Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Crocs for the little boy

Neo has two pairs of Crocs shoes. A blue Pelican, a birthday gift from his Ninang Chris and a black and red Cayman Mickey given by Tata Ritzie.

Unfortunately, we have to wait for another month or a couple more before both pairs of shoes fit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Capping our Friday

Tomorrow I am going to attend the wedding of my friends, Brenda and Darryl. Linda and I bought their gifts at Regalong Pambahay in Pioneer St. where we got them a black lampshade and a matching black picture frame. Nice and elegant pieces.

Val is off today and tomorrow. He was invited by a friend to his studio in Malate. He dropped me off to work in the morning and picked me up around 6:15 PM. He had his camera cleaned at a Canon service center in Shaw Blvd. He enumerated his agenda for tomorrow.... haircut, car wash and laundry.

Same old things about Neo kulit. He has really mastered the sawsaw suka play. I have seen his left over bowl and he didn't finish his carrots. This morning I gave him his first servings of cereal and he liked it. And oh, maybe he'll learn to clap hands after all! Before we went to sleep and while playing he moved his hands close and away just like clapping (but not exactly). I hope he will soon because i think this is the one feat he has not yet accomplished on his age range. But no rush, he has other advanced skills anyway.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A new blogger's dream

Iam shining new in this blogging arena and I still have more to learn and explore and contribute. I love the sorting of pictures - old and new, posting them here and installing relevant captions. I am enjoying as I recount our everyday family happenings. Someday, in my old age, I can go back to this blog and backtrack experiences done and gone. I have never kept a diary. This blog is perfect for storing and sharing memories.

When I gave birth, I kept a small diary where I jotted the developments of our new born baby, more like a bulleted list. But I can not locate that diary now with all our stuff and baby things in disarray. Gone went my baby's recorded milestones (unless of course i find it). With this blog, there will be no risk of losing this chronicle because of my carelessness. Yahoo!

Together, Val, Neo and myself, will build this blog to relate our lives as we live it. We will inject happenings that transpired in the recent and far past as we recollect. And we will express our visions in the future as we dream.

I wish that our son will read this when he grows up and continue this as far as he can go for his children to read and continue too.
MEANT FOR THE FUTURE (and this is dreaming for me):
If you are our grandson/granddaughter that we might not get to meet anymore, and if you are reading this now, continue this blogging legacy.

I give thanks everyday

Everynight, before I put Neo to sleep, we say our nightly prayers
Everyday I thank the Lord for a blessed day past
Everyday, I pray that the family be healthy and safe
Everyday, I ask the Lord to make our son grow up to be kind and confident, obedient and respectful
Everyday, I thank the Lord for giving us this wonderful gift, our ultimate blessing, our one and only Neo boy!

At the Tektite tiangge

Val and Neo, the Tatas and yaya Ner went out on a little outing at the Tektite tiangge today. While waiting for me to come down from my office, the little boy enjoyably paced the lobby amidst the crowd of people rushing to get out of the building. As if in a shopping mood, he wandered his eyes on the panindas around, pulling a shirt on his left and a choker on his right as we walked past the booths.

And look at what we brought home! A RASCAL red shirt and a THOMAS and FRIENDS white shirt for the little boy. Earlier, I have already eyed the same shirts but the tindera won't give me a discount at 75 pesos isa. At that late a day, we walked away with it at 50 each! Sometimes in tiangge shopping, it pays to wait until closing time (i.e. kung may matitira pa).

Dinner was the left over nilaga from lunch. Val said, "masarap ang kain nya". And I seconded, "ako rin!".
BTW, today , the 27th is our month anniversary. Four years, four months plus Neo and counting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Val's Canon DSLR

Val recently acquired a DSLR camera and he practically sleeps with it. He bought a pile of photography magazines and is now seriously learning photoshop. He attends photo sessions and lessons and is always out taking shots. Let us see when can he sustain this interest. My support of course is with him. Except when he goes home so late or fails to cook us dinner, aha! goody ole wifey me!

