Stella's First Christmas


Merry Christmas!


Halloween 2013

Stella's 1st Halloween
With my Lady Bug
Daddy's Girl
With my co-worker Kristy
Scary Meatloaf


Spider Eggs

Chocolate Krispies

Monster Eyes

Brain Cupcakes



Patootie's Christening

Stella joined the Christian world last July 22, 2013!

She loves water!

Slept throughout the ceremony


I'm a mommy :)
With Ninang Lucille, Ninang Debra and Ninong Jake
Brothers and Sisters



A Jewel of a Husband

If you were to ask me who my biggest musical influence was, I would tell you without batting an eyelash that it's singer-songwriter Jewel . I owned the most worn-out copy of her first album Pieces of You--cassette tape!--from 1997. I would come home from high school, pop her record on the stereo, crash the couch and doze off to Angel Standing By, Morning Song, You Were Meant for Me...My guitar repertoire consisted mostly of her songs as well. But then we all outgrow things and as she became more and more famous, I somehow managed to limit my loyalty to just having a Jewel channel on my Pandora account instead of following her music like a fangirl.

Nevertheless, it was still very exciting to learn that one of her stops for her Greatest Hits tour was Saratoga, a city about 20 minutes from Sunnyvale. Her show was last Sunday at 7:30pm. As the event grew closer and closer, I talked myself out of watching because one, I thought I should be over Jewel and since I now think in diapers, I thought the ticket money could be put to better use. Two, her concert was on a Sunday; the same Sunday before my first day back at work. Three, the venue was in Mountain Winery, a really pretty place, but it's up on a hill...I'd much rather be home with Stella.

Each day before the concert Gary would ask me if I bought my ticket yet and I'd tell him I'm not really planning on going anymore. Not really up for it.

Then Sunday came. I tried not to think about it but regret started creeping up on me. What are the chances that I'm here in the same country, in the same state, in the same county as the singer whose songs make the soundtrack of my life? And there I was sitting up  in my room, missing something that I'm not even sure I'd ever have the chance of experiencing again. At 6:00pm, I started to crack. I admitted to Gary tearfully that I'm regretting letting such an opportunity go.

"Go get dressed, we're going," the husband said.

"It's too late! The show starts in an hour, we don't have tickets, and I haven't even showered yet," I told him like the brat that I am.

I looked at Gary and I couldn't decide whether he's irritated (by me for not buying the ticket when I still had time) or amused (by me for not buying the ticket when I still had time). It's one of those times when Gary balances my craziness so well. He grabbed his iPhone, went on StubHub and purchased two tickets right there and then.

"You're wasting money! Why would you pay for a concert when all you'll see is half of it? The show starts 7:30pm, it's already 7:00pm!"I complained.

"We'll be there by eight, and she should have front acts," he said calmly.

"It'll only make me feel worse if I don't see the complete show," I'm extremely irritating, I know.

What ensued was the most taxing hour of my life. Now I always pictured myself all made up when I saw Jewel in person. Instead I found myself getting out of my sweatpants and into whatever clothes I could grab. And then the printer, out of all the days that it could run out of ink, suddenly decides Sunday was the day to do it. How on earth could we get in if we didn't print our e-tickets?! I swear if the darn printer had life, I would have murdered it and not feel an ounce of guilt afterwards. I called my co-worker, Gary called his cousin, but nobody could help us. Gary said we were running out of time so we decided to go to the venue anyway, hoping against hope they'd take the confirmation e-mail we received from StubHub.

As Gary drove his car--I could've sworn he was going 60 on a 55 limit--I was concocting excuses in my head as to why we didn't have printed copies of our tickets, putting on some lipstick, and navigating for the husband all at the same time. When we reached the venue, I was nauseated by the uphill, spiraling road, the tension of catching Jewel perform even just one song and hunger. Like icing on the cake, Gary showed me we're out of gas. On a hill. With both our cellphones about to die.

When we finally reached the ticket center, the ushers acted coolly, like it was no big deal that all we could show them were snapshots of our tickets. And yes, they said, Jewel doesn't go up the stage until 8:45pm. We were 15 minutes early. I heaved a sigh of relief as Gary and I found our seats and waited for Jewel to make her entrance.

