Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dr. Mommy's Newest Gadget

I made a quick trip to Rustan's yesterday and checked out lugging a few maternity needs (as instructed by my OB!) and... a cool gadget!

Before you think I got a new iPad or what-have-you from Mac, well, let me stop you right there and tell you I got this "gadget" for just P1,100++.

Daddies, Mommies, singles, and kiddies, I got an ear scope!!!
This is exactly the ear scope we have. It's from Safety 1st :)

Okay, okay, I can hear the collective crashing of your spirits. Hehehe.

But let me justify it, tutal kilig na kilig naman ako sa purchase kong ito. :)) #nerd

Moms, we all know that getting our kids' ears checked is SOP in every pedia check-up. It's the same in the ER. Methinks this only underscores its importance. I am of the opinion that the health of our child's ears (and even ours) is a matter that should not be taken for granted.

I also speak from experience. Last May, Jaden's doctors suspected an infection in Jaden's right ear. I was paranoid for weeks! How painful is it? What if it worsens? What if he loses his hearing? Grabe, lukaret ang peg. Thankfully, it turned out negative. The "ouchie" Jaden was complaining about in his ear was, the doctors later concluded, simply a symptom of his bad colds and cough.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Jaden would put his finger in his ear and tell me it's itchy. Then he'd ask if I could clean it. I oblige, of course. But then, after several instances of those, I started to wonder--what was causing it? And of course, pumapel nanaman ang paranoia: Baka infection!!!

My only source of relief was that he doesn't say it's "ouchie"--just "itchy". After cleaning his ear with wet cotton buds, he's happy again. (Note: Mommies, please be very, very careful in cleaning the ear and make sure you don't go too far inside. I was told na outer area lang dapat lest we risk damaging the ear drum. Cleaning further inside can also push the earwax back, clogging the ear more. Obviously we don't want that!)

Still, as soon as I spotted that Safety 1st ear scope in the hygiene section of Rustan's Baby, I quickly put it in my basket. For my toddler and my peace of mind, I need this!

I used it on Jaden last night. He was so game to have his ears checked! And, for the first time, I saw my firstborn's ear drum!!! O diba! Milestone ito! Hehe.

The ear scope put my worries to rest. There's absolutely nothing to worry about Jaden's ears! Zero infection! (The ear scope came with a guide to healthy ears and ear infections.) I guess I just have to be religious in cleaning Jaden's ears.

I think this will be a useful tool for me as Mommy. Like I said, let's not take for granted the hygiene and health of our kids' ears! If you have a thermometer already, I encourage you to invest in this "medical" tool as well. I am convinced they go hand-in-hand :).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Living Room Ideas

A few months from now, our family will be moving to our first ever house & lot! Yay! I can't wait because as days go by, our little apartment here in the city is getting tinier and tinier for our growing family.

I'm also so excited dreaming up decorating ideas! The internet is a great, great tool for this! Thank God for technology!

Luckily, Julz and I share the same taste in home design. We're both drawn to modern, clean lines but with a more relaxed feel. I don't like a lot of girly stuff for the home (I've had a blue room since I was 12), so I guess that works a lot for Julz! Imagine kung nag-present ako sakanya ng pink and purple living room! Hehehe.

Anyway, here are some pegs I got from Pinterest (I don't know how to post the photos from Houzz and other sites! Boo!). These are my early favorites. I'm posting it here, so that I won't lose them!
Except for the ombre curtains, I think this is super nice and doable! Our living room will be against a wall of sliding doors too, so super peg na peg ito :)
Clean and bright! No way am I getting white sofas, though! I have a toddler for crying out loud! :D
Now this might be a bit "off" since it's not exactly modern, but I think the rustic vibe of this coffee table can "soften" the lines of a contemporary living room.
Again, clean, bright, and look--another wooden table!
Obviously, I like grays and whites. While I agree that gray can be a dull color, I think it works well with the right accents. I think it's perfect for a living room sofa because it's neutral and, well, not dumihin. It can look modern, classic, or even shabby chic. Diba?

