The Mirror

It was last year when I heard “tumataba ka” comments more frequently than I used to. It was mostly from people who knew me ever since I was a skinny kid. It was hard to respond to. What was the best response anyway? I hated family gatherings. I dreaded to hear the same comments over and over again.

I did try to lose weight initially for the looks because I hated what I saw in the mirror or in photos. I hated trying on clothes on stores and realized I jumped two sizes up. I hated the mirror for a while. My old clothes don’t fit anymore. With a little bit of effort, I focused on cardio with jump ropes and looked for HIIT exercises or circuit training. I wanted to get moving again.

I didn’t weigh myself because I don’t think numbers matter. I no longer look at the weighing scale. I worked out 3-4x weekly. Now that we are on quarantine, I am working out more frequently for two reasons. One, due to influences online and two, it gives me happy hormones as it gets rid of my anxiety and made me feel better about myself.

I don’t think I will ever achieve my dalaga body again. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my loose skin due to pregnancy. I don’t think my arms would be as thin as it was. Clothes and better angles are always a priority when posting online but I will always show you the reality. But you know what? I am starting to like what I see in the mirror again. And that is enough. I am starting to be me again. Doing all these is for a stronger and healthier me – for myself and for my family.

A constant reminder to myself: I am enough. 💕

That Anxious Mom In This Pandemic

Do you feel the same way, mama?

Are you one of those working mom of toddlers who dread the idea of “work from home” the moment you heard it? Because you can’t really imagine how you can squeeze in work at home.

Are you one of those moms who felt robbed of their personal time?

Do you miss the old normal?

Do you sometimes feel sad and just out of the blue feel such a heavy feeling that all you wanted to do was cry?

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I still remember that weekend when we were told at work that we can already work from home. I was not ecstatic about it. My husband was happy because he won’t be worried anymore whenever I leave the house in the morning because of the pandemic. My colleagues kept reminding me that at least I got to spend more time at home with my kids. Well, actually that is my worry. My first thought was, how can I work at home? I have two 3-year olds.

If you are a mom of very young kids below 5 years old, you’ll understand the need of going out of the house just to stay sane. I have a yaya who has been with me since the twins are 3 months old and I am very lucky that she’s here. Nayj and I can lock our doors so we can work and she can look after the kids. But because I am home, I still try to help her out as much as I can because she does everything else in the house. Since quarantine started, on top of my daily work, I am now involved in the twins’ breakfast, putting them to naps after lunch, and allowing them in our room by 4.30-6pm until I am done with work.

Are you like me that even if there are other people in the house, you are still the “go to” mom? They want you to feed them, take them to bath, brush their teeth, wash their poo or even just play with them. Their constant request puts a lot of pressure on you as a parent. This, on top of my 8.30am-6pm work.

Being on quarantine with very young kids is hard especially when you have clingy little kids. My sanity as a working mom includes that breather from 6am by the time we leave home to go to the office until 8pm when we arrive and see the twins again. Those are my personal time – yes, on top of work – where I can also spend time with my colleagues and have adult conversations. This personal time helped me feel better and miss being a parent again. By the time I arrive home, I gladly meet and play with them no matter how tired I am. My only chore was to put them to sleep and I am not a hot-headed monster mom. These past few days, I am really starting to lose my patience. My personal time – my “me time” – has been lost. And I am not sure when I can have that again.

Thinking about this makes me feel like I am a bad mom. But then I realized that I need to put myself first so that I can take care of other people. There are times when I feel anxious and sad about this pandemic and the loneliness of being just inside the house takes a toll on me. I try so hard to be productive at work – emphasis on the word “try” to be honest. I want to teach my 3-year olds but I just don’t have the energy to do it. Once I am off work, that’s the only time I have for myself, I don’t want to squeeze in another task. Call me lazy but this keeps my mind on rest and recover.

Over the quarantine I felt happiness over working out. I’ve been doing these even before but not as frequent as now. I saw these on a lot of IG and FB feeds of my friends and asked myself, why not post my workouts too? I was shy at first but then a 2-4 of my friends messaged me and told me they got inspired by it. That was enough for me, so I continued it. Working out makes me happy and this was my new “me time”. An hour for myself without kids around (well, sometimes). An hour to not think about anybody but myself. This made me less lonely, but I still get grumpy over super active toddlers though. LOL.

