Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today I turn 32

Yep, it's my birthday today and the day would have passed by like any ordinary day if not for the many, many birthday greetings I received on Facebook and thru text messages. Thank you everybody for making my day extra special with your well wishes.

I spent the day at the mall with my parents and Johan. Hubby would have come if only his boss approved of his leave but didn't so he had to go to work instead.

I have a birthday post saved in my drafts folder but I haven't found the time to finish it yet so that'll have to wait until tomorrow because I am so tired. Running after a toddler is no joke but I am not complaining... yet. =)

Birthday girl and the active little boy

Johan with his proud Loly and Papa Lolo

The active almost 16-month old Johan
Spending my birthday with my son and my parents just about completes it. It would've been better if hubby and my siblings are here but then we'll be having a small get together on Saturday for hubby and mine's joint birthday celebrations so it's really okay.

It's still a very happy birthday to me. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm Owning It

I've been reading the book The Secret and I am living everything I am learning from the book. It is basically about keeping a positive outlook, banishing all negative thoughts, attracting positive energy and living a life as if you own everything you ever wanted.

You may call it coincidence or whatever but I attest that it works. After I applied for a new job, I was told that they will just call me if I passed. I am confident that I did great in the final interview and I called out to the universe that the HR people will call me on Tuesday around lunchtime. Tuesday morning, I kept on thinking of receiving that most awaited phone call. I acted like I am already hired. Hubby kept on looking at me as if I'm crazy but I kept doing it and around lunchtime, I received a text message:

I immediately showed it to hubby and gave him a look which says, "I told you so." Hehe.

Anyway, now that I am a true believer of The Secret. I am applying it in all aspects of our life. Like for example, my goals for myself and our family. I know, it's kinda materialistic but these are all for the long run, believe me. You may find it weird that I inserted our pictures but what the heck, I am owning it.

Finally our own car will be ours just in time for Johan's 2nd birthday

I will be 100,000 pesos richer before Christmas

How about you, what are you owning?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Conti's Cream Puff and Serenitea Wintermelon MT

I've been craving for cream puff for days. I wasn't able to find a single store offering these from where we are living so when I was scheduled to go to Alabang today for my pre-employment medical exam, I quickly went online to search on where I can buy some in Alabang Town Center. I didn't know there was a Conti's branch at ATC already and it was a surprise when I found out they have cream puffs. Yay!

A box of 15 mini cream puff costs PhP 120
Bite-sized puffs
The custard cream filling is really good

I already ate 5 pieces when I stopped myself and decided to bring the rest home. Wrong move. The cream puffs only taste good and fresh after purchase. I should have finished the entire box right after I left the store. The remaining cream puffs which I took home tasted dry and paper-y although the custard filling remained creamy which was surprising.

Anyway, since I was already at ATC, I decided to try Serenitea's Wintermelon Milk Tea which Mommy Fleur kept raving about. She's indeed correct! The Wintermelon MT is so good, I was able to finish a large order. I will definitely frequent Serenitea when I start working in Alabang next week.

Large Wintermelon Milk Tea +  Standard Sweetness + Pudding Sinker, Php 105

I can't wait to let hubby taste this, he's also a milk tea fan. It reminds me of the early days of our relationship. Right after school or if we're just hanging out at my dorm, we'll go to this place in Mayon Avenue serving very good tasting milk tea, Easy Way. Makes me wonder, are there still Easy Way branches around?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Heart Kristel's MAC Giveaway

Kristel is having a fab giveaway on her blog and the winner will receive all of Kristel's MAC favorites:

Head on over to her blog to join. Giveaway ends on Valentine's Day and the winner to be announced the day after.

25 Rules of Mothers with Sons

I just have to re-post this article I read from the blog Team Studer. I am now teary-eyed knowing that I only have one more week to spend with my son before I start working full time again. How I wish life isn't that hard and money does grow on trees so moms (even dads) like us won't have to work and just stay at home to spend all our time with the kids.

