The Miggie Report: 20 Months

I’m over a week late, but here is Miguel’s 20-month report for his grandmas, aunties, and godmothers who I know LOVE to read about his monthly updates.

20 Months

I was just thinking to myself last week how we’ve reached another milestone in Miguel’s life. Being a Mom who likes to remember special dates (yes…even seemingly insignificant ones like his month-sary birthdays), I made sure to greet Miggz on his 20th month with a kiss on his forehead in the car on our way to church. I LOVE that his Daddy follows suit with a greeting (even though he probably would not have remembered that it was the 17th had I not first greeted him…LOL!)

We are past the point of lighting a candled cupcake (or some other pastry) on his monthly birthdays (though I must admit I probably would not mind the occasional treat). I know some parents even buy a small (or big) toy for the occasion. We do none of that now (and I say now because we DID that once for his 6th-month birthday, but c’mon…that’s PRETTY significant–six months!!! It’s the halfway point to one-year!). These days we give him a simple greeting and a kiss. He may not get the greeting part yet, but we know the kiss definitely lets him know it (meaning the day) must be something special. Plus he randomly gets toys from us–that would probably warrant as monthly gift toys if we aptly timed the buying of them.

Miguel’s antics just grow by the magnitude each month. This is especially evidenced in the past couple of weeks while we had additional family visiting here at home. How he started with a wailing cry at the sight of meeting his Grandma Amy and Grandma Maila for the first time at the airport, and ended with knowing how to call them by name (AH-MEE! MAI-YAH!) by the time they had to go back to Norway.

Favorite Things

Miguel’s absolute favorite thing to do these days, like in previous months, is to be outdoors (no surprise there!). He just LOVES to run around and not be bound by any walls. It seems that he LIVES to pick up rocks. He likes to toss them in the water and bring them inside the house (you’re bound to see them turn up in the bathtub, on pantry shelves, and yes…sometimes in my handbag). He also enjoys the occasional dip in his backyard pool.

When indoors, Miguel loves to play with his blocks, building Mega Block fortresses and Foam Block castles (this is a departure from previous months, when all he wanted to do was knock them over). He also enjoys playing with his Tonka Trucks a lot. It seems that this is one toy that he just doesn’t tire of. He received a set of these trucks from my cousin Olive for his 1st birthday, and here we are, eight months later, and the trucks are still his faves. (They’ve gotten attached to us, as well, those trucks. I remember mourning over the loss of one truck for days, after finding out we had left it back in a Vegas hotel some time in November. Thank God he’s got four more of them!!!) He’s since gotten a portable Tonka Garage from one of my Dad’s friends, and a set of Tiny Tonkas from my sister. And he can’t get enough of them!! He picks them up to play with everyday.

Mommy Dislikes

Cute as he may seem, there are some things I just wish Miggz will soon grow out of. The past month, I noticed Miguel chomping on a LOT more things than he did when he first teethed. I mean, I could understand the occasional munch on his toys and such, but on drawer pulls and coasters??? What gives?? LOL. He also has this thing where he thinks it’s fun to turn the TV on and off again and again (and seems to find more satisfaction at doing this while a basketball playoff game is on). He’s learned to also do the same with the volume knob on our TV receiver.

As the days go by, I wonder what more mischief he’s gonna get in to.

Mommy Likes

Miggz is generous with his kisses and hugs. And it’s so easy to make him laugh! Especially when I make silly sounds and funny sound effects whenever I dress him after a bath, or as he plays with his toys. I LOVE that he thinks I’m hilarious!!! (Always has since birth… It’s a mutual thing).

Miggz is also SUCH a quick learner. He can now mouth words to “Bahay Kubo” (a Filipino folk song), thanks to his Gramma’s constant teaching him of it. He knows his numbers until fifteen (though he skips some at times: one, two, three… seven, eleven, fifteen… LOL!). I continue to count every step on the stairs whenever we go up or down. He can also now identify the letters I, O, M, and W (I don’t know how he knows those before the other letters), and he now understands the concept of colors (red, green, blue, white, yellow), though he cannot completely identify the right name to the right color just yet. He just loves yelling out the colors when we eat Mini M&M’s (another one of his favorites).

