Archive for January, 2006

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Our Baby-on-the-Way Party…. Bottles and booties, …

17 January 2006
Our Baby-on-the-Way Party….

Bottles and booties, diapers and more,
Let’s shower the parents with baby gifts galore!

This past Saturday was our baby-on-the-way party/shower. My mom and friends Girlie and Trish organized the festivities and it turned out great! I didn’t want a shower where there were only ladies present. The hubs and I wanted to have a big fiesta with all our friends there, but we didn’t want it to be in some hall or restaurant. Luckily, my aunt was gracious enough to let us use her lovely home for the party!

We had a great turnout. There were about 60+ people I would say (even with a few cancellations the day of the party). There was tons of food: chicken satay, pork BBQ, beef kaldereta, Thai fried rice, breaded shrimp, baked ziti, plus ginatan and cassava cake for dessert. There were lots of activities such as the baby trivia game where guests got divided up into teams and the team captain (dressed as a baby!) had to run to the front to deliver the answer. This resulted in a stampede and lots of yelling and craziness! We also had boxes where people could enter and win a prize if they guess the sex and weight of the baby and guess the baby’s birth date and time correctly. We also put out a photomat for people to sign (in lieu of a guest book).

The hubs and I had a lot of fun and were really happy to have our good friends there to share the day with us. We also received a lot of fabulous gifts from very generous people! Baby gifts are definitely a perk to look forward to when you’re expecting! We’ve been getting numerous packages in the mail (we have tons of boxes to pull apart and recycle), and we received even more presents on the day of the shower.

Thank you to all our friends and family for being there! Thank you to Girlie and Trish who put in a lot of time and effort in making our shower one fun, memorable party (the three of us personally handmade most of the decorations and they came out beautifully)! Thank you also to our parents (the future grandparents) for the food, the cake, and all their help!

The invitation
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Cake
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Diaper Cake that Trish made!
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Gifts Galore!
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Baby Trivia: Who knows the answer?
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The hubs and I with the future grandparents
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Girlie, Trish (and baby Alex), and Moi
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Five Locas United! (Girlie, Sol, Me, Gail, and Trish)
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Future Mom and Dad
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Click here for more pictures.
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A Life Less Ordinary I started 2005 looking to li…

10 January 2006

A Life Less Ordinary

I started 2005 looking to live a life less ordinary. Did I succeed? In many ways, yes. I tried to incorporate new things into my life that would challenge me, make me happy with myself, and make me feel more rounded as a person. Here are some of my 2005 Highlights:

Traveling:

  • Florence and Rome, Italy: this can be summed up in a short phrase –food, culture, art, oh my!
  • Breckenridge, Colorado: there’s nothing like riding on sweet powder (albeit in 10-degree weather) and taking a holiday with a large group of friends.
  • Miami, Florida: 3 separate trips (bachelorette party, with 2 other couples, and one last trip with just me and the hubs –all great experiences)
  • Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas, Belize, and the Cayman Islands.

Financial Progress:

  • I religiously put away $150/month into my ROTH IRA account.
  • I religiously paid off at least $800/month worth of credit card bills (I have not paid off all my debt yet, but it’s getting there…It’s getting there).
  • I religiously put away $250/month into my savings account (which I deplete from time to time to pay off credit cards bills, but come April, I believe I don’t have to sacrifice 90% of my salary to the credit card gods!)

Hobbies/Interests/Passions:

  • continued playing in a band. Played actual gigs in front of actual people! Played at legendary CBGB’s!
  • read tons of books, and I mean tons. I don’t even know how many.
  • spent a lot of time with friends, tried a few new restaurants, saw a lot of shows/concerts including: Interpol, Depeche Mode, Bloc Party, etc.
  • got exposed to a lot of great new music!
  • threw a “housewarming BBQ” (2 years after we moved in) which a lot of our friends attended

Home and Family:

  • spent time with the hubs and in the home; spent a lot of time with family
  • successfully conceived a little bebe in less time than it takes to mail a letter to the Philippines from the U.S. –we are blessed!
  • experienced/experiencing the “expectant mom” life
  • worked on home projects little by little and continue to make our house our home

What am I looking forward to this year? This year will definitely be different that all the rest. For one, I will be a mom come March (or maybe sooner) and that will change my life forever and ever. It will change our lives forever and ever. No longer will the hubs and I be our own little unit. Now, we have to make room for someone else! It’ll be a scary adventure, but I’m happy to go down that path with none other than the hubs by my side.