I also found happiness in putting on makeup at least twice a week. I missed going out, getting ready and dressing up. I missed posting my #NessaWore series. How I wish I can still do it if not for the hot weather at home where the only comfortable work clothes is a shirt and a pair of shorts. My ukulele covers during work breaks makes the work bearable and made me function well. It’s a breather for all the work calls and updates I have to do once in while. And did I tell you I started baking again? I am not a pro but “trying” it again.

My mom told me to focus on things I can control. Now that ECQ has been extended, there’s nothing we can do but stay at home. I learned to continue whatever makes me happy and treasure the time I have with kids rather than dread it. It’s okay not to be okay and just take a break if you really need it. We’re all just humans trying to survive. I am blessed that all my family are safe. I am still thankful that I have work and that I still have my monthly salary. I am thankful for my husband who can function really well in either grocery shopping or palengke trips. I just can’t wait for this pandemic to be over – even if we don’t really know when that will be.

I miss seeing my family over the weekend. I miss going to the mall to just stroll, watch a movie or just have an hour of coffee. I miss hanging out with my friends at work. I just have to remind myself that I can do all these again – maybe not the same way as we did way back but, it still can happen. I just have to wait and be still and thank God.

Dear Husband

First of all, Happiest Birthday! Today is your 4th year of being a twin dad. I know it’s been crazy but I know that it’s one of your happiest years.

Our life right now seems crazy – all our plans, finances and future trips revolve around the twins and our little family. But I want you to know that it won’t always be like this.

Our sleep won’t always be interrupted every 5.30AM even if we stayed up late last night. How come our babies are both early birds?! Our night time routine won’t always end at 8PM so we can put the twins to sleep early.

Our trips won’t always be shortened with less itineraries because we think about their safety and our sanity rather than going more places. Our meal times won’t always be about making sure each twin is eating right that we even forget to eat ourselves.

Our days won’t always be about endless reminder on taking a bath, brushing your teeth, taking your vitamins or a little less screen time. Our day won’t always be filled with endless screaming and being a referee between Nate and Naya.

We won’t always be overwhelmed by how much our twins rely on us. We won’t always feel exhausted. We won’t always feel like the time isn’t enough. Our patience won’t always be tested and our energy won’t always be drained.

It won’t always be like this.

One day, the twins will grow up, have a room of their own and we’ll have more extra hours to sleep. One day we’ll have more time for conversations, more time to go out alone and more time for errands.

One day we’ll have more energy to go on dates without feeling guilty about leaving them home because they can take care of themselves. One day we’ll be more flexible on our trips with less things to pack and less worries along the way.

I will look forward to that special period in our lives. But right now, we have all this chaos. All this chaos but with twice the love and joy.

Today, on your birthday, I want you to realize how much I appreciate the little things. How you find time to refill that soap container everytime it’s all empty. How you clean the water filter every weekend. How you try to learn how to fix every single thing around the house to make sure that everything is working fine. Your initiative to always allot time to take the car to the carwash. How you always say yes to my plans. And for always putting up with me.

Thank you for putting the twins to sleep whenever I have late dinners. Thank you for teaching Nate how to pee properly (haha!). Thank you for instilling discipline around the house. Thank you for appreciating how I cook even the easiest meals. Thank you for providing for us. Thank you for your playtimes. Thank you for being a role model for Nate, and for setting standards for Naya. And the of course, thank you for being a father. We both know I couldn’t do this twin parenting without you.

I love you and happy birthday!

If Only I Can

I am a working mom, who leaves the house at 6am, and arrives home as late as 8pm. Sometimes I still catch them awake and play with them until they fall asleep. And then there are times when they’re already sound asleep and all I could do was kiss them on the cheek and stare at them long before I do my own thing.

I am always thankful of my yayas who looks after them when Nayj and I are away for 14 hours. They make sure that the house is clean, cooks their food, bathes them, play with them and helps take their daily vitamins. Having two involves a huge budget monthly but 4 additional hands at home is a huge help too.

