All about our Superman

Kalel at Five Years Old

July 11, 2012

There's this reference to kids  as "Terrible 2" when they reach their second year. But for us it's not the case it seems. Can I say it's "Terrible 5" for the Gremlin? Nope, he's not that bad, it was just how we all confronted his social exposure.

Kalel at five years old is primarily being in Grade 1, with his Mom expecting a baby and his Dad working away from home. At this time, school does not have a nanny, and each one is to forced to outgrow the "baby" tag that may have been left of  from Kindergarten 2. And he is forced to cope with a demanding school curriculum (marathon lessons including Math with multiplication, division, fractions, areas). And his pregnant Mom is quite mean, hot tempered and impatient sending him to school and assisting in his school work at those five months his dad is working away from home.

And then he has to deal with school bullies. And he started to socialize, chat and play with classmates at times adopting nasty attitudes he has to be corrected and reprimanded for.

Then came the unimpressive school performance. He took school lightly but school requires him to know reading and cope up with an advanced curriculum. It has been stressful hearing feed-backs from his teacher; I wrote notes and notes to her asking her attention to the Gremlin. The Gremlin then was made to sit in front of the teacher (but near to a special classmate who would make him cry). Then we resorted to a tutor who amazingly triggered the Gremlin to blurt out and read by himself. Another issue with him was his focus. Everything just seem to be play. To get him to focus meant stressful daily


All about our Princess

Here comes our Little Princess

July 11, 2012

Hello there, please meet another bundle of joy in our family, our Little Princess born on 27th April 2012. 

Finally after nine months and after a two-hour intensely painful induced labour with my Husband at my side, our little princess is out at last, and it was so magnificent  hear her cry immediately soon as she emerged out of my womb and before she was placed on my belly. Her first cry brought cheers to everyone in the delivery room, especially to me, saying we both made it well. The sound of her cry was just amazing, so innocently demanding for comfort and warmth, I felt our connection instantly that first second.

We named her from an Irish word that means 'a great queen', and a second name that is in honour to her Igorot maternal great grandmother's  righteousness. 

Our Little Princess said hello by normal delivery after two hours of intense induced labour at The City Hospital Dubai. She was born at 9pm, but her dad insists it's 8:57pm when his phone rang at the same time. Little Princess measured 4.015 kgs and 55 cms. Big indeed, but because Mom had normal glucose test results, (oh, that fasting and those four needle pricks!) she was spared the blood works for being a big baby. As the Pediatrician checked her, her Dad was in awe at how she gripped and clinged on the doctor's fingers.  She had an apgar score of 9/ 10. 

She was then handed to me and she breastfed. Lo! She latched quickly and sucked as if it was not her first time. The greatness of creation indeed. 

Pear-shaped head until Week 1.
And see the eyes, made chinky  by her chubby cheeks.

A smile at home on Week 2.
Her smile reflexes already showed up as early as Day 2,
but her actual smiles reacting to coos and playtime is by  Week 3.
First coos were at Week 2, from "hhhhhh" to "haaaaa".
She coos first if she wanted something and then cries if not immediately addressed.

Visited Kuya Kalel's favorite doctor  for a jaundice check at Dubai Mall Medical Center - Doctor Ayman Jabbar. 
We defied going back to the hospital on Day 3 for another blood check on her biliburin level, 
not another needle work for the little princess. 

The big tiny foot.
In a kangaroo sling, typically called 'uban' in Ilocano/ Igorot,  as early as Day 5

Here's her photo at Month 1.
Supporting her head by her own, a feat she started showing on Day 1/ Day 2.
Other milestones and notes up to Month 1 are:
Visited the malls at Days 3/4/5 until Mom kept receiving the "newborns should stay home" comments ;
Day 4 was the first little smile caught but her picture showed she actually smiled on Day 2;
She spent Week 1 sleeping most of the day;
Week 1 was a feeding challenge with Mom's engorged cracked breasts, she only fed 5 minutes at a time.
Umbilical cord fell off Day 5;
Day 5/ 6 when her stools started turning green, meconium sort of cleared a little extended days;
Day 14 when we cleared her nostrils of green boogers;
She loves bath time, facing down, my arms supporting her tummy and neck while Dad holds the shower;
Feeding interval is 2.5 to 3.5 hours, a breast at a time;
Day 18 was for starting to regurgitate milk, once or twice a day
Day 19 saw belly button clear and healed;
Month 1 has around twice a night feeding and awake for around an hour;
Coos a lot, the best part of what she does;
Day 18 was the first caught "haaaa" coo from "hhhh"
Day 23 was for baby talking, responding to my "haaaa"s and partial smiles getting longer while communicating;
Day 25 for the first significant quantity of fresh milk regurgitated;
Day 24 was when green boogers as big as her nostrils formed, but no mucus and cough;
At Month 1, she attended her first mass at Saint Mary's Dubai; then a lunch at Hardrock DFC and a dinner at home.
At Month 1, she moved her head out her pillow;
On her tummy, she lifted and moved her head from right to left.

Yet unknown to her, and like with the coming of her brother to us six years ago, Riane has started redefining our family life the moment we've known she's coming. Yes, here is our boss # 2, and we give thanksgiving as she is adding more blessings to our Home.

