HSBC Family Day!

It’s that time of the year once again for my sister’s company’s family day!  Kids enjoyed last year’s festivities, even Yaya did because Yeng had a concert.  So we are all excited now to see what’s in store for this year’s event!

The event this year will be held at Star City.  Yes!  You read it right!  The old school themed park where me and my siblings and cousins had so much memories.

Checking the website for new attractions, I saw their announcement!

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Yippee!  I have always wanted to bring the kids here.  But the thought of a full packed Star City scares me!

The kids had so much fun at the Star City!  As for me and my hubby, we enjoyed the food that we ate and of course, seeing the kids enjoy!  It was a tiring day but, sure was fun fun fun!  Especially when you are spending it with people closest to your heart!

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What greeted us when we got inside, a very cute and friendly, MR. SNOW MAN.

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The kids are so fond of him, all thumbs up!

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Star City categorized their rides into 5 categories namely: Attractions, Extreme Rides, Family Rides, Kiddie Rides, and Others (Older Kid, Teen and Adult Rides)  They have their own height limit for every ride and sometimes, it’s just confusing.  But I know it’s for the safety of the riders so we just followed and didn’t argue.

Attractions

Out of 10 Attractions – the STAR DOME, the SCREAM AVENUE, the LAZER BLASTER, the TIME TUNNEL, the GABI NG LAGIM, the PIRATE ADVENTURE, the DUNGEON, I only get to see 3!

TOY CHEST

The Toy Chest featured Larger than Life Toy Pegs.  Pegs because you know who they are and what Cartoon Company owns them, but they look a little bit different!

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Shout out to my sister for inviting us to their company’s event!  Wala naman syang choice eh!  We are the only family she has! 🙂

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SNOW WORLD (which requires Additional Fee)

Picture taking is not allowed inside the SNOW WORLD.  Before you enter the attraction, you are given Plastic to store your gadgets so that they don’t get wet; and a Winter Jacket because it’s really freezing inside.

Once inside, you feel like you are transported into another world, hence the SNOW WORLD name.  But it’s more of an ICE WORLD for me because there are ICE all over.  Ice Sculptures line up most of the area, some with lights.  The main attraction inside is the Slide.  Yes, you can slide thru the ICE! Whee!  The Kuyas were kind enough to let me and my daughter sit on 1 boat-like rubber wheel to have 1 go at the slide.  I think Daphne was a little scared because we went so fast.  The slide was fun except that it was a bumpy ride!  You can feel the Ice in your behind!

PETER PAN

Peter Pan is also a Walk Through Attraction.

Here is my sister posting for some pictures!

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Extreme Rides

There were 5 Extreme Rides – the STAR FLYER, the VIKING, the STAR FRISBEE, the JUNGLE SPLASH and the SURF DANCE

Wasn’t able to try these rides as I was babysitting!

Family Rides

The 8 Family Rides were the HAPPY SWING, the DRAGON EXPRESS, the WACKY WORM, the TELECOMBAT, the GIANT STAR WHEEL, and the 3 we tried.

RED BARON

My family and my brother and girlfriend rode this ride altogether.  Your car was supposed to take you up in the air, ours did, funny thing was, my brother’s didn’t.  Then the little one commented, “Bigat kasi si Aku!” meaning, her uncle is heavy!

MAGIC FOREST

This is a train ride that goes inside a Magic Forest, you can see fairies and elves in the forest.  A unicorn  is also there to greet you.

GRAND CAROUSEL

Who wouldn’t miss this Grand Carousel?  Big one requested for us to go up the 2nd floor!  Wish granted!

Kiddie Rides

Except for the KIDDIE WHEEL, my daughter was able to try all the Kiddie Rides:

KIDDIE BUMPER CAR

This is the Big One’s last ride in Star City!  She was like driving pretty realistic huh!

MAGIC TEA CUP

Little one can’t ride this yet but another nice Kuya let me take a picture of her with her sister aboard the Tea Cup.

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BALL POOL

Big one spent a few minutes here then went out to join her sister in the Little Tykes area.

