Tuesday, August 19, 2008

new games

I was messing around with the settings on my camera while Addie played with Lucy yesterday afternoon. She put Lucy's ball in her purse and then ran to get Lucy to chase her. She ran in and out of the kitchen and around the sofas with Lucy in trail. Eventually Lucy would forget that her ball was in Addie's bag so once in a while I'd open Addie's bag to remind Lucy where the ball was. This went on for a good 20-30 minutes. Finally Lucy got clever and pawed at the bag until she got her nose inside. This resulted in the purse getting stuck on Lucy's head which produced fits and fits of giggles from Addie. The rest of the pictures are just for fun. Addie is so conditioned to the camera that she blinks whenever she sees it, before I even take the picture.

Monday, August 18, 2008

scary jobs

Window washing has got to be one of the scariest jobs in the world. Being a window washer in the Philippines is way worse. Get a load of the scafolding and ropes these guys are using! We are on the 17th floor. It gives me the heebie geebies.

dinner party

We hosted a kid friendly Mexican feast on Monday. A new couple and their daughter who is Addie's age came over and then our friends with the boys from upstairs were invited as well. We devoured a batch of my chicken enchiladas and all the fixing's. Yum! The kids played really well together. There were only a few punching matches over toys. Addie was a bit more reserved than usual. She took comfort with her finger and her lovey when things got really crazy and noisy. By 6:30 PM the kids were still going strong but the parents were tired. I think everyone slept well last night! It was a great evening.

Heroes Day

We had a long weekend with Justin at home because it was the Filipino's Heroes Day Holiday Monday. We relaxed, took a few walks around town, and enjoyed the sunshine in the swimming pool. Addie has a strange obsession with collecting all the leaves that fall into the pool. She and Justin swim around gathering them all up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

San Mig and bubble wrap

There is only one person for whom this post will be significant. I am hoping to score some points with this aforementioned unnamed father-in-law. Please note the glass bottled San Miguel Pale Pilsen (complete with Manila dust and grime) and the loads of bubble wrap. Each bottle is being carefully wrapped and taped for packing and shipping. Also note that your son cannot take any of the credit for this. Should be delivered to you for chilling in the refrigerator and drinking as fast as the U.S. Post Office can manage.

New York Academy of Art here she comes!

Addie's first official work of art. It's proudly hanging on the refrigerator door!

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Addie's amazingly talented Great Aunt Mary K made this adorable Raggedy Ann and Andy set for her. In my family it's practically sacrilege to grow up without a set of the nostalgic duo. The story of Raggedy Ann and Andy is pretty interesting. Johnny Gruelle created the characters in 1915 for his daughter who later died after receiving a vaccination for smallpox at school without her parent's consent. It's thought that her death was actually due to a heart defect but her father became an opponent to vaccinations none-the-less. The Raggedy Ann doll became the symbol for the anti-vaccination movement. Along with their political agenda, the character and her brother Andy are featured in many fantastical story books for children. They became a very famous brother-sister duo. Growing up I had a big Raggedy Andy doll who followed me to the hospital to keep me company during my hernia surgery at age 4. Because of that I think I always connected the doll with illness and healing. My Raggedy Ann even sported a Band-Aid. Funny that years later I discover the character did, in fact, have connections with medicine back in the day.
Anyway, now Addie has a set for herself. They are beautifully detailed and I checked-and YES they do have the characteristic little "I love you" hearts stitched on their chests just like the originals. Thank you Aunt Mary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

new toys

My parents sent a great load of packages of goodies from their trip to New Zealand and some new toys for Addie. We miss Trader Joes so much so now we have a few of our favorites to hold us over (I heart Joe Joes!). Addie has always been fascinated with the vacuum cleaner. Even when she tiny she's just sit in her exersaucer and watch me vacuum with unfaltering interest. Now she follows Cora around the room while she's vacuuming and helps her roll it back into the pantry when she's done. Addie's Grandma got smart and sent her a mini vacuum. It even sounds real. Along with the new children's vacuum Addie got a little pull dog, a Leap-top, and a pop corn popper-oh and stacks of books. We are about ready to open a children's library with all the books this girl has. You can never have enough books! Right now Addie's pretty content playing with her new things. What a lucky girl.

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!!

Ark of Avilon

Addie and I, along with our friends Jenny and her two boys, Lincoln and Isaac, experienced the Ark of Avilon on Tuesday afternoon. It's a little indoor zoo that gave the kids an opportunity to see some animals and walk around with Jenny the orangutang (coincidence on the same name for the orangutang as my girlfriend). Jenny (the mom) and I had to comiserate about how sad some of the animals looked. It wasn't quite the National Zoo! Addie loved it and wasn't afraid of anything. She was so excited when the puma walked up to the glass to greet her. The fish caught her attention as well as the deer and ducks. There was a little section of farm animals that gave Addie a first hand lesson at animal sounds. The sheep herd and I had a call and answer. I'd say "baa" and they'd answer. Addie thought it was hilarious. She was also excited about the cow, the bunnies, and chickens. When Jenny the orangutang came out to visit with everyone I'll admit that I was a bit nervous. She shook mine and Addie's hands. Addie would have walked right up and sat down next to Jenny if I wouldn't have held her back. She's fearless. Although the picture of her with Sophie (Jenny's helper) showed a bit of hesitation.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a game of chess

