Baby Haul: Community Sale

A few days after Marco and I found out that we were pregnant we started discussing where we would have the baby, were we having the baby in the Philippines ( Bacolod or Manila) or the U.S? Most of the people that I’ve talked to answered me like it was a no-brainer, “of course have the baby in the US so you won’t have to file for her citizenship anymore“. Typical. But it wasn’t as easy as that so for the longest time we weighed our options and literally went through the PROs and CONs one at a time.

Here’s the long and short of it all:

MANILA

PROs– the cost of giving birth is cheaper from vitamins, labs, ultrasounds up to labor and delivery; there are a lot of manangs and experienced help at home willing to assist me with the handling of the baby; there are manongs who can take us to our doctor’s appointments and what not; we will have a lot of friends and extended family that we can run to for advice or even needs concerning the baby; Marco can keep continue working as a doctor while I go through the pregnancy

CONs– I won’t have my family around as I go through my FIRST pregnancy; my parents won’t be there during the birth of their 1st grand child; we will still have to file for the baby’s citizenship; we will have to wait another month or so after the baby is born before we are allowed to fly her to Houston

HOUSTON

PROs– the cost of giving birth is free IF approved by Medicaid; the government is willing to assist us through the WIC program IF our situation qualifies; my parents and my family will be there to assist me hands on before, during and after my pregnancy; the baby will automatically be an American citizen; we won’t have to take a long flight to Houston with a newborn (20+ hours with a newborn on a plane is no joke, so I heard)

CONs-if not covered by any insurance we will have to pay for ALL the expenses out of pocket—vitamins, medicine, labs, ultrasound, doctor’s appointments and the actual labor and delivery process (and believe me when I say it will cost an arm and a leg); we will have help from family and friends when available but Marco and I will have to learn to do EVERYTHING and be hands on with our baby; Marco will have to drive me to all the doctor’s appointments and what not; Marco won’t be able to apply for  a job right away which leaves both of us jobless

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With how things went in the Philippines, at 7 months and a few weeks I was medically certified to fly back to Houston with Marco and with God’s grace everything fell into place—the flight to LA was smooth and we got see Papi and Javi for a few days (my feet were crazy swollen though after that long flight); the flight to Houston was smooth as well and a after a year and a few months we finally got to see my family; we got Marco’s SS number a few days after we arrived and since we’re both unemployed at the moment we filed for Medicaid and got approved which means all our doctor’s appointments and my labor and delivery should be covered; we found out that Marco aced his STEP I USMLE (Woohoo, two more exams until he can hopefully start working as a physician); we applied for WIC and got approved until we both can find jobs (I’m telling you that FREE monthly supply of cheese, milk, eggs fruits, bread, rice, beans, peanut butter, etc. is a BIG help); we got his Green Card a few weeks after and now we’re working on getting his Driver’s License, applying for jobs and waiting for this baby to come out.

 Other women in my position are embarrassed to say that they’re having a “welfare baby” ergo Medicaid and WIC but the way I see it, I am in a temporary situation where I’m needing help from the government whom I’ve paid my fair share of hard-earned tax money to for the past few years and they have agreed to help me, I don’t see anything wrong with that and personally I think that’s its nothing to be ashamed of.

I think every excited expectant mother wants the best for her baby (especially if its her first) that’s where I’m at right now. I want to get my little Cassie everything she needs and might need, I want to buy her nice new things even before she’s out but just because I’m going to be a new mom that doesn’t mean I’m going to have to buy her EVERYTHING brand new. Even without considering the current situation I’m in, I’ve always been a bargain shopper—always have and always will. I’m the type of person who gets excited over garage sales, estate sales, antique shops, consignment stores and thrift stores so yes, I do thrifting and I buy second hand stuff for myself and I will buy second hand stuff for my baby as well, its a matter of knowing when it’s a “good buy” or when it’s not. In fact I just came from a community sale over the weekend and here’s a run-through of my baby haul (the breast pump and crib were purchased on a different day)

Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump – $179.00- $349.99

It also includes PersonalFit breast shields, PersonalFit breast shield connectors, valves and membranes, tubing, 5 oz. BPA-free breast milk bottles with lids, one wide-base nipple and travel cap, a removable cooler bag, a contoured ice pack, power cord and battery pack (not shown in the picture).