Here's the article with some photos of me and Johan:

1. Teach him the words for how he feelsYour son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment.  He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement.  Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion.  Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

Mommy mimicking Johan's cries

2. Be a cheerleader for his life. There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games.  There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics.  There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts.  There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade.  He will tell you to stop.  He will say he's embarrassed.  But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

Come on, Johan, say hi!

3. Teach him how to do laundry..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt.  He may not always choose to do it.  He may not ever have to do it.  But someday his wife will thank you.

I told him to fold his clothes.

4. Read to him and read with himEmilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents."  Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books.  Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles.  Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important.  And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

Reading time!

5. Encourage him to danceDance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals.  No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three.  It doesn't have to be good.  Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Convection Cooking

I know! I am a late bloomer to the wonderful world of convection cooking, well even to the simple world of cooking that is. I said it before and I'm saying it again, I am no wonder kid in the kitchen. I used to hate cooking because my taste buds always play tricks on me whenever I had to measure an ounce of this and an ounce of that - the combination always ends up tasting different - even after following the recipe word for word.

Now, everything changed. I am now interested in learning to cook. My motivation? My son. He's growing fast and soon he would need more nutrients in his system. I have to start being creative in the kitchen and learn to whip up fast but nutritious meals for our small family.

I know, it's not how one is supposed to start learning how to cook but, at least, I'm making progress. I am now in love with our Convection Oven. Hubby and I bought it after Christmas because I had this very splendid idea of serving moist, tasty whole chicken for New Year's Eve. And I must say, it was a success.

Sorry for the lack of presentation, we were in a hurry to devour it but it is super yummy
and all it took were some lemongrass, garlic, salt and pepper and li'l bit of oil

I've cooked four whole chickens from the time we bought the oven and I cooked Lechon Kawali in it thrice. I am so amazed at how good everything tasted, it's like I can cook anything in it.

Soon to follow will be cupcakes. I found a great site wherein there are tutorials and recipes on how to bake using a convection oven. I just need to buy my baking tools and ingredients first.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Introducing Oral Hygiene

It's been weeks since we've been battling each other whenever toothbrush time comes up. I've been brushing Johan's six teeth since September but I was using a silicone finger toothbrush at first. It was not a big deal then, I can easily brush his teeth and finish in no time. But these past few weeks, he's been pretty stubborn and won't let me brush his teeth.

I changed toothbrushes when I noticed that he became interested when he saw me brushing my teeth and I thought maybe he's ready to have his own toothbrush. So hubby and I bought him an Oral-B Stage 1 brush. I didn't buy a toothpaste yet because I haven't researched on what's suitable for Johan's age.

At first, Johan is very cooperative but will eventually put up a fight against me and the toothbrush. I then bought him a tube of Sans Fluo toothpaste and was successful, initially. He love the strawberry flavor but as expected with most babies even toddlers, Johan usually just sips the toothpaste from his brush and again, won't allow me to brush his teeth.

It has always been like this for the past weeks which leaves me stressed out and Johan overly distressed. I don't want toothbrush time to be like this for him because I'm afraid he'll end up fearing the habit. I even downloaded tooth brushing videos and make Johan watch these before bath time so he'll warm up to the idea, but no, he just won't budge.

Now, I'm thinking of getting him one of those electric toothbrushes because I heard that it's easier to use and it cleans the teeth better than a normal toothbrush. I sure hope so.

Any ideas, Mommies?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting an NBI Clearance and Applying for the New SSS Digitized ID

Since I'm going to start a new job by February, I need to update my IDs and complete the pre-employment requirements given to me by the company. My NBI Clearance expired last year so I need to get a new one and my SSS ID still bears my maiden name and although it is not required (yet) to get the new digitized ID, I decided to get one just to have my name changed.

I researched online days before on where to get these requirements with the possibility of shorter lines and less number of applicants. I hate waiting in line for hours. The closest NBI Clearance Center to me is Alabang and I heard from my brother that for me to be able to get a number, I have to be there as early as 3 am. WTH! I am not going there at three in the morning and just how will I do that? So, I researched more and I was told that the NBI Satellite Office in Tagaytay City has less applicants and that the process will only take a short time.

Short time for me is like one to two hours max. I didn't know it'll be four hours. Well, it's way better than waking up at dawn just to get a number at 3 am, right?

