Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Birthday Party Part 2: The Most Fun Party, Ever!

Continued from Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Birthday Party Part 1: The DIY Decor & Aesthetics

Halloooo! I know you’re all eager with my blow-by-blow account of our Grand Launching last Saturday. I am, too! However, I have promised you a part deux of Raviv’s Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party. Moreover, you will know through this blog post how I had the “gutz” to celebrate Zion’s party at Gymboree—that’s because I knew it would be fantastic, just as Raviv’s Gymboree birthday party was. Now, here are more details!

Party Venue: Gymboree Sta. Rosa Playfloor

You remember how stressed I was with the delivery of our equipment? I’m happy to say that in fairness, the additional crow’s feet and wrinkles I may have added to my face because of all the worry were all worth it. Look at our playfloor that was completed just in time for Raviv’s party:

Gymboree Sta. Rosa has the new and improved play equipment that kids 0-6 years old can enjoy!

Ang ganda, ‘di ba? It’s really different from the usual playplaces with just slides and balls and whatever toys the owners can get their hands on. Occupational therapists and developmental pediatricians who visit us would always gush at how stimulating and developmentally helpful our playfloor is! As they say, “Nothing in Gymboree is an accident; everything was carefully planned.” So of course, this playfloor was irresistible to all of Raviv’s guests!

As soon as the guests arrived, they were all smiles right away and they rumbled and tumbled on the Gymboree playfloor! So I didn’t have to worry about any other activity for the kids. Yes, no need to buy crayons, coloring books and no need to prepare any other activity for the kids! The Gymboree playfloor more than makes up for everything else.

It’s Party Time: It’s a Gymboree Party!

Prior to this, I haven’t attended a Gymboree birthday party. And I’ll be honest with you: I was skeptical. I can’t imagine how a birthday party without magicians and puppeteers and the usual she-bang could be fun. In fact when we were discussing Gymboree birthday parties during training, I was asking our trainor what parent in his right mind would prefer a teacher-led party on the Gymboree playfloor over the traditional magician. Our trainor explained that aside from the one-hour, teacher-led celebration on the playfloor, the payment would also cover another hour on the playfloor. But still I wasn’t convinced.

And then I saw Teacher Eli Santiago host my Ravivo’s birthday party. I just knew then that a Gymboree party was the best birthday party a toddler could ever have! Look at Raviv during the party on the playfloor:

Now look at Raviv’s friends’ and classmates’s faces:

And finally, look at the joy plastered on the faces of parents and even of adults who didn’t come with kids during the party:

It was just so, so, so fun! If you haven’t been to a Gymboree birthday party, it pretty much goes like this: the parents select a party theme, and then the activities on the playfloor would revolve around that theme. The kids’ imaginations and creativity are exercised because the Gymboree host leads them to a world of make-believe while continually reminding everyone who’s the special girl or guy of the day. The celebrant truly feels special! And he/she has so much fun because the Gymboree parties are designed for toddlers. And then after the party on the playfloor, kids would eat and then just go back to the playfloor! So really, there’s no need stress about other activities!

I’ve been to several kids’ birthday parties with the usual she-bang I was talking about. In fact, Raviv’s first birthday party had the whole enchilada: magicians, a clown host, dancers, a bubble show and lots of parlor games. But the problem was that Raviv didn’t feel special on that day. We know very well that toddlers can’t grasp magic shows, can’t appreciate the now-popular Vice Ganda brand of humor (often used by clown hosts), and can’t participate in the usual parlor games just yet. Often, the host of kids’ parties resort to Rated PG jokes and comments. They also have to force annoyed and KJ adults to join parlor games. All these are happening (crass humour, magic shows and parlor games for reluctant adults) while the celebrant is running around, not even being involved in his/her own birthday party. I believe these activities must be reserved for when our kids turn 7 or older, but definitely not when they’re still in diapers.

To ensure the best Gymboree birthday party for your kid, here are some tips: [Read more…]

Come One, Come All: Zion the Young Lion Visits Gymbo the Clown at the Grand Launching of Gymboree Sta. Rosa!

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Sta. Rosa City, Laguna – Babies and parents, the long wait is over: Gymboree Play & Music is already in Sta. Rosa! Owned and operated by BT Brain-Train Academic Center (the same group behind Brain Train Review & Tutorial Center), Gymboree Sta. Rosa is a very welcome addition to Brain Train’s services.

