Thursday, April 29, 2010

Buh-bye Windshield

A month ago, as Ryan was cruising through one of Dubai’s major thoroughfare at its maximum speed limit, a small rock flew out of nowhere and hit our car’s windshield. For weeks, our windshield looked like this:

solid thud from a small rock

Thankfully, it is covered by insurance with no deductible.  However, the Salik or toll fee sticker can no longer be used and we’ll have to get a new one.  But what hurts us the most is that we also have to say bye-bye to the windshield’s tint.  When we got our car, we invested on a really good tint considering the climate here in the UAE, and now that our car’s windshield is going to be replaced, we have to pay again for tint installation, which is unfortunately not reimbursable to the insurance company.  I just hope Nanolux gives us a good price for the tint because it doesn’t come cheap.  And summer is drawing near so we better have it installed soon after the windshield gets replaced on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Party Preps Underway

Here I go again, putting on my party-planning hat and planning another party hundreds of miles away from home.  But i don’t mind the difficulty.  In fact, I love the challenge!  It’s always a joy for me to see the parties I organize turn out nicely despite being based overseas. You see, I’m a party girl.  There, I said it.  No matter how small or big the occasion is, I love turning it into a party.  I love details, I love food, I love people, I love celebrations, I love life! For me, anything that has to do with life’s wonderful moments deserve to be celebrated.  And the next major celebration we have in line is Dade’s upcoming first birthday.  Yippee!!

Earlier this month, we decided to book our major suppliers: the venue, the photographer, the videographer, the party decorator & the host/magician.  The other things that we need to decide on are the:

1.) caterer - Ryan & I are still debating on which caterer to get.  He wants to go for the expensive but tried and tested, while I wanna try other options that are also good but pocket-friendly.

2.) cake - I already have a cake maker in mind which I've booked yesterday.  I’m quite happy with her designs, and so far pleased with the feedback about her work.  Thanks to Dade’s Ninong N for offering to pay for the cake! :)

3.) invitations – I am still waiting for a reply from one supplier from way back so that I can compare it with the quote I got from another potential supplier.  I hope to finalize this soon.
4.) cupcakes – I’ll pay the down payment next week, and I’ll be getting the same supplier where I ordered Dade’s baptism cookies.  Couldn’t go wrong with her – her work is amazingly beautiful and yummy, too!
5.) guestbook – I’m just gonna coordinate with my previous supplier by early July so we can include recent pics for the guestbook.  I just don’t have the time to do this anymore as I am bent on making a brag-book of Dade’s first year and have it printed coffee–table style.
6.) lootbag give-aways – If i can have it my way, I want something with a personalized design.  But since there is a budget to consider, I’m hoping to find some affordable generic ones when I come home.  I found this real nice bag supplier online but her quote is just way beyond my budget.  Shame! :(
7.) prizes – my sister-in-law and I would definitely troop to Divisoria again this time to buy some prizes for the games, plus some knick-knacks to put in the lootbags.  It’s tough to go to Divisoria during the rainy season, but what the heck!  It’s a haven of toys for the young and young-at-heart so never mind the trouble.  Remember that’s where I got Dade’s give-aways during his baptism...and everyone loved it!
8.) photobooth – my kumpare rents a photo-booth so I’m getting their services for Dade’s birthday.  They’re charging me with a super friendly rate so I’m one happy momma! :D

There are lots of nice-to-haves with the kiddie party these days but we decided to stick with these ones for the time being, and maybe add a couple more nearer the date when we are sure of how the budget will work.  We will be flying to Manila specifically for this occasion but we don’t want us to end up scrimping on our holiday, too, because we’re throwing a birthday party.  We still would want to leave some budget for a proper R&R  for us.

I cross my fingers that all will go well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What A Wet Weekend!

My son has developed a love for the waters.  He used to abhor taking a bath but now he loves every minute of being immersed in water and getting all wet.  I think he's fascinated with the splish-splash of water and the sound it makes.

Last weekend, he had a playdate with Klyde, Karlisle and Guianna at Le Meridien and swimming was their chosen activity for the day.  The afternoon was just perfect -- the weather was great, the water's temperature was just warm enough (and very little Chlorine was added, too!), and most importantly, we had the pool to ourselves.

people watching while sitting on his floater

hey Dade!

baby Karlisle

Kuya Klyde
the only rose in the garden, Guianna

Dade, Karlisle's just borrowing, ok?

strong grip (i'm there just about half an arm's length away)

I was quite suprised to find out how independent and strong my little boy is.  At 8 months, he could sit comfortably in his baby floater.  He kicked like mad trying to move from one spot to another.  He was also brave enough to immerse his head under the water twice.  I wish I could enroll him in some baby aquatics class because I could see that he enjoyed his time, and if given the proper exercises, he could learn to float like those other babies I see on TV. Hubby & I think that's what he wants to do.  If there are such classes here, I hope they're not too pricey so we can enroll him and see him have fun and interact with other babies, too.