Here's what transpired yesterday when I went to Tagaytay City to acquire an NBI Clearance and SSS Digitized ID:

8:30am - my mom and I arrived at NBI Tagaytay 
If you're commuting from Dasmarinas, Cavite like we did, you only have to ride a bus or a jeepney with a sign board stating Mendez/Alfonso or NBI. We took the jeepney and the fare is 35 pesos each. When we arrived at NBI, the guard told us that they already reached the maximum number of applicants for their first batch, I was then given a form with a number and was instructed to return at 10am. So as not to waste time, my mom and I decided to go first to SSS and apply for the digitized ID.

(photo source)

8:45am - my mom and I arrived at the SSS office in Olivarez (Tagaytay)
I would have to commend OIC Victorina G. Carlos of SSS Tagaytay Branch for having such respectful and well-trained personnel. From the security guards who assisted everyone in a courteous manner to the lady handing out forms to the cashier and to the man taking the picture - the process was very swift and systematic. I was done in 30 minutes. There is a PhP 300.00 charge to get the new digitized ID though and there was no specific time frame as to when it will arrive. But the very attentive, respectful employees of this SSS branch and the quick processing of my documents make the taxes I paid and will be paying worth it. I wish all SSS branches and government offices, at that, have employees and system such as theirs. Kudos to you, SSS Tagaytay Branch!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Johan at the Wedding

After learning that we were invited to attend my cousin's wedding, I have been bent on finding something for Johan to wear. Events like these are opportunities to look our best and take fabulous photos.

I initially wanted Johan to wear one of those tuxedo shirts - tuxedo designs printed on plain white shirts - but I was unable to find one in the malls and even online. I then found a photo of a boy wearing a plain white polo with red suspenders and a red bow tie. I could not find red suspenders anywhere and I swear I looked everywhere so I made it myself. The project turned out great and I was really planning on making Johan wear it until the day of the wedding when I saw what my cousin gave for Johan to wear and look at how dashing my little man turned out:

Johan's OOTD: Striped polo, dark blue shorts, black vest and gray bow tie courtesy
of his Ninang Leslie and Converse Chucks courtesy of his Ninang Mhy

He truly enjoyed the wide, open space of Paco Park and roamed ran around while Daddy kept a close watch on him.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Princess Weds

If you're a member of the Yahoo Groups, WeddingsatWork or NewlywedsatWork, surely you'd have heard of PrincessWeds - the one handcrafting fabulous accessories for brides and offering other personalized paraphernalia for weddings. Haizel is the pretty lady behind PrincessWeds and yesterday she got married herself.

It was the best wedding we have ever attended. Haizel, who is my cousin btw, married her fiance, Dennis, in a Catholic ceremony in St. Pancratius Chapel in Paco Park on the day that happens to be exactly their sixth year anniversary as a couple and I say the best wedding because there were a lot of happy tears, happy laughter and happy people. You can definitely feel the love of the couple for each other and that love bounced back to every single one of their guests making the entire event one huge success.

We cried when we saw Dennis at the altar shedding tears while waiting for Haizel 
We cried even more when Haizel started walking and we saw her crying as well
"Let's start the beginning of our forever." - Dennis
"You are my sweetest blessing." - Haizel

All the weddings that I have attended were all wonderful but this wedding just tops everything off. Aside from the very in love husband and wife - all the details of the wedding and the reception were elegant, personal and very well thought off. I can say that the bride and groom did a phenomenal job in planning their wedding because everybody's been talking about the flowers, the food, the music and song choices and just about everything about the event. Everybody had a lovely time sharing such a blissful moment with Dennis and Haizel.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Huge Changes are About to Happen

Remember the birthday wishes that I posted here? I have specifically asked for these two consecutive wishes:

  • I wish hubby's income would increase or he finds a job that pays more or I get to work again so we could finally buy our own car. 
  • I wish hubby's income would increase or he finds a job that pays more or I get to work again (hehe!) so we could start building our own "home". 

Guess what? Hopefully we're on our way to finally having our own car or own home because starting February 3, this mom is a SAHM no more.

