Is your blog called My Cakies or Cakies?

Cakies. I wish I could get the cakies.com domain to make it clearer, but that would cost me 18k and well, that’s a whole lot of pennies.

What does Cakies mean?

When I was pregnant with our first child, we couldn’t agree on a name. In fact, she wasn’t named until 15 minutes before we left the hospital. Since we had no name the entire pregnancy, we called her babycakies. Then, when baby #2 came around, we had the same problem, so she was called babycakies too. When I first started blogging, it was all about things I was making for all my little babycakies, so it made sense to call it Cakies and it just kind of stuck.

Why did you name your kids words and what do their names mean?

Look, we know not everyone is a fan of our name choices. To be honest, we probably aren’t a fan of your name choice either. And whose to say what is considered an acceptable name? Because really, in some other countries, children are named by meaning and though their name choice might not sound good to you, there is meaning for the parents. We chose to name our kids based on meaning and we also like one syllable words.

True Bella: We technically are not supposed to have kids because Ben has a condition that prevents it. He even had surgery to try and fix it, but I was sitting in the doctor’s office with him, when the doctor told us it was very unlikely that we would have children naturally. Well, we got married, didn’t worry about birth control because we had the most natural form of it, then one month later after we were married, we were pregnant. True Bella means she was a true beautiful miracle.

Brave Noëlle: She came home from the hospital without a name. We saw a children’s book called Ruby Lu, Brave and True and fell in love with the name and along with it, our prayer for her is Acts 4:29 ,”Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” Noëlle means Christmas, which leads to Christ, and we want her to be brave for her faith. She really is a brave girl.

Soul Valentina: Soul Valentina is our little prayer for her as Valentina is from Latin origins and means “strong & healthy.” Therefore, we pray that she would have a strong and healthy soul and one who loves to win souls for Christ.

Glow Amorette: Read about here.

What kind of camera do you use?

All my pictures up until June 2012 are taken with my Nikon D40. I finally saved enough pennies and upgraded to a Nikon d7000, thus all pictures starting June 2012 are with that.

What lenses do you use?

I use a Nikon 35 mm and 50mm prime lens. On occasion, I will use Nikon 18-200mm zoom or Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens.

Where do you purchase your Polaroid camera and film?

I have bought my cameras at thrift stores and online and I purchase my Polaroid film from the Impossible Project.

What program do you use to put text on your photos?

I use Adobe Photoshop. I kind of just play around with it and figure things out as I go along. I wish I had the time to go back to school to be a graphic designer, but I did get a little bit of a one-on-one course from my friend Alice and can read about that here.

What happened to your handmade shop?

I loved having my handmade shop, but as our family grew, my time to invest in creating pieces to fill the shop with dwindled. I still love making things, but they are mainly now just for my little ones.

What sewing machine do you use?

I use a Janome Sew Precise. It’s not too fancy, but just fancy enough to be able to do some fun things with.

Where did you learn to sew?

I took two sewing classes at nearby sewing shops that taught me the basics. After that, I pretty much learned by experimenting and trying out different projects. You learn a lot by making mistakes! Really though, if you know how to sew a straight line, you can do anything!

How do I grow my blog?

Honestly, this question is tough. I don’t think there is an exact recipe. I think the key factors in growing a blog are good pictures, strong voice, and consistency. You have to find what you love and write about it, then you will find other kindred spirits who love what you love too and from there, friendships develop. Blog because you love it, even if you have 1 reader or 10,000 readers, and not for any other reason.

What did you do before you had kids and became a stay-home-mom?

I got my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton. I continued my education and received my California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After which, I worked as a 4th grade teacher at a local elementary school.

I’m confused. True goes to school one day a week, do you homeschool or not?

We do homeschool. We are pretty lucky that the charter school we go through offers enrichment classes to the homeschooled students 1-2 days a week. Therefore, my girls go to enrichment once a week to take classes such as Spanish, Theatre, and Art.

Why do you homeschool?

I used to be a elementary school teacher before I had kids. I loved being a teacher and I think there are a lot of really good teachers out there (there are some bad ones too), but our choice to homeschool was so that we would be able to teach them how we feel is best and cater their curriculum to their interests and personalities. After being in a classroom and all the budget cuts in California, we thought it would be best to use my education to give our children the best education possible.

What if they end up weird or social outcasts because they just stay home?

I think my kids will end up fine. Plus, all my girls are pretty close in age, so they get a lot of interaction with each other. Heck! I was home schooled, so were my siblings, and we are all normal (most of the time) and fit into society just fine. True is superly duperly shy, but I think she would be like that home schooled or not. We have a church family we are part of and our kids are able to interact with other kids. In addition, they have dance classes and play dates that give them opportunities for outside interaction. We are definitely all homebodies, but we are also working on finding that balance.

What homeschool curriculum do you use?

I use The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading for reading. LOVE IT! I use Right Start for math. That program takes awhile to get used to it, but it’s good. I use Story the World for History and avariety of mixed resources for science, though I did focus on this one for the year.

What is your homeschooling philosophy?

(coming soon)

Hypnowhat?!! How was your experience with HypnoBirthing?

After having the first three with the epidural, I wanted to do the last different. After researching options on how to handle labor sans drugs, HypnoBirthing seemed the best way for me. You can read about my experience here and I completely believe in it.

Are you planning on having anymore children?

No. Four is as high as we go and we are taking measures to ensure that. Now, if for some reason God were to surprise us, like He would have to really surprise us, then we would just overjoyed, but really, we’re done.

What ethnicity is your family?

I am Filipino, but I have never been to the Phillipines. My parents both moved to the U.S. when they were just kids. Ben is half Mexican and half Caucasian. I like to say my kids are Whitamexipino.

How do you find time to blog?

I thrive on routine and so do my kids. The two babies both take naps daily from 10-12pm and 2-5pm. This time is usually used to do home schooling with the big ones or cleaning up. All the kids go to bed around 7:30pm and this allow Ben and I quiet time. Usually we both use this time to get some work/blog time in or relax reading or watching something online. If you came over to my house though, you will find mounds of clean/dirty laundry in the upstairs hallway. All my clothes thrown about my room like a tornado ripped through it and stacks of papers all over the dining table. If you think our lives is picture perfect, it ain’t. We’re messy people just like you!

How old are you?

I’m 30.

How tall are you?

I am 5 foot even.

Are you going to finish writing your love story with Ben?

Yes, I am. With four kids I get behind a lot, but I do intend to keep it going. Are you in suspense?

What is Ben’s profession?

Ben is a Registered Dietitian. He works as a health educator for a local hospital. Eating healthy is very important to our family.

Where do you get all your furniture?

We frequent flea markets often. I love things rusty and dinged up things with lots of personality.

Why do you like old, rusty things because that is not safe for kids?

We lead check every piece of furniture we buy. If it has lead, it never comes inside the house and we get rid of it. As far as the rusty pieces, we make sure nothing is sharp and sand things down that need to be, then we use a sealer to seal everything. It make look scratchy, but it isn’t. The safety of our kids is our number one priority.

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