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leerenah

Bella is 1

My baby Bella just turned 1 this month! How was it 1 year already?😩 The baby I wished for one last time, it felt just like yesterday when I said she is finally here. The sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the demands of having a newborn.. they really do passed by. The nights are long but the years are short, indeed.🥲

Nowadays I cannot seem to keep up with her! Walking, climbing, messing, tinkering with everything. She’s such a handful😫 But I’m at this stage again where I’m torn if I want her to stay as a baby (smiling, cooing, excited for her next milestones) or a bigger version (I cannot wait to see her as a schooler!) Oftentimes I feel melancholic that this babyhood is the last. Oh how I love and cherish this season of my life! Undoubtly having small kids is the hardest but I know I will yearn for it when the time comes.

My dear Bella, whatever you grow up to be, remember you are special, you are more than enough, and mostly, you are so loved! Happy birthday my darling Bella!😘 Mommy loves you like I love a dozen chocolate bars! (maybe even more😘)

Here’s Bella’s first 11 months 🫠

Boracay beachin’ (finally!)

After more than 2 years, we were thrilled to be travelling again via air!🥳 Though its just domestic travel, its the start of going back to normal, soon hopefully travelling the world again.🤞🏼

Our destination for this trip is the beach! We missed this place so much we could’ve gone here sooner, if not for the restrictions especially travelling with small kids.

We initially planned for a budget travel, since travelling for 6 persons for 4 days is no joke. We used our miles for the flights and booked hotel and transfers through Klook. At first I wanted to book a cheap hotel, but no beachfront property comes cheap. Thinking more about the kids, we finally settled for a beachfront resort with nice pools. We also tried newer and more expensive restos, so scrap the idea of budget travelling.😂 We’re on a holiday, and we’re here to enjoy!

Checking in (How was it over 2 years ago when 4 of us checked in for a flight? Now 1 person more🥰)
Jolo checking out the clouds. So behaved!
We had the coaster to ourselves! On the way to the jettyport
Onboard the pump boat, Jolo seriously thinking of jumping 😂
We’re in the island! Another transfer
Finally at the resort after multiple transfers 😅

Oh Boracay, you’re as beautiful as when I first laid eyes on you 15 years ago. How I missed your powder white sands and crystal waters. The kids had a blast, swimming all day at the beach and the resort’s 2 pools. It was Bella’s first beach experience, and Sophie and Jolo loved spending hours on the waters. Sophie even has her favorites here on the island, McDo located at the highway, and Jollibee, just beside the resort.

Bella loves her bed
Uh oh, who went straight to the pool?!
Sophie loves playing with sand
Poor Jolo, water was salty🥹
Water dad and babies🥰
Bella is a water baby too!
The boink fam 😍
Sleepy, Bella?
Sophie loves her cornrows
Ate and bunso
Jolo having the time of his life at the beach😍

We got more adventurous with food this time. We tried both local and international cuisines, Island Chicken Inasal (local roast chicken), Spicebird (peri-peri), Meze Wrap (kebab), Epic (Filipino food), Sea Breeze Cafe (buffet!), Aria (Italian), as well as desserts from Halomango (mango ice cream and shakes), Aria gelato, and Cafe del Sol cakes (Boracay cheesecake and tiramisu). Everything tasted amazing.

Best chicken inasal I’ve tasted💯 Island Chicken Inasal
Spicebird
Meze Wrap
Epic
Sea Breeze Cafe
Aria

Maybe the only worry I had with this trip would be travelling with a special kid. I was dreading the 1-hour flight and the multiple transfers, since Jolo hates waiting and might tantrum. But believe it or not, he was behaved all throughout! Its true they are not called special for no reason. He did not seem to enjoy it, but he was at his best behavior. I’m so proud of him!

We did not do any activities, aside from Sophie having her cornrows. We just wanted to enjoy the beach, and we sure did! Thank you Boracay for another core memories for the kids. It was well worth the long wait. Surely coming back to you again soon.

Bella and the sunset
The boink fam and the famous Boracay sunset

My first tattoo

I’m kinda embarrassed to say I had my first tattoo at 40 years old. It was in my bucketlist for years, but I was searching for the right design, and it did not materialize until now.

It was a simple one, but full of meaning for me. A happy and worry-free boy looking up at his red balloon, with no worries for the future. I know this boy. I have high hopes for him.