Before you go judging me by thinking “ewww she’s buying a second hand breast pump” , I suggest you relax because I did think this through and I am aware of this thing we call “hygiene”. Of course those items that are “personal” (those that touch the skin/ breast) I’ve purchased and replaced with my own but the actual machine works perfectly fine and that’s whats important.

We paid: $30

Delta Children’s 4 in 1 crib – $150s- $350s

The price range of this crib varies depending on the style that you get but I love how it is a “4 in 1”. We almost lost the deal because someone was willing to pay the asking price of $65 (which was still not bad) when I still opted to haggle for $50, it’s a good thing the interested buyer didn’t show up and the owner ended up contacting us saying that she was willing to give it at our price as long as we picked it up within the weekend.The one we purchased came in the color espresso and and it fits perfectly fine with the rest of the furniture we have inside the room. There are  a few minor scratches and when I say ” a few” I mean 2.

We paid: $50

Dekor Diaper Pail- $29.95- $49.99

Dekor Diaper Refill – $ 12.99

People say there really is no need for expensive diaper pails and that normal trash cans will do for dirty diapers, if we didn’t see this deal I probably would have agreed with them but let’s face it who wants their room or the baby’s nursery smelling of dirty diapers. This thing can hold up to 46 diapers asides the fact that it keeps the room odor-free.

Priced at $10 for both pail and refills.

Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad- $16.99

I wouldn’t have considered this a “super need” since I’ve seen my mom change my siblings diapers anywhere and everywhere without this item but having this may come in handy especially if you want the baby to be comfortable and to hold still while being changed.

Priced at $2

Cotton Tale Designs Lollipop and Roses 4 Crib Bedding Set- $148.93- $215.26

Although this crib bedding wasn’t in the color scheme of Cassie’s area, I fell in love with its vintage feel— the combinations of light pinks, cream and tan were after my own heart and the set was in perfectly good condition so we bought it anyway.

Priced at $30

Carter’s by Kids Line Love Bug Baby Hamper- $35.99

This hamper was sold with its matching crib bedding set but it was too pink for me and the set looked more used than the other set I just got so we just purchased the hamper alone to hold Cassie’s dirty clothes.

Priced at $5

American Princess Peach Floral Dress with Bloomers- $15-$45

The baby clothes at the community sale were in abundance, they were in good condition and really cheap too. Within that crazy pile, my mom found this cute peach dress with bloomers by American Princess for a 12 month old that looked like it was used once or twice. The one in the photo is not the exact dress that we bought but its the closest one I could find, I’d like to think the one we got is cuter.

Priced at $1 for the pair

Petunia Pickle Bottom Crosstown Clutch Wristlet Diaper Bag $45-$65

Now this one would have to be one of my favorite purchases because it’s not only for Cassie but also for me. Not all the time, we’d want to be lugging that big, attention seeking diaper bag especially at parties and dress-up events so this little clutch can be your bestfriend. It has enough space for a skinny wallet or maybe just your credit cards, a phone, your favorite lippies, mascara, eye liner, hand sanitizer and what not, a diaper or two and did I mention it has a built-in detachable diaper changing mat perfect for every fashionable mom.

Priced at $10

And since we bought a lot from the community sale, they gave us an additional discount so instead of paying $58 from the diaper pail down, they gave it to us at $50. Now if we bought all of these things including the breast pump and the crib brand new we would have easily paid $635 instead of the $130 that we just did.

…And this is how we’re making do with what we have here in Houston and honestly I don’t think it’s that bad.

~Rhea

A Magical Woodlands Baby Shower

Originally made the invitation through e-vite.com but most of our guests still preferred good old invitations and since it was a little bit too late to have this printed out my mom ended up sending a text brigade regarding the baby shower with this invitation as an attachment of course, the things you can do with the magic of screen shot.

