It's been a year since we celebrated Daniel's first birthday and now is just the perfect time to blog about it since its Christmas day! My son was born the day after Christmas and since I was literally spending my Christmas in labor in the hospital then, thought having a Christmas theme party for his first party is perfect. Firstly, he is too young to complain and ask for a superhero theme (goodness! I dread for that day haha), second I want parties with just a few colors - my eyes have color issue, I tend to get dizzy with uncoordinated colors so white, red and green are perfect for the theme.
Hats off yet again to my good friend Stan of Creative Designs by Stan for executing it just as how I envisioned it to be. "Stan please not too kiddish and every color coordinated. Minimalist and clean!" and obviously he did get all that spot on.
The CD monogram which I personally designed for Daniel's nursery was duplicated and used for his baptismal reception and this time, for his first birthday.
These wooden trees with CD balls were DIY-ed by Tat and I. It was initially used as invitations and the excess ones, we incorporated as centerpiece for the kiddie tables.
We had a jumping play area which I sourced out all the way from Batangas because it was the only one that was all white. I did not hire any magicians or clowns for the party since I wanted everything to be intimate and laid back, so for the activity area, I booked a bead and clay making workshop which the kids loved especially the girls!
The inflatable jumping area also served as a mini studio! So nice to take photos from the inside
Aww my cutee patootie baby boy!
The designs were also all Christmas themed!
I was lucky to find a food cart that complies and blends with the party's theme, and they came in ready, all in Christmas mood for the event! Rita's Ice Cream was requested by Daddy Tat and it was mommy approved since it really taste good and colors are - green, white and red too, perfect!
I requested live music from Daddy Tat since I know how much Daniel easily gets stressed during events (he got it from momma!). Music calms and soothes me and my baby and it was worth it, because my son really enjoyed being serenaded with Disney songs played on strings!
Love this moment, priceless! He was actually dancing and enjoying the music
Daniel's Tita Drizzle was kind enough to sing the song I wrote for him.
The highlight of the event was Madison's musical performance! Both kids and adults enjoyed their show. Look how they all came in christmas theme too!
The loot bags and the huge candy cane pillows were made by my Beyond White staff. I wanted to make sure the kids will enjoy their giveaways, so I had to personally hand pick the loot bag items two days prior the event, and pack everything together. It was nice to hear from the parents how their kids loved their loot bags!
The party was all planned in just two weeks time with no coordinator, though I got help from some of my Beyond White staff too. It was indeed stressful for me since December is a very busy month for the industry I'm in and had literally zero sleep during the event.
The night before the party, I was up editing Daniel's growing up video while waiting for my red dress and my son's outfit to arrive. I was literally crying at 4am, bawling my eyes out, stressed, tired and frustrated why our outfits hasn't arrived yet (we had to rush both our outfits since its December and I had to prioritize orders from my clients.
But after finishing the growing up video I made for him, I took a deep breathe, paused and my tears of frustration were replaced by tears of joy. It was stressful but it was for my baby boy - so turns out, it was all fulfilling.
Despite the busyness of December, it is now my most favorite month. On the 25th of December, I celebrate my Lord Jesus Christ, my savior, my father and my king. And the day after, just in his perfect time, Jesus gifted me my son - Christian Daniel.
Thank you Lord Jesus! You truly are wonderful!
Photos by Little Heartbeat Photography
As it is, I really love to dress up, and when I had a baby, I was honestly wishing for a baby girl in the hopes of dressing her up and wearing twinning clothes with her. When I found out I was having a baby boy, I was still as excited but I knew then, that I will have to be more creative when it comes to dressing up my son.
Monthly baby milestone photos were everywhere on my pinterest feed and boy, was I so excited to start Daniel's monthly pictorial. Of course I wanted to do a professional shoot for my son, but just the hassle of leaving the house every month to do it was just too much for the lazy mom in me back then. Plus its way more expensive!
So I decided to DIY his monthly milestone shoots, and it was still not as easy as I thought it would be! The preparations, the costumes, getting him in a good mood takes so much effort - and we did these every month! But no regrets at all, looking at all his photos is just way too priceless!
Daniel's first ever shoot - the NEWBORN phase was professionally taken, we wanted to go to a studio for his monthly milestone but from here, we realized it would be better for us to do it at home on a DIY mode.
Daniel at Two Weeks Old as a Lion
Daniel at One Month as Luke Skywalker
Daniel at Two Months as Yoda
Daniel at Three Months as Ronald Mcdonald
Daniel at Four Months as Jollibee
Daniel at Five Months as a Pilot
Daniel at Six Months as a Sailor
Daniel at Seven Months as Einstein
Daniel at Eight Months as Mozart
Daniel at Nine Months as Batman
Daniel at Ten Months as Clark Kent
Daniel at Eleven Months as a Chicken to be Cooked!
