The Simplest 4th Birthday Celebration

Only the Sophia-inspired tarpaulin looks fabulous but, I swear,  the celebration was entirely simple.

It has now been a week since we celebrated Chesska's 4th birthday. Sorry, I lost track to keep you updated due to my tight schedule. I now remember that I am regularly sharing Chesska's birthday each year,  so I never miss the opportunity today (since I am 2-hour free) to share with you my tot's 4th birthday last week.

Of all Chesska's birthdays, I guess, this was the simplest birthday celebration ever. Unlike on her 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthdays, I really exerted tons of effort mentally, physically and financially where I almost ran out of money and energy.  This time around, I came to the point to just celebrate Chesska's birthday in more practical ways, far off from the usual (bongga) celebration .  I see to it that birthday is being celebrated with sentimental value rather than material worth.

The first thing my husband and I did as soon as she woke up on January 14th was kiss and greet her Happy Birthday. We reminded her that "today is your 4th birthday, and whenever I ask you how old are you?", you must answer I am four years old".  She nodded without complain (hehe).

Here are the most memorable things we did on Chesska's birthday.

As early as 6:am, we attended the first mass at Santo Rosario church to thank God for everything. 
Then before lunch, as promised, I brought her to Wonderland playhouse because she kept begging us, weeks before her birthday that she wanted to play there.
As if she owned the entire playhouse for she was the first kid to arrive. 

You see? She got tired playing and just lay down on the floor to drink her milk. 
In the evening, mom and I prepared some foods for people of 10 who we invited for dinner, mostly neighbors.

Opening her one and only gift from us.

This was the least stressful birthday celebration ever, yet the most memorable one.

Celebrating New Year, My Niece's Birthday, and Outing at Japanese Tunnel Resort

Despite the total firecracker ban here in Davao City, I, together with my family, my brother and his wife and two children who came all the way from Bukidnon,  still celebrated the New Year with a BLAST.  With their presence, our house came into life again like a firework because ,  my child, Chesska, had a new playmate, her 6-year-old cousin. Both kids ' noise and mess temporarily broke the silence and tidiness of our house, as you know how "hyper" kids are. Also, I was able to chat with my older brother and his wife for the longest time. We barely saw each other due to the distance of our home place, so a holiday like Christmas and New Year allowed us to be complete once again.

Here are the best parts of our New Year Celebration:

1. To make their 4-day vacation worth spending, I brought them over to eat-all-you-can buffet during my mom's birthday on December 29th.

2. On the same day evening later, I strolled my family at the Davao Rizal park. My friends posting Christmas events at the Rizal park over Facebook have convinced me to pay a visit on that place very soon since it's been a long long time that I haven't been there.  Finally, we were able to take pictures behind these colorful and attractive Christmas lights. Our picture is a bit dim though..

3. On the 31st , we went to the mall nearby just to go around and buy cake for my niece for her birthday, luckily her birthday coincides with the New Year. Her family saves time and money. hehe

4. Heart (my niece) blowing candle on her birthday.

5. Finally the highlight of our New Year, January 1st,  was held at Japanese Tunnel.

My husband and 3-year old in front of the Japanese Tunnel swimming pool
From the top view

Mom and my brother together with his family
Japanese Tunnel Swimming Pool
Bucket Challenge (haha!)
Beside the Japanese Tunnel Restaurant
Japanese Tunnel Restaurant Front View
Inside the Restaurant
Entrance of the Hotel and Reception Area
Inside the Tunnel
Replica of a Japanese Golden Buddha
Gold Bars Replica
Japanese Soldiers Statues
Inside the Tunnel
Main Entrance to the Tunnel
Slaves ' Jail
Japanese Tunnel Hotel. This picture was taken during our first visit here.
Hotel Lobby 
Hotel lobby. This picture was taken during our first tour here.


Entrance for Adults and Kids ......100.00
Japanese Tunnel ...........................50.00
Hotel Rate......................................2,100 per night with breakfast


Every Viand.....................100.00
Soft drink.........................30.00

My New Year has been great so far. How about yours?

