31 December 2012

12 powerful resolutions

This was forwarded to me by Carol, one of my SFC babies.  And although I don't usually make any resolutions every year, it's definitely a good article to pick up some words of wisdom to guide us throughout the year.

So open the new chapter in front of you and appreciate it’s clean white space.  This chapter is called Opportunity and it starts today…

nol card: check-in, check-out

Here in the UAE, one of the benefits of working mothers is we’re entitled to 1 hour free time from work every day for 18 months after giving birth to breastfeed and spend more time with her baby (that’s if the baby was delivered here). For me, I opted to report to work 1 hour later than all the rest of my colleagues; which means I have to commute to the office because Hubby leaves for work really early in the morning. So, since I returned to work last November, I’ve been using the RTA public transportation. I take the bus until it stops at one of the metro stations, and then I take a taxi to my office.

23 December 2012

reunion with nyoy

The Dubai Chapter of our high school batch got another chance to get together again last December 6...all because our very own batchmate Niño (aka Nyoy Volante) was in town for a show with the other Sessionistas. Unfortunately though, not everyone was able to make it. Sharon’s daughter was sick so she couldn’t come, Maan couldn’t make it as well, and Laarni was in the Philippines. Although we knew Nyoy would be coming, we didn’t know his itinerary; so except for buying tickets to the show, we didn’t know when we could have the mini-reunion. I received an SMS from him on the evening of the 5th and several messages later through FB, my batchmates and I agreed to meet up at the lobby of Asiana Hotel after the press conference on Thursday night.

serving in the community

Again, another bump in our service. I had somewhat expected this, but of course I hoped I would be wrong. It may be too early to complain since nothing has happened yet, but then, that’s also one of the reasons why it’s so frustrating...nothing has happened yet! I don’t want to blame anyone or point fingers, so I’ll just blame it on the timing (so many things happened and it’s the Christmas/Year-End season). I don’t know...I just want to give up and go back to when things were (somewhat) easier and we had less responsibilities. Is it too much to ask if we want to go back to being members?

22 December 2012

my end-of-the-world day

So the supposed day of the end of the world came...and went. Honestly, a part of me thought it would, while the other part of me thought otherwise. That’s why throughout the entire day yesterday, I wanted to make sure that I was with the people I love, my family; so that just in case anything happened, we were spending our final moments together.

18 December 2012

kfc national kids village

Hubby and I were recently given a higher responsibility in the community as KFC (Kids for Christ) Chapter Coordinators, just in time to take part in the National Kids Village which was held at Children’s City on the 1st of December.

The theme this year was “Move: By God, For God, With God,” and the venue was decorated to look like an airport. There was a Check-In area, Passport Control counter, luggage counter, and boarding gate just like a terminal. There was even a waiting area for the “chance passengers” (parents and siblings of the participants) so that they could see the live screening of the activity.

17 December 2012

sophie's christening

Baptisms at St. Mary’s Church are held on Thursdays only (except Maundy Thursday), but after attending the Baptism Seminar in October, Hubby immediately went to Fr. Tom (the Parish Priest) to speak to him. Fortunately, after a pretty long talk, he allowed us to have what they call a “special baptism” on the 17th of November, a Saturday. Once we got the date finalized, I started preparing the list of things to do: book the reception venue, ask and inform the godparents-to-be, order the cake, giveaways, etc. Fortunately, I was still on my maternity leave and would only return to work on the 10th of November, so it gave me lots of time to do whatever I needed to accomplish.

01 December 2012

31 days of praying for your husband

This guide by Nancy Leigh DeMoss was forwarded to me by a former colleague a few days ago. Being a wife who believes that her husband is a gift from God, I want to do my part in helping him be the best husband, father, and person he can be. And since December is Hubby’s birthday month and the last month of the year (plus, it has 31 days), I decided to start this today in preparation for the coming new year. Praying for him daily will also be one of my birthday and Christmas gifts to him.

29 November 2012

just wanted to greet you all...

taken inside our office building
In a few minutes, I'm off to enjoy a long weekend.

28 November 2012

bentoya date

Usually when it’s the 27th of the month, we all go out to celebrate with dinner in a restaurant. That’s Hubby, me, Caila, Sophie, Mama, and sometimes Ate Cel. But last night, after a looooong time, Hubby and I finally went out on a date...just the two of us...on our monthsary.

meeting sandier pastures

Before going home last night, Hubby and I passed by a pharmacy and supermarket to buy some things. As we were walking back to our car, I saw a familiar face and, although I knew she didn’t know me, I wanted to stop and say “hi” to her. So I did. And I finally met the woman behind Sandier Pastures, a blog about the life of a working mom in Dubai.

27 November 2012

everything sharice

Just like what I did for Caila, I created a separate blog for my second daughter.
She just turned 2 months old, but there's already so many things I want to blog about.
I’ve already posted the (sort of) journal I made during the time I was pregnant...and there will be more things I’ll be jotting down about her as she grows up.  Things ranging from her smallest accomplishments to what she likes, her reactions, what she may find interesting at some point in her life, her habits, and anything else.
The blog will simply be Everything Sharice.

08 November 2012

name game: if you can’t beat them, join them

Since our first-born’s nickname is a combination of her two names, I wanted to do the same for our second daughter…thus the name “Sharice” (S and H from her first name, and the rest of the letters from her second). I like it because it means cherry and deep red, which is the color of the bag I wanted to buy when I was pregnant (actually, until now, I’m still looking for that perfect bag).

05 November 2012

will you be my godparent?

The baptism of the newest addition to our family is less than two weeks away. Many of the things that need to be done have already been taken cared of, and this includes asking our friends and relatives to be Sharice’s godparents.

Although we had asked most of them verbally weeks before I delivered, I wanted to send them something to make the request more formal. I didn’t want anything extravagant; I just wanted it to be simple, but with a special message. So I searched the internet for ideas, and came up with this:

my first grade teacher

After almost thirty years, I got the chance to see my grade school teacher from Papua New Guinea…right here in Dubai!

