Holy Week Weekend…

It is the Holy Week again. I cannot even remember the last time I went home for the Holy Week. Reason for this is because there are a lot of people (and when I say a lot, I really mean A LOT) travelling back to their provinces to spend time with families, go on vacations and the likes. Just imagine the traffic jams along major highways. A normal 6.5 hours commute from the big metro to Baguio can take as long as 7-8 hours because of traffic jams and long chance passenger queues at the bus stations.

I have decided long ago to spend the holy week in the big metro instead to avoid all that hassle. For the past several years, I have spent my holy week working. Yes, I am a workaholic and I am used to working during holidays. The only holidays I really take advantage of are the Christmas and New Year. I always take a 2-week break at the end of the year. (But I bring home my work laptop with me just in case I need to work on something urgent).

Anyway, this year, it is going to be something different. I am going home tomorrow, Good Friday. And the only reason is to spend time with my little Z (since he is currently in Baguio with my Mom). Had I had the choice, he’d have spent the holy week here with me (since the big metro will be a little bit quieter compared to normal days :) ). However, since I still don’t have a nanny and my sister went on a 4-day hike with my brother, I have no choice but to leave my little angel at home. I just hope that there will no longer be long queues at the bus station by tomorrow. I can’t wait to spend another weekend with my growing little boy. :) <3

Thank you for coming :-)

Since I have already posted my suppliers review (and basically covered the whole event in that post), I’m writing this post to acknowledge and thank everyone who made little Z’s event a memorable one.

Given that the date selected is just prior to the holy week (and we all know that people have already scheduled their holy week for family outings and the likes), there were quite a few people who didn’t make it to the event. Nonetheless, I would like to thank them especially to my friends who offered to become godparents to my little warrior even before I started planning for the dedication.

And since on the day itself it rained, a few more who confirmed didn’t make it, too. I think the rain was unexpected because earlier in the morning, the sun was shining real bright (but I didn’t notice the clouds so I wouldn’t really know. LOL)

So, to those who attended – my family, cousins, aunts, uncles, and close friends, thank you for coming and making my little Z’s dedication day something to remember. :)

Dedication service

Dedication service with Auntie Emma and Uncle John

Representatives of the godparents: Ninong Andrew, Ninong Edward and Ninang Tess

Representatives of the godparents: Ninong Andrew, Ninong Edward and Ninang Tess

with the Fianzas

with the Fianzas

with tita Ruth and Zach and Lola Benita

with tita Ruth and Zach and Lola Benita

with tito Mark, Amber, Zach and Lola Baak

with tito Mark, Amber, Zach and Lola Baak

with Ate Cyn, Aiya and Caye

with tita Cyn, tita Aiya and ate Caye

with the lolas (aka Aunties): Auntie Emma, Auntie Fe (sorry I don't know the name of the other one)

with the lolas (aka Aunties): Auntie Emma, Auntie Fe (sorry I don’t know the name of the other one)

with tita Phoebe, Fran and Ninong Edward

with tita Phoebe, ate Fran and Ninong Edward

with my bro Jax and the girls, Bianca and Maxine.. we're missing Seth :D

with Ninang Jax and the girls, Bianca and Maxine.. we’re missing Seth :D

friends from high school: Resie, Tess and Leah with her hubby Mark

friends from high school: Resie, Tess and Leah with her hubby Mark

And of course, I wouldn’t miss posting our latest family photo:

with my family <3

with my family <3

Unfortunately, I never had the chance to have a photo taken with the little warrior while awake. So here’s the best photo we had of the event:

with the love of my life :)

with the love of my life :)

Letters to my baby #37: Dedicated…

Dear Baby Love,

It was your baby dedication yesterday and it was a memorable one for me that’s for sure. :)

I am no religious person, sweetheart, nor am I a regular church-goer but if there is one thing that I do everyday, it is to thank the Lord for giving me you.

I have decided to have you dedicated as a way of giving thanks for your life and at the same time, to give thanks for entrusting your precious life to me. As I’ve said before, baby, I am not perfect and I don’t know what I’ve done to really deserve you but nonetheless, I am grateful that you are my son. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

From here on out, sweetheart, I will do my best to raise you into the person God has planned. This is the reason why I chose the Jeremiah verses for your save the date video.

