Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rocco turns 2!

Last November 22, we celebrated the 2nd birthday of Rocco. We had things planned out, a party with his kiddie friends in our village, and his grandparents and cousins would be here with us in Cebu to celebrate his birthday.

I had already prepared the invites, souvenirs, name tags, and reserved for the clown host, balloon twister and face painter. I even had kiddie chairs reserved, bought decors, and already prepared the ingredients for his cupcake tower.

But Yolanda happened. Oh well, I refuse to dwell on the negativity of the tragic event. The important thing is, we're complete and alive.

When we saw the aftermath of Yolanda, I decided to cancel Rocco's party and just celebrate simply instead. It doesn't sit well with me to be celebrating here in Cebu when my parents do not even have a roof on their head, and a lot of friends and relatives barely have food to eat in order to survive. The money can be used for other more important things, like helping out family and donating to relief ops. We can have a big birthday party in the next years when everybody has recovered already from the catastrophic tragedy. Hubby agreed with my decision.

Still, kailangan pa din mag-celebrate, kahit simple lang. I decorated our dining area with balloons, cooked yummy food (which everyone really loved), and baked his favorite blueberry cheesecake.

My in-laws, who were able to get out of Tacloban via Ormoc, spent Rocco's birthday with us. My papa was still in Tacloban that time, and my mama was already in Manila because she was able to fly out via the US C130 plane to Manila.
Hubby went to work because he was cramming for his China trip that weekend. Buti naman at nakahabol pa din :)

Dearest Rocco,

Wow, how fast time flies. You are now a certified toddler, but I don't want to tag you as a terrible two because you are everything sweet, and not terrible. 

Everyday, we are amazed by your impressive milestones. You never fail to surprise us with your new words, how you can memorize all our names, from your grannies, cousins, titos and titas, yayas, and of course, us your parents, how you can follow and sing songs so easily, how you can count from 1 to 30 at 2yrs old, how you can solve puzzles and cognitive games which are complex for a 2yr old brain, and many more!

I always thank God for giving us such a sweet boy, who loves to kiss and hug and say "I wab you mama Diane". I will cherish these moments because as your papa said, when you grow up, you wouldn't let me kiss you anymore :)

Anak, I'm sorry we had to cancel your party. I know you will understand. My wish for your birthday is not for you or for us, because we are bountifully blessed, but for our families and friends who are struggling to survive Yolanda's aftermath. I hope to see the smile again in your grandma's face because she's been so sad and crying, and I hope that someday you can visit our house in Tacloban again. It was so beautiful anak before it got destroyed, and we promise that we will restore it back to its beauty. 

We love you so much Rocco!

Mama Diane

Monday, November 4, 2013

Our Sweet Boracay Escapade

Our Boracay trip this year was not really planned, but as it turned out, sometimes those that are not planned are the ones that push through. Buti nalang we decided to join my in-laws, because we had a great time! Bitin nga ang time that we spent there, but we can always come back next time.

We stayed at Astoria Boracay. It's a super nice resort. They have large rooms, great layout and design, impeccable service. Our package included land and sea transfer, breakfast buffet, one free dinner buffet, and free room-service massage. Because my SIL's husband wasn't able to join, his share of the payment was converted to food, so we ended up eating buffet the entire time that we were there.

So much has changed in Boracay since the last time I was there around 2005, but I'm glad to say that the change has been all for the better. Good thing that they preserved the beach front and maintained its cleanliness despite the influx of tourists day in and out. The tourists have also learned to respect and preserve this beautiful piece of nature by not littering around. During our early morning walks, we would see some joggers pick up trash that they would see along the way. That's how educated and civilized people act! Sana ganyan din sa mga squatters area.
Rocco had a great time at the beach. Initially he didn't like the feel of sand on his feet, but when he got the hang of it, aba, ayaw na paawat. He really enjoyed swimming. All I can say is, ang ganda talaga ng beach sa Boracay. Nakaka-relax, nakakatanggal ng stress, and nakaka-bless that we are able to enjoy this kind of beauty. I just loved sitting there and basking in the beautiful seashore. The seawater was so clear we could see pa a school of fish swimming around our feet.
Basically we just chilled out there, tulog, kain and swimming. REPEAT. Mejo nakakasawa na din siguro if you stay there longer than 3 days. OK lang for those single and enjoying the night life. But for someone like us with a kid in tow, walang night life kasi tulog agad sa pagod kakahabol sa makulit at active na bata.

Till next time Boracay, we will definitely be back for more!

Grannies in the House

A few weeks back, our house was in full guest mode because my Mama and Tita (eldest sister of Mama) came to Cebu for the weekend to visit us, and of course Rocco. Tita Linda is based in the US, and came home for the death anniversary of my lolo and lola. Good thing that they decided to have a quick stopover at Cebu to spend time with us.

We were still feeling a lot of strong aftershocks that weekend. My Tita was less nervous about it, but Mama was a bit terrified. Still, that didn't stop us from our lakwatsa weekend!

 All we did was eat and eat. But Tita Linda turned out to be a picky eater because she's all about healthy eating. Eh ang hirap makahanap ng healthy resto sa Cebu, especially if the specialty here is lechon :) Tita Linda is nearing 70years old, but she's still very strong, and younger looking. She doesn't eat carbs, steams her veggies, does yoga, and is a regular gym buff. Gosh!!!! Lupig pa ako!
 The sisters had a great time shopping!
We dropped by Serenitea to cool down.
 We toured them around Pedro Calungsod Church.
 Some parts of the church collapsed due to the strong earthquake, but not seen in the picture.
 We also invited by first cousin, Kuya Junjun and his new girlfriend, to have lunch with us. We ate at Casa Verde and Tita Linda enjoyed the ice cream cake!
We visited some Cebu landmarks like the Lapu-Lapu shrine. We didn't go to Sto.Nino Church because it was cordoned off due to some falling debris from the earthquake.