As most of you may know, I was born in PNG and I spent my elementary school years there. Rabaul International Primary School was where I studied Grade 1 and 2, and I remember liking both of my class advisers.  Mrs. Clayton (as how we called her then) was really, very nice; I don't recall her ever shouting at me or my classmates, considering majority of them were boys.
I'm the really small girl on the extreme right of the front row

04 November 2012

how we obtained mama’s residence visa

Finally, Mama is a legal resident of the UAE! Contrary to what I expected, and considering the bad luck we usually have with these matters, we didn’t have a difficult time to process it…although, it did take us a while. In June, aside from checking the internet for information on the procedures on how to sponsor a parent, I also asked our company PRO what the requirements were. They were a lot, and the entire process would take some time!

28 October 2012

affected, concerned…connected

I’ve noticed that on several particular occasions, Sharice has a difficult time sleeping…even though she’s been fed and burped, and her nappy is dry. Those times, nothing is wrong with her. The only reason why she can’t have a good sleep is because she’s uneasy; and she’s uneasy because it seems she’s affected and concerned. Here’s a few instances that happened so you'll understand:

27 October 2012

published: how we prepared caila for her new sibling

Last month, Mother, Baby & Child Magazine posted the following question on their facebook page: What is the best way to tell your child that he/she is about to have a new sibling? The question was timely because hubby and I had been preparing Caila for her little sister’s arrival, so I sent my answer which was based on experience, some tips of which I got from N@W. And early this month, I received an e-mail from the magazine’s Chief Editor saying that their October issue included my contribution. I was excited of course! For the first time, something I wrote had been published in a credible magazine that’s read by so many parents here in the UAE! Usually, there’s a mother’s view and a specialist’s view that answers their monthly question, but I noticed that this time, there was only a mother’s view (mine)…which, I would like to believe, most probably meant that what hubby and I had been doing were the right things to do. Wow!

26 October 2012

sharice's arrival

Although I was due to deliver on the 25th of September, Sophie Patrice decided to come out on our family date, just like her sister. However, because I started having a bloody show on the 24th (just like what happened on the morning I gave birth to Caila) we thought she would come out then. We thought the same thing on the morning of the 25th when the blood that came out was bright red, but when we went to the hospital, the doctor said I was just 1 cm dilated. As much as we all wanted me to deliver normally, since there was no sign that I would give birth on the 25th and I couldn't be induced (because I had a c-section before), Dr. Iliana said that there was no choice but to deliver via c-section again. Of course I asked to schedule it for the 27th to which she immediately made the arrangements.

19 September 2012

things i'll do after the baby comes out

I’m sure many mothers will agree with me when I say that being pregnant has its ups and downs. You’re given priority in queues, offered seats in the metro and/or bus, bosses and colleagues don’t give you too much stress at work, you can eat early before the official lunch break or nibble on some snacks at your desk, you can ask the company drivers to drop you off at home after work (err, ok, I admit...even when I wasn’t pregnant I would ask our drivers to drop me off if they weren’t busy), etc. On the other hand, there’s so many things that can make you miserable like the frustration of not having anything decent to wear that can fit because your tummy keeps growing, having to decline or limit your intake of yummy desserts (and other foods) because you fear getting gestational diabetes, waking up several times in the middle of the night to pee (and then not being able to go back to sleep), going through a roller coaster of emotions...I can go on and on.

still working

Yesterday I had completed my 39th week of pregnancy, so in the afternoon, I left the office for my regular appointment with my OB...and to my colleagues’ and managers’ surprise, I turned up for work this morning. Even the managers in Japan were surprised to hear from me when I sent them an e-mail this morning, replying to their queries. Yup, I’m still pregnant, and still working. I had already filed my leave application a couple of weeks ago, stating my last day would be the 18th of September (yesterday), but after I took the day off last week for Caila’s first day of school, I decided that I’d rather work until my 40th week...because if I just stayed at home, I’d end up stuffing my face with food, sleeping, watching television, and just gaining more weight. Plus, I didn’t want to waste my maternity leave days just waiting (we’re only allowed 45 days as per the UAE Labour Law). Good thing my line manager and the company in general are lenient when it comes to these matters.

15 September 2012

first day of kindy

Tuesday last week was the first day of school for our daughter, so of course, like her first day in Nursery, I took the day off from work. As expected, Caila was really excited to start “big” school. She kept pulling her new Dora the Explorer trolley bag all around the apartment the night before, and even insisted to keep it beside our bed before sleeping because she was scared “the moon would get it if she left it in the living room.” That’s what we tell her will happen if she doesn’t take care of her stuff and leaves them lying around in a mess.

09 September 2012

great morning

My sister lives on the other side of Dubai and is usually really busy, and Mama just recently returned to the country. Whenever we go home to the Philippines for vacation, we rarely get the chance to go to church all together. So I was really happy when, for the first time after a veeeeerrrrrryyyyyy long time, Mama, my sister, and I (along with Hubby and Caila) attended mass together at St. Mary’s Church yesterday.
latorre girls
Thank you, Mama Mary! It was your birthday, but you were the one who gave us the gift. Such a great morning!

22 August 2012

shopping for the baby...and cloth diapers

With a maximum of 5 weeks to go, we only finally bought the things we needed for Baby Tummy during the Eid holidays. Aside from the stuff we asked Mama to buy from the Philippines (yup, she finally arrived last Friday night), the only place we went to for the essentials was Babyshop which has so many branches in Dubai. Unfortunately though, there was no sale going on (in Babyshop or Centerpoint) but it was ok because there wasn’t much we had to buy anyway. So what we bought were a sterilizer, bottles, pacifiers, and breastpads. The Madela breast pump I was eyeing was quite expensive so we decided to wait until after I deliver in the hopes that it will be on sale by then. Aside from that, the only things left to buy were maternity pads (for me, of course), an anti-slip bathtub mat, and disposable diapers which we’ll purchase on our next trip to the supermarket. There was something I wasn’t planning on buying because I didn’t know they were available here, and this was…

15 August 2012

dry nights

Our daughter no longer needs to sleep with diapers! Hooray!!!