“We are happy that finally, we have heeded to the request of many parents,” said Dewmaine Sales-Ladaga, Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s Directress, “because for such a long time, satisfied parents of our review students have been requesting us to open a school for their younger kids. We refused to even think about it because our forte was really hard-core academics for older kids. But when we had our son, we saw how much fun it is to work with young kids and their eager parents. So we started to entertain the idea of putting up a toddler school.”

Dewmaine and husband Randy originally wanted to create their own toddler school program, but then they realized that the first years of a child’s life is too important to experiment on. Many studies show that the most critical stage in a person’s development is in the first three years of life when 75% of the brain is developed.

“We do not want to shortchange our students and their parents by creating a program that has not been tried and tested. That’s why we decided to get a franchise of a program that has stood the test of time and is continually being developed by experts,” Randy explained.

And before long, the couple decided to get a Gymboree franchise. “We believe we have made the right decision. The more we see Gymboree’s programs, the more impressed we are.”

Gymboree Sta. Rosa Grand Launching Invite JPEG - low res

 

Gymboree Sta. Rosa marks its Grand Launching on April 18, 2015 with Free Gymplay in the morning from 9-11, and the ribbon cutting follows in the afternoon. Zion Lahbati-Gutierrez (aka Zion the Young Lion), who himself is a proud Gymboree kid, will be assisted by his parents Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati in the ribbon cutting. After the ribbon cutting, Zion’s 2nd birthday will be celebrated on the Gymboree play floor ala Carnival Style!

Aside from Gymboree Sta. Rosa, Gymboree Panay Ave. also recently had its grand launching.  I’m excited to bring this wonderful program to these communities,” said Ann Tan, Managing Director of Gymboree Philippines. “From the moment they walk in the door, parents can see that we offer a one-of-a-kind environment where kids can feel confident and free to move, touch, explore safely as they climb, slide, crawl on our colorful and dynamic playscape. The play equipment was custom-designed for young children by early childhood experts and supports them in reaching their potential with an emphasis on discovery and fun. Our classes have been developed to provide a range of age-appropriate play challenges and skill-building exercises, allowing each child to personalize their play experience so they can participate and learn at his or her own pace.”

Celebrity Moms I Love!

Ola! How are you? I had originally planned to blog away during the Holy Week—you know, share the touching preaching I heard from our pastor on Palm Sunday. Unfortunately, I’ve been down with the flu since Maundy Thursday. I’ve had rhinitis-induced headaches, 39-point-something-degree fever, stuffy nose, ganyan. I’m only beginning to feel better today. I think it took me a while to recover because I didn’t fully rest. Like on Good Friday, I couldn’t stand our pile of laundry! So I did the laundry and then cooked and cleaned (uma-authentic mom. Hehehe). Our other helpers were on a holiday, so I had no choice but to do it myself (with some help naman). Then on Sunday, I dragged myself out of the bed at 11 a.m. because we had to go to Sta. Rosa and prepare for Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s Sizzlin’ Summer Fun Party at Paseo de Sta. Rosa later that afternoon. I was at Plaza Regina manning our booth since 1 p.m., and it was darn hot! Ganun ‘yun eh, when you know you can’t afford to be sick, your body will temporarily heal itself.


Guess who donned the Gymbo the Clown costume? Hehe

But payback time was horrible!! After our Sizzlin’ Summer Fun party when everyone who helped was eating pizza, I felt my body giving up. I started shivering and feeling fatigued, and I knew I’d have fever again that night. And sure enough, I did.


But the kids had so much fun that putting this together was worth the fever!

So since yesterday, I’ve spent almost the whole day in bed trying to recuperate. But now I’m bored, and so here I am. 😉

Speaking of Gymboree, I’ve wanted to share with you the great time I had at Gymboree Manila Polo Club branch sometime in March. I was among those who were invited by Celebrity Moms magazine to have a tête-à-tête with its editor-in-chief, Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan

Gymboree Manila Polo Club is like home to me, after spending several months training there. Raviv came with me, and with the way he was at the Gymboree Playfloor, akala mo first time n’ya mag-Gymboree. LOL!

So while Raviv was having the time of his life and making new friends on the Gymboree playfloor, I also had the time of my life listening to Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan’s take on being a wife and mother.