Anyhow, no matter how minuscule his knowledge in photography is, he proudly declared himself a professional! What duh??! In one of his outings with friends who covered a baptismal event in October, he was given 1,000 pesos! For what? For staying all throughout the event pointing and shooting. Hahaha! And because he was compensated for his service, he said he is now an official professional photographer! Ambisyoso! But seriously, he is extremely interested and said that he will be surely good at it soon. He will also focus on his photoshop for better print layouts. Let's wait and see. And so dear all, you will be seeing a gallery of his sample shots on this blog. Bear with us until he gets his groove!

Update: New diapers

I will now switch to Huggies Dry Comfort for the tyke. No leaks. Good absorption overnight. A little more expensive lang.

Quick reports

I have put the little one to sleep and I have just finished cleaning bottles. And before I retire for the day myself, let me just post some updates about Neo:

- he is getting better and better at walking although sometimes he tends to get too excited and loses balance. he knows his direction and knows the mechanics of climbing stairs
- he eats plenty, loves kalabasa and taho
- with four teeth still , he is toothbrushing!
- we just got his new vitamins from Tata Ritzie (thanks again, tata!) we will start dosage tomorrow
- he is having Enfagrow A now and consumes 8 ounces per feeding time
- new sounds and words. I think i heard him say "gago" today (hehehe, of course i'll teach him not to say bad words later
- he plays sawsaw suka, close open and eat bulaga! But he doesn't seem to learn to clap hands. Instead what he does is he will take both my hands and slap it together. As if he is the one teaching how to clap hands!
- he reads! harharhar! Well, he does a good impression of it. Mumbling sounds with his baliktad na book
- he flips pages of books like a pro (since he was seven months or thereabouts)
- he fakes cries
- we are teaching him to drink sa baso as advised by his pedia
- when he wakes up and I'm not beside him, he will sound-off a forceful "uuuhhggg"
- calls me mama
- laughs heartily especially when tickled and when playing taguan

He has many pakulo and grows up too fast, haaay! In the next days, I am going to shelve some of his pinaglakihan na damit, store his baby toys, keep his bottles and put away his exersaucer. My baby is going to be a boy soon! Be happy and get ready!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Papa moments pre- DSLR

nap time, Cavite home

kulitan , Cavite home

some sunshine for the boys, Paseo, Samonte Park

hi Ronald! , McDonald's Cavite City

new newspaperboy hat, shangri-la

birthday month feast

napping together again

and again

Random pictures of us

Come to think of it, we only have a handful of pictures of the three of us together. Always and plenty of it are Neo on solo. Here are some of the very few pictures of us:

During one of Neo's check-up. Medical City.

April 5, 2008, Ritzie's birthday. Podium.

May 31, 2008, My birthday. O Boy, Tektite.
June 2, 2oo8, Our anniversary. Country Spice, Tektite

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pearly whites

One, two, three.... FOUR! That's the count of Neo's teeth. At past his first birthday, he only has two pairs! Two big uppers and two unaligned ones below. I wonder when will the others cut? Tooth fairy are you assigned on this too?

The birthday, the preparation, the details

Early on, I mentioned that I might detail our preparations for Neo's first birthday party. I did it! Here goes and read on....

Val and I initially planned to celebrate Neo’s first birthday with just a quiet lunch or dinner with immediate family. And then we realized, what are we thinking! First birthday parties are grand occasions and we don't want our son to miss having one. And so, plan we did. Contrary to the usual fun fare of kiddie parties with clowns, mascots and games, we wanted ours to be fun and simple, special and personal, attended by family and the closest of friends. Much of a thanksgiving party for a wonderful year and a simple kick-off to the next.

The theme

Like every party, there should be a theme. Neo’s birthday party should have a theme! We have toyed and considered several character themes like Baby Einstein, Barnyard, the Matrix, Finding Nemo (to be changed to Finding NEO), etc. but nothing among them we liked. We wanted Neo’s to be original, no movie or cartoon characters for him yet. Eventually, I conceived the idea of NEO is ONE , O – N – E scrambled to N – E – O. We asked a special favor from Tina Dominguez, a graphic artist from Ritzie's office, to design on what will be the "birthday ID". And then I chose the blue-green color combination.