Contact Information:

D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort
Hillcrest Subdivision
Diversion Road, Matina Balusong, Davao City
8000 Philippines

Tels +6382 299 0975 | +6382 298 3705

Saving Big Money with Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Guest Post

Cleaning is, as it seems, a burdensome job that eats up your free time and your budget. Most commercial cleaners lure you into thinking they are some miracle solutions that will remove grime and dust at once without the need to scrub and scour. Unfortunately, as soon as you use them you realize they are no different that the rest of the stuff offered in stores. The solution? Just go green. Here are a few cleaning recipes to try at home. Check this out.

It turns out that some simple home ingredients can work just as good as commercial products. The best thing about them is that they are anything but toxic and they cost next to nothing. With a little baking soda, lemons, vinegar, cornstarch, rubbing alcohol and even ammonia, you can make super powerful non-toxic cleaning products for around the home. Check out these recipes and make your own.

Sink Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • Baking soda
  • Water
How to make it:

Clear your sink of dishes and stuff. Run the faucet and wet the surface. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over it and let sit for half an hour. Baking soda has mild abrasive properties and is perfect for grime and stains. While you are doing other cleaning tasks around the home, it will work its magic on cleaning your sink. When the time is up, grab a sponge and scrub your sink. Rinse well. Cleaning your sink with baking soda will also help you to clear the drains. Two birds, one stone.

Glass Cleaner

Many people complain that some cleaning products leave streaks on their glass surfaces. If you are using soap to clean your mirror or windows, no wonder you are not getting the results you want. Truth be told, you need to steer clear of any products that create suds. So here is one simple recipe to deal with your cleaning woes.

Things you will need:
  • Distilled water
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
How to make it:

Fill half of your bottle with vinegar and fill the rest of it with distilled water. Give it a good shake. Spray your windows and mirrors and wipe down with a lint-free, flat-weaved cloth. Work in a zigzag pattern, starting from the top of the window/mirror. And the reason you want to use distilled water is because it doesn't contain all those minerals that can leave streaks on your glass surfaces. The recipe is used by many cleaning companies like HouseCleaners N6.

Tip: If you notice any stains on your window/mirror, it's best to treat them in advance. Grab a cotton pad, add a little rubbing alcohol and wipe down all stains and spots. When you are done, use your 50-50 solution of water and vinegar to clean the whole mirror/window.

All-purpose Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • Dish soap
  • 1/3 vinegar
  • 2/3 water
  • Spray bottle
How to make it:

Start by filling 1/3 of the spray bottle with vinegar. Fill the remaining space with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Give it a good shake. This is a very good all-purpose cleaner that works on many surfaces around the home, the only exception being granite countertops. In general, you want to use a special cleaner for your countertops, depending on what they are made of (check with your manufacturer).

Toilet Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup borax
  • 15-20 drops of essential oils (lemon, lavender and tea tree)
How to make it:

Mix together all the ingredients in a bottle and shake well. Wet the toilet bowl and pour the solution. Let it work for a few hours. Scrub well and flush.

Contrary to what many people think, borax is not toxic unless used in extremely large amounts. It has many household uses as it removes stains, deodorizes and whitens. It is ideal for toilet bowl cleaners.

As you can see, all of the ingredients mentioned above are dirt cheap. Switch to using make-at-home cleaning products to save big on house cleaning and you will be fine.

Halloween Spooktacular Costume Party

I was hesitant to register my child in the Halloween Spooktacular Costume contest held last week but for the sake of developing my child's social skill, I gave it a try! Unlike some other kids who are very sociable, Chesska doesn't seem comfortable with groups whom she's not familiar with. That is one of the concerns, as a mother, I need to address to.

However, Chesska loves dressing up. While at home, rarely would I see that her closet was well-arranged for she loves pulling her tops and pairing them with leggings or shorts, or whatever idea she has in mind. I admired her creativity! So I haven't had a hard time to dress her up in Halloween costume.

So before we went to the venue held at Gmall Toril, approximately 15 minutes from our place, I had her wear her costume to see how she looks. She made a cute pose while taking pictures of her (costume idea here.) I likewise oriented her that she would be meeting lots of kids later, wearing scary costumes (she was a bit terrified). Read the full story here.

Rancho Palos Verdes Sports and Country Club

I've never heard of this place before until a friend of mine recommended Rancho Palos Verdes for our family getaway last weekend. A lovely place indeed, near the crocodile park! Never have I seen such place, the fact that I had gone to crocodile park for a few times.  Rancho Palos Verdes offers multiple amenities, but we just intended to go swimming since my 3-year old kept begging us for quite a long time. So this time, her persistent request was granted. At long last!

