Friday, October 30, 2009

a French guy won me over

When I was about 14, I remember Mom and I were eating bagels and soup at the Nordstrom's cafe when an older couple came over to our table and commented on how lovely my cornsilk hair was and asked could they possibly touch it. My Finnish/German genes blessed me with blonde hair (extra blessing on the blonde leg hair). Hair dressers comment on how people pay for my hair color and oh how they wished they could bottle my color and sell it...blah, blah, blah. Well the golden train has left the station for me. A sad byproduct of carrying, birthing, and nursing my two beautiful girls, is that the golden luster has left my hair ashy, my skin looks dull, and my belly is no longer worthy of seeing the sun. Lucky for me there are millions of miracle creams to moisturize my skin and I have a drawer full of one piece bathing suits. I had not touched my hair until today.

A horrific eyebrow tinting experience back in 2003 had left me terrified to dye my hair in the worry that I'd look even more like a Russian whore then I did after that spa treatment. I was also nervous (being one of like maybe 25 natural blondes in the Philippines) to ask a Filipino to give me highlights because it seemed like a disaster in the making. My girlfriend Sunny (also one of the blondes) recommended me to Philippe's so I called and made an appointment with Philippe himself. My nerves melted away as he flipped my hair around, took a look at an old photo of me at our engagement party and said "You're going to love it". This guy is super French, a.k.a super stylish, conceited, and sexy (he's not gay). What girl wouldn't feel confident in his salon chair? The end results: perfection. My hair looks like my hair did before the girls. Thank you Philippe!

Happy Halloween

We are having a super typhoon type of Halloween this year. Luckily the wind has blown through as well as some rain and now it's like any other gray rainy day in Manila. Sadly, the Halloween party for the Embassy was postponed until Monday in case the typhoon was nasty. Addie will have to wait to trick-or-treat until then. Slightly against her will, Addie conceded to a photo with Bella on her lap. They make a pretty cute duo.

2nd Annual Halloween Party

We hosted our 2nd annual kiddie Halloween party this past Thursday. This year we had a spooky pumpkin craft along with snacks and decorating sugar cookies. Addie's classmates were all invited as well as a few other neighborhood friends. The results were a bunch of cute toddlers in costumes and a really fun morning. Addie kept asking if it was her birthday as we baked muffins and tied balloons around the room in preparation for the party. She was excited to have her friends over but disheartened when she realized there would be no presents for her to open! Bella got in costume for the party as well. Thank you so much Kiki for the adorable mermaid costume. She was so cute. During the party, Addie gladly took on the role of hostess. She announced after making pumpkins, "everyone come on let's dance". Who was I to deny her a dance party with her friends? A little spooky kids Halloween music (compliments of Aunt Megan) and the kids were running in circles (literally).
Look at Bella's thighs! Stella is working so hard onher pumpkin.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

seeing double

Check out this great photo of Justin at around 5 months of age. He's dressed in his Christening gown. Shocking how much Arabella looks like her Daddy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

plan B

God forbid the wrath that Yaya experienced today when she had to tell Addie she was cleaning her Cinderella costume! She's slightly attached to that dress. We quickly compromised with one of the other princessy costumes she's accumulated over the past few months. The princess hair tie made the situation even better while "big blue" was hanging to dry all day. Can you say "Drama Queen"...hmm I wonder who she gets it from?

