Toddler Tasks: These little hands can do big things!

So inspired by this blog from my good friend Diane. 🙂 Lots of tasks for tots! Can’t wait to let Timmy try them! 🙂

whenhippostalk

When you live a busy life, sometimes it’s easier to do things yourself. You get things done quicker and just the way you want it. Juggling between nursing and caring for a newborn and running around after a toddler, it’s easier for me to finish the chores, put away the dishes, fold the clothes and clean up the toys while the kids are napping instead of waiting for my 22 month old to wake up and help me. But by doing everything myself, what am I teaching him?
What if I actually waited for him to do it? It shows him that mommy trusts him to do big tasks. That she believes that I can do it by myself and that I am able! Oftentimes, I’m tempted to put away the dishes from the dishwasher so when my son wakes up, we can read a book or play or do…

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Benefits of Instore Radio

Music affects us on different levels. From our mood to decision making, music is processed in different areas in our brain. This is the reason why when we listen to a certain song we can tap our foot or dance, we can recall an event related to that music, we can understand the emotions conveyed in the song, and we can even memorize the lyrics! Businesses are now actively integrating music in their stores through “Instore Radios.” Instore radio is a marketing tool that involves the use of music to promote brand awareness and enhance customer experience. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using instore radio.

rustans

Photo courtesy of styleandrelax.blogspot.com

Add-free music. Compared to local radios, instore radios have no unnecessary commercials. Some radio stations have advertisements that do not match your brand image and target market. They may have good music and great DJs but their annoying commercials could be the deal breakers for your customers. Instore radios have no advertisements unless intentionally placed by the company.

Controlled content. This is probably the best thing about instore radio. You can choose the songs you want to play and brand-related commercials you want your customers to hear. Some local radios have themes for certain days of the week. So if you’re stuck on the day when they play 60’s songs, you have no choice but to play it or turn the radio off. Whereas with instore radio you can tailor fit your music to your target market and brand image.

Increased brand awareness. The music you play reflects the kind of store you are. With instore radio, you can have a playlist that matches your brand identity and store ambience. For example, if you’re a high-end retail store you can go for something jazz and instrumental. If you’re a retailer for teen clothes, pop music would be consistent to your brand. The things you promote in your instore radio also increase your brand awareness from your promos, events to other marketing efforts.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Strengthens customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is achieved when a customer is consistently satisfied with your products, service, and overall experience. Instore radio can make shopping enjoyable for your customers. It can brighten their mood and move them to buy more. When you’re able to create an ambience that makes your customer feel good about being in your store, you can be assured that they will come back again and again.

Improves customer experience. When customers walk into your store, they need to be engaged at every level. From the products they see, to the fragrance they smell, and even the music they hear. All these things make for excellent customer experience. Music enhances that all the more. You can make customers relaxed with the songs you play, you can make them groove to upbeat music, or simply smile with the catchy tunes in your instore radio. This enriched customer experience will influence them to stay longer and ultimately, purchase from your store.

Instore radio is best utilized when done right. You need a team who can help you come up with radio content that is consistent with your marketing direction and brand image. Give your customers what they need to know when they’re in your stores. Try incorporating instore radio and see how it impacts your business.

WAV Atmospheric is the leader in instore radio services. With clients such as Rustan’s Supermarket, Ayala Malls, JCO, Shopwise, Wendy’s, and a whole lot more, WAV atmospheric has perfected the art and science of instore radio marketing. For more information on their services visit http://www.wavatmospheric.com or call (+632) 519-0001 and (+632) 519-0205.

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This is a sponsored post. 

 

An Open Letter to My Thriving Three

Dear Timmy,

I can’t believe that another round of 365 days has just passed and here I am writing my letter to you for your THIRD birthday. Yes, you’re three years old today and it only seemed like yesterday when I wrote my letter for your second birthday! I feel like I’m chasing after the wind, trying to slow down your growth as much as I can. I know I can’t do that and I’m actually glad that I can’t. You know why? Because it has been a blast seeing you achieve one milestone after another. 🙂 Seeing you grow up before our eyes is like watching a light-hearted family movie—full of life, laughter, and lessons.