I am appealing to all my friends and readers who know a thing or two about design. Please help me, guys!!! I don't have one creative bone in my body, so I need all the help I can get about making our new house homey, cozy, and ready for beautiful memories!!!

I'm so excited!! Sana matapos na agad ng contractor namin yung bahay :)

To Jaden and the coming baby, this house is for you, mga anak!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hearing the Heartbeat

Hello, everyone!!! Forgive the 4-day hiatus. Work and pregnancy symptoms have me up to my eyes! Will tell you about that later on. For now, we gotta make way for really wonderful news!

I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time!!! :)

It's truly a surreal feeling, knowing that life is growing inside my very own body. Though this is my second pregnancy, the feeling isn't any less beautiful. It's really amazing.

Honestly, I did think that I had it all figured out--I mean, with pregnancy. I thought that because it's not exactly a "new" experience anymore,  I might not be as excited as I was when it is time to see the first ultrasound or hear the first heartbeat or discover the gender... I also thought that I can predict and handle the symptoms like a pro. I breezed through my pregnancy with Jaden, and I expected the same journey with this one.

Well, well, well. I should have known that no two pregnancies are alike.

First, like I said, the excitement and the anticipation is STILL at an all-time high. I love it! I can't wait for the next ultrasound, which (hopefully!) will reveal the baby's gender.

In the same way, I am caught off guard every day by this pregnancy's symptoms (read: morning all-day sickness). I don't remember having it this bad before (or maybe I just forgot about it the moment I saw Jaden!) It's been a woozy, difficult first trimester. I am often chained to the bed because I'm so nauseous, fatigued, and sleepy. Whatever appetite (or cravings) I had in the first few weeks have completely vanished. These days, I eat only for sustenance. How sad!

Sometimes, the physical symptoms get me down emotionally. I feel useless and helpless. I hate it that even though I call in sick and stay home, I still can't maximize my time with Jaden because I'm practically on bed rest! :(

Thank God, Julz is a supportive husband and a great daddy who gladly steps in when Mommy is too weak to put the little man to sleep. (Thanks, Aims!)

So with all this, I now realize that this is a "new" experience still. After all, it's the first time I am going through pregnancy with a little toddler by our side! I tell ya, it's tricky! But that's for another blog post (abangan!).

I'm crossing my fingers that the nausea will soon taper off. And, more importantly, I hope I can get my act together. I really want to eat well, work efficiently, and be a great preggy mom to my two kids! Their heartbeats just inspired me all the more :)

Pregnancy #2, here we go! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My BIG Announcement

Every afternoon, when the clock strikes 2pm or 3pm, the world starts spinning like crazy. Obviously, I get dizzy and nauseous, and it takes all of my willpower not to throw up. Sayang naman yung kinain kong food. Konti na nga lang Hehehe.

I also get exhaused. Like I just ran a marathon or something, even though I did ZERO strenuous activity. And the fatigue is coupled with major sleepiness. Tipong nag-Nyquil ang effect.

By nighttime, I tweet about food. Not gushing about what I had for lunch or dinner earlier in the day. But cravings. Mean cravings. The kind that would drive you nuts if you don't have exactly what you want. In the past couple of months, I have declared my need for sweet yellow mangoes, cheeseburger meal, Twister fries, plump red hotdogs, fresh pineapple, Magnum, mangosteen, siomai, etc.

All day long, I have mood swings. One second, I'm skipping in glee. The next, I'm bawling like a little girl who lost her Barbie. And my tolerance for annoyance is... negative. 

Do these things sound familiar to you? Well, yes, ladies and gentlemen, I AM PREGNANT!!!
Confeermed!!!
We are 12 weeks on the way, and like with the first pregnancy, we are SUPER EXCITED! We had known about our new baby since August 1, but Julz and I decided to make the announcement later on. This is why hindi ako makapag-blog masyado at one point. Hirap na hirap ako talaga i-secret. Hehehe.

But we had reasons for it. One, we wanted Jaden to have everyone's FULL attention on his birthday and parties last August. I didn't want people to fuss around me and the new baby when it was my firstborn's special day! I realize he'll have to deal with sharing attention later on, but not naman on his birthday!