One of my absolute faves to remember about this month is when Miggz occasionally does his “roll call” at the dinner table. He goes around and points at–and identifies–all of us: Mommy! Daddy! Gramma! Yo-Yo (Lolo)! Auntie! Uncle! Auntie! Auntie! Uncle! Jo-chi! Amy! Mai-yah!

He’s the best.

Miggz will probably choose to sleep out in the backyard if he can get away with it. (He is pictured here outside with Tator, his Auntie Anna and Uncle Jon's dog).

(Reminiscing) The Day the Hubby and I Met

A friend of ours just posted this on Facebook, and since this month marked eight years since my Terrence and I met, I thought it appropriate (and fun) to re-post this here also–so Miguel can read about it years from now–and, for the simple reason that it just reminds me about that night. Yes…we met in a club, out of all places. I know…re-posting sounds high-schoolish hahaha. But with a kid around, I think it’s important to reminisce those pre-baby moments whenever you can, even if it’s through a Guy Sebastian video. Plus Eve‘s in it.

I am re-posting the song’s lyrics also (taken from somewhere else on the web).

“Who’s That Girl”
(Guy Sebastian feat. Eve)

I was on the mic
Doin’ my thing on a Friday night
Had the floor burning up just right
Everybody was bumpin’, the club was jumping
Suddenly, you walked in
That’s when everybody stopped dancing
And I couldn’t stop myself staring
Yeah I couldn’t breathe,
No I couldn’t believe my eyes

I never thought I’d fall in love in a club
But now I seen you girl I can’t get enough
With you I know there’s no taking it slow
So can somebody please let me know

Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk), walk walk (walk), yeah

Before the night is through
Imma tell ya how I feel about you
And I know I got some work to do
To make you believe that you should be leaving with me

I never thought I’d fall in love in a club
The more I get of you, I can’t get enough
I won’t be letting you leave here alone
So can somebody please let me know

Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk), walk walk (walk)

(I wanna know) Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
(Who’s that girl) Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk), walk walk (walk)

I walk in the club it’s over
All them other chicks might as well move over
Wanna know my name then you gotta get closer
Eyes on you too wanna get to know ya
Lemme run it down for ya, I’m not easy
Some say caramel, you can call my evie
Wanna be the man in my life that please me
Gotta warn in, Once ya know me, you need me
Give you whip lash when I glide through the room
Five inch heals, watch how I move
Watch how I shake it to the beat, how I do
Know you wanna feel me, feel me shake it on you, yeah
The night could get crazy
But I gotta hold back, I’m a lady
Well who knows maybe I could be your baby
Be your baby, be your baby

Wo-oh oh

So, tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club

Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Tell me who’s that girl
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club
Just walk walk (walk) in the club

The Day We Missed The Sunset at Grand Canyon National Park

A day after our big family reunion, the whole gang set out to see the Grand Canyon–about five hours drive from home. I woke up early Sunday morning, amidst the campsite that is our bedroom–with siblings still asleep on the floor–so I can pack our stuff for our two-day trip.

The good thing about doing a lot of traveling is, eventually, you get the hang of packing luggage, even if said luggage has to include diapers, wipes, and a whole LOT of other stuff you normally would not include, if, say, only you and the hubs were traveling. It’s actually become second nature to me now…packing for travel with a little one. I used to OVERpack, bringing ten days worth of clothes for a six-day trip. You know…for the IFs, WHENs, and the BUTs of life: IF we get stuck at the airport. WHEN it rains. BUT I just want to bring my boots just in case. Now I pack just right, just enough (though my husband would probably still disagree).