Persian family dinner

Addie continually impresses us with her taste for international cuisine. Put chicken and potatoes in front of her and she'll spit it out; lamb kebab, hummus, and safron rice she gulp down and asks for more. She asked for a bite of the tabuleh and at first nodded her head in approval but then the onion and parsley taste must have kicked in and she said "I d'ike it", which is Addie's abreviation for "I don't like it" (she loves to make her own abbreviations-today was "Chris'ime" short for "Christmas time"-who knows where she got this knack). Anyway, the weather in Manila was breezy and beautifully sunny on Sunday. We packed up the girls and headed to Hossein's Persian House of Kebabs in Greenbelt for dinner. This was after we got all geared up to go out for lunch earlier that day. I pumped, packed the diaper bag, got Addie's extra clothes ready (in case of a potty accident) and just waited for Arabella to wake up from her mid morning nap. As we were getting ready to leave at noon, Addie started having a meltdown and suddenly we realized Addie's nap would be in 30 minutes and there would be no way we'd being going out to lunch. Somehow in a blur of potential Persian food excitement this fact slipped both Justin and my minds. Sadly, we kicked off our shoes, fed Addie some lunch and laid her down for a nap...then an hour later Bella laid down again...we once again remembered how there is such a tiny window where both girls are awake and rested at the same time for us to get out as a family. Long story short after this massive parental brain fart, we arrived at Hossein's at the early bird special hour of 4:30 PM. After the long wait, we were satisfied with the delicious food. A quick lap around Greenbelt was made in our double stroller that feels like a Hummer among all the tiny Filipinos (who by the way carry their infants for the most part-a double stroller is non-existent here) and then raced home to get Bella to bed before a meltdown. Justin and I both sighed with relief at the realization that the girls will eventually be on the same nap day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

United Nations Day

Addie's AmeriKids program put on a United Nations Day last week. The kids had been practicing for weeks. The theme of the show was uniting all people to help preserve our natural wonders like the jungle, dessert, ocean, etc. Addie was a jelly fish in the Under the Sea dance. It was adorable. She did so well. Now-about the umbrella she was carrying: Teacher Weng informed me Addie would need a little umbrella for her costume, so for our Friday shopping trip that week Addie and I went in search of an umbrella. The Cinderella umbrella caught her fancy (she's obsessed right now) and no other umbrella would do. The umbrella turned out to be too heavy for her to hold the entire dance. Oh well, It HAD to be Cinderella.

Boppy sitting

These days, every baby begins sitting with a Boppy propped behind them to catch their wobbly falls. I have lots of pictures of Addie sitting with our Boppy and now it's little miss jelly Belly's turn. She obliged me with smiles!
Justin was making Arabella laugh while I snapped the photo's. Oops, over she goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Missing Fall

I am desperately missing the season changes. Justin reported back about the orange and maroon leaves on the trees, crisp cool mornings, and pumpkins at all the local farmer's stands. All the while I padded around barefoot in tank tops! We are still swimming at the pool and will continue to do so all winter long! In an admittedly rash moment I ordered a pair of slouchy boots from Piperlime (my fav shoe spot associated with Gap/Old Navy/BR-free shipping, free return shipping)! Boots in Manila! Yup, I'm going to make it work, just to get a tiny slice of fall. Since the dresses are a bit too short here (made for Asian gals) the legging trend comes in handy, so the boots must follow! Watch me wear boots in the tropics.

totally two

Adelaide has changed so much the past few months. She's totally two. She's doing really well potty training and even told me she had to go to the potty for the first time while we were out shopping yesterday! She loves school, her teachers, and being with her friends. She's always singing; she's learned so many songs at school and walks around singing melodies to her baby doll (named Pawpaw or Bella depending on her mood). Addie knows her ABC's and can identify all the letters. She counts to 20 now and plays games like Duck, duck, goose, Ring around the Rosie, and others. The other day at a friend's house I told her we were going home and she negotiated two more minutes of playtime with me. She loves bubble baths, Cinderella, Curious George, shoes, pancakes, chocolate, babies, birthday parties, swimming, running, jumping, putting together floor puzzles, balloons, reading books with flaps, and listening to poems by Robert Louis Stevenson at bedtime. She's turning into such a sweet, smart, beautiful little girl. We are so proud of her.

Halloween boxes!

Aunt Megan, Grammie and Grandpa West Coast, and Grandma and Grandpa East Coast all sent Halloween goodies for the girls! The stickers went on the windows and the candy is going in our mouths...non-stop! I love bite size candy bars. Aunt Megan sent the adorable pumpkin onesie for Bella and kiddie Halloween party stuff. Grammie and Grandpa sent Addie the peacock costume she immediately had to put on. You can see her rifling through the box as we are opening the goodies. Dora books, coloring books, dress-up jewelry, Trader Joes pumpkin butter! It was like Christmas for all of us. Addie knows where all the candy is in the pantry and tries to pull a fast one on me when she's asking for a snack as if I'll accidentally give her a mini bag of M&M's instead of a handful of crackers (on shelf above candy). She hasn't tricked me yet. We are gearing up for some tricking and treating! Two parties so far, not including the one I am planning at the house for our friends. This kitty cat hat has been on both girls for their first Halloween.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Bella is pushing 6 months already! She's starting to sleep better and seems to have found peace in her crib now. She falls asleep nicely after her night feedings. She's such a doll!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

