Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Life after a Miscarriage..

First of all, let me THANK ALL OF YOU for reading my entry and for being supportive.  Even if you didn't leave a comment, I assumed that you were also heartbroken for me.  And that itself was already enough.  I felt the love guys, so THANK YOU!


Nobody openly talks about it.  But what I realized was, that it was quite common.  It's just that - no one speaks of it.  Taboo?  More like it's something you don't want to share openly because..

It's scary and painful.

Reading news about Mark Zuckerberg's wife miscarrying, celebrities, actresses and friends of friends experiencing the same thing - well, it's not a sigh of relief exactly - but more of I know that I wasn't alone.  It happens to many of us women, it's just that - we don't openly discuss it.

When I went through my miscarriage, I was miserable.  So many thoughts were in my head, I had no one to talk to.  My Panget couldn't seem to comfort me, my mom, my kids - I couldn't seem to find solace.  I knew they were there for me, but I couldn't feel the right comfort?  I had questions, I had doubts, I was sad.  I wanted to cry out, but I couldn't bring myself to do so.

I also felt judged in a way.  I couldn't explain it - but I felt it.  Or maybe I was being paranoid?

One friend was with me the whole time.  I found comfort in her because she was comforting another friend of hers who also suffered a miscarriage.  I appreciated her even more to be honest.  I knew what we have has gone beyond friendship.  Thank you, Kath.

When I learned of celebrities, actresses and friends of friends who suffered a miscarriage/s, I empathized with them instantly.  I knew what they went through because I experienced it too.  I feel bad and insulted when people can't seem to sympathize with them even to the point of being tactless and insensitive.  As I have said previously - I would never ever ever wish this upon anyone.  I will still say that now.

Miscarrying is really sad.

Really really sad, it's heartbreaking - I can't explain the emotional turmoil one goes through - but I guess, this will all depend on the stability of your being.  I claimed to be stable BUT when I miscarried, I was shattered.  And I am sure they were too.  My heart aches (seriously!) when I hear of women miscarrying.

So, what is life after a miscarriage?

1.  You'll be very sensitive to words people say
It's that people can be an ASS and that there are so many INSENSITIVE & JUDGEMENTAL people in this world.  Those who don't even have an ounce of apathy.

Well, I guess I was all new to this.  I think I used to be one when I didn't understand the sadness of losing my baby.  I thought and assumed that people were generally sympathetic?  I was so wrong.  So very wrong.

There are so many pretentious people in the world - but that's life I guess.  These people are the many curveball life throws at you.  And all we can do is - nothing.  We live our lives normally hoping against hope that they realize what it is that they have done.  But life has to go on right?  The world doesn't stop for me, it never stops for anyone.  We are just but pawns in the chessboard of life - we don't matter that much.

2.  You'll make an extra effort to be OKAY
I was not my usual self for a while.  I would daydream often.  I was forgetful absentminded, what I usually was good at - was a bit more challenging for a while.  The pacing was off.  I wasn't OKAY, ok.  I was still adjusting.  I was still trying to accept what happened.  I did my normal routine, but something was not right.  I felt that I needed to grieve.  But how long was I allowed to grieve.  Was I even supposed to grieve?  So many questions, so many thoughts.  So many expectations - I was more confused.

I was telling a friend that I still haven't cried.  I wondered if it was normal.  Then a friend sent me a message through Kath,  that I would soon be okay.  She said *one day you just become okay*.  I waited and waited.  I thought, how long will I have to wait?  I wanted to go back to normal.  I'd like to be able to function normally again.  It was tough for me.  I was emotionally down.  Then suddenly, I got tired of waiting.  I stopped and just woke up everyday being thankful -  and it hit me.  I was already okay.  I didn't realize it that time.  But I was okay.  Thank you Per, your words meant so much.

3. The world around you is practically the same, but you're not.
You somehow feel that you are now part of a statistic- the statistic of experiencing a miscarriage. And you now easily relate to people who have gone through the same thing.

I have to be honest - never in my wildest dreams did I expect to experience a miscarriage.  Miscarriage was just a story that I hear from a friend or a relative.  Now, I am a story too.