The venue

CLUB CAFÉ, Makati Sports Club, L.P. Leviste cor. Gallardo Sts., Salcedo Village, Makati City

In August, when my sisters and I watched the play “Cinderella” at the CCP, we had lunch at Harbour Square. I liked the place because of the view and saw that there was an Iceberg restaurant branch in the complex. At that point I said to myself that Neo’s first birthday will be done there. I have inquired on the rates and even initially requested the blocking off of the date. I related our trip to Val and laid my preliminary plans to him. He said that he has yet to see the place before he agrees. But, when we went to Harbour Square two weeks after he did not like it. So back to square one and onwards to our next search.

I have inquired with several restaurants and venues e.g. Fazoli’s (Eastwood), The Old Spaghetti House (Libis), Pizza Hut Bistro (Libis), Heaven and Eggs (Libis) , the Palladium function room (Pasig), ATV resort (Novaliches) but none satisfied our qualifications.

And then Val inquired rates from Makati Sports Club, Inc. (MSCI). We got a good deal that fitted our budget and the location is neutral to most of our intended guests. So when Val took me to the place for the oculars we have decided to set the venue there. The place is small but appropriate since we only planned to host around 50 to 60 guests.

The invitation

Again, we wanted a different kind of invitation. Something cute, not like the usual square or rectangular-shaped, flip-open versions. Following the NEO is ONE theme and the color combination, Tina laid-out and completed the whole invite with the detailed party information. The invitations, shaped as the #1 showed NEO is ONE on the front cover, the birthday date, and a cute drawing of a birthday cup cake. The back carried the line “JOIN US FOR SOME BIRTHDAY FUN”, the address of MSCI and the time of the lunch party. The back was also decorated with balloons and a single -candled birthday cake. Please note that each invitation was painstakingly cut to the shape of the number! We liked the outcome very much! For the envelopes, I bought blue ones (only light blue and scented available) from National Bookstore. When I ran short, I bought white nalang from Pioneer Center grocery. We started distributing the invites around two weeks before November 8.

The cake, the cupcakes and the cookies

The cake, the mini cake, 15 cupcakes and 15 #1 -shaped cookies were all done by Layers and Layers Cakes by Arlene (11C West Capitol Drive, Pasig City). We placed our orders on as early as October 05 c/o Cherry.

The carrot flavored cake was set in fondant icing with stars and balloon accents. The topper was the NEO is ONE birthday ID and beside it is a baby figure (we have actually instructed for a little boy in jumpers to match the cupcakes). The colors followed the blue and green motif with some touches of yellow.The mini cake was also carrot flavored in fondant. A supposed replica of the main cake.

The cupcakes were chocolate with kid smiling faces toppers.

The cookies were made and shaped as the #1 birthday ID. I ordered a styro stand for good presentation.
the guests
We really wanted a small group of 50. Our very selected list went over 80. The actual attendees reached more than 60.

The birthday poem

I made a poem specially for Neo's birthday. Several versions were drafted and below was the final:

by mommy

years ago I didn’t know you were coming
but in my heart you’re the one I have been yearning
twelve months ago on this same day you came
“papa’s look-alike” was all I can hear them exclaim
in december you were a handful to have
but I never complained because you’re my true love
the new year brought out new things from you
in february taking care of you was all I wanted to do
march came and april too, the days breezed fast,
you were 5 months at last!
we started in may with your first solids and cerelac
june and july with your added “likot”, I still couldn't relax
it was august when I first heard you say “ma- mmie!”
and then in september, we were delighted to play with our one- toothed baby!

and just last month I noticed you have grown so big
with cute little steps and a really strange speech

the months flew fast and it was all so fun
HAPPY BIRTHDAY my baby, my NEO is ONE!


