Friday, May 29, 2009

...tsugtsug's birthday kwento (super long post)

have the dvd of tsugtsug's pictures! thanks to my dad for sending it over here.

Photos were by Ging Lorenzo, and she did an awesome job. It takes her 2 weeks before she gives you the pictures, but believe me, its worth the wait. DVD came in a personalized cover, its so professional looking, i'm so happy I got her. She also has LightScribe (HP dvd burner) so tsugtsug's picture was 'etched' on the Disc itself. pretty cool. Now I have the difficult process of choosing which pictures to go to the album. Hope it doesn't take me too long to accomplish that.

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The whole week it was raining a lot, very atypical considering it was still late April. I was starting to worry so Pangs and I went to Sta.Clara to offer some eggs and pray for a nice, sunny weather. It was even drizzling when we went to Sta. Clara, but I was optimistic that we would be blessed with sunshine. Guess what? We were! Omygosh I am now a devotee. LOL. The clouds would sometimes loom a little, but the rain never fell. (I also did a sun dance, btw, ala Sarah G. hehe)

Thank you Sta. Clara!

Morning of tsug's big day, he woke up around 7 and had his breakfast like any other day. By 9:30am, we were on our way to the resort and got there about 15 minutes later. (yup, its conveniently very near our house) Ging the photographer was already there, an excellent start of the day. (had to double check my watch because our meeting time was 10am, but nope, i wasn't late hehe) Also saw jacque of Partyboosters setting up the place and her staff trying to hang this humongous ball decor up on the wall. Had to laugh at the sight of that. The ball could've been a teeny bit better, I was thinking more flattened out (not sure if that's feasible) but I thought she did pretty well for a first-time effort on the giant beach ball.

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gavin's first birthday2

Super value for money. I bought the mylar balloons from and just handed it to her a couple of days before the party. She put up these beautiful swags which I looove, but I love them more because she doesn't charge you for them. which makes absolute sense, since these get returned anyways. I just don't get why other decorators charge you for them. One quoted me 6k just for swags! I guess they're pretty hard to put up, but just for the free swags, everyone should get Partyboosters hehe. Its just bonus that Jacque is easy to talk to and she even picked up the cake from Emily Uy for me. talk about customer service! I would definitely get her again for future events.

Tsug's cake was another value-for-money. Only 3k! The cake itself was a bit dry, but I didn't care. She was the only supplier who offers customized fondant cake this cheap! She also forgot to put tsugtsug's name (it's Gavin, in case you're wondering) on the cake but its no biggie since no one really noticed. (just me)

Another very cheap and great find were these cupcakes. Got them at 180/dozen at They were supposed to be beach balls too but they look more like beach umbrellas. Still awesome! Thanks Dhey.

Gavin's 1st Bday Party 11

One of my DIY projects were these sun visors. Wanted to buy at but it'll be like 25 bucks each. I was hoping to find some in Divisoria, but wasn't successful. So decided to just make them. Bought Foam sheets at the scrapbooking corner in National Bookstore, traced and cut from a pattern and with help from ate chary, my mom and raymond ON the day itself (yeah, i know. but what's a party prep without a little cramming?) stapling garters at both ends, here's the end result. less than 6 bucks each! hehe.

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Game prizes table. Made 'Mommy', 'Daddy', 'Lola', 'Lolo' visors too. Traced from a pattern and glued them on. Made it easier for the suppliers to recognize us too!

Anyway, my very eager and early cousins arrived just minutes behind me (excited? lol) and that got me to a great mood. I was worried about a dismal turnout, but now that my rowdy cousins are there, it doesn't matter if it was just them who came. That's how loud they can get hehe. It was a good thing I got 2 food carts, so our early guests could eat a little and won't pass out from hunger before lunch. These were also taken care of by Jacque of Partyboosters, and she got Yan-Ple (party supplier) for my Cheese Sticks and Nachos food carts.

gavin's first birthday6

Nachos were okay, but the cheese sticks weren't cheesy at all. My very pilyo cousins called it 'Cheese' sticks with matching 'in quotes' for the cheese. LOL. Food carts were 'in-theme' though, so bonus points for that.

After checking how the decorations were coming along, we went back to the room and tried to nurse a very excited tsugtsug. Gave up after a few minutes, so it was family portrait time. He is one happy kid:

gavin's first birthday

tsugtsug's party clothes:

gavin's first birthday1

Gavin's 1st Bday Party 12

Had hiccups at first with the venue, Bouganville Resort in Antipolo but they definitely made up for it on the event itself. They were closed on that day so it was as if we had reserved the whole place for tsugtsug's party. Ms. Joy, the Manager was heaven sent. She was there the whole day, looking over the food, managing the waiters, basically giving me a stress free party.

Our food was catered by MYC Catering, but they were just subcontracted by Bouganville so we had lower rates. (275/head, menu here) We booked for 120 people, but I think only about 90 came so the food was overflowing.

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Adult Buffet on top, Kiddie buffet on the bottom. Ms. Joy the Manager in pink.

