Friday, July 31, 2009

Zero Travel for 2009

Since I worked here in Dubai, I have made it a point to travel every year to fulfill my dream of seeing the world. But now that I am expecting, travelling has taken a back seat, and will perhaps remain in there for another year or so. I have a very good reason why I can’t travel, but I still couldn’t help but feel envious of my Pinoy colleagues who are bound to travel to Turkey this August. They are flying out before Ramadan, and the package they got was really, really good. What makes their trip better is that they're going on a group. I bet that would be so much fun!

Not that I've never been to Turkey before. In fact, Turkey is the first country I’ve visited since I moved here to Dubai. It was Eid Al Fitr in 2005, and I traveled there with my bessie B. It was an enjoyable 4 day-3 night tour, and for the price we paid, it was well worth every fil we shelled out! That’s what I like about being in Dubai – you are right in the middle of the world map so you can travel to the East and West at lower costs. Seeing new places is what I am missing right now, hence, the green feeling.

Here are some of my old pics when we went to Istanbul and Bursa in Turkey 4 years ago. (and yes, it was xx lbs ago, too!) It was so cold then…around 9-12 degrees Celsius...and much colder up in the mountains in Bursa where our bums were frozen cold at 4 below zero!

checking out the galleries as soon as we arrived
the clock tower next to Dolmabahce Palace
inside Hagia Sophia
(behind me is the mosque's mark facing Mecca)
Hagia Sophia still...remnants of Christianity in this unique museum
the famous Blue Mosque with six minarets

at Taksim Square (shopping is so expensive here!)
hold that tram!
buying souvenirs at Bursa
first snow experience at Mt. Olympos in Bursa
going for the Bosphorus Cruise
nice view while cruising
and i got to be captain for two minutes :)
the entrance to Topkapi Palace

Hopefully in 2011 I could start traveling again. I'd like to see Mauritius or Maldives before they vanish due to global warming. And a Euro trip would be lovely, too. Let's see how it goes :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Giving In

Today is my last day here at work before I go on maternity leave. Yes, you read that right – I am taking my maternity leave starting Sunday even if I haven’t given birth yet. That's contrary to my original idea of sticking it here in the office until I pop. You see, plans have changed dramatically after my check up last Monday with my OB. During my quick scan, we found out that Baby D is quite big for his age (as if i’m not expecting this!). His estimated weight is already 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) at 38 weeks and 2 days. And if I am to go with my birth plan of delivering via NSD, my doctor advised that I shouldn’t let my baby reach 4 kg ‘cos otherwise, I might end up delivering him via C-section.

If I don’t deliver until next week, he suggested that he will induce me. It’s all up to me & Ryan if that option is ok with us. If Baby D doesn’t come out this weekend, I would opt for the induction date to be baby’s EDD which is 08/08, although in truth, I prefer to have the baby sooner and feel nature’s surprise.

All my colleagues are pretty excited for me. It's a great feeling being supported at this time in our lives. I remember a couple of weeks ago when we were all jokingly planning who’s taking me to the hospital. This summer, I'm surrounded by Directors who kindly agreed to rush me to American Hospital in case I go into stage 1 active labor. In fact, I have 3 rides of my choice: a Porche Sportscar, a Porche Cayenne & a BMW 5 series. I actually have a 4th option, and that is a BMW big bike, which I reckon is going to make my labor a lot quicker than the 3, haha! Looks like the BD team is going to miss the action then. Sayang! LOL!

I’m praying everything goes well with the remaining days of my pregnancy. Last night, I woke up feeling the need to pee, and then couldn’t go back to sleep because various thoughts started to sprint through my mind. I was up for an hour and a half trying my best to lull myself back to sleep. And this morning, the husband told me he dreamt about me delivering the baby on top of our car’s engine (weird!!). Quite uneventful – that’s how he described it. Minsan comic talaga si hubby! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fancy Reusable Diapers

Last Sunday, my ex-colleague Y dropped off these gorgeous reusable nappies as gift for our little angel, Baby D.