We printed the copies of the poem in hard paper sheets and placed it in the tables for guest reading.

the get-up

We have personalized two birthday t-shirts for the birthday boy. Tina designed the “Birthday ko Ngayon” shirt and was custom made by Golden Fabric together and the “#1 /NEO jersey” shirt. Val also donned a #1/VAL jersey to match Neo's. Denim pants and socks from the Tektite tiangge and pelican crocs given by Ninang Chris completed Neo's get- up for the day.

the balloons and venue set-up

The metallic blue-green-silver balloon table arrangements, floating balloons for the ceiling, clusters for the stairway and loose balloons with ribbons are works of Jacque Tan - Party Boosters.
We have accentuated the table arrangements with the NEO is ONE cut-outs and clipped it in star wood stands. MSCI dressed up the tables with dark green and royal blue table cloths. The wall trimmings were also in blue and green.
the pinata

We ordered the pinata from LOBO, REGALO, ATBP. A party shop located at Sta. Rosa St., in Kapitolyo. Again, it's design was patterned from the central theme. We filled it with candies and some old simple toys that we seldom see anymore e.g. paper balls, whistles, tops, duratsa, flyingT, slide puzzles, magic cards, jackstones! I collected punched papers from my office and shreded an old magazine to complete the effect when we let lose the pinata.

the favours for kids

teddy bears
I was bargaining teddy bears from a seller in ebay but she won't give it to me at the price I wanted. It was such luck that the same "breed" of bears were being sold in the Tektite tiangge! I bought my required lot at a price much lower! goody good ! I attached NEO is ONE small cut-outs on the tags.

the candy boxes
The boxes were from NOVO store in Cavite. We filled it up with candies bought by Ruthie from the grocery.
the favours for grown-ups

Originally intended as loot bags. But I thought further. The "katsa" totes can be put to practical use by the adults so we made it the give-away for everyone. We inserted a "thank you for coming" card inside. To give a personal touch and added effect, I traced Neo's hand on each card and then Val and I signed too.

The bags were made thru the kind coordination of Tata Ritzie (again) with Chateau Marketing.

the tarpaulin banner
This was a disappointment. First, a friend of Val's volunteered to make it for us. A week before Nov 08, we were advised that it cannot be delivered. Second, Val made a version himself and sent it to a shop in Pioneer Center for rush printing. When we picked it up on the eve of the birthday, we were dismayed that his instructions were not carried out the way he wanted. There was no choice and no time so we settled with this design....

the buffet

Val selected the food combination. On the buffet spread were ......
Appetizer - Mojos with Zesty Garlic Dip
Fish - Fish Foldover (rolled fish with ham and cheese with white sauce)
Chicken - Roast Garlic Chicken with gravy
Pork - Lechon de Leche (Ping-Ping's, a gift from Val's Auntie Lydia)
Pasta - Baked Spaghetti
Vegetables - Sauteed Vegetables with oyster sauce
Dessert - Fresh fruit bowl and a chocolate fountain set-up
Drinks - Only one round of iced tea .We brought in bottles of various flavored C2
The table was set on the terrace of the Club Cafe with a good view of the large swimming pool.

the MTV

Timeline productions was so kind to arrange for us (or Ritzie) an edited compilation of Neo's pictures as he went through his first months. The presentation came complete with music and background works.

But we have a main AVP. Presentation done by Val. Sequence, captions and wordings by me.

Whew! Well, that's about it.Anything I forgot, I will edit and add later.

I would like to thank my sisters who have been very helpful and supportive in the preparations.

New diapers

I have used Prokids for Neo since he was born and I have no complains. But when he turned 1, I am not happy with this diaper brand anymore. It leaks at naghihiwa- hiwaly na yung fabrics sa loob. I know he wi-wis more often now because of the added milk intake but I just cannot change him in the middle of the night for a fresh one. I asked around and an officemate recommended Pampers overnight. This is not available at Pioneer Center. Today, we bought Huggies Dry Comfort. Let's see how it will perform.


