*This is quite a long read. All photos are by Shuttercount Photography unless specified otherwise*
Wow! That's is all I can say after we had our baby daughter's first birthday celebration. After months of research, planning, booking and finalizing, all the hard work had paid off :) I'm really thankful to God for giving me the strength and guidance. It was a truly fun-filled and memorable day apt for a very important occassion. Nakakaloka rin pala ang mag-organize ng party on your own. But I was happy to see that all our guests raved about the food and how their kids had fun. Admittedly, there were apprehensions the day before the party but I decided to let go and not obssess about it too much otherwise, I won't be enjoy the party myself.
And as usual, I'm giving here the review of the suppliers we have booked for our daughter's party; of course, with a few anecdotes on my experience as a stage mom (?!) / party planner ;-)
Venue: AVR, Colegio de Sta. Ana, Taguig
One of the challenging parts sa pagplan ng party ni Georgie was to find the venue. I have a Word document of our prospective venues (from north to south of manila) that I had compiled from my web searches. Budget, flexibility and proximity were the major points that we had to consider. As early as April, we were scouting na for venues and you know what, some of them are booked na! We considered getting a party package na all-in na kasama na ang venue but the major turn off was the ridiculous corkage fees sa mga extras that you want to bring in. We have visited some other party places that would fit our requirements but it didn't appeal much to hubby. (Sa totoo lang ha, mas maarte pa minsan tong asawa ko sakin.) The AVR in Taguig was actually our last resort because of its location. We felt na baka masyadong malayuan ang mga bisita sa venue and would not come at all. But hubby argued that guests (mostly friends and relatives) who really want to go would find ways to attend kesehodang sa Timbuktu pa yan. Plus, the director of the school is actually our ninong and Georgie's lolo/ninong meaning we could pretty much do anything with the place - walang corkage, walang makikialam, walang time limit. The room has a stage na, sound system and projector so we could easily play our AVP without having to rent out the equipments. The room was just enough to fit ten buffet tables, the food buffet, food carts - medyo snug but people could easily get around pa rin naman. Our ninong also had additional aircons put in para di mainitin ang guests. What more could we ask for? :)
Cake: Sheryberry Sweets
Cost: P4000 for 2 layer all edible Minnie Mouse cake, P500 for the 5" mini cakes (with acetate box, ribbon and tags), P500 delivery charge
The problem with spending too much time surfing the net is that you get to stumble on nice projects and ideas that you can do for your kid's party. So I was clicking, browsing and saving pictures for future reference and now, I get dizzy just by browsing thru the photos I've saved on my external drive. It got to the point that I am already confused which one should I use/ adopt and which idea to scrap. Geez.
Anyway, one of the "in" thing nowadays for a party is a candy buffet in lieu of loot bags. I was thinking I could DIY a candy buffet but I felt getting the containers and jars was a bit of a hassle. Usually large glass jars are used for the buffets and the prospect of lugging them to the party venue (which may damage or break the jars) does not really appeal to me. I had thought of using clear plastic containers and even scouted the malls for what I could find as alternatives but what will I do with them after the party? I could sell them (if someone is willing to buy them) just to get it out of my hands; otherwise, my mom's sari-sari store would have to have a makeover to accommodate the jars or worse, I'm stucked with heavy jars that could eat up more space in our meager apartment.
Another consideration I had was portion control on the candy buffet. I have to assign a relative or friend to man the buffet (for refilling them and assisting the guests). Though it may look pretty in the pictures, I have to ditch the candy buffet idea. Hubby isn't to keen on it either so there.
What M suggested was to have food carts instead. It was my original idea to have food carts for the party but I haven't really pressed M about it since we have to consider our budget. But since he brought it up, might as well look into it again. Our decorator has some tie-ups with food cart vendors but M would like to check for more affordable ones (which I doubt that he is doing so it may all come down to me doing the research in the end). I don't want to stress about it yet since we still have a bit of time allowance to finalize.
Going through again the pictures I have for inspirations, I can't help feeling overwhelmed with what I still have to do. Well, some of these are more of "wants" instead of "needs" so my to-do list is still what you could call a work in progress :P We did, however, draft out the menu plan for the guests (after much discussion and hem-hawing on M's part I might point out) after having a food tasting with our prospective caterer. One item off my list :)
So we (or is it "I" lang? hehehe) are in the preps mode for G's birthday and a few weeks ago, we finally managed to squeeze in a few hours to go see some of the prospective venues we have in mind. Here's a run down of the few we have visited; some I had researched online lang
. Most of the venues I researched are in the Makati, Manila and QC areas since these are more accessible for us. Apart from the list below, I have with me copies of the party packages of The Creamery
and Cosmiz Kidz at MOA. If you want to have copies, just send me an email
. Hope this helps! :)
FUNHOUSE PARTY PLACEPM me
for their leaflet for party packages and inclusions
Contact details: 528-4787 (Charleen)
The venue is located inside Harrizon Plaza. It's a game station (ano nga ba ang tawag sa mga lugar na tulad ng Timezone?) called Funhouse that has a room that you could rent out for your kid's birthday party.
