Wake me up when September ends…

Normally, I love September, if I can have it for 365 days I would take it. Needless to say it’s my favorite month of the year. SInce my birthday falls somewhat in the middle, during the first part of the month I’m always excited that I have nightly countdowns until my birthday and after, I’m in such a high from all the love and sometimes gifts (wink wink) I get on my birthday that it lasts for about a week or two. I’m like a kid that way but it’s something I’m not willing to change about myself.

But this year I’ve sat on my hands all month-long  waiting patiently for September to end and October to begin. What’s happening in October you ask? Weeeeeell, Arnie has a business trip to Europe in October and with ALOT of persistent begging to take us along with him, he finally agrees. With a whole month to prepare for all the visa needed. I was hopeful we would finish all these in time. UK visa takes about 15 working days to be approved and delivered and Schengen about 5 days tops. That is if you can get an appointment immediately. According to my calculations if we leave by mid October that was more than enough time for us to get both visas without having to pay for the expedited VIP fees which would amount to about $163 per person (will write more on this next time). Of course for Arnie’s visa it was VIP all the way since the company shouldered his expenses but for us mere mortals we would have to sit and wait for 15 loooooong working days.

Then a curve ball, Arnie’s company wants him in the UK by the 7th of October which means that if our UK visa will only be delivered by the first week of October there was not going enough time for us to get the Schengen. Feeling defeated and sad thinking that the trip for the three of us was cancelled, Arnie suggested that we go with him to the UK and when it’s time for him to move on to the Netherlands, we simply go home to Dubai. Which might also be a blessing in disguise since Adrian will be missing a week from school for our UK trip another 2 weeks in Rotterdam might push it to the edge and end his chances of getting into a good college someday. (hehe)

I was hesitant and scared about traveling alone with the two kids. But Arnie assured me that we could get help from the airport via the MARHABA meet and greet service from the Dubai International Airport where they can meet us by the tube, help us with our luggage and escort us all the way to the taxi stand. At this point my hesitations were at a minimum,  I thought to myself that Arnie wouldn’t suggest this if he didn’t think it was safe or that if I couldn’t do it. Feeling proud that my husband thinks so much of me, I agree to go with him to the UK (take note what just happened there, ako pa pinilit sumama haha).

With September almost to a close, I want to say goodbye to my favorite month and until we meet again my old friend, the next time you see me I would be older and wiser but hopefully more experienced and travelled.

Now it’s almost time to leave and I’ve got so much packing to do.

Cheerio! See you from across the pond! (not accurate because I’m only coming from the mid east hehe)

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KIDS come first!

NoWiFi-223x300I apologize for my absence but I promise you the lesson I will share with you today is worth the wait. Something’s been on my mind these couple of weeks. I guess it started when I saw this picture at a friend’s wall. It is true, with wifi readily available everywhere and 3G costing almost next to nothing it is easy to neglect each other when we are out.

And then as if by chance Lucky Me, a local instant noodle brand from the Philippines comes up with this campaign. Which really hit home.

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In my attempt to correct this wrong behaviour, I’ve kept my laptop on the down low and only check my phone once in a while, as oppose to every 5 mins (like I used to). Since I started doing this, the kids seem to be happier during play time and I’ve asked Arnie to do the same so the boys get QT with Daddy too.

I know all this technology is supposed to be good for us but look what it’s doing to our relationships. Maybe we should learn how to balance our time so we still get our internet binge and still pay attention to our kids. That my folks is a lesson we all have to learn.


24 hour days

I am an Obsessive Compulsive Planner. Every morning when I wake up I make an outline of how my day will go. It helps me prepare myself for the day and organize things I have to do. Let’s just say I don’t do well with spontaneity but if things do happen by surprise I’d like to think I handle it with grace. Besides I do have 2 boys and expecting the unexpected is always on my list. Plus I’m married to the most spontaneous person I know (which sometimes drives me CRAZY)

Today, on my birthday I’d like to give you a glimpse of how my day looks like in my head. Call me crazy or call me insane but one thing I am definitely not and that is UNPREPARED.

5:30 Woke up to start preparing for our day (baon, breakfast, etc) but had a pleasant birthday surprise from Arnie and the boys. After a million hugs and kisses to my boys it was time to get Adrian ready for school.