My second reason was... well, honestly, I was anxious about this pregnancy. We (secretly) had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks and 5 days. The baby was indeed inside, but he or she had a slower-than-ideal heart rate.We were assured by the doctor that this happens when the baby is too young. At first, I felt comforted by it. But when I got home, I quickly checked Jaden's first ultrasound report--he was a few days younger than baby #2, but he already had good cardiac activity then. Ayun na. Stress Drilon, live!

Thankfully, with a lot of prayers and an eventual complete surrender to the Author of Life, I was able to convince myself to let go of my worries (not so easy though). The 2 weeks went by and one Tuesday morning, I again found myself in the Ultrasound Department of MakatiMed. There, the viability of pregnancy was confirmed! Healthy mommy and even healthier baby! The heart rate was very strong this time--it was like pinamukha samin ni baby na he or she is stronger than we think! :)

Finally, we thought it best to announce pregnancy #2 when we're over the critical first trimester. I felt it would be nice if we get to enjoy the news as a family lang muna. In Jaden's case, we kept it to ourselves for the whole of ONE day (haha low EQ talaga)...but I was really so happy on that day! So I thought of prolonging our "secret" this time (though family and close friends already know by now).

Julz and I are sooo happy about our new baby! He wants another boy, while I want a girl--though, the gender is really secondary to our prayer for a healthy, normal, and whole baby! Weee! Exciting!!!

You can expect more stories about the newest member of our family soon! I'll make sure to tell you how we found out, how we told Jaden, and how our soon-to-be Kuya is taking it! That'll be fun!

In the meantime, please continue to pray for our dear baby! While we're (almost) over the critical first trimester, we're not exactly out of the woods yet. I mean, it is still a long way! Will keep you posted! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

River of Beauty

I am so pleased to have you meet my very pretty goddaughter, River! 
Look at her smile! And those eyes!
Dear River,

I'm so honored to have been chosen as one of your ninangs. I promise to be a real second parent to you and love you wholeheartedly! I'll be present in your life (not just on your birthdays and Christmases, baka pag dating dun absent ako hahaha joke lang) and I'll be your Cool Ninang Teya!

Of course, if you decide that I'm so cool, I'd make a great mother-in-law, you are always welcome to date Jaden. Hahaha. (Don't tell your Daddy I said that. It's our first secret. Okay?)

You are so blessed to have such a loving family. Your parents are amazing. Your ate Sky is equally a joy. And although I am sure you will never lack love or attention from them, know that I will always be here to shower you with those!

God bless you abundantly, dear River! Like your name, may you always breathe life into everyone and everything in your path.

Love,
Ninang Teya

Monday, September 17, 2012

Formal Dinners on the Grandeur

It has been a cruise tradition to hold formal dinners during sailing. I don't just mean we get to eat fancy food before sleeping, but we actually get to dress up for the affair. It's glitzy. It's glamorous. And it's FUN!

For the cruise we had last summer, we had three formal dinners. One of them is the Captain's Night, where the captain of the ship himself mingles with the guests onboard over champagne or sparkling wine. We were in great luck because our Mediterranean sojourn was actually a re-launching of sorts for our ship, the Grandeur of the Seas, so the Captain and the staff were truly in high spirits talking about the refurbished vessel.

Dinner is always special, whether it's formal night or not. But you know, parang mas masarap kumain pag mala-Star Magic Ball ang peg ng whole affair! :))

Apparently, Kai and Nen are too tall for the waiter who took this photo. Hehe.
Just like prom night. Note to self: bring long gown next time. Hehe.
Captain's Night. This is the Centrum of the ship, where music is played every evening. Guests can just sit and have a drink or two before retiring to their suites. It's prolly like hotel lounges :) See the elegant ladies in the giant chandeliers? They descended from the top--10 storeys more or less. Beautiful sight!
Yehey! May kasama na si papa pag all-boys picture! For 27 years, laging solo shot yun!

