Monday, January 19, 2015

My Baby Shower

I did have a hand in planning my baby shower along with my sister, mother, cousin and uncle. My husband was still out sailing and was onboard tanker ship Nord Hummock during the planning and the day itself so he was not able to join. He was able to join me pick up the items when I registered at SM Baby Company so he wasn't totally out of the loop.

We picked a colorful and floral theme for the simple get-together and I invited a few of my workmates from work. Since it was only a day after New Year's Day only a few were able to attend. Baby's edited 3D/4D video was also shown during the party.

I am truly grateful for all my friends who attended and brought gifts for the little one. I am also very touched by the wonderful messages that each one wrote on the "advice book" we made for Baby Summer. It was a day full of fun and games and we shared a light dinner with a few sweet treats.

Baby Viktoria Summer's first ever cake - she will always be the apple of our eyes!

We moved all the chairs and couches to the side of the living room so we will have more space for the games that Uncle Don prepared. I loved how everyone was so happy to participate and we all had a good laugh for sure. 

My mom and sister busy preparing the food before the invited guests started to arrive. 

NASDAQ Manila officemates - Gene and Mitch

PeopleSupport and Dell Manila officemates - Joy, Joyce, Majo and Jonah with my niece Eana

Let the fun and games begin... 

With my good friend Mina

I have more photos than these but most were candid and with poor lighting so I just shared a few from the event and yes obviously we were just having too much fun that we did not have a thousand pictures. I was also not able to take pictures of all the gifts so I opted not to share photos of any of the gifts. But yes, thank you, thank you, and a lot more thank you - we now have tons of cute outfits, crib,  toys and other newborn essentials.


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Letter To My Future Daughter

Dear Baby Summer, 

I decided to write you this letter because I want to officially include you in my online journal which we now call "blog". Your far (Dansk for dad) and I were talking about jointly writing a letter for you before we went to bed last night. By the time you're old enough to read and understand every word that mor (Dansk for mom) wrote in this post, we'd have shared so many wonderful moments as a little unit of love we will fondly call family. We waited for you for almost two years after your far and I got married and when you finally came our first challenge was as petty as what name to give you. Eventually we agreed to give you the name Viktoria Summer.

After the first ultrasound session, we started calling you Baby Corn because you looked like a corn kernel. Mor will show you a picture for sure so you would believe me. You were the best gift that I received on my birthday and because your far was overjoyed he also gave me a "positive pregnancy test" gift which I am now using to type this post. You see that a lot of far and mor's family and friends  were incredibly excited to know that you are almost 4 weeks old and everybody had their own well wishes as well as guesses if you will be a boy or a girl.

On your second ultrasound, you looked a lot like a peanut and so we started calling you Baby Peanut. We also finally found out that you are a girl. We were incredibly overjoyed. Far was onboard the tanker ship Nord Bell when I went for my check-up so I waited until he was online to tell him the good news. You see far really wants to have a daughter as much as I do.

I did not have an easy pregnancy but I know all along that all will be worth it. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (morning sickness that is worse than the normal morning sickness). I had to be admitted to the hospital twice so that I can be properly hydrated and nourished and so that you will also be adequately hydrated and nourished. Apart from the hyperemesis gravidarum, I was also diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease and some form of thyroid disorder as well as gestational diabetes mellitus. I started to track my blood sugar by pricking my fingertips before each meal and inject insulin on my third trimester. I told my endocrinologist that I would rather prick my fingertips a thousand times more than the nurses pricking your heel for at least a week in the neonatal intensive care unit if you suffer from hypoglycemia.

Mommy had to brave all the illnesses so she can safely nurture you inside my womb. In between all these, I also had occasional high blood pressure which was a definite cause of worry for my OB-Gyne. She asked me to monitor my blood pressure and prescribed some medicine to avoid any complication. I would like to let you know however that I was never worried for myself but more for you. I wanted you to come out healthy, I want you to come out strong.

You look a lot like your "far" no doubt about that. 

As I write this, I am now on my 36th week and it will only be a few more days until you will signal that you are ready to come out. All your needs are ready as well as far and mor's hospital bags. We have fixed your crib and we love how your little princess corner is coming together. Your dad is mom's trusty handyman for sure. Now that we have prepared for your arrival, all we could do is pray that both you and I will be safe on your "birth day". I also pray that you will grow up appreciating all the hardship that your mom and dad had to go through to bring you into our world.

