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Hi, I'm Haydee Bellen-Serrano, and this is!

I'm a mom of two kids whom we nicknamed Una & Uno. They are not twins;  they were just born on the same dates, three years apart. 
I'm a working mom. I write for a living, putting together scripts for a local TV network in the Philippines. 
I have two left feet but I got to marry a professional (and award-winning) hip hop dancer/artist/director. He doesn't blog...he vlogs
I named this site MotherPader--and I think I'm sticking to this name now--because I find that the expression "your kids can sometimes drive you up the wall" can oftentimes be true. It's not their fault though; they're kids!  However, motherhood in its entirety does have that tendency: to push you to your boundaries, to make you feel like you're on the verge of giving up, letting go, changing zip codes. 
But come on, we all know we're stronger than that. On most days.
On the days when we can't cling on …

Should You Commute With Your Kids?

You've grown up, worked hard to level up in life, and at times you'd like to think to yourself that you don't necessarily have to "struggle" as much as you used to when you were younger. This, I find, is a tricky way of thinking. You see, out of all my siblings (we were six in total), I was the only one who had to commute back and forth to college. I'll spare you the boring details, but that's precisely one reason why I am always grateful when I get to drive around, especially during the holidays.

Can you blame me? I know this is such a middle-class privilege way of thinking, but when I see people scrambling to get onto an already bursting-at-the-seams jeepney, or spending hours in a taxi pickup line, or trying to get on the horrendous MRT, I feel thankful that I don't have to be in the thick of it all anymore. (Unless it's coding day and no Grab cars are available).

But with that being said, I do miss commuting. There is a kind of peace and quie…

What If You.Cant.Even. "Mom Mode" Today?

Imagine this scenario: you spend 24 hours on haggard mommy mode and the day seems like it just won't quit. Sleep has turned into a travesty, and you dread the sun rising and peeking through the smallest gap in your curtains. Morning has become the enemy because you haven't even reset your body, and yet like clockwork, they come marching in through your bedroom door. Their tiny feet make cute pitter patter sounds, but to you, they might as well be Bigfoot breaking and entering into your tiny fortress.

Unfortunately, crawling under the bedsheets just won't work. Life doesn't work that way, because motherhood is such a cliche and it requires you to switch that mode on 24/7. But what happens if your body, mind and not even your soul is willing? What if you find yourself not able to switch on "Mom Mode" in an instant?

What will you do when you can't turn on "Mom Mode"?
Use the wife card and send an SOS to the husband Call-a-friend...or your mom Suck it…

Feeling Food Blogger: Shrimp Boil-in-a-bag Recipe!

Obviously, I'm not really much of a food blogger, but since I managed to create a pretty kick-ass copycat of one of my favorite indulgences--the super addicting shrimp boil in a bag (much like San Diego's Boiling Crab or SM North's Blue Post Crabs)--I figured I might as well share the love.

If you google this recipe, there's bound to be a lot of different approaches, and I'm pretty sure if you grew up Cajun, then you're more legit. But hey, this has been tried and tested and I would be amiss to say that it's pretty darn close to what I enjoyed eating so, here goes!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes or less
Kainin Time: To Sawaaaaa

For the ingredients, here are the basics: first and most important: shrimps. No description needed, just get whichever size you prefer from the wet market. The last time I bought from Farmer's Market in Cubao, they gave me a kilo for 520. This is an extravagance, so just cook this meal once in…

What You Need To Know About Group B Streptococcus--and Why Pregnant Women Should Get Tested For It

So here I was, all poised to blog about something else when it had dawned on me that it seems that no one else in my circle of moms know about Group B Streptococcus. This is for a very good reason, because only 25% of women worldwide are considered carriers and as if life were an ironic raffle, I was unlucky enough to be one of them. 

First things first: What in the world is Group B Streptococcus?! A MOUTHFUL, is what it is. I fondly call if Group B Strep, which is basically a kind of bacteria that a lot of people have naturally lazing about in their intestinal tract. What it is NOT is, it's totally different from strep throat. Don't ask me about that, basta, iba siya. It is also NOT an STD; let's be clear about that. 

Anyway, that GBS bacteria can sometimes choose to live in your womanly region and can be passed on to your baby through childbirth.

Why is this serious?

At first, I didn't really think so. But as I read up on the reasons why I had to shell out a bit more …

The Eldest Child Syndrome

My biggest worry when I was pregnant with my second child is that I didn't feel like my heart could expand to give extra space for more love. Our panganay was our Universe, and it was hard to imagine how a second kid could measure up. Lo and behold, we find ourselves enamored (and in my case, kilig) with our son, as much as we felt with our daughter Una.

The thing is--as most sibling stories go--something's gotta give. You can't devote equal amounts of attention to both kids at all times, and in our case, the eldest one has to give way. If I'm breastfeeding, or if I need to put the baby down for a nap, she becomes my unintentional enemy. This may sound harsh, but when you've spent almost two hours just to get the baby to fall asleep and she comes stomping into the room guns ablazing, you just can't help but give her a smouldering gaze and unfortunately, a few tough words. I try as much as I can to ask her nicely to be quiet, or to please go downstairs so as no…

Wife First, Mommy Second?

At this point in my adulthood, I find that life is filled with ironies. You go through your teens dreaming of a far-off future, and spend your 20s wondering which man would end your wandering days. A great deal of time was devoted to heart-to-heart talks with your friends regarding this and that person who made your heart flutter and/or crash and burn at odd times, and some of us--myself included--have gone on the wildest chases after people who didn't deserve the mileage. 
I say this now because I find it ironic that I have worked so hard at relationships pre-marriage and kids, yet now that I have found my 'happily ever after and then some', I catch myself slipping away at times, as if I have never pictured myself here at all. 
I am not ashamed to admit that I have gone through literal battles with my loving husband over this topic. Am I a mom first now, and a wife second? Or should it be vice-versa? 
Here's a quick story: there was a time when I, at the throes of full-o…

Grounding & Barefoot Play Concept

My husband and I have been no good with keeping traditions, but so far, we've succeeded in our weekly sojourn to my old college stomping grounds in UP Diliman. We wake up at 7 a.m., skip the cold morning shower, and begin our quick packing. 
Since we haven't had time to really go all out with food preps for a proper picnic (especially since I'm still up all night breastfeeding), we've been religiously buying bagels and coffee from a nearby cafe and bringing all that over to UP together with our blanket, Una's bike, and a change of clothing for the kids. That's the bare minimum that we've tried our best to stick to.
Going on these picnics have been very refreshing for us. We lay our blanket underneath a lush mango tree near the Oblation, and as with other families and groups of friends that have their own little corners, we just don't mind everyone else and pretend that we have our own little world.

This is something we wish to really work on, especially si…