About two months ago, she told me about these awesome nappies she stumbled upon in one of the national broadsheets in town. The award-winning TotsBots Nappies have arrived in Dubai, and she thought I might like to use it for our LO. And because she and her husband are passionate about saving the planet in their own little way, they decided to get our baby these reusable diapers from UK.

At first, I was a hesitant about the idea of using these reusable diapers. For one, it is inconvenient. just thinking about washing and drying them versus the convenience of disposable diapers, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the latter is a much better (and tempting) option. But if you give it a deeper thought, it also makes sense to use reusable nappies because:

1.) It’s cost-effective. In the long run, it still saves you a lot of money compared to buying packs of disposable diapers.
2.) It’s more environment friendly. Yes, we do need to use detergent, water & power to wash the cloth diapers, but using reusable diapers can put more control in the carbon footprint we emit. And you limit the amount of disposable diapers that end up in the landfill.
3.) It’s gentle on baby’s skin. Since it’s made of Bamboo cloth, it is naturally antibacterial, and is 60% more absorbent than cotton. It prevents baby’s bum from getting diaper rash compared to disposable diapers that have chemicals in the plastics they use to keep the them absorbent.

However, in as much as we would like to exclusively use reusable diapers all the way, we would still use disposable nappies since we already have bought a couple of packs using the diaper fund we got from the baby shower last month. These are newborn sized nappies that we decided to bring to the hospital, and which we will use as back up in case we run out of reusable nappies.

I sure hope my baby will like using the reusable nappies because I see a great potential in this kind of product.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Waiting Game

Now that I've passed my 38th week, officially, the waiting game has begun. Truth be told, I am getting more and more antsier by the day. I’m sure all Moms could relate to me. I never thought I’d come to this stage where I am literally doing a countdown to the most likely day the much-awaited baby of ours will come and see us.

I suppose the best thing I can do to shake off this feeling is to keep myself preoccupied. I will just go on with the walking exercises at the malls after work, and take some time to go back to reading. I've been banned by my Mom to do some housework, especially in the kitchen as I am causing mayhem every time I step foot in my once favorite place at home to move about. The only chores I can do without being very clumsy are doing the laundry care of the trusty washing machine, and ironing clothes one small pile at a time.

A lot are telling me to savor the last few days of carrying this baby bump as I might miss it once I’ve delivered. knowing myself, I guess I just might. You see, I’ve gotten so used to having someone move about inside my belly. When he comes out, I'd then have to share him with everybody else *selfish…haha!!*.

Ok, note to self: be patient and just enjoy each day as it comes. Baby D will arrive at the perfect time. Who knows, maybe he might end up sharing birthdays with Lolo Papa. Now that would make my FIL real happy, too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Husband's Birthday

Today is hubby's birthday, and I am sharing with you how we celebrated his special day at home.

As I am due anytime soon, Ryan had specifically asked me not to arrange any party whatsoever. He didn't want to fuss over his birthday knowing that any moment our LO could come out. But being the stubborn gal that I am, I still organized an intimate get-together with his close friends. Yesterday, on the eve of his actual birthday, I hosted a dinner for him attended by his college bud, Bob, my bessie B & our friend, K. Too bad Bob's daughter, Yesha, wasn't feeling well so she & Ditas couldn't join us. Ryan's other college bud, Armil, on the other hand, was celebrating his wife's birthday, too, so he wasn't able to come. The gathering was very simple but I'm still happy we managed to have a proper celebration than none at all.

His guests gave him t-shirts as gifts, which he liked so much, while I gifted him with something that he's been wanting for the longest time. Not to be outdone by his big boxed gift on my birthday, I also gave him something huge & heavy as a present. Now he's got no excuse not to pursue his passion :) A lot have been convincing him to start his own small business by word of mouth so I guess this little aid of his will inspire him more to give in to people's request. We can start with the butterscotch I suppose ;-)

To my dear, dear husband who is the best in the world - happy, happy birthday! I hope somehow your birthday is made memorable for you. I was hoping the LO would come out today so you two can share one special day but i guess the 25th July will always be yours alone. In hindsight, that's also good...I want to keep the spotlight on you for 24 hours every time this day comes each year. You very well deserve it. I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH HONEY!! Mwaaaahhhh!!

