Saturday, December 19, 2009

Breast Is Best

...and I am firmly sticking to that!

After Dade's check up with that pedia from Makati Med, I blindly followed her advice & succumbed to giving my son formula milk for fear that he is not getting enough nourishment *yep, big mistake!*  However, I decided to cut it off after having spoken to a lactation consultant (and after more or less 10 ounces of formula fed to my son - ouch!). I lost confidence in myself for a while but slowly regained it after a pep talk with the lactation consultant and after seeing Dade gain weight again. I swear, breastfeeding is really tough! Unless you're absolutely focused and dedicated to nursing, you'll never succeed. It takes a lot of willpower and bullheadedness to achieve your goal, which, unfortunately is not as easy as it seems.


Whenever I pray, I ask God for milk for my son. Yes, I pray for myself to produce enough milk for my little boy. It helps me loosen up & avoid getting stressed about my supply of milk.  Hubby is more supportive than before, and his encouraging words now help me get through each passing day. We are also happy that we have found a very good pedia for our son who supports me with my breastfeeding, and who also gives me & the hubby encouragement in raising our baby.


Things are falling in the right places now, and I cannot be happier!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's In A Name?

Dade was finally baptized last Monday, 14th December. It was a pleasant afternoon - perfect for baby's naming day :)

Ever wondered why we named our son Dade and why his full name is such? I'll tell you why.

When I was still pregnant, as soon as we confirmed the gender of our baby, Ryan and I started thinking of names to call him. I initially wanted a Spanish sounding name to go well with our last name but the husband didn't approve of it. he wanted a Western sounding name, and so he got his wish. I searched for possible names in the internet, hoping to stumble upon a nice name for our son.

Then one day, Ryan suggested the name Dade. He's liked that name ever since he heard it from that 1995 movie "Hackers" (remember Angelina Jolie with her first husband, Jonny Lee Miller?) Dade Murphy a.k.a Crash Override/Zero Cool is the protagonist in the movie and his character was that of a computer whiz. I know he's so keen about that name because he uses that when he saves his PSP games.

And so I sought for names that would make "Dade" a possible nickname. Thanks to the internet, I got the perfect names for Dade - Daniel Jayden Erix, whose etymology are as follows:

Daniel - (dan-yel) Hebrew origin meaning "God is my judge". This name is also from one of the beloved bible stories, Daniel and the Lions' Den. Coincidentally, Daniel is the name of my maternal great grandfather.
Jayden - (jay-den) Hebrew origin meaning "Jehovah has heard". I personally love this name because of what it means. Dade is an answered prayer, and this name fits him perfectly.
Erix - (e-rix) Derived from the Old Norse name, Eric, which means "forever ruler". This was from Ryan's second name that I have requested to add to our first born's name.

Our son would probably not like us in the future for his lengthy name (especially when he starts writing it) but I hope someday, he would learn to appreciate it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Still Alive

Been very busy since we arrived here in Manila last Friday, 4th December. Pardon me if i'll write in bullets because I have no time to gather my thoughts properly.
  • Dade was well-behaved in the plane. Didn't fuss a lot, except when he was hungry. But sleeping was a challenge as he didn't want to stay put in the bassinet. He ended up sleeping in Ryan's arms for most part of the trip.
  • Baptism preps are still underway. Been very, very busy contacting suppliers, meeting up with them, and coordinating everything in just a week's time. A few more days, and our REAL holiday will finally begin!
  • Still have to shop for the right shoes for me to use for the baptism. I found the appropriate dress to wear - thanks to K & Company - they do have my size! :) I still need to find a pair of shoes to wear though.
  • Gotta have Ryan's khakis altered.  He still has to have his black trousers tailored in time for the wedding we're to attend on the 21st!  Thanks to good 'ole Divi, I was able to get him a ready-to-wear barong tagalog.
  • We're staying at my in-laws in Paranaque so it's convenient for us to get to places we need to go to. And thank heavens we have internet connection so I am still able to catch up with friends through the net.
  • It's my maternal grandma's 88th birthday this coming Saturday. We're all so excited! My son will finally meet his other lolos, lolas, aunts, uncles & cousins from my side of the family.
  • I am having problems with lactation. Since we arrived here in Manila, my son has been losing weight. It's so frustrating! We're now supplementing, and it's driving me nuts! I desperately want to exclusively breastfeed him but we're facing the challenge of low milk supply. I'm taking fenugreek and drinking Mother's Milk Tea to boost my supply. I'm contacting a lactation consultant to help me, too. It tears my heart when my son cries because he's bitin with his milk. I don't wanna give up BF!  If any of you have any suggestions, I'm open to them. I acknowledge the fact that i do need help.
I'll be posting pics of the baptism here next week. Bear with me and my post. I will try to write something more cohesive next week.

