Blog Archive

September 18, 2017

Lily's 3rd Birthday

I was not really planning on having a party for Lily's 3rd birthday given there were a lot of events going on (e.g. weddings, my mom and sisters visiting, travel plans) but mommy guilt kicked in. Lily is more aware of birthdays and parties now so I didn't want her to miss out.

As I'm not that confident in my party throwing skills and I only committed to it about a week before the event (A.K.A cramming to the max), I just invited a few friends over and made it a merienda time event.

 Lily initially wanted it to be a Doc McStuffins themed party but there was not much to work from there. It was a good thing that her Lola Emily sent her a Belle dress that we came up with the idea to do a Beauty and the Beast themed one.


I bought the decorations from the dollar store, delegated the decorations to my sister Angel and the cooking to my mom and Topeng. Still I was stressed because I moved Lily's toys upstairs single-handedly to make room for the party and Lily won't take her afternoon nap beforehand (A.K.A having a case of FOMO). When the guests arrived, the food was not ready and Lily was still sleeping. Anyway, we got it over with and Lily was so excited to open her gifts!!! Thanks everyone for attending!


New Jersey 2017

We're back in New Jersey for the summer again. This time for my cousin Emily's wedding with Lily as a flower girl for the first time. We stayed there for less than 4 days, mostly in the Jersey Shore area. It was just right (In tagalog: sakto lang! :p) since we didn't go there the last time we were in Jersey and we had to save up our leaves to take my mom and sisters around Arizona afterwards.

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Day 1 (Saturday): Wedding Rehearsal
With no decent night sleep from our red-eye, non-reclinable seat, rainy flight from Phoenix to Newark, Topeng obliged to drive from airport to Bayonne to get my mom and sisters. We stayed there longer than expected as our passengers were still repacking their luggage. In the process, Topeng took a nap and we waited for and ate breakfast then I watched videos from Mommy's 60th birthday on NJ's laptop. Lily was so excited to see her lolas and titas that I couldn't get her to make up for lost sleep and even helped her Tita Angie wash dishes. The next thing we know, it was already lunchtime so we went to a Filipino turo-turo named Fiesta Grill. After dropping off Tita Penn and Ate Angie at Bayonne house, we finally are on our way to our accommodations. We passed by CVS for some supplies.

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Day 2 (Sunday): TwiceThePerks Wedding
This is it for Rory and Emily. This was the first US wedding that we have ever attended so we  were not sure what the proper etiquette should be. Unbeknownst to us that this is far from being a traditional wedding. The first hint that we had was the large amount of booze that was stockpiled on the back of the church and light buzz was served prior to the wedding ceremony.

One of the Lintags also was the officiant thanks to his online minister certification and lastly the reception was catered by several elevated foods since they were made in the food truck. :))
Add the several ice cream selection and garden games all in all this was one of the most fun and laid back wedding that we have attended! 


Day 3 (Monday): Asbury Beach
After some laid back wedding comes some more laid back beach bumming. We started the day late with some brunch and then hang out the whole day on the beach. It feels very strange not having a camera hence the lack of photos.



Day 4 (Tuesday): Flyback
Going home was a breeze and the mother and sisters-in-laws also came with us which was such a treat.

May 20, 2017

San Diego 2017

The Franciscos were due for some 2017 spring travel. Topeng chose San Diego this time around in just in time for the flowers blooming in Carlsbad's flower fields. He also was excited to test the Lumix LX100.


We arrived April 2, Sunday at East Village. It was our first time getting an AirBNB  and it was not bad. Likes: near Grocery Outlet, has kitchen and laundry. Dislikes: not that child safe (the stairs lead directly to the bedroom) and parking (but I guess this is the case for any downtown location, it also includes parking which although far saved us several $$$. After settling in, we walked to Burger Lounge to get dinner.



Monday was spent in San Diego Zoo. We got the 1 Day Plus ($58/adult, free for kids under 3) which includes all the features of the 1-Day Pass (One visit to the San Diego Zoo®, Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus --hop-on/hop-off 4 stops, Skyfari aerial tram, and all regularly scheduled shows), plus choice of one 4-D Theater experience. 
I was a bit apprehensive about getting the "plus" because the last time we took Lily to a 4-D show (Ice Age in Central Park Zoo, July 2016), she got scared/overwhelmed and probably was not ready for it. This time she was ok with it...still couldn't keep the glasses on but she watched Rio intently. We were able to use all of the inclusions of the pass (except for the scheduled shows) but we were not very systematic so there were places on the map that we passed more than once.

Tuesday, we went to Sea World. More animals but sea animals this time.:p We thought the package/ticket with All Day Dining, Reserved Show Seating and Photo was a good deal but was not able to maximize it as much as we thought we would. 
I'm not really sure how the Reserved Show Seating works but we were not able to use it when we watched a couple of shows (Killer Whale Presentation and Dolphin Days) probably because we arrived late. At first, it was hard to gauge whether Lily liked the show because she was not as talkative but was munching away on some snacks as usual. Either she takes after me (aka NR) or her parents are just much more excited that they had to make sure that she sees what's happening.:)) 
She did remember the dolphins/whales the following days.:) 
She really enjoyed the Sesame Street Bay of Play which has a splash pad, toddler trampoline and photo with Sesame Street characters. They should have put that farther from the entrance because she had too much fun that she didn't want to leave to see the other exhibits and main attractions.:)) 
All Day Dining gets you an entree (mostly fast food options),side/dessert and drink in 1 hour intervals and excludes snack items so we shouldn't have been greedy given that we were going to the beach after a couple of days.:)) 
Also, Lily was still small for most of the rides so we didn't have as much photo options.

Wednesday, we got lunch from Jollibee then headed to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad. It seems like main attractions are not really Lily's thing since she gets attracted to the playground and food the most.:)) After some picture taking, I completed the stamp collection, supposedly for kids, by myself. The stamp collection could have gotten me $1 discount for the mining activity but did not avail it since they only take cash, same as the food stalls.


Thursday is beach day! It has been a while since we've been to the beach (I believe it was 2 years ago, in the Philippines) and this was our opportunity to flaunt our "beach body". Still, I was not able to grab that opportunity because it was too cold and I packed a rashguard...manang mode! :))  Anyway, our first stop Children's Pool Beach were we saw some seals and Lily enjoyed some sand/water play. Since we're no longer showing our beach body, we binged on lunch nearby @ Bubba's Smokehouse BBQ :)) Sleepy from the lunch, we napped in the car upon arriving in La Jolla Beach then headed to the beach for more sand time. Lily was singing Moana while playing in the shore which was amusing. Too bad I wasn't able to document it since we had to leave our gadgets in the car before we can get in the water.


Friday was spent in downtown to avoid traffic during a street event. The Children's Museum is walking distance from where we were staying so we spent most of the day there.  I was worried that we won't be able to see the entire place again because when Lily sees something she likes, she won't leave.:)) Fortunately, she seems to like everything...sandbox, cars, magnets, clay sculpting, painting, books, coloring fishes. I hope I remember to replicate these activities at home instead of screen time.


Saturday, before we drove back to Tucson, we had lunch at Goldilocks and got some other much craved Filipino treats and pasalubong in the area. We lost all the weight from all the walking those past few days but gained them all back (and more) during our Goldilocks binge. :))