Our 11 month old Squishy

The countdown to Squishy’s first birthday has begun! Squish is well on his way to toddlerhood and I can’t believe that we survived! I still remember our first few weeks at home where I would dread Mikey leaving and count the hours before Mikey’s return. Now, we’re still excited for Papa to come home, but the day goes by pretty quickly. I think the day goes by quicker because there’s so much that Squish can do already!

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There’s no stopping our little walker! He is now allowed to roam around our room and living area unassisted. He can walk around the rest of the apartment, but someone has to watch him and hold his hand because we haven’t baby proofed everything yet. Squish really enjoys walking and it seems like he only crawls now when he’s tired (or when he wants to go really fast). He confidently (and seemingly drunk-ly) walks unassisted from the TV to the couch or from our bedroom door to his toy box.

He also LOVES climbing! He can climb the walls of his playpen (thank goodness he hasn’t jumped out yet), he can climb on and off the couch, and he can even safely get off our very tall bed (even though we don’t really let him do it independently yet). We’ve also caught him trying to climb a shelf after he removed all the books/CDs in them.

All of this activity means that he’s had a few bumps and bruises lately. He’s fallen off his mini chairs, tripped, hit furniture, and lost balance. At first it would really jar me and I had to really hold in my fear and surprise so that it doesn’t add to his distress. But now, we (the parents) handle it better. We pick him up and comfort him and tell him that he’s OK.

Whenever he gets hurt, he crawls to me (while crying) and gets into feeding position. I guess this is what they mean when they say that babies sometimes nurse for comfort. He’ll only latch on for a few seconds and then he’ll go back to playing. He’s pretty fair-skinned, so he gets red quickly when he falls! When the bump seems especially bad, I put a Kool Fever patch on it (in lieu of cold compress). My cousin taught me this hack! It’s really difficult to get babies to sit still to ice their potential bruises, so these cool patches are perfect because they stick on their skin so they can go about their business. We buy the baby friendly ones and so far, they’ve worked really well. I cut them up so that it only covers the spot where he got hurt. The only time Squishy noticed them was when he fell flat on his face and I tried to put one on his nose. He kept pulling it off and tried eating it, so he ended up being Rudolf for a few hours.

Now that he’s confidently walking, Squish is spending less times in his stroller or our arms when we’re out and about. He’ll really let you know when he wants to walk—he’ll squirm his way out of your arms! It’s pretty tough to hold him back. When there’s a large open space, we let him walk. But we still have to hold him when we’re in shops. Otherwise, he’ll pull everything out of the shelves.

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We still spend most of our time at home, but I can tell that he really enjoys a change of scenery. When his Lola or Gwa-ma comes over to play with him, he’ll point to the door because he wants to go out. (He points at the things he wants now. Oh boy.) He loves going to new places and meeting new people. When we’re walking around the mall, he’ll wave at strangers and attempt to “talk” to other kids. He tries to play peek-a-boo with restaurant hostesses and sales ladies. He’ll also tug at our waiters when they serve us food. He may look like me, but he’s 100% his father’s son.

Walking in public means that we always have to bring shoes now. His Lola got him really nice rubber shoes, but rookie mistake: LACES. Oh my gosh, it’s so hard to get an excited baby to sit still while you put on his shoes and tie his laces. That’s why when it’s just us, we stick with his Crocs. So much easier to put on!

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Shoelaces X.X
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Seriously eating his baby bread.

Max ends up eating more when we’re in restaurants because people-watching preoccupies him more than Sesame Street. He’s also added more to his list of staple favorite foods (Soups, XLBs, Tofu, Congee, and Bread): birthday spaghetti, ramen, and Mikey’s/Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs (he only likes Mikey’s, not mine). He still doesn’t really like rice though. Whenever I give him some, he’ll just spit it out. But his love for noodles makes me so happy! We can now eat in Japanese and Italian Restaurants! Yay!

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Such a sweetie, even if we cut his nap short.

I think his developing sense of humor is the funniest thing! He giggles when we’re conversing (him babbling, me asking him questions). He laughs when his toys do something unexpected. And we caught him laughing while watching Full House a couple of times too! Usually when they say funny words or when the characters engage in slapstick humor. Also, he’s such a ham himself! He has a very detectable fake cry which breaks into a pa-cute smile when he knows we’re not going to give in. When I’m not paying attention (like when I’m on my phone or watching TV), he’ll come up to me, sit on my lap, and put his hands on my cheeks and sway my face from left to right while babbling. It’s like he’s saying: “Mama! Pay attention to me!”.

