Friday, November 16, 2012

Rafa's Account of Luc's Typical Day

I found this in my drafts. It was probably sometime last school year. It's always good to remember our Lucas.

This was narrated to me by my husband. This conversation happened between Rafa and his friend on their way home from school ...

Eats apple na hard (Lucas eats blended apple that is frozen)
Wakes up
Goes to therapy
Go home
Sleeps again

Magna Carta for Women - Republic Act 9710

As you know, I gave birth early this year. After I got back to work and had a bit of normalcy, I visited my OB-GYN for a papsmear.  What seemed to be a routine check resulted in an overnight stay at the hospital. 

It was nothing urgent though. The doctor found a polyp that needs to be removed and examined. According to her, if I were 20 years old, her advice would have been to observe first. Since I am my age, her suggestion was to remove it.

My doctor suggested to do it on a weekend. I was hoping to do it on a Saturday so I would not have to use my leaves but it got scheduled on a Friday. Good thing I was able to talk about this concern to a friend. She is familiar with labor laws and suggested that I use the Magna Carta for Women.

Here are some salient points of the law which were useful for my case:
What is special leave benefit for women
Special leave benefits for women refers to a female employee’s leave entitlement of two months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation following surgery caused by gynecological disorders.
This benefit is in addition to leave privileges under existing law.
Who are qualified to avail of this benefit; Conditions
All women employees in the private sector, regardless of age and civil status, are entitled to special leave benefits, provided she has complied with the following conditions:
  • She has rendered continuous aggregate employment service of at least 6 months for the last 12 months;
  • She has filed an application for special leave;
  • She has undergone surgery due to gynecological disorders as certified by competent physician.
Female employees who have taken a leave of absence following surgery for gynecological disorder or or after 15 September 2009 are entitled to avail of the benefit.
As always, hope you have no need for this but if you do, this would be good to know. God bless!

Christmas Warehouse Sale - Kids Craze 2012

Since the venue moved to its new location in 2011, I was not able to go. Hope to visit it this year :)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Luc's flowers

Early this morning, Luc's godfather was asking me where I was. He then told me he got flowers for Lucas. I don't usually bring a car to work but for some reason, I had one with me today. During my lunch break, I went to visit. I have not tried to put flowers on top of his crypt since it was usually my husband's task. On my way in, one of the caretakers greeted me and offered to put the flowers :) Wow! Luc made sure he will get his flowers alright :D Hope you liked the flowers, baby! Offer some prayers for your godparents who sent them.

Sunday Photos

Mustered some guts to ask for a souvenir photo with one of the greatest point guards in Philippine basketball. Another picture with uber adorable Marcus. Rafa wants his scribbles captured, a Morales trait indeed!

Just remembered, the yellow room in Rafa's picture is the place where we shot Rafa and Luc's last picture together.

FREE SURGERY - thyroid, gall bladder, hemorrhoids and hernia

I got this from a friend. It might be an answered prayer for someone you know.
Any indigent patients you know who need surgery for thyroid, hemorrhoids, gallbladder and hernia. There will be FREE SURGERY from Oct to Dec. Just refer the patient to Dr. Sherry Lee at Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Medical Arts Building 3. Room 476, Monday - Saturday, 10am - 12nn.
You may call 727.0001 to confirm.
God bless!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

DFA Megamall - LIKE!

Last Saturday, my youngest son had an appointment to get his passport for the first time. Since he is an infant, he was eligible to use the courtesy lane. Although we had an appointment, I can't help rave about this courtesy lane. In a nutshell, we were done in less than 20 minutes. I am not doing justice to this post. I mean, I forgot to bring my passport. So, I had to photocopy other IDs. This took some time so the 20 minutes should have been much less. I did not even use those chairs to wait for anything! My son and I went from window to window. Let me just list the series of events:
  • Lined up outside the main entrance
  • Approached the guard to ask if there is a special lane for infants.
  • Guard said we could just enter as soon as the office starts to accept applicants.
  • Opening time
  • While others go to the VERIFICATION area, senior citizens and infants go to INFORMATION
  • After this, I was instructed by the guard to go to WINDOW 3. This is where they looked for my passport, which I forgot!
  • So I had to photocopy the other government IDs I have with me. Photocopying cost Php3.00 per page
  • When I presented the photocopies, the personnel wrote something and we moved on to the cashier
  • Afterwhich, we were escorted to a cubicle for the picture taking and encoding.
  • After some signatures, I got the claim stub and we were free to go!
The wait time is before the DFA opened and for the photocopying. Otherwise, wow! My advice, if you have children less than a year old, get them their passports. Try the malls, there is another one in Robinson's Galleria but I think where the Megamall office is situated is more convenient for those with vehicles.