Friday, September 14, 2012

On being self-employed

I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance who gushed incessantly at my job as a lawyer in my husband's firm. She enumerated for me all the advantages (flexible hours, nice bosses, career growth without sacrificing family time, etc.) and declared that she would give anything to trade places with me.

Sa isip ko, "Sure ka, teh?"

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. And it's true what my friend said about the many benefits of working in a small firm run by my spouse--the best thing being that I get to go home at 4:30 or 5pm and be with my son before sunset. Occasionally, I also get to bring Jaden to our office too! Now, isn't that a priceless perk of the job?

But--NEWSFLASH--it's not all happy-happy-joy-joy in the office. Like any job, mine comes with its unique hassles and stress inducers.

For instance, people assume our hours are super flexible. Well, that's true--but only to a certain extent. Free time is still a luxury for us. In fact, it is a triple luxury because in our kind of job, if you don't get up and work, you get NO PAY. Wala kaming leaves! Even if we want to give ourselves leave allowances, at the end of the day, kami rin ang mawawalan. The office won't function without us simply because we are the office! We don't have an entire army to pass on our workload while we go frolicking under the sun.

In the same way, the pressure to deliver is ever on our shoulders. Satisfying clients' expectations and demands, bringing in new clients, damage control... up to the tiniest, brainless legwork like photocopying, collating, then serving and filing official documents... all these things are our responsibility. We have no one to pass the buck to. No godfather to run to when we face a blank wall. So if we fail, the entire firm fails. Imagine the pressure.

Another misconception is my work relationship with Julz. Other people think we carry our banter in the office. Not true. Over the past couple of years, we've learned to turn on our "officemates mode" when at work. We try our darndest to be professional, and not let our personal relationship get in the way.

To tell you the truth, this is easier said than done. Heck, others even think this dichotomy is impossible. Some days, I agree with them. Especially when emotions get high either at work or at home, it's really difficult to just snap out of it when you enter your other role.

But most days, I just thank God that He gave me a husband who can be my partner in every sense of the word. It takes a certain kind of couple to make a set-up like this work, and so far, it has been good for me and Julz.

Despite all this, I still think my friend hit it bullseye when she said "Ang sarap ng buhay mo!" Well, what can I say, I do love my life!! I feel I've been blessed beyond what I deserve. But that doesn't mean I roll in money and have my way like I've unlocked a genie.

Yes, my dear, I do have problems. I get very stressed out at work. I pore over budgets.

But I have Julz and Jaden (and another one too!). And I won't have it any other way :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I miss this infant boy





This is my now 2yr-old son Jaden at 2 months old. It was at this age when he started cooing and interacting with us. Smiling and laughing too! Parang gets niya sinasabi namin! Hehe! He has grown in leaps and bounds since, and has mastered saying "No!" :))

It's all good. Part yan ng growing up.

Now if only Julz and I can stand our ground when he puts his cutie face on!


Happy birthday, Nen!

Six days after my sister-from-another-mister's birthday comes my true-blood sister's, Lauren's!!! Once again, let us sing for her!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, happy birthdaaaaaaaay... Happy birthday, Nonen!!!

Yes, she is Nonen or Nen to us. Jaden calls her Nen (parang barkada lang). She lives so far away from us, which makes her the sister that I miss the most. Last summer, we were together for quite a long stretch of time (for our vacation). When we came back to Manila afterwards, she'd visit our tiny apartment to hang out with Jaden. All in all, I think we spent more time together last summer than when I was in law school. Hehehe.

Well, that made me miss her so much more now!!! It's true what they say--you'll never get used to goodbyes. Whenever Nen leaves for the airport to fly to her University, it's always like a fresh feeling of longing. Don't get me wrong; I want her to be there. I know she has big dreams to accomplish, and she has built a really happy and exciting life over in the US as a university student. But, of course, it doesn't mean that it's completely easy for me to let go. I mean, she's my little sister!!! (Well, not so little since she's the tallest among the 4 of us)

This early, I'm already looking forward to Christmas, when she'll be home again to celebrate Jesus' birthday with us! But for now, I'm a bit excited about how her special day will go in the US. Nen is blessed with the sweetest, most thoughtful friends--somehow, they manage to always have a surprise up their sleeves. I wonder what they'll do this year? Hmm.. baka wala. Yun ang surprise. Hehehe. Oh well. I can't wait to see the photos on FB! I hope she blogs about it, too! :)

Dearest Nen,

We all miss you back here, but we know that you are having the time of your life in your school. Go, chase after your dreams, complete your goals, and expand your horizon! We are 100% behind you! In fact, we are about to have our cheerleaders uniforms made so we can rah-rah you to the finish line! :)) We're so proud of you! 