Dinner was courtesy of Klyde & Karlisle's grandma.  Perfectly good to cap the day's fun activity :)

Thanks H for inviting us (and for the lovely pictures!)! 'Til the next playdate of our little ones!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The iPad

This thing of beauty was finally brought out to stores last Saturday, and my friend at work was able to get hold of one by ordering online.  Boy, was he giddy happy when the DHL guy delivered it to our offices this morning!

He happily showed it to us, and I swear, within minutes his cubicle was flocked with people buzzing about his new gizmo.  He's an avid Apple fan, I tell you!  For someone his age, he's pretty much in tune with his techie side -- quite the contrast of a ludite!

I borrowed his new gadget & posted this on FB for my friends to see.

I wish it were mine!

My friend is actually simple guy but he goes crazy with anything hi-tech.  He's the same friend of mine who downloaded songs to my iPod since he's got 5,000 cds in his library (no kidding!).  Last November, he was one of the first ones to own the Blackberry Bold 9700 in UAE 'cos he bought it in UK, and two weeks ago, he just bought a 55" Samsung LED TV for his wife.  Now how cool is that?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pilipinas holiday

(Super long overdue post)

Wondering what has kept all three of us preoccupied during our much awaited break back home?  Goodness, you cannot imagine how busy we were especially during the week before the little one’s baptism! I was getting crankier nearer the date as I still had loads to finish, but thankfully, it all, ahmmm, went well.  The baptism stories and supplier ratings can be found herehere in case you haven't seen them yet.

One thing I am thankful about our holiday is the fact that it never rained the whole time we were on our vacation.  It did drizzle like twice, and dark clouds loomed for a few days, but we were very fortunate we didn’t experience rain (and the hassles that come with it when you’re in the Metro).  However, we had a taste of Manila’s humidity for 5 weeks -- as in the sticky feeling (plus polluted air) every single day!

We stayed at my in-laws’ place 90% of the time we were in the Philippines.  We borrowed my family’s van to get us around with hubby driving all the time using his UAE license.  Both our driver’s licenses were expired, and I only got the chance to renew my driver’s license the week we were flying out of Manila.  Meanwhile, the hubby couldn’t renew his license because his license was apparently flagged for a traffic ticket issued by the MMDA on Aug 2006.  We had no idea he had a violation because for one, he didn’t receive a ticket from the MMDA officer.  Turns out, a lot of people renewing their licenses also encounter this problem.  We'll just deal with this on our next trip to Manila.

As expected, we feasted on food most of our stay.  Sorbetero ice cream, taho, Pan de Manila pandesal, Jollibee….wow!  We had gastronomic feasts almost everyday.  It wasn’t a surprise that we gained weight after all the eating we’ve done.  While in Manila, we’ve eaten at Max’s, Sinangag Express, Conti’s, Fazoli’s, Sbarro, Metro, Tokyo Tokyo, Pepper Lunch, Sentro 1771, Napoli’s, Via Mare, Pancake House, Mary Grace, Bob’s, Bigby’s, Reyes Barbecue, Yoshinoya, Crustacia & Paseo Uno in Mandarin Oriental, not to mention take outs of Yellow Cab pizzas, Red Ribbon cakes, Emerald Garden siopaos, and Lola Idang’s pancit malabon.

taho & sorbetes -- yummy-ness!

who cares about diet when there's Yellow Cab Pizza

the "simple pero rock" na halo-halo

we missed this oh so badly!

the most delish siopaos we've ever tasted

at Fazoli's Eastwood with my sibs and niece

Oh, have I told you we had Starbucks virtually every other day?  I got 3 planners from all the drinking sprees we had, and even bought one from a fellow blogger (two of these are gifts to friends here in Dubai so they were pretty much put to good use)


The malls we frequented during our stay were Rockwell, ATC, Glorietta, Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street.  But days before the holidays, all these malls brimmed with people doing some last minute Christmas shopping.  I am so glad we did our shopping of presents in Dubai way ahead so when we got to Manila, the only thing left for us to do was wrap them. We didn’t shop a lot while on holiday because we had to consider baggage allowance, and the fact that we’re traveling with a baby.  We bought a few shirts from Collezionne C2 for the husband and myself, and snagged some Lacoste shirts, which are cheaper in Manila (they cost double in Dubai, and we don’t understand why!).  And because I'm breastfeeding, I got a few nursing bras and tops which I ordered from Fab Naima.  Of course we didn’t forget to shop a few items for the little bear.  Just the essentials, actually.  Mom got him those fancy bling binkies from Baby Company, while I stocked up on his Dr. Brown's bottle brushes & Cycles laundry soap, too. But imagine my shock when we went to Rustan’s and saw how much the Mustela line of baby products cost.  Dang, a bottle of cologne for Php 2,249 (or was it P2,449)??!!  Seriously, I only paid a fraction of that amount for my son’s cologne, and even bought it just for this holiday trip.  I cannot believe how huge their mark up is!  So if you guys in Manila want some Mustela baby products, just let me know, and I’ll sell them to you at a much, much cheaper price (I can arrange for shipping, or if you can wait, i can meet up with you when we come home in July).