Really amazed that it was that fast but still think it could be quicker if they will not re-encode what was encoded online for the application form. The data should just be verified. It would take another 3 minutes off their processing time. It would be significant especially towards the end of the day since these 3 minutes would accumulate and build the queue. Still, kudos to DFA Megamall.

Some useful information:

•Personal appearance
•Confirmed appointment
•Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) and duly authenticated by NSO. Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in NSO Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable. (Report of Birth duly authenticated by NSO if born abroad)
•No need to submit a passport size photo
•Valid picture IDs and supporting documents to prove identity (Please refer to List of Acceptable IDs and List of Supporting Documents)

NSO Birth Certificate

Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar duly authenticated by NSO depending on the NSO signatory.
Passport Fees

•Regular Processing (15 working days): P950.00
•Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00

Please be advised that appointments from 5:00PM onwards and during Saturdays will be considered rush processing.
You may call (+632)570.3230 to make sure your passport is ready for pick-up. Please don't call before the date specified to help reduce the call volume.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our Lucas is much loved and remembered

When we got to the crypt, we were greeted by this...

Luc's godparents, passed by early Saturday morning to bring some flowers for his birthday in heaven.

Later that day, we had a mass celebrated in the crypt for him.

Another mass in St. Joseph the Worker chapel was offered the same night.

When I got home that night I found out that his other godfather visited the day before and his Lola Margie brought a priest same Saturday morning to have his and Lolo Boy's crypts blessed.

Oh Lukie! You are such a star! People just can't forget you! We love you baby! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

For all those who remembered, offered prayers, sent flowers and greetings, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Homework - Family Helping Each Other

Rafa came home wtih a homework to show the family helping each other. Here is the result.
After Tatay printed this, Rafa asked,"Where is Lucas?" To which his Tatay replied, "He is in heaven, looking after us and praying for us."

Hi Luc, we still miss you but we are always comforted knowing that you are in the best place and are happy praying and watching over us. We love you, baby!

We had to print to copies of this, one for the homework and another for the album. In this digital age, it is still nice to have hardcopies :) 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

August 9 morning and afternoon photos

The first photo was taken this morning while the one at the bottom was taken this afternoon.  People are starting to clean up. YEY!!!

Rafa the Photojournalist

Rafa took these photos this morning. He was trying to document the water levels with his Tatay. Nice shots my boy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

school stuff

Here are some stuff from school: name tag, awesome behavior card, sword of St. Ignatius with drawings of things Rafa is thankful for (food, fish with water, policeman, car, and family -- notice that tatay, nanay and lucas are on the other side of the door. According to him, Tatay and Nanay are working and Lucas is helping them.)

weekend pics

I'm so bad at posting but much worse at taking pictures. Sorry for the blurred photos but those are the clearest in my stash. Just want to take some so that we can document his growth. This boy is super talkative. He even tries to engage the portrait of San Josemaria Escriva in a conversation ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heaven Is For Real

Got a book from my sister for my birthday. She told me I should read this book and be at peace with Luc's passing.

Just finished the book yesterday. It was an easy read. I'm not much of a reader but I finished it in a day. Hope you get to read it, especially if you have lost a loved one or is afraid of death.

Some bits I remember are how Jesus shoots power at Colton's dad, Todd, when he is about to speak during Sunday service; how Jesus is answering the dad's prayer that is why Colton is sent back; the little girl who is the unborn sister who has no name since the parents did not name her. Oh my! For those who had miscarriages, please give your children their names. I love how Colton reassured a dying man that it will be okay and that the first person who will meet him is Jesus :)

When I was telling this to my husband, he recalled that Lucas kept standing up and trying to reach something or someone behind my husband. Maybe, Jesus is already picking up Lucas at that time, waiting for him. I am sure my baby did not feel any pain during his last hours because Jesus carried him all the way.

