Zayne turned five months old on April 8. It fell on a Friday so I decided to work from home to avoid being trapped in heavy traffic. Just like the previous months, we just had a very simple dinner celebration at home. As usual, Mama and Papa celebrated with us. Papa cooked pancit canton, while Mama bought homemade siomai from one of her friends. And of course, Zayne’s Ninang Joie baked a special cake for her!

Let me share with you a side story about the cake. I usually give away Zayne’s cake to Mama and Papa, Jeff and Joie, and Aubrey. I also share a slice or two with my officemates. Zayne’s Ninang Abby, who happens to be my officemate, asked if I could still bring more in the office. Sabi ko wala na. I even skipped giving some to Jeff and Joie. Alam niyo kung bakit?! Kalahati kasi, inuwi ni Mama! Hahahahaha! Abby said, “Sabihin mo kay Tita, tumatanda na siya. Bawas-bawasan niya ang sugar!” Ganun kasarap ang cake ng My Sweets’ Haven. Pinag-aagawan! :p

P_20160408_170834
Zayne was wearing a dress from SM and… a diaper! 
Hahaha! Sorry, I forgot to put an underwear on her. 

Until now, I still get so amused each time I get to capture her faux surprise face, aka nganga pose! Hahaha! When I want to make her smile in front of the camera, I just need to fake a sneeze and say the word HACHIIIING! She would then flash a big smile, and that’s when I usually get my money shot.

She’s the queen of wacky poses! Her Ninang Aubrey said that it’s probably because I was so hooked to AlDub when I was still pregnant with Zayne. Mukhang kay Yaya Dub ko daw pinaglihi si Zayne!

P_20160313_125810
Ansabeeee ng kilay?!

P_20160313_125755

P_20160310_213630_BF
Subukan niyong awayin ako, yari kayo kay Zayne! :p

P_20160402_104412

She giggles a lot! She brings so much joy to the Kolokoy Household each time we hear her loud giggles. I know that I’ve already posted these videos in another post, but these are too cute not to be shared again! ^_^









She is also getting noisier. Haha! She has been sleeping through the night since she turned two months old. Even if she wakes up earlier than us, she would just be quietly playing with her hands. But ever since she discovered that she could actually “talk” and make some noises, she has turned into the cutest alarm clock!!!

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

Last month, she learned to play peek-a-boo, more popularly known as Eat Bulaga to us, Pinoys. Haha! But when she passed her fourth-month mark, she learned to take control of peek-a-boo by using a lampin to cover and uncover her face. Very resourceful and low maintenance baby! Lampin lang, masaya na! Hindi na ako gagastos sa mamahaling toys! :p

She loves the song Wheels on the Bus. I sing it when I put her to sleep. She also loves Charlie and the Numbers! Her face lights up when she watches it on Baby TV! She never fails to smile every time she hears the Counting Song. On the very rare times that she wakes up a bit grumpy, my trick is to sing to her the Counting Song, and she would be back to her usual jolly mood. Ang galing ko kasing kumanta! Char! :p 

In case you don’t know the song, try to listen to it. Ginagaya ko kasi ‘yung voices ng mga numbers. Sabi siguro ni Zayne, “Muntanga ‘tong Nanay ko!” Bwahahaha! =))


She has been trying so hard to crawl. Although she still needs a lot of practice, she has mastered the art of rolling over and lying on her stomach. She even does a Super Zayne pose to show off!


P_20160319_080350

P_20160314_162432

P_20160319_060954

Aside from rolling over, she has also mastered the art of drooling! That’s the reason why Sophie the Giraffe is her best friend! May pabrika siya ng laway! Pwede ko ng ipang-export sa dami! :p

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

P_20160325_103355




Although a part of me always gets very sentimental because she is growing up too fast, I appreciate the fact that she now knows how to interact with the people around her. For months, she has been responding to people who call her “Zayne”. She also looks in our direction when Boyet and I call her either “Anak” or “Nak”. But just recently, she also responds to “Hoy” and “Psssstttt”. Hahahahahaha!

She always surprises us with her funny expressions and antics. I guess she’s living up to being a Little Kolokoy after all!
When the news broke that our office would be transferring from BGC to Makati, the first thing that came to my mind was to do a food crawl. Toby’s Estate was one of the many restaurants that I had been meaning to try. My foodie teammates had already visited the place countless of times. On all of those occasions, I was either on leave or working from home. But a few weeks ago, I finally got the chance to try it out with JC and Abby. Aubrey and I work on the same building so I tagged her along. #KaladkarinBFF

Brightly lit and with white as the dominant color, the already spacious restaurant looked even bigger. It exudes a cozy ambiance which made me feel like going back to the place to catch up with some friends over coffee and desserts. But at the same time, Toby’s Estate seems fit to be a perfect venue for formal meetings. Actually, kami lang ang maingay sa restaurant! Harharharhar! :p

P_20160318_135102

P_20160318_135053

Aubrey and I decided to share over some pasta and sandwich. We got to try their Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich. Some of you may say that there is nothing much to say about a simple chicken sandwich, but Aubrey and I agreed that Toby’s Estate’s take on this classic is extraordinarily delicious! Albeit a bit pricey for a chicken sandwich, its taste actually justified its cost. The chunks of chicken are big enough for my tongue to notice its existence. Yung iba kasi almost invisible ang chicken sa chicken sandwich! :p

P_20160318_134507
Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich PHP390

I learned from their menu that they use homemade mayonnaise. That explains the richness of the taste, something you’ll never get from a canned mayonnaise. The sandwich comes with potato chips. It would have been a perfect combination if not for some burnt pieces that taste really bitter.

