Monday, July 20, 2009

sneaked in a movie night

i had the luxury of seeing a movie while baby is less than 2 months old. (score! happy with the yaya!)

my sister, vangie, and paul went to see transformers 2 with me even though they both have already seen it.

in any michael bay film, one can expect his signature shots that are basically comfort food for the eyes.

1. the group hero walk.this is the full shot of your seeming randomly positioned group of heroes walk/strut towards the camera in slow motion, to a sweeping musical score.
2. the crane hero shot. hero shot that usually starts with worm’s eye view, dollying all the way up to a long shot of your hero. The hero is usually striking a macho pose.
3. the soother. movie’s resident hot chick makes an impossibly sexy superhero pose. a shot designed to bring in male audiences for another viewing.

transformers 2: the rise of the fallen is this year’s official summer testosterone-overload movie.

does it follow several predictable hollywood formulas? yes.

does it make you appreciate the production and post-production work involved? yes.

does it make you look forward to the next installment? yes.
does its being eye candy make you oblivious to the storyline? yes.
does it make you want to buy anything after you watch it? oh yes.

it makes me want to buy scotchguard. so that in case alien robots try to kill me or my man, i can douse myself with it. then i can run around in white pants in the middle of an egyptian desert, with flying debris and explosions without getting any dirt on my clothes.

p.s. i like megan’s lip gloss. guessing it's MAC’s lip glass.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


nightingale nurses, matteh and jocelyn holding 10 day old Audrey. my lifesavers.

We have a beautiful baby girl. Maybe I’m biased, and people are just polite, but one look at her, and I want to change the world for her.

As Jerome looked on in wonder at her tiny features, I teased him that we probably needed a very beautiful baby because god figured anything less won’t survive, with us as parents.

I so very much want to paint that perfect picture of parental bliss, but everyone knows that is b.s.

Flashback to the birthing room…

My last thought as I gave my final push was: "oh good, last push. I’m really hungry…dinnertime."

Time stopped as my baby (born with her eyes open) and i looked at each other for the first time. She cries a feisty, full-throated cry. I waited for the huge tidal wave of love to engulf me.


I only thought, "Oh there’s the baby. She’s outside of me now, and her leg looks like the paa of a chicken inasal."

Both Jerome and I had baby-phobia, brought about by our rooming-in experience at the hospital.

We both could not hold the baby right. Audrey was crying from 11pm to 1 am. I had no breastmilk yet, she was frustrated and hungry. She slept and woke up to cry some more.

Your offspring’s cry of frustration is probably the most soul shaking, painful sound in the world. You have no clue as to what you are doing, except that since your baby is crying, it probably means you are doing something or maybe everything wrong.

And Audrey kept crying. On the bright side, we can be certain that she has very strong lungs.

Mercifully, the night nurse from the nurse's station came in and brought her outside, feeding her glucose water. We immediately passed out. We later learned that Audrey is not a fussy baby, and does not cry very much.

We got the services of The nightingale nurses. They took care of Audrey as Jerome and I worked around:

1. being clueless new parents
2. having no maids (omg, a whole blog entry)
3. no yaya in sight
4. literally still living out of suitcases
5. being in a new, unfurnished place
6. being emotionally, spiritually, and (I figure) financially drained
7. having very little breastmilk, and no idea what to do with that

The nurses patiently coaxed me into becoming involved with my child. Jocelyn, a mom herself, would patiently come after me for the baby’s feeding. Matteh patiently showed me how to organize the baby’s things, and (sometimes) demanding from us certain things the baby needed. And Jerome ran off to get them at the same time organizing the new place.

When their services were about to end, and Jerome had to go back to work, I cried like the scared lost being that I was. But afterwards I knew I had to push myself to get my shit together, and do a mommy bootcamp with the nurses.

Jerome had to gently talk me out of becoming the frightened, literally petrified, and sobbing mess whenever the baby cried. He had to remind me that Audrey was no longer as fragile as when she was in the hospital.

Somehow, the peptalk worked. Some switch kicked in.

So I decided to approach the situation in the same way I would with things that were new and alien, like the ff:
  1. bungee jumping
  2. snorkeling
  3. skimboarding
  4. getting married
  5. moving to Singapore
  6. gambling everything to take a talent test
  7. backpacking alone across a foreign country with only a map and 3 phrases

I kept in mind that everything i initially found scary and daunting, had always been a secret gateway to a vast amount of exhilaration. All one needed is to just trust life.

On the first day Jerome went back to work, I locked myself and the baby inside the room. Told the new maid not to bug me.

I looked at the baby as I mentally rolled up my sleeves, telling her: "c’mon kid, let’s do this together. I'm gonna earn your love and you will get mine"

A mountain of diapers, a new yaya, month and a half of sleepless nights later, I am still learning.

