I am still amazed and nostalgic on how everything came by so fast.  Risen is now 5 and for first time parents like us, we are both "humble and proud" on how these years happened.  And of course, as a mom  (and dad Bryan), we only want the best for our child so we did everything we could.  However,  I also understand that our best may not be your version of best and vice versa.  But please let me still share the decisions we made in raising Risen that we do not regret at all.  I am not an advocate of these tips, however, I would also like to be honest.  My desire is that you will consider these "steps" that we did that really helped us, not only in parenting Risen.  These decisions we made in being intentional with Risen helped our marriage, our family, ministry and generally in life.  And if you disagree, it is okay.  You are the best mother to your kids.  I am sure, you are doing great as well!!

Training #1

Sleep Training using Baby Wise (this is a book on sleep training).  We decided and scheduled Risen's nap time since he was 2 months old.  Yep.  I remember his schedule will be like:

6:00 am wake up

6:15 feeding time

6:30 cuddle time

7:30 or 8:00 nap time

9:00 wake time  (this schedule goes on until 6pm)

The results?
1.  Risen sleeps soundly from 6pm to 6am the next day. No feeding in between.
2.  I never became a zombie/puyat mom.  I enjoyed night time with Bryan.  We were never deprived of  "quality time".  Wives, this is important ;)
3.  We do not guess why he is crying because he has a schedule.  If he is cranky, this could only mean he is not feeling well because again we are sure that he is fed and rested.

Risen when he tries to sleep on his own

Training #2
We did not rock him to sleep.  When the time says "sleeping time", we just lay him down in his crib and he sleeps on his own.  of course I still rub my hand softly on his back to sooth him and let him know I am beside him

The results?
1.  I can do more because my time and energy is not wasted putting him to sleep.
2.  Bryan can put him to sleep.
3.  The grandparents can put him to sleep.
4.  We can leave him and just tell the guardian his schedule.  No troubles.  No guessings if he is sleepy or not.
5.  We can plan our chores, errands and travels.

Training #3
1.  Risen stays in the car seat  Since we have a schedule to follow (This was revised to 3 naps, to 2 then eventually to 1 nap), we drive when  he will be asleep.

The results?
1.  Travelling has been a joy.  I stay seated in the front seat, while Risen is at the back.
2.  Risen can endure traffic.  He can stay in his seat belt (with toys) for 3-4 hours.  No whining.  No fuzz.

Training #4
He eats what is on the table and only on the table.  The day we gave him solid, he only eats on his high chair and the dining table.  Not in front of the TV or a gagdet (except with his lola!!), not while playing, not in bed.  If he does not eat, I say "okay.  but this is the only food we have".  When he asks for "other food", I say "no, I do not run a restaurant".

The results?
1.  He basically eats anything (except Ampalaya and spicy food)
2. We can go to restaurants and order what we want because we are sure he will eat it too
3.  He does not go up and down the chairs when we eat out
4.  He likes S&R because of free taste haha

Training #5
No gadgets at home.  This is maybe the most difficult thing we have to deal with because IT IS SO TEMPTING TO GIVE HIM AN IPAD.  But you know what made it easier?  The schedule that we have for him.  Because he has a routine, it is very easy to plan what our day will be like. I know what time he will wake up, play and sleep.  Setting your child's body clock is so possible.  The first two weeks will be hard but imagine he sleeps through the night at 3 months old!  Risen is allowed to play with his Ipad when we are in meetings and discipleship groups only.

The results?
1.  He is not gadget dependent
2.  He plays and can play alone for 3-4 hours

Training #6
We did not give him much freedom even while crawling and learning to walk.  He was not allowed in the kitchen and on the stairs.  We made sure he recognize his space and stays on this.  We believe that giving to much choices and freedom makes kids wise in their own eyes.  Freedom may be given but only when it is age appropriate.

The results?
1.  He does not run around in malls as a toddler.  He walks with us (or happily stays in the stroller)
2.  He explored the "right spaces".  Not the stove, nor the toilet bowl or the tables.
3.  We did not have to exaggeratedly childproof our home because he know what he can touch and what he cannot play with

To end, I want parents to know that there are answers to our usual cries of "hindi ako pinatulog/aya matulog", "iyak ng iyak, hindi ko alam ang gusto", "nag tantrums", "picky eater", "ayaw mapirme sa upuan".  We can train our kids, mommies.  And sometimes in starts even before they turn one year old.

Obviously, Risen is not perfect and we fail as parents too.  However, to be honest, if there is  one thing we do not regret doing to Risen is training him on these things.  Our hugot?  This is all Bible based.  To be direct, letting our kids do what they want (even at an early age) is not Biblical.

Proverbs 22:6

Train your children onto the right path,

    and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Luke 2:52

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
 God tells us that the burden is on us.  That we have to train them.  There is so much wisdom in this because training Risen made us not leave the ministry just because we have kids.  Our world also did not became too small because we have a toddler in tow.  Our marriage is happier because intimacy is present.  Our lives and days were planned even though Risen is just months old. We enjoyed being with Risen because he is not a chore to be with. This can be done, and I hope you choose it to.  But then again, I believe in you more than my suggestions, Mommy :)  Do you, do great.

Some kids have nutrition and behavioral concerns.  Consult doctors if necessary.  I am not an expert on the Science of sleep training.


Risen is 5.   This also means that I have been a stay-at-home wife and mom for 5 years now.  In some days, I rock it, sometimes, I do not.  In the times I feel inadequate in juggling chores, freelancing and homeschooling my son, I go back to my game plan.  And guess what?, I think I have mastered a few things that help me go through my day with ease. These steps are practical, basic and super helpful.  To be more specific, these are the chores I cover so my mornings are easy.  Interested in slaying your mornings too?  I am sure you do!!