How about you guys, what have you been up to lately? Busy with Christmas shopping?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Thought i’d join Mich this week.

Happiness is…
1. Good health for the family, especially for our little Dade. with the recent change of weather, and the spreading of this flu virus, thank God none of us had had to go to the doctor.
2. Steady milk supply.
3. Dade’s improving sleeping pattern.
4. The comfiest pair of 4-inch red patent stiletto heels, which I got on sale.
5. My resized solitaire ring which i missed wearing for more than 8 months.
6. A good stretch of UAE holidays. Because of that, tomorrow will be my last day at work before going on a 5-week annual leave. yippee!
7. Wonderful weather. 26 degrees during daytime, and as low as 17 degrees during nighttime. perfect temp for strolling in the park. happy days are here again!
8. Hubby’s red velvet cupcakes. He’s baking a batch tonight for me to give to my team mates tomorrow.
9. 5 books (yes, books!) of vouchers/coupons to hundreds of establishments in the UAE from my friend at work, Kwok. All vouchers are valid until September 2010. Here’s to more buy one, take one deals!
10. All tasks at work almost finished before my handover tomorrow.

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In Panic Mode

The holidays for the Eid Al Adha were just announced, and I am so annoyed because the announcement was made nearer to the date so we were not able to plan our holidays more carefully.The holidays will be from the 26th November until the 3rd December so that is a good 7 days of bumming around in the UAE when we could’ve been in the Philippines preparing for Dade’s baptism. I couldn’t move our flights because all flights are full, and the only way we can fly out early is by taking a business class flight, which we do not have a budget for. How sad.

The Christening of Dade is a very important event for us because this will also be officially his meet and greet party. And as much as first birthdays are considered very special, so is Christening, too. In fact, I highly regard this occasion because this is the day our son will be welcomed to God’s family.

Anyway, I still have a lot of things to finalize for the big day which I hope I’d be able to finish in time. I planned for this Christening way ahead of time, and yet I still feel like I've insufficient time to prepare. These are the things that i still need to work on:
  • Purchase baptismal gown. My Mom will take care of this. thanks, Mommy! i know i can always rely on you for anything related to my son’s needs. (and thanks also to Eper for referring the shop where we can buy the traditional baptismal gown for babies!)
  • Buy soft soled shoes to go with Dade’s baptismal gown
  • Sort out pictures & videos for the AVP that Dade’s godfather will create for him
  • Pick out appropriate songs to be played during the reception
  • Purchase & decorate the candles for the ceremony
  • Buy tokens for kids who will be attending the event
  • Purchase some arts & crafts stuff to keep the kids busy during the reception
I swear it’s really not easy to organize an event when you’re thousands of miles away. I just hope we’ll be able to pull this off. Please luck be on our side!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 weeks & 5 days

Is this for real? Our holiday is just 19 days away?  Man, I really should start organizing our stuff now! We have to be as prepared as possible considering the fact that we’re traveling with a baby this time. And I also have to carry with me some stuff for Dade’s baptism that I hope I won’t forget (which reminds me I have lots of things to jot down on our check list). Sheesh, I can feel the panic about to build up now! Ayayay!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quarter 1 Update



Now that Dade has turned 3 months old, a lot of changes have taken place. Let me update you with what he’s been up to these days and how we as first-time parents are coping with his growth.

At 3 months old, he can now sit on his Bumbo Seat with support from a pillow. We use his boppy pillow most of the time. Until he has a better head control, we will keep that pillow to keep him comfortable.


During tummy time, he is able to raise his head to 45 degrees, move it from left to right, and keep it steady. Sometimes he likes tummy time, sometimes he doesn’t. But trust me: this boy sure knows how to kick his legs manically when overstimulated.


The little monkey finally discovered his feet. the LO developed the habit of rubbing his feet together when cradled by Ryan in his boppy, and he seems to be fascinated when watching his feet move. With or without socks, he would rub all the way. Just the other day, he started lifting his legs together, and would rub his feet in the air. It’s a funny sight, I tell ya!


He now enjoys hearing himself babble so imagine how much he baby talks these days. Say hi to him, and you’ll get the cutest coos & giggles ever!


Sometimes we find him trying to roll over on his left side. He’s still unsuccessful, but 10,000 brownie points for him for trying :)

He can now grasp on to little things, like his binky for example. When he holds onto my finger, he would clutch ever so tightly.


Unfortunately, he still isn’t sleeping through the night. He still feeds every 2 hours – on the dot! Because of that, he ended up co-sleeping with us so he can easily nurse when he wakes up hungry. It also saved me the trouble of getting up many times in the night. At first, I was against this because I was so afraid of the risks that come with co-sleeping (because he does sleep in our bed, not on a separate co-sleeper cot), but I've come to realize that I had to do it for both of our sakes. We just had to take some precautionary measures to keep our bed safe for Dade.

