help me

Friday, October 24, 2014

If you haven’t read my post on this whole overnight in KL thing, you may refer to this. But the short of it is that because of some passport mishap, my 9-month-old baby and I actually flew to KL without his dad and went back the following day all by ourselves, as well.

We actually could have decided against flying in the first place, being unsure of what may happen regarding my husband’s passport, whether he could follow or not. But we both thought that we can just fly anyway with the hopes of him if finding favor enabling him to follow us later at night. But alas, nothing can be done and when we realized that I immediately knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.

To go there , even with the help of friends, can be quite tiring. My baby is 9 months old and is still nursing. He nurses for food and for comfort. He can pull up to stand but cannot do it on his own yet. He obviously can’t walk yet. So just imagine that it would be entirely upon his mother to provide milk and physical support at all times. Not to mention that he’s grown to be more active- learning acrobatic skills, back bending and all on the floor, in my arms, in the tub- you get the picture. His voice had picked up volume and he has more syllables to share these days, so I can hardly keep him quiet. Then there’s his supplements- to take with every meal. And oh, the meals! I must not skip any because he needs to gain weight. And so I mustn’t, too, so milk supply stays strong. Whoever said a mom’s got nothing to do?

So when the doors of the plane were closing without seeing any Joseph on my side, I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell, “STOP!!!” And then jump out to run to my husband. Of all people he also knows how terrified I am of strong turbulence. This only came about since I had Philip, not because I fear to die but because I fear that I will not be strong enough to save my son if anything happens. Oh the mind of a mother, really.

But there was so much grace. Amidst all these thoughts and the reality of my physical challenges within our unfortunate situation, I received so much help!

I did not have to carry so much as our friends who were flying with us helped us with all the bags. The flight attendant also was attentive to my needs- she buckled my carrier and fastened my seatbelt when I was having a hard time.

Philip was also unusually calm and quiet- the moment we took off he fell asleep at my breast and remained so for the next 2 hours. When he woke up he was so happy and so easy to please. Before we know it we were already landing in KL. (The ride was also not bumpy at all!)

Then when we got to KL, the boy was still very easy to manage and our bags were all claimed and loaded by our friends. And when we got to the hotel, so many of our other friends asked if we needed help. I actually had a problem of who to say yes and no to! :)

We were starving when we landed, though. But first things first was to check-in the hotel. After doing so, we bumped into Pastor Paolo and Jenn Punzalan and they volunteered to take us to the next door mall for dinner. I gladly said yes as it will help me greatly to feed Philip, while also feeding myself.

When we got to the food court I realized they would not accept credit cards. But I had no time in between to change my dollars, so the Punzalans offered to take care of our dinner. It was a good one. I ate yellow Laksa and Philip had rice with soup. (Tip: If you will only stay for a day in KL, EAT LAKSA.)

Then before dinner was over my mother in law and father in law came to relieve me of my mama duties and even bought dessert for me. The Punzalans took off, while Nana and Tata took over. They brought us back to the hotel where my mother in law watched over Philip as I was talking to Joseph about our situation over the internet.

Alas, nothing can be done and the decision is to fly back home the very next day. I mean how could I not when my boy’s been jumping up and down at he mere sight of his father???

That night, my mother in law slept with us to keep us company. I was dead tired from all the walking but I still couldn’t sleep well thinking of how much I miss Joseph and how I wanted to him to be with me.

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The next day we woke and I got us dressed for breakfast, after which we attended at least the first day of our conference. At breakfast, friends passed Philip around to help us both get sufficient meals. Oh I am just so glad our church is like family. No shortage of hands to help at all times!

Right after the morning sessions I had to quickly eat lunch with Philip. That was, again, done with the help of my in laws. They offered every hand and all fingers and toes at my disposal! I gladly took them all and left Philip with them after eating as I rushed upstairs so I could pack and leave for the airport soon as we can. At around 2:30PM, Philip and I were in a cab with Nana and Tata. They brought us to the airport.

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My in-laws did not leave until 5:00PM, when I decided to move towards our gate. Before that, they bought me coffee, held Philip while I checked in, and played with him before boarding time. It was really only when we were at the gate that Philip and I were completely left alone. And I realized that I could have been more tired and stressed and upset about the situation had it not been for the generosity of these people who helped us.

