Destination: Harlingen, Texas

Marco was scheduled for another interview here in Texas but this time it was in Harlingen so we took a road trip close to the border of Mexico more for business than pleasure. It’ s days like these when I get to take advantage of the perks working PRN (as needed) at the hospital. I love how I can just pick my schedule and take off from work without any hassles or complications when need be. It took us roughly 4 hours and 30 minutes to get there and the first thing we did was google a good place to eat. We ended up having lunch at Brass Wheel Restaurant.

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Marine Memorial

Visited this mini museum mainly for the Iwo Jima Memorial statue. The wind was acting up so we didn’t even stay long and I didn’t even bother visiting the gift shop like I normally would.

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Iwo Jima Memorial up closeimg_9599_zpsimpsxovc

Because he feels the need to do the “Lion King” pose at every historical landmark we go to.img_9611_zpslbwedbei

 Checked in at Courtyard by Marriott

It had a modern minimalistic feel to it.

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The hotel’s poolside was pretty decent and since we had nothing else better to do, we decided to take Cassie for a swim.

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She acts like she runs the place, waiting for daddy to get ready.

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So apparently people who viewed my snaps thought we were crazy for swimming that day since it was rather breezy, the water was warm and we didn’t really stay long so I promise you Cassie was fine.

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Famished after her swim so she grabbed her snack, sat on the sofa and started munching on her puffs like a boss

That night Cassie and I stayed in and ate left overs while Marco had an informal dinner with the rest of the interviewees for the residency program.

The next day, Marco rode a shuttle and left early for the hospital, Cassie and I packed our stuff, loaded up and went window shopping after we had that cockroach incident. I am not even going to expound on what happened since I am positive that it wasn’t even the hotel’s fault but lets just say I had to get over my fear of roaches so I could kill one. I felt like if I didn’t, it would have called the rest of its friends and Cassie and I would have a cockroach frenzy.

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Just roamed around town while Marco was doing his interview, its a good thing I found the mall right when he finished. He gave me a call just when I walked in a Forever 21 and it looked like 6x this photo. It felt like a Forever 21 warehouse and I was just glad he called before I could do any credit card damage that  I would regret in the future. Everything was on sale!!!!

Met up with one of Marco’s friends from med school that was currently doing residency over there, they had a quick catch up before we drove back to Houston. On our way home we got stopped at an immigration checkpoint. Because the city was located in the border  line of Mexico, immigration was taking precautionary measures that Marco was unaware of and I totally forgot about. He forgot to bring his green card and it took them a while to verify his identity with his drivers license. I’m just glad nothing crazy resulted from our inefficiencies. We got home safe, extremely exhausted but safe.

~Rhea

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A Milk and Cookies Baby Shower

I’ve always been fascinated with “Milk and Cookies” for a party theme, I mean who gets milk and cookies at a party unless its a pajama party, right? Now this theme is truly and wholly dedicated to that, its easy to execute and what’s not to love—-c’mon it’s milk and cookies we’re talking about.

The fascination became stronger when I came across this 6-pack set of milk bottles from 5 below, they were selling it for just $5. Hmmm..not bad at all.

A week after seeing those bottles at 5 below, I happened to be at a Target store and I always visit their dollar section at the entrance. They had a bunch of good finds especially for fall—burlap runners, burlap strings, halloween decorations, the usual socks, dollar treats and they had decorative steel buckets and steel milk canisters as well.

The milk canisters are similar to this photo and they were sold for only $3/each, at that time I knew I just had to get at least 2 of these canisters and I had to go back for those milk bottles at 5 below to keep for a future “Milk and Cookies” party I’d be throwing for Cassie if not for a baby shower with my friends. Marco and I finally had the time to pass by 5 below again I went in and was relieved to see a few more boxes of those milk bottles, I quickly grabbed 3, paid for it and was surprised when the cashier told me that I only had to pay close to $8 for all 3 boxes. Noticeably with a puzzled look on my face, he was nice enough to inform me that the milk bottles were actually on sale and were half off, he even grabbed 4 boxes for himself just the other day. I quickly thanked him and slowly walked towards the parking lot where Marco was waiting for me. I told him him about the sale and asked him if I should get more, he agreed and so I did. Another 6-pack of milk bottles for $2.50, not bad…not bad at all. Looks like we’re really pushing through with that baby shower.

And since we received a $20 gift card for TJ Maxx, we found a cute winter onesie set for Cassie that was on sale and we ended up using the rest to buy 2 big vintage glass milk bottles for $3.99/each (as seen below) and a vintage glass cookie jar for the party.

Our last purchase for the dessert table was the most expensive one at $12, it was an oval galvanized vintage bucket for drinks we found at Hobby Lobby and we wouldn’t have even purchased it if it weren’t for the 40% coupon that I had so we ended up getting it for around $7

Thanks to the gift card Marco and I only ended up spending around $23 for the 4 boxes of milk bottles, 2 galvanized milk canisters and the vintage bucket.

