Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy News

wee!!

What a beautiful day!  It's my almost-16 week check-up today, and we found out Dade's getting a baby sister soon.


Hubby is wishing for a princess in the house and he's so stoked his wish is granted.  He was literally rejoicing in my OB's office after he announced the good news.  We were all nervously waiting in the dark and looking seriously at the screen while my OB was doing the ultrasound.  Yep, no balls nor trunk in sight so it's definitely a "she".  As for me,  I was secretly hoping it's a girl because I'd like my own baby girl to doll up, hihi!


We're happy beyond words! We feel so blessed.  Thank you, God!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thank God...

...I don't live in the 50s!




In my current time, a good wife always knows her place -- equal to her husband!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween Party 2011

Sharing with you some snippets from our Halloween Party last week.  This is the 3rd consecutive year we've done this and we're growing bigger each year.  More families have joined us for the party, and this time, we've leveled up by holding it in Burger King :)  Yep, we're done with house parties! No food to prep, no mess to clean :)

pumpkin balloon -- cutie!


Lone-ly Ranger

Mommy Minnie Mouse with Little Red Riding Hood

check out Dade's leather cowboy boots (which i got for only AED 10 at Gymboree)

Power Ranger

Dracula, Owl, Spiderman & Ninja

Mom, Dad, the little cowboy + Jelly Bean in Mom's tummy :)


trick or treat, table-hopping style

Mom, Dade & his loot

The kids had a grand time interacting with the other kids in different costumes. Well, except for Dade who was super scared of Spidey! When he finally warmed up to his presence, he danced to his heart's content and played with the other kiddos, too.  Whew!


Burger King prepared activities for the kids.  There was a face painting session, a dancing activity, competition for Best in Costume and Best Performer and a magic show which was entertaining to both kids and kids at heart.  Best in Costume went to Ninja kid while the Best Performer was Power Ranger.  Prizes were courtesy of Burger King :)


Each family also prepared some candies and give-aways to the 10 kids who attended the party.  We made some stations per table so the kids could do some trick or treating within the party hall.  It was so much fun!  I think the parents enjoyed it more than the little ones :P


I'm so delighted the party went well despite the last-minute preparations.  Our party was on a Saturday and we only finalized everything a few days prior to that.  Lucky for us there was a slot available for us and the BK staff I spoke to pencil-booked our party even if we haven't made any confirmation or down payment. Big thank you of course to all the Moms and Dads who took time to participate in this get-together. It would not have been extra fun without their presence (and goodies to give-away!).  'Til next year!


Photo credits to Armil Veloso who took all these beautiful pictures and for setting up our photo booth :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dade’s 2nd birthday party

Dade turned 2 last August and as thanksgiving for our little one’s successful trigger thumb surgery (i know, i’ve yet to blog about it!), we decided to throw a little party as he finally turns terrific TWO.



welcome sign.  that's my handwriting & drawing there!

We wanted a low-key party for Dade so we booked Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen in Deira for the celebration. One thing I love about Popeye’s is their party hall which is located at the second floor. The hall is spacious and brightly painted with ample natural light coming in through their windows. They also have a play area in one corner where the kids could enjoy the slide and playhouse. Food is affordable, too. A meal costs AED 25 only and that includes half a portion of roasted chicken (yes half!), rice or cajun fries (which I so love, btw), a biscuit and drink. and you can order the same for kids, too instead of getting their kiddie meal which costs the same. the best thing about their party package is that you can also bring in food from outside. So on top of the food from Popeye’s, we also served Birthday Noodles (courtesy of my kumare’s Mom), Dinuguan (courtesy of my Pinay colleague) which is a blockbuster hit, Caldereta (ordered from Salt N’ Pepper), hotdog on stick for kids (courtesy of another Pinay colleague) and some macaroons (courtesy of Dade’s Ninong A). Chafing dishes were borrowed from my friend’s Mom who made the noodles so our food were laid out presentably in the buffet table.