1.  Make sure you tidy up your sink in the evening so you wake up to a clean area in your kitchen.  A clean sink is like a sweet "good morning".  Try it!  Make your sink sparkly clean tonight and you will see the difference in will make in the morning.  To add, instead of shoving your soiled dishes in the sink, arrange the dirty plates neatly.  This trick will make dish washing less overwhelming

2.  Always have bread, eggs, spreads, cereals and any other breakfast that you can easily whip up in no time.  Why?  Because the first thing that comes to mind is, "Ano bang lulutuin ko?/Anong breakfast? (what will I cook?? What are we having for breakfast?)".  When you have the basic breakfast set, having the first meal of the day will not be as stressful as how you think it is.  

3.  Accept that home can't be clean the whole time so allot one room or space that you can allow to be messy and one room that has to be clean at all times.  In our case, the master bedroom and restrooms are the ones that has to be always the cleanest!!!  When you have at least one room that is breathable, mornings are easier.   

our war room. the only place in the house that can be messy.

4.  Stay away form your phone and social media accounts before sleeping and when you wake up.  I am sometimes guilty of browsing my phone before sleeping and upon waking up (especially when I have to check if Bryan has school).  However, I also know that it is really better when the last thing I do at night is a prayer and a good talk with my husband as I doze off :)

5.  Do you know that even those who does not believe in God tells people that meditation in the morning makes our day better? Therefore, wake up earlier than everyone and pick up your Bible (and coffee) first.  My spiritual mentor told me that the Bible should not be the first one to fall off my list.  Set that alarm and wake up when it rings.  Go  to your corner and say a prayer.

Coffee and Bible (yep, i made that Cappucino)
Mornings can be great when faced with readiness.  Again, being a stay-at-home mom can be overwhelming so choose to have at least one clean room, an empty sink, a ready brekky and a prayer. Let me know if this works for you :)


1.  Turn off your mobile phone because you do not want to be asked regarding the time of your ceremony and address of your venue.  Nor you do not want to know about guests not coming.  Or a not so good news that might appear on your feed

all photos taken by Catilo Photography

2.   Rent a separate room for your secondary sponsors and parents.  My suggestion is to have YOUR OWN ROOM for preps.  Imagine the chaos if the 3-5 photographers and videographers,  the make-up and hair artists, Coordinators plus the secondary sponsors and others will come in and out of your area. Ang gulo nun!!  The stress is not worth it.  Just get another room for them to avoid the chaos (and drama)

3.  Choose a dependable Maid-of Honor.  Have someone who will function not only in the church but even days before. Sometimes, the reliable ones are those who have been an MOH in the past or have been already married

No Bridesmaids for me.  Just 2 MOH and Secondary Sponsors. 
I also opt not to have photos with the Secondary Sponsors during the preps.
4.  Leave everything to you Coordinator.  Since you hired someone to be in-charge on your wedding, leave the preps, ceremony, reception and after party to them

Rhed Sarmiento was my Coordinator.  No regrets.  I love her.
5.  If you have an open area for the reception, have a plan B just in case it rains

6.  Some people will not make it on your wedding, and that is just okay, okay? Now inhale, exhale

7.  Play good music in your hotel room.  Nothing like feel good songs to brighten up the hours ahead

8.  Stay in the hotel for 2 more nights.  Some weddings end at 9pm and the check out is at 12 noon the next day.  The thought of this makes you want to rush or make sure everything is ironed out because you are already leaving the next day.  If you know that you have 2 more nights in the hotel after your wedding, this triggers the brain to be more relaxed.  If this can't be done, avoid going to work two days after you said "I do"

First night was where we had wedding preps, second night in Tagaytay. 
Then we went home to Ilocos then Phuket for 7 days.

9.  Eat.  I know it will be difficult to digest and have appetite because you are nervous, happy and emotional at the same time.  So my advice is, pick a food that you love, that you can eat in small amounts and "safe", just in case it lands on your robe or worse, gown.

10.  Start with a prayer (and good coffee).  God already knows the turn out, and sometimes it is not as perfect as it would be.  Ask for His guidance and trust that the most beautiful thing is about to unfold



Do you have wives and mothers you follow on IG and FB that helps you be better in this life called "Buhay May Asawa" (Married Life)?  Well, I do and today I want to share them with you.  These are the wives that are both my friends and encourager.  They have whacked wifey-hood by being experts in their fields.  Aliw na aliw ako sa mga posts nila.  And since I know them, I can also attest that the things they share are the lives they live :)

1. Viviene Bigornia of - Vivs, has been a full time mom from the very beginning.  She also blogs and facilitates training, however, the core of her being is this:  She aims to help women find and run after their God-given passion. She does group and one on one coaching.  She also asks the tough questions that will make you rethink and "redo" your life.  

2.  Gracie Miranda-Maulion of @tipidmommy - I get my all around tipid tips from Gracie. From grocery, to raising a pre-schooler, to honoring God with our finances, to going on trips to managing a business.  She is also very practical and responds fast to questions!  She actually has a talk this Saturday on how to be a matipid na Mommy.  Visit her IG for deets :)

3. Dorcas Brion of @bibongpinay - This friend is not plastic, ma-papel sya (joke po ito, sana na gets mo ;) ).  Why did I say this?  Because she is also known as a human printer.  She offers planners, booklets, menu planners, etc.  I love her because she shares her craft that is good for everyday use.  Also, if not humorous, her posts are always relevant to my life as a woman, wife and mom.

photo from Leny Ortega

If you want me to connect you to them, let me know :)  Also, if you want to sit down with us to get to know us or our brand, just comment or message me.  You may find me here in my office, also known as And wait, let me end this with a barkada pic!  Missing you, ladies!

(L-R) Viv, Cas, Gracie and Me :)