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Then I realized that this is how the Lord is with us. He freely gives without asking for any payment. Or maybe some others think it is payment, that the only thing He would ask from us to be in a relationship with Him. To love Him above all and trust Him above all.

And not only does He not ask for payment but He wants you to humbly tell Him, “I’m in need. Help me. Take my burdens and give me rest.” He’d rather that than, “I can do everything. Don’t mind me. I can be good and when I am already good then I will deserve Your love.”

My husband said that there was a supernatural grace on me the whole time we were going through this ordeal. He kept saying I was unbelievable and he was so grateful to me and proud of me. I told him though, that it really felt like nothing. It wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be and I attribute that to the grace these different people have extended to me.

That is how God changes us, I guess. We become more graceful and become more of who we are supposed to be as we tell Him we can’t do it on our own and embrace the transforming power of His love. His grace really changes everything.

Whew, what a story to tell. Which I wouldn’t be able to say had I been too proud to admit my weaknesses and need. If I had shown everyone I was strong and able and mighty then I would have had to carry all my bags while Philip was strapped onto me, buckle the carrier, fasten my own seat belts, pay for my dinner (or worse, skip dinner!), miss dessert, pay for our cab ride, produce money at the airport, and hold Philip all the time. But none of those simply because I swallowed my pride and said, “Help me.”

 

valid, visible, and the right passport

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MIA for the past few days due to unexpected turn of events!

I was set to fly to Kuala Lumpur together with hubby and baby for a 4-day conference together with other leaders from our movement all around Asia. But when we got to our counter for check-in last Monday, we were stumped to have been told that my husband’s passport is no longer permitted to fly being a few days shy of 6 months validity.

Making sure he has everything in the bag. ✈️

A photo posted by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio (@ricaperalejobonifacio) on

We were so ready!!! Or so we thought. 

We’ve never experienced this before so we really didn’t know what to do. So we called people for different suggestions, while also deciding whether I should take the flight together with our 9-month-old baby Philip even if it means flying without his daddy. The short of it is that we flew anyway (a decision influenced also by the fact that we were flying with some of our friends and they could help me and Philip), with the hope of Joe being able to work it out in Manila, doing everything that he can so he can fly to follow us later in the night.

Alas, there was nothing that can be done! All efforts told him the best would be picking up a new passport via expedited process, earliest, on Friday. And that would be totally useless of course, since the conference we are attending ends on Thursday! </3

In the process I have learned so much that I would be sharing on a separate blog post, among others like: how much I can miss my husband and how it breaks my heart that Philip would be jumping up and down at the sight of his dad on the screen during a video call. And so this ultimately led me to the decision that it is best to go home the very next day.

And while I am still laughing in disbelief at what just happened to us- overnight in KL, riding planes without a husband and a father for Philip, walking through terminals and tarmacs weight-heavy back and front (bag was never measured but we can be sure Philip is at least 18lbs.), let me just take this opportunity to make a few reminders about your passports!

VALID PASSPORT

They are very strict around Asia now, they say. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months if you want to be able to fly. Counters do not receive you even if they technically can because they might get penalized if immigration in the receiving country sends you back. Your next best hope is that no one notices- but that’s a roulette because you never really know!

Check while you have time because once you’ve got all arrangements made already, a problem like this means you cannot be sure about an expedited process shorter than 4 days. Sayang ang reservations!!!

DFA gives extension stamps though. Unfortunately, that does not apply to tourists but only to OFWs and those traveling for medical emergencies.

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VISIBLE PASSPORT

My husband was supposed to go to Lima, Peru but the night he was packing for the trip he could not find his passport anywhere. He had gone back to his office two times at 3 in the morning just to see if it was there, though deep down inside of his crazy mind he knew that it was just around his bedroom. He remembers hiding it somewhere but he hid it so well he is now unable to find it.

TRUE STORY.

So please, if you wanna hide things, do tell someone especially if it is as crucial as your passport. You don’t want to be so effective and efficient to your own detriment.