The theme of the party was jungle safari so we pretty much had an easy time sprucing up the place. I sourced some of the balloons from Manila through a friend, then ordered the birthday boy’s hunter costume from my party planner back home, Jacque Tan of Partyboosters.  For the additional balloons, we bought them from Party Centre, as well as the table skirting for the buffet table and the lime colored Japanese lanterns for the sweets table. Meanwhile, we sourced the jungle cloth and periwinkle backdrop from a fabric store in Satwa.  My friends who are into party planning business here in the UAE helped us in decorating the place. They spent lots of precious hours for free as a gift to our little one. isn’t that sweet?

my little jungle explorer

stage area

balloon burst

party area



cutesy centerpieces

As for the prizes, most them were bought from Divisoria in Manila by Dade’s Ninang S while the activity sets were purchased from Border’s. Some of the plush toys were from bought from a stall in Modhesh World in Dubai Airport Expo. We got the brown lootbags from the Japanese thrift store, Daiso, while hubby and i pasted a DIY thank you note to make it more personalized.  Inside the bag were a small packet of juice, some jungle-themed candies, elephant shaped chocolates, a pack of biscuits, animal stickers and jungle-printed blowouts.  I was quite pleased at how the lootbags turned out.

prizes and give-aways

lootbags

The printed stuff were all DIY care of our trusty printer. We were able to buy a set of jungle animal printables from Mygrafico, an online digital arts and crafts store.  Credits to Blackleaf Studios @ MyGrafico.com for the downloaded jpg and png photos and layouts were used for the save-the-date, invites, table centerpieces, cupcake toppers, water bottles, buntings, food labels and lootbag thank you tag.  This made things a lot easier for us. plus it made the party look lively and jungle safari-looking, which is what we were aiming for.


DIY invitation

lollies

personalized water bottles

DIY table skirt

The pompoms were also DIY.  Thanks to my li’l sis, B (who’s also Dade’s godmother) who bought the Japanese Paper from National Bookstore in Manila, I was able to make several pompoms through the help of Martha Stewart’s website.  These lovely pompoms made such a statement when they were hung from the ceiling. the name DADE was lovingly done by the Daddy who painstakingly cut the styrofoam using a cutter.  My contribution was to nail file the edges to make them smooth before painting them with blue acrylic paint.

sweets table

We ordered the cake from Sugarbox, and this time, we chose a new flavor.  It is a rainbow cake that’s really moist.  However , I was very disappointed with how they decorated the cake because they didn’t stick to my submitted pegs.  In my opinion, among Dade’s special occasion cakes (baptism and two 1st birthday parties), this was the ugliest looking cake he’s ever had.  In the end, I just decided to let it go since I didn’t want to ruin my party mood.


cake

Thank goodness we also had cupcakes made by our friend.   Her home-made baked chocolate-marshmallow cupcakes were so delicious that both kids and adults enjoyed its yummy taste. I provided the jungle safari cupcake liner that matched the sweets’ lootbags and placed them in our ever-reliable cupcake stand. As for the sweets, we bought them from the grocery and labeled them with funky safari names. I borrowed some containers from my friend who also bought the swirly lollipops for the party.   The chocolate crinkles were home-made by the baker Daddy which was also a hit to the guests.


cupcakes

sweets and baked goodies

take home station

We also prepared “Jungle Juice” for the party for those people who prefer to drink juice than soda. It  was a toss between fresh lemonade or calamansi juice, but the Pinoy lime won us over. My bessie B who was in charge of the video of Dade’s party prepared the juice and added lots of ice to make it more thirst-quenching. In a matter of minutes, B had to make a refill because people just couldn’t resist its refreshing taste.


calamansi juice

The party was hosted by Dade’s Ninang S who prepared 2 unique games for the guests. It was a lot of fun! I got compliments from our guests later after the party because the games were really entertaining. finding items that start with the letter ‘D’ is apparently not easy at all! haha!


party game

As a souvenir for our guests, we also hired a photobooth run by our friend, S and her hubby, L.  The quality of the prints were really good and the colors looked so vibrant. S also designed a nice backdrop, as well as an adorable layout of the prints. I didn’t get to see the final layout but was so happy when I had a glimpse of it during the party.  It was more than what I imagined it would be. We used a photo from Dade’s 2nd pre-birthday pictorial for the layout where my little boy was wearing the hunter costume and gave S copies of the safari animals to remain consistent with the theme.


family pic

We could never thank enough our family members and friends who took time to come and celebrate with us. Without them, the party for our little boy wouldn’t have been a success.




Big, big thanks also to our friends, A (Dade’s Ninong) and G who took the beautiful pictures and for Ninang B who took the video. They’re priceless!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby # 2

They say every pregnancy is different. One cannot claim that their experience with their first is the same as their next one’s. And boy, do I agree with that!