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Watching Full House. Right before he caught Mikey using his laptop and before the meltdown he had when Mikey wouldn’t let him play with it.
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Mr. Daldal ❤

I’m trying to be a bit more deliberate with my use of language with him. Pointing out things and labeling them. He can say Mama now, but not on command. He usually says it when he’s in distress. Most of the time, he just babbles to himself while playing. Sometimes, he’ll babble WHILE nursing (very much like someone trying to talk with their mouth full). He also screams a lot when he’s excited. The first few times he walked unassisted, he did it with his hands in the air screaming like a banshee. Hopefully, the screaming is just a phase.

 

Squish cut his first tooth a day after his 10th month (July 14)! We were in the car with Gwa-ma and Lola Myrna when I noticed something white in his mouth. I thought that he had eaten some tissue, but when we looked closer it was a large tooth on top! It wasn’t there earlier that day, so it really seemed like it came from no where. I was watching out for his bottom teeth to emerge because those are usually the first ones to come out. A few weeks later, his other top tooth came out too. So now he has two top teeth and he looks like SpongeBob.

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That’s Mr. SquarePants to you.

The doctor said that his lower gums were swollen too, so we may be getting more teeth soon. I think the teething it making him clingy and fussy. There are times when he isn’t sleepy, but he will cry if I put him down on the floor to play. He just reaches out and says MAMA over and over again until I pick him up. And then there’s the all night nursing! Gah. There was one night when he wasn’t nursing, but he just wanted to latch and sleep at the same time. Every time I unlatched him, he would wake up. And he wouldn’t take a pacifier. So he just slept on top of me, hugging my tummy and latched at the same time. It’s kind of like he’s a newborn again. It can’t be easy to grow teeth. I wish I could take all the discomfort away.

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En route to Baguio. He’s sleeping on my cooled down Precious Pillow.

Squish went on his first road trip this month and while we started off a little bumpy, he had lots of fun in Baguio! He was pretty manageable in the car. I think the trick is to delay his nap until it’s time to hit the road. Hahaha. That way, he sleeps through most of the car ride. We hope to be able to go back up again soon! Or maybe we can take an international trip soon! ❤

I still feel like a newbie mom. I wonder if that feeling ever goes away?

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I always feel like I accomplished something when I get him to nap.

 

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Plugged Ducts and Zigzaggy Roads

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La Casa Bianca is located along Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City.

Mikey had a long break in the last two weeks of July, so we decided to go to one of our favorite places in the world: Baguio! Before Squish, we used to love going up there. Mikey and Lola own a small hotel, and he proposed there almost three years ago while it was being built. So we have a soft spot for Baguio.

We’ve been wanting to go up for a while, but I was scared in the beginning. And when I gained confidence, Mikey began to have a hectic work schedule. So when this break came up, we knew that we were going to spend some of it up in the cold mountains! ❤ I was so excited!

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Helping Momma pack!

One of the pros of doing a road trip is that you can pack more liberally because there’s no weight allowance. So we brought as much of Squishy’s stuff that we thought we might need (including his nebulizer, a box of toys, his inflatable bath tub, and a large play mat). Everything was packed! Squish was on the tail end of a bout of allergies (cough and runny nose), but he was much better after a series of nebulizing sessions. I was kind of paranoid because during our last vacation, Max had diarrhea and we barely made it to the airport the next day. But Max was doing great the night before the trip, and it looked like all systems go!

And it was … until about 3 AM in the morning.

After Max unlatched from his early morning feeding, my left boob felt empty, but lumpy and extra tender. My half-awake self thought that something was seriously wrong. When I attempted to hand express, it really hurt. I tried to shrug it off and go to sleep, but at around 4 AM, it still felt strangely stingy even when nothing was touching it. For a few moments, I thought that we would have to cancel our trip so that I could go to the doctor. Before I went into full panic mode, I got up and I googled the symptoms and got bunch of articles on plugged ducts and mastitis.

