Monday, December 23, 2013

The Star This Season

Our 3-day weekend brought all the sweat, stiff muscles and aching back, arms and neck out of the esposo and me. I think it was the busiest holiday in our lives so far, to think that what made us busy was not even holiday related. I actually cannot think of how to squeeze-in Christmas shopping at 1st but I thankfully did (only for inaanaks though). It was too tiring but at the same time fulfilling.
This year we thought that instead of buying ornaments for Christmas like we initially planned, we opted to divert the money for a long-term use, like paint. We painted the house’s fence and façade. It took us 4 half days to finally finish it, squeezing-in household chores in between. So bad I forgot to take a picture of our hard work.
Aside from the painting job, I was able to de-clutter the playroom too. I needed to do that to fit-in the anticipated new batch of toys. The old toys will be donated to Jollibee MaAga Ang Pasko drive, I already talked to Uno about this and she didn’t even argue. Good girl she really is.
Christmas tree update: This is how the tree looks now: 
Since we didn't buy new ornaments and lights, it was not really far from how it looked before.

But I love every few small details it had. I loved the idea of groupings, next year I think I'll use this concept again (if ever we think of investing on ornaments).

And just look at my creation. The bow, bow (baw)!

Of course the star this season is the family.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DIY Minnie and Mickey Mouse Costumes

My kids were invited to a Minnie and Mickey Mouse Themed Party. What was exciting about this was they were asked to come-in as the cutest mouse themselves. It’s my kids 1st costume party, but I don’t want to overdo it. Though, I am not a crafter (especially with dresses), I braved in making their costumes. I didn’t want them to wear store bought costumes because chances are, they will look like any other. Also, knowing how Filipinos responds to dress codes, more chances that only handful kids will come in costume, which in-turn makes them the outcasts. Lastly, I don’t want to buy (period). Hehe Here’s what I did.
For Uno’s Minnie Mouse Costume, I recycled her Lady Bug costume.
She could have worn it as is only if it was in her size but it wasn’t so I made a big adjustment. I removed all the unrelated nick-knacks, 1st. Since I am not a sewer, I only ripped one side of the dress, that will save me from some sewing job.

This was my peg by the way. So only these parts remained from the original dress.

Then I got her measurements. As they say, measure twice, cut once.

Getting her out of her playtime to get her measurements was not that easy. I needed to make her feel that we were just playing, so I had to have my turn.hehe (excuse my running outfit) 
After cutting the dress to my desired design, I put pin around the edges and passed it to the sewing department aka her nanny. Here's the finished product.
That's not all. A Minnie Mouse costume wouldn't be complete without headband and shoes. I customized those too.
For the headband, I opted not to include the ears. I thought it's more cute and girly to only use the trademark ribbon. I used the fabric (polka dots and black) I removed from the original dress plus other materials like, used folder (to give body), plain headband and  needle and thread.

The headband I used was not black, so I (yes, me) sewed black fabric to cover it. Then I asked esposo to draw a ribbon for me. This doubled as fabric guide and a ribbon filler as well. Then I sewed the 3 sides (reverse side of the fabric) then reversed the fabric and inserted the filler before sewing the last side. Noticed the excess part from the drawing? I used that to attached the ribbon to the headband.   

The finished product.

For the shoes, I just put a ribbon using the scrap polkadot fabric on her red shoes. 

This was Uno's Minnie Mouse ensemble.

For Dos' costume, this was my inspiration.

But since Manila can be so humid, I decided to let him wear a sando. My original plan was to dye his white sando black and dye his white shorts red. But it was too hard to find dye, it was my mama who finally bought it for me 2 days prior the party. I asked her to buy 1 pack of each color. Then I instructed the nanny to soak each piece of clothe overnight. The next day (a day before the party), the clothes looked like this:

Yes, epic fail. And since there was no more time to mend it, I just looked around the kid's closets for alternatives. I saw this red leggings in Uno's closet and found it perfect (although there is a lace at the I sewed 2 big buttons ( got it from my dress) on it.  

Since either kids don't own a black shirt, I settled for this dark blue shirt. I also put on his black long socks to act as pant.

Then for his mickey ears, I also used the materials from the ears above. I covered the headband just the same but now I patterned 2 circles and made a connection. This will make attachment to the headband easier. And in this way, I can also easily tacked all the mess away. 

Like this. I was able to attached the fabric to the pattern by simply using glue.


Though I'd like to make an effort for his shoes too, the esposo already warned me. He said he had tolerated too much girly stuff on Dos already, don't push to the limit. Okay, so Jordan Shoes alright. This was his costume all together.
My cutie patotie mice, pre-departure photos. :)

They didn't bagged the best in costume award, I wasn't really expecting. But I was really proud of how my efforts paid. What made me more fulfilled was the acceptance of my kids, they were really happy with it. They especially loved their ears. They wore it everywhere.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why Did You Close Your Eyes So Soon?

Today is my Papa’s 5th birthday in heaven. The memory of what came about was still fresh to me like it was just yesterday. He was scheduled to be released from a 5 day hospital confinement that same day. We all believed he was already relieved from Pulmonary Edema (water in the lungs) triggered by Kidney Disorder secondary to his Diabetes. I was with him the day before and I knew he was already okay. We were even teasing the charged doctor not to discharge him yet because he was enjoying the free airconditioning in his room. Nobody saw that he was not going home to us. That God had prepared a better home for him. We were saddened by his untimely demise. But we have to accept His decision and his acceptance (although I still carry the question above in my mind). 
There was also a rather interesting story that time. As mama was sent out of the room while papa was being revived, she heard tell-tales at the nurses’ station. Apparently, 1 nurse saw a smoky figure with 2 other figures in white, ascending. Mama was of course in denial, for she still hopes papa would be revived. True enough, it was papa. He decided to go with them. That story became our weapon in accepting the fate. At least we know for a fact that it was God’s angels who fetched him.
Today, timely with his anniversary, esposo and I were privileged to lead the candle offering during our office’s thanksgiving/Christmas mass. I took the chance to whisper my prayer for him in mine.