I started working only a month after graduating college and yes I am used to it. However, a mom in me wants to be with them all the time – be a stay at home mom if I could. I know it’s easier said than done, I am so exhausted during weekends when I am on full mommy mode so I really can’t imagine doing it full time. However, I am willing to do it – IF I CAN.

Staying in the workforce is not just about deciding to work and provide for the family. It’s not just a question if I want to have a career of my own or leave it all behind and dedicate my time for my kids. If you and your husband are both working, you know the struggle of keeping up with your financials, making sure every single bill is paid, even those things lined up for the future are already being planned. House renovations, vacations, insurance and their plans of going to school very soon. These things are a huge deciding factor – mostly because we have no other choice but to work for our family. To be honest, I really don’t know how we survive it paycheck after paycheck. Things just happen to unveil on its own.

Honestly, in my own little bubble. I always wish to have a home – with only the four of us where it’s just me and my husband working together. That may not be feasible now but… I guess in God’s perfect time.

Body Changes

To be perfectly honest, being a mom made me hate my body. My body changed drastically after pregnancy. I gained weight, had stretchmarks, lost weight due to breastfeeding, had loose skin, then gained weight again over the past year. I had so many people coming up to me reiterating the fact that I gained weight. I am not sure why people are so insensitive about it. I mean, what is the proper way as a response? What’s there to say anyway?

I can’t count on how many times I stare at mysef in the mirror, feeling lonely, wondering when my old clothes would fit again. Or if I would ever see my old self again. I hated my body, the bigger arms and legs and my loose tummy. I tried doing workouts here and there and was so impatient with results. I would start a workout and never was really into it and get lazy again.

With the handful of “tumataba ka” comments, I am thankful for people though who prefers saying “motherhood suits you” or “mas bagay sayo” because the latter really affected my self esteem over the almost three years of being a mother. Sometimes, people just don’t know the right thing to say.

I am so lucky that my husband doesn’t think the same way. Sure, he knows and mention that I did gain weight, that’s a fact. But the best thing about him is that he doesn’t make silly comments that would hurt me. He always tell me that it’s because of the changes that happened to me when I become a mom and that is normal. He doesn’t think less of me. When was the last time we set a standard for a woman’s body after pregnancy anyway?

Randomly during one of my “me time”, I walked inside Decathlon and saw a skipping rope that was only for 100 pesos. I bought it, thinking to start a new habit. A habit that involves a few minutes of cardio and doing it just a few steps outside of our bedroom. And then I also saw light weights – 300 pesos for a pair of 1kg dumbells. After that purchase, that’s when I decided to dedicate at least 3 days a week to do this new habit of mine.

I started July 21. And so far, I have been seeing some results.

When I started exercising, I noticed how I’m getting more confident of what I see in the mirror. Ironically, it isn’t what I’m losing, but what I’m gaining. I am slowly gaining back that confidence, accepting this new body I have. That photo above were taken two weeks each apart. But honestly, the current body I am in is not that different from the last photo and I don’t even care too much anymore. It doesn’t frustrate me unlike before. That same body went through conceiving twins and survived the challenges of breastfeeding, became a mom of 2 in an instant and if I never went through all of that, I won’t have these battle scars. My body is a proof of what I’ve been through.

Losing weight needs a lot of dedication and discipline with exercise and eating right. I don’t want to be too hard on myself if I don’t see drastic changes overnight. I want to be healthy and active as a mom, and that’s what’s important.

Learning to accept my new Medium sized body was a long process. I am no longer that XS girl who looks for the tiniest size in stores. I learned how to dress for my new body type. I think one of the reasons why people get too hard on me was because I was sooo skinny back then that those people who knew me then thinks that I gained so much weight and calling me fat right away. But for those friends whom I just met, they never judged and even preferred my current weight compared to my old skinny self.

My goal is working on myself. Focusing on what’s important. Lately I have these allergy attacks which I suspect as asthma, but I am still not sure. I am getting tests in a few days to confirm but I hope everything’s going to be okay. My husband always tell me to take care of myself and always mention if something is wrong. And I always tell myself that I don’t always have to be too hard on myself. For my twins, I am enough.

