Friday, June 28, 2013

Re-use!

What’s with these cousins and their love for....

SCRAPS?!?



Stars Make A Mommy Happy & Proud

NOTE: Please know that I’ve never understood mommies who make public of their children’s achievements -- no matter how trivial these are -- UNTIL I BECAME A MOM MYSELF.  So please bear with another proud mommy. CAN'T HELP IT, I THINK THERE ARE HORMONES THAT MAKE US THIS WAY AFTER POPPING BABIES OUT OF THIS WORLD. :) 


Unlike Mommy, she didn't want to show off her star
-- that explains the grin. :D

“Very Good” stars -- 3 days in a row. Keep it up, sweetheart! :) 

Enough reason for me to stay up a little longer at night to read her lessons to her, even after an exhausting day at work. This is so worth it!



What’s Cooking?

This is Amber’s kitchen...

And inside the oven is this...

This might be her version of a HOTDOG... poor doggie. :-\





Amber Vs. Daddy

In a game of Air Hockey.
 Look at these 2, they’re taking the game so seriously...

Focus... focus...

Then, victory!!!

Mocking Daddy in his defeat? :D




Friday, June 21, 2013

A Very Special Gift

For purposes of documenting (^_^), let me share with you this VERY LONG letter I wrote to Amber a couple of years ago. I forgot that I have written about it until last night when I was deleting unnecessary files from my laptop. It’s just one of the many letters I made for Amber, this one is to share with her that very unforgettable moment in her parents' life. 

Before I found my way to blogging, I write letters. All of them were never sent though. I just like writing especially when I’m emotional. 

Since I never shared (or did I, I just forgot again?) about the day Amber came to our lives, here’s a letter I wrote in May of 2011 remembering every detail of it. Anyway, it's still her birthday month so the timing is just perfect. :)

******
11 May 2011

My Dearest Amber,

I know it doesn’t matter even if this letter came in almost two years late because I can vividly recall and I’m sure that I can perfectly narrate how it all went that night... the night before your daddy and I finally saw you.

But before that, let me share with you some happy thoughts from the time we found out that we were having you.

Pregnancy Symptoms

-I am not fond of drinking water. In fact, I seldom drink water in the office. So there is no reason why I have to pee as often as I used to. I even made a remark on one of my restroom trips that I didn’t like it when I pee a lot. Little did I know that it was already a symptom until your Ninang Margie asked me when I had my last period. I didn’t think of it until then that I was, as a matter of fact, a week delayed. I always get my period very regularly!

How We Knew We Were Having You

-I told Daddy about the suspicions that aroused from my frequented trips to the restroom. That night, we bought two sets of home pregnancy test, which we will use first thing the next day.

-I got up in the morning as I was about to make the first morning pee. I was very careful to follow instructions because I don’t want to get false results. After a long ten minutes, nothing happened on the HPT. There was no reaction. I assumed and told your Dad that we might have bought a reject HPT since I’ve read a lot about it and told him we’ll just try again the next day. But Daddy was very persistent and put a few drops of water in the HPT well. Not about 5 seconds, two very visible solid lines appear! We were ecstatic! After six months of being married, we are already pregnant!!! We felt so blessed. Your Daddy and I are very happy!

(Just to be very very sure, we still did use the other HPT the next day. It was easier that time. The lines appeared almost immediately after I put a few drops of my urine in the well.)

People We Told

-Daddy called your Tita-Ninang Kristine in the US right after the first HPT and told her everything including the water-dropping incident and asked if it might have altered the result. Your Tita-Ninang said that it cannot be anything but positive because even if the urine has been diluted, it still resulted to a positive. And she was very happy for us.

(Tita-Ninang Tin found out that she was also pregnant with your cousin Chloe 2 weeks after. ^_^)

-Daddy called Mama who was in the office that time. Daddy said that although he knew Mama was very happy, he heard sadness in her voice. Probably because Papa is no longer around to share with us another good news.

-I called Nanay and she told me that she kinda “felt” it. Of course she was very happy. She is having her first apo.