Caila can already sleep in the afternoons without any accidents, and she easily adjusted when we began sending her to nursery without nappies, so I figured that she would be ready for diaper-free nights. We started more than 2 weeks ago making sure that every night before going to bed, she didn’t drink too much and she’d go to the bathroom first. And to help encourage her to achieve the goal, we told her that every night she didn’t wet the bed, I’d prepare whatever sweets she wanted (which were either gulaman/jelly or brownies).

14 August 2012

a new desktop after 6+ years

As soon as I completed 6 years with the company last May, I immediately informed our IT engineer that I wanted a new CPU/desktop. Although it was working fine at 6 years old, it was getting slow and I experienced some problems occasionally (although nothing that major that a simple restart couldn’t fix). And besides, compared to the employees from our Projects department, mine was already ancient. I thought for sure that since our department’s printer and scanner were connected to my computer, I would get a new desktop right away. But unfortunately, being from Admin, my request didn’t seem to be a priority, so I just had to make tiis.

26 July 2012

mommy day: buffet lunch at anise & massage at spa intercontinental

After meeting with Caila’s teachers, we passed by the apartment to drop off all the things we received and headed to InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. I had received an invitation from one of our company’s suppliers to their Ladies’ Day which was a buffet lunch at Anise Restaurant, a skincare session, and massage at Spa InterContinental Festival City, and fortunately, they said I could bring my daughter along.

mommy day: nursery reports

On the 28th of June, more than a week after Caila’s performance at their annual concert, my daughter and I headed to the school to get her report. I was expecting an ordinary paper or card that had comments about her and her development, so I was surprised when Teacher Arsenia gave me a folder with several pages containing, not only the degrees of things she was capable of doing (I'm proud to say that most of them were Outstanding), but also pictures of Caila during the class activities. Naturally, I was really happy and proud that both Teacher Arsenia and Teacher Marien were all praises for my little girl. She was the only Filipino in her class, and although she was shy, she was able to make friends and get along with her classmates because she could communicate with them in English very well. And they kept telling me that she was one of the smartest and a fast-learner, particularly in maths and numbers, the different seasons, and colors.

24 July 2012

stuck in the lift

For the first time in my life, I got stuck in an elevator. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. Last Saturday, Hubby, Caila, Ate Cel and I had just left the apartment and were heading out to shop for groceries. We stepped into the elevator, pressed the G button, and when we arrived at the ground floor, the doors remained closed. We tried pressing the button to open them, but nothing happened. We pressed the B button to see if it would open at another floor, but all it did was go to the basement and stay shut. We went to the ground floor again, then pressed the emergency button until we could hear the watchman’s voice. For almost a minute, Hubby shouted to him through the intercom, telling him to call the maintenance people or help us get out because the doors wouldn’t open.

17 July 2012

pregnancy update

I am now on my 30th week of pregnancy, which means that I’m into my 7th month and have approximately 2 months left before Baby Tummy pops out. Beginning the 28th week, check-ups should be done every 2 weeks; and because scheduling appointments with my OB needs to be done 1 month in advance to be able to get a slot, I made sure to book all my appointments way in advance until my 35th week.

16 July 2012

i have 2 holes, the left and the right

My residence visa is about to expire so I had to go with our PRO to Al Baraha Hospital this morning for my medical as part of the renewal requirements. After the usual payment and paper processing, the doctor who was doing the verifying put a stamp on my paper and told me to proceed to Room 5 where I just needed to have my blood drawn. At Room 5, the man at the Reception told me to go to the last room on the left where two ladies were drawing the blood from the female applicants, and fortunately I didn’t have to wait. Unfortunately though, when the lady stuck the needle in my left arm, something went wrong; she said either my vein was too small or the needle was too big (whaaaattttt?!?!?!?!) because she got just a few drops of blood. So she told me to give her my right arm (which I did), and fortunately, this time she easily located the vein and got the blood.

family weekend: back to the farm

The 17th of June was Father’s Day, and it also happened to be a national holiday here in the UAE. So prior to that day, our Unit Household decided to celebrate by having a long overdue fellowship. Since we had been telling them about what a nice place it was and they wanted to try something new, we all decided to go to The Farm.

12 July 2012

where art thou, my childhood favorites?

My previous post of Tim Tam biscuits made me remember the goodies I loved during my younger years. Living in PNG, most of the stuff there were imported from Australia and New Zealand, so I was fortunate to taste lots of yummy stuff. Of course, when the time came for me to study high school in the Philippines, those things were no longer easily in my reach; which I guess was a good thing because I was practically addicted to them. Unlike Tim Tam’s, when I came to Dubai, I never saw a single pack of those at all in any of the shops here…and the reason was the manufacturers just don’t make them anymore…or if they do, they’re just not the same as the goodness I remember. Of course I’m glad that I can enjoy some of the ones I liked (like Flake, Twirl, Crunchie, and Bounty), but here are just a few of the goodies I loved and miss so much:

the white goodness of tim tam

I love white chocolate! That’s why when we go grocery-shopping and I happen to come across biscuits or sweets that are covered in white chocolate, I just have to get a pack and put it in our trolley. But, as usual, I rarely open them right away. It would be several days or even weeks before I take a bite into whatever I bought. Naturally I make sure to check the expiry date if I do this. That’s delayed gratification for you. So anyway, that’s what happened when I saw this pack of Tim Tam White in Carrefour last month:

11 July 2012

the household with the pregnancy virus

Is there such a thing as pregnancy being contagious? Because if there is, our CFC household gets infected pretty easily. Back in 2008 when Hubby and I had just crossed over, Che was already pregnant, and Dab and I had just found out we were expecting; Nanay Alice followed immediately after, then Cherrie, and finally Jean. Tintin also got pregnant about the same time, but unfortunately had a miscarriage. So from November 2008 to May 2009, babies were popping out one after the other in our household. And all of us had to deliver via caesarian section, and every one of us had baby girls. Pretty cool coincidence huh?!

your children are one-half of you

A few days ago, I saw this being shared by many of our friends in FB and I knew I just had to post it here.  Don't worry, Hubby and I aren't going through a rough patch (we rarely fight), but I want this to serve as a reminder to us and to all the parents out there to think and stop themselves before saying anything negative about their partners that will hurt their children.

