On Protecting your things

Me: Hey please don’t do that! Do not throw my itouch like that! That’s not nice.

Lil T: (looking at my itouch on the floor)

Me: Do you understand? Look at me.

Lil T: (gets off the couch, walks towards me until he’s 3 inches away from my face—my knees were bent..then he looks.. stares at me..)

Me (wanting to laugh and trying so hard to keep a straight face): Don’t do again ok? It’s only the ball you can throw, ok?

Lil T: (unemotionless.. and then..) Hide it..

Me: What’s that?

Lil T: Hide it! (now with conviction) Hide it in there!! (points to the nearby room)


Lesson:  You should know that if you don’t want anyone messing up with important/expensive/personal stuff, keep it away from them.


Expecting a Princess

I loved being preggo, aside from all the care and extra attention, I enjoyed feeling a baby in my tummy.   When I knew my neighbor was preggy, I had a flashback of all my emotions—good and not so–haha, but mostly good.

My neighbor, Isa, and her family are leaving Dubai next week after staying here for a couple of years.  That’s how it is here.   It’s a transient city and people come and go.   I know the stress that comes with packing and moving, and the sadness that comes with leaving.

So because I wanted to pamper a pregnant lady, I along with our other friends, threw her a shower.  I love celebrations and I enjoyed making decorations myself—choosing complementary colors, cutting and putting things together.  I’m a girly girl so this was no chore to me. It came out nice, so they say.

And I’m pleased Isa was so happy and touched 🙂

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Primary School applications..Who knew it would cause stress?

While I thought finding a school involved friendly school tours and all the welcome pleasantries from the faculty, that is not what I am having, at least not right now.

If you are a parent and moving to Dubai, are already in Dubai, or currently pregnant in Dubai, I suggest you look into schools asap.  I started researching on schools way before my son turned one.  Imagine still in nappies and drooling!  But yeah the competition for the best schools here are so stiff that some parents register as soon as they have the baby (like days old!)  What was I thinking when my baby was a few days old? Breastfeeding techniques, how to change diapers more efficiently, how to get more sleep… Oh wait, I didn’t register him in nursery! What kind of mom am I?!

The most outstanding schools in the city are swamped with applications all year round.  It has been nerve-wracking for me to know that two of the schools I am eyeing are already full! For the next 2 years!  Since it’s the beginning of another year and one registrar advised me last year to call in 2013, I picked up the phone again.  Sadly, there are still no available slots for the best school in Dubai. But I will keep trying.  Dubai is a transient city and I am hopeful they will have room.

I did get him into 2 of the top schools, waitlisted by the way so no guarantee.  As I type this now I feel a tiny part of me is amused.  My goodness! He’ll only be 3 when he enters school.. and it’s just nursery!  But you see that’s one of the pressures of being an expat mom.  I want to give my son the best possible education, because I know we can.   I don’t want him to settle on a mediocre institution because that would make me feel like he got cheated.  And it’s just easier to stay in one school than to keep transferring to better ones later on.

So my tip: Just had a baby? Find a school.  It is imperative this be your top priority.   Good luck!

Happy 2013 to all!

Looking back at 2012, I’d say it was one of the best years of my life.  The real highlight was my being a mom and experiencing all these warm, beautiful emotions with my first child.  I knew a kid would bring me joy but I underestimated the scale of it.  Technically, I became a mom in 2011 as Lil T was born in August of that year.  Some people fall in love right away upon seeing their newborn.  With me it was a slow and growing process of breastfeeding, bonding, playing, hearing his first words and having him say “ay-lab-bu” (I love you).  I must admit that the first few months with my little one were trying on me physically and emotionally.

I gave birth to our first child alone in a hospital room in a foreign land.  I actually brought my laboring self to the hospital via taxi cab.  I was in huge pain and when I got checked in, I was already 8cm! I remember sobbing and wailing and begging God to take away my pain.  He sent me an angel in the form of a nurse who held my hand and coached me through childbirth.  (Since then, I have begun to greatly appreciate all nurses) I believe I had the best doctors but my protective nurse, a veteran at childbirth I learned, would bark at my doctors when she thought there was a better way to do things.

It was just Lil T and I at the hospital but for 3 days but all these loving nurses surrounded us.   I think they were concerned I was a candidate for postpartum depression.   You see you can plan but there are just things beyond our control.  Lil T and I went home and my husband arrived after a week so for the first few days I single handedly took care of myself, cleansed my wounds, breastfed and bottle fed every 2 hours, washed bottles, clothes, changed diapers, cleaned my baby.. I really believe all women are superheroes!  And no, I didn’t get postpartum.  I was sleeping about 2 hours a night, there was just no time to cry.

My hubby stayed with us for 3 weeks but had to leave as work in another country called for him.  I was a single parent for the first 6 months of our baby’s life.   But thankfully our families came into the picture visiting and offering support after my husband left. (I salute all single mothers all over the world! You rock more than anyone!)

