Saturday, February 28, 2009

baby's first kick at 17 weeks

last Thursday, 26th February, i thought i felt baby move. it was at 5:20 am and i was wondering, "did baby really kick, or was it just my imagination?" the kick was like the feeling of butterflies churning in your stomach.

that same morning, i slept in the car on the way to work when the little one kicked again at around 6:30 am. that for sure wasn't a figment of my imagination 'cos it literally woke me up! i knew someone's having a grand time in my belly!

and this morning, i woke up again to the same sensation in my abdomen. the baby's wide awake, kicking and squirming inside me. i laid flat on my back and felt the "butterflies" again. it was so surreal!

i can't wait for the next coming days when i could feel the stronger kicks. that would be a blast, i suppose, especially for the Daddy-to-be :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

our Macau & HK family trip - day 2

we woke up a beautiful, sunny day with eager faces as we would be going back to Hong Kong that morning. after having breakfast at the hotel, we checked out and waited at the lobby for the shuttle to take us to the pier.

waiting at the lobby

when we arrived at the pier, we took the next ferry back to HK. did i tell you that in both ferry rides i was able to doze off? probably because it felt like being rocked gently like a baby.


the Turbo Jet

upon arriving at HK, we took the MTR to get to our hotel. it was just a couple of stops from the Central Station so our travel was a jiff. after quickly checking in and depositing our pieces of luggage in our respective rooms, we dashed off to the MTR again and got off to the Central station where the bus depot going to The Peak was located.

little miss independent

at Central, HK

riding the bus going up The Peak turned out to be a wise decision because taking the tram takes a while due to the long queue they have. apart from that, we also got to see more sights while the bus was traversing the winding road. we were seated at the upper deck of the bus so we had a nice view of Hong Kong island. upon arriving at The Peak, i immediately recognized the old green tram that we took when i was 7. i remember then we took the tram both ways, and i still vividly recall how the experience was. it is now used as a tourism office there. of course we didn’t let the opportunity pass to take souvenir photos!

bus ride to the Victoria Peak

the old Peak Tram

view from above

since it was almost lunch time, we all agreed to troop to Burger King, much to my niece’s delight. we had to have something quick and easy to eat because we still have other planned things to do after going around The Peak. after a quick bite, my Mom & Dad decided to just wander around the area as my Mom had a terrible headache then. we kids went ahead to see Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

french fries forever!

at Madame Tussaud's

Naomi & Naomi

stealing Brad :)

yo, Michelle Yeoh!

like mother, like daughter

blue-blooded for 5 seconds :)

i'll beat you, Tiger!

move over, Barrack!

after the museum tour, we all met up again and decided to go back to the city our Mom could rest in the hotel. that’s when we took the tram going down so Ryan, my siblings and niece could experience the ride. across the tram station, we waited for the bus that took us to the Central. it was an interesting bus ride because we passed by The Landmark, and i swear i heard LV calling out my name :)

the new Peak tram

life's biggest temptation
(and no, i didn't give in!)

we got off at the harbour where my Mom and Dad and we kids split up. they went back to the hotel to rest, while we younger ones seized the rest of the day. Dad advised us to take the ferry to get to Kowloon so my companions can take another route getting to the other island. i happily obliged and we all ran happily like crazy kids trying to catch the ferry which was almost ready to leave.

all aboard

as soon as we disembarked the ferry, we walked our way to spot the Avenue of the Stars. we enjoyed the leisurely walk and the breathtaking sunset. we tried to find a junk because i remember when i was a child, our hotel had a great view of the waters that separate HK Island and Kowloon, and i saw a lot of junks sailing from morning till night. we ended up finding one, which was a commercial junk that tours people around. it’s not the same, i’d say, because the junk i remember used to transport goods to the other side of HK.

just chillin'

the junk

after walking a bit further, we finally found the Avenue of the Stars. we took several snaps, of course! oh, and we did try the Squid delicacy sold by the lone food booth there. its aroma was so good we couldn’t resist the temptation of trying them. it was so yummy!!

here we are

someone's a fan

ready for my take

the harbour by night

we wanted to go for the night market afterwards but decided against it because it was getting late. so we took the train and headed back to the Central. we wandered around the International Finance Centre and tried to look for Royce Chocolates. the ads in the MTR were misleading because we found out there was no Royce Chocolates outlet yet in the shopping mall. thinking that i may not find another time to look around for the Reva shoes i wanted, we explored Lane Crawford and found them on sale (yippee!). i tried on a few pairs, and was pleased to know that they still have stock of the black one with gold buckle in my size (and even though it was uncomfy at first, i’m still pleased that i bought it because i had something to wear here at work when i temporarily bid goodbye to my heels) . we restrained ourselves from buying more from the neighboring shops as we vowed that the trip is purely a leisurely one – no shopping except for souvenirs! so we ended up taking the MTR to get back to our hotel. dinner was at a nearby Fairwood branch, and i ended up not touching my meal again :(

nope, we're not lost - trust me!

at 9:00 pm, we were back in our respective rooms after kissing our parents goodnight.