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RODEO

The big one rode this twice I think.  You get to choose your own car, either a top down jeep or a covered one.  It goes up and down the rails but it’s for kids only, so it’s kinda slow.

QUACK QUACK

This ride is a mini merry go around ride.

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LITTLE TYKES

The kids actually spent more time here than any of the other rides!

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Other Kid, Teen and Adult Rides

This composed of All Time Favorite Rides like the BLIZZARD, the BUMPER CAR SMASH, the BUMPER BOAT, the BUMPER CAR RAVE, the TORNADO and the JUMPING STAR.

Well, just like the other rides, any rides that are not for kids we didn’t even see.

Star City may be old, the rides may be old.  But kids and kids at heart (like me) will always remember the memories.  It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you’re with family, it will always be fun and memorable!

Till next year!

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When Disaster Strikes

This is how it looked like in our room tonight!

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Kids’ toys, books, crayons, and what nots all over our bedroom floor!  It took me a few hours before I finally sorted everything in their own places! 

And now my back is aching like crazy.  When it touched the bed, I couldn’t move anymore.  This is what I get from spending a whole day with my 2 kids!  Oh well, I’d rather feel like this than not spend quality time with them.

By the way, look at how happy they were with all their things strewn all over!

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Good night everyone!

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Remembering the Past

This is going to be a very sad post but I want to share my story.  How a person can choose to be strong on difficult situations.  And this is my way of remembering my parents.

2013 came by fast for me and my family.  It has been a challenging one just like the end of 2012 was.  Let me tell you about it.

My mom passed away when I was about to give birth last December 2012.  She suffered a cardiac arrest after getting out from the ICU.  We thought she was recovering already but it turned out that she wasn’t.

I thought my world crumbled down on me when my brother called me crying.  When I answered the call and heard him, I already knew it.  But I didn’t want to accept it yet.  I shouted at the doctor to revive her.  Until a few minutes later, the doctor told me that she already did everything she could do.

I didn’t know how I survived that day.  I just kept on crying.  Everyone was scared.  They were afraid I might give birth unexpectedly.  The elders were calling and telling me not to cry, and that I have to think about the baby inside me.  I was torn.

I admit that our family was never perfect.  But the love was there.  I didn’t get the chance to see my mom for the last time.  I was in the hospital, I was scheduled to have a C-section 2 days after she passed away.  I tried to recover immediately so I could go to her wake, but due to Chinese sayings and beliefs that it will only make it hard for mom to go where she is supposed to go, I decided to just stay at the hospital.

Those were some of the hardest days of my life.  I thank everyone who went to see me and who paid their respects to my mom.  I also thank all our family and relatives for being there, for guiding my brother & my sister through this hard time.  I thank both my brother and sister for being strong and my husband for representing me and for doing everything I was supposed to do.  And of course, for just being there.

After the wake, maybe due to exhaustion, he was the one who stayed with me in the hospital, my husband got dengue!  He was confined because his platelet was really low and he was really in danger. 

With a new baby in the house, with what happened to our mom, and dengue for my hubby, I thought I wasn’t going to get through it.  I wanted to break down.  I wanted to cry all day and all night.  But I didn’t get the chance to do so.  I needed to be strong for my family.  I had to stay on my right mind.  I have 2 kids who needed my attention and utmost care and I have my husband to think about. 

The whole December of 2012 was really a tough one.  It was the saddest Christmas.  Thank God for the little bundle of joy and for the recovery of my husband.  We moved on and tried to live normal again.  But still, there were days that I cry and think about my mom.

Come New Year of 2013, living life one day at a time.  A few months later, March to be exact, I received yet another sad news.  My dad who was based in Taiwan was very ill.

I got a call from Papa, he said he was confined in the hospital.  But he didn’t tell me his real situation.  He told me his doctor wanted to talk to me personally and that I needed to go there.  I was thinking, if his condition wasn’t that bad, why wouldn’t he let me talk to the doctor over the phone.  I knew there was something wrong.  I again was in a mess.  This is a different situation.  We decided to go to Taiwan and see him.  But we were faced with another battle.  Visa is needed and it would take time to get one.  So I begged for people with connections to help us.  That was the longest week.  I was crying almost everyday in the office.