Our happy baby!

Our happy baby!

It’s amazing how fast you’ve grown physically. You can now grab the things that were previously beyond your reach. When I carry you, you occupy almost 3/4 of my body. You are athletic, too! You have your morning basketball routine (make that whole day because you always pick up your basketball when you get bored). You run too fast I can barely keep up with you! Your energy level doesn’t seem to go down even if it’s bedtime. Funny how you would find excuses to do something before going to bed. 🙂 After our story time, we would pray, turn off the lights, and lie down. You will then say, “Want to read books!” I’m sure you know that reading is one of the things we encourage you to do. When this request is ignored you would say, “Want to read the Bible!” Now you’re taking the “who doesn’t want their kids to read the Bible?” tactic. Hahaha! Smart move right there, little one! Too bad, your requests fall into deaf ears when it’s time to sleep and you know by now that we can’t afford to stay up late. 🙂

Getting smarter :)

Getting smarter 🙂

Speaking of making excuses, I remember when you were sick we placed you on room arrest. You couldn’t play basketball. Despite knowing that, you still told me, “Want to go out… want to play basketball.” When I said no, you got your huge teddy bear, carried it to me, and said, “Teddy bear wants to play basketball!” Hahaha! You’re crazy! Poor bear, he didn’t know that he was being used as an accomplice! 🙂 Nice try, Timmy. We both know how that conversation ended, you had to put teddy bear back and we stayed in the room. 🙂

Our little reader :)

Our little reader 🙂

When you were a year old going on two, you were so fascinated with letters. So we bought you all sorts of letters—ref magnets, plastic letters, letter blocks, and flash cards. This year you became obsessed with numbers. You weren’t contented learning 1-10. You wanted 1-100. You love anything with numbers! You watch the top ten NBA highlights mainly because of the numbers. You watch Minute to Win It because there’s a lady that says, “The game begins in 3, 2, 1…” We bring number blocks when we leave the house because forming numbers keeps you busy. You just might end up being the mathematician our family never had! 🙂

It's fun to read!

It’s fun to read!

You still love to read, Timmy. You get excited when you see books and we’re so ecstatic about it. 🙂 You love story time regardless if it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You like it when I read to you. You have a book of the month, which means that we read the same book over and over again that month. Some of your favourite books are “My First Book of Prayers,” “The Toddler’s Bible,” “Monster Trucks,” “Curious George’s Pat-A-Cake,” “First Steps in Faith,” “Just Like Daddy,” “Llama, Llama Red Pajama,” “My First Easter,” “My First Christmas,” “Mole in a Hole,” and “How Do I Kiss You?”

Reading the Monster Trucks book :)

Reading the Monster Trucks book 🙂

At some point, I thought you already knew how to read! One time, you started reading “Monster trucks are so big and so strong, they jump over cars and they race along!” You were at the right page, pointing at the correct words and reading them! Then I asked you to read the next page, you did the same thing but I noticed that you were looking at the pictures. It dawned on me that you memorized the words! Hahaha! The reason why you were asking me to read the same books over and over again is for you to memorize what it’s all about! Soon you will learn how to read, sweetheart. We’ll get there. 🙂 You already know phonics and soon you will learn to combine them and read words!

Timmy and Daddy praying :)

Timmy and Daddy praying 🙂

You have shown signs of your childlike faith, Timmy. We were so touched and blessed to hear you say, “Let’s pray, let’s pray” when you were not feeling well. When you woke up from a bad dream crying, the first thing you said was, “Read the Bible.” Somehow, you knew in your heart that you have a big God who can remove the “ouchie” and bad dreams away. Your faith blows up my faith. 🙂 Through you I am reminded that God is my stronghold and that He will also take my “ouchie” and worries away. 🙂 And yes, Timmy, you have a God who loves you. He gave His life for you, He will guide you all the days of your life, and He will never leave you. When you see the cross you say, “Kawawa Jesus.” And then I will say, “He’s not kawawa anymore because…” You will then shout, “JESUS LIVES FOREVER!!!” 🙂 You may have a small heart but it is full of big faith. 🙂

Your big faith inspires me :)

