Aki's Preschool Years · Birthdays · Family Traditions · Memoirs of a Mummy

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?

Top Torikatsu ClassicTop Torikatsu Cheese&Chives
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

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Continue reading “Another Birthday Tradition: Coloring Pages”

Birthdays · Celebrations · Family Traditions · Memoirs of a Mummy

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 “The Annual Birthday Photo Tradition”

Aki's Preschool Years · Birthdays · Memoirs of a Mummy

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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Aki's Preschool Years · Birthdays · Memoirs of a Mummy

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 “One of My Worst Fears Just Happened”

Birthdays · Celebrations · Food · Franco's Wife

A Birthday Cake for the Man of the House

A couple of Fridays ago, we celebrated  Franco’s birthday. We were all at home. I took a leave from work. Franco came from a double shift so he rested on that day. Ate Dorina, to my surprise, decided without consulting me, that Aki will not go to school that day because of his cough. I already set my mind that I will bake a birthday cake. I have always wanted to make Aki’s birthday cakes from scratch but because I tend to overplan, I always end up ordering. Franco, the underplanner that he is,  had other plans. He requested that we all stay in the house and spend a lazy day in bed. No cooking, no baking, no going to the grocery. The only agenda is be lazy.

The next day, while our daddy was out for his weekly jujitsu training, Aki and I baked a chocolate cake for the first time. Special thanks to my UP Comm III classmate, Aikko of Bake Happy for the recipe.

First, we mixed the sugar and mayonnaise. Yup, this recipe calls for mayonnaise instead of eggs and butter. The brand that we used is Best Foods.

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On a separate bowl, we mixed cocoa, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly, we added the dry ingredients to our mayo-sugar mixture. What I like about this recipe is that it does not require a mixer. Anything that will make the clean up easier, even if it means that some gadgets will be collecting  dust in the shelf, is welcome in my kitchen.

The most crucial step, especially in Aki’s opinion, is the taste test. Because the batter did not have uncooked eggs, I let Aki taste and lick longer than usual.

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After he gave his sign of approval, we transferred the batter in a lined cake pan and baked it until the toothpick came out clean.
While that was cooking, Ate Dorina and I made Franco’s favorite spaghetti with meatballs.

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After 45 minutes inside the oven, our chocolate cake was ready. Aikko is right. This cake does not need frosting. It was very moist and chocolate-y.

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It was also around this time when I discovered that my cake stand was missing. I had to improvise.

Here, Aki is frosting our cake.

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We used ready-made ganache from Let’s Bake It, a newly opened baking supplies store here in Bicutan. I was dead set on making my own frosting but really really nice, friendly and customer-oriented salesladies and salesmen are my weakness. I have been to other baking supplies stores and I must say, the lady and her husband (I think they are also the owners) behind the counter of Let’s Bake It, are just too nice to say no to. When I said that I am baking a cake for the first time and it’s for the hubby, she got really excited and told me that if it is for Franco, I must use her recommended brands. She has point. My hardworking husband deserves the best. She was not pushy though. I asked her if she has tips on how to make the frosting look billowy. She recommended a special spatula. She probably noticed the change in my facial expression after she said the price. She then told me that if I am not ready or if I won’t be using it often, I can try using the back of a spoon for the meantime.

Presenting…. our first chocolate cake with the yummy ganache that refused to look billowy…. and my DIY cake stand. Continue reading “A Birthday Cake for the Man of the House”

Birthdays · Franco's Wife

Bestfriend and Firstborn

Happy happy 33rd birthday to my bestfriend and eldest child. Thank you for encouraging Aki to play in the rain and for letting me buy all the books that I want in Booksale. Thank you for never failing to tell me when I am overreacting and for teaching our son how to dance. Maybe soon, I will also learn the art of sleeping all day. Enjoy your special day! Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in bed. Love you!

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Birthdays · Memoirs of a Mummy

Weekend with the Nevalgas

One of the highlights of our November was the weekend we spent with my paternal side of the family in Calamba. I blogged about fun reunion we had in the cemetery here. We were supposed to leave for Bayog at the end of the day but decided last minute to spend the rest of the long weekend in our family house. I realized that I missed my Nevalga family so much. We live in different parts of the globe now. Some in the US. Some in San Pablo. Some in Calamba. Some in Guam. Some in Paranaque.

