Thursday, June 27, 2013

Audrey Understood

     The other night we went about our usual evening routine: give the girls their sponge bath, brush Audrey’s teeth, and put them to bed.
     As I was preparing Audrey’s cup, toothbrush and towel, Natalie started crying uncontrollably. She was being carried by Dad but still wouldn’t stop.
    Audrey suddenly got up and said, “Mama!!! Nalie’s crying!!” with a distressed look on her face. She was sincerely worried about Natalie and her eyebrows met on her forehead.
     Dad who was the one holding Natalie tried his best to appease our baby but wasn’t successful.
     Audrey goes, “Mom, Dada na lang!!! Dada na lang will brush my teeth so you can get Natalie!!!”
     Wow. I was amazed at Audrey’s sensitivity and smarts.
    Our toddler was right, and we knew it all along - that Natalie would calm down once Mama was the one holding her. She recently started having major separation anxiety. I guess Dad and I just sort of tried to switch roles that night. It didn’t quite work but what was amazing was that Audrey knew.
     I couldn’t believe how much she understood the needs of her little sister.
     She really was meant to be a big sis.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Making of Barnyard Fun

    June is almost about to end and that means I am supposed to start planning for Audrey's upcoming birthday in August! How time surely flies! I haven't even posted her 2nd birthday  mini party yet, and here I am planning her 3rd! And to add to the fun, I will be preparing for Natalie's 1st birthday in September as well! (all my sentences have exclamation points now! I just can't believe it's that time of the year again haha :D)
     I'm one of those moms (or people) who just happen to love DIY projects so if you are into this sort of thing, I hope this post will give you ideas. And if you're not, just read on and this might just amuse you :)
     If you read my post on Audrey's First Birthday, our theme was Barnyard Fun. We came up with the theme based on Audrey's favorite at the time, which were animals. I looked online for ideas and finally came up with my list of props.
     First was the mini barn. I asked for a big enough balikbayan box from my sister who had just come home from the States then and decided on the best design suitable for what I had (my architecture background came in handy hehe, but if you're not an architect, don't worry this ain't complicated ;) ).  

Before the barn looked like it did in these pictures, I started out by sketching the design on it -
I located the window at a height where Audrey can peek out if she wanted to go "inside" the barn. Then I drew up the door and other windows so that it would be easy to paint them white. The box cover also served as the barn roof - I cut up the front and back flaps into the triangular barn roof shape, and the side flaps served as part of the roof (they rest on a piece that I stuck on the roof in front and back, leaving a bit of an open portion on top). Since I cut up a big portion of the box at the rear (so Audrey can go in easily), the piece I took out was also used as part of the roof (so that's why you see a "double" roof in the photo - I just put it on top where it's open, so the top gets completely covered). By just putting this top part on and not sticking all the parts of the roof together, folding it up is easier when we transport the mini barn).

DIY arts and crafts projects will require a little (or a lot) of mess! haha!
Here's the work station where I made the barn, painted the
wooden crate, and prepared the labels and stickers.

I also made the Happy Birthday banderitas with colored construction paper.
I printed out the letters and cut them out ONE.BY.ONE.
Not sure I'll want to do that again this year haha.
I did keep these banderitas for future use ;)

The white wooden crate served as the "pig pen" and this basket housed our straw hat giveaways.
The fruit crate was from the market and the basket from Divisoria.

Photos above by Catilo Photography and Lemarc Limosnero

These were the photos I took of Audrey for her Save the Date
and her Welcome Sign & Invite. Loved taking these pics! :)

I made this Welcome Sign with the help of CorelDraw and Photoshop :)
The "poem" was by yours truly as well :)

Here are labels for the Buffet Table and Dining Tables. I printed out the layout that
I made on sticker paper and cut them. It was easy enough to stick them on these
thick construction papers and it looks neater too than sticking with glue.
The mini pots served as containers for art materials and some decor on the dining tables.
I got them from a landscape and garden supplier.

I had fun coming up with a menu that was appropriate for our theme.
The border colors on these labels were taken from our color motif of pink, aqua and light green.

My DIY Thank You tags (for the giveaways).

I made Thank You stickers for the take home cupcakes and Audrey labels for
the mini pots that we used for storing crayons.
Photos above by Catilo Photography

And of course, there were DIY treats! :9 I made red velvet cupcakes
with buttercream icing for the party!

The cupcakes had pink icing, rainbow sprinkles and either an aqua or green paper cup to go with our motif.
For giveaways, I got some fresh honey from my in-laws who take care of bees in their backyard!
I also wrapped the cover of the jars with checkered cloth to give it a barn feel.

And I wish I made this cake myself but I didn't :) hehe! What I did make was the styro cake stand.
I put together about 3 pieces of styro and wrapped it with a red checkered fabric from Divisoria
and then covered it again with a red bandana. The blue checkered table cover was also from Divisoria and it has remained useful for my household to this day.

I am looking forward to my next 2 DIY party projects for the girls' birthdays! Can't wait :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Funny Faces with Dada

I don't know about you, but I sure have a funny dad! 
We love taking pictures together and Mama is just happy to document all of them. 
Here are some photos that we took when I was just 8 months old :)

Can you guess which pic is called "The Tiger?" :)
It's always good to look back and see these photos!
(I should tell Natalie to do this with Dad too ;D)

Hope you had fun looking at our pics! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Recycled Art - Toilet Paper Tube Lion

      Toilet paper tubes always seemed like a good recyclable material for arts and crafts... until I collected enough and realized I didn't really have a concrete idea of what to do with them yet. So I ended up throwing a couple of them in the trash before I came up with this haha! 
     I figured Audrey and I could make it a stand for something that we would make, like an animal. So when she requested that we make a lion for arts and crafts one afternoon, I wasted no time getting the tubes ready! (alas! I can put them to good use!)
       Check out our project below:

We had 3 pieces of toilet paper tubes to use for our lion, plus glue and colored construction paper.
Don't forget to bring out your pencil, markers and scissors too!