We pray for your good health and happiness!

As well as a fabulous tan that will NOT shock Papa and Mama!

We love you!
Nen & Den in Rome, Italy. Pwede silang mag-ina or magkapatid no?



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rest For the Worrier

It's been rather stressful at work lately. Ang dami lang kailangan gawin at intindihin. It doesn't help that I've been getting headache/nausea spells every afternoon. They double the stress and lessen my productivity. Yikes.

Then last night, I came home to a happy and playful toddler. Of course, I literally forgot all my stress. Then, while playing, he suddenly coughed incessantly and threw up--through his nose! :( Poor Jaden! I know how it feels to have hot, possibly acidic fluid come through the nose--it is PAINFUL. He had runny nose after that incident (for a good 45 minutes) and coughed about 2x more in the next 3 hours. I don't know what to make of it. I'm praying that it's just like a "glitch"--that maybe he just had too much play and got tired. I really don't want him to get sick. Not now when he's just recovered from a minor cold. What worries me is that he was exposed to a pretty bad strain of cough and colds from his playmate over the weekend :( Friends, please help me pray he did not get it! (This may seem odd and paranoid to you, but please understand that I have a 2-year old who was admitted in the hospital twice in the span of one month last summer. I was traumatized. I don't want that episode to happen ever again!)

As he sleeps beside me now (sans aircon), I am at least relieved that I don't hear a runny nose or halak from his lungs, which are my usual signs that he's coming down with something.

But more importantly, I draw strength and assurance from our family prayer this evening. I was able to pour out to God everything that bothers me. He answered me with Matthew 6:25-34, the passage on Do Not Worry. My favorite verse goes, "Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and your your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

Hits bulls-eye, doesn't it?

I have a strong tendency to be a worrier. It comes with being such a planner and a control-freak. I think that is why God gave me a husband who is so optimistic, strong-willed, and bold who can encourage me in times of weakness :) Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Aims!

Another verse that I find so apt and meaningful today is Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest."

Wow, what a promise!

I know a lot of you can relate with me. You may not be stressed at work or your son may not have a cough that's threatening him, but I'm sure there are some of you who are tired and you just want... rest. Maybe that's even why you're reading a blog like this! Well, here's your answer :) Tell God. Unload him your anxieties. He's big and strong enough to carry it for you, and give you rest :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cruise with me, baby!

Don't look now but... it's Mediterranean Monday again! *party poppers* Yes, folks, I am extending this series just because I am still itching to relive our wonderful Mediterranean Cruise!

That, and because I felt that my Venice post was too anti-climactic for my taste ;)

I also think that to complete our travel story, I must tell you about the one thing that weaved it all together for us--and that is boarding our cruise ship, the Grandeur of the Seas.
Cruising is not very common, especially for young Pinoy travelers like us (I AM young, okay?). I think it's because our generation thinks it's too expensive, or that it's only for seniors, or that it's boring. Well, I am here to tell you that none of these is true.

Sure, you have to set aside some moolah for this. (Don't you always do that for EVERY travel adventure anyway?) I am not saying it's cheap; I'm saying it's reasonable. The regular cruise fare for an 11-night Mediterranean Cruise (like the one we took) is about US $2,000.00 for every passenger. It gets cheaper the larger your group is.