One day when you are old enough to understand every single thing that I wrote here, I hope that you will remember that your mom and dad loves you so much even before you were born. I know that eventually I will lose all the eases and simplicities that I am enjoying now but know that your birth will bring me and our family the best memories that we will all treasure. I know that at some point while you grow up, you will challenge me and I hope I will be the woman you will look to for inspiration and for encouragement. I want to be able to foster your every ambition, to nurture your every dreams.

Apart from being excited to finally meet you, we are also looking forward to hug you and kiss you for the first time. We look forward to hold you, bathe you, care for you, feed you, and the whole nine yards. But through it all, I hope that you will grow to be a very healthy child - loving God and your parents just as much as we love you.

With all my love, 


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My 2014 In Retrospect

I ended 2013 and welcomed 2014 in chilly Denmark with my husband and his family. I still vividly recall when we walked the family dog, Maggie, on the fields while we watched fireworks from different corners of Hillerod. I brought my camera with me that time but the pictures didn't give justice to the beautiful pyrotechnics. This year, I welcomed 2015 just peeping out the window because I was down with the flu and I was scared to inhale the fumes from the firecrackers that our neighbours gleefully lighted to welcome the new year.

I have drafted this post for quite some time but I was not able to publish it as my attention was caught up into the preparations for the baby shower and other things I needed to accomplish before the little one comes along. I did devote some time to reflect on the year that was and so here goes...

1. Travelled a little bit. 

Toured the streets and harbor of Copenhagen and admired the unassuming beauty of Malmö in Sweden. We also took a 3-hour train ride from Hillerod to Fredericia (western Denmark) to visit my husband's cousins as well as took a trip to Blåvand to visit the summer houses. It was a little weird walking along the beach wearing layers and layers of winter clothing. It was extremely cold (well, at least for me). Click the hyperlink if you want to read my Denmark Diaries.

2. About Me Page revamped. 

I decided to have the about me page of my blog revamped. I can't believe it's been almost a year. I guess I need to update it again soon. I just wish that I will have more time to blog this 2015 even with the little bundle of joy coming along.

3. I got pregnant! 

I found out I was pregnant on my birthday. It was the best gift ever! I have long wished to be a mom and  I could not be any happier. My pregnancy was not at all easy and I have been admitted to the hospital to treat different pregnancy-related ailments/conditions (hyperemesis gravidarum, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gestational diabetes, among other things). I did not enjoy my pregnancy to say the least but I am happy that the little one has developed normally and in less than a month we will finally meet and see her. I still can't fathom how you can love someone that you have not seen yet! I feel nothing but overwhelming love for our little princess, Viktoria Summer.

4. I quit my job (kind of). 

I started my medical leave before my second trimester ended so I can get rid of stress and the whole nine yards at work. I could not thank my boss and our HR enough for letting me take some much needed rest to take care of myself and the little one. There were some changes that disappointed me at work but I don't think it is proper to discuss it here so I will spare you the details. In time, I know I will make a decision - a very big career decision that has my husband's approval already.

5. I became less vain. 

This is clearly related to me being pregnant. I can only remember a single trip to the hair salon this year and I can also count how often I had my nails did. I also didn't care if I don't have a tinge of make-up on when I go out of the house. I sometimes don't even brush my hair and just settle on putting it up messy-bun style. I don't know, I just couldn't care less. Haha! I also have very few bump pictures because I didn't want my picture taken most of the time. My skin regimen was downgraded to just washing my face with soap and water and putting a little moisturizer on.

So yeah that was my 2014! I am sure that 2015 will be more colorful, more exciting, more memorable albeit more challenging but I am more than eager to welcome it with arms wide open.

How did your 2014 go? 


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PicMonkey Royale 30-Day Free Trial

If you are like me who likes sprucing up (read: adding colors, experimenting with fonts, throwing in some banners and graphics alike) pictures before adding them to my blog and with little to no working knowledge on premium photo editing tool/software, then PicMonkey could be your best friend too.

I have been a Royale member for about 2 years or so now and I have been enjoying the services from day 1. The site just keeps getting better and better every day. I love that you don't need to shell out as much money compared to buying complicated photo editing software. Editing is also super easy and the myriad of features makes it so much fun to use.

I've also used PicMonkey to create Valentines Day cards and I have started editing Christmas note cards as well. Sweet!

If you want to read more on why you need a Royale membership, read up on reasons through this link.

