Amanda: Daddy can you help me wear my backpack?
Daddy: Sure, where are you going?
Amanda: I’m going on training!
Daddy: (eyes wide open feeling surprised how she knew about training)

So after wearing the backpack…
Amanda: Daddy, bye bye.
Daddy: Ok, where are you going now…
Amanda: I’m going to ride the train.

Hmmm, so that’s what you call riding the train… Training!


PictureMe and Amanda waiting if Cassandra will be coming out that night.

My wife and I went to her OB last October 14 for a checkup after Amanda’s school.  Since she’ll be on CS, we were very confident about the date of Cassandra’s birthday which we scheduled on October 24.  After the checkup, our doctor advise us to make it earlier since she’ll be 38 weeks on the 15th and there might be a possibility that she will have contractions.  So we decided to take the October 20 slot since Amanda has a UN activity in their school on the 24th and we don’t want to miss it.

In the afternoon, we went to Amanda’s pedia (my cousin) to give her a booster shot.  I must give credit to Cali as she was able to prepare her well for the injection as every night, she was telling bed time stories about Pirate Modi to her.  You might want to check it out here as Amanda was able to emulate Pirate Modi’s courage on conquering a shot.

So after the checkup we went home and took a nice early dinner so we could take a rest to prepare for school and work the following day.  Imagine a movie scene…at about 11pm, everyone was asleep, it was raining extra hard… Cali woke up saying she’s having a tummy ache.  We tried to observe if it would go away… and yes it did… but then it went back… and then stop again… and then went on again… and it went on consistently which is a sign of contraction.  We tried to deny that it was indeed a contraction since we were not yet totally prepared and would want at least another weekend before Cassandra comes out.  After texting doc she immediately instructed us to go to the hospital to monitor and check the baby.

So, I carried my office bag, an ultra sleepy Amanda, an umbrella and jacket while Cali tried to bring whatever she could think of.  Since it was raining hard during that time, it took extra time to load up in the car.  Driving up to the hospital is even trickier as I can’t speed up too much as we might all end up in the emergency room rather than the delivery room.

After a 45-minute drive in the rain, we finally reached the hospital.  It was difficult getting the wheelchair with one hand and an Ate Champee on the other to push Cali towards the delivery room but we were able to make.  After an hour of monitoring, our doctor advised that they’ve scheduled the operation by lunch time on the 15th.  So I did the paper works and the billing so we could get a room ready.  Unfortunately, since this was unexpected we left our check and our cards can’t cover for the bill.  So I have to request to talk back to Cali in the DR.  At that time, Champee was excited to see her, but she was in pain as we didn’t know that she was actually in labor.  She went back for some monitoring again as I tried to call up my brother and ask for a favor if he could help me out.  While waiting for him, the doctors called me and said that they needed to do the operation right away at 3am as they can’t wait for lunch time anymore.


October 15, 2014 3:30 AM PST – Cassandra was born.

Some things I realized on Cassandra’s birth:

  • We’re so blessed to have a wonderful family –  My brother was there to help me out in a very odd time; my mom in law hurriedly went to help us out during our four days stay in the hospital and our entire family who gave Cassandra a welcome home party complete with cakes and balloons.
  • Sometimes, no matter how much we prepared and wanted to dictate God how we want things to happen because we thought it was the best, He always have a brilliant plan that are two, three or even a thousand steps ahead of what we think… Dra. Gali (Cali’s OB) said, Cassandra got two cord coils and that she had a hard time removing them to the point that Cassandra was already gasping for breath. If we insisted on doing the CS operation by Monday because we thought it was more convenient, we could have lost her.
  • God has created a natural way to keep our kids out of danger.  I believe the contractions were already an indicator that something’s wrong with Cassandra and that she needs to come out soon.
  • The best laid plans are plans that allow room for God to move. God has given us wisdom and talent to prepare and layout our game plan.  But these plans should be dynamic enough to make adjustments when God calls us to move on a different direction. A year ago, we lost a baby on its fourth week.  If we were so engulfed with sorrow, we couldn’t have enjoyed Amanda’s preschool moments, served our community more, helped other parents who experienced the same pain and of course, enjoy Cassandra as our new reminder of God’s faithfulness.