Pros: Packages are a bit budget-friendly. As with other packaged party deals, it will be less of a hassle when you hold your party there. You only get to deal with one group/ person to book your suppliers. I know it is quite challenging to look for and contact suppliers one by one. This is kinda like a one-stop shop na so once you've booked, chosen your packages and suppliers then you just have to wait till the date of your party to enjoy the fruits of your.. uhm.. labor. :)
Cons: Since you are tied-in with their in-house suppliers, there might be some limitations on the options that you have. Plus, they might be as flexible when you want to have additional setup/decor, carts and what-nots brought in. Unless you want to shell out some additional moolah. Hehehe.
The area (Harrizon Plaza) is also not appealing. My hubby personally turned down this venue flat because of the "profile" (if you may call it that) of the crowd that's going in and out of the area. Not to be snob (after all di kami mga milyonaryo ha!)
, but one might have to be wary when you go in there. Again, this last observation is based on personal preference.
It's July and I am now slowly working on our baby's first birthday party. So far, I've booked the venue decorator, photographer, and cake supplier. I already had a caterer in mind and we're just waiting for the food tasting that would be in August. We do have a venue already but I am still on the lookout for one that would be nearer our place. We haven't had time to conduct some ocular visits yet as our househelp recently left us :( If we can't find a more suitable venue, well at least we have a fallback venue that we could use :) Hubby promised that we'll review the videos of the hosts we have in mind this weekend. Once we finalize that and book our host, I could breath a little more easily knowing that the major suppliers are booked. Yey!
Also, I had initially wanted to have a Baby Pooh and Friends theme for the party. But after looking at the party ideas on the Net, I realized that I might have difficulty in sourcing out items that woud be related to the theme. So, there's an 80% chance that we will switch themes and I'm already excited to work on the DIY projects that I have in mind :) Here's my moodboard for Georgie's first birthday bash!
I'm giddy with excitement! It's like I'm planning my wedding all over again (perhaps a little bit less stressful lang
). I'll keep you posted on the updates for Georgie's birthday. I'm also planning to have a review of the suppliers
just like what I did for our wedding.
This is NOT how you should babywear your baby. Ha!
A little after I gave birth, I bought a ring sling
so I could babywear G. I chose the sling since I thought it was easier to bring along compared to the other carriers. However, I still have not "mastered" the proper way of using our sling. The first few attempts at home had me and my baby slick with sweat - I had to work my way with the fabric and sling without dropping my baby. Next try, I had someone "assist" me with adjusting the panels so G would fit snugly but in the end, we left the sling at home since we were spending too much time with it when we were already late for our appointment. But still, I do not want to give up. I want to babywear my daughter and if it takes a one-on-one tutorial, then so be it.
I will breastfeed my baby. I will use cloth diapers.
These two statements were what I had resolved to do post-pregnancy when I was still carrying our little girl in my womb. Being a first time mom, I've read and read about what practices would be good for my baby and came across these. I had already wrote about our breastfeeding journey
and now it's time tell you about our cloth diapering story.
Georgie in some of her CDs
I first read about cloth diapers in N@W
and on GirlTalk
. What made me curious was how the lampin
had evolved in the modern times. I only knew using lampin (bird's eye or gauze) with diaper clips but apparently, using lampin nowadays is easy-breezy! What's more is that the materials are now more absorbent compared to ordinary lampin, it comes in sizes or may be a one size fits most (OSFM) fit and you get to choose the design, color and style you want! Di ko alam na ang dami nang klase ng diaper, madaming brands na pagpipilian at may iba't-ibang diapering system pa!
The CDing mommies at the GT forum decided to create an FB group
for CDing Pinay moms. So we were able to share our experiences, reviews and new finds with other mommies. The group is always a big help whenever I have questions on CDs.