P_20160318_134942
Mushroom Pasta PHP320

I got to have a couple of bites of their Mushroom Pasta. Linguine pasta is tossed with sautΓ©ed mushrooms, olive oil and herbs, and then topped with Parmesan cheese. I had mixed feelings with this one. I didn’t really like it not because it’s not delicious, but only because I am not really a big fan of oil-based pasta dishes. JC and Abby liked it, though. Nakitikim lang naman ako ng food nila e! :p

I may have not favored the Mushroom Pasta, but their Chorizo Pasta is a different story! I loooooveeeeeeeeedddd it for two reasons. First, it’s spicy! If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you probably know that I am sucker for spicy food. I loved that the pungent sauce gets through every hole of the rigatoni. And second, I love chorizo! Its salty and smoky flavors complemented the peppery yet sweet taste of the basil. Do you want another proof that this is a must-try? Aubrey loved it despite the fact that she hates chorizo!

P_20160318_140142
Chorizo Pasta PHP330

JC and Abby kept on offering their Fried Chicken and Biscuit to us. Akala ko dahil hindi lang nila maubos! Hahahaha! But they told me that I should really give it a try. One bite of the fried chicken drizzled with honey was already enough to convince me. Never mind that the honey kept on sticking in between my teeth! Haha! The sweetness of the honey somehow gave contrast to the savory taste of the fried chicken.

P_20160318_135654
Fried Chicken and Biscuit PHP495

Not wanting to be undermined by the fried chicken, the biscuit actually stole the spotlight. It may look like something on the side to occupy a vacant space of a large plate, but its simple look deceived me. It’s very tasty! I actually found myself using it to scrape off the honey from the plate!

I would have to give Toby’s Estate a 4.5 out 5 rating for food, service and ambiance. It would have been a perfect 5 if not for the steep prices of the food. But then again, sulit na rin naman. :)


Toby's Estate
V Corporate Center,
125 L. P. Leviste Street,
Salcedo Village,
Makati City

* All photos were taken with an Asus Zenfone Selfie

Toby's Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
When some sort of a “restaurant boom” happened in Robinsons Place Manila last year, a tarpaulin with a huge (and poreless) face of Lee Min Ho immediately caught my attention because I really think that he is my husband in my past life. Haha! Just kidding! But seriously, more than Lee Min Ho, I was actually looking forward to trying out the chicken wings of Kyochon. My husband already knows that nobody should dare to even look at the chicken wings when I am around because that part automatically belongs to me. So imagine how happy I was when I finally got to consume pieces of Kyochon chicken wings in one sitting!

I first tried it with Boyet, Mama and Papa while I was still pregnant. My husband and I, with Zayne sleeping soundly in her stroller, came back a couple of weeks ago to give it another try. Apart from the salad which Mama got to try on our first visit, Boyet and I ordered the same food but only in smaller servings.

Never, as in never, leave Kyochon without trying their chicken wings. You might think that this is a no-brainer, but there are unorthodox people like my husband who eat rice meals in a pizza place. Haha! I was just glad that I convinced him to share the chicken wings with me. Anyway, we had their Original and Red Series.

P_20160402_130545
Original Series Small (5pcs) PHP149

With the Original Series, the chicken wings are coated in soy garlic glaze. The garlicky flavor matches the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess. The menu says, “Warning: Highly Addictive!” It actually is! There’s something distinct in its taste that made my palates ask for more.

When we told the waitress that we would be getting the Red Series, she uttered a warning that the Red Series is very spicy. I have a very high tolerance with spicy food that’s why her word of warning didn’t bother me at all. Plus, I felt really challenged when I read the words “Recommended only for the brave ones” on their menu. I’m one helluva brave soul! Hahaha!

P_20160402_130707
Red Series Small (5pcs) PHP149

Oh. My. God. Its pungent smell alone prepared my taste buds for a surprise. It’s very, very, very spicy! Sinipon ako ng wala sa oras! Hahahaha! It felt like my tongue suffered from a second degree burn! It’s one of the spiciest chicken wings I have ever tasted. But believe it or not, I actually enjoyed eating it.

Aside from the rich flavors, I loved that the chicken wings are cooked to perfection. The chicken skin is very crispy. The meat is tender and very juicy, too. I found myself licking my fingers as I munch each piece. It’s the perfect comfort food!

We also got to try their Rice Cake Soup. We had this to warm our starving tummies. Looking at it, I initially thought that it tastes like the usual nilaga. But what sets it apart is the chewy pieces of rice cake that gave the soup a hint of sweetness. It also has strands of grilled chicken meat. The smoky flavor of the chicken added another layer of flavor to what seemed like an ordinary stock.

P_20160402_125958
Rice Cake Soup PHP70

The Kyochon branch in Robinsons Manila  is a bit small that’s why it took me a couple of months before I first got to give it a try. Aside from being a bit cramped, it may also get quite noisy. But other than these, I wouldn’t mind coming back over and over again. Kyochon definitely offers something more than Lee Min Ho’s angelic face! :p


Kyochon
Level 1 Pedro Gil Wing
Robinsons Place Manila
Ermita, Manila

* All photos were taken with an Asus Zenfone Selfie

Kyochon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

Zayne will be turning five months old yet I still haven’t blogged about her birth story! But as the clichΓ© goes, it’s better late than never, so here it is!

Being surrounded by a lot of mommy friends, I somehow had an idea of how to prepare for my own delivery. I was aware that those scenes from the movies are exaggerated and overly dramatic. Although I already knew the signs to watch out for, I still asked my OB/GYN, Dra. Australia Luz, about it. I remember asking her on my 34th week. It was just supposed to be a routine checkup, but it also served as a follow-up checkup since I was rushed to the ER a few days before due to high fever. Anyway, she asked me if I really wanted to discuss about the signs of labor. She told me that she does not usually discuss it before the 36th week checkup, especially to first-time parents, because some mothers tend to overreact when they feel even the slightest pain. Haha! I insisted so she told me to watch out for three things: contractions in close intervals, bloody show and water bag breaking. She then told me some reminders. She said that I should rush to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apart, but I could go as early as 10 minutes interval since I live in Manila and the hospital is in Taguig. If my water bag breaks, I must rush to the hospital and refrain from walking, standing, and anything that would make me lose more amniotic fluid. After that discussion, she assured me that she would be reachable 24/7. I was already aware of that because I had been bombarding her with questions, whether through calls, SMS and even Viber messages for almost three years. After that visit, my husband put our suitcase and baby bag in our car’s trunk. I finally understood why my doctor wanted to delay discussing those things. Haha!