P.S. I hope you loved the Fresh Fruits Cake we got from Dusit Delicatessen. See, you didn't get just one but two? :)
 Yummy, no?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things To Do

...before Baby D arrives:

1. pack the hospital bag (my stuff, hubby’s stuff & baby’s stuff).
2. double check the batteries of the DSLR, P&S and camcorder.
3. get a pedicure.
4. wash, iron and fold the baby’s clothes. organize them in his drawer.
5. give more room for baby’s other stuff (gifts, toys, shoes, bigger clothes) in the closet.
6. disinfect the nursery.
7. have the cot's beddings washed and ironed. unpack the mattress.
8. clean the seats and interiors of the car – this task I assigned to hubby
9. practice installing baby’s car seat – another task for hubby
10. arrange a small get-together at our home this Friday (poor hubby has work on Saturday! boo hoo!) to celebrate his birthday. i really want to order an ice cream cake from Haagen Daz, but there’s no branch near our place (might melt before it reaches our home). gotta get that lovely cake from Dusit Thani Delicatessen instead.
11. follow up the delivery of my gift for the beloved husband.
12. follow up my remaining claim with my health insurance provider before i go on maternity leave.
13. do a handover of my tasks to my team mate just in case i deliver sooner than my due date.
14. process Dad's visit visa for his trip here on August and purchase his tickets through my cousin to get a substantial discount.
15. do some serious ironing.

I hope I get to accomplish all of these before I deliver. I'm sure I have forgotten a thing or two but for now, these are all I could remember from memory.

Goodluck to me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2nd Maternity Photo Shoot

Last Saturday, exactly on my 37th week, I had my 2nd photo shoot session with my photographer friend, K. This time around, the shoot was done in our apartment. He bought with him his paraphernalia, which made our flat look like a big studio.

Shame that Ryan had to work that day so he wasn’t able to join the shoot. I really wanted a photo of us, with him kissing my belly but I'm afraid that won’t be possible in the next coming weekends as my tummy’s almost ripe for picking. Bessie B was with us, too, so she helped me & K with the set up.

The photos are much more conservative compared to the previous photo shoot except for one, which I feel should be kept for our eyes only (me + bathtub -- you get the picture).

I love how the pictures came out – simple and subdued. Let me know what you think of them, ok?

Now really, I feel blessed to have a pro-photographer friend who does this for me at no charge. I just love being a guinea pig for this kind of pictorials, haha!

Monday, July 20, 2009

37 down, 3 Or So More Weeks To Go!

Can you believe it?  Only 19 days to go. wee!! (although in my heart, I really hope Baby D comes out sooner than his due date)

Yesterday, Baby D & I had another check up with my OB, who gave me the result of my Group B Strep Test done last week. Sadly, I am positive of the bacteria but he assured me that it’s nothing to worry about. All they have to do is give me antibiotic treatment during labor to ensure that I don’t pass it to my baby. I am relieved that my hospital of choice does this screening, otherwise, I would have put my baby at risk. I am thankful that a lot of literature are now available to educate mothers-to-be to keep them armed with knowledge about pregnancy (hooray for the “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” & the Baby!!)

I am at the stage where I'm already getting antsy and couldn’t wait to deliver. Everyone here at the office was so surprised to see me at my desk at 8:00 am this morning after a long weekend (yesterday was Prophet Mohammed’s Ascension so it was declared a public holiday). They were kind of expecting me to have popped already. Looks like Baby D would opt for a check out around his due date. Oh well, we’ll see on Sunday. I'm due for another scan by my OB to check how big baby is. After that scan, we will know what to do next. I hope I don’t get induced, or worse, deliver via C-section. Please, please pray for me!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From Manila with Love

shout outs are in order for Tita Dynn & Tito Dionie who sent these lovely toys for the little one. I so love the Lamaze wearable rattles! I can already imagine our Baby D fussing over these cutesies. 