10 July 2012

caila's first on-stage performance

Since I haven’t been blogging for the past few weeks, please bear with me if my posts aren’t exactly in order date-wise. I still have to recall the details and draft them out, so some of them may be pretty out-dated.

In the meantime, I would just like to share with you a video clip I took of my daughter's (and her schoolmates’) first on-stage performance during their nursery school’s annual concert last 19th of June. Honestly, I didn’t really expect much.

family weekend: marriage enrichment retreat 2

As much as possible, Hubby and I try to attend CFC teachings that we know can help strengthen our relationship and/or add to our knowledge in raising a family. So when it was announced that there would be an MER 2, we immediately confirmed that we would be attending as soon as we saw that our schedules were free. We had attended the first MER more than three years ago, and since we enjoyed ourselves then and learned a lot as well, we were looking forward to the second MER. The fee we paid covered the overnight stay in a room, buffet breakfast and buffet lunch at the hotel…which was actually very sulit.

08 July 2012

i survived!

Caila’s nanny had to go to the Philippines for a couple of weeks, so Hubby and I decided that I take a local leave from work during this time to take care of our daughter. Her nursery school days had just ended a few days earlier and she was used to being preoccupied with activities with her classmates. That meant I had to come up with things for her to do because I wanted to lessen her time in front of the television. With only me and the little one alone at home for at least 12 hours everyday, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But…I did it! I made it through 2 weeks of being a stay-at-home mother! Whew! I know it’s one of the things I want in the future (to not have to work anymore and just be a fulltime mother and housewife), but I realized that it’s not for me…yet.

20 June 2012

hubby in smart parenting magazine

He wasn't featured, but his name, statements, and answers to Ate Sam's questions that she asked him were included in the article.
You can check out the Father's Day article here.
Yup, I'm one proud wifey! =)

14 June 2012

posh weekend: jewelry set complete!

I can’t believe I forgot to blog about Hubby’s anniversary gift to me! Can I just blame it on the effects of pregnancy? Hehehe.

Anyway, I didn’t expect to receive a gift from him, so it was a complete surprise. It was during our stay at St. Regis when I was rummaging through his bag looking for something when I saw a small box. Because of the lighting, it looked like a Patchi box of chocolates so I pulled it out and asked him what it was. Before he could answer, I had already opened it and found this inside:

12 June 2012

fifty shades...in my hands, but out of my reach

Okay, okay, I admit I’m one of those who got curious when the hype of the Fifty Shades novels by E.L. James came out. Several blogs I read discussed the trilogy, and it’s been a hot topic in n@w lately. So being a bookworm who’s been looking for a good read for a long time, I searched around the bookstores here. Naturally, with the kind of story it has, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Who was I kidding that it would be sold here?! Fortunately, a n@wie announced that she had the pdf of all three books, so I requested her for a copy which she e-mailed to me within a few hours. Thanks, Sis Maricar! =)

10 June 2012

posh weekend: st. regis, saadiyat island

One of the prizes we won during the Starchoice Party was an overnight stay for 2 in a St. Regis suite (yup, not just a room, but a SUITE!) at The St. Regis, Saadiyat Island, so last weekend was the best time for us to use it as a post-celebration of our anniversaries. After leaving The Farm, we headed to Mall of the Emirates first to enjoy the cold air conditioning and buy some lunch for Caila since she didn’t eat that much. Then at half past 12, we left for Abu Dhabi. The journey took more than an hour and we arrived at the hotel just before 2pm.

06 June 2012

posh weekend: the farm, al barari

A few weeks ago, we received an invitation from our friends Eugz and Pia to their Breakfast Engagement. Of course, since they’re part of our barkada and considering that we wouldn’t be able to go home to the Philippines for their wedding in December, Hubby and I just had to attend. Little did we know that the venue where it was going to be held was a beautiful place hidden in the outskirts of Dubai.

04 June 2012

anniversary dinner at hanabi

Hubby and I decided to celebrate the actual date of our anniversary with a simple dinner at Hanabi Restaurant in Asiana Hotel. Although La Mesa was a bit of a disappointment, we decided to give the hotel’s Japanese restaurant a try. My bosses often eat there when we have guests from Japan so I figured the food and service should be good. A few days before, I had a meeting with the hotel’s Sales Manager, so I informed him casually of our plans.

bnt turned 2

This blog turned 2 years old and I completely forgot about it!
That’s what happens when anniversaries and special occasions happen in the same month.
Oh well.
Belated Happy 2nd Birthday, Blabbers & Thoughts!
Thanks for helping me keep my sanity by letting out my insanity =)

31 May 2012

pregnant with pharyngitis

I just came back to work from 1½ days of sick leave. My throat suddenly started to hurt from Monday night whenever I coughed and swallowed; Tuesday morning when I woke up to get ready from work, I felt a bit weak, but still felt I was well enough to go to the office. By 9am, I was coughing non-stop (and my throat hurt every time), so I scheduled an appointment with an ENT specialist, and informed my bosses and colleagues that most probably I wouldn’t return until Thursday.