Friday, February 20, 2009

blooms

just sharing with you some of Ryan's macro shots using his new Canon EF 100 mm 2.8 that i got for him last Christmas:





these flowers were so fragrant they left a lasting, pleasant scent in our hallway. love 'em!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

hearty dinner

i am totally enjoying my second trimester. apart from the appetite i currently have which lets me eat with too much gusto every three hours, the morning sickness has abandoned me, much to my delight. i can eat whatever i fancy (except for the prohibited ones), and savor the aroma and flavor of whatever i am eating. i also enjoy cooking in the kitchen, and thank God i didn't experience any urge to scram whenever i smell something being sauteed. i love the smell of food, and i'm so happy i have no aversions so far.

this early evening on our way home, i felt a sudden craving for Nando's Peri-Peri chicken. a few blocks away from our apartment, hubby made a little detour to get to Al Qasba so i could taste the sumptuous flame-grilled chicken that was making my mouth water like crazy!

weather was perfect for some walking so we parked on the other side and crossed the tiny bridge that was connecting the two strips of restos and cafes separated by a narrow creek. we ordered mild quarter frango for each of us with spicy rice and coleslaw on the side. i was so hungry i wolfed down my food, which was a first because i've never finished any meal at Nando's ever because i was not so much of a fan of spicy food. i guess pregnancy can really change you and your tastebuds after all. so much for avoiding the variety of peri-peri sauces they have all these years.


after dinner, we walked a little bit more on the other side before going back to the parking to see what new restaurants have opened up since we've been there last. we were excited to see that they already have a branch of our favorite Thai resto, The Lemon Grass. next time we're there, we would definitely dine in and maybe try some of their newly offered specials. ooh, i can't wait already!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

a V happy day

valentine's day will always be a special occasion for me and the husband. never mind that others say it's only a marketing strategy to get people spend money. for us, we really don't care. Valentine's Day will forever be special in our hearts. back in college, the UP Feb Fair always landed on the week of valentine's day. i suppose the Student Council (or tradition) thought that Feb Fairs will be more fun if there's an occasion to go with it. looking back, we had wonderful valentine's day celebrations since our college years. it was one of our much awaited ocassions.

and today was no different. it was made very special by Ryan, as always.

not wanting to get stuck in traffic as tomorrow is a work day, we had lunch reservations instead at Il Rustico Restaurant in Rydges Plaza Hotel. it was my pick, and i chose it because i promised Ryan long, long time ago that i will bring him there one day so he can taste their delectable pizza and pasta. Il Rustico was once a glorious restaurant
praised for its authentic Italian servings. but Time Out Magazine has been harsh on them since 2007. despite the poor reviews, we still gave them a chance. i know they deserve so because i've been there last November when i underwent training, and my dining experience was great.

i didn't expect that the husband would still bother to get me flowers, but he did. on the way to the resto, we passed by Oleander, our trusted florist, and he picked up the flowers he ordered for me. i just stayed in the car and waited for my surprise. normally, he would have them delivered to my office, but today being a weekend, he opted to pick them up himself and hand them over to me. the bouquet was so lovely i was grinning from ear to ear :D


afterwards, we went straight to the restaurant to have lunch. our reservation was at half past twelve, but since we came early (12 noon), we were the first customers for the day. we had the resto to ourselves for a good half an hour before people started coming in. we were supposed to try their salads, but stopped ourselves when we were served warm bread and their famous baked garlic for appetizer. i ordered Baby Penne pasta with grilled prawns served in olive oil based cream sauce, while the hubby went for the pasta special of the day - Spinach Pasta with asparagus, smoked salmon and cherry tomatoes. it was my first choice but since i'm pregnant, i decided to go for a safer option. we also ordered Capricciosa pizza which we didn't finish because we're stuffed silly, so we took the leftovers home for merienda. for dessert, hubby had Tiramisu, which i wasn't able to taste, too because it had coffee liquor on it. i told him he has to take me back there after i give birth!