I went back for a routine checkup on my 36th week. My OB/GYN got concerned because I stopped gaining weight. I underwent an ultrasound scan, and I got a perfect score in my BPS. It only means that the baby can still hang in my tummy for the next couple of weeks. I also had an IE, but my cervix wasn’t dilated yet. Three days after, I had a bloody show! I was in the office so I immediately called Dra. Luz to ask her if I should go to the hospital. She advised me to go home and observe if my bleeding would persist. Even if I was already in my 36th week, my doctor said that it would be better to reach at least the 38th week. She then advised me to stop coming to the office. My bleeding stopped, but I still went on the safer side and started working from home.

I came back for another checkup on my 37th week. My cervix was still not dilated. I started walking every morning because we were aiming for a normal delivery. During this time, my husband got more paranoid. He also started working from home just to make sure that he would be beside me in case I’d go into labor. He started doing mental notes of the easiest possible routes from Manila to Taguig. He even anticipated breaking all traffic rules in case there was a need to do so. We even started praying for me to go on labor during off-peak hours, preferably late at night or before dawn. Hahaha! But as we were preparing for Zayne’s arrival, our Little Kolokoy decided to enter this world in the most anticlimactic way possible!

I came back to my OB/GYN for my 38th week checkup. I had another IE, but my cervix was still not dilated. My doctor said that we could wait a little longer, but my BPS results alarmed her. Based from the ultrasound, my amniotic fluid had started to reach its “critical” level. She said that it could have been remedied by increasing fluid intake, but we got bigger problems. First, my placenta is already “aged”. (Sorry, I forgot the exact medical term for it.) And second, the umbilical cord is coiled around Zayne’s neck. She then decided to put me in induced labor. That. Same. Day. So yeah! No timing of contractions. No water bag breaking inside the car. No overspeeding. No breaking of traffic rules. Zayne wanted to enter the world in the most “chillax” way possible. :p

It was November 7, 2015. It fell on a Saturday. Everybody was clueless about it. Boyet just sent SMS messages to our parents telling them that my labor had to be induced. We had early dinner. I even had time to wash my face and brush my teeth before I proceeded to the OB/GYN Complex of St. Luke’s Global. We were supposed to be in the normal labor room because it’s cheaper, but I was put in the High Risk Unit because they were understaffed at that time. My husband had his own La-Z-Boy while I was in labor!!! The amazing thing was that my room was the last one in the HRU. As soon as I got in my bed, I found out from the other nurses that patients started coming in, and that there were already 4 patients in the standard labor room. Hihi.

DSCN0674

I was put on IV and strapped on a fetal monitor around 8PM. They placed me on oxytocin and Buscopan. Mild contractions started to kick in. Dra. Luz was in constant contact with me and the resident doctors. I was so “chill” that I even had the energy to talk with my best friends via Viber. I would just stop each time a new dose of Buscopan was injected because it made me feel like I was losing my eyesight. Haha! My parents, and my in-laws rushed to the hospital. Boyet asked them to go home because the doctor told us that it was going to be a long wait.

I had another IE at 12AM. I was 1 cm dilated. I was told that it was not advancing probably because the umbilical cord was pulling Zayne back. My doctor said that it would still be a long way to go so I was advised to sleep through the night. Sleeping was impossible at that time because aside from the contractions, I had countless of IEs here and there. Wala, nasanay na akong may sundot ng sundot sa peps ko! 

I was already experiencing moderate contractions. The nurses kept on asking me if I wanted to have epidural. I kept on telling them that I could manage. If you grew up battling asthma, gastritis, migraine and survived having impacted tooth extraction 4 times, the pain I was feeling at that time seemed like a walk in the park! Hahaha! Daldal pa nga ako ng daldal sa Viber! :p

I was still 1 cm dilated by 6AM so I was advised to eat breakfast. The contractions were getting stronger. By that time, Boyet and I already learned how to read the fetal monitor. To give you an idea, there are two numbers on the screen. The first number indicates the strength of the contractions while the other is the baby’s heart rate. The key was to keep the baby’s heart rate normal no matter how strong the contractions were.

Dra. Luz arrived around 8AM. She was looking fresh and all made up on a Sunday morning! (Ang ganda kaya ni Doc, promise!) Anyway, I was already in labor for 12 hours. She asked me if I could still tolerate the pains. I said YES right away. In my mind, I was telling myself, “Being in labor is sooooo overrated!” Ang yabang ko pa! She told me that the Zayne is such a strong baby. Her heartbeat never dropped even if the contractions reading went up beyond 100! She said that we could still continue with the meds for the next 8 hours. But she was firm that she would resort to delivering Zayne via C-section 1) after the 8th hour mark or 2) as soon as Zayne’s heartbeat dropped. I nodded in agreement. She then told me that she’s in close coordination with the residents. She just needed to go home to hear mass and to review her kids for their upcoming exams. Hihi.

Contractions were getting even stronger and in closer intervals around 12PM. Another IE suggested that I was still 1 cm dilated. One of the resident doctors told me that she would be doing something to help the dilation of my cervix. I honestly can’t remember how she said it, but I vividly remember how she did it! Ang bottomline: masakit siya! Mas masakit siya sa labor pains! :p

Although the contractions were bearable, I was already starting to get weak. Around 2PM, I would always see the “contraction number” in the monitor glued at the 100 range. Nurses kept on offering epidural. Ma-pride ako, so I said NO! Bwahahahaha! Around 3PM, my husband’s hands almost got broken because I kept on squeezing them. Breathing in between contractions proved to be such a tedious task. And yes, I was still 1 cm dilated!