It's a very sensitive topic because I experienced it.  I used to just take it lightly - it wasn't something that will cause me to be sympathetic.  But now, I swear to you - it breaks my heart when I hear of stories.  Maybe because the topic is close to my heart - I can't explain it really.  But I have this sudden urge to hold their hands or hug them (even if they don't want to be hugged).  My reaction may seem to be *exaggerated* but that's how I feel.

Life goes on.  We go on with our lives as if nothing happened.  I mean, yes - there was something that happened BUT it's only you and a few people who are privy to you that knows what happened.  To the rest of the world - you are just another person living your own life and they living theirs.  The sun still continues to rise each day, challenges at work and home are still there.  Your life story is just the same as theirs, except you have a few extra pages of the miscarriage story.

4.  You realize that conceiving is NOT that easy  
Miscarriage made me realize that conceiving isn't an easy task.  It involves so much more dynamics - one that I could not explain fully as I am not a medical professional.  It entails a lot of *science* and a lot of hard work. My miscarriage made me appreciate my children more.  It made me understand and realize that I am very lucky to have these two children.

My miscarriage made me value *life* now, more than ever.  Now, I see babies in a whole new light  I smile when I see babies - I have a new appreciation for babies.  I look at them with love, hope and the thought that, that baby will make at least one person happy.  When I see babies - it makes me happy.  Babies are my new happy thoughts.  Crazy ba?  But they are really.

I used to think conceiving was easy.  Well, for me it was.  But I didn't really understand when people say they were having a hard time.  I would always suggest - relax.  But you know what - if you're trying to conceive - it's stressful pala and tiring.  Truth be told - if you were to try and have sex every so often - it's not going to be fun anymore, right?  But you *need* to do the deed to conceive.  It's not as easy as we thought.  Well, maybe because of age too?  I used to think why there are so many teenage pregnancies - maybe because it was all about hormones and they weren't thinking yet of how to make money and other worries.  Their bodies have not experienced STRESS yet.

That's why conceiving is hard - it takes a LOT from you.  Then there's the waiting game.  The disappointment that comes with having to see a negative result.  That's added stress emotionally and physically.  I tell you, it's NOT easy.  It gets complicated - the science, the dynamics, the timing, the temperature, the frequency - it's quite difficult to understand.  It's not 1-2-3, it's more of like a perfect combination of all of the above.  Difficult right?  So now when I have friends who tell me they're having a hard time conceiving - I don't know how to tell them to go on trying without sounding insensitive and apathetic.  I would love for them to continue trying - but I would also like to tell them to relax and take their time.  Time, that's another issue altogether!

5.  You'll be HOPEFUL
That life will be better.  I think this is the conscious effort by every woman who has gone through a miscarriage.  The journey is not an easy one, but with the help of family and friends - well, things will get better.  I know it.  I am hopeful that one day I will be blessed again.

And, until that day comes, I thank the Lord everyday for blessing me with two beautiful children.  As harsh as it sounds, for making me experience this pain - for now I have a greater respect for life.

P.S.  Thank you L for helping me organize this post.

Friday, August 28, 2015

We met Elsa & Anna of Arendelle and YOU can too!!

Thank you #ToyKingdomPH for giving us Filipinos the opportunity to meet Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle!

It was truly a dream come true for Kailee!  She was starstruck, she couldn't speak, she was in awe when she met them.

Thank you to the most amazing toy store - #ToyKingdomPH

Look at the smile on Kailee's face.

That is pure joy and delight.

You still have time!

Catch them both tomorrow at the Main Mall Atrium of SM Mall of Asia!

Read the mechanics HERE.

NO PURCHASE required!  Just show up and line up!!

#PickYourPinesol & #SavorYourMeTime

#PickYourPinesol - I pick LEMON!

Yes, I associate citrusy scents with cleanliness.  I can't explain it but I find that when I smell something citrusy - it's automatically clean smelling.  Little did I know that in the Philippines, most people too associate cleanliness to the citrus smell.

I have been a Pine-Sol user for years.  I switched to this brand because my friend Kath would tell me how effective it was.  One observation was that she had three (3) dogs in her home, and they stayed inside the house at night.  So if you can imagine, the scent of three dogs - but once you enter Kath's house.  There wasn't an ounce of any doggy smell, I was amazed.  In my house, I have 4 dogs - three of them stay outside and my garage reeks of dog smell.  I've tried Lysol, laundy detergent but ntohing happened - there was still the doggy smell.  One day, I told myself - why not try Pine-Sol, I mean there was nothing to lose!  On our next supermarket trip, my Panget and tried Pine-Sol.