I quickly checked the next two days’ weather forecast for the Grand Canyon: highs in the mid-40’s and lows in the mid-20’s. That’s cold for people used to Arizona warmth. In addition to the staple items we tote along on road trips (day clothes, sleep clothes, toiletries, essential electronics and their chargers, Miggie’s bottles, bottle cleaner, milk, snacks, cooler with water and soft drinks, and pillows for sleeping in the car), I made sure to pack Miguel’s winter coat, as well as mine, and also wear my Ugg Cardy’s (feeling quite giddy inside that I get to wear them for the first time this year).

We were on the road by 1PM, along with four or five other cars with the rest of the family who decided to go and see the grandness of the Grand Canyon. The agenda for today is to make it to Grand Canyon National Park by 5:30PM so we can all witness one of the finest things to see at the Grand Canyon: sunset.

Our drive was not without stops. About one-hour into our journey, mom’s party (composed of my parents, uncles and aunts) requested a restroom stop, which was fine, because the people in our party (Terrence, Miggz, and I, plus my siblings and their other halves) were getting hungry, and Miggz also needed a diaper change. So into McDonald’s near the Anthem Outlets on Rt. 17 we went. After this it was straight driving to Grand Canyon, only slowed down by a road closure that just re-opened on Rt. 40. I was pleasantly surprised to see snow-capped mountains and wintry-wonderland roadsides about two hours north into our trip.

We got to the park with some time to spare before the sun was about to set. But if you’ve ever been to the Grand Canyon before, you’ll know just how vast the “National Park” part of it is. At the South Entrance, where we entered and paid our park entrance fee ($25 per vehicle for a seven-day pass), the park ranger/gate attendant handed us a map and guide to the Grand Canyon South Rim (both map and guide were pretty expansive also…not ones you would bother checking if you and everyone else in your party were trying to catch the sunset).

Our entire party itself was pretty big. We literally needed a leash to keep everyone together, and unfortunately, that was quite impossible to do. We all ended up getting somehow separated in the park. At the end of the night, I believe only one or two parties ended up seeing the actual sunset at the Grand Canyon that evening. My mom’s party got lost and ended up taking an “Orange Route” bus. They run free shuttles with different routes in the park. The buses take you to various canyon overlook points. My parents lucked out, because the Orange bus took them to an overlook just in time, and they were able to get there just as the sun was setting on the canyon.

Our party, on the other hand, ended up in a “Blue Route” bus. This bus took us through the village, lodges, marketplace, etc. Anywhere but near the canyon rim, which was where we wanted to be that evening. By the time we got through the bus’ round trip and back to our lodge, it was pitch black (and freezing cold).

We had missed the sunset at the Grand Canyon.

So let this be a lesson learned: Never get on a bus if you don’t know where it’s headed (even if said bus has half your family members in it…LOL!).

In the morning, when the rest of our family set out for Las Vegas, our little party (Terrence and I, Miggz, and my siblings + their other halves) set out to see the Grand Canyon on our own. Two things we made sure of that day:

  1. Stick together.
  2. Take the ORANGE ROUTE bus.

And this, folks, is what we saw:

They were pretty serious when they decided to call it GRAND.

Here are a few more photos to chronicle our first time–including Miguel’s–seeing the Grand Canyon:

Miguel and I inside the Orange Route bus.

First overlook stop on the Orange Route: Mather Point.

With Daddy and Uncle Tedi (Miggz was not happy being stuck in his stroller).

Fam shot overlooking the Canyon.

Miguel with his aunts, uncles, and Daddy.

Family shot.

All of us.

Just the boys.

Another family shot.

Auntie Rose and Uncle Tedi.

Auntie Anna and Uncle Jon.

Terrence and I.

We may not have seen the sunset the previous night, but we didn’t feel like we missed a thing!