PRINTABLES:

Now I tend to go overboard with the printables, I like to see the variety of free printables the online world or “Google” has to offer. And if I see that they’re not up to par with what I’m looking for then I just make my own.

For the invitation I couldn’t find anything that was just simply black, white and red. Other than “milk and cookies” I wanted everything to be in those three colors; it’s plain, basic and simple. So I turned to ever reliable Microsoft Word (I’m pretty sure there’s an easier program out there and a better one at making simple invitations but MS Word works for me), googled “cow borders” and this one came up, I got it from Cliparthut.com . It had a watermark in the middle and soI worked around it by putting a big thick black border in the middle,I could’ve edited it out but it worked anyway. Next I googled “milk and cookies” illustration and found this one, credits go to Jomar Aplaon who made the illustration and who happens to be from the Philippines too. Then I pretty much just filled up the entire thing with the details of the party.

And since we decided on Tuesday to push through with this thing even if I’ve been feeling extra and heavy and sluggish the past few days, we sent the invitation through text, Viber and Facebook of course.

I also ended up making a cover photo for the event on Facebook. I just googled “Got Milk Logo” and pretty much added the “…and cookies?” part.

The template for the game word scramble I recycled from the baby shower in the Philippines. I just changed the color of the border line from pink to red and changed the actual borders from chevron to cow spots.

I made “Onesie Wishes” for the tea party baby shower in Manila and decided that this time it would be ice to have the titas and titos write wishes for Cassie on milk canister cut-outs.

Thanks to Simplybovine.com for this free cow spots banner printable. I actually found it a few minutes before the start of the party when I realized that the other table looked bare. There was no time to put these cut-outs on a string so I taped them directly to the white disposable table cover.

And since the prizes that were wrapped in clear plastic bags, tied around with white curling ribbons looked bare as well, I looked for printables that I could attach to it just to give it more character and found these cute chocolate chip cookies  by Glitterlambs.com .

The “thank you” tags were made with MS Word as well. I looked for blank tag outlines and pretty much embedded the Milk and Cookies illustration right in the middle and placed the following text as seen.

DIY-ing

THE PARTY:

Pre-party set up.

Note how the cake isn’t on the dessert table and the 2 vintage milk bottles are missing as well. Marco and I waited for the guests to come before putting those out.

The plastic jars were recycled, they were actually containers of the lychee coco jelly we get from the Asian store. I like how their covers are red but they were too big for us to fill-up so I ended up combing two kinds of cookies in one big jar. The other clear plastic containers were recycled from other parties, you can just get them from Dollar Tree or any dollar store and it’s intentionally plastic so when someone accidentally knocks it over, we won’t have to deal with any shattered glass problems. To provide levels on the dessert table, I wrapped old shoe boxes and made sure they were sturdy enough to hold whatever is on top of it.

Cocktail Punch—mixed fruit punch, orange juice, ginger ale and a few slices of lemon. Voila!

Didn’t get to take photos of the food but we had Cocktail Meatball in cranberry and barbecue sauce, Cocktail Smokies in grape jelly and barbecue sauce, Potato Salad, Domino’s Pizza and Marco’s family dip and chips for merienda. 

You did it sweetie, the dip was a hit.

The Dessert Table

This whole thing was literally a Marco and Rhea production, I love you Marc.

Not bad for a Target Cake. I’m actually impressed.

Cake slicing with this dork of mine.

Cassie will have a handful to read when she’s all grown up but she will feel loved.

Dirty Diaper Game—alright girls, keep sniffing

Tito Marco and Riley

The prizes—Krispy Kreme scented candles and Udderly Smooth Hand lotion.

Yes, the prizes were in theme

Clearly babbled by the word scramble

Riley’s matching mommy Jo now.

Ninong Paulo and Leia

Eat anything but Cassie sweetie..Haha

You’ll have crazy fun with Tita Roxi, Cassie…that’s for sure. Haha

Cassie’s Titas and Titos

Thanks Tita Jasna for this cute Diaper Cake! We love owls- Cassie

Okay we’ll admit it, we’ve never been so happy to see this much diapers and baby wipes.

 

Mason jars from Walmart filled with different flavors of cookie bites— Chips Ahoy, Oreo, Nutter Butter and Ritz Bits Cheese (technically biscuits but whatever). Take one for the road, hope you enjoyed guys and thanks for coming!

~Rhea and Marco

It’s Good to be Back, Houston

(CARDIGAN: black /TOP: Merona/ SHORTS: Liz Lange Maternity/ SANDALS: Qupid / NECKLACE: Fossil / SUNGLASSES: Aviators; Kenneth Cole)

I actually got this outfit as a “Welcome Home” present from the family

I know, I know my baby bump is big.