Get your copies now!

Thanks Todd Burpo for writing this and for everyone who made it possible for it to be published. God bless you all.

first day as a kinder boy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sleeping Hours

Since our eldest is now in school age and spends a lot of time outside the house, we got concerned if he is still getting enough rest. Here is what I found from

You know your child needs less sleep now than he did when he was a baby, but how much less is still enough? Every child is different – some need more sleep and some less – but here are general guidelines for how many hours of sleep a child needs on average each day.

Age           Nighttime sleep      Daytime sleep                    Average total sleep

2 years      10 to 12 hours        1 to 3 hours (1 nap)           13 hours

3 years      9 to 12 hours          1 to 3 hours (1 nap)           12 to 13 hours

4 years      9 to 12 hours          0 to 2 hours (1 or no nap)  11 to 12 hours

5 years      8 to 11 hours          0 to 2 hours (1 or no nap)  10 to 11 hours

6 years      10 to 11 hours        none                                   10 to 11 hours

7 years      10 to 11 hours        none                                   10 to 11 hours

8 years      10 to 11 hours        none                                   10 to 11 hours

*Note: The two sets of numbers don't always add up because children who take longer naps tend to sleep fewer hours at night, and vice versa.

Keep in mind that most kids need a lot of sleep – usually more than parents allow for. Often, says sleep expert Jodi Mindell, author of Sleeping Through the Night, if a child has poor sleep habits or refuses to nap or go to bed before 10 at night, his parents will assume that he just doesn't need much sleep. That's probably not the case – in fact, it's likely that such a child is actually sleep-deprived, resulting in hyper, overtired behavior at bedtime.

**taken from

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Celebrations of May

Here are some of the photos from last month

Andres turned 3 months and Nanay made cheesecake

Here's how we celebrated Mother's day. Started at Mamita's
 ended up in the emergency room.

Rafa was coin bearer to our friends' wedding. Best wishes, Art and Irma! Looking forward to see your little ones :) So proud since it was the first time he walked ... rather ran down the aisle without a parent :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart. June 15 is starting to become a significant date for us. Three years ago, it was the date Lucas got discharged after his open heart surgery. Today, my mother got discharged after her angioplasty. All these are heart related as well. We also commemorate the 9th monthsary of Luc's death today.

Dear Lucas,

Thank you for the prayers and intercession for Lola. We still miss you especially since we went back to the same floor where you last stayed in the hospital.

We love you, baby.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

2012 Target Update

February - delivered a healthy baby boy
March - passed the real estate broker exam .. did not top it though

looking forward to the accomplishment of the other targets

... weight
... cholesterol level
... LIFE
Easter is just around the corner. I'm pretty sure Luc is attending a grand celebration in heaven. We will try to have one here too :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Welcome Johan Andres

I could not believe it took me more than a month to post anything again! Obviously, we have been busy this side of the world. I have to be honest though, the dates of the posts of my other boys are not true. I think Andres' birth account release is the earliest. Without further ado, here goes:

  • 0330 bloody show
  • 0400 observing if there are contractions, there were some but not consistent, tried to sleep but couldn't since I was trying to observe my body
  • 0500 decided to take a bath. this took some time since there are contractions
  • 0600 sent my OB-GYN a message. having contractions within 10 minute intervals
  • 0610 ate breakfast
  • 0650 go to the hospital
  • 0730 found out I'm 5cm dilated and 90% effaced
After this I don't have any idea of the time. I just know I squirmed in pain and prayed that the anesthesiologist hurry up in giving my epidural. Since not all pregnancies and deliveries are the same, the epidural seemed to take its own sweet time to effect! The doctors were expecting for the meds to lessen my pain but as far as my facial expression is concern, the pain is definitely a 10. For the first time I was given a mask for oxygen. I had to ask why since this never happened before. They just told me it was for the baby. Of course I complied. Anything for my little one. After I calmed down. They left me. Suddenly, my bag broke! People rushed back in my unit. I could hear one calling the OB-GYN and others yelling to prepare the DR. I was still in pain and too exhausted to do anything. I just let them do all the work and brought me to the delivery room. My doctor came, and I was ready to push. After the first lame push, I gave to hard ones and out came our JOHAN ANDRES screaming his lungs out at 9:49am.