The Day We Hosted Our Annual Family Reunion

This weekend was choc-full-of-activities, not just for Miguel, but for the entire family. It was our turn to host the annual Jacob Family Reunion. It’s an event that’s been a year in the making, officially starting with the arrival of our out-of-town (or more like out-of-the-country) guests last March 30th. My aunts Amy and Maila, along with her fiance Jens, flew in from Norway, and we’ve been busy taking them out shopping, dining, and casino-hopping since they arrived.

We held this reunion in honor of my maternal grandparents, the late Amado Marasigan Jacob, and his wife, Verania Liwanag Jacob. Though they could not both be here for the event (Lola Vering, in her old age, decided to forego traveling all the way from the Philippines, and instead just await her children’s visit this coming June), we made sure their presence would still be felt by all who attended.

The stunning Jacob couple--my grandparents--Verania Jacob and the late Amado Jacob.

This is the banner I designed for our reunion…

On the days leading up to the reunion when we were not happily gallivanting with the family, I kept busy putting together the welcome bags for our reunion attendees. Here are the contents of the attendee giveaways

The giveaway bags included Jacob’s Creek wines with a custom label, custom dog-tag key chains, Jacob Reunion t-shirts, Norwegian chocolates and sardines (pasalubong from our Norwegian delegates, no less!), Arizona caramel corn, and various colored bandannas to indicate each attendee’s team for the games. We placed all items in a reusable recycled tan shopping bag.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

Our attendee giveaways. Yup. If you're should have come!

Besides the giveaways, there were also preparations we made for the games, entertainment, and getting the house in order for the event. Of course, the rest of the family contributed a LOT in making this reunion a success. We all pooled in money from each member of the Amado-Verania lineage (down to great-grandchild Miguel) to financially support the entire reunion. Not only did the money go to the giveaways, but also to the food, drinks, party supplies, game props, and prizes.

While everyone cooperated in ensuring the reunion’s success, the weather unfortunately did not. It got briskly cold for Arizona’s standards the night before the reunion, when the rest of our out-of-town guests arrived. And it poured rain through the morning of, leaving our backyard too wet and mushy for any outdoor activities. We did not let this stop us though. Instead we brought all the games and partying inside, beginning on the night prior to the reunion.

On the night before the reunion, we…

...had dinner and drinks.

...welcomed our Elders.

...played card bingo.

...greeted Great Uncle Manoling a Happy 84th Birthday.

...took group pictures.

...took MORE group pictures, this time with Tito Jens' butt in the way. Hilarious (You HAD to be there).

And then we took EVEN MORE pictures. As if they weren't going to see each other the next day!

The official day of the reunion was Saturday, April 9th. We started with food of course. Then we handed out the welcome bags so everyone can put on their shirts and their team bandannas.

And then we proceeded with the games, starting with a getting-to-know-you ice-breaker game of M&M’s (a non-team game). I went around the room and asked each family member to get a handful of M&M’s from a bowl. Some took only a few pieces, while other dug into the bowl…LOL. Only after everyone has had a chance to get some M&M’s did I tell them what they were for. For each piece of M&M that they took, they have to say something about themselves. Of course, those who took a LOT panicked and laughed it out! Hahaha!!!

Tito Jens won this game: I am Jens. From Norway. I live in Oslo. In Norway. I come from North Norway. I am engaged to Maila. Also from Norway. LOL. He said a whole lot after that, but I can’t remember them anymore.

And then came Uncle Manoling’s turn. He called for a few moments of silent prayer for all those family members who have departed and those who were not with us, which tugged at my heart because I so wished my Lola Vering could be here, and then Lolo Daddy (Amado) who is no more, but who lives within all of us in spirit.

One thing Uncle Manoling said about himself was he in fact was the attending physician who assisted my Mom in giving birth to me, my sister Anna, and my brother Tedi. So we would not be here if not for him. Which made me cry some more. Good thing we paused for pictures, which was a good diversion…

We then surprise greeted our parents, for it was their 30th Wedding Anniversary that day.

After this we had a team game where each team had to put together a family photo puzzle, and the youngest family member in each team had to name the person/persons in their photograph.