28 May 2012

tasting my first grapple

I’ve never heard of this particular fruit, so of course I never even knew it existed. That is, until we went to Spinneys and saw several packs of it in the fresh produce section.
I admit that it intrigued me. Who wouldn’t? According to the label, it crunches likes an apple but tastes like a grape…that’s like two in one. So I took a pack and placed it in the trolley.

27 May 2012

he brought me to you

happy 7th (gg) and 4th (wedding) anniversaries, mahal!

In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
And His masterful voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do
So I sailed across the mighty sea
Pursued knowledge of the highest degree
Took to learning new skills
Experienced new thrills
Felt my life was completely fulfilled

At the end of my amazing quest
After proving myself by achieving success
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare
For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, trusting and true
And behold, my dear Sapphire
He brought me to you
He brought me to you

In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
His compassionate voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do
And in my private reverie
I read of lands across the sea
I imagined enchanting hollow and hill
Worlds beyond my window sill

And through all of these my fancied quests
I cherish the secrets held close to my breast
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare
For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, precious and true
And behold, my dear Christian
And behold, my dear Sapphire
He brought me to you
He brought me to you

My heart knew this without a doubt
That's what destiny's all about
God promised He would bring me love
A love strong and true
A promise He fulfilled above
He brought me you
He brought me to you
He brought me you
He brought me to you

What is this I feel
Is this for real
A longing inside that I just cannot hide
In search of this feeling they all call love
How could I’ve known somewhere up above
I’d find this rare and priceless treasure waiting
This isn’t a storybook fantasy
It’s as real as his love for me
The feeling is true
What I feel for you

And I promise I will come to you

26 May 2012

glucose tolerance test

According to babycenter.com, the Glucose Tolerance Test (or GTT) is usually taken between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy; but during my appointment with the OB two weeks ago, she recommended that I take it, even though I was just 20 weeks along then. I’m guessing that it’s probably because I have diabetes in the family (Papa had it), so she wanted to know the results as early as now. However, I didn’t take the test right away. The laboratory was open 24 hours anyway, and I was told that I could take the test any time, as long as I took it before my next OB appointment. So I decided to take it after 2 weeks, when our Thursday night and Friday morning schedules were free; which is why I took it yesterday. I had been instructed that I should fast 8 to 10 hours before taking the test, so I made sure that the last thing I put in my mouth on Thursday night was at 9 o’clock (it was a glass of milk); and at 6am the following day, Hubby and I were on our way to the hospital.

22 May 2012

my new debit card

Last week, I received an SMS from HSBC saying that my debit card was being issued and would be delivered to me shortly. Since I didn’t receive any e-mail message from them recently and I don’t recall ever requesting for one (I’m content with my one and only ATM card), I just ignored it and figured they made a mistake. Then last Sunday, I received a call from a courier company saying that my card was with them and they just needed to confirm the delivery address. Still confused, I gave it to them and they told me I could expect to receive it the following day, which I did.

20 May 2012

bu qtair restaurant

Having no plans at all one Thursday night, our family decided to try a restaurant near Jumeirah that our friends recommended which was a mix of a carinderia-type place and the restaurants in Dampa, similar to the ones in the Philippines.

Upon arriving at Bu Qtair Restaurant, we saw that there were already a lot of people sitting on the plastic tables and chairs outside, having their fill of the food they ordered. Considering it’s practically a shack, I had expected to see only Indians and Pakistanis as the customers, but surprisingly, there were Serbians, Russians, and Koreans there as well. It was still pretty early, so even though most of the tables were full, we were able to get a table as soon as we arrived. Hubby then went inside the portacabin and ordered half a kilo of shrimp and a fish. Then we waited for his name to be called, which took about 30 minutes. Our food was cooked like all the rest of the other diners’ food: deep fried.

17 May 2012

the avengers

Saturday, 5 May 2012
Just me and Hubby, after dinner at Dome
Dubai Mall

If it weren’t for Chris Evans, I wouldn’t have agreed to watch. I already wasn’t in a good mood because I felt guilty leaving Caila at home while she was taking her afternoon nap. My mood became worse when, upon arriving at the ticketing counter, we found that the only seats available for the 6pm show was right at the front (which I absolutely didn’t want) and the next show was at 7:45pm with seats five rows from the front at the extreme right side! Feeling my mommy-guilt grow by the minute, I wished that Hubby would feel the same and just reschedule our date, but since he was so excited to watch it, I just stayed quiet and watched him buy our tickets for the 7:45pm show.  After that, since we had loads of time to waste, we ate at Dome before window-shopping around the mall.

06 May 2012

job secured

It’s no secret that although Dubai is reviving, there are still some companies out there that are forced to terminate employees’ contracts or delay giving the staffs’ salaries for several months. And although the company I’m working for has somehow managed in spite of the crisis since 2008, my colleagues and I were worried that if we don’t get a project soon, we might not be as safe as we hoped we were.

30 April 2012

mini-high school reunion

It’s always nice to see old friends and classmates, especially if the place is far from where you actually knew each other. And my get-together with my high school batch-mates last week was no exception. Antonette, Laarni, Sharon and I have been in Dubai for several years already, but due to our busy schedules, we haven’t been able to see each other as often as we wanted.

26 April 2012

spying on our little pussycat

Caila was suffering from colds and tonsillitis the past few days, which resulted to fever, so she hadn’t been able to go to nursery from Monday to Wednesday. It was only this morning that she was better; and just in time too, because today was their school’s Animal Parade. According to the note, parents were requested to send their kids to school in an animal costume or with their faces painted or wearing an animal headband…basta, anything animal-related. Since it was just a one-time activity, Hubby and I decided to resist the temptation to buy an animal costume for our girl and make-do with whatever we had at home. So I searched the internet and settled on following the very easy steps of using eyeliner, a black headband, black and white paper (cut out from a used paper bag), and glue to make our daughter into…

19 April 2012

lucky preggy

The other day, I received a personal and e-mail invitation from the Sales Manager of Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers to their Starchoice Party. I had turned down the invitations I received from other hotels during the first trimester of my pregnancy, so I opted to attend this time; and since he said I could bring along a friend, I decided to bring Hubby (para date na rin namin).