We also had one more reason to stay. Our not so little girl, Jasha, turned 13! Oh my! We have a teenager now.I don’t think I will ever be ready to meet her first boyfriend.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERACan somebody tell me where did our baby girls go? We use to put them all together in one crib.

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I have 4 tubs of icing from Aki’s uod party. As soon as the party was done, I checked with Kitkat if they spoil easily. Thankfully, after weeks of hibernating in the freezer, the icings were as good as they were the day we got them. I was so sure my nieces and nephews would enjoy decorating cupcakes. I did not have time to bake cupcakes (who has by the way??!) so I just bought individually packed cupcakes from the grocery.

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When the kids were done, it was time for the adults to convene, judge the cupcakes and give the cash prize to the best cupcake decorator.

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This side of my family is also notorious for obligating the kids to perform. I hated this tradition when I was young but was glad that my cousins would happily perform and and prepare for the next performance.

I was expecting that Aki would also hate performing but no. As soon was Gangnam Style was playing,  he got into a trance and danced with his cousins without prodding. I was sooo proud! At that time, I had not seen the music video and had no idea why everyone was into it. To my surprise, Aki knew the steps and has a thing for break dancing.

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Continue reading “Weekend with the Nevalgas”

Aki's Wiggly Worm 3rd Birthday · Birthdays · Memoirs of a Mummy

Aki’s Wiggly Worm 3rd Birthday Party

Last October, my boy turned three!!! I miss those cheeks!

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Compared to his airplane themed 1st birthday party and his Letter A 2nd birthday party, last year’s celebration was low key. Having a party in school means less party time and more kids. I didn’t bother making a dessert table or decorating the area. We only had limited time so I wanted to make sure we make the most out of it. And because this was the first real kiddie party in the sense that all the guests were kids, I focused on making the party fun and educational. My priorities were 1) loot bags 2) activities and 3) food.

Aki had a say this time on the theme. Of the party themes that he liked, I picked the Baby Uod  (baby worm) theme. It was just appropriate since he’s been obsessed with worms for the longest time. He even wanted to have a worm sibling at one point. Hahaha!

Let’s have a quick look back at the DIY project that I did for Aki’s little friends.

Read more about the projects here.

Invitation

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Loot Bags

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The worm friend

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Worm-y pencil

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The worm puppet (my favorite DIY project)

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Whenever Aki gets a party loot bag, I immediately check on the contents. Most of the time, loot bags are filled with sweets, the intake of which I try to control. So for Aki’s party, no sweets in the loot bag. At all! Aside from the DIY’s, we were supposed to give worm balloons. You should have seen me when I saw these balloons in Andings. Unfortunately, even before we could draw eyes and mouths, the balloons burst. They burst on their own because the material was too thin. Hmmp!

Aki had fun playing with them though.

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So what did we do that morning? A lot! Aki’s class starts at 11AM so everything had to be ready by 10:30. Ate Dorina went on emergency leave so Franco and I were busy with the errands plus looking after the birthday boy. Plus, we have our morning birthday tradition.

First, we brought the balloons to Party Tools. We were told to go back after an hour.  Then we went to Red Ribbon to pick up the cake.Then, we bought breakfast from Jollibee. It has been a birthday tradition to eat in Jollibee. We did not have time to dine there so we just ordered take out. Brought the food to the house. My sister and RJ, who were our photographers and videographers for the day were there. Good. Their turn to look after Aki. I gave Aki a bath and turned him over to his Chacha Jana. Franco and I left again this time to pick up the balloons, which started bursting as soon as we loaded them to the van and met up with the hubby of Kitkat of Kalea’s confections (09178920443), to get my order of cupcakes for the cupcake decorating activity.

The cupcakes that we ordered were unfrosted. The yummy butter cream frostings which came in 4 yummy colors were in tubs.  The cupcake itself was so yummy we had to stop Aki from eating them.

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I also ordered mini cupcakes for Aki’s teacher.

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Once we got home, I dressed Aki in his party clothes. RJ made this #3 shirt. Thanks, Rj!