Using Pine-Sol is life changing for us.  My garage doesn't smell anything like a dog.  I was so happy!  My helpers in the house were amazed, they were actually relieved because they think that I have it my head that they don't clean the garage enough (because it was smelly!  Haha!!)  My house smells citrusy (I only buy Lemon) and clean.  Our supermarket bill is a bit less because Pine-Sol is cheaper that the competing brand.  I felt that Pine-Sol is able to clean areas better - bedroom, bathroom, kitchen - name all the areas of the house - Pine-Sol can clean it.  It smells better too!  I remember my Panget always complaining because of the scent of the competing brand.  Now, he's quite satisfied that it smells citrusy.  Hahaha!!

There are two ways to use Pine-Sol.  One is concentrated and the other one is diluted.  You can opt to use pure on to those areas with stubborn dirt or is smelly.  You can dilute them and they'll still be *powerful*.  I have this atomizer spray in every bathroom with diluted Pine-Sol, to it's ready to use anytime.  No need to dilute as you use.  Hahaha!  Short cut, diba?

And so when I was invited by a friend to the Pine-Sol event - I was ECSTATIC!  I am a user, I really love the product and so I was so very excited to see what was in store for us.  The invite for the event was very nice - I loved the bag, but more was I loved that the Pine-Sol variants were complete!  At long last - I will be able to try the other scents!

Of course, I had to open the Lemon.  I am a creature of habit, this - I made sure to use it first.  Hihi.  I am actually saving the other scents for the other rooms.  Am I weird?  But I thought why not assign certain scents to each part of the house?  Hahaha!  You know, change things up a bit! Hihi..

A few weeks ago, fellow mom bloggers and I were treated to a #SavorYourMeTime by Pine-Sol.  It was very nice actually because our duties as mothers - never stop.  We are on call 24/7.  And one Friday morning - we had a relaxing *me* time out of the hustle and bustle of being *supermoms*.  We spent an hour or so of quiet time.  We learned about taking care of ourselves and we were made to feel *valued*.  More often than not, our efforts are forgotten.  I know we do not ask for anything in return, but sometimes - being appreciated is something we yearn for.  I personally feel this way.  I do what I do for my family, but sometimes - I can't help but feel that I'm doing so much yet no one appreciates me.  I feel that I am working non-stop.  How I wish sometimes, someone else can take the reign and let me rest - even for just a few minutes.

When our Yoga teacher Jojo asked us what our *me time* was.  I honestly, couldn't think of any.  What I do know though is that when I am driving myself to pick up Kailee from school - when I'm in the car alone  (despite the traffic)- I feel relaxed, re-energized.  I feel good!  I guess the quietness and being alone makes all the difference.  I never thought that the driving alone would make me feel good about myself.  Hahaha!!  It was something I honestly did not expect to say.  Hahaha!  But then fellow moms agreed with me that being alone in the car is sometimes their alone time too.  Hindi ako nag-iisa!

Here is everyone with the our Yoga teacher Jojo.

Pine-Sol made us moms feel important.  They treated us to an hour of quiet time.  A wonderful *healthy* meal to go with the talk that was given by nutritionists and dermatologist.  It was really  all about taking care of ourselves as mothers and as women.  I have to say, it has been a while that I felt *pampered* like this - and it's really nice to feel valued.  We all deserve to be pampered.

I so loved that we got a goody bag filled with really, really nice things!  What I secretly loved was the additional Pine-Sol products to take home!  Woohooo!

Thank you Pine-Sol for pampering us and make us feel validated that what we are doing is worthwhile.  Thank you Mish and Patty!

I am so excited for everyone to use their Pine-Sol!  I'm sure your *cleaning* will be something to look forward to!  Hihih...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Titas, Titos, Aunties, & Uncles

Everyone has them.  In our country, we have an extended family.  So mere friends of our parents, we call them  or refer to them as aunt and uncles.  There doesn't need to a blood relation for us to call them aunt, auntie, uncle, tita or tito.

When I was young, I was taught to regard elders with Uncle and Auntie, Tito or Tita, Ahia, Kuya, Ate, Achi.  It was instilled in us that no matter the age - as long as they belong in the same generation - well, we need to call them such.