Now, before you react violently and tell me I'm out of my senses to say this is reasonable, please consider this: Your US $2,000.00 includes your accommodation for all 11 nights, all your meals (including fine dining every night, unlimited snacks, ice cream, coffee, etc.), entertainment, and your daily sailing from one city to the next. What it doesn't include are your land tours, specialty food on board (Starbucks coffee, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Wagyu dinners), and of course, your shopping expenses. Oh, plus your air fare going to the ports (unless you live in or near ports of call of cruise ships).

Still not convinced? Let's put it this way. Had we decided on visiting the 14 cities purely by land, I am 100% sure we would have spent so much more. Not to mention the MAJOR inconvenience of shuttling all our luggage every so often (more on that later).

I think it is also worth putting on record that food on the ship is OVERFLOWING and FANTASTIC. Sumptuous food is available 24/7. For breakfast and lunch, mouth-watering buffets are set up featuring different cuisines each day. For your afternoon snack, they offer salads, bread, cookies, cakes, sandwiches, burgers, etc. There's also an ice cream maker by the pool deck plus coffee stations too! And for dinner (my favorite meal on board), it's a sit-down formal meal every night carrying only the best viands, side dishes, and desserts! State dinner lang ang peg! And get this: pwede ka pang mag-request! From our 3rd night onwards, Jaden ate his favorite dish for dinner: SINIGANG with white rice! (Alam na niya order-in kay Kuya yun... plus "mamam"!)
Service is another thing, too. Despite the 1,600+ passengers on board, you can expect very personal service from your own room attendant, waiter, and assistant waiter. In fact, Jaden made friends with several crewmembers. The Pinoys, he called "Kuya"... the others, just "friends" or "people". Hehehe :)

Now, are cruises catered to senior citizens or retirees? Certainly NOT! You'll be surprised with the array of fun activities on board for every guest of any age! For my toddler Jaden, they had a play room (and, if you call beforehand, you can even hire a sitter!). There are "classes" or "workshops" (I attended one for jewelry-making!) and games too. They have ping-pong challenges, pool volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, and so on. At night, the bars open and you have a choice among watching a show (stand-up comedies, concerts, mime show, etc) in the theater, or listening to music on the Centrum, or be Dancing Queen in one the nightly themed parties the staff hosts! The are quiz nights and game nights as well.
Kids were treated like VIPs on board :)
At the All-White Dance Party on Deck
Family quiz bee at Schooner's Bar!
Music and dancing! Plus a Beatle Maniacs concert!
With all these activities for your entertainment, you're more likely to get lost and get tired before you've finished joining each of them! Honestly, in my case, since we were out almost everyday and I had a toddler to look after, I had wished for more days at sea (which means the ship doesn't dock at a port but instead just sails all day), so I could lounge around and join the fun onboard activities!

Surely, there is life even if you just stay on the ship. But of course, for me, what makes cruising a real winner is that we get to be in a different city every night (ohhh I, I swear, the world better prepare...for when I'm a billionaire!!!).

Ang sarap mag-travel!!! :)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Chesa

Today is my super-friend Chesa's birthday. Let us all sing!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, happy birthdaaaaaaay... Happy birthday, Chesa!!!

Ayaaan. I don't normally greet all my friends this way (much to their relief), but as you all know, Chesa is one of the few very special girls in my life. Therefore, she deserves my Happy Birthday song. Hehehe.

Most of you know how Chesa and I became friends. I briefly wrote about it here, while she dedicated an entire post for it! O diba? Dun ka talaga na-prove na true friends kami. Hahaha.
Her birthday last year :)
Kidding aside, I always tell Julz that though Chesa and I share only a few years of friendship (so far), I've long felt that we have been good buddies ever since.

And I am just so glad that our partners get along too! So now, Chesa and I have girls-only dates, and also couple dates! Lately, we've also been having them at my in-laws place' for basketball (for the boys, of course), while we chika and (occasionally) cheer. I hope we resume that this month! (Life got in the way since August I think?)