It was given exactly a week after I received Papa’s phone call.  When I got the call from Dennis that he’s already holding our visas, I immediately called Papa, I told him we were flying out and to wait for us.  By this time, he’s already having a hard time talking.  We booked the next flight out.  We went straight to the hospital from the airport.  We met with my dad’s youngest brother (who I asked a favor to go and check Papa out because he didn’t need a Visa) at the lobby and it was the first time I saw him with tears in his eyes.  I knew then that his condition has worsened again.

I remember crying when I first saw Papa.  He was lying on the hospital bed and was already unconscious.  I didn’t get to talk to him anymore.  But he did wait for us.

For the whole day, we just stayed beside him.  I put my phone beside his ear so that he could hear my daughters’ voices from the videos.  I held his hand tightly and shouted at him.  Why shout?  Because even if he’s already unconscious, he still responds when you talk to him in a loud voice.  He raises his hand and opens his mouth.  But the sad thing was, he couldn’t anymore.  He doesn’t have that strength anymore.  We were a day too late. 

A lot of his friends from Taiwan visited that night.  Only good words are said about him.  He even had prayer friends who came over and prayed over all of us.  And their leader told us that he is now ready to leave the world and the pain.  That Papa already accepted his fate. That we have to let go. 

He passed away that night.  But I am pretty sure that he did with ease and a light heart.  I wanted to cry but I can’t.  I took care of my grandma, Papa’s mother, who still couldn’t accept everything.  She was crying non stop and I was comforting her.  Again, my strength and faith were challenged.

It has been a year since Mama’s death.  And Papa’s death anniversary is also just around the corner.  But here I am still crying for my loss.  I have so many regrets.  Regret that I didn’t tell them how much I loved them whenever I talked to them.  Regret that they won’t see my daughters growing up so cute and bright.  I have a lot of plans for them.  But they chose to leave us early so that we will not bear the pain anymore.

Papa and Mama, I know you are both in a better place now.  I want to tell you how I love you both even if I didn’t get to show it that much.  How I miss your phone calls.  Yung mga pagkulit nyo sa akin.  I can’t thank you both enough for putting me in a good school and raising me to be an independent person.  I won’t forget our family trips, I have those memories etched in my heart.  I promise that I will tell stories about you to my kids.  I am sorry if I wasn’t the best daughter.  But I promise that I will take care of my sister and my brother and will be a parent to both of them.  Please guide me and my family, Kat and Jr, the rest of our family always.

This is not farewell. 

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A Blogpost for Mama

Today is October 12 and it’s Mama’s Birthday. Every year, we celebrate it with a simple lunch or dinner.  This year though, it would be different.  We will be celebrating it in a temple where Mama (and Papa) is now resting.

Last year, we celebrated Mama’s special day in Gloria Maris Podium.  It was a simple Chinese birthday dinner.  Mama was so happy that night.  Her favorite and one & only (I was 10 months pregnant then with my 2nd daughter!) granddaughter helped her blew her cake!

My daughter was her joy, she showered her with toys, books and clothes!  Most especially, she gave her unconditional love, just like what she gave to us, her 3 children. Too bad baby number 2 didn’t experience her Guama’s love.

Never did I ever imagine that that would be the last birthday she will spend with us.  If only had I known, I would have made it extra special.  But, that is all in the past now.

I have learned to move on because I know she is in a better place now.  Away from the cruelty of the world and the unfairness of life.  Away from hurt and pain as she was suffering from her sickness that we didn’t know of. 

That was Mama, very strong.  She didn’t tell us what she was suffering from.  She kept it to herself as she didn’t want us to worry.  I know I got that trait from her!

Now that it is her birthday, we are going to spend it with her even with Typhoon Santi around.  My hubby and I, together with my 2 siblings will bring her favorite food and drinks! Will pray for her to have eternal happiness.

I am sorry for the things I didn’t do when she was still here.  There are a lot of regrets, but I know she understands because that’s her, she is my mother. I thank her for everything she has done and for all the things she sacrificed for us.

