Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dreaming of London

Right now, the OK! International Conference is taking place at OK! magazine's headquarters at Northern & Shell in London. Northern & Shell owns OK! plus other magazines and newspapers. That huge blue building along the River Thames houses the entire publishing empire. It's impressive to me especially because Summit Media, where I work, has about 20 titles and the entire company occupies just two floors. 

Anyway, I'm obviously missing all the action since I'm on maternity leave. I really really really wanted to go! The owner of the giant media company sent me an email a few months ago congratulating me and my staff for a job well done. He also wanted me to give a presentation on how we make the Philippine edition because he thinks it's just so darn good! I nearly died of happiness! But... Vito first!

I sent managing editor Lana instead. She'll do a fabulous job--I have the best staff!--and will do me proud. Oh, I'm such a mommy to my staff really. 

Well, work aside, I also wanted to go to London again for personal reasons. Vince and I honeymooned in London two years ago and I've been wanting to go back since.

Here's the plan: I will have a proper English breakfast then go museum hopping in the mornings, pop in the shops on Oxford Street in the afternoons, and watch theater in the evenings. West End is the main reason I want to go back really (oh, and the National Gallery, of course!). The musicals and plays are electrifying! Plus, on our last trip there, Vince and I found out how to buy theater tickets for cheap. Very good seats, too! Oh, every night should be spent in the theater! I also want to spend a few days exploring the English countryside. I'll take the train out of the city... and maybe go straight to Scotland and see the Scottish Highlands, too!

Well, maybe next year then. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dresses galore!

Okay, so now that I'm back to my pre-preggy body (except for my jiggly belly and skin discolorations, yuck), I now have the online shopping itch... and I seriously need to scratch the credit card it. Regular readers know I love online shopping, the anticipation and--finally!--the delivery. I love ripping apart the plastic or stabbing at packages with a box cutter and then finally loving my new shoes/dresses/books/gadgets! It's much better than hours walking in the mall really. For lazy me, at least.

Now, thanks to an ad on Perez Hilton, I discovered ModCloth. The dresses there are to die for! Very Mad Men (anyone watching the current season? This show just gets better and better!). And since I know my readers are super stylish women, please help me choose from the following adorable dresses:
Soda Fountain (Ginger)

Soda Fountain (Grape)

Deuce Coupe Darling

Hepcat (Lemon Cream)

Hepcat (Black Licorice)
Well Red

Temporary Secretary (Summer)

Avocado Orchard

Periwinkle Prance
Red-y or Not

Black by Popular Demand
I only have budget for 4 dresses. Well, for maybe 2 or 3 really since I also still want a bag and a ring as a breezing-through-labor reward. So help me choose my new dresses please!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vito on my phone

I finally learned how to transfer my files from my Sony Ericsson Elm phone to my HP Mini!!! Congratulate me please! Yep, I may be married to the Third World Nerd but that doesn't mean I'm just as great with gadgets. So now that I finally understood Bluetooth, I feel like I've achieved a lot!

I uploaded more photos on Facebook but I'm sharing some of them here for you, my loyal readers. As you can probably tell from the pics, my life is spent in the bedroom, staring at this little wonder. And though he has a crib (with a special extra-long mattress I had a hard time looking for!), he prefers to sleep with Mama and Papa.
3 days old.
Vito is still looking bashed up from the birth--cone head,
puffy eyes--but he's still so adorable!

2 weeks and 3 days old.
Vince and Vito getting some sun.

3 weeks old.
Vito is attacked by infant acne. You know what cured it?
Breast milk applied 3x a day. Doctor said so!

3 weeks and 3 days old.
See? Infant acne reduced dramatically just 3 days
after the breast milk application.

Vito always sleeps with the iPad playing his sleepy music.
 The iPad also saves me from boredom while I breastfeed him!

3 weeks and 3 days old.
My little bobblehead's awake! Vito wears Tushy Wushy cloth diapers.
Fantastic invention! Sometimes it lasts longer on him than disposables!

1 month and 1 day old.
When Vito wakes from his afternoon nap, he's all happy,
then fussy, then hungry, then sleepy. This is obviously the happy part!

 1 month and 4 days old.
Love that smile! Many thanks to Auntie Anj and Cousin Zo
for all the nice clothes little Vito has!

He's too cute! Vince wants me to use the Olympus when taking photos of his son but my phone's always beside me so... It takes good pictures, no? Love Sony talaga!

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's your health plan?

