Malia Rose’s First Birthday

On January 2nd, 2020, Malia Rose turned one year old! It is still hard to believe a whole year has passed. We had a little celebration at my parents’ house the day of. She was still a bit sick, but was able to enjoy her birthday for the most part. We waited until January 18 to have her birthday party for a few reasons: to have a little break after the holidays, we were leaving for Seattle the next week, and, lastly that weekend was James’ 3-day weekend at work.

For her birthday party, we rented out space at Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a local Catholic Church that I have been attending since I was little. We chose to have a Winnie the Pooh themed party with the main colors being blue and yellow. It was a very simple party, but it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of good food and desserts. And it was nice to see a lot of the kids getting along and playing with each other! We also had my cousin’s photobooth available at the party!

Malia received a lot of presents. It makes me so happy that so many people attended and showered her with love. She really enjoyed herself as well. All she wanted to do was walk everywhere and play with the other kids. 🙂

Princess Malia the First
Singing “Happy Birthday” the day of
Malia & I before more guests started to arrive
Cake time!
Center/main stage set-up
Party favors
Winnie the Pooh birthday cake
More decor on the ceiling
Group picture with the Baluyut side
Group picture with the Cardenas side
Photobooth fun – Courtesy of AB Photobooth

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Things have been crazy the past month or so. I have not been able to post anything on the blog because life took over! I feel like so many things have happened, other than the holidays. It has also been crazy busy at the hospital I work at, so most of my free time is spent with Malia.

Here is a list of some events that occurred:

  • December 1: Attended the baptism of my dear friend’s daughter. My friend also asked me to be a godmother!
  • December 2: Malia Rose turned 11 months!
  • December 13: My sister’s 21st birthday! We also went to Jackie’s, my brother’s fiancé, pinning ceremony. She finished the nursing program at UAA.
    December 14: Went to look at wedding dresses with the brother’s fiancé. At the bridal shop, she asked my sister & I to be bridesmaids! We also looked at bridesmaids dresses afterwards.
    December 15: UAA’s fall graduation ceremony. Not only did Jackie walk, but my youngest brother did as well! He finished the surgical tech program at UAA over the summer.

Then came Christmas and New Year! Unfortunately, Malia started getting sick with a runny nose the day before Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, we celebrated with James’ side then went to my parents to open some presents. Malia had a runny nose, slight fever, and discharge from her left eye that day. Christmas Day was initially spent with James’ immediate family, then we went to my parent’s house as they were hosting this year. The cousins usually have a theme. This year the theme was white top with denim. Malia and I wore overalls. It was pretty cute! She was able to enjoy the holiday mostly, but was a little cranky and moody at times. I ended up taking her to the doctor the next day, because she continued to have a fever, her highest temperature was 102. Luckily, ibuprofen was able to bring it down. I still took her to the doctor, since it was day 3 of her sickness and I wanted to make sure I was not missing anything.

So that is mostly what I have been dealing with lately. Besides the holidays, I have been giving Malia extra attention, care, cuddles since she has been sick. She is slowly getting better though. It truly is one of the worst things when your baby is sick and there is not much you can do about it. I am so happy that she is starting to get better and is acting a little more like herself.

Lastly, some pictures of us from the holidays 🙂

Malia on Christmas Eve
Opening presents with my family on Christmas Eve
The three of us on Christmas Day
Baluyut cousins in white tops + denim theme!

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! This year was Malia’s first Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, we did not attend my family’s get together this year. Malia was not feeling too well the night before and into the afternoon. So we stayed home. We almost went, but by the time we were almost done getting ready, she fell asleep. She looked so peaceful and I felt so bad for her. I did not want to disturb her sleep. She looked better after her nap, which is great. There is always next year!

So, here is a list some of things I am thankful for:

  • Malia Rose♥️
  • James
  • My family
  • My cousins
  • My close friends
  • A job that I love

Now, onto Christmas things and planning Malia’s first birthday party!

Malia Rose’s First Halloween

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! This year was Malia’s first! It was definitely fun dressing her up 🙂 We opted out of trick or treating this year. We felt like it was not a super big deal to this year since she does not walk yet. We might have if we took her cousins trick or treating, but that did not end up happening.

We did a few things this past month though! My cousins and I got together to do some pumpkin carving. Malia dressed up as Minnie Mouse that day! Then, a bunch of co-workers who had babies in the last year got together for coffee. We had our little ones dressed in costumes for a group picture! It sure was a struggle getting a decent picture with all the babies less than a year old, lol. But it was fun to see everyone outside of work. Malia was dressed as Snow White! On Halloween day, we stayed in to pass out candy to any trick or treaters we would get. Malia dressed up as Snow White again. I ordered dwarf hats off of Amazon, and my siblings, future sister-in-law, James & I each wore a hat. There is seven of us total, so we were her seven dwarfs! We had a little photo shoot at my parents’ house. Unfortunately, Paulo was called to play pool for a league, so he was not in the group photos. We made a proxy for him though haha.

