Musings, Uncategorized

A Response to All the Excess Baggage

I previously posted this on Facebook, but I’ve decided to post it also here.

It has just recently come to my attention that my ex (hereon referred to as “X”) has been talking about me on YouTube and in an online blog in an extremely unfavourable manner. I am far from faultless (and I’ve long apologized for the pain I caused), but I do know that many of the things X has said are far from the truth. We share many common friends, classmates, and even teachers, and so in the interest of airing my side, I would just like to respond to certain things that X has claimed about me.

  1. X claims I taught X how to smoke and drink. For the record, I never pressured X into doing any of those things. I never even suggested X try them.
  2. X claims I was extremely selfish. Definitely, I was not perfect. But I was generous in the ways I knew how. I spent all my money on X, especially when X ran away from home. I spent all my free time with X and gave gifts often. Not used to being showered with affection, X always (consciously or not) reciprocated by trying to do even more, bending over backwards to cater to me to the point that it became unhealthy.
  3. X paints me as materialistic, asking for new items like clothes even when X’s budget was tight. I never requested new things from X. X was the one who insisted on buying me things even when it was difficult to afford them. X was not that good in managing money, but I never pressured X into spending for any of my wants.
  4. X claims my own sisters said X deserved better than me. As I have confirmed with them, they did not say that.
  5. X claims I blamed X for everything that would go wrong. This is not true. I vented out often to X, as is normal in relationships. I sought emotional support. What we were not aware of then was X’s mental illness. It was only after things ended that X was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. These conditions may have been a big factor in X getting so affected when I was in a bad mood. X spent four years trying to be the main caregiver in the relationship, when actually, it was X’s own self and mind that needed the most care.

I am not trained in psychology, and so I do not know if X’s decision to publicly share the details of our relationship and my supposed wicked character is actually helpful in the healing process. It’s been almost 10 years, an awfully long time to dig up the past and one’s own version of events. I have my fair share of dirt on X as well, but let me try to be the bigger person and not reveal it in retaliation. This post’s purpose is only to clear my name, not drag X’s name down too. I just hope that those in our common circles that come across X’s account are able to find out my side as well.

Guys, I may be far from perfect, but come on, I’m not evil. Haha. I’m portrayed as one demon in X’s life, but it’s been so long that I can’t help but feel that the real demons are all in X’s mind. So here’s to hoping X finds peace.

And now… for the hashtags! (I could think of many really great but kind of mean ones, but… bigger person. Bigger person. I am the bigger person. Haha). Friends are welcome though to be mean on my behalf. Hahaha.

#xfiles #xcessbaggage #publicdisplayofaffliction #maturity #mentalhealth #depression

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Musings, Parenting, Uncategorized

Fitbit Charge 3: One Month Progress Update

Last month, Casey and I bought Fitbits so that we could begin tracking our daily activity with the goal of leading a less sedentary lifestyle. After one month of daily use, I am happy to report that we have achieved visible results. While we made use of all the tracker’s features, the extent varied according to which features were more helpful to our individual situations. Casey used the heart rate monitor and step counter to help him get effective run sessions and ensure he reached 10,000 daily steps. I made extensive use of the food log and heart rate monitor to aid me in losing weight and ensuring my walks burned a respectable number of calories, which to me is just a modest minimum of 100 calories per session, as I bring Wolf with me on my walks.

Mom and baby exercise

It is quite challenging to get some decent exercise in with a toddler that tires easily and stops to look at every single thing on the road, but I figured out a way to keep my heart rate up during our walks. I jog in place for most of the time. It definitely makes me look silly, but I believe the results are worth it! Haha.

Just for comparison, here is a picture from my boudoir shoot last year, back when I was completely sedentary, placed beside my most recent picture taken the other day.

Before and after one month fitbit use

And this is my most recent front-facing picture. It’s amazing how there is already a noticeable difference in my body just after one month of light daily exercise of 20-30 minutes and food logging.

Mom weight loss one month

After one month of round-the-clock use of the Fitbit Charge 3, Casey lost 1.5 kg, while I lost 1.6 kg.

Dad weight loss
Casey’s weight loss after one month
Mom weight loss
My weight loss after one month

We didn’t do any extreme diets or strenuous gym workouts, just mindful eating and jogging around the village. Baby steps! We are not aiming to lose weight rapidly, because what is more important to us is being able to live a healthier lifestyle for the long term. Here’s to our continuous progress!