the food we chose didn't disappoint - they were delectable up to the last bite. i don't know why they were given bad reviews by the magazine. i suppose it's because compared to other Italian Restos in town, theirs is perhaps the most affordable you could find. our bill was the same as eating at any family resto here, but food, service and ambiance was way better. it's sad that people here measure the restaurant by its bill, not by its taste.

my happy Vday didn't end there. being the preggy that i am, i tend to doze off in the afternoon during weekends. when i woke up, this greeted me in the hallway:


i cannot thank the husband enough! he knows i've been wanting to get a bigger LCD TV for the longest time, and now it has finally come true! last Christmas, i didn't ask for a gift from him because he already gave me an expensive ring on our anniversary. i wasn't expecting a present such as this on Vday. i feel so loved!!

hon, you've outdone yourself yet again.
thank you so much for making this day special for me! i love you to the moon and back!

happy valentine's day everyone! spread the LOVE! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

our Macau & HK family trip – day 1

(super delayed post!!)

for the first time ever, my whole family traveled altogether outside the country. it’s a shame my bro-in-law wasn’t able to come with us though. nonetheless, the trip was fun & exciting!

day 1: flight to HK then ferry to Macau

we arrived at the Centennial airport for our 7:00 am flight. we were so hungry we made do with coffee and ensaymadas from Goldilocks. while waiting to board, we took a few snaps at the airport.

Aveisha & her signature pout

i am so not a morning person - no make up...ack!
(see my peeking pink 'pad'? i obviously didn't need it)

thank God we were fed at the aircraft! breakfast was ok – better than nothing. smooth flight, too. clear blue skies so we had very minimal turbulence. the little miss enjoyed her first airplane ride.

someone's mesmerized by the clouds

i got keyed up when i started seeing islands 10 minutes before we landed…i missed HK so much!

after going through the immigration and picking up our pieces of luggage from the conveyor belt, we proceeded to the nearest Travelex to have some currencies exchanged. we also bought our airport express passes, which was a good deal – thanks to the guy at the counter! we had one way free from the airport to any of its designated stop and unlimited MTR rides on all lines (except for mainland China) for 4 days – no need to top it up! i just forgot how much we paid for each Octopus card (i kept calling it Oyster card remembering how much MTR was patterned to UK’s Underground), but i remember it was a lot cheaper and economical.

onboard the airport express
(my two sisses, hubby & niece)

after getting off at the Central Station in HK Island, we went to the Shun Tak Centre to take the Turbo Jet to take us to Macau. ferry ride was ok, except for the dizzying part when the ferry’s still docked.

upon arrival to Macau, we took two taxis to take us to our hotel. Hotel Beverley was a budget hotel, but their rooms were pretty big. at the price we paid for the rooms, inclusive of breakfast, it was quite a steal! more importantly, it was a walking distance to Sao Paolo, which was great because we didn’t have to take any shuttle or transpo to get there.

taking a short break at the hotel

all throughout our trip, i was in charge of the arrangements and the map reading. while we were trying to find a place to dine in on the way to Sao Paolo, we stumbled upon good ‘ole Mc Donalds. since we arrived in HK, my niece was pointing at every Mc Donalds outlet her eyes laid on so we gave in to her request and munched away happily at her place to be.

a lot of people could barely speak English in Macau so it was quite a challenge to ask for simple directions. we tried to seek help in finding the road that leads to Sao Paolo and Senado Square, but none of the staff of Mc Donalds understood what i meant. it was funny though because when we walked further down the road of where McDonalds was, we finally found what we were looking for. sheesh! good thing i trusted my instincts!

mi familia at Senado Square

the yellow church

the big couple :)

beautiful ruins of the church

at the Museu de Macau

after walking around and checking out the sights, we walked a little bit more until we found ourselves in a bus stop. i asked the inspector who was stationed in the bus stop for the bus number we needed to hop on to reach the Venetian Hotel. because of his difficulty communicating with me, he just led us to the nearby bus stop and asked the driver to drop us at our destination. bless him for being very nice!

as soon as we got to the hotel, we wandered around the premises and later on had dinner at their food court. we had noodles, of course! i obviously just had to share with hubby as i didn't have any appetite.

wow, big Christmas tree!

the moving statue :)

feels like outdoors

enjoying the noodles

after tiring ourselves from all the walking, we dragged ourselves to the shuttle depot, rode the complimentary shuttle to the pier and took another short bus ride to return to our hotel. my sisters and i took some pictures outside the hotel before we retired for the night.

mother-daughter at a Macau public bus

Macau by night

Gramarber reunited

that concludes our day 1 trip recap. be back for more of our day 2, 3 & 4 stories! please bear with me as i sort through more than 1,500 photos :)