Friday, February 28, 2020

Recap of February 2020

Yes, I am so ready for February 2020 to be over. January 2020 was a breeze compared to how this month has been. I even wrote about it on Day 6.

Don't get me wrong. February was great for the simple reason that Khali was born albeit via C-section. The night before was pretty tumultuous but thankfully, we survived. The next few days also taught us a lot of lessons about newborns.

February has been about change. So many changes. So many heartaches, heartbreaks, endings, and new beginnings.

Lola joined her creator 26th of February. I knew it was coming and even said goodbye to her. I thanked her for everything and told her to rest coz she was starting to be in pain. I thought I was prepared. Apparently, nothing really prepares you for the passing of someone you love.

It hit me hard. I cried. I wanted to weep but couldn't because I just had a C-section and it would be bad for my stitches. Losing her felt like a chapter in our life is closing.

She's been there since I was a kid and now, she's no longer there. She's just gone. I won't see her laugh, that twinkle in her eyes ever-present and the cats will no longer have her to cuddle with.

It hurts. It just really hurts.

My older sister has moved to Cebu with her family. The twins are both back in Singapore. Soon, M and I will have our own place with our kids.

Times are changing. Stories ending and new beginnings ... it's a little scary.

I've been able to write daily and keep a journal. It has helped me express myself on things that I am not able to share online because some details are too private.

Sometimes though, you just can't find the words and all you have is this empty space which sums up how you feel inside.

February was all about highs and lows. Hopefully, the next few months till the rest of the year will be more about highs and middle ground. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

What you need to know about C-Section

It was February 8, 2020 at around 230pm when I heard the dreaded words: "The baby is overdue already. We need to undergo a C-section."

If you are or ever been pregnant, then you know that C-section is one of the options when it comes to giving birth.  A lot of women don't choose it because it costs higher but at the same time, the damage to the body lasts longer than a normal delivery.

With a normal delivery, recovery can take just a month though mild care must still be done to ensure that there won't be a relapse. However, with a C-section, healing of the wound alone can take years and movements are limited for the first few months.

So, what exactly happens when you undergo a C-section?

1. Fasting of 8 - 10 hours before the operation.

You are not allowed to eat or drink anything for 8 to 10 hours before they do the operation. You can't even have a sip or drop of water.

2. Epidural.

Apparently, even when it's a C-section, an epidural is still needed. Imagine being 9 months pregnant where you have the biggest version of your belly possible and you need to curl up into a letter C. Now imagine some guy sitting on your back or pushing your back so that you'd be curled up, being instructed to NOT MOVE at all or even take a deep breath because if the anesthesiologist makes a mistake, you could end up paralyzed.

That is how an epidural is. It is painful and scary. One wrong move can change your entire life and this is not even an exaggeration.

3. You will be exposed.

After they administer the epidural, you will be left alone on the bed that you were rolled in. Your back will be exposed which means your butt is shown to anyone who would deign to look. The good news is you will have the anesthesia flowing in quickly that you would no longer care about this.

I do wish that they were more humane and caring about this part. I personally felt like a slab of meat left out in the open. I know that they are used to it but I wasn't and I doubt that other people would be too since a C-section isn't an everyday thing.

4. You will be placed on a really thin slab of metal.

I know that I am overweight and big but the slab of metal that they placed me on was really slim. I think only those who are size 0 - 2 would fit there comfortably.

Honestly, I don't understand why the table was so slim. It just was and had the medicine not yet worked, my main concern would have been falling off if I made the mistake of moving.

5. You might be conscious.

The thought of being awake while they cut me up to take the baby out was disconcerting. However, I told myself that I had to be brave for my baby and so I pushed through with it.

It was surreal. I could hear them talking about mundane things like their vacation and I could feel them moving about body parts but I did not feel any pain. I knew the moment that they took out my baby (it took 13 minutes from the beginning of the surgery) and then I had a photo with my baby because, in my drug-induced state, I had the presence of mind to tell them to record my baby's arrival and to take a photo of us when he was all cleaned up.

6. You will be dirty.

They don't clean up all the blood that will come gushing out. There will be blood on your stomach and then there will be blood down there. It will look messy, feel icky, and be dirty. You need to make sure you have a binder ready so they can bind up your stomach.

Trust me, if there is no binder, the movement you make when you try to go on your sides will make you feel like you just want to remain frozen forever. A good binder keeps the cut in place so even when you move side to side, it will be okay.