At around 4PM, at exactly the 20th hour, I got a call from Dra. Luz. She said that she would be rushing to the hospital because Zayne’s heartbeat already dropped. It took her heart 20 seconds to recover. She said that she already ordered to stop all the medications, and that I would be prepped for a C-section delivery. I remember her telling me that I was so brave to go through 20 hours of labor, but she didn’t want to risk the baby since we all waited for four years.

As soon as I hung up the phone, my husband talked to Zayne. He said, “Thank you, Zayne for fighting for 20 hours!” Sabi siguro ni Zayne, “O, pinagbigyan ko na kayo ng 20 hours ha. Tama na, pagod na ako! I want to get out!” Hehehehe!

A little before 5PM, I was wheeled to the operating room. Believe it or not, I wasn’t nervous at all, but it felt so weird looking at the ceiling! Hindi ko alam bakit ‘yung kisame ang nasa isip ko! Bwahahaha! Other than the ceiling, my next concern was the fact that I was so hungry and exhausted after being in labor for 20 hours. I was already thinking of having a bite of a big, fat, juicy cheeseburger. :p

I was so excited because we were just a few minutes away from meeting our little bundle of joy after struggling for four years. I felt like my eyes were burning as I entered the very bright room. Sobrang liwanag pala sa operating room?! Hihi. I had a thousand and one more things racing in my head. But as these thoughts battle with each other, I found myself praying non-stop. And before I even knew it, I heard the voice (and giggles, hihi) of Dra. Luz.

St. Luke’s Global was trying to renew some sort of an international certification that week. Dra. Luz already warned me that there might be “observers” in the operating room. I was so glad that I didn’t become the “subject” of their observation because that only meant additional eyes that would see me naked. Haha!

The anesthesiologist then talked to me to explain what she would be doing. I just nodded because I seriously didn’t give a damn at that time. I just wanted to get everything over with so I could see Zayne. I was then asked to go into a fetal position so they can start with the anesthesia. I was still feeling some contractions. I gathered whatever strength was left in my body so I would not jerk. I also started to chill so that didn’t help with my plan of trying to be still. I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as it was over.

Dra. Luz then ordered for me to be shaved down there. Another new thought raced into my head. This is going be itchy soon! Hahaha! I kept on hearing Dra. Luz give Spanish lessons to everybody inside the room. Apparently, one of her kids were having an exam in Spanish. Hihi.

I started feeling weird, and I wondered why I could not hear my husband’s voice. A few minutes later, in between Spanish words, I heard Boyet’s voice for the first time as he answered the magical question from Dra. Luz – “Ok ka lang ba, Daddy? Kung nahihilo ka, may upuan diyan.” Bwahahaha!

I later on found out from my husband that he was trying to look away because he started feeling dizzy. Tapos, pagkakita ko sa mga pictures, tawa lang siya ng tawa!!! Hinihiwa na ako, panay pa ang bungisngis ng mokong! :p

DSC_0003

DSCN0676

In the middle of the operation, I started feeling itchy! I remember trying to reach for my arm until I realized that I was restrained. The anesthesiologist told me that itchiness is one of the side effects of the anesthesia. She kindly tapped my arm to relieve the itchy feeling. And then my throat got itchy! I got scared when I started coughing! Naisip ko, “Shet, nahiwa na ako! Baka tumalsik ‘yung atay ko!” Dra. Luz said, “Jerellt, ehem ehem lang ha.”

A few minutes after, I heard a loud cry! Ayan na siyaaaaaa!!! As promised, Dra. Luz let Boyet cut the umbilical cord. I found out later on that the umbilical cord was actually coiled around her entire body! Isa siyang pusod na tinubuan ng baby! :p

DSCN0677

DSC_0021

She was put above my chest for the unang yakap. And since St. Luke’s is a breastfeeding-friendly hospital, they made Zayne latch on my breast. I kissed her even if she was still covered with God-knows-what-it-was! And then one of the nurses took photos of us. The feeling was so surreal. I knew deep in my heart that day would come, but no words could ever describe how I felt the first time I saw her. She was so tiny… and so white… Hihi!

DSC_0047

DSC_0050

They then took Zayne away from me to have her photos taken with Boyet. I was still on cloud nine as a hundred and one emotions filled my heart. My emo moment was just interrupted when I heard Dra. Luz say, “O ayan umuutot na siya o. May laman laman pa. Pwede na ‘tong umuwi bukas!” Bwahahahaha!!!

As they were stitching me up, I made one terrible mistake. The anesthesiologist said that I could relax and have some rest. I rested my head, and that was when I saw the legs of one of the doctors. Half of her body was covered with blood!!! Boyet later on told me that the material that was supposed to catch my blood actually leaked. Alam mo ‘yung natiis ko ‘yung 20 hours na labor at paghiwa sa’kin tapos parang mahihimatay ako sa dami ng dugo na nakita ko?! =))

St. Luke’s does not have a nursery. They held me and Zayne for a couple of hours at the recovery room before wheeling us in our room. She was beside me all the time. The nurses were trying to make her latch once in a while. I really wanted to get up so I could hold her, but the lower half of my body was numb. It felt so weird because a lot of things were happening around me, but all I could see was that tiny creature beside me, and all I could hear was the sound of her breath.

Before transferring us to our room, two nurses came to have my diaper changed. I didn’t even know that I was already wearing a diaper! And then this happened…

Nurse: Ay, Ma’aam, nag-poops po kayo?
Me: Hindi po.
Nurse: Ma’am, nag-poops po kayo.
Me: Hindi nga po.
Nurse: Meron po e.
Me: Bakit hindi ko naramdaman???
Nurse: Hindi niyo po talaga mararamdaman.
Me: Sorrrrrrryyyyyyy!!!
Nurse: Ok lang po, Ma’am. ‘Yung iba nga po hirap na hirap tumae after ma-CS e.