During Saturdays, it is OK to oversleep. So when Neo wakes up at around six, I will give him his fix of milk and allow him to sleep some more. If he won't sleep, we'll go around the neighborhood for a quick stroll and some sunshine.

When the yaya comes in at past eight, she would do some cleaning and do our weekly chore, laundry. She would gather all of Neo's soiled clothes, bedsheets and towels and resume her assignment. I would do our own laundry and run it on the washing machine. Simultaneously, I would be cleaning and sterilizing bottles and prepare Neo's food. The yaya or myself (sometimes) would also prepare the food for lunch. If Val is in the house, he would be infront of the computer. Today, he has work. Laundry would be finished by lunchtime. After lunch I would send the yaya home leaving me (or Val) to take care of Neo. Neo will take his after lunch nap. When he wakes up we will play or read. Around 5 pm, and again, if Val is around we would go to Pioneer Center for groceries.

This is our usual Saturday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Neo had a fresh scratch on his face, the yaya reported when they fetched me from work. If Neo were some months old I would have my usual silly "praning" attack. I remember those times whenever his head would bang on walls, on his crib or anywhere else, I would also bang my head on the exact same spot to test if the impact really hurt him or I just wanted to inflict the same pain he had on myself. Val would just laugh at me and remark how silly/stupid I am. Later on, I somehow managed to relax. I know that this latest scratch will heal and it will be just one of the many little mishaps he will experience as he gets bigger and older.

When we celebrated his first birthday last week, I was partly sad. I felt that this milestone, although a very grand one, is the demarcation line from being a baby and becoming a boy. I miss him as a baby. I came across a poem that best describes how I feel on Neo's growing up.

My Baby Boy and Me
its 3 am they're all asleep
and no one's here to see
as we rock slowly back and forth
my baby boy and me
his little head is feather light
tucked up against my chin
i hold his tiny hand in mine
and stroke his baby skin
the house about us creaks and groans
the clock hands creep around
he snuggles closer to me still
and makes his baby sounds
i love these quiet hours so much
and cherish every one
store memories up inside my heart
for lonely nights to come
all too soon he'll be grown up
his need for mommy gone
but until then i still have time
for kisses and for songs divine
time for quiet hours like this
with him cuddled in my arms
where i wish he'd always stay
protected safe and warm
and yet i know the day will come
when this tiny little hand
will be much bigger than my own
but until then he's mine to love
with no one here to see
as we rock slowly back and forth
my baby boy and me.~ Jane Triplett ~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We tried the Abalos hamburjer

On our way home from the hospital to check on my sister who had been admitted because of chronic sinusitis, we passed by Ben's Burjer in Mandaluyong. Val decided to stop by and buy take home. He still haven't tried the "burjer" yet. I have tried it once when the office ordered for delivery from the Wack Wack joint. We bought six burgers for 60 pesos each. For me, for Val, for Mama, for Papa, for Ruthie and for Daddy. As I have already commented when I had my first taste, the "burjer" was OK but Hotshots is still my fave.

Below is an article on the Abalos burjer:
Abalos’ ‘hamburjer’ business expands
By Thea Alberto
INQUIRER.netFirst Posted 18:07:00 04/16/2008

MANILA, Philippines -- For those who want a taste of the hamburger popularized by former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos, the former government official has opened an outlet in Mandaluyong City.

The now famous “Ben’s Burjer” has its original home at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club where Abalos and other players in the controversial national broadband network agreement that includes First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo had met with officials of China’s ZTE Corp.
"It is a merienda outlet...this [burger is from] the same source so the public can go...since Wack-Wack is private," said Abalos in a phone interview with

The burger in “Ben's Burjer” tastes exactly like those being served in Wack-Wack although the price was cheaper, said Abalos.

"And even if you can get inside Wack-Wack, you cannot buy the burger because only members are served so those in the new outlet is in a way cheaper," he said.