It was really easy to listen to Maricel because she was brutally frank yet very soft-spoken. She also injects humor to an otherwise boring topic. She shared so many pratical gems on parenting, and here are a few that were easily ingrained in my mind:

  • Iced tea is also bad for kids! In fact, it could be worse than softdrinks because iced tea has more sugar than softdrinks! Surprise!!!!
  • Prolonged screentime exposure (watching TV and computer games) actually causes—get this—ADHD and autism! Yes, I was surprised! I thought ADHD and autism were just inborn, ‘yun pala it can develop!
  • A mom asked whether it’s forgivable that she lets her one-year-old watch a movie for 1.5 hours when she cooks. Mommy explained no one could watch her baby while she’s cooking thus the screentime. Maricel was not swayed and gave plenty of possible and doable solutions: 1) Have hubby make a playpen nearby with lock for the baby, and every now and then mommy could check baby, letting baby taste the food. In between, mommy could keep on talking to entertain baby while baby is in the playpen; 2) Babywearing! Maricel said that even African women hunt while wearing their babies, so why can’t we wear our babies when we are cooking, ‘di ba? I know that her suggestions are not exactly easy, but they are definitely doable!
  • Eating tip for toddlers 1: Involve your todders in decision-making! As early as 2 years old, let your toddler put food on his plate. Tell him that the food he puts there has to be finished by him. You can also let him help with the cooking and food preparation, and he’ll appreciate his food even more
  • Eating tip for toddlers 2: If your child doesn’t want to eat, don’t force him. Instead, gently tell him that if he doesn’t want to eat dinner, his next meal would be breakfast the following day.
  • Always treat your husband like a king. When he arrives, stop whatever you’re doing and stand up to greet him.
  • Don’t play bad cop-good cop. Don’t contradict your spouse in front of the kids.

Plus so much more!

Aside from “A-ha!” moments with Maricel, our intimate gathering also became fun because of the games and raffles. Raviv and I joined the sock-hunting game. WE got the last place but still we brought home comfy Burlington/Puma socks, supplies of Huggies Dry Pants diapers, Kleenex tissues and Kotex napkins!

The event was hosted by the super lovely Bettina Carlos.


Bettina Carlos’ skin was to-die-for!

And just like the rest of us, Bettina was also very impressed with the wisdom of Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. Since I was seated beside her, I overheard her saying how she would love to have Mommy Maricel as her mentor!

And then just when I thought there was nothing left to do but say goodbye, my friend Glaiza and I befriended two other attendees. They were not your regular bloggers, but they were celebrity moms Say Alonzo and Bianca Lapus!

They were super friendly! Glaiza and I have met many other celebrities through the events we attended, but we both agreed that the nice-ness of Bianca and Say were for the books. I was surprised because 1) Bianca looks suplada ‘di ba? and 2) Say was hyped as maarte in PBB! But when you talk to them, it’s like you’re talking to old friends, promise. They’re that warm and sincere. It’s great because talo pa nila ang ibang “feeling celebrity” when it comes to humility.

[Read more…]

I’m A Proud Fake Hands-on Mom

This blog post is dedicated to the following admirable ladies:

  • the mom who planned her family wisely—to her who was responsible enough to plan her pregnancy when she felt that she and her husband were financially, emotionally, mentally and physically ready (or at least capable).  I’m sure your planning contributes a lot why you are able to balance everything now.  You’re a great mom!
  • the mom who patiently teaches and monitors her toddler’s yaya.  We know it’s frustrating especially when yayas don’t seem to listen or when they suddenly leave, but still you hire and train and monitor.  You’re a great mom and a patient teacher!
  • the mom who makes an effort to look presentable in social gatherings.  Even if you haven’t bathed for days, you took time to prettify for that gathering.  The act respects the event you’re attending.  And yes, we know, it feels good to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you still have “it”.  You’re a great mom, a lovely wife, and a respectful guest!

So anong hanash ito?  My mommy blogger friend Glaiza shared the article “How to Spot Fake Hands-on Mom of Toddlers” on her Facebook page.  I got intrigued and so I read it.  The following are the criteria in identifying the fakes, and I inspected myself based on them:

  • Long, manicured, nail polished fingernails – nope!  My fingernails are stubby and polish-less
  • Cannot answer what the last poo looked like – yes I can!
  • Goes out with a toddler in heels and with jewelry – hmmm…I don’t think wedges and pearl studs count

Even though I never thought of myself ever as a hands-on mom, I was relieved because based on this article’s litmus test, I am in the authentic hands-on mom category even if I’m a working mom.