Gusto ko sanang sabihin, “Ate, nakaka-flatter ka ha!” Hahahahahaha!

Boyet wasn’t allowed to go inside the recovery room that’s why I felt relieved when I saw his face at the waiting area. We were finally transferred to our room a few minutes before midnight. I was so exhausted, hungry and very, very, very thirsty! I was only allowed to have a sip of water. I wanted to sleep, but my husband and I just kept on smiling as we look at Zayne. A few minutes later, she started wailing! Hindi man lang kami pinatagal sa pag-mo-moment! :p

I was basically immobile that night so my husband did everything for me. All I did on that first night was to switch sides so I could breastfeed Zayne. That night was a reassurance of something that I already knew – that my husband was going to be one helluva amazing father!

I also felt so spoiled at St. Luke’s Global! This story would have not been possible if not for all the efforts and prayers of our OB/GYN, Dra. Australia Luz. Her husband, Dr. Xeres Luz, is Zayne’s pediatrician. All the nurses were amazing! We thought we were prepared for combat, but we found ourselves clueless when Zayne started crying. All the nurses were very patient, but I will never forget Nurse Pearl! There was this one time when we failed to “troubleshoot” Zayne. Ayaw dumede, ayaw ng karga, kapapalit lang ng diaper. Pearl came to the rescue! Kulangot lang pala ang problema! Bwahahaha! She was such a darling to Zayne. Our little family will forever be grateful to all the amazing people at St. Luke’s Global.

One of the first things Boyet told me when I woke up the following day was, “Hindi na ako kakain ng dinuguan. Ever.” I have been bugging him to write his version of Zayne’s birth story because his account was just hilarious! He said he would try, but he can’t promise it. That probably means a NO. Hihi!

And that’s it! I am so happy that I found the time to write this. I guess I’ll see you all on the next birth story! Harharharhar!
Even before I met my soul mate, I had been praying something very specific – “Lord, please bless me with healthy and smart kids with kind and happy hearts.” That is why when infertility struck us, I became even more fervent in praying. When I finally got pregnant after four years of waiting, something bothered me big time! People close to me can attest that my personality belongs to both ends of the spectrum. I can be a petite ball of sunshine radiating with optimism, but I am also naturally GRUMPY! Hahaha. I had to emphasize that word because I became grumpier when I was pregnant. It may be the hormones or the fact that my first trimester fell on a summer so those two things alone made me really cranky. My patience was always at the lowest setting. I didn’t have the energy to entertain stupid questions so I usually responded with sarcasm. I hated people who wasted my time. I think the more appropriate way to say it is – I HATED PEOPLE. Period. Hahahaha! This concerned me a lot. I told Aubrey that I’m worried that Zayne would absorb all the negative energies, and that I would end up having a grumpy baby. Say, buh-bye to a baby with a happy heart! But Aubrey assured me that I could be as grumpy as I could be! First, I have the license to be one. Siraulo lang daw ang papatol sa buntis! :p And second, I actually needed to release all my crankiness so that Zayne would end up a happy baby! I don’t think there is a scientific basis for that, basta dapat daw, huwag kong kimkimin ang inis ko para daw hindi mapunta ang sungit kay Zayne! Bwahahahaha!!!

When Zayne was born, one of the very first things that my husband noticed was her eyebrows. He said, “Yari! Mukhang nakuha ang taray mo!” I thought of two things. First, kinulang yata ako sa dasal. And second, I guess I will never be able to use #HappyBaby on Instagram! :p

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on
This is one of the first photos of Zayne. You cannot deny that she is indeed my daughter. Bungisngis then simangot in just a span of 3 seconds! :p

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on


My camera was always ready to capture her smile. But most of the time, I ended up getting wacky shots. And then this happened...

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

My heart melted! And it somehow gave me hope that Zayne is not a grumpy baby. Hahaha! Most of her photos are still wacky, but at least I was already capturing her smile.

Papa would always tease her that her smile is very expensive. But at the rare times that she gives out her smile, she makes sure to give it all! And the more important thing is - she is not a cry baby. Hindi bungisngis, pero hindi iyakin. Chill. NR. Sabi ni Boyet, “Halaman ‘yang anak mo, parang ikaw!”

But on Easter Sunday, Zayne decided to end my long break on a high note. Boyet was out doing some errands that’s why he was very jealous when I showed him these.

IMG_20160327_221953

And then the play button of my phone wanted to give up as we both watched these videos over and over again!









You’re probably asking what made her laugh. I mentioned in another post that she loves to play the mirror game. She just woke up so she had all the intentions in giving out a big cry. I placed her in front of the mirror, and then she started smiling. I wanted to record it, but she stopped smiling. I then tried to take a selfie, she saw herself on my phone, and that was when she started giggling! Hahahahaha!

I want to end this post by thanking those people who kept up with me while I was pregnant with Zayne. Salamat at hindi niyo ako pinatulan! Hahaha! Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for allowing me to be grumpy (grumpier than the usual). You deserve a pat on the back because you contributed in adding one happy baby on this planet! :p
Zayne turned four months old on March 8. Just like the previous months, we had a simple dinner celebration at home. My husband and I agreed that we would not be splurging on her monthly celebrations. That’s why aside from the usual cake made with love by her Ninang Joie, we just enjoyed a bucket of Jollibee Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti for dinner. We actually just paid for the two orders of spaghetti because we used a voucher, the ones we get from using BPI credit card, to purchase the bucket of Chickenjoy! Plus, her monthly cakes are semi-sponsored by My Sweets’ Haven. I’m such a kuripot Nanay! :p

I already sound like a broken record, but Joie’s cakes are really delicious! I thought it was just a simple chocolate cake, but it turned out to be more than what I expected. It’s thick, moist and fudgy! I brought some in the office, and it was a hit! It’s topped with chewy chocolate candies that looked like pebbles so the first thing that Papa said when he opened the box of cake was, “Galing ba ng Boracay si Joie?” Bwahahahaha!