7:30 Off to school

8:00 School Drop Off

8:15 Car wash, I love going to the Car wash don’t ask me why I just do.

9:00 Birthday Mass at St. Francis

10:00 Birthday Brunch *I was planning to have a relaxing long brunch while I wait for Adrian to get out of school but Aden had other plans he fell asleep as soon as he got in his car seat that it was really a no brainer to just go home and let him sleep comfortably in bed.

11:45 On the road again,  I had to leave the house earlier to get gas

12:30 School Pick Up

13:00 Birthday lunch at Fat Burger. I planned a kid friendly lunch so the boys can enjoy and have fun because if the boys are happy there’s a big chance that no one will throw a fit during dinner.

14:30 Home. For the kids to clean up and rest and of course give me time to clean up dirty dishes and start my laundry.

16:30 Arnie is home

18:00 We picked up my cousin at the MRT station

18:30 Da SHi DAi for dinner

20:30 Bring my cousin home

21:00 HOME

That’s how I plan days, everything is scheduled and planned. Some people may think that working without a schedule enables them to be more productive but that’s not me, I function better when I know what I’m suppose to do at a certain time. I guess it’s fair to say that all of us are wired differently, and if we just took the time to understand each other better then maybe we can all get along. I’m just saying.

*This post was inspired by my cousin Janice who asked me the day before what I was doing for my birthday and was surprised to get a blow-by-blow plan of my day. I dedicated this to her because I know that behind all the mockery, she understands and accepts me the most.

Twelve thousand nine hundred fourteen

If we didn’t have birthdays,
you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you be?
You might be a fish!
Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob!
Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of
hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that…
Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all.
No, he doesn’t.A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just
isn’t present. But you…
You ARE YOU!
And, now isn’t that pleasant!
Happy Birthday To You!

from: Happy birthday to you by Dr. Seuss

12,914 days old and I am definitely happy I’m not a Wasn’t.

Birthdays make me think and appreciate the person who is celebrating their special day. But on my birthday, I appreciate more the people I have in my life. My boys most especially are tops on my list and I am truly THE lucky one to have them in my life.

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my greatest gifts

I am very grateful for all that I am and I have, everything else is definitely gravy.


Taking care of me

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It’s a cliché to say it, but as a mom my kids and husband’s need always comes first. Sometimes even personal hygiene goes out the door when push comes to shove. But I’ve recently experienced that it is important to take care of me too. For without me, this whole operation that Arnie and I have could and would fall apart.

I had this “scar” on my left cheek ever since I can remember. According to recent discoveries, it’s not technically a scar, but a hyper pigmentation. It hasn’t bothered me much before but a few weeks back my husband noticed that it was getting bigger. Afraid of this “thing” taking over my face I consulted my trusty WEB MD. I found out that this hyper pigmentation or sun spots can/may lead to something serious like Melanoma (skin cancer). With my imagination going on hyper drive and already thinking that this scar could be the end of me (drama I know!) I found myself a dermatologist and booked myself an appointment immediately.

I’ve found Dr. Julian Reuter from BR Medical Suite, if you check the website her credentials do look impressive. Upon consult she did appease me and said that it didn’t look as serious as I thought but the only way we could find out is if we removed it and if it were to come back then that would be the time we would need to take a biopsy. “But for now, don’t worry” were her words of comfort. She also explained that people with my skin color (brown) hyper pigmentation are a normal reaction. Especially when the skin goes through a significant change.

As I looked back about the same time this scar appeared I did a home bleaching regiment that caused my skin to peel and show a new “fresher” layer of skin. The result of that DIY bleaching did give me favorable results but right about the same time or after, this “scar” magically appeared (Do I have enough grounds for a lawsuit? too much Suits episodes I think) (price we pay for being VAIN).

She also said that the only solution was to scrape the layer off and encourage new skin to grow, again because of how my pigments work, doing something chemically could/would result to another hyper pigmentation in another area. Even how barbaric it sounded to scrape it all off,  I booked the procedure nonetheless. The whole procedure only took 10 mins (as she promised).  First, she injected the area with a local anesthetic and  with what looked liked a chisel she immediately started chiseling out that part of my face. It didn’t hurt, I promise! But after the procedure I looked like I got into a fight, my left upper cheek was swollen and the area had a fresh blood clot (you get the picture). She also did say that although she wants the area exposed (for faster healing) it cannot be exposed to the sun, so I simply cover it up with a bandage every time I have to go out (Something my little one cannot resist peeling off). It’s been 5 days now post procedure, the swelling has gone done and it looks like it has healed well. The only mark left is the crusty exterior of a blood clot, you know the one you get when you skinned your knee and the blood dries up and eventually falls off, (a picture could come in handy about now but I don’t want to spoil your day).  It has taken all my might not to peel it out of my face but I do feel positive about the results.