So you see, we were always in Makati and Taguig when we needed to shop or just simply get out of the house. We were mall rats, to say the least...hehe!

Meet ups & parties.

Despite having a breastfed baby in tow, we managed to meet up with some of our friends.

me & my HS friends and kiddos at Lex's 1st birthday bash at Museo Pambata

with ex-colleagues

good friends from way back in HS

at BHS still with Lousienne & Ramt

We were also able to attend a wedding of our college friend, Jing to her fellow-lawyer beau, Jes.

from Partypicslive :)

Of course, we didn’t miss our HS barkada’s annual Christmas party.
HS friends get-together

We squeezed in some meet ups with my online chums, too. Nikki, who lives in the northern part of the Metro, was very kind to meet up with us on the 24th Dec.  And she even bought a gift for me & Dade.  Ain't that super sweet?  We also met up with Jacqui & Pat, who were my suppliers for jewelry & all-natural products respectively.  Unfortunately, we forgot to some pics.  Sayang!

with Nikki & Dwayne

The holidays on both our families’ sides were extra special mainly because of one special creature: our dear Baby Dade.  The first time my side of the family saw him they were very thrilled.  It was my maternal grandma’s 88th birthday, and what better gift to give than another great-grandchild na magmamano.  And my grandfather was so pleased to meet our little one who was named after his father (my great grandfather), along with my aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Of course, Ryan’s family was doubly happy.  Dade happens to be the first grandchild so as expected, everyone fussed over him. He got LOADS of attention from left to right, which he enjoyed I’d have to say.  Christmas eve was spent with my family, while Christmas Day was spent in two places – at my Aunt’s place where my grandparents live (morning), and at Ryan’s family house where his maternal clan held their annual Christmas Party (afternoon). Hectic as it sounds,  I'd say we did enjoy the day to the fullest.  In fact, despite the weariness from all the festivities that day, we still managed to drive all the way to 6750 in Makati for a late night coffee at…where else, but Starbucks! :) 

Rudolph's friend on Christmas Day

Meanwhile, New Year’s eve was spent at Ryan’s side of the family.  We had dinner at his aunt’s place where we met up with his cousins from his father’s side.  And then just before the clock struck midnight, we drove back to Ryan’s family house to welcome the new year (and new decade!).  When we got there, we were surprised to see that everyone were in pigtails (even the boys!), and were wearing character t-shirts.  Instead of greeting us happy new year, they were screaming, “happy birthday, Dade!”  Aaawww, ain’t that sweet! My little boy turned 5 months old on the 1st Jan so they prepared something special for him.  His uncles got him a cake and balloon arrangement (my son loves balloons), while his Aunt K organized everything, and gathered all the plush toys to decorate the place. It was the best “month” birthday Dade has ever had because for a change he was surrounded with more loved ones, aside from his Mom and Dad!  Our wedding anniversaries were not forgotten, but my kwentos on these occasions deserve a separate entry.

Dade's 5th month and 1st New Year Celebration


See, our holidays were truly a blast! Thus, for the first time ever, I cried during our return flight’s take off.  I immensely enjoyed our holidays that it actually hurt to leave and say our temporary goodbyes. Well, I guess I left my heart in Manila.  And now I couldn't wait for our next vacay.  Just 3 more months -- that's not a long way to go anymore.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Since this is Dade's first Easter, I decided to get him this cute bib from Carter's:
super pa-cute

I also dressed him up in his Easter outfit, and thought he looked really cute in it.  He must've thought it's real cool to be standing up already and  not holding on to anything so when we were about to pick him up to leave for dinner, he leaned forward and took a step.  Good thing both Ryan & I were just inches away else he had fallen off.

Mom's cutie patootie

Dinner was at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.  We ordered Garlic Mayo & Bleu Cheese burgers, and using my GBK card, we only had to pay for one burger (yeehaw!).  Our little boy, meanwhile, had Fine Green Beans and Potatoes washed down with 4 oz of milk.  Takaw!

feeding the boss

the 2 boys I love the most

a whopping burger no less

Hope your Easter Sunday went well, too.  Let us not forget to say a silent prayer to thank God for giving up His Son for us.  Take care everyone!  Have a great week & may God bless us all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy 8th Month, Dade!

It's April Fool's Day, but no one is fooling us at how much our little baby has grown into someone so charming (and attention-seeking, if I may add) in the last 8 months of our lives. We have to pinch ourselves to believe you're now 8 months old, sweetie. I keep writing here how fast you grow, and I can't seem to stop. Each and every day is like a discovery of sorts for me & your Dad at how amazing your development is.

You show to us how ready you are to stand up and start walking, and you throw a fit whenever we fail to have you hold on to the furniture so you can give cruising a try.  Please don't rush, love.  We still wanna baby you for as long as we possibly can.

home-made chocolate cake made by Daddy Ryan
(and poorly decorated by Mommy...haha!)

Happy 8th month birthday to our mighty little trooper, Dade! We love you so much!