Her fourth month birthday fell on a Tuesday that’s why I was so anxious to go home earlier. As soon as I got home, I got Zayne all dressed up for her mandatory monthly picture-taking. Her Ninang Aubrey graced our celebration with her presence. Haha! Boyet was out to get dinner which meant that making Zayne smile for the picture-taking fell solely on Aubrey’s hands! :p Kaya ayun, puro fierce pose ang lumabas! :p

P_20160308_193048


With her in the photos above is Sophie the Giraffe. She adores her! She loves to drown Sophie with her saliva! Hihihi!

Anyway, I got her onesie from SM. I bought it while she was still in my tummy. The headband she was wearing was something I made for her while I was still pregnant with her. (Naks, dumi-DIY ang lola niyo! :p) She used to hate wearing headbands, but I think she has finally come to terms with it. =)

P_20160306_165840


Her willingness to wear headbands is just one of her many milestones. As soon as she turned three months old, she already responds when we call her by her name. Mababali talaga ang leeg niya para lang lumingon. She likes rubbing her feet together, aside from her growing fascination with her hands! She also learned the walang kamatayang CLOSE-OPEN trick! Para akong nanalo sa lotto when she started doing it. Her foul mood goes away when we play the mirror game. She usually hates it when she is interrupted in her sleep. The best thing to do when she is about to cry is to put her in front of the mirror! Hahaha! Dakilang GGSS talaga! :p She also loves playing peek-a-boo. Siyempre sa mga Pinoy, Eat Bulaga ‘yun! :p She has also mastered the art of doing buntung-hininga-with-matching-bagsak-ng-balikat just like how her Nanay does it. I first saw it after she finished nursing for almost two hours. Dumede na nga lang, akala mo hirap na hirap sa buhay! Nakakapagod nga naman talaga siguro. :p

She got a first taste of attending a children’s party. We joined her Ate Skye as she turned two years old. It was her first time to see Jollibee and that kind of  a large crowd. Ako rin, first time ko rin sa party na ganoon karami ang bata! Bwahaha! :p

P_20160221_173859
Zayne with Ninang Joie

P_20160221_174416
Zayne: Bakit pinagkakaguluhan nila ang matabang bubuyog na ‘yun?

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

I had to put away all of her pajamas and some of her dresses because she no longer fits into clothes that are size 0-3 months. She now wears clothes size 3-6 months, but she already fits into some dresses size 6-9 months, just like in the photo below. She’s growing up way too fast!

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

She continues to be a low maintenance baby. I mentioned in another post that she started sleeping through the night when she turned two months old. I think she inherited my sleeping patterns. MASA din e – masandal, tulog! :p

P_20160217_122424
She loves sleeping in her nursing pillow

P_20160228_104721
She sleeps after a satisfying meal! #milkdrunk
(Pinagsabihan ko na siya, guys. Sabi ko DRINK MODERATELY! Lasing na naman e! :p)

P_20160306_161516_BF
She even falls asleep in her carrier!

When she’s not sleeping, she’s definitely talking! She talks non-stop! It looks like she’s butting in when adults around her are talking. Plus, it feels like we’re having normal conversations with her!

P_20160214_211610_BF



She may grow up to be a TV host or a newscaster, but I will not be surprised if she ends up being a drama actress. She is a drama queen in the making! I posted this 15-second video on Instagram...

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

But this is the entire video. Notice how she was able to shift from one emotion to another! =))


But who knows? She might turn out to be an athlete. She is one ball of energy! She is so active even in her sleep!


I am actually surprised that though people say that she looks a lot like me, a lot of her Tatay’s traits are slowly manifesting in her. Just like this one time while we were using the breastfeeding station of a mall. She was very chill! And then, a baby came in and started to cry! I thought she was going to cry, too. But she woke up, turned to the baby, and she started giggling and talking! Chill na chill lang siya! I was so proud of her that I had to snap a photo.

P_20160306_141343

A huge part of me wants to freeze the time so she can be this tiny forever. But a part of me can’t wait to discover more from her! She added more tricks on her resume just a few days after she turned four months old! I guess I’ll just take one step at a time and cherish every second of being a mother to this Little Kolokoy.
Even before Zayne was born, my husband and I agreed that we would train her to speak both in English and Filipino. Sabi ko kay Boyet, ako na ang bahala sa English! Bwahahaha!

I don’t want to be the kind of Filipino parent who brags that my kids don’t know how to speak in Filipino. It’s not like a badge that I would be proud to wear. Why? First, gone are the days when English proficiency is the measure of a person’s intelligence. It might be true that those who speak fluently in English may have an edge than those who don’t, but there are many other factors that can determine a person’s success. I have been in the corporate world for more than a decade, and I have managed to interview and work with different kinds of people. A person may have grabbed a prestigious job because he did well in the interview, but English proficiency alone will not guarantee that he can keep that job forever. And second, my child is a Filipino! She needs English to succeed in life, but she needs the Filipino language to survive! E kung maligaw siya tapos hindi marunong mag-English ‘yung natanungan niya ng directions? O kaya paano siya bibili sa tindahan? Hihihi!

Aside from conversing both in English and Filipino, I also try to expose Zayne to Filipino books. It does not only help her train speak fluently in both languages, it will also help her be exposed in Filipino literature. Being a bookworm myself, I have discovered through the years that there are a lot of talented Filipino authors! To start Zayne young, I bought her some books from Adarna House. I discovered Adarna House from my long-time friend and mommy batchmate, Dianne. Incidentally, Adarna House had a promo last December so I got all of these board books to join the other books that I bought before Zayne was born!