Gah! Perfect timing! I wasn’t feverish yet, so I concluded that it was just plugged ducts. Most of the online sources said the same thing, you treat plugged ducts with:

  • hot compress before you nurse/pump,
  • olive oil or lanolin cream to help moisturize cracked nipples,
  • cold compress for the pain, and
  • keep on nursing/pumping (stopping will make it worse)

When I read all of this, Squish was fast asleep next to me and the pain was enough to keep me awake. Mikey woke up because I started shuffling around to find my pump and helped me by heating up the Precious Pillow before passing out again. I used the hot compress and I tried pumping. It was a little stingy while pumping—it reminded me of the first week of breastfeeding. At this point, my left boob seemed engorged. After pumping for 30 minutes and only getting about 2 oz. from the left boob (and using the Haakaa pump on the other one), it still seemed engorged and it was getting more painful. It was like there was a bruise on the side of my boob (where the lumpiness was) and my nipples were very sore.

Squish woke up during the tail end of my pumping session and wanted to nurse to go back to sleep. I was still hooked up to everything so I asked Mikey to give him the milk I just pumped in a bottled. Squish refused to drink it and kept crying for me (I wonder if this is a foreshadowing of our upcoming weaning). So after I unhooked myself from everything and I nursed Squish on the left boob because it still seemed so full after the pumping session. Oh my goodness the pain made me swear like a sailor. And I don’t swear! It was so painful! I felt like he was biting really hard with every suck, but when I checked, he was latched on properly and his tooth wasn’t engaged. It was so painful that I Squeezed Mikey’s hand while Squish nursed. I was tearing up and praying that he would fall asleep soon. Eventually, I couldn’t take the pain anymore—as soon as he was fast asleep, I transferred him to the other boob for the rest of the feed.

While Squishy nursed from the right boob and I was recovering from the pain (and still shaking), I thought to myself: if I had known that this would be a possibility, I would have thought twice about breastfeeding! Ironically, the thing about plugged ducts is that you have to keep nursing/pumping to clear up the duct and get better! So stopping isn’t an option.

When we woke up again at around 8:30 AM, I took a hot bath, combed my boob (I’m not kidding, one of the websites said to get a large toothed comb and comb your boob outwards while taking a hot bath), and soaked it in a tabo full of hot water.

When Lola heard that we were heading to Baguio, she wanted to join so we were supposed to meet them at a pit stop in NLEX. We were already running late by Char standards. Even if we were all packed, I had to do some last minute adjustments because I had to pack all of my pumping things and bring a newly heated Precious Pillow with us. We also had to drive-thru for breakfast (so that Mikey could function as a human being) and stop at a drug store so I could buy an old-fashioned hot/cold compress bag (to use if we didn’t have access to a microwave to re-heat the precious pillow).

Squishy was super cooperative during our morning ride. He sat in his car seat while I hot compressed my left boob (it was still engorged). He played with his toys and looked out the window. I barely had to tend to him at all. When we got to the restaurant pit stop where we had to wait for Lola and co., I had the waiters bring me hot water to fill the bag. I used the hot compress while we ate our brunch. I had them refill it with new hot water before we left. I also took two Advils after eating. I was a little depressed because I thought I would be in pain for the entire trip.

When we left the pit stop and started the long drive (about 3.5 hours), Max was initially with his Lola Myrna (Mikey’s longtime house help who volunteered to help us take care of Max) at the back seat. I was in front with Mikey with the hot compress tucked in my bra. There’s something about Lolas and car seats that don’t really mix, so she was just holding him. We didn’t get too far before Max started crying and demanding to go to me, so we made a quick stop to trade places. I was still in pain, but I think the Advils started working. I was desperate to get better, so I nursed Squish on the left boob again. It was really painful, but I just kept thinking that it was making it better. Thankfully, Squish fell asleep quickly and unlatched soon after. He slept on my lap for most of the trip. I was so lucky that I didn’t have to worry about a fussy baby and my painful boob at the same time!

Before we hit the zig-zaggy road (aka Marcos Highway, the final stretch of the road trip where you drive up the mountains for about 45 minutes), Mikey made a stop so that he could use the bathroom. As soon as the car stopped, Squishy woke up. Lola took him from me when she saw he was awake.

