Phoenix’s 1st birthday

(Reposting from one of my e-groups…)

Finally, here’s Phoenix’s birthday kwento and supplier ratings.

We set PHX’s birthday party for January 17 but his birthday was actually on January 15, which was a Friday. We decided to hold it on a Sunday coz some guests still have work/school on Saturdays and, by experience, there’s usually no traffic in the metro on Sundays, which is a plus as guests would be coming from both the north and the south. Monday before his bday, he got sick, had a slight fever. The next day, when he was still cranky and still had fever, we decided to have him checked na. His pedia told us that if his low-grade fever would still persist by Thurs, we better have a CBC taken. On Thursday morning, I took his temp and it was 38 deg C so we went to have his CBC taken. I was still hoping wala lang yon and that it was just a slight fever, nothing we couldn’t handle at home. That afternoon, when we got the lab results, we worried na coz his platelet count was below normal levels. Natakot na kami that it might be dengue. As per our pedia’s advise and other doctor-friends’ advise, better to have him confined and keep him hydrated in the hospital. His fever was gone but, ganon pala yon, that’s usually the time when the platelet levels get lower. So, a day before his birthday, we went to Asian. It was so heartbreaking seeing my baby crying as the nurses tried to insert the IV needle on him. Ang hirap coz ilang tries yon to find the vein. When it was finally inserted, Phoenix attempted to remove it pa. We spent his first birthday at the hospital. Hubby bought pancit and cake and balloons para at least may celebration pa rin talaga, and some relatives dropped by for a visit. Kudos to Asian Hospital for making his bday a happy one despite the circumstances. Asian even gave the bday boy a birthday gift (a bible storybook) and everyone, from the nurses to the food attendants, greeted him a happy birthday. He was discharged the day before his birthday party. We were worried that we might have to call off the party at the last minute. Thank God there wasn’t any need for that. And there was actually more reason to celebrate his first year considering he was hospitalized a few days before the party.

Here are my supplier ratings…

Venue: PAF Aerospace Museum, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
Rating: Highly Recommended

I initially wanted to have the party at TRIbeca because I love their clubhouse. When I was making inquiries, I was disappointed that their rental rates were too steep (read: over my budget) and they even have a base rate of 350/head for their accredited caterers. The practical side of me won coz imagine a 100 to 150 difference per person, multiplied by, say, 70 to 100 guests, could already get me a host/magician. It didn’t help also that the person in charge of their functions wasn’t quick to reply to my queries and to send the list of caterers, etc. The Aerospace Museum was our second choice but we’re happy we chose this venue.

Pros: Maayos sila kausap. You can bring any caterer of your choice. The place was clean. The aircon functioned really well. Enjoy both kids and adults with the place especially with the planes parked outside. Everyone was asking how we knew about the place, etc. For the size and for the look, mura na sya at Php5,000 for 5 hours.
Cons: They didn’t have an elevator. Kawawa mga elderly paakyat ng stairs. They also don’t have a generator in case nataon na brownout during your event. No sound system to rent or borrow from them. They’re a bit strict with how or where to put the decors pero nagagawan naman ng paraan.

Decors: Jacque of Partyboosters
Highly recommended

As per the recommendations of fellow n@wies who were on a budget, I decided on Jacque for the balloon decors. I didn’t have much specs for the decors as long as the place will look lively lang and I wanted a lot of ceiling balloons. Super easy kausap si Jacque, very accommodating at biniro pa ako na bakit raw cramming na ako sa party, haha.

Host: Butch Gonzales c/o Partyboosters
Highly recommended

The guests had a great time at the party mainly because of this guy. Host talaga sya till the very end. Super enjoy both kids and adults. He’s a class act and very very kind pa. For what he can offer, value for money ang talent fee nya. Even the adults were impressed.

Caterer: Wowlu Catering
Highly recommended

At first I was set on getting either Queensland or Blue Petals since sila yung medyo ok for those on a budget. However, I had a hard time dealing with them. Siguro coz they’re used to people going to them na, or prefer bigger accounts, I never felt accomodated by them. Ultimo their menu packages, I had to follow-up pa. Ako pa naman, if ganon na, forget it, so I searched for other suppliers that can deliver. I saw Wowlu’s multiply site and asked fellow n@wies for feedback. I learned from my aunt that they’ve been a suki na rin pala of Wowlu. The owner, Ms. Cherry, is very accommodating. I wanted 3 colors for the tables and chairs, no problem with her, unlike sa iba na you have to stick with one color or dapat upgrade ng menu pa. The food was good. The roast beef was something to rave about. The kids buffet was yummy rin…the spag was saucy and creamy. Waiters were pleasant and attentive to the guests’ needs. Malinis rin sila tignan. I also requested for 2 vegetarian meals and pumayag sila, tapos I was expecting it would be expensive (vegetarian sukiyaki plus garden salad), pero they charged me 100 pesos each person lang. Dapat pala nag vegetarian party nalang kami, haha, joke lang. Value for money sila.