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But later I realized that this article may be guilty of mom-shaming.  You know, it’s when a mom or a certain goup of moms herald that a certain type of mommyhood is superior over another style.

And this article is mom-shaming at its finest. It is making heroes out of the perceived “victims” (i.e., losyang hands-on-moms) by generalizing that the fresh-looking and still-pretty moms as fakes and great pretenders.  This is really bad, because this makes the alleged “fake hands-on moms” feel guilty for being able to balance different facets in her life.  It also makes the “real hands-on moms” feel that they have every excuse to play the “I’m a hands-on mom” card every time they put off doing anything else.  And it also makes the “real hands-on mom” grip with panic while thinking, “Oh sh*t that means I’m really in this rabbit hole until my child turns 7!”

Before I proceed, I wanna know: What exactly is the definition of a hands-on mom?  Is this literal, as in you do everything by hand?  Or does it include moms who may not be washing their kids’ bum after pooping but are overseeing everything else about their kids’ lives?  Me thinks the author is only talking about the former.  And that’s really unfair because I believe that there are different ways of being a hands-on mom (and it’s obvious that based on the article, only the hands-on moms deserve all the applause).

I believe hands-on moms include those who stay up late researching the best schools for their kids, those who read up countless books to know the best way to discipline her child, those who learn to prepare and cook healthy foods, those who manage the nannies and the entire household well, those who homeschool their kids, and the list goes on.  It’s a shame that the article’s author—in her quest to justify a mom looking losyang—had to make those who are not like her feel like fakes.  And please, glamorous poses and posts lang sa social media, fake na agad?!?

The photos above were taken when our family went on a 4-day tour to Hong Kong last year.  Just the three of us—no yaya, no travel agent, no chauffeur, nada!  We rode buses and MTRs and walked a loooot! If you haven’t read our story, READ! Super haggard ‘yan.  And yet I don’t think I look losyang in these pictures!  At bakit kamo ako may nail polish?  Well, ever heard of gel nail polish?  You know—yung kahit kinutkot ko na ayaw pa ring matanggal.

[Read more…]

Prince Raviv at the Cinderella Block Screening

Advertorial

These days, Raviv would always wear a grin every time the Cinderella trailer is shown on Disney Junior.  That’s because it always reminds him of the fun time we had last Sunday when we were among those who were invited by PLDT to watch the block screening of Cinderella at Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

A day or two before the event, I was told to dress Raviv up in a prince costume. I didn’t know where to look for a prince costume!  So I thought I’ll just buy at Megamall hours before the event.  Buuuuut!!!  Even after I almost rounded up the whole of SM Megamall, nada!  So what does a mom do?  But of course, I had to be creative and think outside the box! I spotted a Vampire costume and I thought to myself, hmmm, pwede!  Then when I saw that Raviv was wearing his blue and orange rubber shoes, palpak! Good thing I brought with us his pirate costume, whose pants had its own “boots”.

Now all that’s missing is a crown!  But if I thought looking for a prince or king or any crown that doesn’t have frou-frou was easy, I was sooo wrong!  Inikot ko ang Megamall, and nada!  So I thought I should just make Raviv’s crown.  One hour before the event I hurried to National Bookstore to buy cardboard and some beads.  Then I called the owner of Gymboree Megamall and asked if I could use their Arts Room to create Raviv’s crown.  Time check: 30 minutes to go!  After 10 minutes, voila!

DIY Prince Crown made in less than five minutes!

Are you excited to see how eveything turned out?!?  Here’s my little prince:

He’s dashing, I know!

I must say, my Amorcito looked every inch like a prince. Who would have thought that 1/3 vampire costume + 1/3 pirate costume + 1/3 DIY crown is equal to a dashing prince? A dashing prince who even bagged the 3rd Place Best in Costume! Partida, makeshift lang ‘yang costume na ‘yan!

When we arrived at Cravings for the pre-movie press conference, people gushed at Raviv’s costume…probably because while princesses abound, there was a dearth of princes.  LOL!