Having both hands free for the first time in three hours, I decided to examine my boob. I notice that there was this white spot on my left nipple. It looked like a ripe pimple. When I looked closer, it looked like there was a thin string on the tip. I pulled the string and I suddenly started squirting milk like nobody’s business! It’s a good thing I decided to wear breast pads (after not wearing one for months)! I guess it’s kind of like removing hardened tooth paste from the tip so that you can squeeze more out. I was squirting out so much milk that I would’ve felt bad about wasting it if I wasn’t busy rejoicing over the dissipating pain. It stopped squirting after two soaked disposable breast pads. I smelled like milk for the rest of the day. The pain was gone, but I could still feel a little lumpiness. I suppose a nursing session with Squish would have fixed that, but I was anxious to be as well as I could be, so I found a milk storage bag and I started hand expressing.

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It was a long day and my hair was the least of my problems. But here’s a picture of us making it to the hotel. I was very happy to be pain free!

By the time we hit the zig zaggy road (Lola Myrna and I switched again), my left boob was empty and my spirits were high! I was so grateful that it didn’t carry on. A few minutes into the zig zaggy road, Max started crying for me, but there was no stopping at that point. So I climbed to the back seat to be with him (not the best idea, but we were in a pinch). At some point he nursed (maybe to relieve the pressure from popping ears) and it wasn’t so bad. For the rest of the trip, my left boob was still kind of stingy whenever Squish would begin to nurse. Otherwise, it felt normal again. And I got to enjoy Baguio with my two favorite people in the world! ❤

The all-day pain kind of came back a few days after our trip, I used the hot compress again and tried nursing, but I didn’t feel any lumps this time. The pain was the same though. I even took a Tylenol for the pain. When I examined my boob, I realized that the white spot on my nipple never went away. When I googled that, I found out that it was a milk blister/milk bleb. The treatment is basically the same, except, you can actually try to exfoiliate in the shower or  peel the bleb/blister off with sterilized tweezers. I don’t know if I did the right thing. I just kind of poked around and I saw that it was peel-able, so I peeled it. And then after a while, the pain went away and the next day, everything was back to normal.

Being the sick one is infinitely better than Squish or Mikey being sick. Hopefully next time we go on vacation, we’ll all be in tip top shape. I’m beginning to understand why all my elderly Titas used to always say ‘health is wealth’.

Mikey and Max’s Adventure

Our family had a breakthrough! With encouragement from our friends, Mikey took Max out with him to run errands and I had almost 2 whole hours by myself at home! It was the first time I was home alone since Max was born. I was nervous, but Mikey’s blood pressure was up the entire time! We survived! He got all the errands done, Max wasn’t that difficult in the car, and I had some alone time. Mikey took a bunch of videos while they were out and with my superior editing skills, I put it together and made our first ever Squishy Days Vlog! Here it is:

Meanwhile, here was what Momma was up to:

Make Coffee:

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Worry that Mikey left Max’s jacket on the bed:

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Text Mikey and check on them:

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Call Mikey when you don’t receive a reply:

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Put on Madmen:

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Put on a face mask:

Sort laundry (no photos because Madmen was getting interesting, hehe).

I missed my boys though! When they got home Squishy gave me a nice big hug! I think me missed his Momma. Mikey had his I’m-the-champ-face, but he needed to sit down to normalize his blood pressure. We survived! Yay! The possibilities are endless! ❤

Our 8 month old Squishy

April-May was eventful! Squishy had his first bout of diarrhea. Apart from the frequent wet poops though, he generally seemed like his normal self. Of course, as newbie parents, we were beyond stressed. We’re not really sure how he got it. We think it may have been some soup he had at a restaurant. Or it may have been related to his teething? He started eating his fingers more during that time.

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The worst of it happened the night before we were set to leave for Davao. We had just come home from his doctor who assured us that Squishy was fine and that we were doing everything we could to make sure he stayed fine (hydration drinks, probiotics, zinc drops, and diaper rash cream).

As soon as we got home (it was around 8 PM, our flight was at 4:30 the next morning, and still we had A LOT of packing to do), Squish pooped again and this time we noticed red streaks in his poop. We assumed it was blood and freaked out. After consulting with his pediatrician, we went back to the hospital and had a fecalysis done and waited. It was the longest one hour of my life. (The whole time though, Squish was acting completely normal). The results came back and his poop was completely normal except for the fact that it was softer than usual. The pediatrician said that it might have been some irritation in his butt hole. My mom says that it might have been fibers from the red couch we were sitting on (and he was happily licking) in a restaurant earlier that day. We were relieved. It was almost 11 PM when we got back home, put Squish to sleep, started packing, and had a hurried dinner. Mikey took a quick nap (I couldn’t sleep), and at 2AM we left for the airport.