Oh how I miss the special gift wrapping of Rustan's! 

And thanks also to my sister Marian for sending more baby clothes for our little darling! Sorry I don't have any pics 'cos the items went straight to the hamper.  

The gifts just keep on!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mom's Here

At last, my mother has arrived before I had given birth – much to my relief!

I have talked to Baby D a few times to ask him to wait until Lola Mommy comes before he decides to pop out. And good thing my baby boy listened to my request as now I’m feeling much more at ease knowing my Mom is here to help me out. That’s one less worry off my list!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Low Batt

I'm on my 36th week, and I’m getting more and more lethargic these days. The energy I seem to have the past week has suddenly worn out. Last Friday, all my body wanted to do was doze off, and I couldn’t fight the urge to nap. Then yesterday, despite the many housework that’s waiting in line to finish, my body just couldn’t get up from the couch or from the bed. It’s as if an 8-pound bowling ball is stuck between my legs! I feel so exhausted!

I am just so relieved my Mom is going to arrive in a couple of days. An extra hand would truly mean a lot to us. I can leave the cooking to her while I tackle the remaining chores needed to be done. Hubby could then focus on clearing up every wire visible in all rooms. It really peeves me seeing those noodle-looking cords unorganized! Oh if only I could afford having every electronic item in our household wireless!!

By the way, the nursery is almost finished. We didn’t paint the walls because the building is new anyway, and we wanted to keep the room minimal and neutral colored. It's taking a lot of my time to organize the many knick knacks we have in that room. Organizing and de-cluttering are the most time consuming of all chores, I swear! I wish I could just snap my fingers and everything will magically sort out on its own.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Baby Shower

Not for me, but for my team mate, Hazel, who’s just 7 weeks behind me.

Considering that I may give birth sometime soon, and that a lot of our fellow Pinay colleagues will be going on holiday this summer, I thought it’s best to hold her baby shower this July. I know she’s only on her 28th week (about 7 months), but decided it’s better to hold one around this time when everyone is present, and while she hasn’t done much shopping as yet.

I've always believed in paying things forward, so the coordinator in me suggested a surprise baby shower for her who never had one for her first born. We scheduled it Thursday last week during lunch at one of the offices on Level 15. To be able to pull it off, we relied on Outlook emails and invites with ‘Food Festival’ as our subject. It was a potluck lunch overflowing with yummy dishes such as Kare-Kare, Pasta Fusilli with Anchovy, Tomato and Olive Sauce, Chicken in Tomato & Pineapple Sauce (prepared by our colleague’s chef hubby), The Noodle House’s Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables and good ‘ole KFC Chicken. Desserts were from Denise of Baked in Dubai (ooh, those yummy muffins and that Toffee Cake!!) and Ryan of Ryan’s Kitchen (haha…feeling pang-commercial ang Butterscotch nya!). We also had cassava cake and leche flan, which I loved, too!

The decors were courtesy of our other colleagues who took time to buy them beforehand. We had to prepare everything so quickly for fear that Hazel might pop in the room to see everything! Now that’s not the kind of surprise we like...LOL!

We were so happy to see the surprised look on her face when she came inside the room. As everyone was already feeling hungry then, we immediately began eating after a few poses for the camera. Afterwards, Hazel started opening her gifts.

It was truly a fun lunch break seeing everyone feeling so excited for another preggy woman in the gang. We sure do hope the expectant Mom enjoyed it as much as we did :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Half The Year Gone

Wow, I can’t believe it’s July already! In just a few more weeks (or could be days, you’ll never know!), we will finally meet the newest member of our family. Hubby and I are soooo excited we could hardly think of anything else other than Baby D’s much-awaited arrival.