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Happy birthday to you, Mama!
I love you Ma, I wish you were still here.

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The Proposal – Reblogged with Pictures!

will TIU marry me?

things happen when you least expect it

I didn’t expect that Dennis will be proposing anymore. We’ve been preparing for the wedding for a few months now and almost everything is finalized already. So why propose pa? But, to my delight, he still did! And I really am so happy he did! He really planned for the whole thing and it was an event to remember. Not only was I with him, but we were with the whole family as well! They are our witnesses.

Maybe, you are now wondering what happened. Well, here goes…

It was a slightly rainy Sunday, we went to Ayala Greenfield Estates to shoot some pics for the wedding. Little did I know that it was going to be a day of surprises!

When we got to the Village Clubhouse, I was suddenly left by Dennis with KatKat, Shobe Liit, Shobe Trissie and Ahya Tristan at the clubhouse. Tumakas sya together with AnAn, Manny and Syoti Jr. Ako naman, unknowingly waited for him, yun pala, he had an advanced birthday surprise in store for me. After a short while, he came back. And he covered my whole face with my sarong!

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He lead me to the picnic area, kapit to the max ako sa kanya kasi wala akong makita totally. When he removed the sarong from my face, there’s a cake and lots of food in the table. Kaya pala he was texting me at 5am, nag prepare pa sya. They were singing happy birthday. Teary eyed na ako syempre. So, we ate and ate, until we’re so full na!

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I thought that was it, I didn’t think na he will propose pa. I think one surprise in a day is enough right? Wrong!

We did what we have to do after resting our bulging tummies. We played at the game room. We shot lots of pictures. We even played at the playground. Us all – really a picture of fun!

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Suddenly, the two of us were left naman by the whole group. Dennis told me Ahya will just get something from the admin at the other clubhouse. Ako naman, ok lang, since I’m with him. We talked and talked, we played with the continuous shot feature of the camera, we watched the sunset. We just stayed at the poolside, lounging at one of the sunbathing chair until my stomach started grumbling na naman. Madilim na that time, so I was wondering what happened to them na. But, on the other hand, they are keeping in touch with Denz, they keep on calling him. For sure, updating him.

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A little while after, Ahya called and said na pabalik na sila. While waiting for them, Denz told me he has another surprise for me and that I have to wait until my birthday (4 days pa!) till he tells me what that is. Kinukulit ko lang sya to tell me when Ahya arrived. Akala ko uuwi na kami, when the car opened, nobody was there, only Ahya. That’s the time Denz asked me to cover my eyes again.

In a few minutes, the car stopped somewhere. I got down the car, todo kapit na naman ako kay Denz, takot kasi ako madapa or something. Tahimik sobra, I’m getting giddy and nervous na. But, I still didn’t think a proposal is going to happen.

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He lead me to the swing area, when I opened my eyes, there were heart balloons, there were 2 wine glasses, an Asti Martini and candles were lit all over. Everyone was there, holding cameras, videocams. We sat down the swing, and that’s where it actually happened!

Denz told me how we’ve been through a lot and that he wanted to make it official, he suddenly pulled a rose out, it turned out to be the ring holder, he went down on his knee, and asked me “OFFICIALLY” to marry him! And he was wearing this shirt which said “will TIU marry me? (a smiley face with brace)” I didn’t let him finish anymore, I said YES of course, hindi ko na rin nakita ano design nung ring. I was crying and hugging him na eh. Everyone’s in front of us taking pictures. I am suddenly laughing and crying at the same time.

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We drank the Asti, toasted everyone, super happy kasi everybody close to me were there with us. I thanked Denz and I told him that having everyone there made it more special.

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So there, that’s our Proposal Story. Now, I have something to share with our future kids! J

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A Date with the Hubby!

While its important to spend quality time with the children, it’s definitely as important to spend time with the husband!
One Saturday night, Hubby and I decided to have a date!  We were supposed to watch the Sarah G and JLC movie, It takes a Man and a Woman, at the Robinson’s Magnolia.  But tickets were already sold out for the schedule we want to watch.  We decided to just have dinner instead then went home afterwards.  We were able to watch the movie the next night though.  
 