My mom has cousins that are just a few years older than us.  Heck, she has cousins that were only months older than us!  Yet, we call them - Uncle - because they belong to the same generation of my mom.  We were taught to regard them as such and since I was taught that, I practice that.  I grew up with family members saying Achi this Ate this Ahia that Kuya that.  Uncle this Tito this, Auntie that Tita that - I was very familiar and very much comfortable throwing those *titles* out.

It was only just a few years ago, that I became comfortable being called *Aunt* or *Tita* myself.  I've always regarded myself as young, but then when I had kids - I kind of expected to be called such by the children of my friends.  When married I into my Panget's family - well, he had older nieces (kids of his cousins) and they called me *Aunt*.  Also, when I had met new friends with older kids, well - it seems odd at first, but it still had some getting used to to be called *Auntie Didi or Tita Didi* but I accepted it with open arms.  I knew they were just being respectful.

I am 35.  I am not ashamed of my age.  I am proud of it actually.  I don't understand it when people find it offensive when they're asked of their age.  I don't hesitate to reveal my age - I mean, what for?  For me, it's inevitable, so why hide it.  But I do respect those who don't want to divulge their age.  I guess I've come to realize that people are different.  Hahaha!!

When I was younger, I found it odd that the elders don't say their age when asked of it during their birthdays.  Birthday candles were concealed with a long single candle.  I remembered when I was younger, it was pure joy to blow so many candles!  Hahaha..  I thought, maybe they found it disrespectful?  I don't know, honestly.  Well, I was told that it wasn't disrespectful.  I guess was a ploy to *seem* younger to others.  Kung, trip nila - why not?!

But my question is - Why does one to seem want to be younger than usual?  I have no idea.  I used to think about it, but then I realized - why even bother thinking about it.  It's their problem and not mine, hahaha!  I've seen sudden anger outburst when the wrong age was guessed.  Hahaha!!  I am serious, once I saw this lady who was soo angry at a staff for calling her Lola, when she calmed a bit the staff apologized - she said that she wasn't a lola because she didn't have kids.  I even remember my mother in law - she was in denial that she was becoming an *ama* soon.  It was quite weird actually, but I guess to each, their own.

I have nothing against looking young.  I think Asians are generally lucky because they look younger compared to caucasians.  We are lucky in that department.  I know of people who has done a LOT of work on their faces and bodies - all because they didn't want to age.  Well, I personally believe that if one can afford it - why the hell not?!  But then when I see their faces all fixed up - they look more old than they originally were.  I honestly have no idea on these *looks*, but I know of people who are notoriously observant of these.  They're the ones who tell me.

Ageing is one thing that I am highly accepting of.  It's inevitable.  I mean, there is NOTHING we can do to reverse ageing, unless of course by some miracle, time travel is invented or cloning is perfected.  Well, it has been attempted - but I don't think anyone has been successful, on humans that is!

So, why did I write this post.  Well - my friend Tina was horrified that I called her friend (who is a little older than her) Auntie.  I know she was just teasing me.  Hahaha!!  But I felt that I had to explain why I called her friend, such - because she is my mom's BFF's sister in law.  So for me, they belonged to that same generation.  I would be very uncomfortable calling her by her first name - I am sure that I would get dagger looks from my mom's BFF, hahaha!  But that's how I am.

I didn't think that anyone would feel insulted when I called them auntie, uncle, tita or tito.  I was so used to saying it that it has become second nature for me.  I guess - my circle of friends is now broadening, thus I might need to be careful in uttering *auntie, uncle, tita and tito* to people.  I just realized recently that people do find it offensive at times.  Kanya kanya, talaga.

This discussion led me to learn that not everyone is comfortable being called *auntie, uncle, tito and tita*  I'm sure there are are people to are comfortable calling people by their first name.  I know that in other Western countries - aunts and unlces are called such because they're related.  There is no offense in Western countries when you call them by their first names.  But, in my family, even friends of my mom and *older* new aquaintances - I refer to as aunt and uncles.  Even on the phone, during sales calls - I call people Aunt, Uncle, Tito and Tita.  That's what I was used to growing up, and I don't think I will ever change that trait.  I think for me, as long as I feel it's respectful (for me) - it's enough.  I don't mean to disrespect but I guess if that person feels insulted - then it becomes their problem and not mine.

