Aki’s Dinosaur 4th Birthday: Simple Pop-up Dino Invitation

Morning! Here is the first of a series of posts related to Aki’s dinosaur 4th birthday partey! Aki has obsessed with dinosaurs since the start of the year. He has dino toys, dino books, dino clothes and other dino things. When he told me that he wants to have a dinosaur party, the creative juices just  flowed in. There are a lot of dino parties in the net but I still want our party to be different. Not the biggest, but the Aki-est party. I want the details and activities to be fun in the eyes of my son. The first DIY project was this simple pop-up dinosaur party invite. Cute eh?

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Photo by CasLow Photography

I got the inspiration from Aki’s Tyson the Terrible book which has a surprise pop-up at the end of the story. I looked for pop-up invite 101 online but did not find any that was easy enough to do. I studied Aki’s book and tried to recreate.

Everything starts with the template. Thank God for husbands who can draw.

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Now, the tricky part. I suggest you practice with scratch paper a couple times first. Once you have your dino or any cut-out, you need to make a y-fold. I invented that word, just so you know. Hehe

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Make a vertical fold in the lower half. Then, add a diagonal fold. Make another diagonal fold to complete your Y.

Lastly, fully fold all the creases. Continue reading

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At Daddy’s Favorite Barbershop

The day after Aki turned four, we brought him to his daddy’s barber. I cut his hair a week before and both he and I were not very happy about it. Hehe.
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DIY haircut plus unhappy and unwilling kid = instant werewolf costume!

Anyhoo, Aki and I were supposed to go out for a walk around our village. Franco decided to join us since he was due for a haircut.

I took this photo because I want to remember that when Aki turned 4, he was this  tall and he still liked to hold our hands while walking.

I took this photo because I want to remember that when Aki turned 4, he was this tall and he still liked to hold our hands while walking.

We ended up joining the daddy in the barbershop instead.  At first, we only wanted Aki to watch but later on decided to have Aki have a haircut too since the barbershop that we go to, Super Cuts, had been closed for weeks because of an ongoing renovation. Franco, who only had 100 bucks in his wallet, bullied me into walking back 3 blocks to our house to get more money. Haircut with his barber cost only 50 bucks. He said he has been paying his barber 100 bucks since time immemorial so he can’t pay 100 bucks for 2 heads. Fine.

Side story, sometime in August, I convinced Franco to give Bench Fix a try.  He was scheduled to meet the big bosses from our corporate office in the US. It was just but right not to look like a human microphone just this once. So he agreed. He just had his haircut 2 weeks before. Naturally, there was not much that the Bench Fix stylist can do. When I told him that the haircut cost him 250, I had to pick up his jaw from the floor and shushhhhhh him from not reacting too loudly. haha. It took him days to get over that haircut. He kept on ranting and ranting to anyone who was willing to listen or to anyone who was too polite to say, “Will you please shut up?!” And so my plan to convince him to move from his hole-in-a-wall barber to a Bench fix stylist was a major fail.

When I arrived in the shop, Aki ran to me and said,” I want my barber. I want my barber!”.  We only convinced him to try sitting on the adult chair by bribing him with my phone. The chair was too big, so I had Aki sit on his dad’s lap.

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I had never been to a barber shop until I had a kid of my own. I always find myself enjoying people-watching there. I noticed that most customers, mostly fathers with their young sons, come in the pambahay clothes in the morning. Maybe because the customers are expected to go home and take a bath right after. It is the exact opposite when girls go to a salon. At least for me. Whenever possible, I schedule my haircuts right before going to an event or get together. When you go to a salon, there are magazines to keep the customer entertained. In barbershops, they only have newspapers. The barbers chat with each other  and with their customers about news, sports and the other barbershops.

Here are some pictures from that morning

Although Aki was not happy that a new barber was cutting his hair, he did not turn into a werewolf.
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Although there were times when he was laughing and giggling (compare this to the reaction of the barber),

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Aki seemed to mistrust his daddy’s barber most of this time…

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I could not blame the boy. You don’t jump for joy and give your full confidence right after you hear your barber say,” Wag malikot, baka magupit ko ang tenga mo” (Don’t move too much or I might cut your ear)  To this, the barber  assigned to the next chair added, ” Tapos papalitan ng tenga ng baboy” (Then we will replace it with pigs’ ears”). Continue reading

Playdate with my Favorite Bloggers

Morning! Can you believe it is Friday already? Long lazy weekend, here we come! Oh, I just realized that I don’t have the license to be lazy since Ate Doring is on vacation leave. The kapitan in her barangay sent money so she can go home and vote…. I know what you are thinking. .. oh well, who am I to stop her from her civic duty to exercise her to right to vote?