To Cassandra, our new bundle of joy, say hello to the world!

Mommy, Ate and Tummy

Just wanted to show our excitement through our family’s maternity shots.  I guess one of the perks of being a photographer is to allow other people see what I see through my camera’s lens..

Cassandra’s Coming Out Soon – Five Things We Checked If We’re Ready for the New Baby

My wife’s already in her 37th week of pregnancy.  In a race, this is what we call the homestretch.  The last leg.  The defining moment.  

Ever noticed this in life?  That all great things cannot be done overnight?  And have you ever noticed that the most difficult part in a long process is always the last leg?  

Here are five things our family checked if we’re really ready for Cassandra.  

  1. Is Ate Champee ready? I have a friend who once told me that no matter how they prepared their first child, they still got surprised on her reaction when they got home with the new baby as their eldest got protective of her old toys that are now used by the new baby.  One of the advice that we got from my sister in law was to always make sure that our ate is involved in preparing the family for our new member.  Also, we kept on reminding our Ate Champee to always share her toys and include her in our daily prayer where our little ate is leading.  As parents, we’re conscious on making her feel loved such that she can also pass it on to our new little angel and to wipe out the feeling of jealousy.  Also aside from her heart, we prepared Ate’s new look with a new haircut from the salon.
  2. Is our budget ready? This might be the number one reason why couples today don’t have any plans on making a big family.  It’s always about money.  When we’re single we think on how can we get married with the money we have.  When we’re married, all we think is how we can support our children.  This is reality.  For our family, what’s worse is that my company had a change in the middle of the year and our yearly bonus got pushed back a few months.  But as a Christian, we believed that all things are possible when God moves… even through our finances or should I say, most specially in our finances.  Despite the scenario, our little business picked up and got more clients than what we expected.  Will we have enough to cover the CS operation and expenses afterwards?  Maybe just enough to get by… but with all the wisdom that God has shown our family, we know we’re ready as long as we do what He wanted us to do.  In John 21:6 Jesus said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.  I’ve seen this miracle when I proposed to Cali with uncertainty that my little savings could allow us to get married.  But then I was confident since I was able to “throw my net”, meaning I took the leap of faith with God’s assurance that everything will be accounted for.  I learned photography, read business books, attended internet marketing, made some quality output for my main job, serve God even more… then the “fish” came.  Did I earn more financially during Out time?  A few maybe… but I met friends who eventually became suppliers for our wedding and was even able to book our honeymoon flight for less than 2k for a trip to Macau and HK.  So, with that, our family’s just waiting for the surprises that God has in store for us.
  3. Is our HEART ready?  When we had our first baby, we said that during our honeymoon stage, we were overwhelmed by the love we have for us as a couple and that it was time for us to share this love.  The same is true with our Cassandra that we can’t wait to love another member of the family.  Come to think of it, as we increase our numbers in the family, the number of person giving love grows as well… for the first baby we have two, for the second one, we have three and so on and so forth.
  4. Is our HEALTH ready?  Definitely my wife is ultra healthy… she commented before that she’s even healthier when she’s pregnant as she becomes conscious on what she eats. For me, it’s a different story.  I gained a lot of weight despite the same exercise I’ve been having.  I just believe that the extra pounds of fat will be helpful on burning calories during the wee hours of the evening when Cassandra comes 🙂  Well, that’s just an excuse, I really regained my love for carbs which added to my love handles.
  5. Is our SPIRIT ready?  As a family, we’re still active in serving God and been going through different talks or even giving one to keep us connected to God.  As Christians, any new life event and the anxiety it may bring, should always make us closer to Him.  Our family’s prayer time is now lead by Ate Champee while we drive her going to school.  As simple as her words of thanksgiving, they were also reflect the exact sentiments of our family… full of gratitude to God’s amazing greatness.

Checking out these five areas, I think we’re ready and if we missed something, I’m sure these will be areas where God will surprise our family.


Amanda’s big sister “ate” look