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I quickly decorated the cake using the worms from Faye (thanks, sis!) and the cake pops that Maggie made. Cake pops by Bites are not only cute. They are really really yummy! Like them in Facebook or visit their blog here.
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Off to school we went.

I talked to Aki’s teachers months before the party to ask for approval for my ideas. They were very supportive and liked that the activities were “educational”.

As I suggested, the book of the day was A Very Hungry Caterpillar. I planned on including a copy of this book in the loot bags. Books for Less had a warehouse sale so I contacted them. But then the final quote was too expensive for me, so we had to scratch out that idea.

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I wonder why the classmates looked so serious while listening to the story.

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To my surprise, I learned after the reading time, that I had to speak in  front and explain the activities to the kids. In case you don’t know, I get really really nervous when I speak in front of an audience, even if they are less than 3.5 feet tall.

Our second activity was coloring. Thank you world wide web for the coloring sheet.

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Next we made a worm family diorama. I prepared the blue paper for the base, strips of paper in different sizes, and the eyes.

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Up next were the cakes and gifts -Aki’s favorites. We opened only 3 gifts because we had limited time.

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The last activity I prepared was cupcake decorating. We got grass ( green sprinkles), soil (crushed oreos) and  of course gummy worms. Each classmate was given a paper plate for easy clean up and a fork for spreading. Each table had two tub’s of Kitkat’s yummy icing.

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Everyone even the teachers enjoyed this activity.

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Continue reading “Aki’s Wiggly Worm 3rd Birthday Party”

Birthdays · Maqui's Me Time · Memoirs of a Mummy

My Longest Post Ever aka the Liebster Award

I got the Liebster award from 4 of my favorite bloggers. I am so tired and hungry from answering 44 questions so I am copy-pasting the mechanics from Maggie’s blog:

Here are the rules for passing the award:

1. Each person must list 11 things about themselves.
2. Recipient of the award must answer the 11 questions of the person who tagged you.
3. Come up with 11 questions that you want 11 persons, whom you will nominate, to answer.
4. Link the blogs you nominated in your post.
5. Go to their page and inform them about the award.
6. Absolutely NO tags back. Remember only to tag bloggers with less than 200 followers.

My answers…

From Pepper

1. What is your favorite comfort food?
I love Burger Machine’s Double Longganiza Burger with Egg!

2. For dessert, cake or ice cream? Why?
Cake definitely! Cakes are more interesting because the baker can play with the design and texture.

3. The beach or the mountains? Why?
I am not an adventurous person so beach is my answer. I also get tired easily and don’t like anything slippery. One of the worst experiences of my elementary years was when we trekked Mount Makiling.  Although I must say, I am also not a beach person. I am more of a hilata-sa-sofa person.

4. Whats good about blogging?
I think it is very therapeutic to blog because doing so allows the blogger to stop and reflect on what happened. Having something to look back at would be a treasure for the future. Blogging also gives me a sense of accountability for my life. Having a blog inspires me to spend more time and energy on what makes me happy and feel fulfilled.

Someone I know died unexpectedly this year. She was one of the most loved and admired people at work. We can go on and on on why we love her. My wish is for her children to know her the way we do. Her death inspired me to blog regularly so that if something happens to me, Lord wag po, the people I care about will know me the way I want to be remembered.

5. Whats not so good about it?
Hmm.. This is just me. I think the more time I spend online, the less time I spend offline. And it is the offline life that is more important, right? That is why I am limiting my online social presence. No Instagram, no Twitter, no Pinterest etc. I only have this blog and my boring Facebook page.

6. Who or what serves as your inspiration when writing a post?
Aki, Franco, friends, family, fellow bloggers and as morbid as it sounds, dying.

7. How long does it usually take you to write a post?
Shortest probably is 10 minutes even for an almost wordless post. That is because lately, I am enjoying editing pictures and looking for the best place to put my watermark. I have drafts that have been in my head for months.

8. What makes a certain photo blog post worthy?
If it will make you smile some months or years from now, go!

9. How long have you been blogging?
2.5 years. I started blogging March of 2009. I actually wish I started blogging when I was still preggers.

10. What inspired you to pen a blog?
These blogs are my inspirations.

Pochainginamo blog inspired me to have a repository for Aki’s antics.