Raising/caring for a child/baby is just like learning a software, when you know 70% of the interface, its time for an upgrade, and everything changes again.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

icon's visuals

3d rendering of our living area (if done right)

gotta love the visualization...i lovette to the world!!! click here check out ipe's site.

also linked here are design studies for our living area.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

having cake

traditional caramel cake with butter icing,
paired with strong brewed coffee laced with cream...
decadence has found its home.

last sunday, i finally got THE cake. :) my sister, vangie made good on her promise and brought over estrelle's superb caramel cake. i have been craving it since my pregnancy.


ipe and eddy came over all the way from calamba. we had a fun girltime.

ipe, (who holds the distinction of being the only other man who gets to run his fingers through my hair) finally got those long, preternaturally thick, hormonally-enhanced hair cut to a decent shape and length.

also got my first color since that seemingly distant day i got evidence on audrey's existence. still wearing them long. :)

paul brought over pizza and chicken. my brother and my sister in-law happened to be in town for a convention. they came over for a quick visit, cooing at audrey.
it's a good way to spend a sunday when your husband has to work.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

farrah & mj

my husband had this poster when he was about 5.
he kissed his "girlfriend" goodnight every night.

ok ok ok...

i'm not that apathetic that i would not blog about 2 pop culture icons passing on the same day...

sad about farrah fawcett. may she rest in peace, she will always be this dewey, beautiful, effervescent creature in the poster above.

mj?-probably the greatest pop artist of our time. but goddamn creepy. bye bye, rest in peace too.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Preparing for a Marathon (Final Part of a Series)

my daughter (shown with dr. cruz-reyes) shows everyone she has powerful lungs despite being petite like her namesake, audrey hepburn.

In Chiqui Brosas-Hahn’s Prepared Chilbirth classes, she really prepares you. No surprises anywhere for both me and Jerome. Except for the duration, and the pain’s absent intensity.

While researching about childbirth, I’ve come to a conclusion that preparing for childbirth is like preparing for a marathon. I also got a lot of odds stacked against me:
i. my age is 38 (classified as elderly pregnancy, elderly primie)
ii. a tipped uterus
iii. a previous laparoscopic cystectomy
iv. I’m nowhere as fit as I ought to be

Medically, I would have a huge chance of a long labor, most likely ending up with a caesarian birth.

But surprise! Seems all those yoga relaxation technique/Bradley method’s breathing paid off.

I’d breathe when a contraction comes and it helped. All the while in my mind, I had Chiqui’s voice going: “relax so the baby can come out”

When it was time to push, it was Chiqui’s voice reminding me to push “down and out”. Plus, being born with birthing hips sure probably didn't hurt. LOL. The baby crowned on my first set of pushing, and came out on the 5th set.

At 7:44 PM, the Mothership landed.

Audrey Lauren Khu Garcia arrives.

Her daddy finally cuts the thick, hard, grainy umbilical cord.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Labor day (Part 3 of a series)

The main reason we chose to birth in Asian Hospital was because they would allow one companion inside the labor room/genesis ward.

This being our first baby and all. I was the only patient that day. Jerome and my sister alternated staying with me as we waited for more intense contractions and dilations.

My contractions felt like Braxton-hicks. It was never that painful. So I gave my pain scale at 2 (1-10, 10 being the highest.)

I filled out some forms, as some rude, pedestrian doctor who thinks she is still in PGH’s charity ward asked me if I wanted to be in labor until the next day.

I gave her a curt “I don’t know” and dismissed her. In my head, I added: “packew ka, ah…as if I can control my dilation. Idiot, go suck on gangrene pus or something…*growl*”

Mercifully, she went away and never came back.

Our friend Abbie, who has an ENT practice in the hospital, dropped by the labor room, and chatted with me a bit. An hour went by, I was still on the same 6 cm dilation, so I got an epidural from a Dr. David.

It was a relatively painless procedure, but more painful than any of my contractions. The friendly, calming, and helpful nurses, Nurse Daisy, and Nurse Tords of Genesis is something I will always be grateful for, this type of warmth seems to typify Asian Hospital’s wonderful service.

This is a hospital that truly made one feel human, and not a piece of meat about to produce another piece of meat. (Hello, Medical City! Learn from the professionals! Duh!)

My OB-Gyn, Dr. Cecilia Cruz-Reyes, arrived and periodically checked on me. By 7ish, they wheeled me into the birthing room. My sister ran off and got Jerome. (Poor baby, he was having his first meal for the day.)

This is it, I thought, the grand finale is near. My body was ready, my mind was set, my spirit was on it.

The Mothership wants to land. Dammit.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Road Trip (Part two of a series)

The ride to Alabang was a road trip.

Our stuff had already been packed 2 weeks prior (week 37th).

i. Our clearbook with all the info

ii. Coaching notes from Chiqui Brosas’ Prepared Childbirth Classes

iii.Certificate from Chiqui’s classes

iv.Atm’s, credit cards, cash,

v. 3 Baby outfits (a girl’s gotta have choices)

vi.2 Mommy’s post birth outfits (1 in case of Ceasarian Birth)

.Daddy’s clothes

viii.Doctor’s Admission orders


x. PSP to chase off boredom

xi.Healthcare documents

We were all set.

I fired off SMS to everyone who may want to know that I was having the baby.

We knew we were starting a new adventure, we were excited, hopeful, a little apprehensive, but happy. We were doing this together.

It started to rain when we hit Magallanes.

Thank god this was not a film. Otherwise, I’d be dramatically huffing and birthing away inside the backseat of George (Jerome’s trusty Car), Jerome would be all dripping from the rain as he cut the cord with a borrowed Swiss knife from a good Samaritan equally trapped in the SLEX traffic, and…

As I said, this was not a film. So we made it to the hospital after almost 2 hours.

Funny how people react to a woman in labor. Jerome pulled up and told the guard (who was asking him to move the car) at the Asian Hospital that his wife is about to give birth.

The guy looked frightened, and pointed us to th e.r. we then told him we were going to the genesis ward. he ran off and came back with a wheelchair in 4 seconds.

True story.

(to be contd.)

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