Happy holidays my dear readers! Cheers to a joyous and bountiful season! 


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Cath Kidston Spring/Summer 2015 Preview

I was lazily browsing through my mailbox until I saw the newest email from Cath Kidston. I was overjoyed to read the subject of the email: Look what's coming next. I immediately opened the email and found a preview of the Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Woot!!!

I was expecting something bright and floral but I saw something blue and with clouds illustration. I am not sure if I like it as much as I like the floral and dots designs. Good thing there are some products with floral and dot hearts design as well.

I wish there's a plimsoll with the dot hearts design though. I might need to scroll over the products in the website some more before I decide which ones to get or maybe start praying that these will all be eventually available at the Cath Kidston store here in the Philippines.

If you are still not done with your Christmas shopping, you may want to visit the Cath Kidston website and choose that perfect gift for your friends and family.

Click the picture below to start browsing:

Cath Kidston Christmas Collection
Happy Holidays!!! 


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Was Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes

I got the pregnancy sugars and my level is way above the benchmark.

I had my oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on my 24th week and the result is not encouraging at all. I was diagnosed to have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). It is my first pregnancy and it seemed like I have ALL the conditions with fancy medical terms - hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and now gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). I have never had the most hospital trips in my life before compared to this year. I have never had the most number of needle pricks in my entire life either. I say I am generally healthy except for the occasional colds, cough and fever.

I was a little hesitant to undergo the test but decided to push through anyway. I kept on thinking that I am doing all these for the sake of our baby's health (not so much for myself to be honest). I was asked to fast for at least 8 hours before the first blood sample will be drawn from me. After the blood was drawn out, I was asked to drink the super sugary orange-flavored beverage within 5 minutes. It wasn't so bad, I kinda liked it but yes it was undeniably sweet. I was then asked to come back after an hour so the second blood sample can be drawn out.  After the second sample was drawn, I started to feel nauseous and really about to throw up. I was determined not to throw up because then I have to repeat the entire process. Good thing my husband came to the hospital with me. I leaned on his shoulders and closed my eyes and battled with my gag reflex. Next thing I know, it was time to take the third blood sample. After the sample was drawn out, I threw up all the beverage. It was still orange, same color like what I drank 2 hours ago. I quite had the inkling that my body never processed the beverage.

What is gestational diabetes mellitus? 

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a type of diabetes that some women develop during pregnancy. When you have diabetes, there is too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. GDM can also lead to health problems for the mother and the baby during and after pregnancy.

  • Before birth, the baby will likely grow bigger than usual/normal. This could make giving birth more difficult and would be more likely through caesarian delivery (C-section). 
  • The baby may be at risk for childhood obesity after birth. 
  • The mother may be at risk to develop Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. 

After discussing my OGTT test results and all the possible effects during and after pregnancy with my endocrinologist, I was really scared. I'm deeply concerned of my daughter's health and well-being. I would not want her to develop diabetes and worst I don't want to lose her before she even sees the outside world. My doctor told me that there's a risk of the pregnancy to terminate even at 32 weeks. I know this is something serious and that I have to take this seriously.

I was asked to monitor my blood sugar level before breakfast, an hour after breakfast, an hour after lunch, an hour after dinner and before bedtime. I was also advised to see a dietitian who would help me create a meal plan to follow and then go back to the doctor again after a week.

I am now mid-week into testing my blood sugar and I don't understand why it fluctuates so much. I can't wait for the week to be over so I can go back to my doctor and have her interpret my results. I would not want to go on medication (insulin shots) but looks like I am leaning that way. For now, all I could do is to pray and pray and pray some more for my baby daughter's health.

Have you had experience with gestational diabetes while pregnant? 


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Sunday, December 7, 2014

When The Storm Is Over

As Metro Manila is bracing for the wrath of Super Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), I am safely holed up inside  my room. I have watched quite a bit of news coverage in the central regions of the Philippines who endured the storm's brunt and I am relieved that the loss of property and loss of lives is much less compared to the destruction experienced during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) a little more than a year ago.

A few more landfalls were forecasted and I know everyone are still on their toes hoping and praying that this too shall pass. As of the moment, all we could do is to prepare and pray.

I hope that the more than 35 million citizens of the Philippines will not be disheartened but rather be encouraged that there's always a rainbow after the storm and that ample preparation can always save lives and property for that matter. Perfect reason why the quote above really resonates. 


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