So in case you feel bad that I called you Tita or Tito or Uncle or Auntie - blame it on my upbringing.  Hahaha!  I swear to you, I meant no offense and instead I regarded you with great respect.  Hahaha!

So, (Auntie) Tina - thank you!  Just kidding!  You know I love you!  Hahaha... :)

Oh, and there's apparently this trend #TitasOfManila - it's quite charming now because it's being referred to something positive.  Yes, we have aged - even a bit.  I now belong to the generation when I am starting to get called Tita or Auntie.  Hahaha!!

Panindigan na ang #TitasOfManila !!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Carnivore Lechon from Leonardo's

I will get straight to the point.

This is the Carnivore Lechon from Leonardo's Lechon:

Yes, those are sausages - 3 kinds to be exact, hungarian, kielbasa and chorizo then bacon, garlic potatoes and herbs.

Once the manong hacked the lechon open, the aroma of the sausages, herbs and lechon filled the room.  It was glorious - glorious because I closed my eyes and let the scent fill me and my imagination.  It was wonderful.  Imagine, the aroma of sausages add to that the aroma of herbs and the garlic potatoes and mix it with the delicious scent of roasted lechon skin.  
The combination was deadly.

Here's another look at the lechon cross-section.  

I swear to you, you will NOT look at lechon the same way again, after seeing and tasting this.  I don't think I will want to eat the normal kind of lechon or a different kind of lechon.  THIS LECHON IS IT.  I confess that I am not fond of lechon and the only thing I eat of lechon is the skin - but this Carnivore Lechon - it made me want to try to eat the meat.  And it was juicy, it was flavorful, it was soft.  One reason why I don't eat lechon meat is that I often times find the mean tasting *malangsa*.  I can't explain it - but this particular lechon had no trace of being *malangsa*.  The meat was flavorful, soft, juicy - all the meat stuffings (3 kinds of sausages and bacon) was perefectly packed and seasoned.  I believe it was what flavored the lechon in the inside.  The garlic potatoes were very good too!  I super loved seeing big pieces of garlic!  Hahaha..  Garlic is my weakness!

These were the lechon skin that Rowena and I ate like potato chips.  Hahaha!!

Look at my plate of Carnivore Lechon.

Leonardo's Lechon has been around since 1947.  It's an institution in San Juan!  I remember seeing it everyday along Blumentritt Street in San Juan when I was younger.  That was my route going to school and I often wondered what it tasted like.  I remember during one of the first Ultimate Taste Tests of Anton Diaz, Leonardo's Lechon was part of it.  They have a rich history and I admire that they support the community livelihood in Pangasinan.  Leonard mentioned that all their pigs come from Pangasisnan they support the communities there and give back.  It's nice that they practice social responsibility.  I admire companies that values social responsibility.  And I think that is why they're still a front runner in the industry.

They also don't freeze their pigs or kill the pigs ahead for orders.  They kill it fresh, and example was when clients need their Lechon at 4PM, Leonardo's kill the pigs at 10am.  They don't practice freezing pigs ahead of time because it affects the taste.  I agree - it would taste really different.  They have a small piggery in San Juan where they keep pigs on back-up.  When you order lechon, it automatically comes with free dinuguan.  This Leonard says, is because they want clients to get the whole lechon (innards included) so you can say that you really got everything in the pig.  They offer free delivery in certain areas.

Here is their Pricelist:

The world is truly very small, why?  Well, the one who invited us - Leonard, Nard to me; is a friend.  Well, I met him years ago in High School - we belonged to the same batch, he was from Xavier and I was from ICA.  And you know what else?  Well, Nard and my brother in law Gilbert are Triathlon teammates!  My brother in law has been telling us to order from Nard.  Well, now I know what to order for our next family dinner - and that's the Carnivore Lechon.

Thank you Leonardo's Lechon for coming up with this kind of lechon.  You set the bar high for me, and I declare it - the BEST lechon in my book.

We even had take home lechon.  I shared it with my brother (who is also friends with Nard) and my mom, they finished it instantly.  Hahaha!!  It was that good.

Like Leonardo's Lechon on Facebook
Follow them on Instagram - leonardoslechon

Thank you Gerry for thinking of me.  It was indeed good food, good times!

Thank you Nard, Erica and Mary Ann!!