We have heard about Yabu months back, but it was only now that we were able to try it out.  
 
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We checked out their menu and here are what we chose for the night, the Menchi Katsu Set, the Seafood Katsu Set and the Tonkatsu Set. All sets are served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit.  Upon checking their official website, Yabu.ph, the Menchi Set is a delicious mix of minced premium beef and pork covered in crunchy panko filled with oozing creamy cheese.  Its definitely a must-try for cheese lovers like me!  We tried the Soft Shell Crab under the Seafood Katsu Set Category, it is composed of one luscious Japanese soft-shell crab, coated generously with fresh panko, fried to crispy perfection.  This one’s very yummy!  Imagine, you can eat the whole crab!  For the Tonkatsu set, we chose the Rosu Set, it’s a 3/4 inch-thick Rosu (porkloin), with a sliver of glistening fat trimming its edges and deep-fried in crisp golden panko.  This set is nothing out of the extraordinary.  But still yummy too!
 
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For an average eater, eating at Yabu can be very overwhelming!  I love their concept of everything unlimited.  You can really eat to your satisfaction!  I also love that you make your own sauce.  Its like you play and pound the sesame for fun first before actually using it as sauce to eat your Katsu!
Really a place to check out.  Worth every peso you’ll spend!
 
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I LOVE BAGS!!!

To say that I LOVE BAGS is an understatement!

Lately, I have been addicted to shopping for bags! I love browsing on bag brands’ websites to check on new designs, in fact I subscribe to their newsletter so I’ll be notified in case there are new arrivals or even SALES!  I check out sales because even if I love to buy everything that catches my fancy, I can’t!  I’m still on a budget! Hence, the Tory Burch Ella Tote Groupon Deal Fiasco!
 
Since I’m always on a budget, it was just last year that I bought myself my first COACH bag. It is just what I wanted.  Perfect for a trip to the mall, but also okay for a night out with friends.  
 
Here’s a picture I took just now.
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It was my favorite bag until I bought a new one.
 
My newest baby is my KATE SPADE Cobble Hill Little Minka.  I saw it online and I can’t forget about it.  I browsed and browsed for other designs, but I keep on coming back to this.  And I saved this picture until now.
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Just like the Coach Bag, it’s also perfect for a trip to the mall, for dates with my husband, for night outs with friends, and most importantly, for going out with my beautiful kiddos.  The size is just right to fit my breastfeeding paraphernalia – my bf cover, my extreme sling, and a small towel.  With those are my wallet, a pack of wet tissue, another handy tissue pack, my hairbrush, and some more baby things like mittens, hats and burping cloths.  Since going out with a 2.5 toddler and a 4 month old baby might be a feat, the crossover design of the bag makes it so easy for me.  
 
The long strap is adjustable, so I can carry the bag in a lot of ways – as a body bag, as a shoulder bag, or an arm bag.  Plus, the color is orange vibrant, just in time for summer!
 
 Isn’t it wonderful? 
 
Xoxo,
 
Yvette
 
 
 

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Overpumping, is there such a thing?

Lately, I have been pumping as often as I could. I will be going back to work in a few days and I want to stash as much breastmilk as I could so that my baby will have enough supply while I’m gone. Also, this is my way of establishing my supply, aside from direct feeding, I express milk when baby doesn’t want to nurse.

These last few days, I noticed that my supply really increased. There’s your proof, the principles of demand and supply really works! So for breastfeeding moms out there who needs to increase milk production, keep on pumping!

If this is the case, then I guess there is no such thing as over pumping! I once read from a forum that one mommy does “power pumping.” What she does is pump every 2 hours, so in a day where there are 24 hours, she pumps 12 times! She swears by this method.

I also think that overpumping is a myth because even if we do not pump, we usually nurse our babies on demand. So if a baby is an active nurser, then she will nurse all the time too!

Well there you have it, overpumping is non existent! So go ahead, pump and nurse all you want!

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