During daytime, he prefers sleeping on Ryan. It leaves the hubby no time to eat, sleep properly or even take a bathroom break! Poor Daddy!


We always hear comments that Dade is a “long” baby. He has grown so much that I had to bring out his 3-6 months sized clothes earlier than planned. He’s outgrown his frogsuits so quickly that he’s now using his jammies when sleeping. Picture his onesies not fitting his torso vertically not horizontally.

It was also time to bring out the Level 2 nipples & the 3-6 months binkies. We had to say buh-bye to the Evenflo dummy he loved so much. He’s still in the transition stage with his new dummy that every so often, he would push them out of his mouth through his tongue and cry when he couldn’t pull it back.


To help me keep track of his medical records, I got the newly released Dr. Mom Health Journal from Indigo Manila. I saw this journal by chance as I was ordering some milktrays and Baby Legs for Dade. Good thing I was able to grab one at their introductory price of PHP1,500. For more info about this product, please visit their site: http://indigomanila.multiply.com/. I bought a lot of cool stuff from them, too. Go natural! Go Pinoy!


Dade’s is now 5.6 kg :) no wonder why the Dad is complaining whenever he carries the baby in his car seat. I was happy to learn about that from last Saturday's check up. His pedia was supposed to see him by end of this month for his booster shots, but I decided to bring him to the doctor to check if he's developing according to his age. I wanna keep a close track of his weight gain since he's a breastfed baby.


So far, the hardworking cow in me is still working so very hard to keep my milk production stable. As much as possible, I pump every 2 hours at work. The most is 3 hours. I'm so lucky this country recognizes the value of breastfeeding. *yay UAE & the Employment Law of DIFC!* Every breastfeeding Mom gets an extra hour of break for 18 months. That's why I leave at 4:00 pm instead of 5:00 pm everyday. Yep, extra time with the baby :) And oh, I just wanna share that I've heard enough comments about the breastpump bag from my colleagues (i.e., You going to the gym? What's the bag for? Oh, no, you're late! *assuming that I've jsut arrived for work). I just had to tell them what it's for, and trust me, it's really AWKWARD to tell that to my male colleagues.

Speaking of breastfeeding, as they say, there's always a first time for everything. I've already breastfed Dade in our car a couple of times, and even in a fitting room at the mall! :) Thanks to the kind sales person at the Gap Store in Deira City Centre, I was able to BF my son at the kids' fitting room. I remember that feeding quite well because when I burped Dade, he gave out a very load belch :D And because I was able to nurse successfully inside the mall, whenever we go out these days, we preferred going to malls that have breastfeeding or mother & child rooms. No more bottles to bring so the milk in the freezer are kept solely for his consumption while I'm away at work.

With all these changes, I say we're A-ok and doing great as a young family. It may be an overwhelming first quarter (especially in the first few weeks) for us, but hubby and I are so thankful that we have a blessing this wonderful in our lives. The happiness we feel with our dear Dade is the best we've ever felt, and we couldn't ask for more! :)

Christmas Came Early

Daddy, thank you for this early Christmas pressie:



I love it! Now I can easily post Dade's random pics whenever, wherever :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Scratchy Happy

Whenever my son feels sleepy or exasperated, he scratches his face for reasons I don’t understand. Three weeks ago, I finally took off his mittens after he started showing signs of gnawing his fist. I wanted him to feel the soothing experience of sucking on his bare fingers but I didn’t know he would also use his fingers for something else. My poor little boy ended up with a number of unsightly scratches on his face and head…so kawawa! Even if I regularly trim his fingernails and file them even, he still ends up having those grazes. So to prevent him from adding more lines and small cuts across his cute li’l face, I decided to bring back the mittens until he gets over from his scratchy happy phase.

As I didn’t want to put the usual antiseptic for his scratches on the face at this early stage, I researched for something more milder to use. Good thing I remembered this line of products I used to use back in my college days, and found this balm from their line of baby products made especially for sensitive skin. Thanks to my Mom who went all the way to Robinson’s Galleria to buy this and drop it off at my cousin S’s room at Crowne Plaza in time for her flight, my son now has VMV’s Grandma Minnie’s The Big, Brave Boo Boo Balm.




Made of ingredients with natural healing properties such as Petrolatum, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, and Glyceryl Laurate, this product sure is a better option than the usual topical antiseptic we use on our skin. It's skin friendly, and is proven to be as effective as isopropyl alcohol for killing micro-organisms sans the dryness. Considering how sensitive baby's skin is, I wanted to make sure that it's kept soothed and moisturized and that no weird sounding chemicals are applied on his skin. apparently, It's also great for pregnant and lactating moms so my son and I can share this product :)

So far, this balm has done wonders for Dade's skin. It helped quickly heal the grazes on his face. I love this to bits! Oh, and did I mention it's a local product from back home? Yay VMV!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 3rd Month, Dade!