Seriously, I grew up a sickly girl but these past 10 months, I've seen too many doctors and too much hospital (and handed over too much money!) for my taste. So we've finally given birth but that only means even more face time with another kind of doctor: the pediatrician. This is my family at the pediatrician two weeks ago:
Vito is one month old here! I'm still trying to lose the preggy belly!
Well, time to shop for a good health plan. I actually have health insurance courtesy of my employ but it's not the same as the one I grew up with. It's a huge shock to me since I had amazing health care growing up as the beneficiary of my Mama (she used to work in Meralco)--All medical conditions covered. All dental work covered. If the procedure is cosmetic, 25% covered. I used to go in and out of hospitals with not a peso on me and the insurance paid for absolutely everything. So when Mama died and I had to avail of the health plan at work... well, let's just say it's not the same.

So now that we have this fascinating young man in our lives, Vince and I need to get a good, solid, reliable Medicare plan. Soon. Do you have a health plan? What is it? Are you happy with it? Help!

I want a Marc Jacobs bag. Or two. Or more!

Last week, I mentioned in my Facebook status that I believe I deserve a reward for breezing through labor and surviving the first month of motherhood. I asked my friends, "Bag? Shoes? Jewelry?" The resounding answer was jewelry! And you all know I've been lusting after a certain topaz ring!

But this week, PR company Visions & Expressions sent me the photos of the Fall 2010 collection of Marc Jacobs handbags and now I'm having second thoughts. Just look at these beauties!

I like these bags because they're classic. I'm really not a trendy girl. I tend to wear a lot of black and gray these days and my bags kinda are the same. Even my shoes have become more sedate! I just pile on the accessories like bangles and necklaces to make my look more interesting.

Anyway, Marc Jacobs really did want his latest collection to be very classic. I was told that "instead of trying to outshine his past distinguished extravaganzas, [Marc] came up with a rhapsodic, toned-down collection, a sound choice for today’s economic situation. Gone are the tassels and funky embellishments of last season’s bag collection. The only embellishments we’ll be seeing this fall are in the form of classic push-lock closures and attached padlocks... The simple, minimalistic shapes of the many purses highlight the luxurious materials with which these carry-alls were made."

Love them! There are many more styles--in quilted leather, metallic tones, and in vivid aqua. But no space, no space. So just check them out at the Marc Jacobs store at Greenbelt 4.

Oh, but there's this one bag that wasn't all about toned-down style:
Wabbits! Wacky! Whimsy! So... I love it, too!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow"

Since getting sick of pneumonia last March, all I ever pray for now is good health, safety and protection of Vince and myself. And since the day Vito was born, I pray for his good health, safety and protection, too. I told you before that I'm such a worrier and now that I'm a mom, the worries have multiplied.

Vito and me at the pediatrician--always a nervous time for me. 

Every day, when Vince goes to work, I ask God fervently to keep him safe and bring him home whole. Every night, as Vito goes to sleep, I ask God to keep my son breathing. In other words, I am a nervous wreck. I guess what that really means is I don't really believe that God will keep us safe and healthy, right?

Then today, after I prayed that God keep my family safe and sound yet again, I was going through my Facebook updates when this phrase on someone's wall caught my eye: "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow."

No more worries! Everything will be okay because God holds the future!

And just like that, I knew that God rebuked me and assured me at the same time. "Because He Lives" is an old Christian hymn that my mother used to sing. Sometimes she sang it, her voice triumphant with joy and conviction. Sometimes she sang it, her voice quivering with hope for a better tomorrow. And now I find myself singing it.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Amen, Lord. I will trust and believe!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Body after baby

Quick nonsensical post! After my very serious posts on my mommy blog, I figured we can talk about something a little less serious (but still important!)--body image.

The week after I gave birth was hard not just because I was adjusting to life with a newborn but also because every time I looked at the mirror, I saw a body that still looked pregnant but was much flabbier and with all these horrible discolorations and stretch marks. I looked absolutely awful and that mirrored how I felt. I was very afraid I'd never be attractive to my husband ever again. Of course, Vince assured me I'd always be hot to him but he did ask when can we start on a fitness regimen!

Well, I shouldn't have been so fearful. Because I'm exclusively breastfeeding, I lost all the pregnancy weight in just 2 weeks. Two weeks, people! Yep. I'm now back to 110 lbs. No diet, no exercise. Actually, I'm eating a LOT. Breastfeeding makes you really hungry. As in, kain karpintero. I have to eat a lot and take vitamins because I'm feeding another person and so when the scale says I'm losing weight, I don't see that as a good thing. So eat eat eat I go.

Just another day in the life of a new mom. One week, you worry you'll never lose weight, the next week, you worry about losing too much weight! Well, my body image is now controlled by how it affects the people I love. All I care about now is being attractive to my husband and also being a good source of nutrition for my child. Health is now my top priority, if I haven't spelled that out clearly enough. Geez, for the first time in my life, I care about my body's health. I am old, people. I am old!