For My Mama, on Her Birthday

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When I sent this advice to Mommy Mundo for their planner, a huge part of it was from me truly understanding why my mom was how she was with me when I was growing up. You see, I was the typical rebellious hormone-raged teenager who wanted to be liberated from the rules of my parents. Thinking about it now, I’m really thankful that no matter how many times I bent over my mom’s rules, she didn’t give up on me and pushed me to be a better person (Sorry nalang Ma, you didn’t push hard enough to make me go into medicine!)

I know you think you are not a great mom, but you are! But you’re an even better Wawa! I can only be wish to be as strong as you when the day comes that my kids will be out partying!

Happy 55th birthday Wawa! We love you!
Happy 55th birthday Wawa! We love you!

Staycation at Conrad Manila

Our third staycation for this year might be the best one, yet! My mom has been telling me to book a room at Conrad Manila ever since it opened last year and I knew the perfect time to stay there was during the Pyrolympics. So, on the last night when France and Philippines will be displaying their fireworks show, we had the best seats available!

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Everything about this hotel is picturesque! Upon entering the lobby on the 3rd floor, you will be greeted by the view of the Manila Bay in their floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Y and I were both stunned and must have had our jaws dropped at the scene.

Check-in time is at 3PM so you'll definitely be welcomed with this view.
Check-in time is at 3PM so you’ll definitely be welcomed with this view.

Since we were there for the Pyrolympics, we were advised to get a Suite. It was comfortable for our group composed of 5 adults and 2 kids. Both Z and Y were all “Wow’s” about our room, even asking if it was our new house.

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The extra bed in the living room fit right in.
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We stayed in a one-bedroom suite. The bed was really soft!
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The kids couldn’t stop roaming around and inspecting every nook! That sofa can also be a sleeping area.
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I wish I bought their robes! It was perfect for my lamigin skin!
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You want space?! A massive bathroom awaits.
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There’s a LED screen in the mirror if you want to have the TV as a background noise while in the bath.
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COMFIEST HOTEL SLIPPERS EVERRRR!
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You know you’re Pinoy if you get these as souvenirs, hehehe.

 

Before the show, we stuffed ourselves silly at the Executive Lounge located at the 7th floor where they have cocktail hour nightly. Unlimited alcohol, yeah! The food was really good so we expected the buffet breakfast to be at par.

And the breakfast buffet at Brasserie on 3 did not disappoint! For just P950 per person, you’ll be treated to two tables of pastries, a salmon bar, a selection of Filipino and Western breakfast staples, an assortment of Japanese sushi and Chinese dumplings and a juice bar! Yup, we were full until the afternoon!

After breakfast, you can lounge by the pool which is on the same floor. It was a little bit cold so we didn’t stay that long. A small part of the pool is just 2 feet so it’s perfect for little kids! They have lounge chairs and day beds around the pool so we were tempted to get a Corona to complete the experience!

Z and Y's Wawa.
Z and Y’s Wawa.

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True to the hotel’s tagline, we left inspired and rejuvenated for another week! Staycations in an amazing place like Conrad Manila is the perfect breather for a yaya-less mom like me. Shout-out to JB Aquino for all the perks and suggestions. Thinking of booking again soon!

Oh by the way, here are some pictures of the fireworks taken using my Huawei P9.

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No Yaya, No Problem!

This has been the hashtag of my life since December 2016: #noyayanoproblem. Surprisingly, a lot of my friends do not employ a nanny/helper as of late. I’m not really sure why, but there’s a shortage of amiable and reliable helpers around. Add to that the list of horror stories involving nannies like stealing, kidnapping and being violent to kids! Now that vacation time is here, I know most helpers will go home to their families, and some might not come back so here’s some lessons and tips that has helped me survive this situation.

Where are you super yaya?! Photo from:http://clipart-library.com/helper-cliparts.html
Where are you super yaya?! Photo from: http://clipart-library.com/helper-cliparts.html

First things first, how did my husband and I came to the decision not to hire a helper anymore? Well, there wasn’t really a choice as it was Christmas season then and getting a helper was impossible. Then we had relatives visiting from the US who gave our spirits a boost with their stories of raising kids there without a helper. It was also a good practice for us since we plan to go abroad soon. Travelling with a helper will entail additional expenses so go na, no more yaya!

I think the transition was easier for me because we are living with my in-laws (which deserve another post altogether) and there are other helpers who cook and clean and do the laundry. So in any case, I wasn’t without a helper. I just had no designated person to look after the kids entirely so I can go on and do my own stuff. The kids adjusted differently. They had to go where I was going and they need to pack away their toys, clothes and food. At one point, Z said “let’s get a yaya so she can pack away.” That for me was another reason not to get a yaya anymore. The kids will become too dependent and not learn to do their chores. Now, we have a system and I labeled their boxes so they know where their toys are going. Actually, our room is more organized and cleaner now than when we had a helper. Even Y helps in packing away toys and clothes and now she knows where to get her undies and socks! So that was a lesson for me: involve the kids and they will be willing helpers!

He is OC!
He is OC!

Thank heavens for grandparents, I can have an hour or two to myself. Put yourself on the prioritize list every day! Be it a workout, coffee by yourself or a 30-minute shower. It will do your mind and soul good. I really see the importance of me-time because it works. Just a few minutes for you to catch your breath. Even if you have a yaya, chances are you might spend time doing other things, not things for YOU.

But there will be days that will challenge you. Too many clothes to sort; kids dumped all of their toys on the floor; both kids having tantrums; husband having a tantrum. You know, it’s one of those days. My rule for that:

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Photo Credits

For example, this blog post has been saved on drafts since the month started. My kids are always asking me to join them in their playtime so I just do chores and blogging when they are sleeping or if I really need to finish something, it’s TV or gadget time. Just remember that there’s always a time for everything. It really pays to have a schedule and routine so that you can plan out your day. I enlist the help of my husband such as asking him to be the one to read the bedtime books to the kids so I can freshen up or finish work I left hanging. Oh diba, hitting two birds with one stone!

Teamwork!
Teamwork!

Having no helper means I get to be more intentional with the kids. I can inject learning while we’re playing and now Y knows her colors, shapes, letters and counting! They’ve also realized that I’m the only one who can give in to their needs and would always be grateful like saying “Thank you for cleaning my pwet, Mama!” I deem a day to be successful when just before sleeping I’ll ask them if they had a great day and almost always, they say yes. I may be help-less but I’m not helpless.

Got more tips to yaya-less families?! Share them in the comments!