RIGHT PASSPORT

I was ALSO to board a KL flight with the same airline. It was a Friday night when traffic was, as always, terrible in Manila. I get to the counter and confidently took out my passport with my husband’s photo on it. In my head, “You gotta be kidding me.” But fate was not kidding, alright. It was really my husband’s passport while mine was left right in the safety of our home.

So to newly married couples: CHECK PASSPORT IF IT IS, INDEED, YOURS. I know we are supposed to be “as one” as husband and wife but passports remain separate. Believe me, they won’t accept that “one flesh” logic at the counter so bring the one with your picture on it.

My husband says that we are still praying that the legal policies will someday reflect our theological positions. But until then we have to succumb to the system. So folks, make sure you have a valid passport, a visible passport, and the right passport way ahead of time! I have learned my lesson- too much laksa missed in this lifetime is just not worth it.

Have a great Thursday!

 

 

It is SIDS Awareness Month once again and we are back with another promo and good reminders!

Here is a guest blog by our friends from HALO Sleepsack!

If you knew that SIDS, suffocation, and sleep-related accidents are the No. 1 causes of infant deaths, how would you put your baby to sleep?

About SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected death of an infant less than 1 year of age.  SIDS is the leading cause of death for otherwise healthy babies, and comes without warning.  It is closely related to other accidents during sleep, like suffocation or strangulation due to loose bedding, and the like.

While the actual causes of SIDS are still unknown, researchers have found a high correlation between an infant’s sleeping environment and the risks of SIDS.  Here are 8 things you should remember to keep your baby safe while sleeping:

1. Back is best. Always place your baby to sleep on his back, regardless if it’s naptime or bedtime.

1.  Back is Best2. Create a safe sleeping area. Use a crib that meets current safety standards.  The crib should have a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet, with nothing inside except your baby.

2. Safe Sleep Area3. Remove all loose bedding. Remove all loose blankets, comforters, soft toys, and crib bumpers.  These items can block the flow of fresh air to your baby and cause carbon dioxide re-breathing, which is a leading risk factor for SIDS.

3. No loose blankets

4. Use a safety-certified wearable blanket or SleepSack. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of wearable blankets because they eliminate the risk of babies accidentally suffocating or strangulating with loose blankets.  Since wearable blankets are safety products, it is important that you choose a brand that has safety certifications and is trusted by the medical community.

4.  Halo - No. 1 Choice of Hospitals

5. Happy babies sleep alone. Co-sleep in the same room, not on the same bed. Experts do not recommend sharing the same sleep surface with your baby in order to avoid accidental death from overlaying, suffocation from adult beddings, and other accidents.

5. Happy Babies Sleep Alone

6. Breastfeed, when possible. Apart from its other known benefits, breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

6. Breastfeed

7. Do not let your baby overheat. Make sure to use clothing made with breathable fabric to prevent overheating.  In warm climates, wearing a SleepSack made in 100% cotton over light clothing is often enough to keep babies cozy warm and sleeping soundly through the night.

7.  No overheating

8. No Smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke while pregnant, and never allow anyone to smoke near your baby.

8. No Smoking

Share these important safe sleep tips to everyone who cares for your baby, or anyone who has a baby! Education is key to keeping our babies safe!  #SafeSleepPh

Get 15% off and Give the Gift of Safe Sleep!

Get 15% discount by typing “PhilipBo” under “Promo Code” when you purchase at www.halophilippines.com from now until Nov 15, 2014.

With sizes for newborns up to 2 years old, Halo makes a unique and practical gift for baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, and the holidays.  You can never go wrong with the gift of safe sleep! 

Follow Halo on www.facebook.com/halophilippines and Instagram @halophilippines to learn more about #TheSaferWayToSleep !

 Rica’s Note About Content:

To fully disclose everything, I personally do not practice “back is best” sleeping and we also co-sleep in one and the same bed.

But I do highly recommend being watchful if your baby sleeps on his tummy (Philip loves this position and sleeps heavenly so), make sure not to leave him for long in that position, especially in his first few weeks of life and also never alone. If baby is still too small, he might not be able to lift himself up right away in case he is feeling suffocated.

About co-sleeping- I am a light sleeper, and for that and some other reasons it seems that co-sleeping in one bed works for us. I do not really agree that this is bad for all families, but perhaps it is best to assess if it will really put your baby in danger. :)

a piece of cake!