I loved Lil T to bits as any mother would but it was in 2012 that I got to really enjoy him.  Lil T had longer sleep, he was more interactive, I was getting to understand him and best of all, come April, my hubby was present to enjoy this new phase in our lives.   And well, by this time, I already had hired help 🙂

It was also in 2012 that we flew to Dubai to spend a few of our years here.  Though very much different from home, we welcome this experience as an opportunity for our young family to explore a whole new world.

We can never know what is in store for us in 2013.  I notice my son’s hands getting bigger and him looking less like a baby and already a child. Before the year ends, he will be two.  It will go by so fast.  I have made some plans for myself (let’s see if they push through).  But my priority is to enjoy him, care for my family, and live in the moment, with bits of travelling in between.

To the most beautiful person I know, my late grandmother, whose birthday is today, thank you for nurturing me and loving me without condition. 

bye bye redness

He’s had it since he was an infant. It would just come and go.  Showing up red, dry, and a bit scaly at times.  A pesky visitor.

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin rash that usually appears before age 5. It isn’t contagious, but because it’s intensely itchy, it can be very uncomfortable.  It also causes me to cringe every time I see it. Like now seeing these photos. (cringe)

No wonder he’s not smiling 😦

When this visitor would stay longer than it usually does, I would apply hydrocortisone cream as prescribed by his former pedia.   Since hydrocort has steroidal components, there’s a limit to the number of days I can keep using it.  Five days and that’s it.

Last month, even after applying 5 days of hydrocort, Little T’s cheeks and legs were still red and dry.  I tried other baby products such as a virgin coconut oil-based one (I wanted to go natural).  Nothing happened.  I took him to the American Hospital and his pedia prescribed Mustela Stelatopia.

I am familiar with the product seeing it on the nurseries of my friend’s babies but I didn’t think it was necessary for Little T to have it. Also I did not think it would be effective.

Until Now.

Less than 5 days of applying this cream on Lil T”s cheeks and body, and I’ve become a believer! Pesky eczema was gone, without a trace—zero, zilch, nada!  As if it never existed in the first place.

It worked even faster than the more powerful hydrocort cream, and without the steroids.

Lil T’s skin is calmer, moisturized, and back to being baby soft and smooth.   I’m happy to share that this product actually delivered.

Now there’s his smile 🙂

Beach Getaway: Jumeirah Beach Hotel

My boy is such a water person that we decided to gift him with a weekend getaway at one of the nearby beaches.

We got an Ocean Deluxe Room and were blown away by the view!!!

Shades of green and blue dance to the gentle winds, softly sparkling every time the sun kisses it.   I took a breather and opened my whole body and soul and embraced this entire splendor.   Nothing overwhelms me more than nature.

Our room’s just been refurbished and in fact, almost half of the hotel is still being revamped.  So expect it to look new and clean, and 5-star.

Just like the room, bathroom’s spacious with his and hers sinks, a tub, a separate shower, and toilet cubicle.  It was great of the hotel to include unexpected niceties such as sunblock and lip balm, aside from the usual toiletries.

We were pleased with our room but it wasn’t the plan to spend the whole holiday there right?

Off to the beach, our baby in tow.

Soon we saw that the sun was leaving and Tyler was exhausted!  It was time to go back to our room.   As we went inside this greeted us:

Yay!! Champagne and Walnut Brownie Choco Mousse to celebrate Tyler’s first bday!!! A surprise from the JBH Guest Services Team

Even my boy’s bear gets to have chocolate!


JBH has 2 main pools—one for kids with families and one for older kids and adults.

Little T kept flapping in the water trying to imitate the older kids who were swimming.  He enjoys seeing other babies and since JBH is a family oriented resort, there were plenty of such.

When daddy took baby, I waddled in the other pool and did my laps.  This pool can offer quite the exercise almost similar to Olympic-sized ones in terms of length.  It curves out though, has plant pots, and has more people than the family pool, which could serve as appreciated obstacles (or a nuisance depending how you view it) of your swim.

Apparently there is an Executive Pool, which has less people but is only for those who have booked the Suites.

Checking in at JBH also gives you access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, Sinbad’s Kids Club (for children aged 0 to 12 years old) and the rest of the facilities such as the gym and wifi.

Overall we had a fantastic holiday.  And Lil T was very much delighted! In his sleep, on our first night there, he was shouting “aahh..” and “eeee..eee!” for like every half hour for 2-3 hours.  I swear he was having ecstatic dreams of playing at the beach 🙂

Happy Birthday Little T!

Tyler just turned 1 year old 🙂   We threw him a small celebration with a few of our friends here in Dubai.

He was 10 months when we moved here and before I knew we were going to be based here, I imagined throwing him an extravagant kiddie party with all the bells and wishes and over a hundred guests to celebrate with!  I was so sure all our families, relatives, and even the neighbors would have a blast partying with us!

Plans change and here we are in a foreign country, with few friends.  I felt bleak for a moment but then recognized all the blessings that have come our way.

My husband’s assignment is better for the whole family.  And for us to experience a whole new world is an excitement in itself.  Everyday feels like a vacation!  So I put on my happy face, gathered some party materials, ordered food, called some friends and had fun!

Tyler had an airplane themed party.  Here are some pics: Almost everything’s homemade 🙂