Look how much you’ve grown, my dear. From a crying little imp, you’ve turned into a talkative baby who babbles like a snitch. We just love the way you try to talk to us through your cute coos and aahhs. Mommy & Daddy are so amazed seeing your developmental milestones your age, and we couldn’t be more proud when we see you meet them ahead of schedule.

In a span of 3 months, you’ve been out and about quite a lot already. You’ve gone to all the major malls in town, have attended 2 birthday parties, seen 2 newborn babies at the hospital, and have visited more than 5 homes of friends and family. Thank God in all those times you’ve been on a ‘going out’ spree, you’ve never contracted any virus! I sure am glad I did not give up on breastfeeding you.

To the best gift we’ve ever received, we want to let you know how much we love you, and how much we are delighted to have you in our lives. Everyday's a new adventure with you, sweetheart! Mwaaahhh!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dade's First Halloween

Here's a snapshot of my li'l munchkin in his costume:

where's my banana?


For his first ever halloween, we dressed him up as a monkey. And I say he's the cutest monkey I've ever laid my eyes on *biased Mommy!*.  Here are some more pictures:

one of a kind monkey indeed


family pic


with the cutest bumblebee of all, Guianna


Mommy Gayle & Mommy Gracie with the trick or treaters


Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Emergency

11:00 pm: just when I have handed over Dade to the husband so I can finally go to bed, our doorbell rang. On the way to the door, I heard voices that sounded panicky so I rushed to see what's going on. When I finally peeked at our peep hole, I saw our neighbors' doors open with people hurriedly leaving their apartments. As I flung open our door, the watchman told me to evacuate as the building next to us was on fire!

I ran back to our room and immediately told Ryan about the situation. In a matter of seconds, he took out all the important stuff we had on our safe - passports, various documents and jewelry, while I held Dade. When he was through, I passed him the baby so he can be swaddled then I grabbed hold of the nearest bag within my reach which was thank goodness my open mouthed Neverfull GM.  I unceremoniously dumped all the items there. I swear, Neverfull is not called such for nothing! I was also able to put inside it my Macbook, our SLR, my G9, and my Freecom External Hardrive that has all our pictures. With a bit of support at the bottom, I say it managed to carry the load.

We went down through the stairs in one of the fire exits and when we got to the parking level, the burning started to smell. We quickened our pace and as soon as we reached ground level, I was relieved that we were able to exit the building safely. No one panicked and everyone looked calm. The huge lobby of our building that serves as a common area for all 4 towers of our plaza looked like an evacuation center swarming with people in their PJs.

So we moved outside next to the grocery in one of the towers, and stayed there for a bit. But after about an hour, we decided to get back inside the lobby because we saw people going back in. That was probably because it started to smell of smoke outside. Our building was still safe anyway as the fire was on the top floor of the next building which was being constructed. We were asked to evacuate for precaution just in case the fire spreads out. Anyway, we also wanted to head back because we also needed to sit down and settle ‘cos we started feeling tired already. We were lucky because we found a vacant chair amidst the number of people inside waiting for an update. So I sat there with Dade in my arms while hubby guarded our things.

Now in this kind of situation, I was extremely thankful for a lot of things. First, I felt very grateful that I decided to breastfeed. With my nursing bib packed on Dade’s nappy bag, I was able to confidently nurse him in the middle of hundreds of people. I didn’t have to worry about him getting hungry and not having a bottle of milk to drink.  Secondly, I was thankful for the sling that we bought for Dade. It proved to be very, very useful. It was easier for hubby to carry Dade & I saw that they were both comfortable. Thirdly, I was thankful that we have all the documents we needed in just one place. Dear hubby was asking me to keep my big bag in the closet but for some reason, I was always putting it off. Apparently, there was a reason why my bag sat on top of the safe for weeks already. Now I've decided I'm gonna keep it there when I’m not using it. And the last reason I was thankful for was the fact that we were still awake when it happened.  Had we been asleep, we wouldn’t have known that there was an emergency already. I know you might be asking why our alarm didn’t go off. Since the fire wasn’t in our building, nothing triggered the smoke detectors so no alarm rang.  Although it would’ve been much more efficient if someone just broke the glass to pull the trigger to announce an evacuation, I am still glad our building administrators made sure we were all put to safety. Before we were even allowed to go back in, the firefighters made sure that our buildings were safe from fumes. So for that, I say yay, Dubai Civil Defence for a good job!

It was a long night for us, and up until now, my calves still hurt from taking the stairs (thank goodness we live at the lower floor! imagine those who live at the 25th floor!). Dade was well-behaved the whole time, probably in awe at the number of kids and babies he saw in the lobby that night. He managed to squeeze a nap even. Actually, it was the first time he’s ever been there because we always go straight to Parking Level 1 whenever we leave the flat, so for him, it was a completely new environment.