Raviv had so much fun posing with Princess Kat and other princesses

While Raviv was having fun outside, I too was really excited for him as I listened intently to PLDT’s announcement at the Press Conference: Disney is now on PLDT Telpad!!!

Leading telecommunications and multimedia provider PLDT has expanded its multi-year, multi-platform partnership with The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia, through its digital entertainment arm Disney Interactive, to bring the broadest offering of exciting Disney content to the PLDT Group’s over 75 million mobile and broadband subscribers nationwide!

Princess Kath with PLDT HOME Vice President and HOME Marketing Head Gary Dujali

Princess Kath and PLDT Vice President and HOME Voice Solutions Head Patrick Tang

This means that PLDT HOME subscribers like us can access over 300 online games through the Disney Portal, which will be hosted in the PLDT HOME website www.pldthome.com!  In addition, PLDT HOME Telpad subscribers will be able to download hundreds of Disney games and e-books by just clicking the Disney widget on their Telpads. We also get a PLDT Home DSL speed boost when we subscribe to the Disney package.  And to jazz up our PLDT Telpads, we can purchase limited edition skins that change every month or everytime there’s a new Disney movie! Cinderella, Avengers, Mickey Mouse—you name it and Disney on Telpad has got it!

Isn’t that great?  So many people have said that the advent of technology has broken the bond of families. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Remember that the strongest connections are at home!  As PLDT’s cute commercials have shown us, technology can actually bond families together (I love the Fam Cam—imagine feeling being so close to your kids even when you’re far). Like for our family. In the times that Raviv will be using the Telpad, it doesn’t mean that Randy and I will be allowing him to use it just so we could sneak away from him.  No. What excite me are activities and games we can do together.  Pretty much like when we do mazes and dot-to-dot on books—he’ll ask me to help him or at least watch him (and expect oooohs-and-aaaahhs and “Wow my amorcito is so smart!” from me).  Same goes for the Telpad. I imagine that Raviv and I will get overwhelmed with the myriad of Disney games and activities, and excitedly try them together!  I’m especially excited for Raviv because I’m confident that Disney games are not just “safe” but are also educational!  And I’m also psyched with the e-books!  I’m a bibliophile, and even though Raviv can’t read yet, he is bound to be a bibliophile as well! Raviv always, always asks us to read him stories all through the day (and night!), and with these downloadable e-books, we won’t run out of stories for him!

Since PLDT has been doing so many innovations lately, I suggest that you guys also follow them on their social media accounts so we will always be in the loop of the what’s latest (bonus: they also give ideas how to use technology to strengthen family bonds!)

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PLDTHome

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pldthome

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pldthome

Why I Refuse to Get Angry

Last week, my batchmates in high school and classmates in college were all shocked to hear a very devastating news: our batchmate, Jerico Tolentino, passed away. Jerico and I weren’t really close, for he was a man of very few words.  Very few.  And you all know how much of a chatterbox I am.  But looking back, I realized that we shared so many things together: we were classmates in high school, we were in the COCC together, we used to share a jeepney going home (because I used to live in Forestry in high school just as he did), and we were even blocmates at UP.  He was the sort of guy who keeps to himself, and someone a bully would leave alone because there was nothing annoying about him.  Absolutely nothing.  He’s someone you would respect, and whose rare smile would also make you smile.  He passed away in Hamburg, Germany, where he’s been working and living for just two months.  Like many others, I am also curious when his remains would be brought back home so I could pay my final respects.  So I visit his Facebook page every now and then.

I have read many touching messages/wall posts to a dearly departed on Facebook.  But none of them stuck in my head the way Jerico’s wife’s wall post did:

What struck me most there was that in their six years of being together, they never fought.  My kneejerk reaction to that was that it was so unusual and seemingly abnormal.  But when I read further, I understood:

“You said life is too short to dabble in petty things.”

Like Jerico’s wife, I, too, agree.  I feel that life was so unfair to Jerico, for he passed away too soon.  Too soon!  He’s my age, for crying out loud!  At this point, my constant prayer is always for Randy and me to live long enough to see and play with Raviv’s grandchildren.  Life, despite and in spite of everything, is still too beautiful to leave behind quickly.