I was able to eat on the party itself but everything tasted great to me because that was my first meal of the day. When I got home and ate leftovers, I was able to assess the food more accurately. The carbonara was a bit bland and so was the Arroz Valenciana. The highlight was the Lengua with Mushroom sauce though. It tasted great, seasoned really well. I think I had that as my viand for at least 3 meals more. The rest were pretty okay, my expectations were met. Oh, I also loved the kiddie spaghetti. But I'm not sure if that's good cause I don't like sweet spaghettis so I'm not sure how the kids reacted. Maybe its wonder spaghetti where both adults and kids would like hehe.

Speaking of highlights, I got Host/Magician Alex Lagula who received the best compliment from my very budget conscious (read:stingy) Father. After the party, my dad asked me how much I paid for the Host/Magician. I said "9k" then I instinctively cringed a bit. He said "Sulit!" and my jaw dropped. HEHEHE. That just friggin made my day. A testament to a very successful party! Alex was on point on his act. The sound effects, his timing, everything! At first he started the party speaking in english and my first thought was 'uh-oh' and wondered if our guests could relate. But he switched to Taglish right immediately and really leveled himself to the crowd. He did everything. I didn't even instruct him to do anything. We just showed up like we were guests in our own party. Sulit talaga. There was balloon twisting and a couple of games before lunch time. One was for younger toddlers which I really appreciated because usually, the games are only enjoyed by kids aged 7 or older. After lunch, was the magic act which was awesome by itself but became even funnier because of my nephew Miguel who volunteered in one of his acts. Miguel's antics and side comments were so funny. He's in this 'rapper' mode and would say stuff like 'It's your fault, man' or 'I'm Miguel the Rapper, Yo!' that brought the house down. Napalaban si Alex sa kanya hehe.

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My dad loving the magic
Gavin's 1st Bday Party 2
(top 2 pics) with my nephew, miguel the rapper

Gavin's 1st Bday Party 1
from kiddie to adult games

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balloon burst (bottom 2 pics)

After the fantastic program, was the swimming! Bouganville has a wonderful, huuuge pool with a jacuzzi and a kiddie pool. Actually, right after the program I just went around a bit to have some photos taken with my friends and family and I was looking for some of the kids but couldn't find them. I looked out to the pool saw some of the kids swimming already! Pangs thinks they dived in the pool without changing clothes haha.

Merienda was set-up and served on the Tents beside the pool. We had burgers, french fries, hotdog and Iced Tea. (ooh, I also loved the Iced tea. wonder what brand it was hehe) Also had 2 more food carts for merienda time from Ace Balloon, crepe and bbq wrap. Got a different food cart supplier cause of the different time they needed to be served. Both tasted fine. I opted for a Nestle Ice cream cart, instead of the usual dirty ice cream. It was really cheap (think I paid 3.3k for 160 assorted pieces) and I like the variety (Pinipig, drumstick, twin popsies, ice cream cups). The ice cream was gone super fast, but I was still able to eat 3 hehe. I remember reading about other mommies' experience on their kid's birthday parties about not being able to eat, but I was able to eat just fine. Maybe its our small number of guests, very manageable and since about 90% were our relatives and super close friends, they were pretty low-maintenance hehe.

More swimming pictures:

Gavin's 1st Bday Party 22
grabeh, ang laki ni kuya nathan!

Gavin's 1st Bday Party 23
2 big jacuzzis and the huuge pool

I want to have a party again! lol!

Sunday, May 17, 2009 pissed (updated)

we were at Yishun Northpoint mall yesterday when I decided to breastfeed tsugtsug at their Family Room at Level 2. It was a simple room with a diaper changing table, hot and cold water and 2 cubicles, each with a door for privacy for breastfeeding. Went inside one of the cubicles, locked the door and tried to nurse tsugtsug. Pangs left us so he could get his hair cut. About 5 minutes later, someone knocked on the door.. sounded like an old lady.. I said 'Yes?' then the old lady responded but it wasn't english so I asked again "I'm sorry?' then the old lady blabbed on again.. I still haven't learned a new language so I just ignored her. I figured she thought I was someone she knew or something. She left a few seconds after that. Another 5 minutes and someone knocked again! It felt like deja vu because I still said 'Yes' and 'I'm sorry?' and she still didn't speak in english. I was trying to whisper loudly at this point because tsugtsug was already half-dozing off. I was not going to open to some stranger when it was just me and tsugtsug in that family room.

The third time, it was already a guard with a walkie talkie who forced me to open the door because of his loud knocking was saying "Hello? Hello?". To say i was extremely pissed at this point is an understatement. I was fuming! Here I was, half-naked, trying to nurse my baby to sleep and I've been interrupted 3 times! So I opened the door with tsugtsug still latched and sucking at my breast and asked "What the F*CK???" and this guard who looked too young to be one looked down on us, muttered 'Oh' and then left.