The lion on Natalie's (formerly Audrey's) gym mat served
as the inspiration for our lion's "look" :)

We haven't even begun and Audrey found another use for these toilet paper tubes already! haha! :P
She wore them on her arms until it was time to wrap them up to use as the lion's body or stand.

       So here are the steps in making the Toilet Paper Tube Lion:

    1. Apply glue on the yellow colored construction paper and wrap around the tube.
    2. Don't forget to leave a portion of the paper sticking out (I almost did!), so that you     
        can stick the lion's head easily later on.
    3. Draw the lion's hair on orange paper and cut (I opted for the pointy versus the curly 
        - just thought it looked cuter :P).
    4. Draw a circle for the lion's face and apply glue at the back so you can stick it on 
        the hair.
    *The torn apple green paper pieces are care of Audrey. They will be of good use later.

    5. Draw the lion's ears and stick on the hair as well (try to put it behind the head).
    6. Cut up a piece of orange paper for the nose.
    7. You can draw the lion's eyes with a black marker - but I chose to 
        cut up black paper for this and glued it on.
    8. Get your black, red and orange markers and draw the lion's mouth and tongue.

Now you can stick the tube behind the lion's hair with tape!

The finished product! The lion on a toilet paper tube stand (its body)
with torn paper bushes stuck to toilet paper tubes as well!
So this is where those apple green pieces of paper went! :)
(abstract bushes for that jungle feel)

Audrey with her "pet" lion hehe!

After the Lion Behind the Bushes setup, Audrey shifted to playing
'picnic', hence the fake drinking in the background :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dada's Day

      I find that dads are kind of trickier to buy gifts for. It's either you end up buying them gadgets, stuff from the hardware, or another article of clothing (that you probably got for him before but just in a different color or style). It's so much easier to buy gifts for moms! :) Audrey's always wanted to buy her dad a monkey shirt, but in the past six months that she's been mentioning it, we still haven't really come across a nice monkey shirt for Dada :P So I guess we will still be on the lookout for one.
      And when we were in the mall the other day, we attempted to buy Dada something that he liked... but he didn't find anything in particular that interested him. So we went home empty handed (but richer hehe). 
      So come Sunday, it was a choice between a relaxing snoozefest at home or a relaxing pedi at our good friend Gigi's new nail studio! (Mama's treat!) Of course the pedi won :) So off we went to Coco Nail Studio in the Alabang Hills area to get the much deserved pampering treatment for Dad!

We got him the Coco Man Toes which comes with a foot soak and quick scrub,
followed by a massage and nail cleaning. Relaxing indeed!

And because the nail studio was kid friendly, our girls were kept busy with all
the books and toys that were available for them to read and play with :)
(Busy kids equals relaxed parents)

I even got a 15-minute foot and leg massage of my own while sipping iced tea
and snacking on the macaron that they provide for their clients ;)
We definitely had a nice and relaxing time!
I'm already planning to go back here to try out their other treatments soon!

Can't wait! :)
    After our nail studio date, we headed to our early dinner with the family. We celebrated Father's Day with two other special dads - my husband's dad and my sis in law Patty's dad. 

Patty was ready with a Father's Day rainbow cake prepared by The Cake Shack!

We enjoyed eating this yummy, colorful and festive cake!
Audrey had fun eating the different colors one at a time :D

And here's a pic of the best Dada with his lovely little ones! :)
Hope you enjoyed your day as much as we did!

Friday, June 14, 2013

I Miss Blogging

    I have three words in my mind right now... I miss blogging!!! I have been so swamped with work (and busy with the girls as always) that I haven't been able to write my entries for this blog or even finalize all the draft posts that I already have. 
    My good friend, sis in law and super blogger extraordinaire Patty was right - blogging is simply fun and it can get you hooked! It serves as my break from it all, but right now I don't have much time for breaks. Sigh. Well, it's only been a week anyway, not a whole month! haha! But soon, oh soon!!! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vanilla Cupcake Party

     Do you love cupcakes and all things pretty, dainty and nice? Well, my very good friend Anne loves these, so her mini birthday suh-prise party was held at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery and it was sweet! Literally :)
    And because my husband and I just got a new 50mm lens for our Canon EOS dslr camera, I was trigger happy that night! :) :) :) I was so excited because our good pal and awesome photographer Lemarc recommended this lens (especially good for amateurs like moi) because you can't go wrong with one. It's perfect for portraits and closeup shots - and kid photography friendly because the shutter speeds can go faster. Besides all of that it's easy to lug around because it's light, not to mention lighter on the wallet too because it doesn't cost as much as bigger lenses.
    Hope I don't disappoint you with my photos below. Haha! :P

Isn't that a cute setup on the left? :) (This is inside the store)
and on the right is Audrey smiling for Mama :)

The choco cream pie cupcake was our favorite!

Natalie looking at those cupcakes with longing eyes... 

The Gonzaleses! Our birthday celebrant was happy and suh-prised :)

The rest of the party-ers

The kiddos!

Audrey in another happy pose

Natalie's just happy to be out! haha! She loved cruising on the sofa :)

My cuties! If we could read Natalie's thought bubble I bet it would say:
"Help! Rescue me from my big sister's grip! I think she loves me too much!" hehe :D
And last but not least- The Storytelling by Audrey photos with Tito Jay!
She had so much fun telling him about flowers, spiders and monsters that night.
I think you can pretty much guess which is which based on the pictures! hahaha!
Thanks Tito Jay for being so game! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013