Rocco enjoyed his time with his grandmas, and gusto pa always holding hands while walking :)

 We enjoyed having the grannies with us, and we hope that soon we can visit Tita Linda in the US. As she said to us, visit her na daw while she can still drive us around!

Trick or Treat 2013

Last October 26, Rocco experienced his first ever Trick or Treat! Our village homeowner's association organized a fun activity for the kids. It was really enjoyable and fun because a lot of the homeowners participated. Kids were dressed in their costumes, and they looked really cute!

Rocco was dressed as Robin Hood but ended up looking like Peter Pan :) Look at that big bulging tummy!

We also decorated our house with spooky halloween decors. We just bought spider webs from the mall, cut-out some bats and spiders, and made a Sadako out of white curtain and black spider webs spread out like human hair, and a witch that was washed out by the rain. Haha!

That's Haley dressed as a mermaid. Haley is one of Rocco's playmates, and lives a few houses from ours. Please pardon Rocco's simangot look. He just woke up and I forced him to wear his costume, and he ended up being in a foul mood (but only for a while).

The kids were dressed up in cute costumes!

Of course I was a stage mama, bringing my son to every house to ask for candies and treats :)

We roamed around all houses that had decors outside. 

My in-laws were able to join in the fun. They arrived from Tacloban on the same day. The next day, we were bound for Boracay.

Rocco enjoyed walking around with his Grandma Marlyn.

Our souvenir shot by the stage area.

Sieg joined a bit late because he had a semi-finals basketball game.
That's only half of Rocco's treats! He had a lot that we're gonna use them for Rocco's birthday party. Talk about recycling :)

Next year, Rocco will definitely join again!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rocco loves the outdoor

Rocco loves the outdoor. Fresh from bed, the first thing that he would say is "Mama down". As soon as we're down, he would say "Mama shoosh" (shoes), and off we go to the outside world. Typical of an almost two toddler, he loves running around, playing with his ball, counting cars, and best of all, playing with his friends.
 This was early in the morning, around 6:30AM. I took off his shirt because he was perspiring a lot already.
 Rocco has a fascination with cars. He calls these things as "big cahs".
 Rocco with his friend Nathan.
 I wonder what they were discussing here.
 And then came Hailey, Rocco's new friend who transferred to our village early this July. They have become constant playmates.
 Rocco with his Ate Gabe and Badang. Badang, the girl in pink, is 4 yrs old, while Rocco is 1yr, and 9 months old. Spot the difference?
 Rocco playing with the deepwell pump.
Tha parking lot is his playground.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our Little Bookworm

Last weekend, we brought Rocco to a bookstore at the Banilad Town Center. We got curious because of their quaint setup, which turned out to be cool because they had a children's nook with lots of materials specifically for kids.

We were pretty amazed because Rocco's curiosity got the best of him and he started scanning the books and even pretended to read. He pulled a kiddie chair and sat down, looking like he was seriously reading. I think we spent a good hour inside the bookstore, just letting Rocco explore the place. I think it's a fun activity for kids his age, to let them explore and discover the world through books.

I was not a bookworm when I was a kid, but I also had this thing with books, and I made me love reading, writing, and eventually developed by communication skills. I hope this has the same effect on Rocco. So bookstore, we will definitely be back!

Rocco's Outdoor Fun

Rocco is a hyper toddler, but I'm happy that he's obedient and knows how to listen when we tell him to do or not do something. We try to provide him with a lot of stimulating activities, especially those that are outdoor and fun.

It's a big plus that we live in a community with a lot of kids of varying ages, so his social skills keep on improving. He gets a lot of interaction without us having to pay a hefty some that playschools charge these days. Imagine 70K for a 1.5hr playtime 3x a week! In our village, we get the same results for free.

We love it more because it's a natural environment so it builds familiarity and friendship. In fact, Rocco knows who his regular playmates are, can remember their names, and even where their houses are.

Happy Weekends

Since our time with Rocco is limited during weekdays, we try our best to make it up to him during weekends. Eating out is one of our fave past time, and Rocco is quickly picking up on this too. Napaganang kumain :)
Taken last Sunday, September 15. We went to Banilad Town Center after mass to inquire at Gymboree for Rocco's birthday, but turns out they are closed every Sunday. We ended up eating at Yellow Cab because we craved for pasta and pizza. Rocco absolutely loved the food too! After Yellow Cab, we headed off to Serenitea but it was jampacked, so we just ordered take-out drinks.
This was taken last September, on my FIL's birthday. We took time off from work to spend time with my in-laws who were here in Cebu for a vacation. We headed over to Lantaw, Busay, a very nice restaurant overlooking Cebu. The place was so relaxing, plus the food was not expensive too! Rocco enjoyed running around the place.
This was taken last August 24. We were bent on staying home that day, but boredom got the best of us, so out of the blue we decided to head off to the mall to eat. We ended up at Bigby's. The food surprisingly tasted good. We will be back next time.
This was taken last August 17. We love Rairaiken! We keep on going back everytime we crave ramen, california maki, and gyoza. Lami kaayo! Rocco loves the food their too. Simot sarap when we give him his share of ramen.

We hope to keep this small family tradition of spending quality weekends with each other. It's always a much-needed breaker after a whole week of stressful work, plus Rocco is craving for our undivided attention, so we owe it to him to make weekends fun and memorable.


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