Being An IT Account Manager

A year ago I was in a night-shift schedule, dreading to go to work because I am leaving my babies with my husband to put them to sleep. A year ago I have to work during weekends for IT support and do oncall because, well, it’s part of my work. A year ago I was doing a role I didn’t like. A year ago I took a leap and applied for a role I had no idea about, took a chance, had an interview and a few weeks after, took the job offer. A few days from now, June 16 to be exact, marks my first year at Metrobank.

It wasn’t an easy journey. I applied for a role that was completely different from my IT support role and I had no idea what this job was at all. As usual, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time and I kind of lost all the confidence I had from where I left off.

In my new work, I attend face to face meetings which I seldom did, so I have to rethink about my productivity schedules. In addition to that, I have to challenge my introvert self because face to face was tough. I felt like I had to do a complete 360 of my personality to be able to function with the work that I do.

Amongst the new things I have to adjust to was the corporate wear. And to be honest, I quite enjoyed it! I even created a new hashtag for my OOTDs which was #NessaWore. I am one of those people who loved wearing heels to the office, dressing up, looking sharp and presentable most of the time. I always go to client meetings as well so it’s also essential with my role.

You may ask, what has changed compared to your previous work? Well… Never had I worked on a Powerpoint presentation. My stomach turns all the time whenever I do. Never had I created a deck since college. I made sure to re-visit again and again before the actual meeting. Never had I submitted a report too. Never had I even touched a projector in my whole work experience. Like, how does this work again?

My 10 year IT support experience had nothing to do with what I’m doing now. I’m now on the other side of the SDLC process. If before I was doung support work after implementation and go live, in my new role, I have to do the ideation to initiation.

A year has gone by and I’ve met so many different people. I even celebrated one of my best birthdays here. I adjusted from a multinational consultancy company to a local bank and everything was so different! From casual attire to straight up formal corporate in the office, to a default 8.30-6:00pm schedule and so many others. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect company, I’ve had lots of challenges. However, so far, I see myself doing okay. Well, I do hope so. I have this feeling of delight whenever my clients appreciate the help that I do as part of work. I have been so busy and loaded since the start of the year and sometimes I do forget a lot of things.

But what made my switch to Metrobank a lot easier was the friendship that was built with my colleagues at work. We all came from different backgrounds and company (well, most of us!) and age group but we all seemed to click! They make our work easier, adding reasons why you go to work every morning and you’ll always have a support group whenever things go crazy. I am so lucky to call them friends and always have this feeling of privilege that I am part of this group.

Happy ONE year to me at Metrobank! I look forward to growing more as an IT Account Manager and be better at work. And more memories with my favorite people.

Their First Strider Cup

I wouldn’t really say that it was a major fail but I just thought they weren’t ready yet for a competition when they just want to have fun and play.

A day before, it was my birthday but I kept on checking their event page for updates on the Strider Cup. I saw the time when the competition would start but I wasn’t aware that it was for the whole Pru Life UK event. It says as early as 6.30, they’ll call on the participants of the race. We were there by 6am and the Strider team were only setting up. Although we had a chance to have the twins practice and bike through the track.

And because we were very early, they started biking early which means they got tired easily. The race started past 8am already and to be honest, we didn’t hear any pre-race briefing and every parent and kids were all over the place. I kind of thought the event wasn’t well-organized and it was already super humid at 8am because of the weather which added to the stress.

I noticed that Nate and Naya were already getting irritated and tired. It’s almost their nap time anyway. If we didn’t get ready as early as 5am, they wouldn’t be so grumpy. If only I knew the race would start at 8am, we would’ve left by 7am.

