Friday, January 27, 2012

Getting Ready

I have this list of baby items that I created based on what i've read and researched on.  It is based mainly from my culture as a Filipino, and at the same time, infused with modern ideas that I got from American and English cultures of raising a baby. The list I have has been passed on to friends and family, and even my pedia friend who's a first time Mom asked for a copy of it for reference. So yeah, I'm kinda proud of how that list was able to help other Moms-to-be.  It pays to be OC, you know! haha!

I was checking it out last night before hitting the sack when it dawned on me how little we actually need now for our second baby.  Thankfully, we didn't scrimp on buying baby stuff for our first born. It didn't matter that some of the stuff we purchased were a bit expensive than the other generic brands.  Because they're sturdy, we'll be able to stretch their use. That's a brilliant return of our investments, don't you think?

Anyway, I've divided the list into 10 sections:
- for sleeping
- for feeding
- for diapering
- for swaddling
- for bathing
- health, safety and grooming
- clothing
- for traveling
- accessories & footwear
- toys and other nice-to-haves

So far, we have almost everything we need. just a few more clothing of course since our stock are mostly for boys and there are very few neutral colored items that we could pass on to Baby L.

The other day, we were able to score this beautifully crafted crib swing from Mothercare which was on sale.

crib swing fit for a princess

Original price was AED 425 (USD 115) but we got it for only AED 190 (USD 51.65). Hubby's preference is the glider version but it wasn't on sale and they don't have stock of the white one.  I was pretty pleased with the purchase but was doubly stoked to find out that the mattress was being sold for only AED 50 (USD 14) and crib bale was on offer for only AED 50 (USD 14) from its original price of AED 150 (USD 40).  I really wanted to get this crib because I intend to have the baby sleep in our room during night time, and having a portable one that's within reach will make it a lot easier for me, especially as I intend to nurse again for as long as I can.

a cheery crib bale

Meanwhile, last Thursday was victorious for us as we were able to snag a rocker which was on sale at Babyshop. The last time they had a promotion about a month and a half ago, the rocker wasn't included so we were very delighted to see that during this DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival), their part sale covered this piece of furniture every Mom would love to have. We budgeted AED 650 (USD 176) for the rocker but got it for only AED 450 (USD 123) with free delivery.

As for the back-up breastpump, we decided to let it go for the time being since there was no mark down for the item.  Another sale is due around May (right before summer) so we'll just buy it then.  I have my trusty Medela Pump in Style Advance anyway so I'm all good.  Just need to replace a few parts and I can pump away again in no time.

I had a few hard-to-find-in-Dubai-items ordered from the US and shipped to my friend who will be going home for a vacation there next month.  Some of the items were:

boppy cover in a sweet apple & pear pattern



A boppy pillow cover that's suitable for a little girl.  We have limited options here from Babies R Us.

cute bunny cushy straps

Cushy straps from Kiddopotamus.  Sadly, they only sell the beige ones in our local Babies R Us and they cost a lot.

first choice for Baby L's shampoo & bodywash
lotion to lock that moisture in on our baby's skin 

sunblock for future swimming sprees



California Baby organic shampoo & bodywash, lotion, and sun block.  I checked the Cosmetics Database.org and found out that among the baby products available in the market, this is one of the brands that have the lowest hazard in terms of toxicity. Thankfully, Aveeno, the brand we're using for Dade comes very close, but I want another option that I can use for the wee one.

best. diaper. rash. cream, ever.



A tube of Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Paste that is the best one in the market -- hands down.  Unfortunately, it's not available here so I have to get it from the US, too.  We have a tube that we're currently using for Dade for when he gets all these nappy rashes but I just wanna stock up just to be on the safe side.

Meanwhile, I am taking advantage of my discounted lifetime membership in Aramex's Shop & Ship and ordered these items through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk since they are out of stock here. When I calculated and compared the prices, I realized ordering them online is way cheaper even with the shipping costs.

oh, so soft car seat cover!

Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix Summer Cover made of terry cloth is crucial in this part of the world.  I regretted not buying one for Dade despite hubby's prodding. Any parent would understand how uncomfortable the car seat cover is for babies.

super adorable travel case

I bought this Dwell Studio travel case out of whim.  I know, I know, I really don't need it but it's just too darn cute and my low EQ'd self couldn't resist! :P

By next month, I have to decide on a diaper bag so it'll arrive just before I pop.  I am not leaving anything to the last minute because with the upcoming move,  I know I'll definitely be very busy then and risk forgetting something.  Well, let's just hope I won't, cross fingers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baby # 2's Progress

It's about time i write more stuff about our little girl, Baby L.  I've been so wrapped up with all the daily juggling act I do that I tend to set aside the urge to write more about her. Anyway, she's due this coming May and we're all so thrilled!  Can you believe it, in about 3 more months, Dade’s gonna be a big brother?!!  Exciting times ahead!

During my last check-up at 24 weeks, doc gave me this beautiful 3D photo of our little jellybean.  Oh, she looks so precious, don’t you agree?  I really think she looks a lot like her big brother.   Just look at that button nose, haha!

pretty snapshot of Baby L

Baby L kicks and squirms a lot frequently now, and sometimes, I feel that she nudges my sides with her elbows, too. I get startled most of the time especially when I am sitting in a meeting.   No matter how much you anticipate these movements, you will still be caught off-guard at some point. Meanwhile, queasiness has finally left me alone so I can happily eat and not worry about hugging the toilet anymore. I feel great and energized these days. Thankfully, I passed my Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which I did the day after we arrived from our holiday in Manila. Imagine the jetlag and weariness I felt that morning…whew! So yes, since my sugar is A-ok, you can pass me that bowl of white rice and bottle of sweetened pasteurized orange juice. Whoopee!!

Now that we are back in Dubai, we’ve taken advantage of the mall-wide sale and mark downs of baby stores here. Carter’s is on top of our list.  We, I meant I, almost went overboard buying all the lovely pink and yellow and orange clothing I could get my grubby hands on. So far, we’re covered until the 6th month. I also bought ample newborn-sized clothing because I know how frequently they change clothes and I don’t want to make the same mistake of bringing “just enough” clothes in the hospital because in reality, “just enough” is never enough!

these clothes are just a few of what i recently purchased for the little gal :)

We will also be making a visit to Mothercare to check out their sale items, although I have to admit I’m more partial to Carter’s because they’re true to size. Mothercare, just like Marks and Spencer, have large sizes that don’t fit Pinoy babies’ shape and form. Babyshop is also on sale and we’re looking at getting a back-up breastpump that i can use.  I’m eyeing this BPA-free Avent iSis Uno, which I hope they’re selling at a discounted price.



Hubby also promised that this time, I’d have my own rocker to use when nursing the little one. It’ll also work great during my last few weeks of infanticipation when sleeping becomes more uncomfortable for me. Crossing my fingers that Babyshop still has some stock left.

i can already picture me & Baby L bonding in this comfy rocker

Here’s a photo of me of a not-so-little me at 25 weeks.  I know, I know…I look like a knocked up teacher here with my top and spectacles! Haha!

office toilet selfie

And yeah, for those who are wondering, we've chosen a name already.  Hubby got to pick the first and third names, while I picked out the second name and nickname :)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Perfect Nappy Bag

After a lot of soul, er, online searching, I found the perfect diaper bag for our little princess.



I so love this Gramercy Park Kate Spade Stevie diaper bag!!!  Just look at the colors...so fun and girly! Now the question is where will I get it from??  They're out of stock from katespade.com plus they're nowhere to be found on eBay. Sad :(

My next option is this Noel Kate Spade Stevie bag so that I can use it even after Baby L has grown older.  This is sort of my Plan B bag, in case I don't get my hands on that colorful Gramercy Park bag.



Of course, there's a third option -- the Chestnut Ridge Bag.  It's currently on sale at katespade.com.  I love the texture of the bag -- so chic!



Waaahhh!!  I'm confused!!