Goergie's birthday is about 5 months away but I can't help being excited. Ito na ata yung sinasabi nila when I was still planning our wedding na nami-miss ko ang preps after. Despite the frustrations and the stress, I enjoyed being a hands-on bride for our wedding. I think it is quite evident with the number of DIYs I made for the party. I was even the choreographer for our "okay lang kahit wala na tayong mukhang ihaharap kasi isang beses lang to sa buhay natin" first dance. *cringe*
So now, I am trying to start planning our daughter's birthday bash even though we haven't decided yet on the date of the party and the budget. But even my hubby couldn't stop me from asking suppliers for their packages and scouting the web for "possible" venues. I already have a theme in mind cos our daughter loves it but since M and I haven't exactly sat down and talked about it, I really can't do much except browse and salivate over the niceties I want to have for our daughter's birthday. :(
Actually, M doesn't want to spend much for 1st birthdays since our baby wouldn't remember it much (however, he did say that I could go "all out" for Georgie's 7th birthday. Yey! But that is ages away). My say on celebrating 1st birthdays is because it is a milestone for me. All of us could remember most of our "firsts" - first kiss, first gift received, first love. Heck, why not celebrate your first kid's 1st birthday, right? But, being a realist I must also consider that we can't have blowing our meager savings in just one day. We have to consider our daughter's future. Pero gusto ko pa rin na kahit papano maganda ang first birthday ng baby ko! Hehehe.
Kaya eto, I am again making a checklist for a kid's party, even the suppliers and estimated budget. Hay, parang mas mahirap ata magplan ng birthday party kesa sa kasal. Hahaha! I mean it's easy to pick out designs and the menus for adults but what about the kiddos? We have to keep them entertained and full. So now, I have to study the menus for the kids and for the adults. Challenging but I'm game! Now, where is Myke? I have things to discuss with him.... :D
When I was still pregnant with G, Myke and I were very excited to see her so we got a 3D ultrasound package from In My Womb to be able to experience it and to catch a first glimpse of our baby in utero. So, just how accurate are 3D ultrasounds in terms of the physical features of your baby? Well in my case, I'd say na di talaga nagkakalayo ang itsura ni baby from ultrasound and real life...
This profile shot shows my baby's jawline which I think she got from me :)
Earlier this week, Myke and I had to bring my MIL (mom-in-law) to the hospital because of high blood pressure. We came straight from the office to fetch my MIL before proceededing to the ER so my last pumping session was at 3pm that day. We stayed in the ER til the wee hours of the morning and during our vigil, I was getting uncomfortable since I was feeling "full". Since I didn't have an idea of how long are we going to stay in the ER or if my MIL had to be confined, I decided to seek out the nursery of the hospital so I could pump and donate my breastmilk. Though I would have wanted to let my baby have the milk, there's the risk that it will spoil if left standing in room temperature. So rather than letting it go to waste, I thought it'll be better to let the other babies have the milk.
I wasn't wrong in the decision. When I told the midwife in the nursery that I want to donate the milk, they were very grateful and said that they need breastmilk badly. But they didn't have any breastpumps and I left mine in the car so I had to learn to express my milk manually. It was hard and I was a bit disappointed with the little milk I got. But the nurses still received them gratefully.
A couple of hours later, we were still in the ER and the doctors were still monitoring my MIL's condition. I asked Myke to get my breastpump from the car and then headed out again to the nursery of the hospital's charity ward. I gave them the milk I expressed earlier (I kept them in the insulated bag with some ice but because of the long hours, the ice had already melted) and proceeded to pump more milk. This time, the midwife asked me to stay in the NICU instead of their breastfeeding room (which was occupied at the time). And during my stay there, I got a glimpse of the preemies who were inside incubators and babies with birth complications and had tubes stucked onto their frail little bodies. Nakakalungkot kasi tayo nga na matanda na, nasasaktan pag may nakatusok na IV sa atin, pano ba kaya yung mga babies? So I was glad to have made the right decision to give them my milk. The babies in that ward need them more and my Georgie still has me to give her the milk she needs. Seeing the plight on those babies, I was wishing that I had a large stash of milk at home so I could donate some more but the milk that I express when I'm at work is just enough for my baby's feed for the next day. Still, I'm still happy that I was able to help in a small way. When I got home, I talked to Georgie and told her that mama doesn't have a "pasalubong" (her milk) because I shared them with other babies. And you know what? My daughter who probably had no idea what I just said, just gave me a beatific smile in response :)
When you become a parent, every aspect in your life changes - physically, mentally, psychologically, socially.. and apparently even my shopping agenda is affected :P When I was still single, I would usually go straight either to the ladies wear, make-up or accessories section/ stores whenever I go malling. But ever since I got pregnant and had a child, I noticed that I was frequenting the children's section and decisions on what size / colors / design to get is even more time-consuming compared to when I was just buying for myself.
So earlier today when I went out for my lunchtime "walk" to the mall, I had spent my lunch hour scrounging the racks for (yet another) dress and some house clothes for Georgie. Ang bilis naman kasi lumaki ni baby kaya yung mga nabili kong damit dati e medyo "body fit" na ang dating sa aking anak :-O I was supposed to just get a couple of shorts and sandos but I just couldn't resist buying these dresses!