They were part of the first batch of the 2 year old category and by the time they were asked to be assembled at the starting line, they don’t want to bike anymore. I didn’t know their category had the most number of participants. I see their tired and frustrated faces and I don’t want to be a competitive mom who would push them even if they don’t want to. I know the twins and I know they don’t want to be pushed if they don’t want to do it and most probably, they don’t want other people’s encouragement too. It adds to the stress. But with a huge event like that, you’ll see random people asking your kids to move forward, cheer them and pushing them to start. And I knew that this overwhelms them. And so I stopped and moved Naya to the side. I know she wanted to be away from the crowd. I let Nayj and Nate go through because between both of them, Nate is the one who wanted to bike more.

Nate was in the starting line. I was already at the side with Naya, holding her while sitting on her bike. Nate strided after the signal, but stopped after a few meters as he’s looking for his father. Nayj cheered him on from the side and when Nate saw him, he wanted to go to Nayj’s side of the track. In short, he wants to ride through the ropes instead of racing through the whole track. He was crying and frustrated. Nayj carried him and his bike and we all went to the viewing area and watched the kids and parents enjoy the race. And that ended their Strider Cup experience.

As soon as I latched Naya and Nayj carried Nate, they both slept. As in bagsak talaga. I felt quite bad, medyo nakakaawa sila dahil sa sobrang pagod. I wasn’t disappointed. Hindi rin ako nanghinayang sa 1400 na binayad ko. I knew they were too young and weren’t ready for such a huge event. As I’ve said, it’s not important for them to win, but its the experience.

I’ll give it time. I think it was also a factor that they are so used to ride the bike together so if one wasn’t biking, the other one won’t bike as well. There is another Strider competition this weekend at Evia and we’ll check first if they want to join before we sign up. Good thing we can pay at the event.

The Twins and Their Balance Bikes

A few months before the twins’ second birthday, Nayj and I were looking for an affordable balance bike so the twins can start learning how to bike. I once saw a toddler biking around in Strider in BGC way back and I became interested in buying one for the twins. I was looking for the generic ones as I find Strider expensive for Php5,999 for one bike.

I found two balance bikes in red and blue, being sold in Facebook Marketplace for only 1,700 each. I bought two and Kuya Mako insisted on paying the other bike as his birthday/Christmas gift for the twins. It was delivered to our house via Lalamove and Nayj helped me assemble both bikes.

We have the twins try them on that weekend but we noticed that they weren’t ready. The bikes overwhelmed them. They were only interested with the helmets. Hahahha. Their small frames looked very fragile on the bikes so set it aside and decided to introduce it to them slowly.

Fast forward to January, Nate was getting excited to use his bike. I noticed after two tries, he already knew how to use it.

Naya was still having a hard time and she was kind of carrying the bike instead of riding it. She’s kind of wasn’t interested as she prefers to walk after about 10 minutes.

I was amazed at how good they were. No one’s teaching them how to glide or to put their feet up when riding the bike. I was so proud of their motor skills.

We bought them a better helmet that is adjustable at the back. We visited Decathlon as I saw affordable helmets there for toddlers as well. Nayj was quite interested with their balance bikes and he has this idea to replace their generic ones with B-Twin. Let’s see…

The helmets were only 550php each from Decathlon. Last weekend, I just bought knee and arm pads for their added protective gears.

I put a couple of videos in my Youtube channel to show their biking skills and you might want to check them out on the links below. Enjoy!

Nate And Naya’s Biking Session

Just Another Saturday

As The Twins Reached Two

As I look back into this blog, I realized that I haven’t been posting since August 2018 and it has been 7 months! A lot of things has happened and if you’re a parent, you know that there are a lot of changes with your toddlers within this short time frame.

The Twins’ first Haircut!

Back in October, we took them to Cuts 4 Tots in Festival Mall for their first haircut (EVER!). And I commend the staff here because they really know what they’re doing when it comes to handling haircut for toddlers. Because a few weeks ago, we went to another salon for kids in Alabang Town Center and the twins were crying and there was no effort of distraction from the staff to entertain the twins. All they want was to get the job done. Cut their hair and we’re done.

However, in Cuts 4 Tots, they make lambing first to the twins to keep them comfortable before doing the haircuts. This kept them from being overwhelmed of what’s happening and made the environment normal and chill. Look at the pictures below and look at how chill they were!

And now, the finished product!

Their First Twinning Shoes at Sole Mini!