18 April 2012

cheesecake craving

I’ve been craving for New York cheesecake for several weeks now…up to the point that I’ve been looking over the internet for recipes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to make it (they cost too much!), so I have to settle on buying one. Although Hubby has been willing to pass by any restaurant to buy a slice when we go out, I always seem to back out at the last minute because my craving instantly fades (and then returns right after the opportunity passes by and it’s too late to go back).

15 April 2012

mama is 71!

It was Mama’s 71st birthday yesterday. Days before, I had sent some money so that she could have a simple celebration at home with family and relatives (she preferred cooking and having it at home, rather than eating out at a fancy restaurant), and judging from my conversation with her yesterday and the photos my cousin posted in fb, she had a good time. At least, I hope she did. There were two cakes given to her, but I especially found the cake given by her nephews (although I’m not sure which ones) really funny because she’s been a widow for almost nine years already, and never once has she hinted of finding someone to spend the remaining years of her life with.

14 April 2012

we have a school girl!

Last Tuesday was Caila’s first day of Nursery. Naturally, being a historic day and all (for Hubby and me, at least), I applied for a leave and Hubby opted to go to work late so that we would all be there to drop her off.

All of the things she would be using for school were specifically chosen by her. Based from experience, we’ve learned that if there’s something she needs to use, it’s always better for her to choose which one she wants so that she will actually use it. Days (or even weeks) before, our daughter was really excited. Even until Monday night, she was excited. She kept putting on her backpack and asking us for her lunchbox so that she would practice carrying it around.

08 April 2012

carpe diem

I couldn’t find anything interesting to watch on TV at home the other day, so I settled on a show of Phineas and Ferb. It was a normal episode where they were up to something and Candace was trying her best for their mother to find about their “project,” while their pet Perry was trying to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from working his latest whatever-ator. Nothing exciting actually.
But at the end, I couldn’t help but sit up and notice the song that the stepbrothers and the rest of the show’s cast were singing. It was catchy and the lyrics reminded me of a message that our teacher/priest (who gave me and my classmates a retreat during our high school senior year) told us.

02 April 2012

my birthday brunch at radisson blu

I turned the double 3 two Fridays ago. We didn’t celebrate it with a big bang or anything; I was just content to celebrate it with my family. So just like last year, we planned to eat out at a hotel restaurant. Fortunately, brunches are the norm here on Fridays (they’re considered as an institution), so after going over the different choices, I called the Sales Manager in Radisson Blu, Dubai Deira Creek on Thursday and asked him for their Friday Fun Food Festival details, and to make a reservation for us for the following day. He said he couldn’t give us a discount because the rate was already their promotional rate, but since it was my birthday, he said he would try to do something.

29 March 2012

i'm still here

So much has happened since I last blogged anything here and the reason I haven’t blogged about any of them yet is because I’ve been so busy. My line manager is leaving soon and we’ve hired a new one, plus our DGM and our Engineering General Manager left yesterday, so of course there were so many things I had to take care of (cancellations, meetings, handovers, etc) before they officially left our office. And then new Japanese managers are joining us beginning the 1st of April, so of course there’s a lot of preparations that need to be done prior to their arrival to Dubai.

Usually the Saturdays when we work aren’t really busy, so hopefully I’ll be able to at least draft some posts this coming Saturday. On the other hand though, that day is also the last day of our Fiscal Year so there’s a lot of reports I have to prepare, have checked, and send to Japan. Oh well. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve just got to grin and bear the stress I’m going through. Stay happy everyone!

14 March 2012

sweet daddy

Caila wasn’t feeling well the other night. She had woken up from her afternoon nap with a fever, and although her temperature had gone down by the time Hubby and I arrived home, she was still a bit weak. As we were trying to sleep that night, she kept tossing and turning, and letting out small whimpers. We tried cuddling her, letting her pinch the skin around our elbows, etc, but to no avail…she just couldn’t sleep. Suddenly, Hubby asked if she wanted him to carry her, to which she quickly nodded, immediately stood up, and raised her arms. For 15 to 20 minutes, he carried her in the darkness of our room, swaying her to and fro to help make her sleep. Actually, she had already fallen asleep within less than 10 minutes, and Hubby could have easily lay her down on the bed right away, but instead he kept on carrying and swaying her for much longer than he needed to...and to think he was already exhausted from work and some things he had to do at home! It was such a sweet scene that I couldn’t resist taking a picture and blog about it here.
just one of a million reasons why I love Hubby

13 March 2012

went on a date…finally!

After so long, Hubby and I finally had the chance to spend some quality time for ourselves. You see, ever since December, he’s been working overtime (or to make it clear, O-TY) practically every day; and during the times that he gets to leave the office on time, we would both rather stay at home. Add this to the fact that since the start of my pregnancy, I’ve been too lazy to go out again once I get home from work; and I always felt guilty if I went home and then left again, leaving behind my daughter. Would you believe that we didn’t even go out last Valentine’s Day because he had to stay late at work, and I just didn’t feel like joining the rest of the couples on the roads and malls? Fortunately, Hubby’s workload began to ease last week, allowing him to leave the office earlier than the past months, which made us consider pushing through with our long overdue date.

plastic on shoe soles

Have you ever noticed that, while trying on shoes in the shops or wearing a new pair, you tend to slip or slide? And do you know why? If you know, well, good for you. Because it was only last night when I found out that it’s because the soles usually have clear plastic at the bottom. Seriously, I didn’t know!