pretty amazing

Frankie has done it again. I am in love with my gown. The fit is perfect, the ruching is gorgeous, the neckline is flattering, my post baby rounded tummy is totally disguised. I love this dress. Amazingly, I wasn't thrilled with the shoe options I saw while shopping so I'm just going to wear my fav gold heels. These shoes have been around the block; in fact I think I wore them last year. I've been too tired to nail down earrings on Etsy so I better hurry up or find something local. Frankie was like a proud Papa when I put the gown on today. Superb!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Punch drunk

The girls and I have been getting by day by day without Daddy. It's going really slow for me! Saturday yaya stayed with us and we all went to the market for lunch and Addie got to play at the playground. Later that evening our friends came over for dinner since their Daddy is out of town as well. I made lasagna, Jenny and I talked, and the kiddos ran around and played. At the end of the evening all three of them were over-the-top punchy. They were tired and hyper and serious laughter ensued after they discovered a silly use for these collapsible boxes. Kids the the kick out of the simplest things. Here they are with arms up and then funny faces!

Today Bella woke up with a runny/stuffy nose. The day didn't go so well for her. Her longest nap was an hour because I let her fall asleep in my arms while Addie napped. I couldn't resist falling asleep with her. I gave her a dose of Tylenol and rubbed her chest with baby Vick's hoping she'll get some good rest tonight. I praised Addie all day for her good behavior. I was busy much of the day trying to get Bella down for naps and Addie happily played with her toys or read books and patiently waited for me to be available. She wore her big girl panties all afternoon with no accidents. She's doing such a great job with her potty training. Her sticker chart is almost full.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sitting tall

My jelly bean is starting to sit up on her own. She's such a beautiful little Bella bean.


masterpiece in progress

It's Ball season! I went to Frankie de Leon in August to start working on my dress. I had a vision in mind and as you can see it's evolving into a really cool gown. I love the teal irridencent taffeta. I sat down with Frankie on our first meeting and told him what I wanted. He drew me a sketch! Every week or so I go in for a fitting. Next week or the next I should get to take it home. There are a few things that still need some work but for the most part it's fitting and looking just like I had pictured. I love that I can have a dress made here unlike any I would ever buy in the States. Definitely a perk of being in the Philippines. Stay tuned for the final product

I also had Frankie alter my yellow gown from last year. He removed the maternity band thing that was over my belly since I was pregnant with Arabella last Ball season. I may get to wear it again if we decide to go to both the Marine Ball and the Consular Ball. Oooh! what fun. Frankie does all sorts of great gowns. Some of the wedding gowns I see in the shop are amazing. Bead work is huge in the Philippines. Brides want it over the top sparkly. Not my style but it's still amazing to see. I'm sorting out in my head what I want done next by my new buddy Frankie. I want a cocktail dress and I have an old bridesmaid dress that could use some shortening and de-poofing. I think Frankie's my man!
These photos were taken September 18th. Yikes, I was a bit worried at first. Side note. The little Filipino ladies cannot take a photo with my camera. You should have seen their faces when I held out my Nikon to them asking for a picture! HA! Gotta love the haircut that has turned out to be wash-n-wear even if it wasn't intended for that. Who has time for a hair dryer these days?
These photos are from today! It's come along way. Still not done though, too much ruching at the bottom for me. I wanted graduated ruching...any girl would, right?This side photo makes me laugh because last visit (Justin deleted those pics of the dress), my booty was on total display, more so than here. This is a significant improvement from the last version. God knows it's one of my most prominent features so lets not put it out there more than necessary.
I was instructed to bring my shoes next time. Poor me has to go shoe shopping now! I';m thinking gold. I'd also love to find some awesome earrings to top off the look. Etsy here I come.