Daniel at Twelve Months as a Santa Baby
Daniel and Mama as Tinkerbell & Peter Pan 2018
Daniel and Mama as Little Mermaid and Sebastian 2019
Okay, so I just got teary eyed after seeing all of Daniel's monthly photos and our photos together from last year and this year. Seeing how fast this little man grows up makes me both sad and excited at this time. We can never go back to these stages of him but at least, we have all these photos in such adorable costumes to look back to!
So will I still make him wear costumes every year? or rather, will we both be dressing up as some character's each year? Definitely! Next year, we'll probably be Aladdin and Jasmine! I'll most likely cry when the time comes he'll tell me "Mom I don't wanna wear silly costumes anymore"
For now, this momma will make the most out of my son's "baby stage" and make him wear all the cute costumes I can think of!
A child psychologist once told me that it's best to do baby wearing than to use a stroller for your little one. It is said, that there is a psychological effect and babies who are are carried, grows up more confident than babies who were always placed on the stroller. For reasons that baby wearing makes you and the baby closer together, and since your child is placed on a higher position, she sees or views the world more confidently. While babies who used strollers more often, grows up more shy since they are placed at a really low position. Makes sense right?
I would've love to carry my son all the time but that just isn't the case for us. Firstly, this momma weighs only 45kgs. and with mild scoliosis, which makes me need a break from time to time. The first few weeks with me carrying my newborn, I had accidentally twice dropped my baby (good thing I dropped him on the bed!) which made me drown with so much mom guilt for days! So in my mind, there was no way I can carry my baby the whole time I'm out with my son.
I shared my frustrations to a mom friend who told me about such strollers that can raise your child higher, promoting interaction between you and your baby. Most of these high strollers has 3 parent facing positions which makes you and your baby feel closer together: sleep, rest and active, and still the basic 2 forward facing positions: rest and active.
This lead me to research and had narrowed it down to these two brands: STOKKE XPLORY and MIMA XARI.
The Mima Xari
Parent-Child facing position making me and my little one feel closer together
Here's a more in depth review of the mima xari - <link>https://www.fit2bmom.com/kids/stroller/mima-xari-review/</link>
The Stokke Xplory
A photo of the Stokke Xplory with mom and baby interaction
One of the things I love about these high strollers is the fact that it can be used as a highchair especially when eating outside! Less worry for the germaphobe mom in me with those restaurant high chairs.
Is this pram for everyone? For sure not. I guess, the checklist on finding the best fitted stroller varies from person to person. But with me, mostly everything that there is to love about these high strollers were just right on spot. It's definitely one of the most stylish stroller's out there in the market yet doesn't compromise my baby's comfort and safety. I personally love the high seat idea, making a better, closer interaction with my baby boy.
Sure everyone gave me a lot of advice on what are the basic stuff I needed to buy for my baby, and I've read a lot of internet write-ups made by different moms too, but then there were just some of these baby items that mostly I was talked out of purchasing but ended up worth buying for me.
A growing wooden crib
Firstly I love that its made of wood as quality wooden cribs are sturdy and will last you far the baby years. This kind of cot is an elegant and a classic sleep option for your child, and it can be configured in a number of unique ways. The system serves as a newborn bassinet, a baby crib, a toddler bed, a junior bed, a mini couch and/or two chairs, meaning, your child won't outgrow the system for years. So this is worth buying.
Here's Daniel exact wooden crib in color white, this crib arrived a little late so I was not able to max out my use of this as a newborn bassinet or option 1 as pictured above.
Ecomom UV Sterilizer
,I got to know about this amazing product way back through my best friend who was then pregnant and requested this specific UV sterilizer to be my baby shower gift for her, and of course, since I was not yet a mom then, I did find the price tag ridiculous but gave in to her request - can I say no to a preggo best friend!
Well the moment I found out I was pregnant and after reviewing this product, this was the very first item that I wanted to have, so in return, this was also the gift I specifically asked my best friend for my baby shower too - haha!
Ecomom is the first of its kind to sterilize and eliminate 99.9% of bacteria using UV-C light. Aside from the UV Sterilizing power, it has PTC heater fan to dry the items inside ECOMOM. It can sterilize, dry, and store items such as baby bottles, bottle nipples, pacifiers, breast pump parts, utensils, plates, and teething toys. It can even sterilize mobile phones, remote controls, stuffed toys, accessories, etc.
