November 2015 Favorites

November has been such a full and happy month of events, memory-building, and errands! We were just two months away from our due date then (just one more month now), so a lot of the things we needed to do were for the baby.

But the husband and I have also talked about making sure that we still spent time on things that make us happy individually and as a couple. Basically, to not forget the life that we’ve built before the baby. Instead, build on top of it.

That probably won’t be as easy to do once the baby is actually here with us, but I’m sure it’s not impossible!

Aside from that, when I made my November 2015 Favorites canvas, I also tried out my new Joby phone stand and recorded the entire process. Play the video below to watch.

What do you think? Are there any other videos you’re interested in seeing from me? Let me know in the comments section below! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to follow my uploads and see the latest ones right away.

I’m glad that I’m able to share this list before the year ends, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same for my December favorites too.

Buying Babybee’s Things

We decided to put off buying anything for the baby until the third trimester, even though I was already extremely excited to start buying stuff as soon as we found out we were pregnant!

It was partly because we didn’t have any space in the condo earlier in the pregnancy for large unused items such as a crib or a stroller, and partly because we were also earning and saving the money for those big ticket items.

By the time we actually started buying Babybee’s things, we still weren’t 100% ready to do so, but got semi-forced into doing it because of all the sales and discounts we wanted to avail of. It was the start of the -ber months so, naturally, malls all over the metro started slashing prices.

We ended up getting an Aprica stroller (we’ve been eyeing this for most of the pregnancy), an Aprica high-low bed and chair, a Cuddlebug crib and mattress set, and a Pottery Barn dresser (chanced upon this at 30% off).

And oh so lucky for us, we ended up buying almost all of the things at a huge discount!

As a bonus, we also got gifts from my family that we hardly had to buy any more clothes for Babybee’s first few months. How adorable are these tiny clothes?

By the way, just in case you haven’t been following our weekly webcomic, Homeycomb: A Married Life, we’ve announced that we’re having a BOY!

Photo credits: Japan Baby (Aprica), Pottery Barn Kid, Youji&Me

Elbee’s Marco Polo Birthday Weekend

I don’t normally splurge on gifts because I didn’t really grow up giving or receiving gifts during holidays and occasions. For birthdays, my family would just celebrate together in a simple way by having dinner out (celebrant’s choice) and then cake after.

For the last seven years that the husband and I have been together, it’s been sort of like that too, since he also didn’t grow up celebrating birthdays with his family. We’d give gifts to each other, yes, and maybe even some cute surprises here and there but it was rarely a big thing. At least on my end.

But this year, I felt that I wanted needed to show the husband that I appreciated him. Especially because he’s been an amazing partner throughout the pregnancy. And because I knew that he’d been tired from working so hard the last few months, I decided to give him a weekend off to just relax. It was staycation time!

We’ve never tried Marco Polo Ortigas before and we were curious to see if they were any good. We had high expectations too because we enjoyed staying in Marco Polo Davao several times. And we weren’t disappointed!

Needs Improvement: Of course, despite having such a great time, it wouldn’t hurt for Marco Polo Ortigas to make things better.

On our first day there, we tried their Afternoon Tea set at the Connect Lounge, just in front of the check-in counters. It was quite expensive at Php 650, but the food and coffee that came with the set looked and tasted like they should have been less than half the price. I wouldn’t recommend getting this.

Breakfast at Cucina could also use some improvement. The place is really packed in the morning, as to be expected, but the layout doesn’t allow for a nice flow of people moving about. It felt chaotic! The food was just so-so, no longer hot or even warm when we sat down to eat.

But there are so many more good things about our stay, that the above mentioned didn’t ruin anything for us.

The Pros: I loooooved the room we were given! It was spacious, elegantly decorated, and comfortable. The bathroom also had a shower and a bathtub in it, as well as two sinks. The only thing that I didn’t like about the room was that it was rather dimly lit, even with all the lights on. Perfect for rest and relaxation, but I could hardly see anything when I was painting. I probably shouldn’t have brought work with me anyway, but I was cramming haha!

We also really loved having the husband’s birthday dinner at Lung Hin, the Chinese restaurant on the 44th floor of Marco Polo Ortigas that features Cantonese cuisine and fresh seafood.

After a bit of research, we decided to get the Pan-fried Radish with XO Sauce, Stir-fried Mashed Salted Egg Squid, Hot and Sour Soup, and Masachi (glutinous rice black sesame dumpling). It was a hearty meal and everything tasted so good!

The husband already knew weeks in advance that we were staying at Marco Polo, but I really wanted to do something to surprise him. So I asked the Marco Polo staff for help and they were so accommodating! The husband got a slice of chocolate birthday cake (it was yummy) to end our dinner in an even more special way.

Thank you so much Marco Polo Ortigas for making the husband’s birthday memorable!

Filed 2016 Planner Launch

Just in case you didn’t know, I’ve had the pleasure of painting some lettering pieces for the 2016 Scribble Planner by Filed. I also designed the cover for it, along with a few activity pages at the end of the planner.

I’d been wanting to come out with a planner for a while but just didn’t have the energy or capacity to do the extra work that came with self-publishing, especially after finding out that we were pregnant. So this opportunity really came at a great time!

When Filed invited me to join them for the planner launch, of course I wanted to go!

It was my first time to do a watercolor demo in front of strangers too, and that was extremely nerve-wracking for me. I had prepared so much the days prior to the launch, and even made a tiny sketch so I could plan the palette ahead of time.

Well, things don’t always go according to plan and I completely fumbled with that demo. I’m not very good with having people look at me while I’m just doing what I normally do. Even more so when I’m supposedly doing something normal but having to talk about it at the same time. I forgot what I wanted to say and share haha! So I just posted a follow-up image and step-by-step on my Instagram that hopefully the attendees read.

