years now.

As for the adenomyoma, I should have known I will get this disease too, since my mother had it and also had a hysterectomy in her early 40s. I should have made babies when I was a lot younger and healthier, and now I’m racing against time.

When all alse fails, just in case I forget 🙏

God when I lose hope, help me remember that your love is greater than my disappointments, and your plans for me are better than my dreams.

Plantita I

Since the start of the community quarantine, I lost a day job. I still go to the office every now and then, but most of the time I’m just home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bored! With 2 kids hanging around there’s no time to be bored how I wish!

They say during the quarantine you become either two things, a cook or baker, or a plant lover. I think I became a plant lover, plantita, plantmama, whatever way you call it. I’m so used to taking care of another being, I guess, I added the plants to care for, and check everyday.

The plants are so beautiful! I did not even give a fig about them before, but looking at them now make me feel so good. I feel happy when I see another new leaf, or when a flower blooms. Plus they make the house more lively, more vibrant, you know?

Showing off the indoor plants I collected so far. Hoping for more to come soon! Plus did I say that most of these are great air purifiers? 🌿

Fiddle leaf fig
Snake and Peace lily
Selloum and Janet Craig
Money tree
Calathea Lutea
Cactuses and Jade
These Caladiums suddenly grew and multiplied in the yard!

I lost a stray cat today

I remember him as an elusive kitten outside the gate waiting for food. Whenever I went out every so often to give him and the rest of the strays some leftovers, he has never left since. He grew as a handsome orange cat. He was Ciao’s favorite.

Over time he got into fights with another male cat. He has since became skinny and injured. I saw him last night lying on the door mat having a hard time breathing. I knew very well his condition, cats who breathe like that won’t make it long. I was right, he was found dead today.

Who are you saving, dear cat? Cats and other animals one feed and care for are most likely saving their owners from harm, they get sick and die first. So thank you, orange cat. Play happily at the rainbow bridge.

What was said today

I just kept in my heart 🔐

Just another sad news

My heart sank when I learned that my adenomyoma grew to 7cm over the past year. It was such a devastating news for an adeno sufferer like me. Wishing that Visanne helped it subside was false hope. My adeno is so active that it blew to almost double its size in a matter of months. OB said I can be a candidate for hysterectomy. It felt so tempting.

How I dreamt of pain-free days for the rest of my life! But half of my heart, there’s a tiny voice that says to ask for a child one last time. Can a 7cm mass conceive a child? If it can, what are the odds that the child and I will be safe and make it through?

So many questions, predominantly

How??? Why???

I know deep in my heart I will still try. Oh what I would give to have my youth back.

ECQ Random Unorganized Thoughts

ECQ Day 54

Listing these last minute happenings before the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ, some wistfulness and gratefulness, some wishes and regrets.

I was able to go to SM Makati’s Prestige sale and got the baby stuff I needed, particularly Jolo’s feeding bottles

Jolo had a haircut and the kids were able to play in a play area for the last time this year

Husband and I were able to watch Matilda the musical few days before they cancelled the rest of the shows

Dined in on our favorite Royce Tea a day before the lockdown

We were able to celebrate my sister’s birthday together. We just had food delivery but we were together eating

Had Sophie’s ballet pictorial done

We were able to finish all of Jolo’s lab tests, EEG, MRI and even went to the ER when Jolo had Acute Gastroenteritis

Was able to go to Sapporo, Japan and came back healthy including the kids

Had a chiro session at Karada

I accomplished these and more few days before the lockdown. I’m thankful they happened, and wish more than ever that things would go back to normal soon. 🙏

I miss mundane things like malling and eating in our favorite restos ☹️

I even miss Sophie going to toy stores and bookstores every week or so, buying stuff I allow her to buy while she takes photos of the stuff she likes but cannot buy

I miss traveling the most! It was so hard to believe that all the tourist places in Europe we went to June last year were all empty, even every theme parks around the world!

On the other hand, I gained a lot of insights during the lockdown.

I realized more than ever the value of life, and how it can be taken away instantly even if you work hard to have a good one. How health and money are the most important during a crisis. You need money to be healthy. Sad reality.

I know our government is doing their best, its just sad that we are not prepared and do not have emergency funds when a crisis strikes. Lesson learned, save for the rainy days. Sadly we cannot rely for help all the time.

Family wise, I had a lot of quality time with the kids! It can get tiring and annoying most of the time, but we do a lot of activities that I know we won’t be doing anymore in a couple of years. Swimming, watering the plants, blowing bubbles.. the list goes on! I’m always thankful to have a family of my own, esp. now more than ever.

I’m thankful my family is well fed during this difficult time, I may have gained a few pounds okay, a lot 😂 but I’m not complaining at all.

I know I’m eating a lot during the lockdown, but I’m managing a bit of self care. I did zumba the first half, and I’m trying to do a plank every now and then. I also bought a personal blender so I can have fresh juices. I do scrub every other day for good skin, and added collagen, apart from multivitamins and Vit. C, to my diet.

I have always wanted to have a mango farm since I was younger, and now I really want it to become a reality! Mango farm, veggie farm, poultry, maybe a nice vacation house in the middle. It will be self- sustaining! I will work harder to make this happen for sure.

I have more time for Netflix. Taking care of 2 kids takes a toll on me but somehow I’m trying to at least watch an episode daily. Very slowly keeping up with the current dramas.

Maybe if there’s one thing that gives me a pang in the midst of this pandemic is that, I am not in the frontline helping others fight the disease. I have turned my back in clinical field more than 10 years ago, but to this day, my heart would always be a nurse’s heart. Never did I think a pandemic would happen in my lifetime. My heart goes out to those who are sick, those who lost their loved ones because of the disease. In return, I’m grateful to be beside my family, hugging my kids and worrying less.

Though I’m not in the frontline helping fight the disease, I have my own way of helping. I donated to several organizations and hospitals. We also gave several relief goods to the frontliners of our neighborhood.

How I wish the pandemic did not happen! Don’t we all. I would have enrolled Jolo to Gymboree. I would have seen Sophie perform on her school’s Family Day. We would have gone on a vacation to Nagoya during the holy week break. Sophie’s ballet recital would not be moved. I would not have cancelled our local family trip to Dumaguete. So many would have beens!

Its sad to say even after all these is over, maybe, just maybe, I won’t be patronizing any China products or travels maybe I can exclude one Chinese person that I admire 😅. The virus that came from them brought so much downfall to mankind. Thousands among thousands killed. Economies collapsed. I read somewhere it single-handedly tops all the other terrorism acts combined. I hate to say this but what goes around, comes around. Karma is real.

Since the lockdown, Sophie has been doing her online classes, and accomplishing her homeworks. It has been tedious, I know its just one homework or activity per subject, and 4 hours of online classes per week, but I feel like its such a chore. I do not know how homeschooling parents do it.

Now the DepEd just announced that school year will start by August 24. Of course, who knows if the virus will be gone by that time, so I need to prepare mentally, for homeschooling and online classes. I need buckets of patience too.

After all these is over, how do we go about to the way we were before? This virus changed our lifestyle, our perception of health, money. Health is everything! How we are now so conscious about cleanliness and sanitizing. Maybe we will have no more social lives from then on. Family is our basic social need. How healthcare workers are the most valued profession, underrated most of the time. How the future and now of education is online. And travelling would be unlike they were before.

Amidst all the negativities around the world and anxieties for the future, I’m hopeful, I’m thankful and content. I am with my family, healthy and sustained. Thats what really matters for now.

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