-I can’t remember anymore who else we told that time. But I texted your Tita Arcee, Tita Noemi, Ninangs Liza, Piche, Jhulie Anne and Yes-yes about the news, too, and they were all very happy.  I wasn’t able to call your Tita Gay because she was already in Malaysia that time. They are all Mommy’s friends... the closest I can get to having sisters. Aside from your Tita-Ninang Kristine and Tita Kate, who of course are already Mommy’s sisters by law and by heart.

Weird Cravings/Symptoms & Pregnancy Problems

-I never had weird cravings all throughout my pregnancy. I hope that means that I will not be having difficulty in feeding you anything as well. But of course those do not have any direct relations with my pregnancy. Just a wishful thought.

-I cannot say that I had a difficult pregnancy because everything was easy when I was carrying you. You were so bait inside Mommy’s tummy. I never felt nauseous, except for those two instances that I vomited so hard, but that was very isolated and maybe because I caught some virus or something.  But the result of one of the ultrasounds says differently. The first OB-GYN we went to (we’ve seen her until I was on my fifth month) saw a clot that they call Subchorionic Hemorrhage when I was on my 8th week. She said that if I don’t get enough rest, we might lose you (urgh, the thought makes me shudder). She asked me to take some medicines and be on bed rest for a month until the first trimester or the critical period is over, which I willingly obliged, to make sure that we get to keep you.

 Names We Wanted For You

-Daddy and I easily agreed on “Amber”! We agreed on it even before we got married. I’ve always liked the sound of “Amber” and the color that it represents, too. It’s just so romantic. Aside from that, Daddy works for a company famous for its beer, and what is the color of beer? But we didn’t name you after a beer of course. I’m sure there is a better meaning to your name rather than the color of beer. *wink*

-The second name was quite a challenge. We had picked so many names, all of them I disagreed. Why? Kasi I want my name to be in your name. Since you will already use your Daddy’s last name, di ba it’s only fair that I get to choose your name or a part of it at least? So we put “Lian” before Amber. It was supposed to be “Liane”, from the letters of my name. But since I noticed there are already too many letters, I decided “Lian” would be fine. It starts with ‘L’ anyways.

(Before I was married, I wanted to name my future daughter ‘Daffodil’, nickname ‘Daffy’. But Daddy didn’t agree to this idea so bye, Daffy!)

How We Knew Your Gender

-Your Dad and I were so persistent! When the doctor said we can see your gender through ultrasound at 24 weeks, we didn’t waste time. But you kept it secret! The sonologist can’t confirm your gender and asked us to wait until the 28th week as it will be easier since you will be bigger that time.

-We patiently waited. On the 28th week mark, we scheduled yet another ultrasound with a different sonologist this time. She said we might be having a girl. Might! Because she is only 60% sure. You are still in your uncooperative position.

-So we conceded. But in my heart, I can already feel that you are a girl. There’s a connection of some sorts. Or was I only hoping.

-Another opportunity to find out your gender came up when I have to undergo another sonogram, which was required by the doctor to see if everything is normal inside. This time, the sonologist confirmed that you were indeed a girl! Mommy was very happy. Daddy began to have that instinctive-protective Daddy feeling towards you. I guess daddies are really more protective to their daughters than their sons for obvious reasons.

Total Weight Gain

-Mommy gained a whopping 47 pounds!!! Well, 7.2 of that is you. The rest... I’m still trying to get rid of until now. My pre-pregnancy weight was 118 pounds. But when I got pregnant, I didn’t mind how frequent I ate in a day. I always say, I don’t want to starve you kasi. Ayun plus Nanay often cooks the foods that I like the most. Who can resist?

(Now, I’m happy to say that I’m only 127 pounds! Still far from my pre-pregnancy weight but at least I’m starting to fit into some of my old clothes. My ideal weight is 120 pounds. Yahoo, just 7 more pounds to go and I’d look slim again, hopefully!)

When You Were Born

A little kwento from the day/night before... actually, a very long kwento:

June 13, 2009, Saturday.

We still paid my OB-GYN, the very cheerful Dr. Jenny Co, a visit in the morning and I was getting a little impatient because you were supposed to come out the week before. Yet, I still don’t feel anything. The doctor did something to help you engage and advised us to take a walk around the mall because it might help.