Here’s a few resolutions (both frivolous and serious) in light of the new year (and the new addition):

25 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. consciously make better food choices and eat healthier (so I can be healthier and more energetic for the little bunny)
  2. incorporate some form of exercise everyday (even 10 minutes of walking is better than none)
  3. buy less things for myself and concentrate only on the necessities of the little one (although I think I won’t have a choice on this one even if I wanted to buy that new pair of shoes!)
  4. be more organized (about everything in general)
  5. be conscientious about cleaning the house
  6. throw/donate/give away things we don’t need
  7. work on lowering my cholesterol. Really.
  8. save more money (once I start working again)
  9. find a balance between the “mom life” and “me life” that suits me
  10. but be sure pursue individual passions and interests and make time for them
  11. yet make sure to spend quality time with the hubs
  12. work on relationship with mom and dad (and try to end phone conversations with “i love you” at the end)
  13. be more patient (with everything and everyone)
  14. drive slower and forget about road rage (no, it’s not really worth it to chase someone down and honk at them just because they cut you off)
  15. stop letting little things get to me
  16. resolve not to use credit cards for clothes, books, and other non-necessities
  17. borrow more books from the library and buy less books
  18. cook more and eat out less
  19. spend time and make time for friends who make time for me (everyone says you’ll know who your friends really are once you have kids….hmm)
  20. try not to miss church for any reason (and no, 3 out of 4 sundays a month is not good enough)
  21. stop being envious of what people have and be happy for what I have
  22. stop comparing myself to others and realize that i can only be me
  23. wash my face every night (no fail!) and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! (i’m not getting any younger!)
  24. constantly strive to be a better person
  25. stop procrastinating —carpe diem!

I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year for everyone!

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People are People People can really surprise you….

7 January 2006

People are People

People can really surprise you. For a few months now, my mom and friends (and I) have been planning a baby-on-the-way party/shower scheduled next weekend. We sent out save-the-dates and sent out the invitations early so that people could plan ahead (especially since it was right after the holiday season). Our invite list was made up of people we are generally close to and have been close to for many years. These are people who came to our wedding, new friends we’ve made over the years, and our relatives.

Of course, we didn’t expect people who live far away to actually come. I certainly wasn’t expecting my friends to fly in from Seattle or California! However, we did expect our close friends who live in the tri-state area to be able to make it with no problems –especially since we gave notice as early as November! Unfortunately, some of our close friends are not coming. Yes, they do have valid and understandable reasons for not going (though others just said they couldn’t make it or weren’t sure). It’s still disappointing, nonetheless, to know they won’t be there. I had thought that this party was important to them as it was to me. Of course, I should’ve known better. Things like birthday parties, weddings, showers, baptisms, etc., are generally only important to the people immediately involved (e.g., the couple, the celebrant, what-have-you).

I had already anticipated other folks to not be able to make it, but did not expect these people to not attend. Normally, I don’t mind if people can’t make it and I don’t sweat it. However, this is not just poker night or a dinner party I’m throwing. This event is important to us; it’s not everyday that we ask people to come to a party and send them an invitation 2 months in advance! I genuinely wanted to gather all our friends to this party to celebrate our little bunny’s arrival. I know in the long run, it won’t matter who was there or not because they’re still be in our lives, regardless. It’s just a little disappointing even though I know I shouldn’t take it personally.

In my opinion, people decline invitations based on only 2 basic reasons: a) they don’t want to go; or b) unavoidable conflict or illness (that is, they will be out-of-town, have another event that day, or are sick). If I want to be somewhere for someone, I plan around it. If I know in advance that May 4th is someone’s birthday party and I want to go, then I’ll make sure I am free that day (barring unavoidable conflict). Likewise, if I know it’s someone’s birthday bash on May 4th and I don’t really feel like going (or am not that close to that person), then I will I say I won’t be able to make it, simple as that. (And I decline in advance, not after I send out an e-mail or something reminding people to reply). There’s nothing wrong with not attending, and everyone (including myself) does it. It’s a part of life. Period.