That’s that for this year! I cannot wait for next Halloween. I cannot wait to dress her up, to dress up myself, and to do some Halloween activities in town with Malia! 🖤🧡

Malia with Kuya Cason
2019 Pumpkins
Malia as Snow White
Coffee & Costumes!
Malia Rose & her seven dwarfs


Sunday, October 13 was my 31st birthday. I honestly still cannot believe that I am in my thirties, lol. The celebration this year was very much low-key compared to last year. My 30th birthday was on a Saturday and I was 29-30 weeks pregnant at the time. I thought that having our baby shower on my birthday was a perfect way to celebrate. ❤️

This year, I got to celebrate with our little girl outside my tummy! We celebrated with my side of the family. We did make your own spring rolls for lunch. Most of us had a food coma and ended up taking a nap afterwards, lol. For dinner, my brother Paulo cooked shrimp, and my parents prepared Dungeness crab & oysters! Dessert consisted of an Oreo ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. My sister also bought pints of Rainbow Sherbet and Jamoca Almond Fudge. Everything that day was soooo good.

I am thankful for so many things and the last year has been quite the roller coaster ride. From giving birth, to raising Malia, to continuing to work two jobs, losing a family member, and welcoming a couple more babies to the family… I realize just how blessed I am to be here and to have experienced the things I have been through.

Cheers to 31, to love, happiness, good health, and many more blessings to come.

Spring Roll Spread
Close-up of some of the ingredients
Shrimp, crab, and oysters!
Blowing the cake with my little family 💖

Malia Rose at Nine Months

Our baby girl turned nine months old last week, October 2nd! The time has seriously flown by. I cannot believe her first birthday is less than three months away. I need to buckle down on planning! I don’t know if it is just me, but I feel like Malia is progressing so fast. She is the sweetest thing ever. She loves watching Sofia the First and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Here is a list of some milestones she has reached:

  • Sitting without support
  • Crawling
  • Pulling herself up to stand
  • Becomes clingy to mommy, daddy, and other relatives she is close to
  • Babbles (a lot lol)
  • Plays peek-a-boo
  • Cries when mommy and daddy leave
  • Shakes her head “no”
  • Nods her head “yes”
  • Claps her hands
  • Cruises, or walks holding onto furniture
  • Stands on her own
  • Has tried taking a step or two by herself 😥

It has become a tradition to make funfetti cake for her monthly birthdays. More recently, I have been baking mini cupcakes for her. They are so cute!

Macabebe Town Fiesta

In the Philippines, having a fiesta is a religious and cultural tradition. Different parts of the country have a fiesta at different times of the year. These celebrations are usually in honor of a patron saint. My dad is kapampangan and grew up in Macabebe, more specifically, Telacsan. The patron saint is San Nicolas de Tolentino.

For as long as I can remember, there has always been a fiesta for the people of Macabebe here in Anchorage, AK. Usually, one family or group of people will take on the duty to host the fiesta. This year’s fiesta was hosted by the Andres family. They had their own sari-sari store, which was really the best thing! It was Malia’s first fiesta, and for sure there will be many more.

Andres Family’s Sari-Sari Store
Center stage
Malia & Tito (Uncle) Rap-Rap
Malia & Tita (Auntie) Lorraine

Malia & Ninang (godmother) Ashley
Photo booth fun with Dea, Sia, Malia, and me
Family ♥️

Day Trip to Seward, AK

So late! But, the day after field day, Malia & I went to Seward with some of the family. Most of us visited the Alaska Sea Life Center, while a few of the guys went fly fishing. We also walked around the pier & got ice cream before heading back to town. Ended the day with a dinner at my Auntie Marie’s. 🙂

All the “big” kids: Cason, Brynnlee, Lexi, Zara & Leriza
Malia bear

Sea otter

Baluyut Field Day 2019

About 10 years ago, my cousins and I started doing a “family field day”. For most of us, the idea stemmed from end of the school year field days when we were in elementary school. We started it one year, then went a few years without. If I remember correctly, it was because of a mix of things happening in the family and not really planning for it ahead of time. In the more recent years, we’ve tried to make sure to do it yearly. We even have shirts made for the special day!

This year was our first field day with Malia. We had it the day after her & Alessia’s baptism since we had family from out of state visiting. We wanted to make sure all of them would be able to get in on the fun. We usually do it around our grandpa’s death anniversary (July 12).

It was a beautiful, hot, day. If you didn’t know already, Alaska has been having quite the heat wave this summer. It’s not typical for us to have ACs in our homes, but I’m sure a lot of people wish they did this year! Fans were getting sold out everywhere! Anyways.. we had pools for the kids (and adults) to dip in, a bouncy house, and other things! There were tons of games and cool prizes! Since it was so hot, my main thing was keeping Malia comfortable, so I wasn’t around for or participated in a lot of the games this year. Regardless, it was so much fun. Being with my family, laughing, having fun, and making memories makes my heart so happy.

This year was also something else because soon after the games were finished, the boys went to play basketball outside of my cousin’s house. A few family members, Malia, and I were upstairs in my cousins living room (hoping it would be cooler, but it wasn’t lol). We watched the boys play ball from the window for a bit. Next thing I know, I hear someone calling for me and saying “I think Paulo broke his leg”. Paulo is the oldest of my brothers. I rushed barefoot outside and found my brother on the ground, with some of the guys holding him up and keeping his leg as stable as possible. It was a definite yes that he broke his leg. One of my cousins called 911 and off we went to the ER. So for Paulo, my mom, and me, field day ended a little bit earlier for us. My brother ended up getting surgery, and he’s home now. Poor guy! He’s still in quite a bit of pain. It’s a long road to recover, but he’ll get there in time.

Anyways, another Baluyut Field Day in the books! Can’t wait until next year!

Group picture of the family in our shirts!