One thing I am so looking forward to this weekend is our playdate with Mapi and Ryken. So excited!

Speaking of playdates, looking at the blog posts of my mommy blogger friends reminded me of the long overdue post on our playdate last February. Or was this around March? Hehe. I missed the last get together, the baby shower for Aimee so I will definitely make sure that I will be present present present come our Christmas party.  It is so nice to see how the group has grown. Originally, which was 2 years ago, it was just me, Em, Dew, Maggie and Marsy. Now,  the circle is bigger with Sha, Aimee, Pepper, Faye, Erlaine, Peachy and our latest victims recruits Vivian and Ging. I hope I did not miss anyone. Hopefully this December, Sieggy, Lanie, Rachel, and Kaye will be able to join for the first time.

Anyhoot hoot, here are some of my favorite pictures from our Feb playdate at the Ayala Triangle Park. Special thanks to Dom of Studio 2916 for our gorgeous portraits

Here is Aimee and Tala

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This is really nice, noh?

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Pepper and A with Mark.

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What I love about this shot is the joy and pride in the parents faces as they look at their pretty daughter.

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Erl and Kelsea. I want a shot like these! I will bring Aki’s bike next time

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Maggie and her beautiful family. So so so thankful we have at least one friend who lives nearby

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That’s one future heartbreaker looking straight at yah

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Mystery Solved

Remember those chubby mysterious caterpillars that I blogged about here?
The mystery is now solved thanks to Bostjan who left this very informative comment all the way from Berlin
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Speaking of comments, I have over a hundred comments that I have yet to approve, post and reply to. Apologies for the delay! Please know that each one of them is greatly appreciated.

Anyhoo, back to my chubby caterpillars. So they don’t turn into butterflies. Instead they become this gorgeous oleander hawk moth. Continue reading

Another Birthday Tradition: Coloring Pages

Happy Tuesday!

How was your weekend? I spent the whole Saturday in bed. Sunday on the other hand was a totally different story. We started the day with Aki’s martial arts training. Then, we played in a nearby park and had a photoshoot with Maggie and Lucas. Had early lunch with our photographers, Dom and Richard of Studio 2916. When I got home, the generous people from Bounty Fresh has sent me packs of their Chicken Torikatsu. Normally, I would be panicking if I come home at 12 NN with no idea what to serve for lunch. Franco comes home famished after his morning training. But because we got packs of Torikatsu from Bounty Fresh in the ref, it was so convenient to just open a pack and fry away. Best of all, hubby loved it. He ate 3 katsus in one seating. Thank you Bounty Fresh! I think it  was meant to be because I was planning on trying out the product after I saw their bus ads.  Don’t these look really yummy?

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After that all three of us napped in the sofa. When I  woke up, it was already 3PM and it was time to start working on Aki’s halloween costume! So glad we were able to finish in 1 hour. We got a surprise visit from Franco’s cousin, Marco and his cute baby boy Marcus. Later in the afternoon, we  supported a neigbor’s garge sale. Out total bill was 300 plus. I am so happy with our purchases. I will blog about them soon. The evening was spent watching Friends Season 4, which we bought from the garage sale for only 80 bucks per season.

Anyhoo, this post is really about another birthday tradition. Oh yes, I am addicted to birthday traditions.  Every year, on Aki’s birthday, we ask him to color the same picture. It is interesting to see how he has improved in just 2.5 years

We started this tradition when he was a year and a half.

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at 2 years old

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at 3. You can see that he made an attempt to color the balloon and cupcake red, the boy and party hat blue

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It is Starting to Feel Like Christmas!

Speaking of traditions, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our holiday book collection. Every year, our collection grows and grows. When I was still starting this tradition, I’d buy books so long as they look interesting. Now, I only choose books that are age-appropriate and interest-related. Here are some of my newest finds.