WTF again!? not even an apology!? arrrrrgh. I was trying to stay calm for tsug then Pangs got in minutes later. I told him the story so he was asking me if I want to complain to the mall management. I agreed. I wanted to know what all the racket was about. When we went down to Level 1, I saw the boy guard but I wasn't 100% sure if it was him so I asked calmly "Excuse me, where you the one who knocked at the breastfeeding station just now?" I had to repeat myself because he was mumbling and acting dumb and was incoherent. (thinking back, I guess he was pretty nervous already) He denied it at first (the nerve!) so I just said 'Well, there was a guard who knocked blah blah blah' and told the story again and asked what's the reason behind it. He said there were students who use the cubicle to smoke or whatever so he was just doing his job. Pangs took over this time and was asking 'So you just keep on knocking on the breastfeeding station door every time its closed? What if there's a baby sleeping, just like our case?' and he just said 'It is management's rule and I'm just doing my job' (so it's you! you little idiot.) so at this point Pangs was like 'then let's talk to your manager' and that little idiot turned away from us! LOL. he had the gall to leave us right then and there. (ano yun, walkout?) My husband rushed after him (the guard walked OUT of the mall) so they were talking just outside the entrance. I couldn't hear them but they were still arguing then the guard walked away from Pangs again. I shouted at Pangs to stop following him and to calm down. He said the stupid boy muttered something like 'I know you're a FILIPINO' as if that should mean something. Huh? so friggin what?

I was talking to pangs trying to calm him down and I said something like let's just talk to the management or customer service to complain about that stupid boy guard. I didn't want him near that kid for fear he might punch that dumb look off that kid's face. So we filed the report at customer service with a promise that they'll give us a call. Still haven't heard from them, but Pangs said he'll give them a week to respond.

Thinking back, if students do use the breastfeeding station for their horny reasons, knocking on the door everytime it's closed is NOT the solution. If they're worried then have someone guard the friggin family room. smoking is something you can smell in a little airconditioned room so that's easy enough to detect. Or common sense would dictate for you to just WAIT. Whoever it is inside would have to leave at some point! I've used numerous breastfeeding stations in Singapore malls and this is the first time I've had this problem. And a simple apology from that idiotic guard could have appeased my nerves! I think he's too young to be a guard. An adult guard would've handled it completely different. One would just apologize for the mistake and not make lame excuses. And he would NOT turn away in the middle of a conversation!

Breastfeeding is hard enough as it is and something that was supposed to be a private, calm moment between you and your baby was messed up by an idiot who wasn't even mature enough to handle a mistake he has made.

Raymond got a call the following Monday, just asking for the detailed story with a promise that they'll look into it. 2 days after, he got a call again. They were trying to locate the guard so he could apologize to us but they were unsuccessful. He was already fired a couple of days after the incident (so tuesday, probably). Good friggin riddance. with regards to the knocking issue, they told Raymond they will no longer do that and would only investigate for very obvious problems (like smoking in the room).


Friday, May 08, 2009

...back in sg. got here last monday and so far, so good. already have a routine for tsug.. he has started waking up around 7:30 am (as i predicted, harhar), a relief from his usual 6/6:30am .. sun rises here much later than in Manila...

i've prepared and frozen his food for this week.. chicken soup for lunch, and broccoli/leek/carrots in white sauce for dinner.. the latter was not that successful, but when i added some chicken broth, it was much more well-received hehe.. (think it was too gooey for him the first time) .. as soon as he naps, i put the frozen cubes in the baby food warmer, tidy up a bit, wash our dishes then i get to use the computer after! yey! mostly i've been watching some missed tv shows but now i felt the urge to blog, because i've been feeling very productive lately and i want to show off my domestic accomplishments haha. i've decided to just wash dishes as soon as we use them or clean up right after a meal, i find it's easier this way.

since turning 1, i have introduced some new food in his diet.. cheerios for breakfast and yogurt with some plums and pears i've simmered and chopped.. he surprisingly loves the yogurt.. the cheerios is something he's getting used to. he's still not very good with chewing and swallowing lumpy food, but every article in the net says just keep trying so that's what i'm doing. (/me sing ala Yo Gabba Gabba.. keep trying, keep trying.. don't give up.. don't give up) he also likes cheese.. so maybe i'll give him yogurt with cheese with his fave cinnamon graham biscuits later.

i am definitely more mentally prepared this time around.. our set up before was i just concentrate on tsug and let Pangs do all the household stuff.. now i want to do my part and i think i'm getting the hang of it. it's also a huuuge deal that tsug sleeps on the bed now.. he used to just sleep on my chest, hence, the 'all i do is take care of tsug' attitude.. now i have time to clean up and actually do stuff i enjoy doing, like blogging! double yey!

i haven't made tsugtsug's birthday kwento yet.. still waiting for the photographer's pictures.. but the bottom line is.. it was so much fun!!! we had such a blast and i could see every kid there had a great time.. tsug was also well behaved and wasn't too cranky considering it was almost a whole day event. there was lots of food (TG! haha) and parents had to yank their kiddos to get outta of the pool..

anyway, more birthday kwento later.. here's a sneak peek: (grabbed from my balloon decorator, partyboosters)