Rancho Palos Verdes Swimming Pool Rates with Free Use of Cottage:

Adult: 110
Children: 100

Since I was unable to take picture at the main entrance, because we were so excited,  I just borrowed some photos online. 

Our photos

If it makes you lazy to bring foods along, there is a restaurant nearby where you can order according to your taste, though the foods offered are a little expensive. 

So we ended up ordering two platters of pizza because it was buy one take one (hehe), which is only available from 2pm - 5pm. 

Walk-in guests like us are welcome to enjoy every splash of the swimming pool and experience the delightful view, however, if you are a member  of the country club, you can enjoy lifetime use of their beach-typed swimming pool and other amenities which are lawn tennis court, indoor badminton & basketball courts bowling, table tennis and billiards.

I don't know when the country club opens but am pretty sure it closes at 8pm.

Rancho Palos Verdes
Maa, Diversion Road Davao City
Tel. No. 082-221-5281

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Disclaimer: The information contained on this post is NOT intended as medical advice.  Please consult with a licensed medical professional if you have any questions or concerns related to your health situation.

How are you moms?

It's been a while since I last updated my blog. It's because I was hospitalized a couple weeks ago (September 6 to be exact) due to miscarriage. Unfortunately, I lost my baby that is supposed to be my second child. Now I wanted to share with you what I went through during miscarriage. The information shared below, I think, is essential to all women most especially who are preparing or planning for pregnancy.

Let's begin...

My LMP (last menstrual period) was either first week or second week of July (Sorry, I am not brilliant in remembering dates). When I learned I was one-month delayed, I already concluded that I got pregnant. But I didn't bother to use urine test, nor did I consult my OB to confirm my pregnancy. However,  my gut feelings told me that there was something wrong with my pregnancy. Because first week of August, I felt stabbing pain in my abdomen that I thought I was going to have a monthly period. Strangely, it did not really happen as expected until a few more passing weeks. There were times the abdominal pain re-occurred though it was tolerable. Since I already missed my period for 7 weeks, I decided to ask my husband to buy two pregnancy tests to find out whether I was pregnant or not.

First Pregnancy Test - two clear lines appeared,  which means positive.

pregnancy test
Add caption

We were so elated of what we saw, so husband and I decided to schedule for an ultrasound with my OB on September 5. But prior to that day, evening, undesirable things happened. I found out some brown discharge/spotting, though it had never soaked my panty liner, but I was still terrified. Again I made my second pregnancy test, reassuring the baby was okay.

Second Pregnancy Test - one line is clear while the other one is somewhat faint.

Upon seeing it, we decided to consult my OB on the following day. I underwent TVS (transvaginal ultra sound). Yes,  the OB confirmed I was pregnant but I should have been more than 7 weeks based on her examination. She saw yolk sac, but no embryo detected, as well as the heartbeat. Also, while on TVS, my spotting began to get worse (I saw fresh, red blood already). But she did not tell me right away that I was going to miscarry my baby but sadly expressed the baby's development would not probably be good if pregnancy continues. But she did not also suggest a D&C (raspa). She advised me to get back after one week for another ultrasound, take a complete bed rest and she prescribed Duphaston as pampakapit. But she said if the bleeding persisted and was heavy, I shouldn't wait any longer but go immediately to the emergency. Then on September 6 morning, I found out some blood clots already but I refused to go to emergency yet, hoping that what I went through was just normal. But in the late afternoon, I bled heavily accompanied with abdominal pain, much like dysmenorrhea. I then made up my mind to go to the hospital and the doctor told me I had to undergo D&C.

Sad to know that I miscarried my baby and it was a traumatic event. My doctor told me that stress as well as food intake have nothing to do with miscarriage.  This type of occurrence is really common in one out of a hundred pregnant women.  In spite of that, I should take extra precautions, like my body should be in optimal health before planning for another conception to avoid the same problem in the future.

I would be forever grateful if you help my blog grow by liking my facebook page here. Your single click means a lot to me. Thank you so much.

Wrong Diagnosis (I supposed!)

Disclaimer: The information contained on this post is NOT intended as medical advice.  Please consult with a licensed medical professional if you have any questions or concerns related to your baby's health situation.