My pregnancy with Dade was a breeze. I only had two episodes of vomiting during the first trimester and had almost zero nausea thereafter.  I was eating fine and had no problem with my appetite. I had no food nor smell aversions. I was energetic and always on-the-go.  I guess it’s also because of the excitement knowing that we’ll finally have our first baby in a few months’ time. But I've heard of other first time Moms who went through a terrible time in their pregnancy. So no matter how excited you are, sometimes, the symptoms just overshadow your thrill and you can’t help but bear the misery.  And that is what I'm feeling right now with this second pregnancy.

Every morning is a struggle for me.  I wake up with dread knowing that the moment I enter the bathroom, my stomach would hurl and my face would turn red from throwing up.  Not a pretty sight at all!  Thankfully, I get driven to work by the husband on a daily basis. I hop on the car with all the energy that’s left of me and I try to get some extra shut eye during our 45-minute rush hour drive to work. During good days, I get to savor some drive thru breakfast from McDonalds. But on tough days, like today for instance, I bow my head to a small plastic bag on my hands and wish so hard for the nausea to finally go away.

At work, it’s a completely different story.  I am always hungry so I keep a stash of crackers within reach, plus some date bars, raisins and sweet candies, too.  Lunch time used to be a much-awaited break for me, but now that I could barely finish my food, I realized that it’s not as fun as it used to be. I’d rather chat with my Pinoy colleagues or take a nap to kill time.

To make matters worse, I got sick a week after coming back from my brief holiday in Manila.  I caught my son’s virus and since I’m expecting, I could not take any medication.  I relied on warm water, lemon and honey to relieve myself, but my cough persisted for weeks.  My team felt bad for me because I sounded like a sick puppy barking madly at my workstation. Wednesday last week, I decided to head to the ER just to make sure I don’t have any infection (eeeps, just thinking about it gives me the shudder!).  Thankfully, I don’t and was just advised to rest. Since September started, I've taken 3.5 sick leave days already.  That is so unlike me.

I am on my 10th week now, and couldn’t wait to finish the first trimester.  I hope to get over this feeling soon. I miss my usual perky self.  I look pale and lethargic everyday. Oh I wonder when I'll rock the pregnancy glow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wish Granted

When my friend went to the Holy Land last June for her birthday (we happen to share the same birthday, by the way), she asked her friends through FB their prayer requests and wishes so she could make petitions while in pilgrimage. I sent her a PM to request two things. And one of those requests was granted to us a couple of months later.  The Lord heard our prayers! 

A few hours after we found out about my grandmother's passing (which were a couple of hours before my flight to Manila, too) we learned that we are pregnant.  Yes, two pink lines gave us a new reason to smile.  It gave us hope that my piece of good news will help easen the pain when I see my family.


all positive


excited little fella

Little Dade will now be a kuya.  As early as now, he kisses my tummy and refers to my belly as "baby".  I'm sure he'll be more excited when he sees it become bigger in just a few more months.

We are very, very happy and couldn't be more thankful for this beautiful blessing.  God is good.  God is good all the time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sad Goodbye

Last 8 September, on the day of Mother Mary’s birthday, my maternal grandmother peacefully passed away.

I found out while I was at work, and ironically, I was the one who needed comforting than my Mom who broke the news to me. I was kept posted about Nanay’s condition through our cousin’s group in Blackberry Messenger but the finality of it all came through a phone call that I wasn’t looking forward to.  My cousins and I planned on going home to see her before she passes, but we were a day too late. I guess it was meant to be that way so we wouldn’t have to see her state at the hospital. We bid our final goodbyes to her last Tuesday before she was finally laid to rest. All grandchildren and great grandchildren released white helium balloons with words “WE LOVE YOU NANAY”.

She was a wonderful grandmother and a great matriarch.  One of the toughest women I know. We will never, ever forget her.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Terrific Two

Happy 2nd birthday to the other guy who stole my heart!  I love you soooo much, Dade!

Dade @ 1 and Dade @ 2 - back-to-back


It'll be a "terrific-two" year, I promise you that! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ice Cream Lover

My little family loves going to Ikea. If there’s one shop in Dubai where we would spend most of our time indoors to window shop and eat at, Ikea is surely on top of our list. Apart from their interesting furniture and home items, we also love their cafeteria and bistro!

Whenever we feel like having a bite in between meals, we hit their bistro located just right across their check-out counters. They serve snacks like chicken shawarma, donut and hotdog on a bun. But this bistro’s best-seller is their vanilla ice cream, which only costs AED 1. Really affordable soft ice cream on a waffle cone, and that is my son’s ultra fave! Just look at these pictures:




The first time we had him eat the soft ice cream all by himself was after his sutures were taken off from his trigger thumb release surgery. It was a treat for him for being such a brave boy. And now, every trip to Ikea merits him a cold, sweet treat. That’s Mom & Dad’s little way of thanking the little fella for being so patient with us ‘cos we take so long in checking out stuff at the store (and we know for a fact that it really bores him! haha!)