32 weeks and 1 day today

The last few weeks of July and the first few weeks of August were quite chaotic, we literally had a million and one things to worry about. Marco was scheduled to take his Step 1 USMLE around that time and for days I had a very anxious husband. The delay of his US spousal visa didn’t help the situation either, it added to his anxiety and it added to mine. I on the other hand had to finalize my thesis drafts before leaving and I had to communicate with my adviser through email due to my current state. Its never fun for a pregnant woman to be stuck in the middle of Manila traffic, the drive from Alabang to UP Diliman now that school has started is no fun at all.

Being the big worry wart that I am, I still kept telling myself to trust in the Lord because he’s never let me down…EVER, but I’d be lying to myself If I didn’t say that I was starting to get impatient (boy, if you could only hear my dialogues with the Lord). I worried about a lot of things, I worried that Marco’s visa might take longer, I worried about not finishing my thesis (again), I worried about the tickets being so expensive by the time we get his visa, I worried about not being able to fly because I was a little bit over 7 months already, I worried about not being able to handle the long flight, I worried about the results of Marco’s exam… I was just WORRYING big time and so I finally gave it up and I offered it up to him, I mean there’s nothing else that I could do anyway and as soon as I did that things started turning out for the best.

On what we didn’t think was our last week in the Philippines, we got to visit family in Bacolod to celebrate Marco’s niece’s 1st birthday, they also threw me a baby shower and a despedida for me and Marco. We got a text from the embassy saying that his visa was going to be delivered in Manila (its a good thing we had Dolly Ann in Manila to accept it in behalf of Marco), the next day we purchased our tickets to LA so we could see Papi and Javi first before flying to Houston. We got to do a 4D ultrasound and we saw our little one for the first time and we got to visit the dentist. We then flew to Cebu to say goodbye to our grandparents in both sides and got to meet up with some close family and friends and then we flew back to Manila.

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Here’s the 4D of our little angel.

Manila was more hectic than ever, in less than a week we had to visit Marco’s eye doctor to make sure everything’s okay since his corneal transplant, I had to visit Tita Py, my OB-GYN for my final check up and also so she could clear me for the long flight to the US, I had to meet up with my thesis adviser so he could approve my final drafts before binding 3 copies of my thesis, we met up with our families for farewell dinners and we had to PACK (some wedding gifts from last year, all the baby shower gifts and tugons). We ended up with 4 Balikbayan boxes, 1 check-in maleta and 2 carry-on maletas. I’ll probably write about our travel experience in a separate entry and as I sit here in Houston recalling everything we had to go through I still can’t help but be amazed how all of those things happened in a span of 2 weeks (or less), “When it RAINS it does POUR” and once again HE came through for us. We are very grateful and are truly blessed, it’s good to be home Houston.

~Rhea

A Baby Viking Shower

Surprise Dada!

I’m so glad we made it to Bacolod just in time for the surprise baby shower for this fellow soon-to-be-mom—see the baby viking details below. (they’re so cute!)

Can’t wait to meet your little bundle of joy, Hans and Dada.

The baby viking cake. Awwww..

Adorable mini cupcakes

Pastel colored viking cookies

Cupcakes and Chocolate covered marshmallows inspired by How To Train Your Dragon

How cute are these baby viking and baby dragon cake pops

Pia’s cake was lemon goodness!

Last Minute DIY Baby Wishes

Thumu-THOR…haha

Opening of gifts

Everyone at the baby shower. 🙂

~Rhea

A Pastel Baby Shower

A few hours after Eva’s 1st Birthday, we headed home. My in-laws were throwing us a baby shower/ going away party (despedida) and the mini-reunion pretty much continued in the comforts of our own home. As if the goodies earlier weren’t more than enough, they had a whole new set of cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and a personalized cake just for Spriki, I mean Cassie. 😀 Thanks mami for coming up with this get together and thanks Pauline for organizing this whole thing!

The cute little pastel invitation for the baby shower

Spriki’s little corner. Thanks Angel for putting up the party pom poms! 😀

Baby Pastel Goodies

The “Spriki” blocks just made this cake cuter than ever. I love this so much Pauline, thanks!

These cake pops remind me of baby blocks and baby rattles

Personalized Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizer were the giveaways for the baby shower. I still can’t get over the “Spriki”, haha. Aren’t these handy?

Let the games begin. 🙂

Even the yarn they used for the game was pastel 🙂

Guess the Girth Game

Sophia making her guess. Hahaha…

Match the Baby Socks Game

George preparing the lechon yumminess

Thanks for all the presents ladies

And most importantly thanks for your presence

On one last note, balancing a cupcake on your belly is a talent. Haha.

~Rhea