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Squish was such a trooper! He was his usual cheerful self throughout the whole trip! His first plane ride went well. I breastfed him while waiting for take-off and he was asleep before we were in the air. I held him the whole time and my arms were like jelly after, but I’m so glad that he wasn’t irritable or in pain. The plane ride home was more challenging because the flight was delayed, he didn’t fall sleep right away, and he even pooped at the beginning of the flight. He didn’t seem to be irritated by the air pressure when he was awake. He was just really hyper because he was so sleepy. But as soon as I breastfed him after changing his nappy, he fell asleep and it was smooth sailing from then.

Squish had a great time in Davao! He loved swimming! And Mikey loved swimming with him too. He said that it reminded him of when he used to go swimming with his Dad. ❤ Squish liked splashing in the water and he loved playing with his floaters. I loved Squish swimming too because he would sleep so soundly after! In fact, I spent much of the trip eating dinner in our room because Squish was fast asleep and I had to watch him. Our room had cable and Mikey would send plates of food. I was a happy camper. Hehehe.

We got to spend time with more kids and babies while we were on vacation. Squishy loves watching kids and interacting with babies. Sometimes, he just watches them quietly. He becomes really happy when he gets to sit next to his cousin who’s just 2 weeks younger than him. It’s fun to see them interact and discover each other! We have to watch them though because Squish likes to pull hair and his cousin likes to scratch.

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We noticed Squish becoming more and more clingy with me this month. He’s still a happy baby, but there are times when he won’t want to go to anyone else—even Mikey. But as soon as I have him, he’ll happily interact with people. This becomes a bit problematic at night when I want to rest a bit and Mikey’s supposed to take over. But I noticed that his clinginess is directly correlated with his crankiness, so I just try to make sure he doesn’t get overly cranky.

Squish’s sleep is also evolving. He normally has two long naps (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and one short nap in the evening. But there are days when he can stay up all day and then he passes out at night. Hahaha. It’s getting harder to put him to sleep when there are other people around. When it’s just us at home, all I need to do is breastfeed him and he falls asleep. When there are other people around, he fights it. But as soon as we’re alone, he’s knocked out.

Squishy can stand without holding on to anything now! He starts off sitting up and then he tries rocking himself forwards and upwards, until he’s able to rock strongly enough to get on his feet. He looks so pleased with himself when he does it. He’s more confident on the bed, though—he stands up really fast, and he’s not afraid to plop back down on his butt. But when he’s on the floor, he stands up very carefully.

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I think Squishy inherited his father’s musicality! Last month, we noticed how obsessed he was with the Gilmore Girls theme song, Carole King’s “Where You Lead”. (The show is perpetually on in our home.) When the intro would kick in, Squish would stop whatever he was doing and start dancing! His dance consists mostly of arms swinging up and down while he grins toothlessly. Eventually we realized that it’s not just “Where You Lead”, but almost any theme song of a TV show (we’re currently marathoning That ’70s Show and he stops when that familiar guitar riff plays), or any song he’s already familiar with. He still loves the Hamilton original broadway cast recording too!

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Squish listening to That 70’s Show theme song

Squishy is finally big enough to sit in shopping carts! He likes dancing to grocery store music, attempting to grab things off the shelf, and occasionally making random shouty noises. It’s nice because it’s almost as if Max is adjusting to our lives now. Going shopping isn’t as much of a production number as it used to be!

 

Squish is a tall baby! The doctor said that he’s in the 90th percentile for his height. This is why he doesn’t look as chubby as he used to. Breastfed babies also tend to be leaner. There’s been some pressure from others to put him on formula, but two of our doctors assured us that he was healthy and encouraged us to continue breastfeeding if we can. But it’s hard not to compare your baby with others. Our doctor said that for as long as Squishy is happy, alert, engaged, and healthy, breastfeeding is the best for him. Besides, he’s already started eating solids (which is going well!) and that’s another source of nutrition. Hopefully we make it to one year! After that, we can re-evaluate. Maybe by then I’ll start pumping more seriously and we can lessen the direct feeds.