Hm…and while I’m ranting…

Can I just add that it annoys me when people do not RSVP? Would it kill you to reply “yes” or “no” by the date specified? Why is it that I find myself calling/e-mailing people to get an answer? The hubs says to just assume they are not going if they don’t reply, but I know some people are just lazy when it comes to my invitations (because I see them reply with a quickness to other peoples’ invites). C’mon folks! We are grown-ass people. It only takes a minute to shoot an e-mail and reply. But I will be more like the hubs from now on and be blasé about it. Really. I will take his advice from now on and just assume people are not going if they don’t reply. Less hassle that way. Okay…moving on to a more positive note…

It also surprises me that people we are not really close to can sometimes be the most thoughtful and generous. For example, we’ve already received a shower gift from a friend I have back in high school that I keep in touch with semi-occasionally over the years. We also received gifts from a friend I only see once in a while, as well as from my brother’s former girlfriend! The hubs’ aunt also sent us a generous gift: an infant car seat (one of 2 we registered for, the other being an “infant-to-toddler” convertible carseat)! We had not expected anyone (other than our parents) to buy us any of the “big ticket items” but it was delivered to our doorstep a few days ago! Talk about thoughtfulness and generosity! We feel so loved! We really appreciate it since getting baby necessities (i.e., crib, car seat, stroller, etc.) does add up.

In other words, people can surprise you and drive you bananas. I know it seems I am making a big deal about the whole party thing, but I’m just venting. Like the song goes… It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to! Hahaha… Well bottom is that I still treasure these friendships and I wholly accept them. After all, in the long run, it’s a just a party really.

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The Calm after the Storm It is officially 2006, a…

2 January 2006
The Calm after the Storm

It is officially 2006, and the beginning of a whole new year! The past couple of weeks was a whirlwind of eating, drinking, and merry-making with family and friends. It was great, and later on this year, we get to do it all over again!

Christmas Eve

I hosted Christmas dinner this year at our humble little abode and had both sides of the family over. Usually, the hubs and I split the time between the families. We would usually go to church with his family then eat dinner with them, and then drive to Queens for my side of the family to eat a second dinner and spend the rest of the night. This year, we went to church in our town, and I prepared the Christmas feast (I started cooking at 10 am!). This year I cooked turkey (which marinated in a soy-orange-honey baste), spicy sausage lasagna, sweet potatoes, sautéed broccoli, and my famous pumpkin trifle (which the hubs and my bros really dig). My mom brought over roasted prime rib, and my mom-in-law brought over lumpia and a delicious French apple pie. We had tons of food (and still do!) and spent the night eating.

Turkey and Prime Rib
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Lasagna
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Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
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The hubs and I
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My family –vegging after the feast
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The Night before New Year’s Eve: The Last Hurrah

My band Plastiq Passion played its’ final gig of the year at 169 Bar on December 30th. This was my last hurrah as lead guitarist before I go on maternity leave from the band (the poor bebé is exposed to way too much loud rock music!). I tried to get my friends to go, but a majority of them had other plans (or just ignored my e-mail! =). A handful did come, including my friends visiting from Australia, as well as my parents! It’s very interesting to have your parents watch you and your band play at a bar! But they said they had fun, and they even brought their friends over who were visiting from Houston that weekend.

The photos of us were pretty grainy, but I think they ended up looking cool and artsy!

Me with the guys from Oz
(Steve, Matt in red, Ray, Moi, and their friends Jeff and Mike)
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My cousin Gabby visiting from the Philippines (left)
and my uncle Ben (my dad’s youngest bro)
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My parents and their friends from Houston (along with their daughters)
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Plastiq Passion @ 169 Bar
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The band
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New Year’s Eve

The hubs and I had nothing crazy planned for New Year’s Eve. I had tried to organize a small dinner party at the house, but that didn’t go through. Instead, we went over to my parents house for some Filipino food and then played Texas Hold ‘Em. My friend Girlie and Luke also came over, and we played poker until the stroke of midnight. Yes, I had some champagne! Hehehe…. All in all, it was a fun night. I was definitely winning and was chip leader, but then my cousin Gabby ended up taking all my chips in less than 3 hands!

New Year’s Day
Last night, I went out for dinner at Lima’s Taste Ceviche Bar in the Village. There were 12 of us altogether to celebrate our friends’ Ray and Matt’s last night in NYC before they fly back to Oz. The food was great and it was fun catching up with friends. Ray has been back and forth to NYC and CA about 4 times this past year and a half! He’ll be back again in NYC this coming May –what a jet-setter!
Today

Since I have the day off, it’s time to take the tree down and put the decorations away. It’s a little weird to think that it’s a whole new year already! 2005 was a great year and my next post will be about 2005’s highlights.

HAPPY NEW YEAR Everyone!