DSC_3085

Ok, so why do I love the books from Adarna House?

First, their books are very affordable! Some of these board books only cost PHP99. You can already build a library without straining your pockets.

Second, some of their books are written both in English and Filipino. It’s a brilliant way to get the kids acquainted in learning both languages.

Third, their books make me nostalgic. Hihi! Kids nowadays are so accustomed to Baby TV and Disney Junior. It makes me think whether they still know Bahay Kubo and Sampung Mga Daliri. By the way, these two are Zayne’s favorites! (My personal favorites are Dumaan si Butiki and Maghapon namin ni Nanay.)

And lastly, it’s my way of supporting our local industry. I’ve read a blog post written by a local author. She said that we have a lot of talented authors and illustrators, but they are not getting their needed breaks because of the lack of support from the Filipino buyers. She said that Filipinos still carry the stigma that local books are jologs, baduy and cheap. Trust me, it’s far from the truth!


Adarna House
Website: http://adarna.com.ph/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adarnahouseonline/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adarnahouse/
Hi, my dear readers! I guess I was wrong when I thought that the previous Kolokoy Household post would probably be the first and last for this year. Hihi. I know that I haven’t been blogging as often as I used to that’s why I’m so thankful to those who chose to stick with me and my soon-to-be-dead blog. Hahaha! If you have an Instagram account, please do follow me because I update it more regularly. If you hate baby photos, then skip following my account! :p Anyway, here’s the latest from The Kolokoy Household! =)


PICKUP LINE

My husband and I tune in to The Morning Rush when we’re on our way to the office. The Top 10 topic that morning was “Signs na Naghihingalo na ang Relationship Niyo”. I initially didn’t know it that’s why I was caught off guard when this happened.

Boyet: Nay, naghihingalo na ang relationship natin!
Me: Huh?! Bakit?!
Boyet: E kasi hanggang ngayon, patay na patay ka pa rin sa’kin e!
Me: Huwaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwww!!!


CAREER MOVE

Going back to work after my maternity leave was a big struggle. I thought it would get easier in time, but there are still days when I terribly miss Zayne when I am in the office. One time on our way home…

Me: Tay, ayaw ko na magtrabaho.
Boyet: E ‘di huwag ka na magtrabaho!
Me: E may housing loan pa tayo. Tapos madadagdagan pa ng car loan. Kaya na ba natin na ikaw lang ang may work?
Boyet: Ang sabi ko, huwag ka na magtrabaho!
Me: Talaga?!
Boyet: Oo nga! Pumasok ka lang sa office, pero huwag kang magtrabaho!

Bwahahahahahaha!!!


DOLCE AMORE


I usually watch Dolce Amore when I’m breastfeeding Zayne before she goes to sleep. One night, Boyet told me that his office mates were talking about the previous night’s episode when he passed by their workstations.

Boyet: Nay, kanina ‘yung mga babae sa office puro teleserye ang pinag-uusapan. Ayang kilig mo sa mata mo, ganyang ganyan sila kanina!
Me: Hahahaha!
Boyet: Tapos pagdaan ko, sabi nila sa’kin, “Sir, siguro ikaw nanonood ka rin ng Dolce Amore ‘no?” Sabi ko sa kanila, “Excuse me ha! Hindi ako corny! Hindi ako nanonood ng Dolce Amore, ‘yung ATAWA ko lang!”
Me: Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!


YAYAMAMA

We don’t have a house helper. Ever since Boyet and I moved in to our own house, we have been doing all household chores. ALL HOUSEHOLD CHORES. Things got more difficult when I gave birth. Fortunately, we got a helper a week before my maternity leave ended. She comes to our house at 7AM and leaves around 4PM. She takes care of Zayne in the morning until around lunch time. After that, she gets to do some household chores while Mama takes care of Zayne. Suffice to say, my daughter is spending a LOT of time with Mama. And that scares me! Hahahahaha! A few days ago, I realized that my fear is valid after all! :p

Mama: Sampung mga daliri, kamay at paa… Dalawang tenga, dalawang kamay, ilong na maganda…
Me: Mama! Mali naman tinuturo mo!
Mama: Bakit? 
Me: Ang dami daming parte ng katawan, paulit ulit ang kamay?! Ano ka, unli?
Mama: Sampung mga daliri, kamay at paa… Dalawang tenga, dalawang paa, ilong na maganda…
Me: Ano baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa???!!!

Aba! Humirit pa!

Mama: Tong tong tong tong pakitong kitong, alimango sa dagat… maputi at masarap…
Me: So ano ‘yung alimango, albino?!
Mama: E bakit ba marunong ka pa sa’kin? E sa gusto ko ng maputing alimango!
Me: Ayusin mo kasi!
Mama: Tong tong tong tong pakitong kitong, alimango sa dagat… maliit at masarap…
Me: Ngayon naman, malnourished ang alimango?!

Hahahahahahaha!!!


Enjoy the rest of the week! ^_^

There was some sort of a restaurant boom in Robinsons Manila last year. If you’re an avid reader of this blog, then you are probably aware that it is the mall that my family frequently goes to. So imagine how excited we were when we found out that there would be more choices for our gastronomic adventures! My husband and I, being both ramen lovers, really looked forward to the opening of Ippudo Ramen. My younger brother is a big fan of Ippudo so he set the bar a bit too high. Unfortunately, it took us months before we got to try it. I got pregnant so I didn’t really have the patience to battle the long queue of diners. If I remember it correctly, I was eight months pregnant when we became successful in giving it a try.

It wasn’t love at first sight, though. I initially could not understand what the hype was all about! I told my brother that I didn’t like their Shiromaru Motoaji. It was too “subtle” for me. He then convinced me to give it another try, and I am glad that I did! Now, I already lost count of how many times we came back to Ippudo Ramen!

