Wednesday, January 31, 2007

1st timer Flower Girl Dec. 2006

This was the wedding of a very good friend of mine & a former colleague from my work before. I can't remember where was the church & clubhouse location where they had the reception...hehe, this was on 2006 pa kasi and i can't even locate the wedding invitation! Hays! Sam was barely 2 years old pa lang here. She really gave me a hard time on this one..haha! She cried almost the entire church ceremony & refused to walk down th isle..arrgh!! Kaya we weren't able to have got a good shot of her. She just want to play with her ate Keisha, the other flower girl and don't even want to be seated along with the rest of the entourage...ayayay! =)

with keisha, the other flower girl

the wedding entourage

my former starbucks colleagues

Click HERE for more photos.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sam's 2nd Birthday Party

Sam really loves Dora & Barney. Since she's a girl, i decided to give her a Dora party instead...and a little bit of Barney on her cake na lang..hehe. Sam celebrated her 2nd birthday on January 28, 2007 with the family...minus her dad (who always missed her actual birthdate) and some of her Ninongs and Ninangs and a few family friends. I decorated the house with dora theme party needs like the ballons, birthday banner, party hats, confettis, paper cups & plates, napkins (all themed dora party needs available at all department store, toy section nationwide) and the dora mylar ballons which i personally bought somewhere in divisoria. I prepared a simple lootbags for the kiddie guests loaded with assorted goods. I also did most of the cookings like the usual home cooked Spaghetti, hotdogs on sticks, pork shanghai, my special menudo, and fruit salad. My in-laws brought bbq & scrumptious lechon. Sam enjoyed her party though a little bit cranky at first. She refuses to take her morning nap that's why she got really irritated na during the party, plus adding some unfamiliar faces pa inside the house..haha! But when it's time for the cake blowing and saw her beautiful cake, the glow in her face instantly appears! Everyone sang her happy birthday & she finally blew her birthday cake. Everyone had a great time. She can't wait to open all her birthday presents!..haha! Happy 2nd birthday my dearly Sam!

her beautiful birthday cake!

Date Archived: January 28, 2007

Click HERE for more of her 2nd birthday pics!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Manila Hotel Sept 2006

The occasion was the birthday of one of Mike's auntie on his mother side. Of course his entire family was invited to attend. The birthday celebrant wanted to meet all her relatives including her grandchildren that's why my mol asked me & Sam to go with them. Without a doubt...hehe, i of course accepted the invitation. Though Mike was not with us, It's really a great opportunity for me to meet the rest of his clan & proudly introduced Sam to them. The party was nice though most of the crowd were oldies, it ended up to a ballroom dancing after...hehe, we did had a great time. BTW, Sam's lolo, Mike's dad is a very good DI (part-time dance instructor). Plus the chance of attending an event at Manila Hotel, it's really a great opportunity.

Sheryl's Wedding

This was Mike's cousin's (mom's side) wedding held last April 3, 2004 @ Paco Church. After a month I just found out that i'm already pregnant with Sam. Look how skinny I am pa...haha! =)

Click HERE to see more of the wedding pics.

Sam's Very First Hair Cut

her first haircut certificate

Sam had her very first hair cut a few months after her 1st birthday. I wanted her first haircut to be fun and memorable and not to become a very traumatic experience for her. Because for me a child’s first haircut is a milestone. That's why we chose Cuts 4 Tots. A children's salon with its colorful interiors, television sets airing cartoons, and a play area full of toys and books, one wouldn’t think that the place is actually a salon.

Cuts 4 Tots, a salon that caters to children up to five years old. Located at the second floor of Glorietta 2 in Makati City, children who visit Cuts 4 Tots will definitely enjoy themselves. The actual salon area will probably attract the children most. Children who have their haircut will be seated in toy car chairs, like those kiddie rides that can be found in amusement centers. Each station has a television set. This way, a child getting a haircut will be glued to a cartoon show or a movie for children as the hairdresser cuts away.

What also makes Cuts 4 Tots stand out from the other salons is its very high quality of personalized service. Like visiting the pediatrician for the first time, the child who visits Cuts 4 Tots for the first time will be required to fill up an information card. Cuts 4 Tots sends out birthday cards to their customers.

For children having their hair cut for the first time, Cuts 4 Tots will take “before” and “after” pictures. These pictures are then pasted on a certificate together with a lock of the child’s hair and presented to the child as a souvenir of his first haircut. haircut costs P250 and they also offer hot oil services for older children. Parents who also wish to have their hair cut while waiting for their children can do so for P200. Regular visitors to Cuts 4 Tots are advised to apply for a membership card so they can avail of discounts.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dora's Sing A-long Musical Show 2006

It was a very fun and exciting experience for Sam watching Dora & Boots live performance @ Glorietta mall last December of 2006. We've planned to watch the first day show and really woke up as early as possible to bring Sam but still we came in late (were from Nova going to Makati...hello traffic?..hehe) & the morning show was over. Good thing there was an afternoon show according to the organizers there so we decided to stay for a while & wait for it. Because I really wanted my Sam to see Dora & Boots' show and enjoy her day. To my surprise the morning crowd doubled in the afternoon & still unfortunate because we didn't get a better seat to watch the show. The free tickets were given out already to the early birds as what the other parents said...oh men!...arrgh! Since most of the people staying in the entertainment hall, we took the chance to find a better view on the second floor. We did but we barely see Dora & Boots in the stage plus the big back draft that blocks the it. I know Sam still recognized Dora because of the voice and the music.