7. You will be bloody.

When they finally remove the catheter and you go to the toilet for the first time, don't freak out about the amount of blood that will come gushing out. It will be a bloodbath so make sure you have a maternity pad in place. This will save you from having a Carrie moment.

8. It will be ugly.

The scar will be ugly. There's no way to sugarcoat it. It's big (it has to be so that the baby can fit) and it will have stitches. Think Frankenstein. However, it will heal and eventually, it won't be so ugly. Think of it as a badge of Motherhood.

9. Your tummy will not flatten overnight.

Mine took two weeks to deflate but it's still pretty big. Don't fret. Eventually, you can get your old body back but do not rush because you had a major operation.

10. You will feel empty.

The baby you carried with you for 9 months is suddenly gone. You will feel vulnerable and empty so make sure that you have a strong support system in place. You will need them.

I hope this article is able to help someone who is just about to undergo a C-section or has been told that this is the only way that they will be able to deliver the baby. I wished I knew about these things beforehand. It would have made my own journey a lot easier.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Redhead Chicken with a side of Snowriffic Tea

Hidden inside one of the streets of Las Pinas is a chicken place called Redhead Chicken. Here you will find two comfort food and drinks that suit every person's taste: chicken wings and milk tea.

The chicken wings come in at least 5 regular flavors and 5 spicy variants. They even have cheese chicken wings. Salted egg, parmesan cheese, barbecue, buffalo wings, and creamy cheese were a stand out for us.

You can also order a side of fries, hotdog, burger, or even Filipino carbonara.

You can also order milk tea from their Snowriffic counter. We tried the Avocado shake which is perfect if you had the spicy variant and the Brown Sugar milk tea if you had the regular ones. For strawberry lovers, you can also get one for less than Php150.

If you ever had a craving for Chicken Wings and want to indulge, you can order unliwings for only Php230. Note that there is a time limit of 2 hours.

Red Head Chicken
#1 St. Peter St. Brgy. Pulang Lupa 1 (Beside Bernardo College)

For those interested in franchising, kindly mention MSKATHYKENNY when you do to get special discounts.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Review of the Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3150

When I first saw the Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3150, I was truly impressed. Sleek, classy, and truly portable, it had all the makings of an earphone that you could carry with you anytime, anywhere.

This is the box that it comes with. I love that it's simple and fuss-free. It comes with all the information needed and when you open it, the instructions on how to use your earphones are all there, easy to understand and use. 

This is the case of the earphones. Compact and it can fit even in the smallest of purses or bags.

This is the inside of the compact case. As you can see, it comes with a small portable micro USB charger. The inside also shows you how much power is still left when you press on the lightning button.

It's easy to use too! Push the lightning button and then when it lights up, take out the earphones and connect to your phone by turning on the Bluetooth connection.

The earphones are light on the ears, so light that after wearing it for a few hours, I totally forgot it was there. I have big ears so it's always been a problem for me to wear this type of earphones but the Plantronics Backbeat FIT 3150 handled the issue of my big ears very well.

It was so light and unobtrusive that I was able to go around my day wearing one while minding a fussy one week old newborn. It never fell no matter how many times I had to bend over and change diapers. Trust me, minding a newborn baby is harder work than working out.

It fit perfectly enough that when I had to swing from side to side to rock the baby to sleep, it didn't budge at all.

The rubber lining is also not a hassle. I've encountered earphones that were itchy, uncomfortable, or heats up. This one, I used for 14 hours straight and it never made me feel uncomfortable.

I also love that I can use either the left or right if I didn't want to use both since I needed to hear my newborn cry. It's nice that they give that option which is really convenient for a lot of people.

Overall I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a new pair of earphones. This is not just for sports but for anyone who loves music, watching movies or series on their phones, or just need to stay connected and on-call 24/7.

These earphones last for 24 hours, is quick to charge and are not loud enough to drown your surroundings which could lead to an accident. It is mindful yet able to deliver what is needed when it comes to audio.

Ultra-stable, sweatproof, and waterproof, these earbuds feature innovative Always Aware ear tips, designed to let in ambient sound so you can simultaneously listen to music and hear your surroundings for safer training in any environment. Perfect for everyone if I may say so.

YouTube Review

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Dear B ...

You are now a Kuya. There is going to be a little someone who will soon look up to you, pester you, make your life so much better and a little bit noisier, but most of all, there will be someone who will rely on you for advice, lessons, and his place in the world.