I would like my future self to look back at this season of my life where I struggled, searched answers to my questions, and how I overcame it. I would like to look at this grown boy in the future, with deep fondness, and together we say, we did it. We overcame your weaknesses. This tattoo symbolizes my unconditional love for this boy. I see past his imperfections and just love him the way he is.

I see you. And I love you. My first tattoo is you, my son.

Tattoo Nebula

Isabella’s Baptism

Our little Isabella was baptized at 5 months old! It was a triple celebration since March 19 is also my husband’s birthday and the anniversary of his parents (my in-laws). A lot of friends and relatives also came, so its some sort of reunion after 2 years into the pandemic.

God bless you Isabella! May His love and grace be with you forever and always.🙏

Photos by Brewed Photo for Kids and Parties

Thank you 2021, next

2021 for me, was filled with mixed emotions. Many happy events, some sad, happened to me this year.

Though we were still stuck at home for almost half the year, there’s a new home we’ve been going to since April. Its the new house of my inlaws in a posh community, it has a pool so my kids have been swimming almost all year long 😅

Mid year I decided I cannot let the government control my life nor my kids’ lives anymore. It has become more apparent that Jolo is having developmental delays and I somehow blame it on the lockdowns. The kids were stuck at home for a long time but Covid cases were not improving. I cannot let my child be a victim of other people’s incompetence. Kids’ mental health is very much important, too. Jolo is now currently undergoing intensive behavior therapy and SPED.

We’ve been going everywhere where kids are allowed for almost half a year now. We’ve been to the beach, zoos, farms, amusement parks, malls, play gyms.. the list goes on. We go out every week, making up for lost time. I believe going out as much strengthen their immunities, since Covid and its variants are not going away anytime soon.

But just when I thought I was starting to move forward all over again came my biggest trouble this year. My elderly father was ICU’d for 2 months due to Covid. I hit rock bottom with my finances and now in dire straits getting up from it.

The unfortunate events made me questioned God several times this year. Why my son, why my father, why I have people depending on me financially. But He has given me my biggest blessing this year, the birth of my third child Isabella. I know I lack in so many ways, but still, I was given something I asked for in such a short period of time. I feel undeserving.

Goodbye 2021! You are memorable and I am thankful for you. My wish for next year is simple, to just be healthy and to travel again. Always wishing, always hoping in 2022!

Sophie’s Christmas Piano Recital

My child Sophia, she amazes me in so many ways. Piano, ballet, voice and swimming lessons.. and she’s even doing good with her school works. Wow, I want to be just like her when I grow up 🤩

Here is Sophie’s 2nd recital video. She just started taking lessons April this year. Proud of you always Sophie!

Ode to Joy and Jingle Bells

Piano lessons by Online Music Lessons Philippines

Isabella❤️

Our little Isabella has arrived! Born on October 4, 2021 9:18AM via CS. Weighs 7.2lbs and 50in long. Delivered by Dra. Elsie Pascua and her team at SLMC-QC.

Thank you Dra. for helping me conceive and delivering my bunso, for holding my hand when I was scared at the operating table. It was a bittersweet moment since I had to undergo CS operation when baby decided last minute to change position and became transverse.

Our 3rd and last October baby, happy birthday Isabella! Thank you Lord!🙏

Baby out at 9:18AM
Our first family photo
Baby Sab and daddy
Happy birthday Isabella!🎈

Maternity Shoot

This could be my last pregnancy, and I’m thankful beyond words I get to have a 3rd child, something I only dreamed about a year ago. As much as I would like to have more babies, I am always reminded of the adeno pain, and how I went through so much to have another child again. Plus I am now 40 years old. I would like my uterus to retire for good.

In celebration of my last pregnancy and 40th birthday, I did my first and last maternity shoot. I may not have the celebration I wanted for a 40th birthday, but I am thankful, blessed to be spending 40 years of existence with the people I love and treasure the most. I look forward to many more healthy, long and fruitful years spent with my family. ❤️

Photos taken at Bundle of Joy Studio

What? Why?

You are my biggest heartbreak Jolo. When I rushed you to ER at just 4 days old, when you had seizures in Taiwan at 1 year old, and now, you are suspected of autism at barely 3 years old. 💔 So many other issues about you but these are the major ones.

WHAT do you want from me, Jolo??? WHY do you keep on testing me???

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