So late in the afternoon, Mama, Tita Kate, Daddy and I went to the mall to buy some grocery items. We were about to finish when I felt a sudden gush of water came out of me. I wasn’t totally mindful but I felt uncomfortable so I told them that I’ll go to the ladies room first. There I discovered that my leggings were almost soaked with what doesn’t seemed to be pee but of water.

I told Daddy about this and he remembered the doctor’s advice for us to immediately go to the hospital when this happens. I remember not feeling anything during that time. I was neither scared nor excited. Maybe I was both scared and excited, I just couldn’t tell because a lot was going on in my mind.

We immediately went home and had a quick bath.  The already-packed bags for you and for us (daddy and me) have been tossed inside the car along with other baby stuff that I carefully packed in a clean carry-box.

When everything is set, we drove to the FEU-NMRF hospital. Our ride to the hospital is far-fetched from those that I saw in the movies. We were very calm and we were even singing random songs. Tita Kate even commented that THE-DAY wasn’t scary and panicky after all.

We went straight to the ER. That was already 11PM. Mama went in with me because Daddy had to park the car. They took my BP and weight and asked me to go in the maternity side of the ER. I was already alone there. The resident doctors did the routine check-up. After that, I was wheeled to the Labor Room.

I wasn’t brought directly to the Labor Room, which was full that time. I stayed first in a room much like the Labor Room with only 4 beds and I was the only patient. They strapped my tummy so they can monitor my contractions. There is a resident doctor that holds my tummy and jots down numbers, which I curiously asked what, on his notes. He replied that those were my contractions. I was having contractions?!? I was surprised because I wasn’t feeling anything then.

June 14, 2009, Sunday.

I think it was already dawn when they transferred me to the Labor Room. I was thinking of your Daddy, Mama and Tita Kate and wondering where they were and what have they been doing. I was told that they were staying on a private room which we will be brought in after you come out. You see, only the mommies who are in labor are allowed in that part of the hospital.

I didn’t get a good sleep either. I kept on hearing other mommies shouting and gritting in pain, nurses outside the room rejoicing when a baby comes out and resident doctors that always ask me how I’m feeling or if I’m feeling the contractions already. But I still didn’t.

When Mommy’s OB-GYN arrived 12 hours since Mommy was admitted, she asked me if I want to see Daddy. Daddy came in wearing a lab gown. I was so happy to see him. But that was when I finally felt the pain. They monitored us again. After 5 hours, my condition didn’t progress and the monitor said that you were starting to be stressed inside. At about 2PM, the doctor decided to do an Emergency CS because your heartbeat is slowing.

It was like in the movies! All I can see were bright lights as they wheeled me to the Operating Room. I thought that I still caught a glimpse of Daddy but he was only standing in a corner as they took me away. Then everybody moved so fast. Then another doctor said they were giving me anaesthesia. Then everything became a blur.

When I woke up, I was in the recovery room. I find it hard to move. I just kept my eyes closed as I listen to two voices talking about random things... their lovelifes... their enemies... it was like listening to a radio because I can’t even turn my head to find where the voices were coming from. Anyways, I still felt sleepy so I did sleep. Then the voice of my OB-GYN woke me up. She was already at my bedside with Daddy. She asked me if I want to see you. Even if I still feel groggy from the anaesthesia maybe, I nod my head. Then they showed me your picture in the camera. You were a very big baby. You looked so healthy. I was so proud. Then I dozed off again.

When I woke up again at 7PM, they told me that they are going to bring me to our private room already. I didn’t see you until the next day. I didn’t feel that anything hurts but it was so uncomfortable to move.

As soon as I can be able to stand, I told Daddy that I want to see you. So we went to the nursery and there you were! Bundled in pink. You were one of the biggest and pinkest baby there. I cannot nurse you because they just finished feeding you and you were already sound asleep. The nurses asked me to come back at a specific time so I can try and nurse you.

I was there on the time they asked me to come. I went inside the nursery alone. Daddy can’t come and just stayed and waited outside. I sat inside a room and waited. Then the nurse came and put you in my arms. I can’t recall anymore if you were asleep or crying, all I can remember is how warm your body feels and how overwhelmed I was at that very moment. Looking back, I still feel teary-eyed. You made me a Mom! A very happy Mom!