We then took a break from the games and ushered in the entertainment.

Tina Turner came to dance.

In between the dancing, Tito Jens proposed.

The Chicago delegation proved, "It's A Beautiful Life!"

We proceeded to "Just Dance."

Miguel decided to join in the fun!

And then we continued the games

Egg Relay

The Mummies. LOL!!!

And then DANCED some more…


Miguel's own dance


Ocho Ocho

We took a break to take some photos

And then proceed with our next and final game of…PUTUKAN NA!!! This is the game played in the Philippine game show Willing Willie, a variation of balloon pop.

After this last game we all just hung out, had some halo-halo, sung Karaoke, and enjoyed each other’s company. We celebrated with the family well into midnight, and this reunion proved to be one of the most fun family gatherings we’ve ever had, and we are proud to have hosted it. =)

HOORAY for Miguel’s “Early in Bed” Time

I could jump for joy for the rest of the night right now.

My son–who does not go to bed earlier than midnight–has actually fallen asleep out of sheer tiredness and genuine sleepiness. He is now knocked out and asleep, and it looks like it will actually last through the morning.

Officially in bed by 10:30PM. That’s a new record of early for us.

I know for most parents’, and even kids’, standards, anything past ten o’clock is way late for a child’s bedtime. Trust me, ever since his birth, I’ve tried to put Miguel on a sleeping schedule…to little success. I attribute it to his enormous, unlimited amount of energy, our frequent traveling, and, I admit, our lack of discipline in enforcing waking up hours (which results into crazy bed time hours).

You see, I LOVE to sleep. Terrence used to be an early riser, but since being around me, has grown to love his sleep as well. I am NOT a morning person. I don’t wake up early unless I absolutely have to. And I would NEVER wake a sleeping baby, unless we are traveling, or going to church, or have other plans that require following a schedule or having to be somewhere on time. We just indulge in sleep. We let Miggz do the same, allowing him to sleep in as late as he wants to in the mornings. We’ve never had a problem on that front because, like me, he’ll sleep as much as he wants, usually waking up near noon lately. The problem with this arrangement (if you can call it that) is he doesn’t go down for a nap until later. MUCH later. The past few weeks it has been 6 PM. (I know!!! CRAZY!!!) This leads to a really late bed time of past 12 MIDNIGHT on most evenings.

Not normal at all.

So you can see why I am rejoicing right now, finding solace in the quiet of our “after-hours.” It’s SO great!!! I told Terrence earlier that we need more evenings like this. Which simply means we have to have more mornings like this morning, when the three of us were actually up around 7:45 AM (a rarity!) and out of the house by 9:45 AM, and in church by 10 AM. We all had time to bathe, get dressed, and grab a quick breakfast. I even had time to wash and prepare a couple of Miguel’s milk bottles for the road. And we got to church with enough time to park the car a block away, and have Miguel get settled in the toddler nursery prior to the service. It was AWESOME.

We need to wake up early tomorrow.

And the day after that.

And the day after that.

Let’s see WHO will have the willpower to do so. Me, or the baby.

Miguel when he was seven months old. He's ALWAYS been a sleepy-head (just like Mommy).

Looking Back: Miguel @ Eight Months

I was editing some pictures today from a party Terrence, Miguel and I went to almost a year ago. The daughter of one of our fellow church members was having her debutante party, and they asked Terrence to take some pictures at the event. Looking through those pictures again made me look back at that point of my new mommy-hood. Miguel was only eight months then, and he was just showing the first signs of separation anxiety. He was good about it though, until one of our pastors approached him in his stroller at the party, and he cried like I’ve never seen him cry before! Lol…

Terrence took some photos of Miguel and I before we left the house for the party. He looked so cute in his “little man suit” that I just had to share these! The photos are also some of our most poignant mother-son shots, probably because he didn’t want me put him down at all (either that…or he was just knocked out silly!)

Here they are…

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