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I can’t believe we have an 8 month old baby already! I miss blob-on-the-bed-Squishy!

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2.5 month old Squish! ❤

Bump in the air: Wrap-up.

When the idea of traveling to Hong Kong during my third trimester initially came up, I was hesitant. In fact, I even told Mikey that it might not be a good idea for me to tag along. I suggested that he go and I would stay behind for the weekend. Even though I was technically still allowed to travel (only expectant Moms 34 weeks and up need a medical certificate), I was really worried about slowing everyone down. But Mikey and his Mom told me not to worry about it and that they would go at my pace.

I’m so glad that I went! The last time I was in Hong Kong, I was in grade school. And before Squishy, we really wanted to go to Hong Kong this year! When the two red lines appeared, we thought we had to put it in the back burner so it was pretty mind-blowing when this opportunity presented itself.

Here are some things we did (either on purpose or by accident) that made our Hong Kong trip a lot smoother for this 29-week-whale-of-a-pregnant-woman:

  1. Clear everything with the doctor. We took a risk by booking the ticket before consulting our doctor. Thank goodness she gave us the go signal to travel. She just made sure that everything was OK with Squish a few days before we left and she gave us really sound advice for the trip: (1) wear comfortable shoes, (2) wear your maternity belt, (3) monitor the baby’s movements, (4) bring medicine with you in case you feel unexpected heaviness/cramping in the abdominal area, and (5) listen to your body—if you’re tired, sit down, if you need to pee, pee. Don’t over exert yourself. We made sure to do all of this during the trip!
  2. Wear the right clothes. For me, this meant: rubber shoes, maternity belt, light dresses, and a light shoulder bag. I knew that we were mostly going to shop and eat. So it was really best to start off as light as possible! It also really helped that Mikey had his PacSafe and did a bulk of the carrying.
  3. Prepare for the plane ride. The R2D2 pillow really made a difference! I tend to have lower back problems when I’m seated for an extended period of time and smooshing R2D2 behind my back made for a comfortable 2-hour plane ride. Don’t be too shy to ask for an aisle seat (especially when your Squishy has taken a liking to your bladder)! I didn’t even think of this! Thankfully, Mikey’s Mom requested for it! Also, make sure you have a medical certificate with you (one that certifies that you are fit to travel), just in case. Even if I didn’t need one according to the Cebu Pacific Website, the rules may be different in the country you are visiting. Best to be prepared than caught off-guard in a foreign land.
  4. Get a good hotel. While this goes against our normal el-cheapo tendencies, booking a room at a well-located, comfortable hotel really made a difference! The easy access to different modes of transportation (bus, MTR, and taxis) allowed us to do more in a short period of time. Also, it was really nice to sleep in a comfortable bed at the end of a long shopping day.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take the taxi. Again, this normally goes against our travel SOP, but what you’re actually paying extra for is a chance for your body to catch up and re-charge for the next activity (kind of like characters re-charging in video games before they go off into battle).
  6. Travel with the right people. I am so fortunate that I traveled with my husband and in-laws. They understood my condition and knew that I needed to rest periodically. They would ask me every 15 minutes if I was okay, offer to do a bulk of the carrying, choose the appropriate transportation for each destination point, and they never made me feel bad about it. ❤

I’m so glad that we got to go on this quick trip! I’ve already made a mental note of processing Squishy’s passport as soon as we can! ❤

As I write this, we are now at 30 weeks! I can’t believe we’re about 2 months away from meeting you, Squish! We’ve already had so many adventures! ❤

Bump in the air: Day 2.

Day 2. Sunday. Squishy and I woke up early again. We were up at around 7:00 AM and the room was still dark. Even though I had a lot of energy and I was excited to make most out of the day (it was our last day), I knew that I was still recuperating from the previous day’s adventure. My knees and my legs felt a little sore (kind of like how you would feel the day after you exercised for the first time in a long time). But thankfully, my back was fine and my ankles were back to its original size in the morning.

We took it easy in the morning. We decided to spend the day in the mall next door, the New Town Plaza. So we had some time before it opened at 11 AM. We had breakfast in our hotel—pour over coffee (just the aroma for me), French baguettes, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, blue cheese, and leftover cheese tarts from Sogo.