Enyong the Small Things blog inspired me to enjoy the small things

Anna’s Bluelawbyanna (I miss your posts!!) inspired me to blog, not for the hits, popularity, sponsored ads or the freebies, but for documentation sake. Anna, miss ko na talaga ang posts mo!

11. Whats the story behind your blog name?
All our names end with -ki (Franky, Maqui and Aki)

From Em

1. Name a book you would read over and over again?
Do Aki’s books count?  I love You Are My I Love You. I am not an “adult” book reader. I get bored easily. I only like magazines.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Shoes that I wear regularly – 3. I have one pair of running shoes and 4 formal shoes (mostly gifts from my sister) that are gathering dust. Total number – 8.

3. What chore do you absolutely love doing?
Decluttering!

4. What personality trait/s do you dislike in other people?
I don’t like it when people get in a bad mood easily e.g. traffic, reading a text etc.

5. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Weird. I can’t think of any. PDA in high school?

6. If you have an extra hour today, how would you pass the time?
Play with Aki, definitely. If he is sleeping, update this blog.

7. Flats or Heels? Why?
Flats! I only wear heels when it is raining (my boots have 2 inch heels) and when I am in a formal event

8. If you could go back to any age for a day, what age would that be and why?
I want to be 26 and a new mom again. I had a terrible case of postpartum depression which made me feel worried and lonely when I should be savoring having a new baby in my arms

9. What is one job you thi nk you’d be absolutely terrible at?
Cashier. First let me say that I am good in Math but I can’t do the, give-me-5-pesos-and-I-will-give-10 without a calculator or a pen and paper. Oh , and anything that involves public speaking

10.What is your favorite film of all time?
I am not a movie person either. I am so boring, noh? Can’t think of one now but I have seen Taken 1 at least 8 times already and I don’t mind watching it again.

11.In five words or less, how do you want your readers to perceive you?
The idea of having “readers” makes me feel uneasy because first of all, I am no writer. Unlike writers, I don’t stop and think if “readers” will like  what I am about to say. I can’t imagine saying “my readers”. It is either people who read my blog or my online friends.I don’t mind if other people use that term but for me, if I were to say it, it is as if I am assuming that I have a following or that  I have influence over them. I don’t want to owe it to anyone to make sure that my entries are interesting or grammar&typo-error-free.

Anyhoot hoot, I just want to be remembered as… (Em, hirap naman nito!)…. hmm…let’s just put it this way. This blog is all about making and documenting memories. Haha. I think I did not answer the question. Continue reading “My Longest Post Ever aka the Liebster Award”

Birthdays · Family Traditions · Memoirs of a Mummy

The Morning He Turned 3

Even if we were without a helper, Aki’s birthday celebration this year is relatively less stressful compared to last year’s. Maybe because I have already mapped out the traditions, I kinda already knew what to do. I pictured how that morning would be. Wake up at 5AM to get cupcake and candles and make the birthday web. Wait for Aki to wake up. Once he starts rolling, wake up the hubby and light the candles. Sing happy birthday and lead birthday boy to his gift.Let him open his first gift and eat his cupcake. Go downstairs and ask him to draw.  Before 8AM, ask neighbor’s helper to look after Aki while we get cake from Red Ribbon, give worm balloons to Party Tools, buy Jollibee breakfast, meet Kitkat for the cupcakes and go home. At home, picture taking with photog while waiting for pasta and drinks to arrive. At 10 AM, load stuff and at 10:30, go to school.

I thought it would be so hectic because there were so many people to meet. The morning was not as stressful as I expected. Thank you, Lowrd!

Oh, the birthday celebration actually started the night before when Aki and I looked at our old photos. The plan to print pictures and make a birthday scrapbook is, uhhm, still just a plan.

Where oh where did my baby go…

Web and gift, check!

Aki woke up before six. He was crankier than the Grinch. He was in no mood to blow any candles. After drinking milk, he went back to sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, he woke up and was his jolly not-so-old self.

After two rounds of birthday songs, he was ready to rip the web..

and open his gift. This time we have a proper gift, not like last year when all I had prepared for him was a banana.

At first, Aki was taking his time opening the gift. However, when he realized what was inside he got so excited and unwrapped his present fast. Continue reading “The Morning He Turned 3”