Perhaps Jerico felt the same way—that life is beautiful.  But he was wiser.  While many of us would want to be like a phoenix rising from its ashes when we are slighted (and then take our battle to social media to elicit sympathies and perhaps make our complaint go viral), Jerico decided to keep quiet and remain…happy.  He just wanted to laugh, cry with happiness, and get smothered in love.  And I guess, most people would prefer a short life like that than a long life full of hatred and bitterness.

But oh, if we could live long lives full of joy and love and peace, wouldn’t that be pure bliss?

[Read more…]

Randy the Proud “Feeling New Tatay Again” and the Bitch He Got Pregnant!

Yesterday, Raviv and I were invited to watch the block screening of Cinderella at Shangri-La Plaza.  It’s part of my project with PLDT Telpad—because Disney is now on PLDT Telpad!  It’s all very exciting and I’m gonna tell you more about it on a separate post.

Two days before the event, I was told to dress up Raviv in a prince costume. And honestly naloka ako sa kakahanap ng prince costume.  Every nook and cranny of department stores there are all kinds of princess costumes with all the effects and abubots, but there was nary a prince costume!  Not even a prince crown!  Or kahit anong crown na buo na walang balahibo!  Then I realized why there was a dearth of prince costumes: I have yet to meet a little boy who fantasizes of being garbed in fancy clothing to pursue a “beautiful princess” just to dance and sing with her.  Kaya siguro walang prince costumes.

Buuuut, being the ever innovative and resorceful mommy that I am, nagawan ko nang paraan.  And what’s the result?  My Amorcito won 3rd place Best in Costume yesterday.  The 2nd and 1st places went to princesses (but I think, if only the judges knew how difficult it was to come up with a prince costume, there’d be no contest and Raviv would have won 1st place).

Anyway, aside from Raviv’s triumph and our watching of Cinderella, the bigger news is that Randy missed all of these yesterday!!!  Yes, he failed to see his son smiling for the cameras whose flashes kept blinking on his face in front of a theater in a roomful of people!

Baket kamo?  Kasi busy at aligaga ang lolo natin.  Actually, he has refused to leave home since last week.

Why?

That’s because he got a bitch pregnant, and he has been taking care of that bitch.

Yes, bitch talaga!  Am I bitter that I’m calling this preggers a bitch?  Bitter maybe a bit, but I swear to you she’s a total bitch.  Wanna take a look so I can prove to you whatta bitch she is?  Here:

[Read more…]

The Trouble with Hello is Goodbye

(Draft written on March 10, 2015)

Hello!  Does any of you know that song? :)

Sorry if ang lakas makapang-tanders ng title…I’m an old soul when it comes to music.  And I can’t help but rewind and rewind the last part of that haunting smooth jazz by June Christy.  But it’s really the theme of my last week.

As I have promised, I’m gonna give anyone who cares a hoot a round-up of my last week’s mga ganap.

Warning:  this is full of nega stories, sorry.

First goodbye

OK.  So like what I said on my previous blog post, the first two days of last week were uneventful.  Wala lang.  But on Tuesday night, the drama started.  Our three helpers finally spoke out how our “mayordoma” (who was on her dayoff) treated them.  All of them were unanimous in saying that when we’re out (which is very common these days..we’re out of the house 3-4 days a week), she does her personal chores and neglects her tasks.  Worse, she maltreats them daw.  As in one of our female helpers said that she cries herself to sleep every night and that the sight of their leader makes her tremble in fear.  I was not supposed to believe this right away, but just hours before that I got furious when I heard her talk to Randy over the phone.  Grabe, ang bastos.  Everyone in the office who heard her (she was on loudspeaker and she knew it) was astounded that she had the gall to use that tone of voice to Randy.  Like when Randy told her that since she did not want to come with us to Sta. Rosa when we’re there 3-4x a week, she has to get our other helper’s tasks (who comes with us), which included doing the laundy and ironing the clothes (kasi ano pang gagawin n’ya when we’re not around, di ba?), she actually told Randy, “Ano ipapasa n’yo sa akin ang trabaho ni April?!?”  Grabe.  So on Friday we decided to let her go.  Randy texted her that we were letting her go.  As usual, ang bastos nanaman ng dating ng reply.  All the more we felt that we made the right decision.  Kesehodang magkulang kami ng tao at ang mahal ng ibinayad namin sa agency sa pagkuha sa kanya, good riddance still.