Your big faith inspires me 🙂

One of the highlights of your year was the discipline stage. We’re still at it but it has been months since we last spanked you. We realized that discipline is vital to the proper upbringing of a child. There were times when it was so hard to spank you but if we didn’t do it, you will not learn to stop shouting back, hitting the table, and stomping your feet. We do not tolerate disrespect and disobedience in our house, you know that. It may have been painful to see you cry when you got spanked but when we saw you stop those bad habits we wouldn’t have it any other way. We praise and thank God for helping you understand that we do it out of love. 🙂

We love you that's why we discipline you :)

We love you that’s why we discipline you 🙂

We also had to teach you how to say sorry. We didn’t realize that this will be difficult to do! You easily grasp the concepts and have since then used the words thank you, please, and excuse me. But sorry is a different story. You would cry, hug us, bury your face on our chests, look elsewhere—anything, except say sorry. I realize how innate pride is that even a seemingly innocent baby knows how difficult it is to admit that he’s wrong. There was one time when after spanking, we hugged and your daddy asked you to say sorry to me. You wouldn’t budge. So we prayed. Then we explained and tried again. It took us 30 minutes, Timmy. Half an hour and three prayers before you said sorry for the first time. It became easier since then. Now, you know how to say sorry and just the other day when I responded, “It’s okay” you even reminded me to tell you, “I forgive you.” 🙂

Pure joy :)

Pure joy 🙂

I’m also amazed at how you are able to communicate in sentences now. You can express what you like and what you don’t like. You say, “I love it!” and “Timmy’s such a happy boy!” when you’re doing something you love. You are so good at imitating us that we need to be extra careful with what we say. You learn Filipino by just listening to our conversations. One time when we out of the house you said, “Ang init sa labas!” On our way home yesterday, you said, “Ang cute ng yellow parrot.” You are so good at relating the meaning of words and putting them together. 🙂 We are happy that you are not having a hard time learning both Filipino and English. 🙂 You know all the names of our family members (first and last name), too! You have a good grasp of basic concepts like shapes, colors, opposites, letters, and numbers. 🙂 You also know the days of the week and months of the year. I praise and thank God that you are a natural learner and you love discovering new things. 🙂

Heat fans!

Heat fans!

You love the NBA. I am just floored that you know the names of the teams based on their logos. One time I heard you say 76ers while watching a game. And you were right! The Philadelphia 76ers were playing! Sometimes while eating you would say, “Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat on NBA Premium TV.” Hilarious! Hahaha! Of course you know the Miami Heat’s big three, their jersey numbers, and their trademark game-on faces. You know who the Heat’s coach is. When we have a game, you cheer, “Let’s go heat! Let’s go heat!” You joined us when we watched Lebron James at SMX and you could clearly recount what happened. 🙂 You actually prefer to watch NBA than Disney Junior. But when you watch Disney Junior, you only want Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Hi5. You love singing their songs!

Tech-savvy baby :)

Tech-savvy baby 🙂

You are tech-savvy. You know how to use our gadgets and have learned it with ease. We try to balance your use of gadgets with your other activities. The things you use everyday are balls, cars, books, toys and gadgets. I believe that gadgets are not bad as long as the parents control its usage. I’m happy that you don’t complain when we get the gadgets from you and give you something else to do. You borrow politely when you want to use them. Someday, you will have your own when you are old and responsible enough to take care of it. 🙂

The sweetest baby!

The sweetest baby!

You are the sweetest baby, Timmy. You give us random hugs and playful bites using your lips! It’s very ticklish! You always do that to me when we’re eating and when I’m lying down. 🙂 You say, “Hi, mommy!” repeatedly as if you’re seeing me for the first time after a long while. You say, “I love you” and “I miss you” out of the blue in a voice that can melt any parent’s heart. 🙂 You are very vocal in saying, “want to join mommy” when you want to be with me. You pray for almost every person in our family before we go to bed. You have some favorite relatives whom you pray for more frequently than others. 🙂 You make sure that you make us laugh every single day with your crazy antics, imitations, and one-liners! When you want daddy to stop smothering you with kisses you would say, “Daddy will work.” Haha! You also love tickle time and you keep asking for more! You are one amazing, joyful child who laughs at the smallest things and expresses love in the simplest yet sweetest possible way.