I waited until today to announce it so as not to jinx it. I had my job offer today and I signed it, the contract will be signed after I completed all the pre-employment requirements.

I know that I've been blogging about how awesome it is to be a stay-at-home mom, it really is, believe me. If only we could live comfortably with hubby's income, I would have stayed a SAHM forever. But, our needs are increasing by the day and there are certain areas that need to be considered - like a family car, a house and most importantly, Johan's education. I realized that if I will be so picky in choosing the right school for Johan then I better start helping out hubby in saving for it as early as now. I heard that preschool in an A-list school down south already costs PhP 90,000.00! WTH! Imagine how much more it will be in 2-3 years when Johan starts school. I'm already scared.

I haven't been thinking about the adjustments we had to make because my mind is full on which of the Pre-employment requirements I should accomplish first. But, here are some of the major things that we had to decide upon SOON:

  • We need to find a yaya but hubby and I had to weigh things first if we could afford one from my income. MIL is living with us but she's already taking care of my SIL's daughter who's also living with us (long story) and I'm sure she'll have a hard time taking care of Johan as well. The SIL's daughter is already a handful and with an active toddler like Johan, MIL won't be able to rest until I came home from work. Kawawa naman.
  • I'm also thinking of bringing Johan to my parents' house in Laguna but we still had to hire a yaya because my parents will have a very difficult time caring for him plus Johan's not used to them yet so there might me crying spells, lots of it.
  • List of to-dos regarding Johan - like the time he should sleep, he should take a bath, what he should eat, what he should not eat, what he's allowed to watch, what he's not allowed to watch, reading time, play time, vitamins to give him, lotion, insect repellent, pajamas when he's walking outside, EOP or English Only Policy when talking to Johan. The list is endless and from an OC mom like me, you wouldn't expect anything less. I'm thisclose to purchasing and installing a CCTV at home so I can monitor all of Johan's movements and his caregiver, whoever that ends up to be.

I'm not even thinking about me and Johan being apart five days a week. I'm sure I will be the one who'll have separation anxiety. For now, I'm just focused on his future and this motivates me to be strong and to work harder. 

Please don't judge me for wanting to work again. I'm not prioritizing work over my son. I've given up work before when he's still inside my tummy and I would do it again if ever he needs me back home. I would give up anything, in a blink of an eye, for my son. 

I'm missing you already, buddy! Mommy's gonna cry now. =(

But for now, I need to work - for Johan's future and for the fulfillment of our dreams.

Pray for me?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Reward

Hubby asked me to do something last night (no, it's not something Rated R) that made me stay up so late. It has something to do with his work and he told me I would be rewarded if I finished everything (and no, the reward isn't Rated R either, heehee).

I think I slept around 12 midnight because I waited for hubby to come back from his break to approve what I've written. True to his words, he arrived home with this:

Just seeing the box inside the fridge when I woke up instantly brightened my morning!

Sorry if there were a few pieces missing, I already ate some when I remembered to take a photo

I've been bugging him almost everyday to bring me home a box of Amber's Pichi-pichi. I used to enjoy eating these when I was still working in Alabang where they also have another branch but I quit my work there then we moved to Manila and moved here in Cavite where it is way beyond Amber's delivery areas.

Lucky me, though, I would soon be able to devour these tasty treats again. You'll find out why tomorrow. For the meantime, I'll listen to Adele's Someone Like You while finishing the rest of the Pichi-pichi. Thanks, dear hubby!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What A Year It's Been

I got this from my cousin Leslie of the blog Got To Believe and like her, I thought this template pretty much sums up how 2011 has been to our family and what I look forward to 2012.

You can also download the template from Thirty Hand Made Days and fill it up yourself.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birthday Wishes

This year, I'm officially out of the calendar because I'll be turning 32 by the end of this month and yes, I truly accept that I am not getting any younger. However, I hope that with each year added to my age, I'd get at least an ounce of wisdom as well.