Mom weight loss after one month

Musings, Parenting, Uncategorized

Fitbit Charge 3: First Impressions

If you’ve read my previous post about losing baby weight, you’d know that I am a total stranger to exercise. Thus far, I have maintained a normal weight through diet. I lost the baby weight mainly through breastfeeding and moderating my food intake. This year though, I want to start some form of regular exercise, and the main reason is my husband. Last year, we found out that his cholesterol and blood pressure levels are not ideal. The best way to fix these issues is through diet and exercise. I am really sedentary by nature, and I know this does nothing to inspire my husband to get fit. On his own, he tries to get some exercise in, but I know that if I could accompany him sometimes while he bikes or runs around the village, he would be more motivated. And so when he decided to buy a Fitbit Charge 3 to help him track his daily activity, I decided to buy one as well. The money we used was from our Christmas cash gifts from my parents. So thank you, Mama and Papa, for the gift of health! Haha.

Fitbit Charge 3

I knew that Fitbit would help me make changes to my lifestyle, because the app appeals to my detail-oriented nature. As I am pretty OC when it comes to my body, I knew that I would appreciate how the Fitbit app provides a streamlined way for me to record daily activities. The app combines information that, previously, I would have to access through three different apps! The features that I think I will find particularly useful are the sleep insights, food log, and fertility calendar. For Casey, the heart rate monitor, sleep insights, and water intake log are proving quite beneficial so far.

I purchased my Fitbit Charge 3 just yesterday afternoon. I set it up last night and was able to track my sleep. I have always been a heavy dreamer, and through the insights from last night, I confirmed that I spend more time in REM sleep than the average. Haha. I set a few modest exercise and weight loss goals already, which the app used to calibrate how many calories I need to burn. Today, I tried logging my food intake, and I was pleased with how I could input the exact amount of food and easily change the unit of measurement.

Fitbit sleep log

Fitbit food log

I am a sucker for visual appeal and am usually willing to pay more for things that look better, and that’s why I ended up getting the Charge 3 Special Edition Lavender Woven Band/Rose Gold Aluminum. No regrets here as the band is really pretty. The woven band is slightly thinner compared to the classic elastomer band, thus making the tracker look more at home on my petite wrist. The app itself is also easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.

Fitbit Charge 3 Woven Lavender Special Edition

Wolf and I also went on our first tracked walk today. For my daily step goal, I set it at a very modest 4000, because I have to take Wolf into account. Sure enough, at 3000 steps, Wolf asked to be carried already. On the bright side, that’s some weight training for me! Haha.

Fitbit exercise log

Fitbit weight log

So far, I think the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great tool for anyone who wants to become more aware of their body and set some exercise goals. I’m hoping it will help our family become less lazy. I don’t want to lose my husband early to a heart attack. I don’t want Wolf to grow up thinking that exercise is not important. Till this point I’ve been such a sleep-loving human, but I need to at least try and set a good example, so here goes. Haha. Here’s to our health!

Musings, Uncategorized

My First Boudoir Shoot

A boudoir shoot is an intimate photography session, often with subjects posing in lingerie or nude. The word “boudoir” is French for “bedroom.”

Having always been quite liberated, a boudoir shoot has long been something I wanted to do one day. I first thought of giving my husband boudoir pictures as a wedding gift four years ago, but back then, I did not have the time to schedule a shoot.

Last August 26, my husband turned dirty thirty, which granted me another opportunity to gift him boudoir pictures. I did my best to make it a surprise by scheduling the shoot when he wasn’t around. But alas, on the shoot date, he came home unexpectedly early and caught me in full makeup! I said I had a lunch party, which of course he didn’t believe, as I don’t wear full makeup to such events. Nevertheless, he could not for the life of him figure out what I was up to. When I gave him the pictures on his birthday, accompanied by a flirty little dance, he was suitably surprised and of course pleased.

My photographer for the boudoir shoot was none other than our family’s go-to photographer, Ida Roccio Ferrer-David. She did my maternity shoot, Wolf’s newborn and baptism pictures, and our family portraits. As always, she did a great job with my boudoir shots. She made me feel comfortable and relaxed even while I was baring so much skin. She was able to execute the mood and theme I described, which was sultry night vs morning afterglow. We followed my photo pegs and several other pegs she suggested in line with my ideas. She was also very good at directing my poses, which may perhaps be due to the fact that she herself has modeled for several advertisements (that’s actually also something I’d like to try, but I haven’t been making time to go to the VTR sessions). She took us through the boudoir shoot at a leisurely, relaxed pace, allowing me enough time to rest in between poses.

Do a quick Google search of “boudoir pictures” and you will find that it’s incredibly easy to end up with tacky boudoir photos. But as I’ve mentioned before, Ida is consistently able to produce tasteful, elegant shots that I had no doubt she could deliver classy photos once again.