Its ability to eliminate harmful bacteria such as Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella Typhimurium, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, has been validated by KCL Korea Conformity Laboratories.
Advantages of using ECOMOM:
Specs and details:
It was just perfect for the germaphobe mommy in me. It's not just as a UV sterilizer but also a dryer and a deodorizer in one! Moms can now efficiently and conveniently sanitize items without the risk of burns, the hassle of setting up or clean up. All items for baby, electronics and other personal stuff for sterilization can be organized and stored until you need them while 99.9% of bacteria are killed with the simple touch of a button.
So now that I'm a mom, do I still find the price for this ridiculous? Well, it is still way more expensive than other traditional sterilizers in the market but with my experience with ecomom for a year and five months now, I gotta say its worth every cent! Plus the design is so sleek (I got the black color) that it actually looks nice either placed on the nursery or on top of the kitchen counter.
Play area with fence
Tat and I initially argued if we should purchase this one. As per him Daniel already has his nursery and a space of his own, so this was already unnecessary but, after a few thoughts we obviously ended up getting this and it surprisingly turned out to be one of our worth it purchases for our baby.
Our house has two floors so this play area was placed on our first-floor living room, and it was so much safer to have Daniel inside this play area and not worrying that he'll come up the stairs anytime. Also since I purchased it with the mattress/foam, Daniel and I would usually take our afternoon naps inside here and even at times feed him here without the problem of cleaning spills or messes since the foam leatherette was so easy to clean just by wiping it.
I was breastfeeding my son until he was six months old and by the time we needed to switch to formula milk, we were gifted with this amazing baby gadget by Mom. Baby Brezza is basically like Keurig for babies! It saves you the time and the hassle of manually preparing baby's bottles.
Baby Brezza Description:
A Wooden High Chair
Just like the crib I mentioned above, a wooden growing high chair is one of those baby items that's definitely worth the purchase! Just look at that photo and see how this minimalist high chair transforms to something your child can grow with and just basically use it for life.
I had been going in and out of the store for at least a month thinking if I should go ahead and buy this. I even tried and sat on it myself and it really is sturdy but I just felt it was expensive for a high chair, so I decided to buy a white Ikea high chair since it was way cheaper and the fact that it looks nice on our kitchen - not those colorful flashy baby products that I dread at least :)
So what made me decide to buy this after getting an Ikea one already?
Well just after five months of using it, the Ikea plastic high chair just doesn't feel sturdy enough for my playful little boy and around this time, I found my small wooden chair which was given to me by my dad when I was only a year old and amazingly its still in one piece and even Daniel is currently using it. I did realize how wooden baby products can really last a lifetime so there I went and purchased this exact wooden high chair!
A Designer Diaper Bag
I know I might be getting judging minds out there but this purchase was a no brainer for me. Before you roll your eyes, maybe you'd like to know my valid reasons for this (wink!)
First of all, I'm not a brand whore but even before I didn't have a baby, I would once in a while reward myself and purchase a designer bag and with any bag purchases, I would really think hard and would save up for it. So when I found out I was pregnant, one of the first baby products I researched was a baby bag. For reasons that:
[A] I will be carrying this every single time I'm with my son, might as well buy something that will look nice each time.
[B] I want a baby bag that we can use until he's around five or six or probably even more, so I might as well purchase a bag that would last us that long right?
These were the top three designer bags I wanted. A Baby Dior bag - I'm a Dior lover and I would really want one but this certain canvas design is out of production already and the current one is way too stiff. The Louis Vuitton not in production too, so I was thinking of a Neverfull instead. I ended up buying the exact Gucci one because both the Dior and LV are way too girly, so what about at times Tat needs to carry the baby bag, and I also anyways ended up having a son so the Gucci one is just perfect!
Gucci diaper bags have quite a few designs to choose from, but I went with this one since the material is softer so it would be way easier to clean and it can expand a little when we need to stuff it a little more. Plus it won't look awkward when its Daddy carrying it!
Up to this day, I still love this bag and surely we would be using it for a long time.
Hermes Baby Blanket
Nope, this is not a necessary baby item obviously but this one of those crazy pregnant purchase I made - "I'm preggo and hormonal and this baby blanket is too cute!" but this actually ended up to be one great purchase for my son.
This baby blanket is made of wool and cashmere and perfect during cold nights and my son for some reason, likes his AC cold and would wake up in the middle of the night sweaty and irritated if I turn it even just a little lower. This baby blanket had been used by my son every night and just like some babies who need a security blanket, this ended up to be that for him- he cannot fall asleep without this blanket!
I realized this is the first and yes final designer blanket I would ever purchase for him, and yes he will be using it for many years to come too.