Well done my boy! Thank you Lord for helping us. For the record, this is the most painful delivery for me.

Vital Statistics:
APGAR score: 9-9
weight: 6 lbs 6 oz
height: 48 cm
blood type: A+

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Targets

I will not make resolutions but I will list down things I want to accomplish for this year. Some may be trivial for others but they are all important to me and will make me a better person.

1. Safely deliver a healthy, normal, kind, happy, smart and loving baby boy.
2. Top the real estate broker's exam this March 2012.
3. Weigh 120 pounds by Dec 2012.
4. Bring down my cholesterol level to normal values.
5. Start my own business.

This is my initial list. It is a work in progress. It might just be for the first 6 months of this year but I hope to accomplish all of them. Please pray that God will bless these targets and that they will reach their fruition.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011: A Review

It has been an eventful 2011 for our family and here are some of the significant milestones for the year:

1.  Biboy leaves corporate to be in real estate full time.
2.  First airplane ride for Rafa and Lucas.
3.  First time to go to Bohol for Rafa, Lucas, and grandmothers.
4.  Lucas can ride the twist car.
5.  Biboy became a real estate broker.
6.  Experienced farm life and fishing in Pampanga with our ates.
7.  Rafa started Nursery in Child's S.P.A.C.E.
8.  The brood is growing, a third baby on the way.
9.  Lucas showed no sign of VUR in the last VCUG and stopped taking prophylaxis.
10. Lucas' 2D echo showed excellent results. No need for maintenance medicine.
11. Went on a Marian "pilgrimage" where Rafa and Lucas offered roses to Our Blessed Virgin Mary.
12. Lucas celebrated his birthday in heaven.
13. Biboy grossed a personal record sales.

I should put down more but I could not think of anything else after I wrote number 12. We continue to praise God for all the blessings He generously bestow upon our family. We look forward to greater blessings in 2012.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Team Studer: 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

I will not claim that I made this myself but I just wanted to repost it here so it would be easier to find when I want to review it.

With that said, I would like to thank Tabitha for sharing her "rules".

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.

Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment. He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement. Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference. Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion. Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life

There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games. There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics. There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts. There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade. He will tell you to stop. He will say he's embarrassed. But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry

..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt. He may not always choose to do it. He may not ever have to do it. But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.

Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents." Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. Writers are the transcribers of history and memories. They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important. And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.

Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals. No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three. It doesn't have to be good. Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.

The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity

The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth. But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.

You already are all of those things. If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this: If you have done any of the following: a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero. do not doubt yourself for one second. Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners

because its nice. and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in

Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there. Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle

like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes

Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes. You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable. Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes. Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football

or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference between Gryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song. Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him

turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away. Just go outside and follow him around. Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions. It's like magic.

15. Let him lose

Losing sucks. Everybody isn't always a winner. Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't. He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids. This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....) Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

16. Give him opportunities to help others

There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help. Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities. Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together.

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.

This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better listener by listening. You become better speaker by speaking. Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing. Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip. Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"

Answer him, or search for the answer together. Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches). Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself. Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.

especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.' If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers. And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom, you will stay connected to what is happening in his life. Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy

drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog. Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff. and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts

Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic. Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders. For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

23. Take him to new places

Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

24. Kiss him

Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet. They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day. But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender. So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?' Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild. Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old. You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it. p.s. (this one is just as important for dad's too).

25. Be home base

You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I Miss You Too...Author Unknown

I don't know if it is just a thursday ... anyway, this was given to me in one of our prayer meetings after Luc went to heaven...

Mommy please don't be sad,
I miss you so much too.
It's beautiful here,
but I worry a lot about you.
I sleep with angels watching me...
there is only love up here.
I am never lonely or afraid
because God is so very near.
I walk with Jesus everyday,
He is very kind and loving.
Don't worry Mom, He holds my hand
when we cross a golden street.
I never cry or hurt myself
I see Grandpa everyday.
I play and laugh and sing a lot
and I hear you when you pray.
Please Mommy, don't be mad at God,
you see He loves me too.
And even though you are not with me,
I am really still with you.