It is a huge responsibility. Being a Kuya is not something that is taken lightly because what you do will be a model to what he will do in the future. Though I know that it can be overwhelming, I feel confident that you will be able to take on the role easily.

You have grown to be a kind person. You are helpful to classmates, even to those who may not deserve it. You are respectful of your elders and you have learned to clarify when you don't understand something.

You are what I hoped you would be. A happy child, someone resilient, and someone who knows the value of family. We do not see eye to eye on a lot of things but I know that at the end of the day, you know what is right and wrong and you know the value of your education.

I hope that as you grow older and learn more about the temptations of the world, you will never forget to seek our counsel. I hope that you will be able to say NO to the demons of the world and remember that we always want what is best for you and we will never put you at harm.

I hope that as you make mistakes, you remember the most important thing: we are family and we will always be family. We will be here to help you learn from your mistake, move on from it, and ensure it won't happen again.

Most of all, I hope that whatever happens, you will remember this:

I love you my baby. You will always be my baby.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dear Khali

You were born at a time of great turmoil. Taal Volcano almost erupted and we have the much-feared Corona Virus floating around. You will know more about this when you research history.

You were also born at the start of a new decade so there are a lot of things changing. You have changed my life, for the better of course. With your presence, so many things changed.

This is something that I hope you will learn ... in life, the only thing that is constant will be change. There will always be changes and we need to adapt fast to survive.

However, know that Mommy and Daddy as well as Ahia B will be here for you to guide you in life. We will make sure that you learn what is right and wrong, how to make good life choices, and the value of education and family.

We are not rich. We have to work hard to make ends meet. This is also why I want to instill in your the value of savings and investment which is something that I also want to teach your Ahia B. I pray that the both of you won't have to struggle so much in handling finances which is why I want you both to learn from our mistakes.

We will make sure to give you the education you need to have a heads up in life. It's necessary in this world to have a good education and this is something that I am able to provide you, that your Dad and I can do for you.

We will be strict but reasonable. You will hate it at times but I hope that you will always remember that there is a reason why there are rules and it is for your own good. You may not like it but I hope that at least until you graduate from college, you follow what we say.

Most of all, know that you are loved and cherished. No matter what, you are and will always be loved.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

ONE Championship’s Singapore Event Converted to Closed Door Event


ONE Championship recently announced that the company has made the decision to convert one of its live events into a closed-door event. ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE, which is scheduled for Friday, 28 February in Singapore is to proceed as planned, but the Singapore Indoor Stadium will be closed off to fans and media.

The decision was made with regards to the situation in Singapore surrounding the Novel Coronavirus (official name COVID-19).

Singapore’s Ministry of Health recently raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level from yellow to orange after having confirmed 75 cases of infection.

ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong made the announcement to convert their event in Singapore to a closed-door event initially on his social media accounts. Shortly after, Sityodtong fielded questions from the media on a global conference call.

“In light of the coronavirus situation in Singapore, I have made the decision to convert ONE: King of the Jungle on February 28 into a closed event for broadcast only. The Singapore Indoor Stadium will not be open to the general public, but the event will proceed behind closed doors as scheduled live on all TV and digital platforms across 150+ countries around the world,” Sityodtong wrote on his official Facebook page.

Fans who purchased tickets to the event will be given a full refund through Sportshub Tix, ONE’s official ticketing partner in Singapore. All bouts are to proceed as scheduled, and will still be available live via TV and digital platforms worldwide, as well as through the ONE Super App.

The main event of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE will see two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand defend her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title against Janet “J.T.” Todd of the United States.

In the co-main event of the evening, reigning ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand will take on Lachlan “Rocky” Ogden of Australia for the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title.

Representing Singapore on the global stage is former ONE World Title challenger Amir Khan, who is accompanied by fellow Singaporean stars Tiffany “No Chill” Teo and Radeem Rahman. In addition, Singapore-based athletes Troy Worthen and Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat are set to see action.

“We just felt that this was an incredible moment for us to ignite hope and strength across the continent of Asia and to our fans all over the world during this difficult time,” Sityodtong said during the global conference call.

Sityodtong also says that while Singapore will proceed with its closed-door event, other events the organization has scheduled in other countries will proceed as planned. ONE Championship remains firm in its promise to deliver at least 50 events this year across all of its properties, and will make decisions to alter its events based on various factors as situations change.

“It was not an easy decision for us. In fact, many people were pushing us to cancel the event. But I thought back to why I started ONE Championship in the first place. And our mission since day one has been to unleash real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration,” Sityodtong continued.