We are truly blessed and grateful to have you. :)

We are truly blessed and grateful to have you. 🙂

I can really say that you are a thriving three-year-old. 🙂 I’m sure you will learn more things this coming year and we are excited to be with you on this journey. 🙂 We are so privileged and blessed to be your parents. You are God’s grace and love personified. Someday you will read all my letters and see God’s faithfulness in your life. 🙂 Oh, I forgot to tell you, you’ve been really healthy this year! You only had two bouts with asthma compared to four last year. 🙂 Praise God! I love you so much, sweetheart! You inspire us to be better people so we can become better parents to you. 🙂 Happy birthday! Thank you for bringing us so much joy, for making us feel like the most important people in the world, and for showing us how great our God is. 🙂 I pray that you will enjoy being a child and experience God’s goodness in every stage of your life. May He continue to mold your character and make you the kind of man He wants you to be. We love you, Timmy! We will always be here for you. Happy 3rd birthday! 🙂

Much love,
Mommy

The Alpha Male World of the NBA

They say that NBA is where amazing happens. The recently capped All-Star game, LINsanity mania, lockout controversy, and the unforgettable “taking my talents to South Beach” announcement are just some of the crazy amazing events that can only happen in the NBA.  Oh dear, it’s so amazing I can’t believe I’m even writing about this! Haha!

My last involvement with NBA was back in the days of Michael Jordan. I was a Chicago Bulls fan but my ultimate crush was John Stockton of the Utah Jazz. Haha! There goes my so out of place point of view! I think if I were an ESPN sports commentator I would look past bad shooting and say, “But he’s cute, you know.” Haha! Anyway, when my husband and I became a couple back in 2009 I was reintroduced to this alpha male world again. For the life of me I didn’t even know who LeBron James was until hubby told me everything about him! I wasn’t even able to track the rise of Kobe Bryant. Haha! Oh well, I realized that when you get married you have the rest of your life learning about what your husband’s passions are—fortunately for me, one of them includes the fab fun world of basketball. That doesn’t sound right, does it? Oh well, you’re reading this blog from a woman’s point of view so deal with it. 🙂

Here are some of the things I’m enjoying about the NBA in my two-year immersion so far:

1. The thrill of the game. Watching the playoffs and championships last year was intense. I really look forward to that this year! We’re a Miami Heat family—actually, we’re the what-daddy’s-team-is family. So if Miami doesn’t make it, we just have to ask daddy who his next bet is and we’ll root for that team. I love watching the game highlights and those replays from different angles. Seeing great players make insane plays is just amazing. 🙂

2.  The jerseys. I’m a woman and fashion is part and parcel of my well being. I love admiring the teams’ jerseys and criticizing the flawed ones. There’s this website that shows the different jerseys of each team throughout the years (I can’t remember the name). My hubby showed it to me and asked me to choose the ones l liked. After clicking on the jersey, the site would show which jersey had the most number of votes. It was fun! The Lakers and Bulls’ jerseys are still the classic ones for me. I like some of the retro ones, too! Right now, I must say I’m digging the new Miami Heat all-black jersey. That one’s FIERCE. 🙂

3. The point guards. Back when I was still into UAAP (I’m part of the 4-peat UST Tigers generation) and PBA (we’re a San Miguel Team family because my Pops worked there), the players I admired were usually the point guards. I admire their speed and agility. They make good assists and surprisingly great plays! I remember rooting for Bal David of the UST Tigers and Hector Calma of San Miguel Beer. Oh and by the way, they’re my crushes, too (like John Stockton)! Haha! To date, Jeremy Lin is one of the point guards I truly admire and it’s not merely skin deep—it’s because his character stands out in this industry. His LINderella story is really inspiring and I look forward to seeing him excel in his basketball career. My other point guard faves are Derrick Rose, Mario Chalmers, and Rajon Rondo (with crush factor involved). 🙂