Despite not performing as well as I hoped I would, I still had a fun time meeting the other artists who also shared their work and process, as well as getting to talk to the attendees.

Working on my INK Twice artworks

This year was a year of exhibits, thanks to Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. I haven’t been able to attend that many monthly meetings because of the pregnancy, but I did my best to participate in as many exhibits and projects as possible.

To close the year, I also joined the Annual Ang INK Exhibit called “TWICE: Ang InK Annual Exhibit 2015”. It’s currently up at Galerie Stephanie and the run has been extended to December 31.

For those of you who still haven’t gotten the chance to check it out, you now have more time to do so!

Each participant of this group exhibit made two artworks, to be displayed as a diptych. I chose to make something that’s inspired by the Tooth Fairy and came up with two sister fairies in their magical home. I really wanted to play with colors for these pieces, so that’s what I focused on.

It took some time to finish these two 6″ x 8″ artworks, but I’m really glad that I signed up for the exhibit and was able to finish my contribution. I really like how they turned out, especially the first one (on the left).

I hope I get more chances to join exhibits next year, as well as become a more active participant for Ang INK – with baby in tow haha!

Birthing Class with Ms. Chiqui Brosas

Being first time parents, the husband and I were really into researching about this new experience during the first trimester. While he read a lot of parenting and pregnancy books, I went online for every little concern I could think of.

And whenever we didn’t research, there was always someone who was more than willing to share their opinion about what was good and bad for the baby. A lot of these opinions were also quite conflicting, and it was honestly hard to determine which piece of advice to believe.

We soon found out that it was better to just be less controlling about the situation, and just embrace the blessing for what it is. It truly helped that our baby made things easy for us, as he was very cooperative, peaceful, and low maintenance as he was growing in my tummy.

That said, when the right time came, we still wanted to learn how to go about the final stages of the pregnancy. For myself, it was to help calm my nerves because I’m naturally scared of hospital procedures and anything that requires my body to feel pain. For the husband, he wanted to know how he could be more involved in the process, to truly be a part of it instead of just a bystander.

We ended up enrolling in a 3-day birthing class (3 consecutive Sundays) by Ms. Chiqui Brosas, who I’d already heard of even before I got married. She’s been teaching birthing classes since 1991, and is also a birthing coach, a financial adviser PLUS (as I had found out recently) the 1975 Miss Universe 4th Runner-up!

We learned a lot of things, and it sometimes felt like information overload and a bit overwhelming, but the new knowledge also helped me prepare my mind for the task of labor and delivery.

My favorite part was learning about the baby’s cardinal movements, how the baby rotates and positions himself inside the womb to allow the smallest diameter of the baby to pass through the mother’s pelvic structure. Birth is so amazing! And finding out about this reminded and reassured me of God’s sovereignty, how He has designed life in and out of the womb. We are having this baby because of His grace, and He will be there with us when our baby is born.

Another lesson that I appreciated was the birthing exercises and breathing patterns that involved the husband. It became a bonding experience for us, even after the classes ended, and I feel much safer knowing that he’ll be there to support and coach me when the big day comes.

If you have the time, money, and inclination to do so, I highly recommend attending a birthing class with your partner! For information about Ms. Chiqui’s classes, you can look at her website or visit her Facebook page.

Photo credit (bottom): Birth Times

Touring the Hospital (delivery preps)

As I had already mentioned, I don’t do well with hospitals and the thought of going through a procedure frightens me. It’s a good thing that my OB-gyne mentioned early on that we can tour the hospital facilities and get a feel of what things will be like when we finally give birth.

I think most hospitals allow this now, and anyone who’s interested should definitely take the opportunity to get to know more about how and where they’ll be giving birth.

Getting a 3D4D Ultrasound at In My Womb

The husband was against getting a 3D4D scan at first and I didn’t want to do it without his full agreement so we had already decided not to do it. But then he saw someone else’s scan and how the baby actually looked like the scan, and he suddenly started wanting to do it.

Haha!

In the end, he made the decision for the both of us and declared it as a gift for himself on his birthday. I wasn’t going to stop him because he seemed really excited, and frankly, I was also curious what our baby looked like in the womb.

For the longest time, I kept thinking that he’d look like the husband because I didn’t really have any cravings – just feeling extra gigil at the husband. I wanted to pinch his cheeks EVERY SINGLE TIME I saw him. I kept staring at his nose, wanting our baby to get that facial feature from his dad. I often declared it too, that our baby would come out looking like him.

The husband was doubtful though because he kept dreaming that the baby looked like my brother.

To my surprise, when we saw the scan, there was no denying it. This baby does look like my brother! Haha. Of course, I’m leaving some room for more developments since he’s still inside my womb cooking. Either way, I absolutely fell in love deeper with this precious baby as soon as I saw him. We were lucky we got to see him yawn and purse his lips too, even frown a bit.

With the last weeks of pregnancy ahead of us, I’m feeling super excited already! I can’t wait to meet my little man.

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2 Comments

  1. Airees February 17, 2016

    Hi Lorra! I just saw your video and WOW!!! You are really amazing! I haven’t tried drawing without using the pencil first! Ikaw, straight from the brush! Ikaw na! Galing! I’m missing your posts and you! Hopefully we get to see you and Babybee soon. Take care.

    Reply
    • starsfordreams February 28, 2016

      Airees! Hindi naman rejected pala yung comment mo. :)

      I saw the video you made, galing! And I’m super proud of you. I really think that the idea of your new workshop is unique. Hope I can join in the future. See you soon. Miss you! <3

      Reply

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