UAE - Al Ain

Green Mubazzarah Park in Al Ain

July 10, 2012

A drive to Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain won't be complete without stopping by Green Mubazzarah Park by the mountain's foot. When coming from a long drive like Dubai, Green Mubazzarah could serve as a 're-energizing' station before or after ascending Jebel Hafeet or a walk around the zoo. This is where we usually eat our packed lunches because going back to the Town Center where the food chains are may take considerable time.

For some, the park's main attraction is its naturally heated spring water where visitors dip their feet. The transformation of the once rocky place into a greenery with visitor facilities is quite admirable.

UAE - Ajman

Ajman Traffic Fines and Car Impounding

July 10, 2012

Shameful it may be but I'll share it anyway for those who might search it and see it helpful.

In one of my posts I mentioned about our traffic violation of jumping on red light along the Emirate of Ajman. Jumping on red light is included in the red list and as such, it carries AED 800 fine, 8 blackpoints and two weeks of car impounding. And because of the impounding clause, violators are not allowed to pay online. So  being based in Dubai, we need to drive to Ajman to settle.  

But do you know that impounding penalty can be paid at AED 100 a day? (This is as of today though, please still check for any change in rules)

Had we known this earlier, we could have paid the fine in February when Ajman Police provided discount on traffic fines, at a time we thought we needed the car more and scheduled the impounding for later.  So today, Husband paid AED 800 plus AED 1400. 

Next time we pass through Ajman from Um Al Quwain/ Ras Al Khaimah through E11, we know to be more conscious of the following:
(1) We are not too familiar with the road, hence on calculated speed
(2) While a major highway, and a clear straight road coming from Um Al Quwain with a tempting speed limit of 120kph at some point, slow down as soon as Ajman is reached as traffic lights line the road.
(3) When used to Dubai's traffic lights of dual slow-down warning (blinking green lights then yellow), the counterpart to Ajman's traffic lights is at green lights at around number 10 counting down. Remember, after 1 is total stop, no additional warning time.

Husband grinned and declined Ajman's Mr. Police's remark of "Please come again", so we might as well stand for it :-)

Sandstorm in Dubai

July 09, 2012

No, it's not dawn or sunset here, it's midday, but the sandstorm had covered the sun. I am not too sure but since I started in Dubai, I was made to believe and continues to believe that sandstorms mark a change in weather, so either way would bring a frown or a smile. 

Below photos were taken in February this year that made me sigh, marking the start of summer. It's uncomfortably hot now outdoors, and I look forward to the next sandstorm that will sign in winter.

Sandstorm on Al Ittihad Road heading to Sharjah

Filipinos in Dubai

Friday Brunch @ Asiana Hotel's Lamesa Restaurant

July 06, 2012

Being the under AED 100/ person buffet patrons, we found Filipino fare alternative for our Sumo Sushi Friday buffets -- at Lamesa restaurant at Asiana Hotel along Siddique Road in Deira. (Speaking of buffets, Thai Chi at Wafi is on AED 120 for two adults but on weekday lunches only. Kalel was free of charge. Please phone them to confirm if promotion is still valid.)

Friends frequent Lamesa for Karaoke nights and comedy shows, but I guess my family would settle for their brunches for the time being.

     --  Friday and Saturday Filipino brunches costs AED 69 an adult and AED 34 a child
     --  Above brunch includes unlimited water, iced tea and coffee and tea
     --  Buffet table includes a few sushi and a few Korean dishes
     --  Prior reservation is highly advised. Call +971 4 238 7777
     --  Venue carries a no-slippers policy
     --  Weekend buffets start at 11 a.m.
     --  Asiana Hotel is located between Reef Mall and Muraggabat Police Station
     --  Check other details from the website here

Many Kabayans hold their weekend celebrations here filling the venue so the need for reservations. Today alone there were four big groups almost occupying all of the restaurant. Someone hosting a baby shower even had a small round table in front with their tokens and cake on it.

I'd stay away from commenting individually on the food except that I'd say (1) diners have more than enough for their value of money; (2) I wish there was Kilawen prepared a'la Barrio Fiesta style; (3) I thought that Dinuguan and other exotic dishes could've added variety in place of  the three Korean dishes, (4) there's a few sushi but no sashimi.

Today's buffet line started with pork sinigang soup and appetizers including cold cuts and steamed veggies.  Then below are some takes on the other offerings:

Spot all you can eat on my plate below: Crispy Pata, Pork Sisig, Chicken Sisig, Beef Tapa, Korean Noodles, Sesame Chicken, Pork Tocino, Kare Kare, Chopsuey, Embotido, Daing na Bangus, Korean beef dish, Chicken Dumplings, Korean Kimchi (I suppose):

A little of every dish on offer for the Friday Buffet
Sushi all you can on three limited types without sashimi on the appetizers area:

Not as 'appetizingly' prepared, but better than nothing

Who said a sleeping Girl in a carrier can stop me from fixing my waffles?

Waffles fresh from the griddle, warm, buttered and sweetened -- hearty indeed :

Pulutan galore -- pork and chicken sisig:

Crispy pata all you want:

Make your own halo-halo:

Completing the dessert offerings:

And from the appetizers where my first plate started:

And the bill:

Yes indeed, more than a Kuya, Kalel is now a paying customer, our wallets would miss those complimentary meals. *Sigh with a smile*

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