4. The names. Oh boy, I am just lovin’ the names of NBA players this season! I’m sure most of them have been in the league for a while now but I only paid attention to their names recently. There’s the cheesy Kevin Love; the perfect Ms. Universe winner Metta World Peace; the one who for some reason reminds me of song “The Rico Mambo” Ricky Rubio; the mafia-like family relations of DeMarcus Cousins; the delicious Von Wafer; the ever so happy Mickell Gladness; and the tongue-twisting, spell-check confusing Amare Stoudemire (I never really got where the emphasis on Amare was nor the pronunciation of his surname—so I always end up just calling him A-ma-rey). There’s a whole lot more for sure but these guys are top of mind. 🙂

So there goes my two cents worth of the alpha male world of NBA. I know this is not what fan boys would normally notice but I guess this is what girls could probably relate to. Watching the game is one of the best bonding moments my hubby and I have. Our baby enjoys watching it, too! Maybe next time I’ll be more sports-article worthy or ESPN-esque when I blog about the NBA—with stats and all that. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll find more quirky and interesting things about the game and let my non-NBA lingo do the talking. Come to think of it, maybe I’ll do just that. 🙂

DATE CHAT

A conversation with the past and the present

2011 has joined the conversation

Ivyguerrero has joined the conversation

Me: Hey, guys! I’m here! 🙂

2011: Hi, Ivy! I guess this is it…

Me: Yeah, you came by too fast. I feel like I just met you and then here we are saying goodbye 😦

2012 has joined the conversation

2011: Hey, don’t feel sad. The next year is usually better than the last. Right, 12?

2012: Couldn’t agree more. Hi, Ives! I’m 2012 by the way 🙂

Me: Good to finally meet you! So, 12 tell me—what are you like? 😛

2012: That’s pretty hard to explain, Ivy. Like 11, I also operate on a day-to-day basis. I guess you can say that I’m unpredictable. 🙂

2011: Yeah, call it cliché but we do take each day as it comes.

Me: Haha! =)) That’s really an understatement considering you’re called “years” 😛

2011: Tell me about it 🙂

Me: You know, 11 we had a pretty rough start…

2011: I know…It must’ve been tough not spending New Year with your son. Sorry about that. I didn’t see it coming 😦

Me: Hey, it’s not your fault. Yes, it was tough but we made it through, right? Plus, our Christmas was extra special because our baby’s with us this time around. 🙂

2011: Well, that’s true. Now I feel a lil better. 🙂

2012: I hope you’ll have a blast this year with me, Ives!

Me: I hope so, too!

2012: But you know very well that everything that will happen this year has been written by God beforehand, right?

Me: Yup! I’m well aware of that. It’s the very thing that gives me peace actually. I’m pretty optimistic with you though. 🙂

2012: So am I, Ivy. So am I. 🙂

2011: How would you describe me, Ives?

Me: You’re faith-shaking, challenging, and full of surprises. 🙂

2011: Should I feel flattered?

Me: Haha! Of course, 11! I learned a lot from you and I’ve grown a lot in our journey together. 🙂

2011: Really? That’s nice to know :”> But what do you mean by faith-shaking?

Me: As you know, there were moments when things were really tough—when I felt that we were neck-deep in our trials. Just like other people, my faith was shaken. But God held me close—He held me tight when I was slowly losing my grip on Him. He carried me and my family when we can barely walk anymore. He took charge when things were spinning out of control. He calmed my fears and worries. 🙂

2011: I saw that, too. It’s amazing how God proved Himself faithful to you. 🙂

Me: You can say that again. 🙂 Let me just say this, 11. You were a great year. You were a great year because I experienced God in a whole new level through you. 🙂 You worked on my character. You showed me how God faithfully takes care of His children. We had more laughter than tears, more blessings than ordeals—in short, you rock, 2011. 🙂

2011: >:D<

Me: Thanks, 11. >:D<

2012: I hope you can say the same for me, Ivy 😀

Me: I’m sure you’ll be an even better year, 12! I’m pretty excited on what you have in store for me. 😀

2012: Same here! 😀

2011: Hey, guys gotta go now. It was great chatting with you two. 🙂 I’ll miss you, Ives.