This post is not about what a great artist Jewel is. It's not about the rush I felt at the first sight of her. It's not about how my heart sang when I heard the first riffs of You Were Meant for Me. It's not about the wonderful time we had at the show. It's not even about my innate ability to stir drama and trouble--okay it's a little bit about that too--because more than anything, this is about Gary's soft heart. For me.

During the concert, Jewel shared the story behind her new song "Breaking Hearts." She said she was in some hotel and saw a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary (or something like that) and she asked the lady what it's like to be married that long. The lady answered, "It feels like it's been five minutes..." and then added "...underwater." The crowd broke into laughter and Jewel said, "It looks like y'all here are married." Which is true. Marriage is not a walk in the park. It's trying to love someone as much as you love yourself, and anyone who says that's easy, or that it comes naturally, is clearly deluded.

Small acts of love, however--like Gary beating the odds to give me just an hour of happiness listening to music he doesn't really appreciate--help you get there one day at a time. I can only hope I give him little gifts like this often enough whether intentionally or not. In the end, only kindness matters (wink* wink*).

Greatest Hits Tour tickets

my dream come true


Our Princess is Born

04.19.2013 10:30pm

7.6 lbs., 21 inches 


The Long Wait

Last Friday was my official last day at work before going on my maternity leave. It was also Stella's checkup at Kaiser Mountain View.

My doctor said that she hasn't completely dropped and I might have a week or so before we see some progress. My huge pregnant self already called for rest though so she signed off my doctor's note advising me to take my time off.

My mom got here on the 26th of March and we've been preparing since then. Gary got me my mommy van so I had to say goodbye to my Acura. I like this new ride--really spacious and perfect for Stellalella's baby gear. As I type this, her car seat is already sitting at the back of the van and my hospital bag is ready to go. Gary is also scrubbing away, disinfecting Stella's area and making sure all the basic baby things are out.

I really feel that Stella's on her way. I'm heavier than ever and I get so tired so easily. She has another doctor's appointment tomorrow so we'll have a better idea of what to expect in the coming days. My due date is the 17th so anything's possible now. Needless to say, we are SO EXCITED!!! 


My Stella's Baby Shower

Last Saturday, Gary's sister Debra threw me a baby shower to celebrate the fast-approaching arrival of our little princess. She really worked so hard planning everything, from the candy-themed dessert bar to the party favors down to the hanging decorations. Relatives, my co-workers and Gary's friends from work all came to wish us well. Now that the party's done, Stella has tons of clothes and baby things that don't fit inside the chest that came with her furniture set. I'm not complaining--lack of space because of these cute little things is a good problem to have. Everything is just so pretty...and pink...and pretty :)

Me and Stella with our favorite guy in the world :)
With Stella's daddy by the candy-themed dessert bar

Paris Baguette makes the best cakes!

The party favors

Here they're guessing the size of my waistline :P
Beer-in-baby-bottle game

Friends and family

The best part of the night: opening gifts for Lella


Baby Updates

I am 33 weeks into my pregnancy and it literally feels like I'm at a peak of a rollercoaster ready to take a dive. I am so terrified of the unknown, but I am so excited at the same time. February passed by so quickly that it's hard to document everything that's happened.

One thing I want to share though is my nephew Chok's funny reaction to Stella. While we only see each other online, I ADORE my nephew and he knows it. So when he learned that I was having a baby, it was almost like he was having an anxiety attack. Whenever my mom and I would be chatting on Messenger and would mention Stella, he suddenly excuses himself to go home. He didn't want to hear about Stella, and we have made a conscious effort not to mention her when he's around.

I'm so happy because last night, it sounded like he finally understood what's going on. He said he's going to play with Stella and go with her to Enchanted Kingdom. Which made me so proud of my ChokChok and made me miss him more. I can't wait to go home as soon as possible :)

Lella's big Kuya
March will surely be busy for us. My sister-in-law Debra is hosting my baby shower next weekend, and she has made the cutest invites :)

Diaper Invitation

My Stellalella's shower
My mom is also scheduled to arrive here via San Francisco on the 26th. I have classes and checkups scheduled left and right. We still need to buy a lot of things for my daughter. Gary finished fixing the basics of her nursery, and after seeing everything come together, we were just so overwhelmed by happiness---she's almost here!!! :)

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