Chesska, 3.7,  barely gets sick, but when she is ill, it will definitely stay longer and even get worse if not attended immediately.

Last week, Monday, she was feverish associated with a nasty cough. She also felt like vomiting every time I gave her medicine. So I decided to take her for a free medical check-up near our village sponsored by a certain congregation which is conducted every Tuesday.

Since heaps of people, including us,  were waiting our turns to be checked, and the fact that it was free, the doctor was rushing checking each patient so she could accommodate everyone. When my turn came, she interviewed us about how the fever and cough started. Then hurriedly patted her stethoscope towards Chesska's chest and back but said nothing.  But she advised for urinalysis and cbc, which was performed right away in the mobile lab in front the checking venue (I doubt the facilities are clean) .

A few minutes later, we got the result and went back to the doctor for the final analysis. She told me, Chesska had urinary tract infection and her cbc showed fine except that her hemoglobin's score was below the normal level. In other words, Chesska was anemic. I silently asked myself, how come she got UTI, I didn't even give her junk foods, nor I let her sip even a little amount of soft drink. To give her the benefit of the doubt, I still followed her prescriptions (after all she's a doctor).

For her UTI along with her cough, she prescribed an antibiotic, Co-Amoxiclav to be taken twice a day, 7.5 ml, for 7 days and Salbutamol Guifenesin, thrice a day, 5 ml,  for 7 days.

However, after taking the prescribed medicines plus the paracetamol I gave her, and on Wednesday early dawn until the sun shone, I noticed that her fever didn't go away. Her cough was getting nastier.  Her stomach also got upset that she had to poop several times (around 3-4) for that day. It bothered me even more. My husband and I again decided to repeat the laboratory: urinalysis, cbc, and fecalysis in the hospital that we used to consult every time Chesska got health problems. It is approximately 10-15 minutes away from our house. I was confident that the results were more reliable than the previous one because the examination lasted for about an hour (at least it was examined thoroughly....)

We brought the results to the attending physician (resident doctor), since the pedia was no longer around then (it was already 8:00 p.m). Both urinalysis and cbc were read okay, contrary to the previous results. Meaning Chesska was cleared from UTI and she's not anemic.  But we came to the worst part, that Chesska had ameoba. Again, I initially doubted the result. I stubbornly insisted that it might be only the side effect of antibiotic since Chesska suffered from frequent pooping five months ago after taking the same medicine. But the attending physician strongly emphasized that the results were correct (pointing on the paper).

She prescribed a Metronidazole for amoeba to be taken 3 times a day, 7ml,  for one week.

But that time, I was so concerned about Chesska's cough, not the diarrhea or whatsoever. Because her cough was pretty bad.  I finally requested the doctor to check Chesska with her stethoscope. According to her, she heard no phlegm, but I was half-convinced. She advised me to continue the antibiotic and Salbutamol given to her by the first doctor.

While I continued giving the meds, Chesska's cough remained hard, fever persisted. On the following day, Thursday, I went to Chesska's pedia, Dr. Sweet,  asking for another opinion. She was actually Chesska's pedia ever since.  What I liked about having appointment with your pedia was that you could discuss things thoroughly. Then she let Chesska lie down on mini-bed and checked her chest with stethoscope, listening carefully if there were phlegms. She noticed some. Then she had her mouth open, inspecting the throat thoroughly ,and gently pressed her tummy. I also handed her the lab results from the previous day, and she saw no indication of UTI shown from urinalysis, but she confirmed Chesska had amoeba. She told me to continue the med for amoeba, which is the Metronidazole, but she increased the dosage, from 7.5ml to 9ml for 10 days. Plus she shifted the antibiotic from Co-Amoxiclav to Cefixime, to be administered twice a day, 3ml, for 10 days.

Today is our 6th day of medication, and I can see tremendous improvement on her health. I seldom heard her cough at night, unlike in the past few days, it was quite bothersome. I did not also see her poop today, and I hope she will continue to improve until the next few days.

Lesson Learned:

I wish I had gone to my pedia right away when the first symptoms occured so I did not waste my time and money. It doesn't mean I don't trust the first check-up, it's because my pedia knew well Chesska in terms of her health from the very start, and we have consulted to her several times for years.

I would be forever grateful if you help my blog grow by liking my facebook page here. Your single click means a lot to me. Thank you so much.