Me: I’ll miss you, too, 11. Thanks again >:D< Goodbye, awesome year. 🙂

2012: Bye, 11! Don’t worry I’ll take care of our home girl here. 🙂

2011 has left the conversation

2011 has signed out.

2012: So, where were we?

Me: Well, I’m still trying to picture what you’re like. 😉

2012: Ok, perhaps we can now start with what January has in store for you. 🙂

Me: I’d love that. 🙂

What’s your first Christmas like, God?

I wonder what it feels like to be in your shoes on that first Christmas. Sure the heavens were rejoicing when Jesus was born. The angels were probably in awe at the sight of their God in human form. For the longest time, they were blinded by the brightness and grandeur of Jesus that they can’t even look at Him. Then all of a sudden they witnessed His transformation—He became flesh and blood, conceived in a woman’s womb, born naked and helpless—just like any human being. It must be astounding and even incomprehensible to see the Majestic One become an ordinary man.

How about You, God? How did You feel? Now that I’m a mom, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to be separated from Your Son for the first time. Did You experience separation anxiety? You probably had a bittersweet Christmas. I guess that’s it. Bittersweet. You had to sacrifice being separated from Your Son in order to achieve something greater. You sent Him for one reason as it says in Your Word—to save His people from their sins. You know, I even checked different Bible versions of Matthew 1: 21 to see if that’s really the only translation for the meaning of the name Jesus. This is actually the first time that the translations I read said exactly the same thing: “She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Jesus could’ve come to restore justice on earth, to promote peace, to show people how to love, or even to teach Your good and perfect commands. But those things pale in comparison to the gravity and urgency of dealing with our sin—the very thing that destroys us and pulls us away from You. It is for this reason that the first Christmas had to happen. It is for this reason that Your first bittersweet Christmas had to happen. I can only imagine how much You wanted to cradle baby Jesus in Your arms to keep Him warm; how You wanted to pacify Him when He was crying; how You wanted to make things easier for Him—but then again, You exercised divine restraint and allowed things to unfold in accordance to Your appointed will and time.

That’s unfathomable love, God! I can’t wrap my mind around it! It must’ve killed you inside to see one door shut after another when Joseph and Mary were looking for a place to stay for the night. You could’ve easily created a palace or a five-star hotel in the middle of Bethlehem and show everyone how a King is supposed to be treated. But You didn’t. You restrained yourself so that people can see that their Savior was born in a lowly place and that their Savior knows what it feels like to have nothing. He can empathize.

You thought of us when we weren’t even thinking of You. You loved us unconditionally and You wanted us to be reconciled to You. But You had to get rid of that sin barrier that separated us from You. You bridged that gap through the birth, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. He was Your precious One. You sacrificed all the comfort and protection that Your Son could’ve had while he was here on earth. All because He had to fulfil His purpose “to save his people from their sins”.

You didn’t want to be Jesus’ Father alone, You wanted to be our Father as well. With Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, You opened the door for us to be Your children. All we need to do is believe that what He did is the only payment for our sins and that He is the only way for us to be reconciled to You. With that faith comes the assurance that we’ll be in heaven someday and that You will be there to receive us not because we were good enough but because Someone loved us enough to sacrifice His life for us. We will stand before You stripped of any merit but only with the merits of Jesus Christ. We can’t boast about anything because we didn’t do anything. Your Son did everything.

On that first Christmas, You set the greatest example of giving the BEST GIFT for mankind—the life of Your Son. You celebrated that Christmas with a sacrifice. You celebrated it with so much love for us that the mere thought that we’ll be reconciled to You marked Christmas as the new beginning for mankind. It must be really tough, God. I can never thank You enough for making that exchange gift for us—Jesus’ birth and death for our eternal life. Thank You that the significance of Christmas is far beyond the gifts, food, and merrymaking. Christmas is rooted in Your heart where all love and acceptance abound. It is found in the life You gave and the life we gained.