To those who left messages in FB, thank you to you all! We’re safe, and we’re all good. There were lessons learned after the incident, and I sure hope it doesn’t happen ever again.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Save-The-Date Card for Dade's Baptism

Hubby tinkered on the scrapbook kit, and came up with this:


Finally, the save-the-date card for Dade's baptism is ready! I actually had him copy it from one of the invites I saw online. This was his interpretation of it, and I must say I love it! And yeah, I know you're reading this so I'm officially admitting to the public that between the two of us, you're the one who's more creative.

Thanks hon for doing this! :)  How about working on the gift tags next? :P

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Friday With The Boys

Yesterday, we woke up early to meet Ryan's ex co-worker at the south of Dubai. After the quick meet up, we went for a little road trip down our favorite strip - Jumeirah Beach Road. Since I planned on going to the Magrudy's Warehouse Sale, we made a pit stop at Choithram next to Mercato to buy their yummy breads for breakfast. I got a Cheese & Chicken Roll while Ryan bought a Steak Pepper Pie, which we both loved. Yup, that's us - we love simple pleasures :) Afterwards, Ryan dropped me off at Magrudy's. he & Dade just stayed in the car while I did a little shopping.

on the way to Choithram

When I got to the Magrudy's Warehouse Sale, there was a bee line of people - kids and adults alike - who were just as eager as I was to get in to score some cheap finds. But I was bitterly disappointed when I got inside because the books were not properly zoned so you'd end up looking at each and every box to find a book to pick. The prices were really marked down to as low as AED 5 each book, but I didn't think it was worth my while to bend so low to scour through the boxes and elbow my way through those people on a covered parking lot at 11:00 am. All the toys were gone, too :( I guess the best deals were actually the Clark's Striderite school shoes and cute sandals for kids, which were priced between AED 50-100 a pair. I say that's really a steal considering their original prices were AED 310 at least. It's just too bad they didn't have sizes for babies. I left empty handed and wasted at least 30 minutes there.  Oh well!

Since the heat made me feel hungry, I asked the hubby to drive around and find Sugar Daddy's Bakery for a Red Velvet cupcake fix. We found ourselves getting lost as I couldn't remember which mall it is located (ok, now i know it's in The Village Mall - dang those malls in Jumeirah Beach Road - i always get confused!)

We ended up going to Kitsch instead at Umm Suqeim 1, near Al Manara Street. We were happy to stop for a while here, too, for Dade's lunch. It was our first time to try Kitsch, and we were happy with their cupcakes. Though their cupcakes were pretty dense, they had perfect sweetness!  Hubby and I both had Red Velvet flavors, but he chose the one with vanilla icing on top while I went for the cream cheese icing piece. Satisfied with the taste, we bought half a dozen to bring to our goddaughter, Yesha, for her birthday celebration that afternoon. Plus I went home with a loyalty card to boot. For every 36 accumulated pieces I buy, I get half a dozen for free :)

up for some cupcakes
freshly baked goodies
having his early lunch (EBM)

Suffice it is to say, dessert came first because after our stop at Kitsch, we went straight to Bobby & Ditas' place to have lunch to celebrate Yesha's 2nd birthday.  When they invite for gatherings, we always make sure we go because we are guaranteed of uber yummy home cooked meals! :)

We got the little princess a pretty dress from Carter's with matching bloomers, which we hope would fit her perfectly. It's a traditional summer dress every Mom would love because it brings out the youth and innocence of a little girl. *sorry, I just hate seeing little girls wear clothes inappropriate for their age!*


Ate Yesha & Dade

The afternoon was a good one spent with close friends as we all had fun celebrating little Yesha's birthday with good food and enthusiastic catching up. We're all excited as Armil's wife is due to give birth anytime, so another addition is brewing (and I say almost to a boil as she is already on her 39th week and ready to pop!) It's too bad we had to leave before I had a second helping of the food because I nursed a terrible, terrible headache & slept through the trip back home with Dade sleeping in his car seat next to me.

the Ranolas, the de Gracias & the Velosos

Looking back, it was a well-spent day with the boys outside, and I just can't wait for the cooler weather so we can enjoy spending more time outside the house. Fridays well-spent with the family are always the best!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Baptism Preps

Call me overly excited but would you believe I’ve started working on our little boy’s baptism before he was even born?  During the last few weeks before I gave birth I was already scouring for suppliers left and right. Well, you can’t blame me. The baptism is in December, and you know what December is like back home - weddings, gatherings and parties galore!

Finding a reception venue was already a challenge, I tell you! I had to contact more than a dozen venues to find the right size that’s still available and that suits our budget. And because December is a busy month, we ended up getting a weekday schedule. Good thing our chosen church holds baptism in the afternoon so the reception time is still ok for the guests who will come from work.