Still a disparate mommy me to give my daughter her most awaited show..hehe I decided to come back the next day for the 2nd day show. I called my in-laws and asked them if we can sleep over at their place because its in manila & just near Glorietta. The next morning, i really woke up early & reminded my sis-in-laws that we need to be in the mall before it opens. We arrived at Glorietta 9am early (mall opens at 10am) and already saw this long line of parents & kids from different corners of the Phils...hehe!.. in front of the main entrance of the mall! So we immediately fall in line and let my sis in-law to take care of Sam for the mean time. Because kawawa naman ang mga kids promise kung isasama sa pila...from the heat & noise and if parang concert talaga ni Bionce..LOL!

The crowd are getting annoyed already because there's no system & no ones in charge outside..but just the guards. Some of the parents are talking bad things na because the line is getting terrible and heavier and dami na ngang sumisingit. Upon the opening of the main entrance, everybody runs to their feet as fast as they can..including me...hehe! to approach the ticket booth of the entertainment hall. I just let my sis-in laws to look over Sam & don't run na. In the ticketing booth, it's another blockbuster line again...waaah! because some people came from the different entrance of the Glorietta mall pala which has 4 entrance gate(G1, G2, G3 & G4). Hays, imbis na mainis ako..i found myself laughing na lang...hhaha! I'm really a Mom because i cant imagine that im doing these things like running & almost make away to other parents just for tha sake of giving my dearly baby girl the benifit of watching her favorite cartoon character live! Not only the mommies, even the Daddies running like crazy to grab that precious ticket for their kids. Other daddies even joked that Dora can't make it...and her wife asked why?...nawawala daw si Map!...hahaha! it's really funny seeing those daddies also mastered the names of their kids fave cartoon characters.

So finally i got the tickets for us in time for the morning show. We did got a better view at least. Bought breakfast because we didn't eat yet and wait the show to start. I really saw the big smile of my Sam when she saw the giant Dora and giant Boots (we know naman how small they are in tv) appeared on the stage and started a wonderful musical entrance. Sam dances and sing with them and clapped her hands almost non-stop..haha! She really enjoys the show and seeing some more of the characters like Swiper the Fox and the Big Red Chicken and the amazing dance steps of the back up's truly a great show! I cant remember how long it lasted. After the show, i know we've got this big chance of having a very nice photoshoot with Dora & Boots. Too bad, the slot for this very precious pictorial were only given out to those earliest birds daw kaya limited lang nakakakuha ng ticket according to the organizers there... which i really didn't agreed!. From the aura of those lucky parents & kids (class A & B families & VIP's of Rustans i think) i just can't imagine that they'll have the eagerness to go to the mall at an earlier time (pardon me, im not against them) and make siksik with other parents & run like crazy. I just think that maybe they were just invited or already called earlier and reserved the seats and slot for the photoshoot....hmmp!..lolz!

Oh well, im already contented that i was able to give the chance of giving Sam one of her most unforgettable, fun & happy childhood experience (that's if she still remembers this until she grows up...haha! she's just turning two during that time). The photos will just reminds her of how crazy her mom was..haha! and this awesome event the she'll surely treasure for the rest of her life.

Click HEREto check out our day adventure with Dora.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Day At The Zoo

We wanted Sam to be familiar with different wild animals, and the first thing that came in our mind was to bring her to Manila Zoo. I still remember visiting this place with my family when i was just little. Few decades had passed, don't ask how many..hehe! and i can see that the zoo really needs a lot of renovation since it's one of the pioneer zoos here in the Philippines. The facilites are really old & thorough maintenance should be done. Even some of the animals should be extra taken care off. Some are already old & others look sick. The smell around the cage of some really stinks, and nakakdismaya talaga. Maybe because the water supply is also limited.