Just a short background…since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been trying to avoid wearing heels. Unfortunately, the only flats I have that are suitable for the office are a brown suede/cloth-like pair and a black Crocs pair (which aren’t really pang-opisina, but acceptable nonetheless). So during the times that I have meetings or interviews and I have to dress up a bit, I have to wear my heels (which I keep under my desk). Last night though, I had to buy a new pair because our company is taking part in the WETEX (Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition), and I’ll be spending some time at our stand. Of course it wouldn’t be proper to wear the flats that I already have, and I cannot wear heels for 4 straight hours, so I just had to buy a pair of decent black flats.

her 3rd birthday party

Because the only thing our daughter wanted for her 3rd birthday was a Hello Kitty cake, and since our close friends had been planning to spend the night at our place that time, Hubby and I decided to invite my sister, our ET barkada, and Caila’s godparents and have a small celebration at home on the 2nd of March.

Since it was a very small gathering, we just sent the invitation by e-mail, and we didn’t bother to buy any decorations or balloons. Caila was the only kid, so unlike last year, we didn’t have to spruce up the place. However, the n@wie in me still wanted to make the apartment look festive, so I just looked for some ideas on the internet and from other n@wies, printed, cut, and pasted them on our walls and doors. When my sister arrived, she had brought some Hello Kitty party cups and blow-outs to add to the theme.

11 March 2012

the secret i’ve been keeping

I haven’t been completely honest for the past 3 months. Although I’ve been hinting about my condition in a few posts, it’s only now that I’m confident to share the news here. Why only now? Well, let’s just say I wanted to get past the risky period first before revealing it. Although many of our friends know (when they ask, we answer), Hubby and I haven’t declared it openly (via FB) yet. I’m sure you can guess what it is, but just to keep you guessing, here’s a rundown of the posts that have clues:

07 March 2012


For three consecutive nights (or mornings), I’ve been having really weird and filthy dreams.

In my first dream, I was in the bathroom to do a #2. Just as I was about to flush the toilet, I noticed that my wallet (which happened to be a men’s wallet) had fallen out of my pants pocket and was inside, floating in the yucky, brown mess. And because it was thick with bills sticking out, I bravely ignored my disgust and scooped it out. Gross, I know. While I was washing it, the wallet became a big ladies’ bag. And that’s where it ended.

28 February 2012

as my daughter turns 3

My dear Caila,

Belated happy birthday, Anak! You’re now 3 years old! I still can’t believe how fast time has flown since the day I first lay my eyes on you. You were so tiny then, all helpless and fragile. Now, you’ve grown into a little girl who has accomplished so much! You’re already potty-trained (only needing diapers when we go out and at bedtime), you choose the clothes that you want to wear, you can sing along to almost all of the songs I sing to you, you can identify different shapes, colors, numbers, letters, characters in the Disney Junior shows, and so many other things!

20 February 2012


This photo was taken last February 17 (the day Dubai was hit with a sandstorm, signalling the end of winter and the start of summer) during an SFC activity. Hubby had just given a talk and Mike and Tesha were next, and Joel and Lhen had just arrived for support.

19 February 2012

post-valentines chocolates

The big boss from Japan came for a visit again, and that means SWEETS! This time, he gave us Patchi chocolates...one box for the office, and another one for me (yup, he never fails to bring a separate package especially for me whenever he’s in town, because of all the bookings I have to do for him). I loooove Patchi! They’re so delicious! And since they’re pretty expensive, it’s always a treat to receive them. But that’s not all.

14 February 2012

azkals game this thursday

I’m not a fan...I don’t even know any of the players except for Phil and James...but Hubby is a player of the Pinoy Football Club here in Dubai and they want all its members, Azkals enthusiasts, and kababayans in the UAE to support our national team’s game against Australia this coming Thursday (16th of February).

And the good thing about it is PFC is selling their Category B tickets (Dhs50) on a BUY ONE, TAKE ONE basis! How’s that for a great deal?! This can be your post-Valentine’s date with your special someone =)

The game is scheduled for 8pm at the Al Maktoum Stadium, Al Nasr Sports Club. Please call Bong at 050-1417493 for tickets.


shining, shimmering, splendid

Remember this? Well, when Hubby read it, he just snickered (snorted, actually) as if to say “Yeah right! You wish!” Honestly, I was a bit disappointed, but I could understand. The time I posted that was the same period of our apartment’s renewal...and Ate Cel’s visa renewal was coming up...AND we were going to enroll Caila in Nursery and Kindergarten...PLUS some family members in the Philippines were sick and eventually hospitalized. So naturally, we just had to put all these other payments and priorities first.

08 February 2012

i won 250,000 dirhams?! yeah, right!

A few minutes ago, I received a call on my personal mobile number. The man (not sure if he’s Pakistani or Indian) who called told me that he’s from Etisalat and that my number was entered into a raffle, and apparently I won Dhs250,000. He then told me to call him back so that he would give me the details on how I could claim my prize. Of course, I was skeptical. His number was an ordinary mobile number. But just for the heck of it, I called him back using our company landline phone. When the man answered, he said I should call him using my mobile number because “landline numbers are not allowed.” Ha! Right away, I put the phone down. He could have the Dhs250,000 for all I care!

future flower girl

My little girl is going to be a flower girl for the first time! These are the times a mother dreams of: dressing up and beautifying the mini version of herself, and showing her off to the world (or in this case, her friend’s friends).

The bride-to-be, who’s another one of my former SFC babies, told me that the designs of the dresses are all up to us (mothers of the 3 flower girls), so now I’m searching the net...and they’re all so cute! I’m having a hard time taking my pick from all the adorable little gowns.

05 February 2012

turning 3 soon

Just a little over 3 weeks to go and my little girl will be turning 3 years old!