“It’s a very different mission than all of our other global competitors. Yes we want to put on the greatest fights. Yes, we have the greatest martial artists in the world but there’s a deeper mission for ONE Championship. And in a time of crisis, in a time of fear in the continent of Asia, our heroes are ready to inspire the world.”

Sakura Season is on at Starbucks PH

Cherry blossoms are not just in full swing in Korea or Japan. They've come to the Philippines and Starbucks PH wants to make sure you can enjoy them too via drinks, merch, and a special card.

This February, spring winds are beginning to blow cool air as Starbucks embraces the changing of the season with a cheerful menu of new favorites inspired by the sweet-smelling peach blossom.

The Pink Peach Blossom Cream Frappuccino® blended beverage is as pleasant as a bright sunny day. From the peach jelly infusion in the cream base, to the pink flower meringue topping, this Instagram-mable pink peach beverage tastes as delightful as it looks. Starbucks also offers another sweet and refreshing variation with the Chocolate Black Tea Peach Blossom Cream Frappuccino® blended beverage, which blends the aromatic black tea, creamy chocolate, and tart pink peach sauce. Indulge in this new season’s favorites and let these featured beverages bring you spring in a cup!

For those who want to spend their breezy days vigorous and full of energy, one can count on refreshing Starbucks Smooth Brr-ews. Perfectly balanced with tart and tangy citrus, the new Yuzu Cold Brew is layered with flavor and texture that is crafted to deliver a smooth and satisfying cold brew experience. Yuzu is a highly aromatic citrus fruit popular in modern Japanese cuisine, which is usually an elevated ingredient across the region.

Another new offering is the Coconut Milk Cold Brew, which lays the foundation on the Starbucks Signature Cold Brew, lightly sweetened and finished with a delicate float of coconut milk which cascades throughout the cup. This all-new variant will be made available in select stores.

Aside from the featured beverages, Starbucks also welcomes the cherry blossom season with charming merchandise blooming in Starbucks branches. Teeming with pastel pink hues, the new collection features the dreamy landscapes brought about by the soft and lovely textures of the Sakura. The artwork draws flowers inspired by rivers filled with falling blossoms over water, sky, and field, as well as trees in full bloom to place the sprouting cherry blossoms as the centerpiece.

Embrace the season of flowers at its fullest with the Spring Sakura Paper Card. Designed to add a delightful ray of sunshine, the pink card portrays the Sakura flower in detail. It will be available for an initial activation amount of P1000 per card.

Experience springtime in Starbucks starting February 18, and have a picture-perfect moment as you feel the cheerful spring breeze.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Why Grandma Matters

If you've ever given birth, you would know that the saying it takes a village to raise a child couldn't be truer. If you've given birth via C-section, this really holds a lot of truth because you can barely move due to the big wound in your tummy.

Thankfully, Grandmothers exist and I'm super lucky to have the best one at home with me.

This is my Mom hours after my C-section. She was the first one to visit me in the recovery room and check on me. I wanted to bawl like a baby coz I was afraid but since she told me that I need to be strong, I was able to pull myself together.

It did feel good to have her there with me, assuring me that no matter what, my Mommy was there for me.

Here she is with Baby MK. As you can see, nothing but pure love.

Nothing can ever beat that.

For me, this is one of the best photos I have of my Mom. She did not need to but she was the one who watched over me on my 2nd night at the hospital. She sent M home and she took care of Baby MK and I.

This photo represents pure love for me. A Mom will always be a Mom no matter how old her child is. I am beyond blessed.

At home, when Baby MK makes a fuss and I am starting to feel lost, she is there. She gives me advice and guidance on how I can handle my baby better.

She also teaches us how to wrap the baby so he will sleep better, how to clean his tongue, and even how to give a sponge bath.

I know for a fact that I would not have survived this first week of being a Mom again to a newborn if my Mom wasn't there guiding M and I. We are so lucky to have her here with us and I just want the whole world to know about it.

An #ExtraSpecial Valentines

This year marks the first Valentines' that we will celebrate as parents to Baby MK. Though I have been a Mom for 14 years now to B and M has been a "Tito" to B for 2 years, the birth of Baby MK changed things.

M now has a better understanding of what it's like to be a Dad and as a parent. He now understands the worries, fears, anxiety, and every single worrisome thought that I have had. He now knows that it's not just the crazies.

