January 8

Ang Daming Ngiti: A day with the kids of Bahay Aruga

Last December 20, 2016,  I joined a charity event called “Ang Daming Ngiti” (a lot of smiles) for the benefit of the children of Bahay Aruga, in Paco Manila. Bahay Aruga is  a free halfway house for pediatric cancer patients. This is where the children and their guardians stay for free when the kids, who mostly live in provinces, have to go to Manila and undergo checkups or treatments in the Pediatric Oncology of Philippine General Hospital which is just a few blocks away.

I came across this project when a friend of mine, Lyka, together with her friends (they call themselves Hacienderas. The story of their group name deserves another blog post haha!) posted this project on Twitter.

I intended to participate as a donor but I believe God has other plans. As I was sending Lyka a message asking her what to donate, I found myself saying that I also want to be a volunteer on the day of the event itself. And when she said yes, my heart skipped a happy beat!
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October 1

October is here…

October brings in a feel of exciting chaos to me (what the?!).. Well, the control freak in me I guess. Why? Well, if companies have planning sessions too, our family has one too. uhhmm… more of me planning then getting approval from Daddy S. We are basically gearing up for the Christmas season and the upcoming year.

October is when we finalize our budget for the holidays. It is also when we finalize the gift list since November is when we start shopping. Shopping in November for Christmas gifts may seem to early for some but since Daddy S gives bulk gifts at work, prepping all of them takes soooooooooooooo much time.

October is also the time to finalize our travel plans for the upcoming year. Daddy S, being the “boss” 🙂 I usually suggest places/countries and he gives a yes/no answer after estimating costs. Then I take serious and detailed planning from there, such as the dates, travel itineraries and all..

Finally October is when we set targets for the coming year, sort of short term and long term planning, both for expenses and costs. Having a long term vision sets our short them plans. We want to give our kids a secure future without sacrificing the chance to enjoy being with them while they are young. Goal setting is the key!

Now that I read all these October to do’s, I am actually wondering why all of these must be done in one month. But not complaining though. I am happy getting things planned ahead! So cheers to October!

April 11

Beyond Grateful

I used to wake up on my birthday with so much excitement, always in anticipation of what this day will bring. But this morning, as I open my eyes to meet April 11, I felt a great sense of serenity and calmness. I looked at my left and smiled seeing my husband and two sons sound asleep. I took a deep breath and held my heart. Yes this is how it feels whenever they say everyday is like my birthday. I closed my eyes and prayed. I got up, took a shower and got myself ready for church. For as long as I can remember, my birthday will never be complete without hearing mass and receiving the communion.

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November 8

It’s a Pink and White Suprise Baby Shower!

Babies bring so much joy not just to the family but to everyone else around him/her. This is exactly the emotions behind the surprise baby shower that we prepared for my good friend and boss at work, Jo, who is expecting her third child and first baby girl. She, her husband, and their two boys are not the only ones excited for their bundle of joy but we are as well!

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April 20

The Relaunch

cropped-banner2.jpgbanner4.jpgbanner4.jpgWow, it has been almost a year since I last posted a blog. Normally, the next line will be “time flies fast”, but not for me. The few months that I have been on blogging hiatus, my family and I are finding ways to make my son better. Since I am no medical practitioner, I will not get into the details of my son’s medical journey here for I may give inaccurate or outdated information. But all I can say is this, the battle that we fought is long and frustrating. There is no one direct medication. There are several options but the effect is on a case to case basis. It can be addressed by just one, or a combination of two or combination of three or more; it is a series of trial and error until you get the right one. Imagine how frustrating that can be. Some were lucky enough to “get it” on the first try, but some takes months, for others, even years. At times I feel helpless and shaken. When you are a parent, the only thing that you want is for your children to be happy and healthy. You will do everything in your power to give them those two. But sometimes we forget that not everything is in our power. And when we lose that power, we feel helpless, insecure and vulnerable. The feeling that we have then can be compared to a person who suddenly walked into a dark alley and he will just have to rely on someone else’s instruction over the phone on how he will get out. That was how the past few months were like for us. Going through that changed us as a family.

In the dark alley that we took, God was our “person on the other line” guiding us on our way out. We did everything that we can, yes, to provide our son with the best health care even to the extent of buying medicine overseas, and at the same time, we kept asking God to guide us as we go through the experience. 4th quarter of last year, we were able to walked out of the dark alley. God showed us the way. It was a breakthrough for our family; another miracle, but not maybe very obvious for others. Our son is cured (for good i hope and pray), and is now making up for lost time and skills. He is catching up and we are giving him his own time to do so. When you are a parent of a child with a colorful medical history, the only thing that will matter to you is that they are healthy. Period. Milestones, skills; they will  take a backseat and trust me, you will not be even bothered by it.

And because faith is our major tool during our most trying times as a family, I only see it proper to relaunch my blog on this most important day in our Catholic faith. Easter. Easter symbolizes redemption, new beginnings, hope. I am not going back to blogging because things are all so well and perfect. Like every family, I know that ours will have our series of ups and downs. I am blogging again because I realized that there is so much I can share to other moms like me. And thru your comments i learn as well. I want to inspire others, especially who are going thru the same challenges that we went through.

So here’s to the new Mom Kat’s Notes. I do hope to see your comments on my post soon! Enjoy reading and Happy Easter!