So far, I have managed to book the major suppliers. I’m so relieved that the only things we need to worry about are the minuscule details which we can work on when we arrive in Manila. Being an overseas parent, I’ve learned a great deal when we were doing our wedding preps. I definitely do not want a repeat of all the stress I’ve gone through back then!

Meanwhile, let me share with you my first ever scrapbooking project – Dade’s letter to his Godparents-to-be:


One artwork done, two more to go. I hope I can find time to finalize them this week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Merci Beau Coup!

To all those who left messages on my comment box related to this post, I just wanna say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your support, encouragement & kind words. You just don't know how much your short notes mean to me. Not only did they make me feel better, but they also made me feel stronger & more confident in facing the future. I'll be a total hypocrite if I'd say I'm not one bit scared but reading all your messages has made me realize that there is actually no reason for me to feel insecure and doubtful because something much more wonderful is in store for us. This decision is perhaps one of the toughest ones we've ever made, and I'm very glad that we took the road less traveled - all for the love of our son. I didn't think many people would understand but through open-minded sisters like you, I came to a realization that it's nothing to be ashamed about and we owe no one any explanation.

Again, thank you to each and everyone of you. here's a BIG HUG from me. God bless you all!

LV's l' excellence du savoir-faire

Last Saturday, I received an invitation from Louis Vuitton for their L' Excellence Du Savoir-Faire Exhibit at the Dubai Mall Fashion Avenue. And thanks to my bessie B who volunteered to baby sit Dade, hubby was able to drive for me to go see the exhibit.

The exhibit was all about the six limited edition Special Orders to benefit Red Cross, which celebrates its 150th anniversary. LV commissioned six designers and artists from various industries to create one-of-a-kind luggage pieces according to their lifestyle & profession. These personalities are master Chef Ferran Adria, the most sought-after portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, British artist Damien Hirst, Oscar-winning musician & composer of LV's soundtrack for the film "All You Need Is Me" Gustavo Santaolalla, the head of LV Special Orders & member of the 5th generation LV family Patrick-Louis Vuitton, and of course, Marc Jacobs. The pieces, along with a limited edition Red Cross medical trunk, will then be auctioned on 17th November at Sotheby's, and proceeds will be donated to Red Cross.

I'm grateful that i was able to see the exhibit as they are only held in six key cities around the globe - Mexico, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Seoul & New York. And I was so pleased that the pieces were not enclosed in glass, unlike in Tokyo, so I was able to feel the leather especially the alligator one made by Patrick LV.

Here in Dubai, the exhibit runs from 13th - 17th October. so if you're anywhere near Dubai's largest & hippest mall, do drop by. Whether you're a bag hag or not, it is worth the trip.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pasalubongs

Not for me but for the wee one.

My cousin Sarj & her hubby had a 2-week vacay at LA, and brought home these goodies for Dade (yay! they saved me the trouble of ordering the Aveeno stuff online):




Thank you, Ninang Sarj & Ninong Mark!

My friend at work, Linda went for summer holidays at Dublin, and handed me over this bag yesterday:



I thought she was giving my son some cans of beer (hehe!), but saw these cute bits and bobs inside the bag instead:



So cute!! I love the shirt – it’s so Irish!

Thanks, Aunt Linda!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Temporary Change

Since I got back, everyone kept asking non-stop about our baby boy. I feel that because he’s my firstborn, the attention we both got was extra special. People would enthusiastically ask about how he’s doing, how he’s feeding, and his sleeping patterns among other things. But one of the most common raised questions was who looks after him now that I’m back to work.

After weighing the pros and cons, my husband and I decided that it’s best if he stays at home and take care of the baby while I work and earn for the family. I know it’s not the norm of society that the wife is the breadwinner and the husband is the stay at home parent but before you raise an eyebrow and judge about this reversal of roles, let me share with you why we opted for this choice.

The husband recently decided to leave his work, and he has a very good excuse why – the company he’s working for was showing signs of folding up and has been delayed in paying their salaries. As I write this, he still has 2 months outstanding pay which he is yet to receive. So instead of adding more expenses (gas, toll fees, time & effort) and not being compensated of what is due him, he decided to quit early on before the outstanding salaries piled higher. My friend at work who learned about our situation said that it was a wise decision for him to leave immediately because she has some friends around town who have not received their salaries for a year, and up to now, they are still waiting with much regret.

I admit that because of this screw up, our cash flow was affected along with our plans. We couldn’t hire a nanny, pay for her visa (which comes with a hefty price, by the way) and fly her to Dubai. So we were left with no other option but to have Ryan stay at home to take care of Dade while I went back to work. I just feel immensely blessed that my job is stable and that I am paid enough to cover our monthly expenses. We just have to sacrifice & cut back on a few things such as our weekly entertainment (dining out), and limit our shopping sprees - groceries included.

