Meeting “Spriki”

Two days after celebrating our 2nd Civil Wedding Anniversary here in Houston (we actually thought the little one would come out on that day), our little Spriki decided that it was about time we meet her. My parents, the excited grandparents, have already posted a few dozen photos of her and probably me in my au naturale state on Facebook and I am beyond overwhelmed with all the wonderful comments from family, friends, mom’s friends, dad’s friends, my siblings’ friends, my mom and dad’s co-workers at Methodist Hospital Sugarland where I gave birth and even some people that Marco and I don’t know. Marco and I would like to thank each and every single one of all the well wishers, all those who came to visit us at the hospital and especially those who took care of us during the birthing process—Dr. Lauren Swords and the entire Methodist Sugarland Hospital Labor and Delivery team. To the birthing team,thank you for making our stay as comfortable as possible; to mom and pop’s Methodist hospital friends, thank you for spoiling us like we were checked in at a 5-star hotel, biggest suite and all.  We have indeed received immense love and support since the start of this pregnancy and I’m pretty sure that radiated to Spriki even while she was inside my womb, I can tell our baby girl that she’s been loved even before coming out into this world. Most importantly we are thankful to God for making the labor process uneventful and for giving us a healthy baby girl.

Waiting for Cassie to “come down”

Photo courtesy of my brother, Paul Ramas.

Managing a smile for my mom and dad, my support system, right before going to labor.

My mom called in that day just so she could be with me all throughout the birthing process and my dad, with the permission of his boss, would come and check up on me every “down time” he had.

Why hello there little Spriki.

The nurses cleaning up Spriki.

Our first family picture— The Ramas-Mendezonas

My husband Marco was present and he and my mom were asked by Dr. Swords to literally hep out in the birthing process.

Daddy’s first time changing Cassie’s diaper, he got to do it before I did.

World, meet our little Spriki. Maria Iliana Cassandra “Cassie” Ramas Mendezona born on October, 19 at 7lbs. 80.49 oz.

I’m officially a mommy now!!!!

~Rhea

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I’m So Rumbly in My Tumbly

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My Bump Style at 32 weeks and 5 days

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Fighting Pregnancy Edema. Haha, the struggle is real!

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(DRESS: Garden Ridge/ CARDIGAN: thrifted/ SANDALS: Parisian/ SUNGLASSES: A/X Armani Exchange)

I admire how other pregnant women look so fabulous during their pregnancy, as it is I’m having trouble trying to look fab instead of drab because honestly I would rather  just lounge at home in my big comfortable night gown. I guess that’s a natural thing to feel lazy and sluggish during your pregnancy and the few times I’m out I literally feel like a “walking whale” (must be the hormones). But its little moments like these that I look forward to in my pregnancy, the moving and the kicking assures me that my little one is growing stronger everyday. We can’t wait to hold you Cassie! #spriki

~Rhea

It’s Good to be Back, Houston

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

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

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I know, I know my baby bump is big.

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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 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!

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The cute little pastel invitation for the baby shower

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

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Baby Pastel Goodies

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

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These cake pops remind me of baby blocks and baby rattles

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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?

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Let the games begin. 🙂

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Even the yarn they used for the game was pastel 🙂

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Guess the Girth Game

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Sophia making her guess. Hahaha…

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Match the Baby Socks Game

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George preparing the lechon yumminess

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Thanks for all the presents ladies

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And most importantly thanks for your presence

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

~Rhea

Black, White and Pink—We’re Having a Baby Girl!

My LaVista family decided to throw me a “simple” baby shower/ despedida party for me and Marco before leaving for the US; they opted to do it at home with close family and friends. On the morning of the baby shower the winds were blowing our tents like crazy and the rain wouldn’t stop pouring. Since everything was pretty much DIY except for the food (we had it catered) we had trouble doing the set up, we were scared that the winds might tip over Mita Wee’s crystal stands for the candies and might just blow away Mita Bo’s tea cup collection but I swear as soon as the baby shower started the weather turned out for the best. We didn’t expect the food to be more than enough too so I’m sure that God was with us during this baby shower.

This was literally a “Ramas-girls production” and it was a complete success. To my lovely aunts, Mita Bo and Mita Wee, who planned this entire event, I really appreciate you doing this for me. Thanks to Dada Benj, Mita Bo (tea set up) and Mita Wee (prize table set up) for throwing the baby shower and for allowing me to take part in the execution. Ate Roma and Kuya JJ for helping us with the pink goodies for the goodies table (we had pink fondue and pink kropek that wasn’t food-dyed, mind you), Paolo and Brianna for helping us with balloons and putting up the decorations, Eunice for the cute baby girl yumminess, I mean cupcakes that handed out as giveaways and all the manangs and manongs at home for helping us with pretty much everything especially the set-up… Thank you for this labor of love!!!

Here are some photos from the Baby Shower:

DIY Invitations I made using free printables online, ended up with invitation #3

My DIY Baby Wishes Printable Onesie Cut Out. I made it specifically for this baby shower

The actual onesies cut out we had printed on cardboard

Got some cute baby shower laundry pins to hang the wishes for the baby and placed them in one of those lace cut out cans that were left overs from my wedding last year

(Laundry Pins: from 168; 3 for P100/ Lace Cut-out Cans: from Target; $1.00 per can)

Can’t wait until Cassie gets to read these

Foldable fans for the guests

Our DIY set-up for the wishes/ prize table

How dainty, tea anyone? #TWG

Yes—our “Spriki” is a girl!

Fascinators laid on the center for the guests

Merienda Cena set up at home

The first few guests our the baby shower

My DIY word scramble printable. It was pretty simple, Microsoft Word all the way

With JC, Jasper, Ate Princess and Janine

Pastries and Dessert for the sweet tooth

Cupcakes care of my cousin. They were gorgeous, thanks Eunice!

Strawberry Fondue

Baby Bottle Game

Diaper Game

The winner of the Create-your-own-bag Game

My pretty aunts—the Climaco girls

My younger Climaco cousins 🙂

Our Ruiz de Luzuriaga/ Mendezona Family

Our Odilao/ Bisnar/ Lim Family

Our Climaco/ Ramas/ Sullano/ Ros Family

The “old” UP crew 🙂

My cutie pie god son, Mateo

Have a cupcake, thanks for coming guys!

~Rhea