Invites: Leslie of http://thepartyvillage.multiply.com/

For suppliers, I tried to zero in on n@wies because I’m sure I could count on them. Leslie’s post on her new biz caught my eye and I emailed her right away. She was so accommodating and her rates are so good. Perfect for moms on a budget and for practical moms like me who prefer to send the invites through email instead of the usual hard copy. A lot of guests who received the invite commented na ang ganda raw ng invite. It also set the mood for the party. I really admire her for trying to come up with the right look that we wanted.

Tarp: Leslie of http://thepartyvillage.multiply.com/

I also asked Leslie to design the tarp since I trust her already and natuwa ako sa layout nya sa invites. At least the tarp can complement the invites na rin. Again, price is very reasonable and the tarp’s colors were crisp. Dami rin nag-comment on it na ang galing daw.

Cake: Kitkat of Kalea’s Food Confections

Again, Kitkat is a fellow n@wie who’s a homebaker. I earlier tried her mini cupcakes for my daughter’s bday and nasarapan ako. She lives near our place lang so very convenient if ever I need to meet up with her or get the cake. Although last minute I decided nalang on having the cake delivered para less hassle and so she can set it up na for me. I’m not really fuzzy over cakes lalo na’t on a budget ako. I provided the cake topper, a wooden mini biplane, tapos si Kitkat na ang pina-execute ko sa design. I loved what she did with the cake. Super yummy ng cake! The icing brought me back to my childhood, hehe. I liked that it was not too sweet and not nakaka-umay at all. The chocolate cake was moist. I also ordered mini cupcakes which the guests loved = ) Super thanks also to Kitkat for lending me her cakeplate/stand.

Name tags: Thess of theresemer.multiply.com

Found this supplier from multiply. Super rush na ito coz I forgot that this was needed. She was able to execute the design I wanted and she delivered it promptly. Maayos kausap. Walang hassle.

Photos: cousin & cousin-in-law plus friends

I really thought long and hard if I would be hiring an outside photographer or just rely on someone I know. Because we were on a budget nga, I decided to just ask hobbyist guests to take pics of the event. Sabi nga ni hubby, we grew up naman not needing any photographer on our kiddie parties, so sige na nga. Happy naman kami coz we had so many shots and everyone was trigger happy!

Table centerpiece: Yaya ni PHX, conceptualized by my brother

My mom sent some wooden biplanes bought from the US na ginamit namin as centerpieces. Initially, gusto ng mom ko as souvenirs but stocks were limited so naisip ko nalang na as centerpiece. We “bought” empty zesto karton at Puregold (1 peso each yata) then wrapped it in colored paper. Bought some sand, pebbles, etc to make it look like an old runway. Dpat talaga kami ng kapatid ko ang gagawa kaso PHX nga was hospitalized so his yaya nalang ang nagtapos ng task. Natuwa naman mga guests sa centerpiece at inuwi ang mga planes, hehe.

Lootbags:

I just bought colored sandwich bags, filled them with goodies and small stuff. My mom was able to find tags na airplane ang theme which we used as thank-you tags.

Prizes:

Didn’t hassle myself na with going to Divi for this. Some stuff like activity books, toys were bought from the US. I supplemented this nalang with 10-peso items I got from a stall in puregold.

Adult giveaways: Lollipops. All adults were given lollipops, hehe.

Photos can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=151516&id=540365784

Thanks for reading! And syempre thanks to n@w, my ever-reliable source of anything and everything, hehe = )

Tricia

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July 16, 2010. Tags: , , , . General. 2 comments.

Hell Week

I didn’t see it coming. There was nothing at all unusual that Sunday except for the fact that we (hubby, me, and the kids) decided, after months of camping in the pink room (yes, the rooms are named according to wall color), that we will be going back to the yellow room. I was OK with the idea. The only thing I didn’t like about the yellow room was the aircon. It was too cold for comfort. No one in the family agrees with me on this though. I’m the only one covered in sheets while the rest of the gang would even kick their blankets away. Every night we’d take a vote on “who wants aircon?” and every night I’d be outvoted 1:3. Yes, even Phoenix knows how to ask for aircon.