As I’ve said, sweetheart, I am not a religious person but this is the promise of God that I claim for your life:

jer1_5

People may see your arrival as an accident but the Lord says otherwise. As mentioned in the verse, He already knew you and who you would be even before I got pregnant with you. People may see your difference as part of the consequences of my past mistakes, but again, Baby Love, the Lord says otherwise. He made you special and has set you apart because you will become a leader that will lead His army in the future.

jer29 11

For the first four months of your life, you have gone through a lot of struggles and discomforts and trials. For such a young age, I would say that it was unfair for you to go through that. However, I may not really understand the reason for you going through all those trials, sweetheart, but I do believe that you are being prepared for something big. And when I say big, sweetheart, it is indeed BIG! Yes, I do believe in the promise of God that he has plans to prosper you, to give you hope, to give you a future. He has it all planned out, sweetheart.

These are the two verses that really stood out when I was trying to think of a Bible verse to use for your save the date video. At first, I was just looking for a verse to fit the occasion but when I tried to remember the verse and read it again and again while trying to do the video layout, somehow, it made all sense. It was not just verses for my use. Those were the verses that I first remembered because they are the promises that I need to claim for your life.

And I claim those promises for you, sweet heart. Just as your name implies: you are a gift from God who is a brave, divine leader. And those verses coincides with the definition of your name.

And so, sweetheart, I dedicated you for the following reasons:

- To give thanks to the Lord for entrusting your life to me.

- To claim the promises that the Lord has for you.

-To give you somewhere to start in your walk with God.

 

With all that said, sweetheart, I will do my best to be the Mom worthy enough to raise a leader like you. I may not be the perfect Mom to raise you, but I know that somewhere along the way, the Lord will also guide me in the right direction so I can also guide you as you go on with your journey.

I love you so much, my little warrior. I am so grateful that you are mine. :)

 

Love, Mum

 

Events Planning: Suppliers Review

Here’s a review of the suppliers I’ve had for little Z’s baby dedication:

Venue: Kalapaw – Taste of Laoag

I had booked Kalapaw – Taste of Laoag as my venue. It was suggested by a relative when I was still searching for a venue. I chose this one because it offered the cheapest package compared to all the other caterers and venues I have checked. I didn’t really have the time for food tasting prior to the event so I just crossed my fingers and prayed real hard that the food will be at least good.

I was not disappointed. :)

I ordered one of their packages and initially had it quoted at 75 pax. Given that there were quite a few guests who wouldn’t be able to make it, I had the total head count cut down to 65 pax. Here is the original menu of the package I chose:

original package

Fiesta II package

Since I have kids included in the guest list, I opted to change two of the food choices to something more suitable for the younger ones. I changed Chicken Inasal to Chicken Lollipop and Palabok to Spaghetti.

Lunch is served...

Lunch is served…

Desserts/Pastries and the Likes: Jovy’s Kitchen

I checked for cupcake suppliers and tried to get quotes but it was not so easy to get them due to the lag in responses on both ends. I was able to get responses from three suppliers (one was where I got the cupcakes for my parents’ renewal of vows a few years ago and the other one was a cousin’s supplier for cupcakes during my nephew’s dedication last December). But since I was thinking that I might be short on the budget (paranoia effect, I guess), I asked  my cousin if she could sponsor the cupcakes. :) She said yes. In the end, in lieu of cupcakes, she asked if she can change it to smores. And I thought, hmmm, why not? At least it would be something different.

She ordered it from Jovy’s Kitchen. I think the owner is the wife of one of her former work colleague.

Apart from smores, she also ordered Apple Turon (I was not able to take a photo, though) but I was not able to taste it, too. :( But from what I heard, it tasted good as well.

smores :)

smores :)

The smores were good. Though I think it would be a lot better if the marshmallow inside had been melted (not sure how they would do that though). This was the same thought my brother mentioned.

Tokens: Clay Land Shop

I have been thinking of something unique to give as tokens for my guests and yet I never really had the time to sit down, search and decide what I would like to give as tokens. Since I was already cramming and still no idea in mind, I searched for suppliers for acrylic photo frame ref magnets. I decided that if I can get a supplier, I would do the lay out and have it printed and insert the photo myself. However, a lot of the suppliers I found online would not really sell just the frame itself as what they offer really was the personalized item. They make the lay out, they work on the photo insertions and packaging and they send it to you all done. There were a couple of suppliers that would sell just the frames but their bulk orders were about 100 pieces and above which is way too much for what I need.