Abalos' “hamburjer” instead of hamburger became famous when, in one of the inquiries by the Senate, the former Comelec chief debunked claims by NBN star witness Rodolfo Lozada that he had threatened to kill the ex-government consultant.

In that hearing, Abalos said that Lozada might have wanted the “hamburjer” so much that he had gone back to Wack-Wack despite the death threats.

But Lozada countered that he kept coming back to Wack-Wack because he worked with then socio-economic chairman Romulo Neri.

For Abalos, the “burjer” turned out to be a blessing as it had paved the way for the opening at Palanca corner Boni Avenue of another outlet, which his daughter was managing.

"Be my guest and try the burger," Abalos said

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First check up after first birthday

We went to Neo's pedia for his check up. Val could not come with us this time because its his office day. I brought along Ner instead.

Neo was given his first shot of chikenpox (P2,500). The following are the doctor's bilin:

1. Change formula to ENFAGROW or FRISOGROW. We will choose ENFAGROW
2. Change vitamins to NUTROPLEX and increase dose to 2.5 ml
3. Do away with the bottle. (Whaaattt!) She said that if we will not do it soon we should be ready to spend P80,000 for teeth construction. We will try sippy cups first.
4. Neo can eat any table food now. Of course, less of the salt and fat
5. Watch out for new milestones such as pointing at things, straight walking (barefoot recommended which also helps speech development) and talking
6. Be back on the second week of December for Hepa A injection (P2,000)

From the clinic, we were picked-up by Ritzie with Ruthie and had lunch at Shakey's Kapitolyo. Neo had mushroom soup and spaghetti.

After office, Val went to a party in Greenhills. He turned in late.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Neo is One

Neo waking up on the day of his birthday.

For me and Val, more sensational than any newspaper headlines on November 8, 2008 and far more important than the most confidential mission in the world is Neo's first birthday party. The celebration came about as we have planned and envisioned it to be. Although there were some invited guests who have failed to come, the special day was well attended by family and closest friends.

We started the celebration with a brief prayer.
Lord Jesus and Mama Mary
As we celebrate this special day, we would also like to remember Neo's twin sister who is also celebrating her first birthday with you in heaven
We thank you for the beautiful weather
We thank you for the food we are to partake
We thank you for the fun we are going to have
and most especially, we thank you for all the special people here present
We pray that you will continue to bless us today and always
(I became emotional that I almost cried and led the prayers with jitters.)

The guests proceeded with lunch.

Neo was in a happy mode that day as if he really knew that he was the "bida".

Halfway thru lunch, we have presented the video that we have prepared. It showed Neo's first months and our credits to the special people who have been part of Neo's first year.

I have distributed little number 1 cut-outs for the guests to write their special wishes and notes to the celebrant. I am meaning to lay these wishes in a scapbook and give it as a gift to Neo when he is old enough to read and understand the short letters and also so that he will know who were the people present during his first birthday.

Shortly after, we prepared for the blowing of the cake. We have asked the few kids present to put on the party hats and gather around the cake table to sing "happy birthday".

After the cake, we pulled the strings of the pinata. The kids scavaged for the little treats that were littered on the floor.
It was a fun celebration , if I may blog.
Happy Birthday Neo and many many more to come!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

two sleeps

I have yet to relate the preparation details of neo's upcoming birthday celebration but i still cannot find the time (best efforts, please!). Almost everything are covered and I list below the things that still needs to be done:

1. pay in full Makati Sports Club and finalize details (tomorrow)
2. pick-up pinata (tomorrow)
3. arrange things to bring to the venue on D-day (tonight)
4. staple tags on the teddy bears (tonight)
5. build up small boxes (tonight)
6. run to the grocery for the bottled drinks, lechon sauce and some candy give-aways (tomorrow)
7. arrange pick-up of mommy, daddy and rodneil from cavite (call tonight)
8. designate laundry to Ner (tonight and tomorrow)
9. no blouse yet, has to be this lunch time
10. talk to val on travel arrangement on saturday
11. review and finalize video presentation
12. tarpaulin

I will be on leave from office tomorrow.