By the way, I just thought I would share with you... before you were born, your Daddy always tell me that he cannot and does not want to hold you until you can prop your head on your own. He is scared that he might drop or break your tiny frame. But when you were roomed in with us, he was even the one who took you from the nurse who brought you to our room. He was just there holding you and staring at you. All his apprehensions disappeared the moment he saw you.

Your birth made us become better persons. Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Loving you always,
Mommy L 

******




My Schoolgirl




Fun DIY: Mini Top Hat Headpieces

In lieu of a party hat, I made Amber and her party guests, mini-top hat headpieces.

I used craft foams (instead of fleece or felt), ribbons, satin flowers and tulle.

I got the pattern of the top hat here that I just reduced to make it smaller and even cuter, then attached it to a french clip.







Fun DIY: Tea Party Invitations

Using the inspirations I got from the net, I used old hotel flyers and brochures for Amber’s party invites. The hotel brochures have really, really good quality that I couldn’t have the heart to just throw them away so as much as possible, I recycle them. J


My personal touch here is putting pearls on the tags.

We only had 3 guests but I made a 4th invite as a souvenir for Amber.




Par-TEA for 4!

Hindi ko keri ang mag-plan/host ng party kasi madali akong mangarag. I tend to panic and over-think.

But for the love of my baby girl, I prepared a tea party for her and 3 of her friends on her birthday last June 14. I thought of giving it a try because there will only be four of them. Four little girls! How hard would that be, right? :D

I decided to DIY everything. From the invites, party hats, food, decors, games, etc...

I only realized it wasn’t a walk in a park when it was already 3PM and there were still a lot of things left undone. The curtains and decors weren’t up yet. The chicken lollipop was still in the deep fryer. The sandwiches weren’t assembled. And the birthday girl hasn’t taken her bath yet. And the party starts at 3:30! 8-?

Two of the girls already arrived while we were putting up the curtains that will serve as the backdrop of the party (okay, okay, the curtains are really there to hide the clutter on that side of the garage. It served its purpose well :D). They didn’t mind that everything is still in the works because they were busy putting stickers on my new tea set (yes, on my NEW, immaculately white, TEA SET! ARGH!).

When Amber’s guests arrived, I started serving them tea, which is really apple-flavored iced tea in a teapot. Of course I asked the kids’ guardians if they are allowed to drink iced tea before serving them. Otherwise, I would have served them fruit juices. I don’t give Amber iced tea yet but for her party, I’m giving a little leeway. :)

With their tea, I offered them mini-cupcakes, mini-chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, mini-cream puffs, mini-sandwiches, hotdogs-on-stick and yogurt sticks, which they enjoyed the most.

For the adults, we served (and failed to take photos of) spaghetti, chicken lollies, lumpiang shanghai and sandwiches. All were cooked by the mighty, Ate Judith!

When they finished their tea, we had the Catch-The-Tea game. This is a version of the Pin the donkey’s tail game, only we used teapot and cups to match the party theme. The kids had so much fun! They were all very excited when I gave them each their personalized cut-out cups.

They decided to declare Rafa the winner. Check out why...
LOL! Kids and their humor.

A birthday isn’t a birthday without blowing a birthday candle – on a yummy cake.
Amber personally chose that cake from the selection we showed her.

Next activity is the Dress-A-Princess game. I handed them each a Disney Princess paper doll with 4 matching dresses each. The dolls were a hit! They spent quite a long time trying on the different dresses on their dolls.

After a while, the girls asked if they can dance. No, they actually insisted that they wanted to dance. And since this is the part that I failed to consider when planning this party, I do not have a playlist prepared! Thanks to the TV and internet, I was able to search dance songs – mostly Amber’s favorites, and played it on Youtube while the girls dance.

video

At 7:30PM, they still didn’t want to leave. Well, I guess that meant that they enjoyed the party. So I had to promise them that next year, they will be having a teddy bear & pajama party so they can stay late! I hope I can live up to that promise. Teehee!

And the birthday celebrator looked like she enjoyed her party, too! I received a generous amount of "It's cool, Mom!", "I love it!" and "You're the best!" from the little girl. I am so relieved,... exhausted but very pleased.

Thank you to Amber's friends who gave life to the party and a memorable birthday for the birthday girl.