Last weekend, we were with them (again). We watched Potted Potter in the RCBC Theater (hilarious!) and then the Ateneo-La Salle game (One Big Fight!) in our messy house. Ang saya! We shared pizza and pasta and (sinful) chocolate cupcakes! That's the fun thing about Chesa and Gian, walang kaarte-arte. Wherever we find ourselves in, kering-keri! I never felt that I have to apologize for anything. Zero pretensions. Zero sense of entitlement. To think they're both accomplished in their respective careers. Both are lawyers, so I can imagine ang mga tampuhan nila ay tadtad din ng rights, duties, and obligations. Hehehe...joke lang ha. Hindi kami ganon ni Julz! Promise. (Defensive)

It's a real joy to see my friend Chesa so blissfully happy where she is now. Great job, great fiance, great blog, great travel adventures, and even great hair!!! In fairness sa babaeng ito talaga. You should know, however, that what makes all these great things extra extra EXTRA special is that she worked hard and waited some time for all of them. They didn't just land on her lap. From where I stand, all the good that she is enjoying now are fruits of her faith and her hard work.

Which is why I'm truly happy for and proud of her! :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHESA!!! I wish you an extraordinary year and the wedding of your dreams come 2013! Love love love!


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bruhilda

That's what my maternal grandmother called us when we fail to brush our (abundant) hair before going to school. My, that was eons ago.

I've come a long way since then. Or so I'd like to think. You judge: I try to visit the salon regularly to get a hair trim and hair treatments (my latest was from Alex Carbonell and he gave me Keratin Treatment). On a daily basis, I also put some wonder argan oil on my crowning glory because I heard it contributes to making it healthier and thus, shinier. I must confess, however, that I also subject my tresses to almost-daily hair drying (with hot, full-blast hairblower no less) or the even harsher hair iron--but these are both in the name of beauty. So wala akong pag-aalinlangan jan. Hehehe.

Likewise, I have no qualms admitting I take effort in looking presentable each day. I dab a bit of concealer under my eyes and on my flaws, and I put a little BeneTint to have some cheerful color on my face.

I do this religiously for myself (I find it's a mood-upper), for the people I will meet in the day (your physical appearance always makes a big impact--positive or negative!), and for my hubby.

It's not that I always have to win his attraction. Feel na feel ko kaya na crush pa rin ako na asawa after all these years. Hahaha. But I do it nonetheless because I believe that the wife is a reflection of how good a husband a man is.

Isapuso niyo rin yan, wiveys!!! :)

I am sure none of us happy wives would ever want our family and friends to think that our hubbies fall short of loving and honoring us. In my case, I am so blessed that Julz always passes the good hubby test with flying colors. To be very candid, spoiled ako sa asawa ko. He showers me with love, attention, and material gifts way beyond what I deserve. Even when I'm unreasonably cranky, super bait pa rin niya sakin. Well, maybe not SUPER. Pero hindi niya ko pinapatulan. I think that's the secret of our marriage. Hehehe.

Of course, appearance can be superficial. Which is why I will tell you that it should not stop there. Carrying oneself with class and dignity is just as essential if you want other people to respect your husband.

I will not name names, but I'd bet good money that if you just look at our society now, you will see that what I'm saying is true, or at least, has some semblance of truth. When a wife carries herself well, minds her manners, whether in the public eye or not, people tend to elevate their respect to her husband.

Julz deserves that respect from others. The least I can do is help command that for him.

Just an ordinary day for us! JOKE. Shempre formal event 'to! ;)

Edit:
In the news today came my most shining example of a great wife who mirrors her outstanding husband--US First Lady Michelle Obama. Read her exceptional pitch for Barrack here. I guarantee you, it's worth your time! Peg ko siya pag naging Big Name CPA-Lawyer na si Julz very, very soon (like next year)!!!


Monday, September 03, 2012

Jaden's Kidzville Party

The celebration never ends!