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A Houseful of Christmas. The illustrations look familiar because this book came from the same illustrator who did Click, Clack, Moo. Unlike most Christmas book, Santa does not appear in this book. The story is about how Christmas brings the family together. Very Filipino. It reminds me of my family because in my mom’s house, even if there are only 3 rooms, we always have room for all my aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas. I love the vintage-ness of the hand drawings of this book.

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Santa’s Favorite Story

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Santa’s Book of Names. I got this book because the main character, Edward, is also a new reader, like Aki.

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The Annual Birthday Photo Tradition

Hello you!

If you have been reading this online diary long enough, you probably already know that I am obsessed with family traditons. I like the idea of doing the same thing over and over until simple acts become treasured family memories. One of our birthday traditions is taking Aki’s annual birthday photos.

By the stairs
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It took at least 20 attempts to get this shot.

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Silhouette shots

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As you can see, Aki was not very cooperative. Here, he was running away from me.
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Continue reading

Belated Happy Birthday, Aki!

Belated happy 4th birthday to our son, Aki! Thank you for the joy, chaos, silliness, panic, balance, noise, perspective and love that you bring. May you be the inventor that you want to be when you grow up. May you never run out of creativity to turn a boring day to an exciting one. May you always have enough courage to give everything a try. May hope and optimism never leave you even on your darkest days.  And always remember, whatever you do, wherever you are, you are always always loved.

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One of My Worst Fears Just Happened

Since I got engaged 6 years ago, I’ve been fearing that it might rain on my party. Even before Franco proposed, he really wanted to get married in Don Bosco. But because that area of Makati is propone to floods, we decided to cancel our reservation and move to Magallanes. Since then, I’d regularly check the weather forecast whenever I have an event. I silently say a prayer whenever there is a typhoon on a weekend for the brides and grooms scheduled to get married that day. When classes are suspended because of typhoon,  I feel sad for the mothers whose kids were supposed to have a birthday celebration in school.  Today, I am on of those poor mothers.

I was making dinosaur tortilla pizza.

If you are going to try this, opt for the ordinary tortilla. They are easier to manage than the whole wheat variety. Also, don't forget the legs which I did not bother adding bec I am too depressed

If you are going to try this, opt for the ordinary tortilla. They are easier to manage than the whole wheat variety. Also, don’t forget the legs which I did not bother adding bec I am too depressed

Ate was chopping the veggies for the pancit for her yaya friends (apparently, it is an issue with the yayas when they are not given food during school parties, according to Ate Dorina).  My world crashed when Teacher Joy informed me via SMS around 6:10AM that classes today are suspended. Waaaah! I went on leave yesterday to finish all the party preps.  Yesterday was a big day in the office and I had to miss it. I had to miss my favorite and one and only boss’s, of 10 years, last day.  I hate how unpredictable the weather is.  Yesterday it was so hot. I went to Aki’s school and gave last minute reminders to the staff.  Please remove the tarps even for just one day. Please put the clothesline here. Please  cover these windows.  Now, classes are suspended because the signal number 1 is up. Worst, it is not even raining today!!!! As soon as I got the teacher’s advisory, I ran to Franco to vent. He said, “Ok lang yan (It’s okay)” . He went back to sleep and did not wake up until 10 minutes later.  When he woke up finally, we discussed the reschedule. No can’t do on Monday because it is the launch date of one of Franco’s many projects. Fine! I suggested Wednesday.  Franco, blurted out without thinking, “What if we cancel the whole thing?”.  He just verbally agreed to his death penalty. I turned into an evil minion for 5 seconds. Poor husband. He did not deserve my wrath. Being an August baby, he is used to typhoons ruining his birthday. Continue reading

Dream Boy!

I have the weirdest dreams. Like this morning, my dream was all about a vacation gone bad. Jong Hilario of Streetboys, was chasing me in a fishing village. He and his  group already killed some of my friends. I never found out why they were after us.

It was therefore no surprise when Aki started telling me about his dreams as soon he wakes up.

Sometimes he tells me the gist

Dream #1
Aki: Mummy, did you know that dinosaurs love bananas!!?

Dream #2
Aki: There was an accident. The house became a monster.

Dream #3
Aki: I kissed Kuya Rocky’s bread. It was yummy!

Some dreams are more detailed
Continue reading