I found Clay Land Shop online and saw that they make customized clay items for tokens, cake toppers and the likes. They also have non-clay items and it included cute photo frame ref magnets for baby events. Given that I was pressed for time, I made the deal with her, ordered 35 pieces of assorted designs of the photo frame ref magnets and arranged for meet up instead of having it shipped (again, I was really pressed for time). She included individual plastic bag for packaging since I don’t have packaging stuff yet. It was free of charge. :)

Clay Land Shop was easy to deal with and had I found her sooner, I might have ordered her clay items instead. :) I might have to keep that in mind for Z’s next events. :)

thank you tokens for the guests

thank you tokens for the guests

For the loot bags, I just bought goodies from the grocery, asked my brother to help pack the loot bags using sandwich bags. LOL! I was not able to buy small paper bags as was my original plan. Since they are kids anyway, the sandwich bags would do. :)

Loot bags for the kiddos

Loot bags for the kiddos

For the token and loot bag labels, I made the lay out using pixlr for quick photo editing and MS Publisher for the tag layout design. (Again, I was cramming with a capital C, LOL!) And here is how the final output came about:

token and loot bag tag

token and loot bag tag

All in all, with the limited time and resources that I had to prepare, I am satisfied with the turn out. The food was good, there were a lot of food left after wards for take away, the guests appreciated the tokens and the kids enjoyed their loot bags.

I would say, I am a happy camper! :)

Will be posting photos from the event next time. But for now, here is the little boy’s outfit of the day:

Z's outfit for the day

Z’s outfit for the day

Let me give you a little story about this outfit. Since I never really set up a theme for the dedication ceremony of Z, I thought of finding him an orange polo shirt to wear to the event instead. This has been the plan since a few months back though I never really got around to looking for one. My plan B was to get him a white polo shirt if I wouldn’t be able to find what I was really looking for.

Last Thursday, since I had to drop by the mall to pay bills, I decided to look around the baby and toddler clothing section. I just passed by one shop but already thinking that I wouldn’t be able to buy anything there given the price ranges. The sales lady assisted and asked what I was looking for. I said I was just checking for polo shirts for a one year old baby boy (well, my little Z wears size 12mos clothes now and he’s just 7.5 months!). They showed me their new arrivals and all that and I said, no thanks. Then she said that have items on sale and led me to the racks of discounted items. There I found the orange polo shirt, hanging on the front of the rack as if shouting to me, “I’m the one you’re looking for!” The sales lady said that it was on sale at 50% off. It was definitely a good deal given that it was branded. Without hesitation, knowing that Z will be able to use it for the next three months, I bought it. :D

And that completed the little boy’s outfit of the day.

Orange polo from Periwinkle (bought at 50% off, a good steal for me); Khaki pants from Polo by Ralph Lauren (bought second hand by my sister a few months back); brown crib shoes from Pitter-Pat (bought by one of my cousins as his christmas gift for little Z).

Til next post. More on the Dedication event. :D

 

 

 

A Good Deal…

We had lunch earlier at a friend’s house because it is her baby’s 3rd month celebration. The actual day is supposed to be the 10th of the month, but since it is a holiday here in our country and both she and her hubby didn’t have to report for work (not like me.. huhu), they decided to celebrate it a day early. For some reason, I forgot to take photos again. Geez! Z was sleepy when we got there but he was in a good mood and was smiling once in a while before he got cranky and fell asleep.

Since we were done eating and it was still a bit early for my shift at work, I decided to bring my sister and little Z to the mall since I also had to go there to pick up my little boy’s birth certificate that I ordered. It is already the summer time here and since it is the month of April, it is expected to see the Sale sign all over the mall. Well, not all of the shops were on sale but there were selected areas.

Megatrade hall 1 at the 5th floor of the SM Megamall had some shoe clearance sale again. Didn’t go in there since there were a lot of people from what I can see outside the entrance. I saw the banner of SM Kids Fashion sale somewhere near the escalators and the dates are April 10-13, 2014. So, I was surprised when we passed by Megatrade Hall 2 and saw that they had already opened.

SM-Kids-Fashion-Summer-Sale-@-SM-Megatrade-Hall-April-2014

 

Since I am a sucker for Sale events, my sister and I went to look around what they have to offer. There were several stalls of branded items that are on sale. Gingersnaps, Big and Small Co, Enfant, and the likes. My sister and I got attracted at the booth of Big and Small Co because of the sign: Php 100.

Yep, they were selling shirts that are worth Php495 above at Php 100 only. So, we checked it out to see if we can find some good steals. And indeed, we did.

We were able to get 5 shirts for little Z, ranging from 6-12 months up to 2T sizes. Had there been more stocks, we would have probably gotten more. LOL!