By the way, here are the specs of the bag for those who are curious about the dimensions, material and what it comes with:
  • over the shoulder with zip top closure
  • 14-karat light gold plated hardware
  • comes with changing pad, coin purse (only for the Chestnut Ridge Bag) and stroller straps
  • wipable lining
  • ksny blind embossed signature on resin license plate
  • 6.75'' drop length for Chestnut Ridge Bag and 9.0" for Stevie Bag
  • size: 11.7''h x 14.0''w x 5.1''d for Chestnut Ridge Bag / 11"h x 18.0"w x 8"d for the Stevie Nappy Bag

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Welcome Freebie

One of the things I love about living here in the Dubai is the shopping experience. You literally get the value for your money. Discounts are massive and the stores usually give further mark down to the prices nearer the end of their scheduled sale. Plus the items put on sale are almost always in good shape. That’s why it is quite easy for people here to fall into the trap of succumbing to debts because of all these tempting offers.

I have 2 working credit cards here, one of which is an emergency card that we got for free. The account is just there, sitting nicely with a substantial credit limit but zero balance all because we did not activate it…haha!  The other card I’m carrying is my first credit card here in the UAE which I have been using for most of my purchases. Earlier last year, I have requested to have its credit limit reduced to the minimum amount they would allow, which is just enough for me to purchase our family’s air tickets when going home. I had several other reasons why I requested for that but they deserve a separate blog entry.

As my card is tied to a point-generating card called Airmiles, I get to receive points every time I use it. In addition, I get to incur double points to certain stores that have partnership with Airmiles.  So if I use my credit card, let’s say at Chili’s to pay for our food bill, I get points by using my credit card plus I get another round of points if I present my Airmiles. Great, isn’t it?

my valuable card ;-)

Now here’s the best part – the redemption of points. I know people might think of me as tacky but I do use my points to get presents for family and friends. Well, I'm practical like that, haha! For instance, back in 2006, I got my best bud a hairdryer as birthday present because that’s what she wanted. So far, the Philips hairdryer is still working great and is now a staple to her everyday life. Then in 2009, I redeemed Ryan’s Kitchenaid Artisan mixer, which Airmiles gladly delivered to my office within 3 days after I've placed my order. I was heavy with Dade then and couldn’t afford to spend so much on a birthday present so I checked on my points to see if there’s any item I could snag from their catalogue. Ryan was pretty happy with his gift and was over the moon to see his dream mixer come true.  Now recently, I was put in the same scenario of finding an anniversary gift for the husband. Since my Dad gave my husband a spankin’ Beats Pro over-ear headphone, I was pressured to get him a proper iPod since our iPod Nanos are pretty old and were either given as presents or handed over as a prize at work. New Beats and old iPod Nano just don’t seem right.

wicked ear phones

But then, I have no budget for a new gadget. We just returned from our holidays and are recuperating from all the expenses. We are also saving up for our upcoming move to a new apartment plus preparing ourselves for the costs of hiring a nanny the proper, legal way. On top of that, we are looking into the prospect of selling our current car to get a bigger one in time for the arrival of the new baby. So you see, I literally don’t have the means to buy a new iPod. That is until I had a lightbulb moment.

I was cleaning up my office drawer yesterday when I saw an old statement of my Airmiles card. Curiosity hit me so I checked online how much my points are. I was so happy to learn that I have more than enough points to get me some vouchers from Arabian Centre which has a Sharaf DG 4U store. Realizing that I could get the iPod Touch from there, I immediately dragged the husband last night after work to get some vouchers. Silly goose me gave a lousy excuse that I won some vouchers so we need to drive there straight away. And because it was too cold last night, he and Dade decided to stay in the car while I made my way to the Customer Service section of the mall.

I almost jumped up and down when I was told by the sales person in Sharaf DG 4U that they have stock of the 32GB in white!  I quickly claimed my vouchers, came back to the store and took home hubby’s present.  I even got a free AED 50 voucher plus several discount coupons in Forever 21 and Sanrio stores.  I was also asked by the lovely lady from the Customer Service kiosk to go back to her after I've made my purchase so I can present my receipt and add more points to my Airmiles card.  On top of that, I got 6 raffle coupons for a chance to win some shopping money.  How cool is that?

free new gadget -- hooray!!