It’s a bit tough, but with faith, I’m sure we will get through this. It’s just temporary anyway. As soon as we get back from our holidays this December, we will proceed with our plans of hiring a nanny so Ryan can start looking for a new job. The start of the year is always the best time to try and find work as budgets have just been set, and additional manpower is usually included. We pray that everything works out by then.

In the light of my husband’s loss of job, we consider what had happened as a blessing in disguise because both of us have peace of mind that our son is left in good hands. No worries of dealing with insane, horrible nannies (for the time being) especially that Dade is just 2 months old. I can focus on my work worry-free, and I don’t have to deal with nanny issues especially in this part of the world where immediate help from family members is difficult to get.

So now our household is part of the statistics of a househusband and a full-time working Mom & wife. Apparently, there is a good percentage of such in UK, and even in the US especially after being hit by recession. I guess it’s because there are more jobs available for women, thus, we are more bankable. Talk about women empowerment! I am greatly touched by those people who choose to support us and admire the kind of set up that we are living right now instead of throwing judgments at us and looking down on our incapability to live according to the rules of society.

We have all that we need and want in life, and we are extremely grateful. It may be a different road that we are taking, but we are enjoying the trip and the scenery. We are not worried because God is doing the navigating.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy 24th Birthday, Sib!

To my black beauty sis/Ysha's hot momma/Dade's superdiduper sweet Aunt/future chef of the family - happy, happy birthday!! May all your dreams come true, my dear! Love you so much!


Now go and party like a princess! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Morning

...is perfect when you're having breakfast consisting of home made bread pudding made by the husband & a cup of decaffeinated coffee (I'm easy on the caffeine intake as I'm BFng) while watching a thing of a beauty next to you.


Ah, bliss!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Survived

...the first couple of days back in the office.

I knew it wasn't gonna be easy leaving the little munchkin for work but I did what I had to do. At 8:05 am, I arrived at work with my laptop, purse, lunch kit, and my latest gadget - the breastpump in its backpack! I summoned the yummy mummy in me and came in looking my very best in months: daytime make up, neatly tied hair, new black dress, 4 inch killer heels, and my favorite bag in one arm - just so I can motivate myself to come to work feeling great, even though in reality I was feeling heartbroken and was wishing I could simply teleport and be with my kiddo in a snap.

Anyway, as soon as I arrived at my workstation, 5 female colleagues came over one after the other to give the congenial beso-beso and felicitations. I haven't even logged in to my system yet when I realized I had to express my milk so I rushed to the Human Capital Department to ask where I could pump privately since we currently have no available clinic at our building. Good thing our Hospitality Team was able to suggest an enclosed room 2 floors below ours so that solved my dilemma.

I am so grateful I came back to work towards the end of the week. It gave me time to adjust to my new schedule and get some rest thereafter, courtesy of the weekend. I considered yesterday and today as my 'dry runs' for the major comeback next week. I hope I'll manage to get through the whole of next week without feeling burned out by midweek...LOL!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last Hurrah

...before going back to reality! (yes, I felt I really needed that)

After more than two months of my short but fulfilling taste of being a SAHM, I'm finally heading back to workland again tomorrow *boo!*, and I am not one bit excited. But what can I do? I need to earn some moolah in order to help save up for Dade's college fund. Anyway, to brush off the unhappy feeling, I just decided to savor my last remaining hours outside the office exclusively with the boys.

Since we had to make a trip to baby's pedia for his shots of DTaP, Polio & Rotavirus yesterday, I asked the hubby dear to do a couple of detours before heading home.

while waiting for the pedia (still giddy here)
someone's having lunch

ouchie!!!

First, we swung by the Philippine Consulate Dubai to pick up Dade's passport, which I need to bring to work tomorrow to process his residence visa. Finally, a proof of his nationality! Afterwards, we trooped to Festival City for a (very) late but yummy lunch - where else but at our favorite family restaurant, Chili's. We also made a quick stop at Toys 'R Us to scout for a halloween costume for the little tot as he is to attend his first halloween trick or treat party by end of this month. We couldn't find an infant size so I guess we'll have to make do with the 12 months size and just have it altered. After that, we went straight home after two hours of trotting at the mall.



As we three cozied up at the sofa in the evening, I realized that no matter how busy I'll be during the weekdays balancing my time with work and family life, I still have the weekend to look forward to. From hereon, I will make sure that every weekend is spent with my wee one to make up for the lost time during workdays.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy 2nd Month, Dade!

My, my, my! Has it been 2 months already since you came into our lives? Talk about time zooming past us at an incredible pace!

blow the candles before the ice cream cake melts

Happy 2nd month birthday to our dear little prince! We love you so very much!

My Kind of Radio Show

I'm listening to rx 93.1 as I type this. and guess who I'm listening to? of course, Chico & Delamar, c/o rx931.com's live streaming!