Second goodbye

On Thursday, I briefly went to the mall with Raviv and his yaya to buy Raviv’s long-sleeved polo shirt for his priest costume.  While at the mall, I noticed that his yaya was shaking.  I asked whether she was OK.  She said she felt sick.  I told her to rest when we get home and I’ll just take care of Raviv.  At home, I told Randy what happened with yaya.  He said he suspected that yaya was really preggers.  He mentioned that to me weeks ago, but I refused to believe him.

I really, really like this yaya of Raviv.  She’s the best we’ve ever had so far: she is neat, very smart, diligent, and even speaks English well.  As in.  May linya pa ‘yan kay Raviv na, “Don’t whine Raviv”.  WHINE!!!  O ‘di ba?  While I admit that I feel like she doesn’t really love Raviv as much as Yaya Isay or Yaya Gigi did, I still like her because of the qualities I’ve mentioned.  In fact, I wanted to reward her by promoting her to being a teacher’s aide at Gymboree, ‘coz she really deserves it.

Anyway, back to the preggers issue.  I asked our office secretary what she knew.  She confirmed Randy’s suspicions that yaya was pregnant.  Almost 3 months.  Homaygas.  The father is our dogs’ caretaker.  We felt really bad because we had such high hopes and great plans for yaya.  In fact, Randy and I discussed that we would increase her salary next month.  Now I don’t know.  She’ll be MIA for a long time.  And I don’t know whether we would adopt her “new family” just as we did with Yaya Isay and Dodong.

Third goodbye

Speaking of buntisan, I have another sad news.  Remember our former helper who was (again!) impregnated by our former dog caretaker (na ayaw panagutan)?  Yesterday her sister called and informed us that her baby died the day after it was born.  Sigh, nakakalungkot.

You might get angry at me but… [Read more…]

Wardrobe Diary #69: Black & White at the End of the Rainbow (March 6, 2015)

Happy Monday everyone!  How was last week for you?  I hope it went great!  As for Familia Ladaga, the magic sentence is:  The trouble with “Hello” is “Goodbye”.  O di ba?  Actually, the first half of this week was kinda uneventful.  Chill-chill lang.  But on the later (pasingit:  I was supposed to write “letter”, but I changed my mind because “latter” is the opposite of “former”, whereas “later” is the opposite of “earlier”…’di ba? #GrammarNaziMode) part of the week, it kinda became madrama.  Later post on that, because   this is a Wardrobe Diary entry!  So lemme show you what I wore on Friday to the program at Raviv’s school:

  • white top: Plains & Prints
  • lace pencil skirt: from a stall at Bobae Market in Bangkok
  • belt: Marks & Spencer
  • yellow wedge sandals: Figliarina
  • bag: LV Multicolore Alma
  • sunglasses: Sunnies by Charlie

I wore this ensemble para hindi masyadong halata how fat I’ve become.  Because I did gain a lot of weight!  But don’t worry, I haven’t had much appetite since Friday.  And I hope my very hearty appetite doesn’t return anytime soon.

Anyway, back to Friday. Pormal-pormalan tayo dahil ang anak ko ay…

Yes, Raviv came as a priest last Friday. See, the children at Raviv’s school were supposed to come wearing a community worker costume.  If you remember, Raviv wowed the crowd last year as a taho vendor.  This year, I wanted something unique again.  Even though I very badly want Raviv to be a surgeon (in real life), I knew that the “doctor” outfit would be very common.  But since I had no time to prepare and shop for his outfit-ey, I figured that a priest outfit will do.  Simple lang eh: black long-sleeves, black pants, DIY cross, DIY vicar’s collar and DIY Bible and voila, we have a priest!

‘Yun lang when Raviv was asked during their program what he was, he didn’t know what he was because we are not Catholics.

Anywho, Randy and I came in full force to Raviv’s program because (sob) that was Raviv’s last day at his very first school.  So even though both Raviv and I had fever that day, we still made a point to come (at dahil sayang din ang mga DIY priest accessories na ginawa ko the night before).  Laklak na lang muna ng paracetamol.  Moreover, we were eager to see Raviv finally perform in front.  Remember I used to share with you guys how sad I was that Raviv was too shy?  But you know, ever since he also started going to Gymboree, that changed.  This isn’t to say that his school did nothing about his social skills…it’s just that Gymboree seemed to work wonders with him.  Promise.  Like last Tuesday, a mom who inquired at Gymboree sounded so amused when she related that she met Raviv downstairs. When Raviv heard her asking about Gymboree, Raviv volunteered: “ I’m the owner of Gymboree.  You may play there but not for too long.  Ten minutes lang.”  Kalokang bata!  Randy and I were really surprised because Raviv used to be painfully shy!