My birthday wishes for this year are full of meaningful and practical thoughts:
  • Good health for my family and friends.
  • Positivity and peace of mind for myself.
  • Spend more time with friends in person. I've been in touch with my friends mostly thru Facebook and Yahoo Messenger, this year I wish to be able to hang out with them more.
  • More ideas for this blog and I am Super Nanay (I know I'm neglecting that one, sorry)
  • I wish I won't get pregnant, at least not this year. I am not ready yet physically, emotionally and mentally. Hubby's not ready financially. =)
  • At least once every two months out-of-town trip for us three, Hubby, myself and Johan.When I say out-of-town, I simply mean out of the province of Cavite. Like Mall of Asia or Greenbelt or somewhere else. 
  • I wish hubby's income would increase or he finds a job that pays more or I get to work again so we could finally buy our own car. 
  • I wish hubby's income would increase or he finds a job that pays more or I get to work again (hehe!) so we could start building our own "home". 
  • I wish Johan would learn to love brushing his teeth so I would be spared the drama that comes with the habit every morning on bath time.
  • I wish I'd learn to accept that no matter how less I eat, my tummy would remain the same nevertheless. Exercise is the key and I wish I'd stop procrastinating.
  • I wish my hair would stop falling. I'm afraid I'm getting bald sooner that I should be. The falling hair should be from my legs and pits so I won't have to shave/wax every so often.
  • I wish pimples would stop attacking my face. I'm middle-aged, for heaven's sake. I am no teenager in the midst of puberty.

I digged deep for these wishes. I asked myself what I really, really wish for for my birthday and I came up with a pretty good, real-life list. But, for those who would want to give me something tangible, I am not saying no, so these are some "material" things that would make me super happy:

For the techie me (left to right): A 16GB Flash Drive (source), A 16GB Micro SD Card for my Blackberry so I won't run out of space to save all of Johan's videos (source) and An Energizer Energi To Go XP1000 Portable Charger for my Blackberry and Digital Camera. (source)

For the Mommy me (left to right): A Mom 24/7 2012 Planner by Mommy Mundo. This only costs PhP 350 (*wink*wink*), What to Expect the Second Year (source) and A Circle of Love Necklace from Something About Silver with our names engraved - hubby's, mine and Johan's (I know a local online seller who creates pendants like these, leave me a note if you want to know).

For the girly me (left to right): Spanx Slim Cognito Shape Suit - no explanation necessary! (source), One year supply of Ivory Soap because I so love the scent of Ivory (source) and pampering GC's which I badly need.

Fashion CHALET: " GIVEAWAY " Balenciaga Arena Giant City

Would you like to own one?

I definitely would like to have my own Balenciaga!

Balenciaga Arena Giant City Bag, Fashion, Kardashian, Nicole Richie, Barneys New York

Click here to know how you can get a chance to win one Balenciaga Arena Giant City.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Last Tray

I have a sweet tooth. I mean, I can live without eating rice but not a day comes by that you won't see me eating sweets. I even have a secret stash of chocolates which I hide from hubby.

During the holidays, I made my all-time favorite Graham Cake. It's not something that I make very often and when I do, I usually make a huge batch that would last for days. For New Year's Eve, I made three huge trays of cake. The first tray was consumed on Media Noche while the other two trays were left for my consumption. I am just so lucky that the people I live with are not really into sweets.

Now, I am only left with one tray. Yes, I finished the second tray in just 5 days and honestly, I did all the eating. I think I ate a slice of cake three times a day. I know I'm addicted.

Wouldn't you be addicted?
I really, really need to cut down on my calories starting today. After all the over-eating I did over the holidays, I am pretty sure I will be ranting about my flabs and my weight in the next few days.

Friday, January 6, 2012

His First Pair of Matchboxes

Even if I am a girl, I get excited when it comes to collecting cars, toy cars that is. That's why when my youngest brother started his collection of Tomy cars, I even helped my mom in choosing the models to add to his collection.

Now that I am a mom to a very-active 15 month old, I know that I wanted him to have his own toy car collection. Even if I know he's much too young to play with small cars, I gave in and bought his very first pair.

I don't have any pictures of Johan holding his new toys yet because he keeps on putting these cars in his mouth. I only allow him to play with his cars under very, very close supervision from me.

There will be more to come, baby. I promise.

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