When you have boy/girl twins, you have to find creative ways for twinning outfits and the best go to would always be shoes! I am so glad we have stores here now that caters branded quality shoes to toddlers. I was aiming for twinning New Balance shoes but we opted to purchase all white Nike Cortez for both of them.

Nate doesn’t want to take it off after fitting and Naya kept showing her new shoes to Ama the next day.

The Twins Went to the Beach!

This isn’t their first time going to beach as this was the same place where they experienced walking barefoot in the sand. We went back to Canyon Cove with Nayj’s mom so she can bond with her first apos before she goes back to Israel. I can’t help but find twinning swimwears this time.

Naya loved the water so much that she can’t stop swimmimg even if the water was cold or that her skin is already getting dark.

The Twins Went To Baguio!

To celebrate the twins’ second birthday, we stayed at The Manor Hotel for two nights and explored Baguio in all its coldness. They experienced riding horses, we went to buy Ukay New Balance shoes for them, they tasted their first strawberry ice cream and toured around the Burnham Park.

We invited Tita Vilma and Ama to our trip as well because tita haven’t been to Baguio for a long time and I know that Ama wants to go with us as well.

The Twins’ 3rd Christmas at Dusit!

Their first Christmas was at home, celebrated intimately as they were only a month old. Their second Christmas was at Dusit as well and this was their third Christmas at the same hotel. I admit that having staycations are the best option for families who doesn’t want to worry about cooking and cleaning the place right after the guests leave. We’re already looking forward to which hotel we go to for this year.

This was when Ina came home for Christmas as well so it was a great bonding moment for all of us.

I also want to share how much the twins have been enjoying their balance bikes but I want to do it in a separate post as it deserves a post of its own. It was ours and my kuya’s Christmas present for them and I am so proud of how good they are biking now. Stay tuned for my next post 🙂

The Extra Pounds

I don’t remember the last time I weighed myself and I don’t think I ever wanna do it. I think I might be surprised whatever I’d see on that scale. Eversince I started my new work, I stopped pumping for my breastmilk and only latched the twins when I’m home. But then after that, I realized that I started gaining weight.

This was one of my OOTDs during my first week and I can’t wear this skirt anymore.

I know a few of my friends are just going to laugh this off and always tell me that I’m not gaining any weight or nothing has really changed. However, you won’t really see it or realize it until your clothes started to not fit you anymore.

Just this afternoon while I was getting ready, I changed about 10x because it felt like nothing good fits. I looked big. For someone who was used to always being skinny, that can fit to any clothing thrown at me, it was such a huge change. And then right then and there, I realized its already affecting my self esteem.

Some people tell me that it looks better on me though rather than seeing my old skinny self. I can’t fit into my XS sizes anymore and kept on returning clothes in Zalora because some doesn’t look good on me just like how they looked on the models. When I go to stores, the usual clothes that I don’t need to fit doesn’t look good anymore. I know it seemed like its such a petty problem but it’s kind of affecting me personally.

I do hope that I learn to embrace this change but also do something about it. I did try to do some home workouts about two weeks ago but I wasn’t able to sustain it. I felt super lazy. I was not interested at all. I hope I’d find time and interest to be active again. I also didn’t realize what breastfeeding had done to contribute on burning my daily caloric intake so I’d have to think about my diet for now. Gone are the days when you can just eat anything and let your young metabolism do its own magic. Or when you just lose weight without even trying. It comes to a point where your age contributes to it as well even if I’m only 31. Sigh. Food in the office are so good pa naman!

So guys, I need some suggestions:

1. What interesting workouts can you suggest that can fit my daily weekly schedule? I leave the house at 6am and am usually home by 8pm. It’s so hard for me to squeeze any workouts because by the time I get home, I’m already tired.

2. I loved Yoga and TRX when I used to be very active. That was before I got married and got pregnant! I am looking for ways how workouts can be interesting that I’d look forward to doing it again.

3. What diet is best when you don’t want to give up food? I never tried intermittent fasting but is it worth the try? Or is it best to limit the portions of food I’m eating instead?

Please keep them coming! 🙂