Happy 4th birthday again, sweet girl! 



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mommy Moment

I didn’t go to work yesterday because I had to settle the school requirements to make Amber’s enrollment official.

I send her off to school and fetch her afterwards. 

When we got home, she came to me and hugged me. While hugging me, we had this short but really touching conversation that made my heart melt (and ache).

Amber: I’M SO HAPPY, Mommy!

Mommy: Talaga? Why are you happy?

Amber: Because........ you-are-here!

Aww, isn’t she sweet? But I was left speechless.

I wanted to promise her that I will be there every day to send her to school or every time she comes home from school. Sadly, I can’t.... yet.

Sigh. The pains of a working-mom. L



Monday, June 17, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Letter For Amber On Her 4th Birthday

@}-,------


My dearest Amber,

This day, you turned 4.

Whenever I look at you, I still can’t help but feel amazed. You are still a baby yet you look so grown up in many ways.

I forgot when you began being so talkative. The house is always filled with your cute, tiny, sometimes shrilling voice. You talk all the time. All. The. Time!

Your Dad and I find it cute when you make up excuses for things we ask you to do but do not want or feel like doing. At 4 years old, you’re already making up excuses? Really? I find it somewhat unusual. But we find your wits in doing so very amusing.

At this stage, you love to perform.

You dance every time Daddy plays Bruno Mars’ Locked Up In Heaven, Maroon 5’s Move Like Jagger, Nikki Minaj’s Starship and J.Lo’s Dance Again. Are you aware that you dance on the streets most of the time? I don’t intend to make you feel embarrassed but yes you do. A lot of times! Whenever Daddy plays these songs while he washes the car, you just storm out of the house and make the street your center stage. You don’t care if strangers pass by.

When you don’t do your usual monologues, you fill the air with songs of your liking. You sing Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. At least we can make out the tune even if you’re making your own lyrics. Well, you wanted to make the song your own so be it. :D

You show so much interest in a lot of things. In my heart, I vowed that I will do my best to support you in all the things that you want to do. That if I be permitted, I will go with you in every rehearsals, recitals and competitions... in all of your endeavours.

You never cease to fill my heart with an overwhelming joy whenever I look at you. You make me so proud of you just the way that you are now.

Happy 4th birthday, my baby. I always thank God for the blessing that is you. And we pray for the good Lord to guard, guide and bless you always. I love you. Daddy and I love you so much.

Love,
Mommy


P.S., Oh! I just have to mention with pride that you now use the big toilet bowl! Yipee! Oops, sorry sweetheart if I still had to post that... you’ll understand me someday. ;-)



Monday, June 10, 2013

Family Day 2013

The Hubby’s company hosted a Family Day last May 26 at Bulacan.

The Hubby is pretty new in the company so I don’t know anybody there yet. But having Amber's summer experience in mind, I agreed that we should go.

There was a program and games among the employees and their spouses. Urgh, the Hubby and I didn’t win but we got 3 out of 6 questions – that for me, is already a big achievement, having a husband who scores an “F” at remembering details!

It turned out really fun, especially that Amber enjoyed being in the water -- A LOT. She wouldn’t remember the first and last time we brought her to a resort. She was only 8 months then so in essence, this is her first time.

She was apprehensive at first and didn’t want to dive in.

But when she finally got the hang of it, she no longer wants to come out of the water. Poor Daddy. He had to keep up with the kid even if he’s already suffering from hypothermia.

There was an instance when the Hubby urged her to jump in the water. We never thought that she’d really dive in – but she did! To our surprise! I thought my heart would leap out from my chest that very instance. Muntik ko na sakalin yung asawa ko for daring Amber to jump in. Good thing he was able to catch her before her head went underwater. I guess everything went well even after that because Amber was still all smiles. Totally forgetting about the water she took in from that ‘dive’.   

If you would ask, no, I didn’t go for a swim. I still am not confident and comfortable to be in my bathing suit, that’s why. Sigh! :(

Anyhow, here are pictures taken during that day. :D








I didn't think I'd say this because never in my life have I enjoyed the summer heat... but looking at how happy the little tot was swimming under the sun, I can't wait to see you again next year, Summer! :)



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