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Reflecting on 2018

15 Dec

Tokyo Disneyland // 17 July 2018

A dear friend and fellow mommy, Rachel, once wisely commented, “The days are long, but the years are short.”  Just yesterday, Cedro posed for a photo with Tita Ging and I noticed that he’s almost the same height as her!  (OK. She’s 4’10” but still…). Time really flies.

Sendai, Japan // 24 June 2018


Cedro (8 years old):

  • He continues to be sweet and sensitive.  He cries pretty easily (just like Mama), but is also able to articulate his thoughts and feelings very clearly.  Whenever he sees me upset or stressed out, he knows that a hug or a reminder to “just breathe” will take care of it.
  • It’s pretty common for strangers to come up to me to comment on his politeness.  He is quick to hold open the doors for people while we’re out and about.
  • He is still obsessed with Minecraft and Legos.  He also has become very good at his Nintendo Switch games, but he has also become a pro at Perler bead creations and rubber band loom bracelets.
  • We have a nightly ritual of reading Harry Potter together.  We are almost done with Book 3.
  • Cedro has picked up piano and proven that he is a natural.  He is learning music theory on top of just learning how to play and has already surpassed my music knowledge.



Sendai, Japan // 24 June 2018

Draelen (4 years old):

  • Drae is the Boss of the family.
  • She is quite vocal and chatty. Some signature expressions:
    • “Samamat po” (instead of “Salamat po” or “Thank you, Sir/Ma’am” in Tagalog)
    • “Temepono” (instead of “Telepono”)
    • “Boku” (She refers to herself with the male pronoun in Japanese.  She only hears her brother and Papa speak Japanese at home so…)
    • “So long, SUCKAS!” (Yes, it’s true. Something I think she picked up listening to Cedro and his friends playing video games, but it’s also a line I’ve heard in animated movies.)
  • She loves to dance and will spontaneously break out in her own choreography.
  • Her favorite song right now is “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She raps and sings along at every moment.  In fact, she loves to sing in general.  Maybe she can be a guest on “Carpool Karaoke” one day.
  • She is obsessed with horses and can actually simulate horse sounds quite convincingly.  The surefire way I can get her to brush her teeth or do anything around the house is pretend that I’m a horse and let her ride my back to the bathroom or other intended destination.  I’m a sucker.  #momlife #whateverittakes

Every day still feels like a fire drill and we are in constant survival mode is we struggle to get the kids out the door and to bed on time.  But when I think about the problems, they’re First World problems.  We are all healthy and happy.  Phew!

Cedro’s 1st Tinikling Performance

17 Dec

Today, I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I witnessed Cedro do a brief oral report about himself in Tagalog and then later, perform the Tinikling (Filipino folk dance) for the first time at the Filipino Cultural School – FCS Fall Program Graduation and Holiday Party.  He’s been working hard for the past 8 weeks and sacrificing his Saturday mornings to learn about his Filipino culture and heritage.  I am beyond proud.

Tagalog Class

7 May

Cedro + Audrey in Pasadena

Half-Filipino 100% Adorable Friends – Thanks to Audrey we found out about // 07 May 2017

Today, Cedro started Tagalog class in Pasadena. With only 5 sessions once a week, I’m not expecting much. I’m just thrilled to give him the opportunity to be exposed to more Filipino culture with kids his age. It’s also a great excuse to hang out with our friends in the area!

Check out for more info.  Tayo na!

Drae’s 1st Haircut

6 Apr

Before Drae's 1st Haircut, Orangevale, CA // 06 April 2017

“Before” Haircut // 06 April 2017

Decided to cut off Drae’s beautiful long hair since she has been rejecting clips or pulling her hair back.  Her hair has been so tangled and just plain ol’ in the way which is definitely not safe with a broken clavicle.  It’s so great to be able to see her face now and know that she can see clearly without any clips or pigtails.  

She has already been called a boy 3 times today, but I don’t care.  She is still my cutie pie.

“After” Haircut – My Little Animé Character // 06 April 2017

Like Brother, Like Sister

29 Mar
Waiting for Drae to get X-rays in Urgent Care room

Urgent Care – waiting for Drae to get x-rays // 28 March 2017

Another unfortunate first. Drae fractured her right clavicle.  What?  Wasn’t it just yesterday when Cedro broke his arm?

She jumped from the slide in the kids’ bedroom and collided with Kuya Cedro and landed on the ground on her right shoulder.  

She calmed down almost immediately thanks to YouTube Kids.  We didn’t know for sure if she had broken anything since she was so calm.  What a trooper.  (Reminds me of when my grandma had broken her leg while watering the plants in the backyard — in wedge sandals, no less — and silently crawled-slash-dragged herself back into the house by herself.)

A trip to Urgent Care and an after-hours Ortho Clinic confirmed that Drae had indeed fractured her collarbone.  The good news was that it was a clean break and wouldn’t need to be reset.  The bad news was that there isn’t really much you could do other than put her arm in a sling and give her pain meds.  She immediately rejected both so this may be a long road for a full recovery.