As soon as we got home, I gave the new toy to my husband who happily tinkered with it.  He said he knew I was up to something but couldn’t point a finger at it.  He is an unassuming person anyway so I knew I'd be able to pull it off without giving the surprise away :)

Here he is checking out his new gadget while Dade was watching Curious George in his iPad. Such techie boys!

Apple fans

So yeah, when i’m desperate, I always check on my Airmiles points.  They do come in quite handy :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Library In The Making

My son has a love affair with books.  Sometimes we would catch him going through the pages and pretending to read out loud :)  And we are so grateful he does like 'em because we've always believed in the power of books to stimulate imagination and creativity.

So during our holiday in Manila, imagine our delight when our little big boss received all these books as Christmas presents:

our little one's treasures

In as much as we appreciate all the toys and clothes our boy wonder received, we are ever grateful to all our thoughtful friends and family who gifted our son with these readings.  It didn't matter that we almost exceeded our baggage allowance (boy, these books are real heavy!).  We had to bring them back to Dubai and that is exactly what we did :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dade's Big Boy Room

We're scouting for a new apartment because we plan on moving to a bigger unit in time for the new baby.  And before we finally leave this pad we called "home" for almost 3 years, allow me to share with you what we've done to Dade's room when we did a little make-over a few months ago.

Dade's newborn photos & nickname 

These round wooden thingies welcome you as soon as you enter the room.  Got them from Invitation House in Manila during one of our holidays. The photos and frame were from Ninang B.

our little one's bedroom/playroom

Dade's room at a glance. The room looked so small because of his toys (and that's just half of what he has!)


pull-out white framed bed

This is our wee one's bed.  He used to have a palochina bed frame but we changed it to this white bed frame with pull-out bed.  We badly wanted those from Pottery Barn Kids but couldn't afford their staggering prices so when we saw this day bed frame on sale at Home Centre, we bought it without even thinking twice. It just looks so elegant and Hampton-ish...haha!


books, toys &  knick-knacks station

We wanted all the furniture to be white to match the built-in wardrobes of the room. if we could only afford to spend a day to paint the walls, we would, but obviously we can't.  So yeah, everything looked sterile thanks to the lack of color.  The discounted Pottery Barn Kids curtains, thankfully, made the room look a bit brighter.

collection of bears & family photo

The bears were from Dade's very own Christening party.  The picture frame, meanwhile, was a complimentary gift from Pink Pepper Photography.  It is by far our favorite family picture :)



the ex-command center

This used to be called "the command center", a cabinet which we love so dearly because it can be converted to a changing table, which made our lives sooo much easier when Dade was still an infant.  No back-breaking experiences so I say it was worth the investment.  Here's how it looks like with the changing table installed: Hensvik Changing Table.

crib from Ninang B & Ninong K

Remember this crib from my baby shower?  Yep, it's very much intact as it was barely used by Dade. We intend on using this for the next baby so it's got to be disassembled before we move.   For the time being, we're using it as a bin for all of baby #2's shopping loot...hehe! Meanwhile, the wall decals were a gift from a friend. So useful!

side table with storage

Next to the crib is this small side table. Everything on top of it is a gift, except for the lamp shade and the iPod dock.  The iPod nano, a gift from Dade's Ninong a few years ago, is kept in the room to play classical music for the little boy.  I remember he used to sleep in the crib with Vivaldi playing in the background.  The digital frame was a birthday gift from my Pinoy colleagues a few birthdays ago. It has most of Dade's newborn photos.  Meanwhile, the rosary, a present from my HS friend, was the same one we used during our wedding while the candle and cross were gifts from friends.

So there you have it, that's a little tour of Dade's room in our current apartment. By mid of this year, he'll be sharing the room with his little sis and hopefully, the room will be more spacious than this.  More importantly, I hope that new room will have a splash of color compared to this :)