Anyway, that night, I had a hard time getting my sleep. The temp was making me uncomfortable and I was hugging my blanket so tight. I adjusted the thermostat of the AC twice already to no avail. I was still shivering so hard that I had to wake hubby up. Hugging hubby helped a lot and I thought that was enough for the chills to go away. It made my heart tingly warm though, hehe. Hubby even prepared a bowl of hot noodles for me yet I still felt terrible. I soaked my feet in warm water, which made me stop shivering a little but something was still amiss. That’s when hubby decided to take my temp. It was 39 deg C already! After taking paracetamol, I felt so much better and was able to sleep through the night.

The next morning, we decided to go to the doctor. Hubby suspected I might have an infection and it might be due to the cough that didn’t seem to go away for more than a month now. His suspicions were confirmed. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to be confined right away. The first question that came out of my mouth was, “can I still breastfeed?” The doctor was firm in saying no I could not. He even added that I needed to be isolated from the kids, or anybody else for that matter, because pneumonia can be contagious. My heart sank like lead. Being in a cold lonely room for five days without my kids with me was like being tied in chains! To make matters worse, our helper was scheduled to fly home to the province for her birthday and hubby was all set to do ground lessons that week. I couldn’t help but think of the kids, especially Phoenix, who is so used to having me around. I am his milk machine and I dreaded the days AND nights when he would ask for milk and I wouldn’t be around to feed him.

I spent those 5 days and nights catching up on TV, watching shows I’ve never even seen before. There would be times when I would miss the kids so badly but I would shrug off those sad thoughts, believing they wouldn’t do me any good anyway.

The days seemed long, the nights seemed longer. The kids had to make do without me around. I was coping. Hubby was coping. The kids were coping. It was doubly hard for hubby because he was at the battlefield (of looking after the kids) while I was in the hospital facing a different battle of my own.

Thankfully, the days did roll by and I was discharged for home. It felt so good being with my family again. Throughout the week, there were lessons learned:

  • No matter how much I’d like to believe I’m super, I’m not. Mommies are human beings to. We get a scrape, catch a cold, get sick. We need to take good care of our health for our sake and our family’s.
  • If a cough is overstaying, better troop to your doctor’s clinic. I had my cough since the last week of December. It was February when I found out I had pneumonia. I kept prolonging my visit to the doctor thinking the next round of self-medications would get rid of the cough.
  • I cannot do everything. Stressed…that’s what I am. No need for that unnecessary stress. Stress was a big factor why my body broke down.
  • Never underestimate a person’s coping mechanism. Everyone coped and adjusted quite well to the situation, even my 1-year-old. Zoe was a trooper. She somehow knew the situation and helped by being there for Phoenix.
  • There are angels in disguise. I chose to count my blessings despite what happened.
  • Love the hospital food. Hating it won’t do you any good anyway.

Looking back, those five days spent in the hospital allowed me to recharge and re-energize myself. It gave me some “me” time, never mind if I was on IV and was wearing a lousy hospital gown.  Yes, I’ve been to hell and back! ; )

July 15, 2010. Tags: , , . General. 2 comments.

While they are sleeping

Yes, this might be my only chance! The kids are finally asleep and, thanks to my afternoon nap, I am still wide awake past midnight. Good for me. Finally, some “me” time. I did promise I’d be back, right?

While they are asleep, I was able to have a few minutes of TV and watch the latest news. P-Noy is so much in the news lately. I wasn’t able to watch the inauguration live last June 30 that when I caught excerpts of it, I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed. Yeah, there’s no harm in us pinoys wishfully thinking and hoping for the best. New beginnings, fresh start for everyone.

While they are asleep, I got to munch on Trader Joe’s dark chocolate-covered pretzels. Yummy! Sweet, salty, bittersweet, sweet, salty, bittersweet was my mantra!  Had to stop myself from finishing the whole bag!

While they are sleeping, I am staring at the computer screen, trying to sort out my thoughts. It IS hard to backtrack more than six months of happenings now that I’m back to blogging again. But then again, I cannot just start blogging without backtracking. And so I’m stuck here in the middle of nowhere, not knowing where or how to start. It doesn’t help that my mind is waiting for Phoenix to holler “MOM” any second now. I am pretty sure any mom would know how I feel. It’s waiting for the expected. Something that’s bound to happen, like always.

My little time to spend on me and my thoughts are still wandering to where my kids are. Oh well, better luck next time. Hopefully, my ramblings will make more sense.

July 6, 2010. Tags: , , , . General. 4 comments.