P_20160110_124530
Karaka-Men PHP390

On our second visit, I opted to have Karaka-Men. I make it a point to always try the spicy ramen of every ramen houses that I have visited. This was just an exception because I was still pregnant when I first went to Ippudo Ramen. Anyway, my brother assured me that I would like Ippudo’s take on it. He was absolutely right! I loved the pungent flavor of the broth. The level of spiciness is just perfect. (I’ve had something spicier than this one.) The addition of the garlic oil made the experience of eating Karaka-Men more distinct because you could already smell its aroma even from feet away!

On our next visit, I tried Akamaru Shinaji. If you don’t have the heart for spicy ramen, then I highly recommend this. It somehow has the same rich flavor of Karaka-Men, minus the spiciness. Just like the Karaka-Men, you could distinctly taste (and smell) the spring onions and garlic oil. I also enjoyed the slices of pork belly which has the perfect hint of saltiness. The serving slice of the pork belly is also ideal. It’s not too thin and not too thick either. I’ve had ramen before wherein the pork belly is too thin that it’s almost invisible to the naked eye! Hahaha! Some are too thick that it ends up being chewy and tasteless.

P_20160110_124313
Akamaru Shinaji PHP390

If you’re up for a tastier ramen experience, I suggest you put more fresh garlic. It’s not really the best idea for a first date, but your taste buds will surely thank you for it! :p My husband and I also love adding tamago to our ramen.

We were also able to try some of their side dishes. For me, their gyoza was just so-so in terms of taste. And I wasn’t really impressed with the serving size. Hehe! I actually liked their Nanban Karaage more than the gyoza.

P_20160110_124142
Nanban Karaage PHP250

It’s crispy on the outside. It’s very moist, too. Its juice (and probably the excess oil too, haha) kept on overflowing at every bite. It comes with a tartar sauce that gave out a sharp kick to my taste buds. It provides a nice contrast to the sweet sauce that was drizzled on the karaage. It’s also served with a refreshing side salad which is the perfect way to cleanse your palates.

I am glad that I gave Ippudo Ramen another shot. Ang restaurant, minsan parang LOVE. Worth it bigyan ng second chance! :p


Ippudo Ramen
Ground Floor Midtown Wing
Robinsons Place Manila
Ermita, Manila

* All photos were taken with an Asus Zenfone Selfie

Ippudo Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Zayne turned three months old on February 8! Given that it fell on a Philippine holiday (Chinese New Year), we skipped the usual food takeout. I had the luxury to cook carbonara for her celebration. And of course, we had her Ninang Joie’s cake! Joie grew tired of baking chocolate cakes so she asked me if I wanted to try her carrot cake. I was so glad that I said yes! I know that I already sound like a broken record, but the cakes (and other sweet treats) from My Sweets’ Haven taste divine! I even told Joie that it was her best “creation” so far! Hahahaha! Zayne’s OOTD was a gift from her Ninang Abby. Her headband was also a gift from her Doc Ninang Louisa. (Zayne has the perfect set of ninangs!!! :p)
PhotoGrid_1454926597788

It is public knowledge that my husband and I battled infertility for four years. And so now that we finally have Zayne, there are times when I look at her and I still try to convince myself that I really have a baby. Although I initially felt that I was fully equipped with the knowledge that I needed to face motherhood, things changed drastically the moment I first held Zayne. Suffice to say, I became a clueless neophyte mother. But I guess God knows what we really need in our lives. He knew that I wanted to enjoy motherhood after waiting for so long to have a baby so he made sure to make the ride a little more bearable for me. Although there are some hiccups, my breastfeeding journey is relatively pleasing. My milk supply is more than enough for Zayne that she even gets to share it with two other babies. And I would like to believe what her Ninang Aubrey said - that Zayne is a “low maintenance” baby. She already sleeps through the night right after she turned two months old. She’s very playful and lively, but she’s relatively quiet when she’s with a large crowd. She only cries when she’s hungry, which rarely happens because I am proactive in feeding her. She doesn’t cry during bath time. She actually enjoys taking a bath! (Buti hindi nagmana sa tatay! :p) She does not cry when she wakes up in the morning. There were instances when she woke up ahead of us, and we just found her quietly playing with her hands in her crib. She smiles at the things that we give to her – a book, a toy, TV time and even simple hugs and kisses. She only wails when she gets interrupted in her sleep! =)) (Manang-mana sa nanay! :p)

She talks a lot.

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

She smiles a lot. She laughs a lot. When we want to make her smile or laugh, the best thing to do to is to tell her that she’s pretty! :p

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

She already has her earrings because her Nanay and Tatay grew tired of people asking, “Girl or boy?” =))


She also loves Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? I know that it’s never too early to learn, but I don’t force her to like books. I just make her feel that I am an available “resource” for learning. I know that I am a new mother, and I am not yet an authority when it comes to homeschooling. But I know how it feels to be forced to do well in school that’s why I want my daughter to feel that learning can be an enjoyable experience. The last thing on my mind is to end up being a tiger mom raising an unhappy child. I first tried to read her Dr. Seuss’s books. She didn’t like it at first. (Maybe because all she wanted at that time was my milk! :p) I took a break. It was some sort of a trial and error until I discovered that she loves Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Because of this, I also discovered that she loves playing animal sounds. The sound of the cat is her favorite!

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

I know that it’s a big clichΓ©, but time really flies so fast when you have kids. Every single day, I do a mental note of the things that I am supposed to do. “I will clean the house… I will cook dinner… Ok, I can probably squeeze in some time to blog…” I want to accomplish more chores, but how can I resist when Zayne looks at me and “begs” me to spend more time with her? Zayne wins. She ALWAYS does. The day will probably come when she would be annoyed by my mere presence. So for now, I’ll just enjoy every single minute that she clings on to me. =)