Thank You, God that Christmas is here because of You. Thank You for putting CHRIST in the center of the celebration. Merry Christmas, Jesus. I can never love You the way You love me. Nonetheless, I want to let You know that I love You more than anything else in this world. You are the ONLY REASON for the season. 🙂

An Open Letter to Our Firstborn

Dear Timmy,

Exactly 365 days ago, I was waiting to hear your first cry while lying half-awake in the operating room. When I finally heard it I understood what a miracle is. You beat the odds, dear one. You wailed so loud as if to show off your strong lungs. You may not be a full-term baby but you sure sounded like one. 🙂 Then something magical happened, the nurse brought you close to me and I kissed your cheeks ever so gently. I kissed an angel and touched a living miracle—at 29 weeks and merely 1.2 kilos, you showed everyone that God was holding you in the palm of His hands.

Where did time go? I feel like I just turned a page and the next chapter is about you turning a year old! Happy 1st birthday, sweetheart! Just greeting you brings tears to my eyes. You are one brave soul, son. You’ve been through a lot with your month-long stay at the Neonatal ICU, Neonatal Lupus diagnosis, Hernia operation when you were two months old, and recent Asthma diagnosis. Despite all these, your daddy and I wake up every day blessed to see a beaming smile in your face as if you’re telling us that those things were no biggie. You are full of life, Timmy! You bring so much joy to our family and to the people around you. 🙂

We’ve seen you reach one milestone after another. You learned how to turn, crawl, sit, and stand. Before we know it you’re walking already and we’re running after you. 🙂 You’re eating solids now and you even got your three front teeth for Christmas! God has been so good to you, Timmy. His loving hand has always been upon you, taking care of you every single day. It is our prayer that as you grow up you will discover how great and amazing our God is.

In case you’re curious about what you were like when you were still a baby, I have one word to describe you—ACTIVE. 🙂 You have seemingly unlimited energy, Timmy! You scream in delight, you play tirelessly, you laugh so loud, you grab things in sight, you talk spontaneously, and you climb instinctively. You’re also very focused, sweetheart. 🙂 When you watch videos or commercials, all your attention is there with eyebrows knitted. You are also seriously funny, darling. 🙂 You make different sounds ranging from cat-like to accurately piggy. Aside from that, you love bath time, too!

We are humbled and blessed that God gave you to us. I didn’t realize that you were really the miracle I was waiting for until last month. Let me tell you a quick story. When I was still single, I used to write letters to my future husband. I gave them all to your dad when we got married. 🙂 When your dad was reading one of my letters, he discovered something I wrote that gave me goose bumps. Apparently, I told your dad (whom I hadn’t met at that time) that I saw a cute little boy in church and perhaps it was God’s way of telling us that our miracle baby would be a BOY. And here you are, Timmy—miracle personified. 🙂

You see, I thought I’d never have a baby because I have Lupus. So when I found out I was pregnant, your dad and I rejoiced! God answered our prayer in the most unexpected way. You’re a honeymoon baby, Timmy! We’ll explain what that means when you’re a bit older. 🙂 From the moment you were conceived, we knew that God had big plans for you. He wants to show in your life that He is real and He is good. Yes, you may have inherited your Neonatal Lupus and Asthma from me but that happened under God’s sovereign hands. So far, you haven’t exhibited any symptoms of Lupus and we’re praying that it really is transient. I hope that you will grow up without having to live with that sickness. You only had one major Asthma attack thus far and we’re hoping that it will be the last.

The way God sustains you every single day, the way He heals you when you’re sick, the way He makes your body develop continuously, the way He makes you happy and bubbly—all these things prove that He is at work in your life. 🙂 Every day we thank God for you, Timmy. We praise Him for what He has done and what He will still do in your life. He loves you more than we do. We pray that you will know God in a personal way and experience His goodness all the days of your life. May you follow His ways for He knows what’s best for you.

We love you so much, sweetheart. Happy 1st birthday! We look forward to celebrating more birthdays with you! May God bless you beyond what you can ever ask or imagine. Please don’t grow up too fast, Timmy. Right now I’m enjoying your super mommy-attachment stage. 🙂 Next time I’ll be seeing you go through that hero-worship phase with your dad. Each season will come ever so quickly. So enjoy every stage of your life, little one. We’ll be here to guide you, encourage you, and cheer you on every step of the way. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you forever, my true miracle. 🙂

Much love,

Mommy 🙂