Z is just 7 months but the reason why we got a range of sizes is so there will be something that he could wear once he grows a bit bigger and runs out of clothes to wear. Since boy’s clothes rarely go out of style (which is not something that can be said for baby girls, if I may say so, given the wide range of styles that you can choose from), it is nice to get clothes at discounted price to be worn at a later time. And it is brand new. And branded for that matter. My sister’s clever idea. :)

So, here’s our steals from the sale, all from Big and Small Co:

size 6-12 months (good for the summer months)

size 6-12 months (good for the summer months)

size 6-12 months (good for Baguio's cooler days)

size 6-12 months (good for Baguio’s cooler days)

size 12-18 months

size 12-18 months

size 18-24 months

size 18-24 months

size 2 (and I assume this is 2T)

size 2 (and I assume this is 2T)

And we also got one sandals for the little boy from the Pitter-Pat stall, also for Php100:

size 23 (will fit Z in the next few months)

size 23 (will fit Z in the next few months)

Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to go back before the event ends since we are already travelling back home tomorrow to prepare for Z’s dedication on Saturday. I’ll just have to wait for the next sale event. I have to watch out for the next ones. :)

 

Trip Down Memory Lane: First post…

A little more than a year ago, I started a new blog to document my unexpected journey into pregnancy, then eventually started this blog as a new chapter when my son was born (well, I started this blog because it has more storage space and it is easier to navigate than the one I used. That was actually the reason. Although I already have another blog here that I still maintain. Didn’t think of using that though, LOL!).

The first post I published (see here) was something about the very early movements of a fetus that could be felt. Now that I read that post back, I do remember trying desperately to feel my little baby’s movement every morning I wake up. I would lie very still in bed, take deep breaths then try to gently press on my abdomen to try to get a feel of the slightest movement of the little life growing inside me. I have been doing that until it came to a point that I don’t have to press on my abdomen to feel the movements. :)

A little over a year after doing that exercise, if you will, I still feel my son’s movement every morning. Although no longer inside me but rather, beside me, kicking my stomach, patting my arm and sometimes hitting my face while I sleep. LOL! He is a very early riser while I am a very late sleeper. And I, most of the time, sleep a few more hours after he wakes up. My sister used to wake up a little after little Z wakes up and she takes care of him while I get a few more hours sleep. However, I am working on making some adjustments on my schedule, too. I now wake up a little after Z wakes up. I give him his milk, bathe him, feed him then spend time playing with him in the morning while I let my sister sleep. I soak his used bottles from the night before, too, and my sister finishes washing them once she wakes up. A few hours before lunch time, little Z takes a nap and I nap with him to get additional hours sleep. :) Clever, huh? LOL! Although I still have misses with this adjustment and my sister still does the work more often than not. Note to self: work harder on improving time management skills.

Anyway, going back. It seems that last year was so far away when I look at my son now. I never really realized how desperate you’d want to feel your baby’s movements while in utero whereas, once your baby is out and starts kicking you for real (like my son does), you’d start wondering how that tiny little fetus that you could see only via ultrasound grow into something that could have such strength at such a very young age?

I am very grateful that, despite my son’s condition (which I keep forgetting to write about <*putting a reminder on the calendar*>), he is growing to be a healthy, strong big boy. That in itself, if I would say so myself, is a miracle. A few delays here and misses there, but all in all, little Z is doing well in the health department. But of course, he still needs constant visits to doctors and specialists which I would have to start by next month.

Anyway, this post is now going everywhere again so I might as well end here for now. It is real nice reading back the posts I’ve published while pregnant every once in a while and then compare it to what’s happening now. Something to try, I’d say. :)

The Graduate…

So my son had his usual eye check up this afternoon. It was surprising that there was no queue of patients that when we got to the clinic, my little Z was immediately called. Thirty minutes after getting there, we were done! :) The fastest consultation schedule to date. LOL!

Anyway, little Z had his lens extraction surgery last December (see here for the story) and had been on bi-monthly consultation schedule from January to first week of March. It was tedious and tiring for the first two months since every other week, I had to bring him down to the big metro for his consultation then bring him back home after a week’s stay here. After his March consultation, his doctor said that he is already a semi-graduate (see post here).

Today’s consultation had favorable results. Little Z will only consume what’s left of his eye drops and he should also continue wearing his glasses so his eye reflexes will further develop. It will also help in controlling his eye movements when he tries to focus on things. His next consultation is scheduled after three months. Yey! Well, unless there’s a need for one before July.

Little Z is now a graduate as confirmed by his eye doctor! Whoopee! :D

Have I mentioned that my son loves taking his glasses off? He wears it for a few minutes then he will pull it off and chew it. He sometimes pushes it out of his head, too. But he pulls it down to his mouth more often. :)

Z's first time to wear glasses

Z’s first time to wear glasses

Z trying to take his glasses off

Z trying to take his glasses off

...and trying to pull it off again...

…and trying to pull it off again…

pulled it down to his face

pulled it down to his face

"Mum, can I take this off now?"

“Mum, can I take this off now?”