So we weren’t that at all surprised when Raviv finally joined his classmates in performing in front!  He may not have been the best dancer, but my heart swelled with pride when I saw him shaking his body and mouthing the lyrics of the song!

And since it was his last day at his school, he was given his certificate.  The school also said goodbye to him. :(  Sad.

But most heartbreaking of all was that he would be separated from his first ever bestfriend, Marcus.

Raviv and Marcus go a long way back.  They went to Rainbow almost the same time, and now they’re also leaving Rainbow at the same time.  They’ve been friends for so long, naging magkamukha na rin sila!  Like last Wednesday when I fetched Raviv, his classmate Sophia called out to him and said, “Bye Marcus!”  Raviv explained to me that Sophia may have said that because “Same kami ng face ni Marcus e!”  Whenever you ask Raviv who his favorite friend, classmate or playmate is, he’d always say, “Marcus!” without batting an eyelash. So when we told him he was leaving Rainbow, he said he was OK with it—Marcus was leaving, too.  But when we told him that Marcus and he would be going to different schools, he said he didn’t want to be separated from Marcus.  Awwwww!

During luncheon after the program, Randy caught Raviv and Marcus under the buffet table comparing their costumes and naughtily “scaring” the younger kids walking near the buffet table.  And then would laugh heartily.  Randy took photos of the two, and no words are needed to describe how these two are each other’s first ever best friends: [Read more…]

Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Birthday Party Part 1: The DIY Decor & Aesthetics

Finally more than two months after, I’m now blogging about mi amocito’s super fun and super DIY birthday party at Gymboree Sta. Rosa! This time around, the theme was dinosaurs!  Raviv’s interest in dinosaurs was recycled.  Perfect, because Gymboree already has a customized dinosaur-themed play & learn birthday party celebration.

Since I knew that I’d be fulfilling one of my passions—event styling—through Gymboree, I decided to make Raviv’s party super DIY.  As in no catering, no chairs supplier, everything will be done by me and “my team”.  That way, we could already practice our artistic prowess (naks!) in case someone who books a Gymboree party in Sta. Rosa also opts to get an upgrade and have customized and special decors.

So without further ado, here are the details:

 

The Venue

Raviv’s birthday party was held at the room adjacent to the Gymboree playfloor.  The room was really bare and had a low ceiling.

DIY Dinosaur Party Set-up 

Tables and chairs

Since I had no catering, I had to make use of Brain Train’s existing monobloc tables and chairs on top of Gymboree’s colorful kiddie tables and chairs.  Since the monobloc chairs look so plain, I bought some cloth as and had a seamstress create table cloth and table runners out of them.  I would have wanted to cover the chairs as well, but since we were running out of time, I just put a rosette with dinosaur foam shapes on each chair.

DIY dinosaur party chair

It was matrabaho, yes, but it definitely made the place look hundreds of times better.

 

The Ceiling drops

I used latex and mylar polka-dot balloons to further prettify the place.  But the highlight among the ceiling drops were the diosaur pompoms that Yaya Beth and I painstakingly made.

DIY dinosaur birthday party pompoms

I would like to say that it’s easy to do that, but we actually had several tries before we perfected it.  Once we were able to discover how to properly do it, medyo dumali na rin.

 

The Invitation

DIY dinosaur birthday party invitation

If you’ve been following my blog since Raviv’s first birthday party, then you’d know how maarte I am when it comes to invitations.  I’m almost allergic to generic, impersonal invitations. #sorrybutnotsorry  Thus, career kung career ang invitation ni Raviv.  I designed the dinosaur cut-out (I just looked for an image of dinasaur online and took it from there).  Then I bought cardboard and cut out the “cracked egg” shapes.  But the most madugo part is the green mosaic you see—that’s real egg shells that I’ve painted, dried, pound, and stuck to the invitation.  Yes, I rounded up our neighbors and asked for their egg shells for 50 handmade invitations.  Sulit din naman because people gushed how cute Raviv’s invitation was!

[Read more…]