Hubby and I are debating whether to book an overnight stay in a hotel (just me, him and Caila) so she can swim to her heart's content and we can enjoy their Friday brunch, or have a simple dinner with our close friends at home. Whatever it will be, I’ve also applied for a leave off work on the actual day of her birthday, and take her somewhere (an activity center at the mall, the park, or wherever) as a treat so that she can play around and really enjoy her day with her dear Mommy.

01 February 2012

stress, patience and patients

The last day of January really tested my patience.

I had applied for a half-day leave off work yesterday because I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, and anyway, there weren’t any deadlines or urgent matters that had to be taken cared of at the office. For that part I was right, but it didn’t mean I would be free from stress, from work or otherwise.

30 January 2012

lazytown and california pizza kitchen

A few weeks ago, I read somewhere that there would be a LazyTown show in Mirdif City Centre from the 26th of January to the 4th of February. So, since Caila likes LazyTown and it was the 27th last Friday, Hubby and I decided to go to the mall in the evening and then have dinner there after the show. When we arrived at 6pm, there were a few kids already seated in front of the stage. Since parents weren’t allowed to stay in that area, we were fortunate to find a place directly behind the barrier, allowing us to have a good view. However, Caila wanted to sit with the other kids near the stage, so even though we were hesitant (she’s so small compared to the others), we allowed her with the condition that she would stay in one place.

29 January 2012

pag walang magawa sa opisina

One day last week, we had just finished having lunch when we found out that our server was down and the phone lines were dead. Because of this, we couldn’t do anything...we couldn’t send or receive e-mail messages, we couldn’t make or receive calls, no internet, and no access to the company files and documents because they were saved in the server. So, while we waited for Etisalat to solve the problem, the Filipino Mafia had a semi-pictorial at the office.

she can read!

Whether she can actually read, or she just memorized how they look like, I’m still one proud mommy!

23 January 2012

conflict in schedule

I was a flower girl so many times when I was younger, a bridesmaid once (for my cousin’s wedding), a secondary sponsor once (for my brother’s wedding), and of course a bride at my own wedding. The only wedding roles I hadn’t experienced were Maid/Matron of Honor and Principal Sponsor...although for the latter, I don’t expect to be asked to be one until after at least a decade.

19 January 2012

satisfying my burger craving at fuddruckers

Last Saturday, I suddenly craved for a burger. I didn’t want the usual burgers from McDonald’s or Burger King, but the big juicy grilled ones with all the yummy toppings. So after thinking of the possible options, we went to Fuddruckers in Dubai Festival City. The last time I went there was more than 2 years ago (Caila was just 8 months old then), but everything was just the same the way I remembered it. We even sat in the same booth/table near the toppings bar.

12 January 2012


On this day in 2004, my life in Dubai began.
When I first set foot in the Middle East, I was slim, young, and innocent (err...at least I looked innocent).
taken on my third day in Dubai

renewing our nanny’s visa

Unlike the normal residence visas issued to employees of companies which are valid for 2 or 3 years, the visas of maids and nannies in the UAE whose sponsors are expats are only valid for 1 year. And even though there’s a grace period of one month to renew a UAE Residence Visa after it expires, we decided to process the renewal of Ate Cel’s visa as soon as possible to avoid anything that might cause problems.

09 January 2012

have a little faith

Thank you for the gift, Aiza!

The most inspirational man I know only reached his potential by helping a child reach his.
"Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe."
"From generation to generation...rituals are how we remain...connected."
When you come to the end (of your life), that’s where God begins.
"It is far more comforting to think God listened and said no, than to think that nobody’s out there."
His morning prayers began with “Thank you, Lord, for returning my soul to me.” When you start that way, the rest of the day is a bonus.
"The secret of happiness...Be satisfied. Be grateful. For what you have. For the love you receive. And for what God has given you."
If you could pack for heaven, this was how you’d do it, touching everything, taking nothing.

08 January 2012

the philippines immigration embarkation card and a helpful tip

Looking at the statistics of this blog, I noticed that my post “What Most People Go Through at NAIA Terminal 1” was viewed quite frequently, most probably by people who would be travelling from the Philippines. I'm glad that it helped; and since I finally found the little piece of paper I had tucked away, I thought it might also be useful to share with you a copy of the Embarkation Card that all departing passengers have to complete:

07 January 2012

my holiday gifts to myself

Not counting the consumables, groceries, and food we buy regularly, I haven’t bought anything for myself for quite some time now. From what I recall, apart from buying Style, the only major shopping I did last year was during our vacation in the Philippines. Most of the time, I just wait and save my shopping money for when we go home because the clothes, accessories, and other stuff are much more cheaper there than here in Dubai; plus the quality is usually better even though they’re not branded. So unless I see something here that I really, really like or really, really need, I don’t buy anything for myself. However, over the holidays, I decided that I should be nice to myself and get myself some nice presents. So I thought and thought, and finally came up with these things that I wanted:

05 January 2012

entering the most expensive part of parenthood

This morning my daughter and I visited the nursery and school we were eyeing to enroll her in to register her. Although it’s not mandatory for children to be put through nursery before they start KG1, Hubby and I decided to enroll her in one term (April to June) just so that she could have a feel of what a school is and socialize a bit in preparation for Kindergarten in September. Caila knows a few kids in our apartment building who go to school, so I think they’ve somehow influenced her because she always (as in everyday!) tells us that she wants to go to school so that she can play, and read, and write, and meet new friends. She has a small backpack that she loves bringing when we walk to the nearby supermarket or park because it makes her feel like a schoolgirl.

04 January 2012

from 23-dec to 2-jan

Christmas and New Year came and went, and I didn’t post anything here. The reason? I was on leave for almost two weeks, and the days were spent bonding with my daughter. We didn’t travel or anything because Hubby was at work and he always took the car; we just stayed at home. That doesn’t mean that I was bored the whole time, though. As a matter of fact, those days were filled with simple joys as I witnessed my daughter do and say so many things that amazed me, made me laugh, or scold her in frustration.

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