At around 10:45 AM, we walked to the mall and shopped until lunch time. We found a nice bookstore in the ground floor of the mall and we were able to buy two books (one for us and one for Squishy) and two postcards (we try to get a book every time we travel to mark the trip)! We walked back to the hotel for lunch and we had a really good pigeon and dim-sum at the Royal Park Chinese Restaurant (20% off because we were booked in the hotel! yay!).

After lunch, we spent another hour in the mall before heading back to the hotel to pack up all the last minute stuff we bought. The bell boy brought our bags to bus stop and we waited for the A41 bus to take us to the airport!

As soon as the bus arrived, Mikey loaded our baggage and we were quickly seated comfortably. The bus ride was very relaxing. Because it was day time, we got to see a lot of Hong Kong (we missed this before because we arrived at night time). In 45 minutes, we arrived at the airport and checked in!

After we checked-in, we had a farewell meal at Tai Hing again. This time, I devoured my own order of goose leg. ❤ We had some time to spend in the airport, so we did last minute duty-free shopping! I found Pigeon brand disposable breast pads in their drug store for HKD 50.00 (about Php 300.00/USD 7.00). I registered for the same box in Manila and here it costs about Php 599.00 (about USD 13.00/HKD 99.00). I should have gotten more!

By 6:45 PM, we were at our gate waiting to board. The Cebu Pacific ground crew in Hong Kong was much more organized than the ones in Manila. They actually gave PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women, and families traveling with young children time to go ahead of the line. They didn’t do this in Manila (they announced it in Manila, but literally 10 seconds later, they started letting everyone else in. it doesn’t take much common sense to understand that  PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women, and families traveling with young children will need more than 10 seconds to get to the final check-in point).

For some reason, our seats seemed much tighter this time around (maybe it was all the eating). But even though it was a bit tight, it was a pleasant enough plane ride! I brought my R2D2 throw pillow again and I had an aisle seat (which made the Squishy induced bladder stimulation manageable). We arrived in Manila a little after 10:00 PM. We were tired but overwhelmingly grateful. We already missed Hong Kong, but there was undeniable comfort in crawling into your own bed again. ❤

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This is us on the plane heading back to Manila. I’ve stolen Mikey’s strawberry pokey. ❤

So, Hong Kong, this is definitely a see-you-later. The next time we’re there, Squishy will really be able to join all the fun! ❤

Bump in the air: Day 1.

Day 1. Saturday. Squishy and I woke up early the next day (well, I started noticing his kicks at around 6 AM, but I officially got up at 7 AM). I was energetic and excited! The doctor advised me to wear comfortable shoes for the trip. Comfort was something I kept in mind when I packed. I matched my rubber shoes with light dresses, my maternity belt, and a shoulder bag carrying the bare essentials (face mask, wet wipes, extra pantiliners, money, mobile phone, and lip balm). Mikey was sporting his new PacSafe, so he did a bulk of the carrying throughout the trip. In his bag, he carried our water, extra shopping totes, and travel documents (plus all the shopping bags that joined us along the way).

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On our way to the MTR! Here’s Mikey in his poncho. It rained for a bit.

Before we went about with our day, I was oriented by my three travel companions: I must, must, must tell them when I’m tired or when I need to rest. Mikey even asked me to come up with a secret signal so that I could alert him even if I was shy. But I wanted to be a trooper. I didn’t want to slow any one down.

The first order of business was breakfast. We found the connecting bridge from our hotel to New Town Plaza and found one restaurant open for breakfast. We settled down in Fairwood. It was not too remarkable, but the coffee was good (I sipped from Mikey’s cup) and the food was filling enough. After a quick breakfast, we headed back to the hotel for a bathroom break. In less than an hour, we were on our way back to the mall so that we could take the MTR to Sham Shui Po—a well-known tech hub in Hong Kong.

Our first MTR ride went really well! We had two transfers, but on each train, locals would offer me their seats! ❤ So I was very comfortable throughout the trip (and moved by the wonderful display of compassion).

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Heavenly McDonald’s OJ.

When we got there at around 10:00 AM, the area was still slowly waking up. The only thing that was open was a McDonald’s so Mikey decided to have a breakfast platter and I order orange juice. The orange juice in Hong Kong McDonald’s is amazing. It’s like the stuff they serve on planes and in hotels.