Friday, December 13, 2013

End VAW Now, It's Our Duty

I was 1 of the many privileged employees who were sent to attend the Knowledge Sharing Exercise (KSE) spearheaded by the Human Rights Commission. Today’s KSE made an in-depth discussion about Republic Act No. 9262 or commonly known as The Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004. VAWC Law aims to stop violence against woman and/or her children (biological or otherwise) by her past or present intimate partner. Intimate partner may mean anybody whom a woman had or has sexual relationship with, like:
·         husband (or ex)
·         live-in partner (or ex)
·         boyfriend/girlfriend (or ex)
·         dating partner (or ex).
This law classifies VAWC as a public crime. It also aims to promote awareness amongst people to act and do something to stop such violence. Our guest speaker, Atty. Claire P. Lucson, from Womanlead Foundation was very knowledgeable (and inspiring at the same time) about the topic. She clearly discussed the acts of violence, remedies, penalties, and what every abused woman can do to protect herself and her child. Such acts of violence can include but not limited to:
· Physical violence – bodily or physical harm
· Sexual violence – act sexual in nature committed against woman or her child (rape, sexual harassment, forcing the wife and mistress to live in conjugal home,  prostitution, et al.)          
· Psychological violence – acts or omission causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering (intimidation, damage to property, stalking, marital infidelity, et al.)
· Economic abuse – acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent (withdrawal of financial support, destroying household property, controlling victim’s own money, et al)
I found this Law very beautifully crafted and detailed to the tiniest detail. This was possible because the victims themselves were the one who drafted this. What I love more about this Law is that it gives everybody the right to stop the violence. No more “away mag-asawa lang yan” mentality, anybody can end VAW because it now our duty.
For more details refer to the briefers below or visit the Philippine Commission on Women website


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Marriage for Keeps (and for Cheaps)

We got those at P45 each from Handyman, Robinson’s Sto.Niño (or whatever branch name they carry, all I know is that, it’s within our village). I think it was my 1st time to visit Handyman (or at least that branch) and I was struck with the awesome finds there. Most  of the items were sold in cheap prices. Some were with buy 1, take 1 tags, while most were at a discounted price. Like those solar lamps I spotted which was marked down at 70%. 45 pesos for a solar lamp, pinagiisipan pa ba yon?
Apparently, mi esposo did. He hesitated in buying it. Actually he refused to buy it at all. He was saying something like, "not now"; "the materials don't look sturdy"; "maybe next time"; blah, blah, blah. Maybe he had a point. Maybe it was not really durable. Maybe it was not really the familia’s priority at that instance. But for cheapskate’s sake it was just P45, my golly! Out of frustration I uttered, “ang hirap magpaganda ng bahay pag ganyan kasama mo, maghahanap nalang ako ng ibang kasama”. Really, I meant that. #P45WorthOfMarriageLangAngPeg hehehe I walked out and went to Saizen.
I am not really shopaholic, I only buy things for myself when the needs arise. But of course, I am only a woman, vulnerable and weak (when it comes to good finds). And that’s where he comes in. I really appreciate how he keeps me sane when I’m being impulsive. I listen to him, I really do (except for those times that I become nurture-ally deaf. I don’t know but the infant section is deafening). I think that is what they mean by “opposite attracts”, by the term “complement each other”. That is how marriage works. One must fill where’s the other one is lacking.   
Like in this story. He followed me with 5 pieces of solar lamps bought at Handyman. That’s what I’m talking about. #MarriageSaved! #GandaPaNgPatio hahaha   

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fun Transformation

The past weekend was fun filled for the familia. We partied for 2 straight days, and it was just awesome.
Saturday, was Cassy’s (my OB’s daughter) 1st birthday. It was a Minnie/Mickey Mouse Themed party and the kids were asked to come in costume. It was my kiddos’ 1st costume party and it filled me with excitement. My kiddos’ costume was home made – from head to toe and I am so satisfied of how it turned out (it was a weeklong preparation after all.hehe). Cassy’s parents made sure to throw a big party for her (one lucky child). Everything was extravagant, from the food to prizes to souvenir. The guests had so much fun, kids especially.  
The party set-up. Look there's a stuff mouse inside the balloon.

Cassy with Mom and Dad. Her mom was also in costume, so game!

The posh adult souvenir, photo balloon.

Us, at the party.

Sunday was a construction themed party for Brylle’s (my highshool friend’s son) 1st birthday. It was a straight forward but carefully thought of party. Brylle’s mom took care of the physical arrangement and I super admire her for putting everything in coordination. The entire program was even on theme, it was like a science/construction trivia show of some sorts.

So nice, is it not?

The parents aka magugulang trying to beat the kids in tallest tower game.

Partying with friends. 

What made this back-to-back party more memorable to us (me and the esposo) was that the revelation our kiddos made. Were so happy of how they acted during the 2 parties. Dos was relatively behaved kid. He did not give us any problem in handling him. He cheerfully played with the adults (he stayed in the adult’s table most of the time) and he entertained their wish to carry him (unlike his Ate during her age).
No, he's not gonna cry, just behaving.
While Uno was very interactive, she actively participated in the games and program. She even raises her hand and volunteer when the host asked for one. It was a breather to see that she’s coming out of her shell now.
She's enjoying the party.
We’re just one proud parent.