As you all know, the last 6 months were totally devoted to preps for our little angel’s grand entrance. Coming back from a 6-week break in Manila last January, all we ever did thereafter was focus on baby and buy his stuff little by little. I also found a highly recommended OB whom I've seen for about 3 months before she moved back to the US. The first 6 months of the year proved to be really tiring and challenging for both me and hubby (remember when we shifted apartments?) but we managed to survive, and we’re very proud of what we’ve done. We had housewarming parties in one weekend, and I celebrated my 31st with a baby shower.

Yes, the first half of the year was extremely busy but looking back, we know all our efforts will not go to waste.

I cannot say that the same thing will not happen in the next 6 months of the year 2009. It will definitely be much busier, I bet. In fact, as soon as we crossed the 1st July (my Dad’s birthday, by the way), a lot of things were already beginning to pile up in our to-do list. There’s the preparation for my Mom’s arrival next week, the general cleaning of the apartment, the never ending shopping of items needed in our checklists (both for Baby D & me), grocery shopping (we need to stock up on food!), baby proofing of our home, and a lot more. All these are done on almost all days of the week (and to think hubby only has one day off owing to an event they’re participating in).

But despite the very busy days we’re having (I swear, our home is in total chaos right now with all the baby items we’re organizing in the nursery for his royal highness' birth!), we managed to squeeze in some time to watch the Transformers 2 last weekend. I know it will probably be the last movie I'll see in months so I made sure I was in good company: my hubby, my bessie & her boyfriend.

I also managed to attend Guianna’s baptism last Saturday where K was hired as the photographer. I've seen some of the pics already, and they’re so beautiful! The set is one of the best pics I've seen for a Christening ceremony & party – truly worth every penny paid! I just wish he could come home for our son’s baptism on December, too.

Meanwhile, I did finally manage to zip my hospital bag yesterday. the cameras & camcorder are ready – with all batteries fully charged with back up, and even the snacks for my coach are also packed. Car seat has been taken out of the box, and is now on stand-by by the doorway. Baby's newborn clothes, blankets and towels are all washed and ironed, and are in the drawers ready to be used. I just hope I didn‘t forget anything.

Healthwise, I’m feeling alright, except for the pain on my hands, especially at night. It will go away on its own for sure so I’m not letting it bother me much. Yesterday, I had to call in sick though as I didn’t get any decent sleep the previous night. The pain was unbearable I woke up like 3 times whimpering like a little child. The shooting pain was up ‘til my arms so I decided to just rest it up by staying at home. I've yet to hear about the baby’s health this coming Sunday after my check up with my OB, and I'm praying that he’s doing A-ok in my tummy.

Sometimes, with all the things happening around me, I find myself blankly staring into space. My mind races to all sorts of directions – as if it wants me to do all things simultaneously. I need to finish a lot of tasks at work before I go on maternity leave, and I’m hoping I’d deliver after my boss’s return from his holiday (which is Sunday week after next) so I can properly brief him about the work I’ve completed, and update him on the hand over I’ve done with my team mate. I know work should be the last thing in my mind but I just can’t help it.

Anyway, this post is way too long already. Let me leave you with my current pic at 35 weeks and 2 days on the way. This was taken by our photographer at work while I was lunching at the fountain area. Do you think I’m already engaging?  A lot of my colleagues have already noticed that I’m now carrying low. I noticed that, too, while I was on the shower the other night. and my trips to the loo have doubled in the last couple of weeks. I sure do hope the baby’s lightening already.

Take care everyone and keep safe! Have a great week! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Finally Connected

First, our internet is 100% up and running – quite smoothly & really fast. In fact, it’s faster than what we expected! Downloading is never a pain anymore.

And then the other day, our cable TV has been installed. Hooray! I now get to watch shows from back home, particularly the ones that caught my fancy when we were holidaying in Manila last December. We got the Orbit connection instead of the TFC because we simply love the GMA Life shows (Quickfire, The Sweet Life with Lucy Torres, The Beat, just to name a few). And we admit we miss our dose of comedy courtesy of Bubble Gang, haha!

Getting these two services is also our way of preparing for my Mom’s arrival next week. She’ll be staying with us for 2 and a half months, so we need to keep her entertained, too, else she might just decide to fly home out of boredom.