On the brighter side, kids can run & play around because of it's wide outdoor sorrounding area. With all those tall tress and plants, you can really relax and unwined while the kids plays, just stay away from those stinky! The playground looks ok and safe for the kids and they provide ample benches for resting in all corners of the zoo. You can also rent a boat for an amazing round trip to their lagoon. I have so many complaints before when we visit this zoo almost two years from now..hehe! but hopefully they already did some restoration these days kasi syang talaga yung place. Hope the owner or the governement figures this huge problem and provide enough budget for the preservation of this zoo. Oh well, at least Sam enjoyed looking at those animals and really had a great day. =)

Click HERE to see more of our zoo adventure.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My happy life as a stay-at-home mom

I made the decision to quit my job, but now I’ve discovered that being with my baby isn’t quite as easy as I expected. When I was pregnant with Sam, I remember seeing other moms with their kids waiting for their dads. The moms watched happily as the children greeted the men with smiles and hugs. That ritual seemed wonderful to me. We’ve waited long enough for Sam to arrive in our lives and I’m very excited and couldn’t wait to be a stay at home mom to take care of her full time. Little did I know how difficult the transition from working to being at home would be. Aside from giving up my work with a very nice pay, raising alone my daughter without the presence of her daddy or a nanny really exhausted me. I’m living with my brother but only to provide a little helping hand because his job demands him. My parents were living abroad and Mike’s parents’ lives somewhere in Manila which is very far away where we’re staying now.

In retrospect, I realize that my expectations for stay-at-home motherhood were a little too romantic. I didn’t consider that I’d actually miss the structure of a workday, my position and career growth, my personal development, and the company of my partners, co-manage and colleagues. I also didn’t realize how demanding and time consuming taking care of a baby full-time could be. That’s not to say I ever regretted my decision to quit my job. I believe that raising my 15 month old daughter is the most important thing I can be doing right now, and being home with her is definitely the right choice for me. But the transition would have been easier if I had been prepared for the challenges of the succeeding difficult months.

“Help! I’m lonely and bored!” With days dictated by feeding, diapers, and naps, I find that life with an infant can be isolating and monotonous. For a while, it seemed as if I was doing nothing but waving the same toys in my daughter’s face day after day. But my feelings of boredom and loneliness lifted when I found out some fun activities for myself and Sam. I bought her some educational toys for her to explore and some educational DVD’s for us to watch, encouraging her to interact and learn. Constant communication with my husband too thru web chatting also keeps me from feeling frustrated and upset. Sometimes, keeping in touch with some of my friends who has the same situation like me really helps a lot. Talking about our children and discussing parental challenges and achievements seems enjoyable.

“I’m busy, but I don’t get very much done.” I expected to have plenty of time to do some house chores like laundry, go grocery, shopping, make meals, taking care of Yuan & Balbon (our very loyal house dogs) and keep the house in perfect shape. But my daughter needs attention. I’m busy, but I sometimes feel as though I’m not accomplishing much. I thought, we’d always be going to her grandparents, or malling out, or having this great time together. But there are plenty of days when we don’t do anything fun because I’m already too exhausted doing the house chores. This made me realize that raising a child is really a tough job. I made my daughter to be my priority and be slack when it comes to domestic chores. Laundry can wait but Sam can not. I’m home to be a mother, not a maid.

“I miss my paycheck.” I had to give up going out with my friends, having out of town trips, and generously buying things for myself. Luckily, Mike’s parents and siblings provide us with some help by buying some of Sam’s essential gears like stroller, a baby walker & a high chair. My parents on the other side provide her with abundant supply of baby clothing, toys and toiletries. We really appreciate their help because our budget is pretty tight with Mike is the only one working.

“I don’t know who I am.” Turning down my self-image as a working woman can be as tough as giving up a salary. After I quit my job, I discovered how closely my identity was connected to my profession. When I’m with my friends and former co-managers, I felt a little depressed and conscious whenever they talk about job related issues and achievements, hoping that I’m still a part of their world. But then, this is still me choice and I don’t regret this decision. I know I’m giving my child the best possible start in life. I can always go back to work but my daughter will be never young again. As far as I feel self-conscious around working moms, I realize that they might not be comfortable with their decision to leave their babies with nannies and caregivers, and may even envy me.

“I can’t slow down.” My biggest challenge of at-home life now is learning how to relax and ease into a different way of life. I was so accustomed to always being fast and efficient at work, I even have this daily to do list at the start of the day to orderly accomplish my wok on time. It took a while for me not to have a long list of things to get done around the home. After some time, I discover the pleasures of downtime. I’ve learned to enjoy the little things like sitting in the floor playing with Sam, watching Dora & Barney together, carefully keep an eye on her developmental milestones excites and really rewards me a lot. A few years ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be doing that. Indeed, after an initial adjustment, I discovered that being an at-home mom was everything I’d expected it to be, and more. Now I truly appreciate the rhythm of my life, which evolves regular visit to the pedia, monitoring and taking notes of her little milestones, sometimes strolling in the mall, and stroller walks in the afternoon to meet other playmates along neighborhood instead of shopping out with friends, night outs during day offs, going out swimming during summer, conducting store meeting with my team to plan and set store target goals and deadlines, attending district meetings and seminars to meet company’s objective. I’ve learned to savor every moment of this precious time in my daughter’s life. ;)