Sunday, October 27, 2013


We love Halloween. I totally forgot to take pictures of all the decorations this year, but Husband really went all out. We had a creepy clown room and Jason hiding in the shower (nice little scare for guests who chose to use the facilities!). As usual, I made waaaaay to much food. And too many jello shots. But a good time was had by all. I was on my feet all day starting with a market run in the morning to meet our friends J&J and a new coworker of Husband's and her family. Then we made a mad dash to the store to buy up all the last minute prep items, then I cooked and prepped for about 2-3 hours before taking the kids to the CLO party. Finally, I headed home (the little ones went off to their sleepover and C was already out with her friends), unfortunately a horribly planned/timed construction project by MMDA is backing up traffic on EDSA regularly. It took about 1 1/2 hours to get from the Embassy to my house, a trip of about 5km. Yeah, it sucked. It also meant that I had about 20min instead of over an hour to get ready before guests started arriving. Luckily traffic also meant that most of guests arrived a little late. When all was said and done, I could barely crawl into bed my feet and legs were so sore! It made me realize that this pregnancy really is wearing me down. I'm officially T3 as of tomorrow (such a fake out since there's still 12 weeks left to go!), and I just can't go like that all day long. Especially after our trip to Malaysia (three days of non-stop walking!) last weekend - promise I'll blog about that next. Anyway, it was worth it. The CLO party was really well done, and the kids had the time of their lives! Our party was a smashing success (if I do say so myself), and we love having all our friends over to celebrate our favorite holiday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sta Elena Fun Farm

So this weekend we went to a totally different kind of farm. We were supposed to go back to Boracay, but we ended up canceling our trip (must like S) in anticipation of the huge typhoon that was supposed to hit. Of course, the typhoon ended up fizzling out early and we had the most gorgeous weather over the weekend, which just put us in a foul mood. So we ended up taking a day trip with our friends I&S and their kids to the Sta Elena Fun Farm. As background, A has recently become obsessed with all things farm-related. Maybe it's the Pu matriarch-side genes that run strong within him, lol. He is particularly fond of pigs and sheep, and he has been asking to go to a real farm for some time. While this could easily be accomplished by visiting my relatives in the States, it is a tall order here in Manila, so when we were out to dinner with our friends J&J and they mentioned the Fun Farm, we jumped at the chance to go.

This isn't an ordinary working farm. This is a farm done high class Filipino style, meaning it was mainly a few exhibits of animals to pet and feed (bunny rabbits and guinea pigs), horseback riding, carabao cart riding, a nice big sandbox with a few pieces of playground equipment, and a mini zip line that all the kids went gaga over. And, to A's great delight, there were pigs. The pigs mostly laid around in their concrete pen (they did not look so healthy), but he was still very excited to see them. The farm is about 30-60min from Manila depending on traffic. It costs about 300Php/person to enter and you have to text or call in advance and make a reservation. The farm is actually a piece of land within a larger gated sub division of nice homes and other amenities. It is meant to be accessed by the privileged, which is why it is maintained so nicely. So when you make your reservation you have to tell them your name and how many people are coming in order to get on the access list. No joke. Anyway, the kids had a great time, and for 1200Php it was totally worth it.

Some astute readers may have noticed the lack of C pictures as of late. In some cases, such as this one, it is because C chose not to be involved (frankly, I can't blame her), but in most cases it is because the teenage one prefers the company of others to that of her family (again, really can't blame her there). As I was going through my Cebu pictures, which I will actually post one day, I noticed that of the 100 some I took, only a handful caught the elusive C sighting. I will have to make a concerted effort going forward to capture her in the wild for posterity's sake.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Farm at San Benito

So, as we get ready to embark on our last great travel spree, I figure I should blog about some of our past trips for posterity. In mid-Sep, Husband and I went to The Farm at San Benito, which was his birthday gift to me. This lush little paradise is tucked away in a town called Lipa City just outside of Tagaytay. We left early on a Friday afternoon and made it down there in about an hour, so it is very close to Manila.* The Farm is meant to be a place to detox and relax. All of the food is raw and organic, and it was delicious! Even Husband loved the food options so much that we bought to cookbook (for me to attempt after the pregnancy, natch). 

Another big draw to the Farm is the spa there, which offers just about everything under the sun. Unfortunately, as I'm discovering at many places in the Philippines, there isn't a whole lot I can do while I'm pregnant. There is a strong belief here that touching a pregnant woman in the wrong way can cause her to go into labor, so I was limited to getting a prenatal massage, which was very disappointing considering the vast menu of services they offer at their spa. I did also take a couple of yoga classes, but I had to modify the moves myself and the instructor did not seem to know what to do with me. 

We stayed for 3 days/2 nights, and I thought that was a perfect little getaway from the city. The staff was lovely and very accommodating, certainly one of the best customer service experiences we've had in the Philippines. We also discovered that the place is very pet friendly, so we decided that we would have our driver bring the two little ones and our dog down for the day on our last day there, so they could also enjoy the experience. The grounds are quite large, and the kids really enjoyed exploring all the little nooks and crannies in the half day they spent there. The Farm is meant to be a retreat, though, so I'm not sure it's really appropriate to bring your children for long periods of time, but we did see a few other kids there. 

*Higher traffic times would probably equate to a 2-3 hour drive

Saturday, October 05, 2013


J had her Girl Scout walk-a-thon fundraiser today. Apparently Girl Scouts overseas aren't allowed to see cookies for some reason. If I had known that, I might have seriously reconsidered signing her up in the first place! In all seriousness, J looooves Girl Scouts. I was a terrible Girl Scout. I lasted 1 year in Brownies solely because my mom was the troop leader. I have never been an artsy-craftsy person, and I really only wanted to join because they did a big camp out at the end of the year.* J is clearly a chip off my mom's shoulder. She is taking 2 different art classes this year (painting & drawing and cartooning), and she still wants to do other crafty activities, so Girl Scouts is right up her alley. Unfortunately for me, the walk-a-thon was held right in the middle of the hot, swampy afternoon, and J insisted that I accompany her through all of her laps, so I am pretty much immobile now. J herself was a red, sweaty mess at the end, but hanging with some friends for ice cream after the fact seemed to help perk her right up. I, on the other hand, and laying on the couch complaining about my back. Pregnant or old lady? Maybe both?

*which I ended up missing when I came down with strep throat. Oh, irony. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Bad Blogger

We've been to the Farm and to Cebu and back, lived through a canceled POTUS visit and so much more during the month of Sep...and I have blogged none of it. Well, you'll just have to take this for now and be happy you're getting anything at all.

he's in the bottom left corner, btw

Turns out I'm heading TDY to the Marshall Islands for the month of November (and, yes, I know it's crazy when I'll be 7 1/2 mos pregnant!), so you'll probably get a whole heck of a lot more posts then. Hopefully they won't all be pregnancy bitching posts. :)