Hearing their voices brings back fond memories of my work life back home. Every morning, I listen to them on my way to work, which makes traversing through EDSA's traffic tolerable. I laughed by myself more than many times behind the wheel at the risk of looking like a lunatic to a lot of commuters who see me by their vehicles' windows. Well, I didn't care then - as long as I was having fun, the heck with all those eyes staring at me!

I even had a couple of entries that made it to the top 10. Damn, with my memory gap I couldn't remember what entries I texted then!

Oh boy, listening to them makes me miss Manila very much!  I just can't wait to get home on December. countdown: 2 months & 3 days left. Yay!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Online Donation

For all those who are based abroad who wish to donate for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, you may do so through Philippine National Red Cross's website (www.redcross.org.ph). online donations are accepted via secure credit card transaction (BDO Gateway). Just click on the "Donate to Us" button on the left hand side, and fill out the details on the page it will take you to. Make sure you choose the Typhoon Ondoy from the dropdown list of Project/Activity.

Please, please donate any amount you can. It will for sure go a long, long way.

Thank you & God bless us all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Wrath of Typhoon Ondoy



Just looking at the pictures and videos of the typhoon that hit Manila yesterday gives me goosebumps all over. I read from Facebook all the updates of my friends back home, and was stunned to learn that most of the metro was submerged in water after 6 hours of continuous month's worth of rainfall.

I became worried sick and immediately called my Mom just to check on them, including my pet dogs, Chloe and Chooey. I was relieved to hear that they're fine albeit my sister who got stranded and decided to stay at her classmate's place after their classes were suspended at St. Paul QC. Thank God the waters have spared our home, and that none of my family members were left treading the waist & chest-deep waters of the metropolis.

Next phone call I made was to my in-laws to check how they were doing amidst the heavy rains and flooding. They were at SLEX on their way to fetch my BIL who was stranded somewhere in Pasay. My SIL was also due to arrive last night from the US, and we were worried whether she made it home or not as I heard some flights were cancelled due to the heavy rains. Thank God when I called this morning, Mama told me she arrived in one piece and is now safe and sound at home.

I pray for my countrymen who have experienced yet another calamity. I pray for their strength, particularly those who were affected by the flooding - those who lost their homes, their properties, and most especially those who lost family members and friends from the wrath of the typhoon. I pray that the government rises above the situation, and fulfill its duty to provide public service.

To my kababayans, my thoughts and prayers are with you in this trying time.


September Happenings

September is almost over, and in just a few more days, I'll be back to work again :( I wish I could stretch my maternity leave as we're having so much fun, all three of us, despite the lack of decent sleep.

Since Dade turned 1 month old, he started becoming more interactive which amuses me & the husband. He's learned to smile and laugh, and is cooing and giggling a lot. We attempted to capture those moments but everytime we point the camera at him, he suddenly stops and takes interest instead on staring at the contraption. Hay! I promise one of these days, we'll be able to document that picture-perfect smile of yours, sweetheart!


Now that we've gotten the hang of paglalakwatsa with a baby in tow, we have taken to liking the idea of visiting friends and family, as well as attending birthday parties, too.  Before my Mom flew back to Manila, we visited my team mate, Hazel, who gave birth to her second miracle at the same hospital where I delivered.  A day before that, we attended her elder son's 3rd birthday party where Dade & I even won a prize from one of the parlor games. *thanks, Mom, for keeping a tube of red lipstick handy!*



with Klyde, his lola, my hubby, my Mom & of course, Dade


the DIFCA Pinoy ladies with the kids & the birthday boy


welcome to this world, Karlisle Hanz Joachim!

A couple of weeks ago, we as a family, visited my cousin, Sarj at her apartment, and swung by Bob's place after having coffee at Starbucks in Jumeirah Beach Road with my friends at work. Yep, all three socializing opportunities in just one night! And last Friday, we hied off to Ponderosa to attend Tin-Tin's Tinkerbell themed 3rd birthday bash which was a whole lot of fun! So sweet of Maria, Tin-Tin's mom, for bothering to pick out a gift for our son, too!



happy birthday, Kristina!


me & Dade


thanks, Aunt Maria! 

All these happenings were such a blast, thanks to our son's improving social skills & lesser crying spells. I just hope in the coming weeks his sleeping patterns would improve next *cross fingers*.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Cutie Monster at 7 weeks

Dade's ninang B couldn't get enough of him. I swear, this baby is gonna be rotten spoiled not by us but by his godmother who adores him to bits. When she stayed for the night Wednesday last week, she brought with her some photography gear so she can take pics of the little boy. Another free pictorial - yay! :)

holding on to Mommy
held by Mother dear
tiny ear
precious hands
my adorable boy
tummy time
innocent looking
our family

Thanks, bessie B for all these gorgeous pictures! Love 'em all!