The rain stayed away for most of the weekend. Sunday we braved the heat just to get out of the house. We putzed around High Street and let Addie run around a bit. Lucy even came with us and lounged on the blanket. It was so hot we had to get some cold drinks to cool off. Addie is learning how to drink out of the water bottle all by herself. Her shirt was soaked afterwards but I'm guessing she didn't mind. A huge chess set was out for kids to play with. Addie was especially interested in the Knights.

the wedding

Santuario is a gorgeous Catholic church with Spanish influence. The wedding party was immense compared to most American standards. Justin and I couldn't get over the "little bride and groom". Too funny. Another interesting tradition here is that all the guest wait in the church during the pictures. No one leaves until the pictures are done. We sat in the church for two hours. Addie went a little stir crazy. Here you can see a picture of our driver's family, he has three boys who are adorable and loved Addie. She cozzied right up with the little boys at the kids table during the reception. She was at her happiest playing with a glass of water and a straw. The food was amazing, it was mostly Western influenced food; fettuccine Alfredo, beef with mushroom sauce, pork stuffed with pears, Teriyaki chicken, and of course white rice. A huge dessert station was stacked with all sorts of desserts and in a typical Filipino fashion their sweet tooth got the best of them and devoured it before or during the rest of the meal. There's no holding them back when in comes to sweets. We were completely impressed with the reception. It was really beautiful. An MC ran the "program" complete with garter belt tossing games, and interviewing the bride and groom. It was fun to be apart of the event and in the end there wasn't a whole lot that was so different from American weddings. We were kind of hoping to experience some major differences. Goes to show you how similar different cultures really can be.

Getting ready

Last week we attended a Filipino wedding at Santuario De San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City. Gary's (our driver) sister was getting married and he insisted it would be their honor to have us at the wedding and reception. We were intrigued by the idea of experiencing a wedding here in the Philippines. As you will see in the next post it was quite a lovely affair. Here is Addie getting ready for the wedding that afternoon.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

basket rides

Cora, our helper, invented the new game of basket riding. Addie climbs in the basket (normally used for holding magazines and Lucy's chew toys) then she gets pulled around by an old luggage shoulder strap. This trip Lucy jumped in for a ride too.


Yesterday I gave Addie a bowl of pudding for dessert and decided to leave the spoon in the bowl for her. She completely surprised me by dipping it in the pudding and putting it in her mouth. She fed herself almost the entire bowl that way. She got impatient here and there and dove in with her other hand but for the most part I was impressed with her using the spoon. She learned by observing because I've never directly showed her how to use utensils.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Last Sunday, Justin and Addie had an entire day of Daddy-Daughter time. They played, took a walk, went to the mall and shared ice cream, had lunch, the works. By the end of the day Addie had fallen in love with her Dad all over again. Monday morning she didn't want to let him go to work. It was precious. The best part was that I got some girl time at Greenhills. Myself and 5 other women spent the day at Greenhills, a shopping center that should be described more like a bazaar or a discount extravaganza. The entire shopping center is set up with little stalls or cubes where vendors sell everything from handmade pillow cases, knock-off jeans, pottery, jewelry, and lots more. We had two things in mind. The pearls and the knock-off handbags. The pearls in the Philippines are real, gorgeous, amazingly abundant, and cheap. There must be 60 vendors with gobs and gobs of strands of pearls all wanting you to buy. South Sea pearls, black pearls, freshwater, Keishi pearls, you name it they have it. It was fantastic. Some so cheap that I could literally give Addie a few strands for her future dress-up box. The next stop was the handbag section. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Coach, Gucci, and many more brands were piled high and dangling in our faces just begging us to give them a good home. I decided against the dirt cheap, poor quality knock-offs and spent a bit more on a really nice quality one. This is as close as I'm going to get to owning a real Coach bag. The real one (here) is out of my price range at a ridiculous $400. I purchased mine for one eighth the price of the original. This wont be my last trip to Greenhills.

Yo Gabba Gabba love

Addie and I watch Nick Jr. in the mornings while eating breakfast and playing. The funniest show is Yo Gabba Gabba. Addie loves the music and the messages are really great. "keep trying, don't give up", "wait your turn", "clean up the mess now", "animals are my friend", and the list goes on. I love the silly 80's video game style images and the characters Muno, Toodee, Brobee, Foofa. and Plex. The show features bands like The Shins who sing songs with kid friendly messages. The entire show is fun and engaging for parents and kids. Real kids get to show off their dance moves and silly faces. In our house, we now sing "my name is Addie. I like to dance". If you haven't checked out this show it's worth it. Here is our favorite song from the show.

only in Manila

There are lots of things that happen in a developing country that you shake your head at. One example is the memo we received under our door on Sunday informing us that our power would be shut off for six hours a day for the entire next week so they could complete repairs on the building's power center. The generator would be unavailable for use as well. Myself and other frustrated Moms with small kids who stay at home during the day expressed our concerns with not having "air con" or our refrigerators or the ability to cook dinner (or rather, have our help cook dinner). Very irritating. So we cranked the air con down to a chilly 17 degrees Celsius to cool down the house in preparation for the power outage on Monday morning. Here you can see Addie in her jacket. I had to take a picture since it could be one of the only times she'll get to wear it while we are in the Philippines. Turns out the property management office decided to postpone the power center maintenance until Thursday so we get endure the inconvenience later this week and part of the next instead. Joy!