At about 10:45, we decided to try our luck again to see if anything was open. The Tech Hub wasn’t open yet, but the stalls lining the streets were slowly opening. We found a huge stall with baby clothes and Lola bought Squishy two new five-piece Carter’s sets (at HKD 59.00/Php 360.00/USD 8.00 each set) and an unbranded onsie (HKD 29.00/Php 177.00/USD 4.00). I wish I had gotten some more!

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Sham Shui Po at around 10:00 AM.

By 11:00 AM, the tech hub was slowly opening and Mikey was the happiest boy on earth. It was three floors of tech stall after tech stall. After the first floor, everything looked the same to me. But Mikey, Lola, and Lolo Benjie found something interesting at every stop. Half way through the first floor, I noticed that my ankles were kind of chubby so I would sit whenever there was a chair available and try to rotate my feet to relieve some of the pressure. Surprisingly, it was only my feet that felt the discomfort. My back, knees, and legs felt fine (I think the maternity belt really works!). By the time we were almost done with the second floor, my ankles were chubby, there weren’t as many seats to bum around on, and I needed to pee. I asked Mikey if I could go to McDonald’s and wait for them there (there was a whole other floor that they needed to explore). Lola cut her shopping trip short and accompanied me to McDonald’s. When we got there, we had some more orange juice (yum!). It wasn’t too long before our companions returned (Mikey admitted that he was tired too). It was about 2:00 PM when we decided to head out for a late seafood lunch in quaint fishing village of Lei Yu Mun.

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Lei Yu Mun was so pretty!

They decided it was best to take a taxi because the walk from the nearest MTR station would be hilly. So we took our first cab ride from Sham Shui Po to Lei Yu Mun. I knew that it was really for my benefit, but my companions told me that it wasn’t too bad because we were a party of four (probably amounting to an additional HK$10 each).

When we got to the entrance of Lei Yu Mun, we were greeted by a decorated arch and a dock full of boats. It was very nice! It was about a 5 minute walk to the market area where our restaurant was located. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of our restaurant. It was the first restaurant after the market entrance. It was the best seafood I ever had. They keep all the live seafood in tanks behind the restaurant. We got to go there and choose our lunch!

We ended up ordering steamed shrimps, bamboo shells in spicy taosi sauce, deep friend slipper lobster, and fried rice. The meal cost an arm and a leg and I’m so grateful that I got to try it! Squishy was kicking up a storm after our wonderful lunch!

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The view from the Yau Tong Station (nearest MRT station to Lei Yu Mun).

After lunch, we decided to take a taxi to the nearest MTR station. It would have been very possible to walk, but the route to the station was uphill and I don’t think I would have had the stamina to keep up. We took the MTR Station to Sogo along Causeway Bay for some more shopping. We spent a few hours there and Lola even bought Squishy Sophie La Girafe (we actually got one! Yay!)! We also took a trip to the groceries to buy breakfast for the next day. After Sogo, we walked to Hysan Place so that Mikey could visit an Apple Store. At around 6:30 PM, we were in a cab again on our way to the Ferry Terminal for a Peking Duck dinner at the one and only Peking Garden! ❤

The Ferry ride was amazing. It was quite full when we entered, but I didn’t have trouble sitting because they take priority seats very seriously in Hong Kong. There was always one available for me, and if there wasn’t the locals would always offer their seats. ❤ I wish it were like that in Manila.

In Peking Garden, we feasted on a whole peaking duck served in two ways: (1) with the skin and some meat, spring onions, and hoisin sauce wrapped in a Chinese “pancake” (kind of like a burrito wrapper) and (2) with the meat diced up and scooped into lettuce with hoisin sauce. Oh, the joy Squish and I experienced with every bite!

We were all quite tired from the full day, so we decided to take a taxi back to the hotel. The taxi ride was quick enough (around 20 minutes), but it cost us about HKD 100 (about Php 606.54/USD 12.89) for the trip.

As soon as we got to the hotel room, I washed up and made a pillow tower to raise my feet. I also did my last is-Squishy-kicking check of the day (he was quite active! I think he really enjoyed the duck!). But I was so tired that night that I don’t even remember falling asleep! I just have images of Mikey pulling the comforter from under me so that he could tuck me in properly. ❤

Day 1 was a blast! Tiring, but a blast! I can’t believe how much ground we got to cover!