Monday, June 27, 2011

One Fan Day

One fine Saturday afternoon, my family and I went to see our friends who live in the Marina area. But instead of driving all the way there, we decided to leave the car at the Mall of the Emirates and take the Metro so we don’t have to worry about car parking. It was a good plan because our friend’s building is just right next to the JLT station.

Anyway, halfway through our drive, I read a retweet by my friend, K about Martha Stewart’s schedule that afternoon where she will sign magazines at Tavola in Mall of the Emirates. Now I knew the day before that Martha's in town, but I didn’t know about the signing. I tweeted her that morning and didn't read that tweet in my timeline. Well, as expected, I jumped at the opportunity and begged the dear husband to let me queue for an autograph. Thankfully, he obliged (as if he had any choice – haha!)



dream come true

The signing was slated from 2:00 – 3:00 pm, and I got there just in time. The line was from outside the store already, and you could tell that the people who came are real fans who took time to go and see her. Well, most are Moms who are 30 and above...hehe! I queued for about a little over an hour and I was so nervous that i might not make the cut since it was already a few minutes past 3:00pm. Good thing I made it, although unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a picture with her because the organizers were in a rush by the time I got to the desk. Besides, since I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t have my camera with me so I just used my trusty Blackberry.  I didn’t have any of her magazines either so I just bought from the Filipina SAs who are going around selling the magazines. It was a toss between an Arabic Martha Stewart Everyday Food & MS Weddings Middle East, so of course, I grabbed the English magazine.

Martha Stewart signed this for me:



signing K's mag
my signed mag -- yihee!!

And I got one for my informant, too, who is a much bigger fan (hello, K!):



happiness! 

She’s very nice and super friendly to everyone. She also took time to answer questions thrown in by her fans. I didn’t ask her any question when it was my turn, but this is how our conversation went (as far as I recall):

Me: omg, I can’t believe you’re here! I just tweeted you about the weather this morning & welcomed you to Dubai, and now you’re here in front of me! *super giddy, excited voice*
MS: yeah, here I am! *cheerful voice with a sunny smile*
Me: pardon the heat of our summer.
MS: oh yeah, it is hot here! whew!
Me: thank you so much! enjoy your stay in Dubai!
MS: thank you! and thank you, too for coming!


So yeah, that was my short & sweet fan-to-idol encounter with a Hollywood celebrity & Emmy-nominated Best Host. I’m sure you can tell I'm still that thrilled about the whole thing :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

On His Own

Two weeks ago, we decided to let the little one take another step further towards independence.  After laboring for half a day, I was able to finally fix Dade’s room and allow him to sleep on his own big boy’s bed. It was difficult at first to accept the fact that my baby has now grown into a young boy, but I decided it’s time for him to learn to stay in his own room and sleep on his own bed.  I know that if i prolong his co-sleeping routine with us, it’ll get more difficult to convince him to sleep in his own room later on especially once he learns how to vocally express his protest against it.  So yeah, it’s either now or never.

We did psych ourselves to do this and prepared ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally for this big change.  For 22 months, Dade co-slept with us so it’s also not easy for us to just move him to his own room.  No more baby’s breath, no more kicks and smacks from our little monster in the middle of the night and sadly, no more instant sweet kisses in the morning to wake us up.  Haay!!
A few days prior, we bought a couple of beddings set for the wee one at Ikea.  We chose the colorful patterns with hues similar to the colors seen in Dade’s room so he would be enticed to hop on his bed. So far, that has worked because whenever he feels like checking out the pages of his books, he would sit on his bed on his own without any prodding from us. He also enjoys playing in his own room now so our living room looks a lot less like a daycare center and more of a proper area for us to lounge and relax.





Meanwhile, apart from fixing the bed, we also arranged Dade’s “command center” – a cabinet with a detachable changing table that he’s been using since he was born. Hubby finally took off the changing table, too, so now, all of Dade’s toiletries and other essentials are placed in the cabinet for ease of use.







Here is a pic of Dade’s sleeping area with his favorite plush toy pals.




And here he is in his jammies like an angel fast asleep.




Yeah, big boy indeed. Oh gosh, where did my baby go?