After a day-long merry-making last Thursday (his actual birthday), we threw Jaden another birthday party at Kidzville in Podium Mall over the weekend.
© Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Why Kidzville? Well, it was the only party place that really suited what Julz and I wanted for this party. That is, Jaden's got to have fun! 
© Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
One of my nieces celebrated her birthday here a few months back, and it was then that I saw how much Jaden enjoyed the Kidzville play area. It was equipped with colorful slides, bubbles, hundreds of plastic balls, and a cushioned obstacle course! On the other side, there's a little village for little people where kids can play. There's a mini hospital, mini grocery, mini fire station... the works! Parang mini community talaga!
Hindi naman obvious ang fascination niya sa stickers nowadays, noh?
Jaden and his mini-guests had loads of fun here. I know from their sweaty little bodies. Hehe.
Target: Yaya Cathy! Other target with black tongue: Ninang Tine!
With less than 2 weeks before d-day, I dragged Julz to Podium and booked Kidzville on the spot! Wala nang pag-aatubili! I chose the cheapest package (duh, very me!), which luckily covered our requirements...and more! They threw in a party host, party prizes, loot bags, name tags, balloons, invites, and a lot more in their packages. Wee! Hassle-free party planning!
To my surprise, Jaden had no problem mingling with his mini-guests and even joined the games!
Anticipating the next Bring-Me item. © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Semi-ninang Joy-Joy bribing the kids with... PISO! :P © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
On the party day itself, guests came in droves! Given the short notice, we honestly didn't expect a big guest turnout! I guess we underestimated the charm of our little boy! We were so happy and surprised that we filled the function room of Kidzville! Yay!
Ang gaganda at gwapo ng guests ni Jaden! Partida, puyat pa yan! In fairness sa mga eye concealers nila. Hahaha ;) © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Jaden & his Ninang Camille. Behind her back, he just calls her "Camille". Tapos mino-mock pa yung Big Eyes! Hahaha © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Love this photo of Jaden's lolas and titas! © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Star Magic Batch 823! © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Jaden's ever-loving Ninang Chesa and Tito Gian who gave him the biggest gift of all (it has to be said!)! Thank you, guys! :))
Ninong Paps, Tita Pot, and Tita Lulu!
Tita Kai and Tita Nen are missing!!!
Tita Kai, my stick-uh book godmother!
That's Daddy 25 years from now. Hehehe. © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia
Future coaches & cheerleaders of 2nd Generation ECVY Basketball Team Photo by Tita Winnie
 What made us even happier is to see the glee on the kids' faces as they whooped it up in the play area! For a moment, I didn't want to call them back for the program but then, sayang naman yung mga prizes diba? Buti nalang they also enjoyed the games, and the prizes were cute too! I wish I can post close-up pics of the kids, but I haven't really asked permission from their parents and I don't want to offend the sensitivities of anyone here... so.... imagine nyo nalang! Hehehe.
Ayan, nakatalikod lahat ng girlaloos! Photo by Tita Winnie
Mommies vs Daddies Game. Alam nyo na kung sino nanalo jan! Photo by Tita Winnie
Aaand finally, the food! I picked a less traditional menu for the party. By this, I mean walang spaghetti for adults. Hehehe. We had adobo rice, siomai, chicken inasal, steamed fish in soy sauce, BBQ spare ribs, and pancit canton... Hmmm ang alat pala ng menu namin. Parang soy sauce ang theme. Hahaha. Well, at least meron namang mango sago (my favorite) and boxes of cupcakes and cookies from Swell Sweets (big hit)!!! For kids, they had spaghetti and chicken lollipops! Part of our package was also 100 cups of snowcone! :)
It's all about sports! Cake, cupcakes, and sugar cookies all from Swell Sweets!
Thank you, Gel of Swell Sweets, for accommodating my last-minute request!
Happy 2nd birthday, handsome! :) Photo by Tita Kai
Look at that smile :)
 Seeing all our guests that day, Julz and I couldn't help but feel so grateful for the love our family and friends shower Jaden. More than that, we were over the moon seeing Jaden embrace this love and give it right back to the people who matter to us!
Apparently, dinagsa ng chickababes ang party ni Jaden! Photo by Tita Kai
God is truly faithful. He has not only answered our family prayers; He gave us so much more than we can imagine! 
TWO years of HAPPINESS! © Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia




Unless otherwise indicated, photos of Jaden's Kidzville Party 
were shot by Jaime Barlizo of mBrella Multimedia

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