That night she repeated over and over in her sleep, “WHY did I DO this?!… WHYYYYYY did I DO this?!!!”

Thankfully, she woke up giggling and laughing.  And so continues my journey as a mom to keep my kids alive and happy…

Drae - still smiling the morning after breaking her collarbone

The Morning After – still smiling… Cedro was fine and unhurt in the accident. This is just his Mama-this-is-too-early-for-pictures look. // 29 March 2017

My 1st Time Watching Cedro Skateboard

18 Mar

Today was a special day.  Cedro and I actually got out of the house by 9:15am on a Saturday! A miracle!  Better yet, today was the first time that I saw Cedro skateboard!

We went to the Culver City Skate Park and some old friends met up with us and gave Cedro some pointers.  (I thought it was his first time skateboarding, but I found out after the fact that he had already tried to skateboard a couple of times before…. Grrrrr, thanks for telling me, Brian!)  Needless to say, I was extremely proud of Cedro.  He was very focused and picked himself up after his falls.  He was supposed to use his new skateboard that B got him at the Japanese dollar store, but we learned pretty quickly that it was useless for a kid his size.  Luckily our friends had an extra one and he enjoyed practicing on a regular size skateboard.  I was so thrilled to see how well he was doing and since I not-so-secretly wanted to start taking lessons myself, we went straight to a board shop afterwards and got him a Star Wars skateboard.  Oh yes.  Mama will be borrowing that skateboard.

Wave Rider Award

25 Jan

We had to keep it a secret that Cedro would be one of four 1st Grade to receive an award today.  I’ll never forget the look on his face.  He was so surprised.  He was so thrilled to be recognized in front of all the Kindergarteners and 1st Graders. Love the fact that the award was for “Always Being One of the First to Give His Full Attention in Class.”  His teacher told me during the last Parent-Teacher Conference that she can always count on Cedro to be the first one to quiet down and establish eye contact when she’s trying to start the day.

Drae’s 1st Time in Snow

26 Dec

Happy 1st Birthday, Drae!

13 Jul
Draelen at the steering wheel, waiting for Lola + Lolo

Driver Draelen // LAX In-N-Out Burger, waiting for Lola + Lolo // 10 July 2015

Dear Drae,

You turned a year old today!  I can’t believe it.  Time flies.  Seems like yesterday when your Papa FAINTED during my epidural!  And now, here you are – walking, babbling, eating solid foods, and already trying to assert your independence and personality.  I sometimes refer to you as “Houdini” due to your knack for wriggling out of your high chair even with your seat belt on.  You really don’t like to stay put.  Maybe that’s why you like being behind a steering wheel.  That’s the only time you’ll tolerate a seat belt — when you’re the driver.

Cedro + Draelen at Santa Monica Pier // 13 July 2015

Cedro + Draelen at Santa Monica Pier // 13 July 2015

So, nothing sums up your 1st birthday like this snapshot of you and your Kuya Cedro above.  It was basically a mini train ride but instead of train cars, they were mini lifeguard jeeps.  You were in heaven!  You were bouncing up and down and waving and honking.  To see you happy fills me with joy and fulfillment.  That image will be forever burned in my heart.

I want to write so much more about our perfect day today — almost 10 hours at Santa Monica Pier! — or the entire birthday weekend with Lola, Lolo, Tita Ging, Tito Danny, Ate Quincy and Tita Liz.  More importantly, I wish I could spend the time to document all the details about you and how much you’ve grown.  But Mama has to sleep and go to work tomorrow.  Boohoo!  I’d much rather write the most epic blog post about you.

By the time you grow up, I’m hoping you won’t even need this blog.  My hope is that throughout your life, you’ll already know about all the great stories and all my deep thoughts and feelings about you and what it means to me to be your mom.  You’ll already know and feel how much I love you.  Because right now?  All you have to do is smile at me with that underbite grin that stretches ear-to-ear, and it’s enough to make me feel like my life is complete.  One day, I hope you’ll get to be a mom, too, so you’ll be able to experience this feeling.

Ever since I was a little girl, your Lola would always tell me and your Tita Ging that we needed to look out for each other.  Somehow, you already know about this lesson.  When Kuya is upset, you crawl up to him and hug and kiss him or put your head on his lap to make him feel better.

You have brought so much love and joy into our lives.  I love you, Drae-Drae!  Happy Birthday!

Love always,



Draelen Started Walking Today!

10 Jul
Drae's First Steps

10 July 2015 // Los Angeles, CA // Photo by Daniel Yoo


A couple weeks ago, Drae started taking a few steps here and there. Three steps max.  Today, at Tita Ging and Tito Danny’s place, she took 9 steps!  10 if you count the step after her squat break! Thanks to a bouncy ball that Tito Danny handed to her, she was distracted enough to walk across the room unassisted! Three days before her 1st birthday!  What a great milestone and it was so great that Lola and Lolo were there, too.  Today is their 44th wedding anniversary! What a day. Thanks to Tito Danny for documenting the momentous occasion with his pro photo skills.


The famous ball that inspired Draelen to walk.

10 July 2015 // Los Angeles, CA // Photo by Daniel Yoo