Friday, October 17, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a little girl I would dream about being a wife, a mom, teacher, even a cash registrar, but somehow never a chef or a baker. And in all of my 33 years on earth, not once have I cultivated the cook in me. Medyo napilitan lang ako maging creative for my infant at home kasi kawawa naman that I feed him the same thing all the time due to my lack of foodie imagination.

Really, I would rather eat than create dishes. But I also kinda wanna challenge myself these days for the love of my family. (Husband loves different flavors!) So tamang-tama naman when Magnolia sent me boxes of Devil’s Food Cake mix and Fudge Brownie- I thought I might as well awaken the baker in me!

So the first thing I did was call up my sister who has an oven and a Kitchen Aid mixer at home. I also called up my nieces for support since this is unchartered territory for me. No way I am doing this alone! (Haha, OA ba???)

More than anything else, I wanted to secure that my first time EVER to bake will be a fun and memorable event, which is a sure thing when my family as around.

baking

 

Reading instructions and goofing around with my sister…

And since it was my first time, I planned to stick with the simplest instructions on the box. Ingredients only required the cake mix, 3 eggs,1 cup water and ½ cup olive oil. I find it important that the recipe will not be intimidating for me!

DFC-ingredients

taste test

Next up was a series of mixing and then baking in the oven for only 30 minutes. (Preheated though.) Coming from zero experience, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy everything tunred out to be!

nica

 

The toothpick checker! My niece Nica’s little secret for me!

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After we have taken out the cake from the oven, all of us suddenly felt the need to mount an impromptu cake presentation contest, haha! And as we were thinking of ways to make the cake look inviting, I’ve had my share of biting off the edges here and there.

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contest

The Peralejo Devil’s Food Cake was actually good, and could even be better by adding perhaps whipped cream or some really, really sweet frosting. Who knows, I might even try to make recipes online that suggest to turn it into a cheesecake! (Wow, is that me being more courageous and adventurous about baking???)

Seriously speaking, aside from that this experience was able to drive away my fear of baking, it also brought me a place of bravery and pride at what the hands can make. Next time I have a party at home, I’d be more than willing to make this cake for them and proudly announce that I made the dessert myself! :)

How about you? Do you like baking? And if so, have you ever tried making Devil’s Food Cake by yourself? Can you give me recipes that can spike up an awesome cake mix that makes really awesome moist cake in 30 minutes?

 

 

Make Memories

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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On a rainy Sunday afternoon, my friend’s little boy celebrated his first birthday. It is also a tradition in our church that when the child turns one, we offer and dedicate him to the Lord.

pinoy-party

 

The party was small and intimate. We saw only very few and the family’s closest friends. It was surprisingly so fun because everyone saw everyone, and did not get lost in a big crowd.

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The theme was also so simple and yet so cute! Pinoy Birthday party with the celebrant in barong, and his sister in baro’t saya. We were also especially happy that each table had old school Pinoy sweets and snacks. I know it isn’t healthy but it brings so many good memories!

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Pancit definitely filled our tummies. And so did the lumpia. I don’t have a photo but I kept going back for more of the ginataang halo-halo. Then of course, the palitaw. For me, it was a real fiesta!

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Last night, I met with my good friend, who was also my wedding coordinator, Teena Barretto, because she said we already needed to discuss Philip’s upcoming birthday. Coming into this I was actually surprised at how much first birthday parties have changed over the years. They have definitely become grander in every way. And while I do not think this is necessarily bad, I just have to admit to myself that this is not, in any way, my desire. For me, a first birthday party, especially for my son, should remain intimate and quality time spent well with the ones who really have a genuine relationship with our little man.

So to all moms out there, I pray you do not get pressured about mounting a big party for your child’s first. Or even second. Or even seventh! A party is meant to celebrate, and for this specific one, the one year of life and faithfulness brought about by a sovereign God. If you ask me, a few family and friends over a good meal and the Lord’s presence should be more than enough. And take pictures, so you remember this part of your life. Then and now, I stand by my belief that I must make memories and not only events. :)

Have a great Tuesday!

 

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