I don’t regret I did it, even though it could cost me something (will explain soon-teaser!). But kidding aside I honestly think that I owe it to my boys to keep myself healthy. If I didn’t do something about it and it turned out something more than just a scar that I could’ve/would’ve/should’ve done something about sooner, I will never forgive myself.

For those interested about Dr. Julian Reuter here’s her clinic add:

BR Medical Suites

4005, Block – B, 4th Floor, Al Razi Building No.64, P.O.Box: 505162, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai – United Arab Emirates.

Tel: +971 4 4392305
Fax: +971 4 4469867
e-mail: info@brmedicalsuites.com

Appointments

appointment@brmedicalsuites.com 
Emergency Contact Number – 0529933270
Landline Number – 044458585


aLa Annie mini catering

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Can I ever write a party post and not gush about the FOOD???? Of course NOT! But because I know who catered the party personally I wanted to give her, her own tribute post. Annie of aLa Annie mini catering is a sweet sweet girl with always a smile on her face.

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Annie with birthday boy Juma and Lawrence

When I heard that she started helping out friend’s parties with her gift of cooking, I was genuinely impressed and happy for her. I have great respect for people who aspire to start doing what they love to do, like cooking or baking. If they earn a little extra on the side then all the better right?

For Juma’s party, She made Caldereta, Kare- Kare and Shrimps for the viands. I personally loved the prawns. I have this stupid rule where I don’t eat with my hands when I’m at a party so when I see prawns I avoid it like the plague but I was glad I didn’t follow this rule for this one. The prawns were sooooo good I think I ate half of the prawns that they served without any shame. The Caldereta was a bit spicy but tasty nonetheless. The Kare – Kare was my husband’s favorite of them all. In fact he loved it so much he was still thinking about it the day after. Aside from the three viands she also supplied a noodle dish and rice. If that is not enough for you to whet your appetite she even made the Leche Flan for dessert which is the perfect consistency that I like, creamy and not too sweet.

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Caldereta

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Kare – Kare

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noodles

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Prawns – a definite MUST TRY!!!!

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The dessert table. Leche Flan from Annie and Buko Pandan from Tita Riz

Annie even supplies the serving dishes (on loan). I asked her details about her services and since she’s a novice in this catering business, she said that anything and everything can be negotiated. Which is a good thing if you are on a budget.

I was so excited for her that I wanted to have an event for her to cater for me. Or I was thinking maybe I could order just viands or dessert, anything really. If you are in search for someone to help out or supply food for your next event please keep my friend Annie in mind and I promise you, she will not disappoint you.

Please give her a call at 050 518 9721 or email her at rl_annie@yahoo.com

*All pictures are borrowed from Jing’s FB page

Happy Birthday Juma!

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This unique and handsome little boy is 5 years old now and it still feels like it was only yesterday when he was still in his mother’s womb. I remember this very fondly because this was also about the same time that Arnie and I decided that maybe it was time to start our own family too.

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Juma is 1/2 Iranian and 1/2 Filipino. He’s so used to being around people much much older than him that he is wise beyond his years. I could probably talk to him for hours and it would still make more sense than talking with someone my age or maybe even a conversation with myself!

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with ninang Riz (ninang Jing is camera shy)

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He’s a very lucky boy who have lots of people who love and adore him, among them are his parents (of course), relatives here in Dubai and most especially his two pretty ninangs, Jing and Riz. They are almost like his second parents and love him just as much, like I said LUCKY BOY.

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Happy Birthday dear Juma! May all your wishes and desires come true.

The party yesterday was also in celebration of his mom, Rochelle. I think having Juma for a son is the greatest gift she can ever receive. I’m at awe at how she manages working and raising him at the same time. She has extra help from family but the way Juma adores his mom shows me that she is still no. 1 in his world. Happy Birthday Uting! All the best in love and in life. Thank you for inviting us and letting us celebrate with you.