Most of all, he now understands the sleepless nights and being tired all the time. I think amongst all the things M now gets, it's this one that I appreciate the most because I feel tired all the time.

However, even if I am tired, I'm still able to cook something simple yet tasty for M. My Mom taught me how to make Kangkong with Oyster Sauce topped with Tofu and Ground Beef.

Prep the ingredients:

3 stalks of kangkong
6 tbsp of Sarsaya Oyster Sauce
1 medium-size tomato 

3 cubes of Fried Tofu

1 onion
1 garlic clove
1/4 kilo ground beef

Stir fry the garlic, onion, and tomato.
Add ground beef when garlic, onion, and tomato are fried thoroughly.

Cook the tofu at the same time to save time.

Add kangkong after and then add the oyster sauce.

For added flavor, you can also add soy sauce and vinegar according to your taste.

Let it steam for 10 minutes.

Ta-da! See? It's easy to make and yet very healthy too. There's no need to dine out in an expensive restaurant to make Valentines more special.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Lessons from a Newborn

I am a second time Mom. My first baby was born 14 years ago when I was just 24 years old. I was too young, too immature, too self-centered to realize back then what a privilege it was to be blessed with a child.

Over the years, I learned slowly how it is to be a real Mom. I still fail at times but I know that I am improving. Luckily, B seems to be growing well and in the right direction. I thank my Mom for that as well as other members of my family.

This time around, I am more prepared or so I thought.

I had my mindset on another normal delivery. I even prepped my brain that it will take 18 hours of crazy pain. However, I was not ready for a C-section. I had less than a day to convince my mind and then Baby MK was born.

The next 5 days proved that I still had a long way to go in becoming a good Mom. Here are some of the things I learned from Baby MK.

1. Every baby is a blessing. Not everyone is given the chance to become a Mom so when you are given this blessing, you accept it with your whole heart and soul.

2. Babies have their own body clock. They will wake up when they want to and they will sleep the whole day if they want to. Since you are the adult, adjust with them. Sleep when they do so and stop forcing them to adhere to your schedule. They're babies, not military personnel.

3. A baby's smile and smell are the best things in the world. When you smell a baby, it smells of innocence and love. When a baby smiles at you, all of your problems just melt away.

4. Patience is needed especially at 2am to 5am when the baby thinks morning is night.

5. A real partnership can weather sleepless nights. A baby brings out the worst and best in people. Thankfully, it is bringing out the best in M while it's bringing out the not so worst in me.

6. At the end of the day, what matters is that we will be here for Baby MK and B. What matters is that there is love because babies know nothing but love. And poop.

Netflix: Locke and Key

What happens when you end up living in a magical house with keys that can make things happen beyond your wildest imagination?

This is the storyline of Locke and Key, Netflix's newest offering.

After their father is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the three Locke siblings and their mother move into their ancestral home, Keyhouse. Eventually they discover that this house is full of magical keys that may be connected to their father's death.

This series is a coming of age mystery about love, loss, and the unshakeable bonds that define family. It's also a television adaptation of the best selling comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodrigues for IDW comics.

I've seen the first episode and I am hooked. If I hadn't just given birth, I would definitely binge watch on this. Right now, I sneak in time to watch when the baby is asleep. It's that good.

Locke and Key is already airing on Netflix right now so make sure to catch it.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020

It's Valentine's Day but there is no reason to be upset because even if you have a date, you can have one with over a million characters at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020.

Whoever said that books are dead hasn't been to the previous Big Bad Wolf Book Sale where lines are crazy long, proving to one and all that reading is far from becoming extinct.

Third time's the charm as the BBW Book Sale makes it's most anticipated return to Manila. Opening on the day of hearts, any book lover will surely be making a mad dash to fall in line and snag the best deals that can be given on almost any book that you can imagine.

The BBW Book Sale 2020 will open on February 14 and will have it's last day on the 24th. This will be open 24 hours straight at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. There will be over 33,000 titles to choose from including 17,000 brand new titles that will be available for the first time at 50-90% off the recommended retail price.

Best part: Entrance is FREE.

My brother was able to snag this for me during the VIP Day.

He was also able to get some coffee table books as well as a Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay cookbook.

Here are some of the people who was able to get VIP passes.

The BBW Book Sale 2020 believes that reading and learning should be universal and from that idea, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm, Red Readerhood was born. At the Red Readerhood corner at the Sale, visitors are encouraged to donate books that will eventually make their way to those who need it the most such as Gawad Kalinga.

Follow the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale's social media pages for more information.