My sister Pauline originally came up with the theme “woodlands” for the baby shower but my mom wanted to incorporate these cute little Ann Geddes babies, I am always up for the challenge so I told my mom that we could still pull off the “woodlands” idea and I would find a way to make these babies pop-up during the event. I ended up searching Ann Geddes babies that were somewhat compatible with our theme (as shown above).

I printed out the selected photos and placed each one of them in wooden frames, its a good thing we had a bunch of them just lying around the house. We used them as part of our centerpieces and placed them on top of the tree stumps along with a small vase of flowers or random cream colored candles.

Thanks to Tito Raymond Ramos for coming up with the wood stumps, he ended up giving us around 10-12 pieces of 4-6 inch wide wood stumps for our centerpieces and went through all the trouble of finding someone who could cut those logs into thinner, smaller pieces for the shower.

This tree branch was one of our inspirations for the wishes but as usual with us Ramas(es), no matter how hard we prepare, things always end up getting accomplished so last minute. I’m just thankful that at the end of the day we end up pulling it off.

I made these wishes on MS Word and googled illustrations of woodland creatures, these particular ones that I ended up using for the card I got from etsy. I printed them out on cream colored card stock.

Thanks again to Tita Mimi and Tito Raymond Ramos for this dead branch that we ended up using for the shower, sabi na may gamit pa eh, haha. We didn’t have the time to decorate it with hanging  woodland creatures nor did we have the time to use strings to attach the wishes cards for the baby but I’m glad I bought those cute wooden owl laundry pins from 168 when I was in the Philippines, it came in handy.

Loved how our dessert table turned out.

Shout out to Tita Mymar Farinas for this woodlands baby shower cake—not only was it beautifully in theme it also came in homemade mocha flavor, my FAVORITE!!!! (hopefully it’ll be Cassie’s favorite too)

Owl Cupcakes from Target

Pecan Tarts from Target as well

Mini size nutter butter + hershey kisses = My DIY chocolate nutter butter acorns.

Rico’s macarons were a hit. Still can’t believe these were home made. What can you not do? 😀

Potluck food from my titas—literally this shower would have not been possible without you (and the rest of the guests would be starving too, haha)

Even the paper plates were in theme. The utensils were brown wrapped around maroon red napkins with the remaining jute twine from the give aways and floral crowns

Wearing one of my handmade floral crowns that we were handing out during the baby shower, too bad I wasn’t able to come up with a lot. I actually bought the first 2 dozen floral crowns from 168 for 3/ P100, I didn’t think the guests would make it to a little bit over 40. I think I only made 10 more to add so clearly there weren’t enough…sorry titas.

Let the games begin….

How awesome is this, I ended up with a table solely for diaper cakes. Aren’t they the cutest?

My titas who came for the baby shower 😀

The cake was too nice that we almost forgot to cut it, haha. I think we just wanted to keep the entire thing for ourselves. It did come in my favorite flavor.

Thanks Kylee for these printable woodland themed tags!

Ended up using them for my baby shower favors with a handwritten “Thank you” on it. Oh Lord, forgive the handwriting…its literally been years since I last wrote anything in cursive.

Just bought 4 packs of those mini mason jam jars from Walmart and filled them up with trail mix, then we tied the tags with jute twine that we bought from Hobby Lobby. 🙂

Family photo at home before opening Cassie’s gifts (we’re missing Paulo and Pauline)

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Here’s a closer look at the diaper cakes!!!

Owl and Butterfly diaper cakes both from Tita Robyn Capistrano

Baby diaper cake from Ate Jen Hufstedler

Motor diaper cake from Tita Margie Patino

Vintage Burlap diaper cake from the Estigoys and the Veras

Woodlands Themed Diaper Cake from Tita Ruby Alcala

They even matched the woodland stuffed toys my mom got for Cassie

Daddy setting aside Cassie’s stuff the day after the shower.

Thanks again titas for spoiling Cassie immensely, and to think she’s not even out yet.

~Rhea