I think that a set of boudoir photos is one of the best surprises I’ve given my husband. Based on his reaction to his birthday gift, I am sure he’d agree! Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but if having a boudoir shoot is something you’ve been considering, go do it. As long as you get a capable photographer, you won’t regret it! Below are a few of my boudoir pictures. These shots, along with several much more provocative ones, gave my husband a very happy dirty thirty birthday!

Boudoir photo

Boudoir photo

Boudoir photo

Boudoir photo

Boudoir photo

Boudoir photo

Uncategorized

Hotel Kimberly, Tagaytay: A Great Choice for Quick Family Vacations

This is my long overdue review of one of my favorite hotels in Tagaytay, Hotel Kimberly! This was the venue of my officer training program culmination in China Bank. This was also the venue of the annual outing of the Manila String Machine (MSM), our awesome music family. We stayed there overnight last July 21 to 22.

Casey, Wolf, and I stayed in a Deluxe Room. The rooms of Hotel Kimberly are simple yet elegant, with comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms. Most importantly, they are quite consistently clean. This makes the hotel an excellent choice for families with small children.

Wolf was already a fast crawler when we had our outing last July, and so we brought his crib, which we were able to set up beside our bed (proof that their rooms have ample space). The bed mattresses are on the firm side, but we found them quite comfortable even if we are used to the softness of our memory foam mattress at home. One negative comment I have about the room is that the placement of the ledge in the bathroom for toiletries was not ideal, as it was too far from the sink and the tub.

It was Wolf’s first time to swim at the outing, and I did my best to make sure he enjoyed. We bought him full swimming attire, taking care to get a long-sleeved rash guard to help keep him warm. We also waited till the sun was not too harsh but still present to keep the water temperature tolerable. A heated pool would have been great, but unfortunately, the hotel’s pool did not have heating.

I think Wolf enjoyed his first pool dip. Although he didn’t smile much, he didn’t cry either. We took him out after ten minutes and brought him straight up to the room to bathe in the tub. However, to our dismay, we found out that the water heater in our room was not working! We immediately called room service to sort out the problem. They were able to get the heater to work in around 20 minutes from the time we called, but that is a long time for a baby who came from the pool. I just hugged him the whole time to make sure he stayed warm.

After swimming, we hung out in the hotel lobby, which was decorated nicely and had comfortable couches. Wolf’s first dip left him super tired, as children (and adults) often are after swimming. He was so tired that he fell asleep mid-picture. Awww.

For dinner, our table had yang chow fried rice, tinapa fried rice, tawilis, pakbet bagnet, and liempo. We were only four, but two among us were hungry daddies. Haha. The food was good but not remarkable. The tawilis, unfortunately, was not crispy. The hotel hosted a bonfire with marshmallows and movie night, but we missed it because we were too busy having dinner. Haha. After dinner, we went to the game room, which we found was too noisy for Wolf, and so we went up to our room instead and watched Transformers before settling down for the night. The swimming sufficiently tired out Wolfie to allow him (and his mom) to sleep for four hours. Hallelujah!

We got up bright and early the next day to avail of our buffet breakfast, which consisted of arroz caldo, chow mein, dilis, fried chicken, longganisa, tocino, rice, bread, fruit, eggs, and bacon. I wished they had corned beef though, which is my favorite breakfast food! Again, the food was passable but nothing to write home about. In particular, I enjoyed my omelette with everything in it — ham, cheese, onions, and bell peppers.

After breakfast, we traipsed over to the hotel’s mini farm. It was quite impressive, with a larger variety of animals than I had expected! One of the animal caretakers toured us through the farm. He was very friendly, and he knew so much about all the animals. My favorite parts were the rabbits and sheep, while Casey was most interested in the chickens and hydroponics. We were able to feed the sheep, because we made sure to visit during their feeding time. We noticed one sheep was separated from the rest. The caretaker said that the sheep’s mother died after his birth. He was bottle fed away from the flock, and when the caretakers brought him back, the other sheep began to bully him. So he became an outcast. Poor baby. We chose to feed him instead of the other mean sheep. Haha. The rabbits were very popular with all the kids, and we almost bought the grey one. They were really so cute! The farm also had three horses, and one was available for kids to ride. I would say that for families with small children, the mini farm is a must-see at Hotel Kimberly.

We checked out at 12 noon and visited their souvenir shop, which, frankly, had nothing interesting or of value to me. This is probably the area of the hotel that needs the most improvement. After checking out, we had lunch at Bulalo Point before heading home.

We had a great time relaxing and bonding with our MSM family at the hotel. With clean, well-appointed rooms, a big pool, and lots of fun activities, Hotel Kimberly is at the top of my list for a family vacation in Tagaytay.