MOMI REMEMBERS| 12 things we did last May 17

Jun 9, 2014 | Love, Only Berlin

yes, birthday ko na bukas

That was my Firstborn’s Facebook status.  He sounded excited for that day’s tomorrow.  And this mother prepared something for her binatilyo.

1.  believing in health is wealth

Though very cliche, still health is wealth.  After our breakfast, we visited our favorite pedia.   The boys got their second dose shots to protect them against pneumonia,  hepatitis a, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

Vaccines do save lives, but most children do not like shots — my boys included.  Our pedia visit wasn’t a pleasing one, especially for Firstborn who cried after receiving the vaccinations. The terrifying injection made him all gloomy throughout the trip to the hotel  (where we checked in for the night).  He simply could not accept that he needed the booster vaccine on his birthday.

2. a broad sampling of what New Orleans has to offer


The photo wasn’t all yummy and inviting. The taste though was impressive even the boys had their second servings.


Another platter of everything under the sea (except for the fries).  I haven’t tasted the squid and shrimp as the boys hurriedly got their share.


Poor seafood salad. By the time my mom ate the salad, all the shrimp and squid had disappeared.


The only food on our table that the boys didn’t try twice. Left me with no choice but to consume the whole Rib Quesadilla in between long breaks.

It was a small family affair with mom joining us for lunch.  Though I was working on to lose weight, my son’s birthday was so special that I opted to join the feast.  Never mind the added calories and weight, I could always work out and diet some other time.

3.  more than a dozen scoops of delightful gelato


With the so many choices in front of him, there’s indeed a valid reason for Firstborn to be indecisive.  I for one was so attracted to the bright colors and playful names displayed before us inside that glass freezer.

After much thought, my son settled for the Banana Blast Gelato Cake.   Above its thick layer of chocolate cake were scoops of three different gelato flavors — banana, strawberry, and chocolate.  Drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with small slices of strawberry, this gelato cake was surprisingly not that sweet that one would ask for another cup.

Before we left the store, I promised my boy that we would definitely go back to Caramia again and again until we have tried all flavors and gelato concoctions.

4.  a stress-free stay-cation for three adults and three kids


We got two rooms of this kind to provide comfort and privacy for my husband and my mother. Yes, we’ve invited mother to join us.

We are cutting back on discretionary expenses.  But that didn’t give me the reason to not spend for my Firstborn’s birthday celebration.    Instead of expensive airline and hotel bookings, we opted for cheaper alternatives like “stay-cation” in a condotel within Ortigas.

The boys weren’t that particular on the room layout.  Uninterrupted internet connection and reliable air conditioning unit were top priorities for them.  For this mother, though, with the thought that certain expenses such as meals, shopping and drinks may all add up to our expenditure, going after a fully-furnished rental vacation can be cheaper than a hotel.

Our temporary abode was fully equipped with microwave oven, refrigerator and basic kitchen amenities such as pot, pans and even dining utensils and chinaware.   We had no problem heating up leftovers for late-night snacks.

5.  indulgent amenities beyond the kids’ expectations


It was the husband who accompanied the boys on their two-hour swim. He never thought of taking even a single photo.



My blurry shot as I tried the treadmill.  And I was hoping that as I pound away the miles on this machine, I get to burn hundreds of calories.

Aside from the distinctively comfortable beds and the complete furnishings, our temporary shelter also provided the needed respite for our weary souls.   We enjoyed the various amenities promoting a healthy lifestyle from the lap pool, children’s playground, jogging trails and fitness center.    For ultimate shopping and dining experience, the mall was just across the condotel to offer various choices.  

6.   the 3D pop out effect of Godzilla

The boys saw the images of Godzilla pop out and come to life.   Indeed, the 3D effect added an absolute wow and entertainment value to the children.  It truly heightened the thrill especially during the action scenes between Godzilla and the large winged creature.  The not so affordable ticket, on the other hand, left my pocket empty. (1 ticket = PHP 350.00!)


7.  pizza and pasta party just before capping off the day


the boys and I preferred the simple ham and pineapple pizza. but with no Hawaiian available, we opted for the all meat one.


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“bacon bits would always make the difference,’ this I often tell the boys when they asked why I put bacon in our carbonara. So for Firstborn’s birthday, we got pasta with lots of bacon on it.



The boys would want their spaghetti to be extra sweet. So the very friendly food attendant recommended this penne rosa and bacon. It was a hit among the kids!


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A delicious lasagna was brought to our table. And it was filled with spicy ground beef, delicious cheeses, hearty meat ragu sauce and baked pasta sheets.

A birthday celebration in our family will always be best enjoyed if there’s pasta on the table.  Particularly tomato-based, our pasta should always be newly cooked, juicy and, very colorful.  The boys weren’t able to finish everything; they were too overwhelmed and full already because of the gelato!

8.   I scream, we scream, and the coolest birthday feast!

Who could resist ice cream?  My boys so love ice cream even if someone calls it gelato.  Even the Muppets of Sesame Street love ice cream.  They even have a song expressing their love for it.

Oh, everyone likes ice cream, yes indeed they do.
Everyone loves ice cream; I do do you?
Search the whole world over, travel near and far.
But everyone likes ice cream no matter who they are.

In our household, we rarely celebrate birthdays without ice cream.  And so, for Firstborn’s birthday, we have a few colorful gelatos on our table to feast on.  Too fast that we indeed consumed everything before we could even take some photos.  Grabbed these from the diner’s website.


Honestly, I don’t know what is with cookies that my boys love. Anyway, they would always demand the cookies and cream flavor. On my son’s bday, he had an oreo gelato.


My Big Bunso so love dark chocolate. Those very bitter, deeply dark chocolate; thus he requested for a dark choco gelato that night.


choco mit

Choco Mint has always been my favorite. Second son agreed. We ordered one each for the two of us.

blueberry cheesecake

Firstborn so love anything edible with blueberries on it. Displayed on that freezer glass was a blueberry gelato and even without calling my attention, I ordered one for him.

9.  more than to receive forgiveness and grace, we thanked the Lord for the gift of life

As much as possible,  we do not want to miss Sunday mass.  Good thing though that our Second son is an acolyte, which all the more pushes us never to miss any Eucharistic celebration.  We also practice hearing mass on holy days and birthdays.    Firstborn’s birthday wasn’t an exception.

More than listening to the word of God and be inspired, I believe the husband, and I are on the same page on wanting our boys to grow up in a Roman Catholic family that attend mass every Sunday and every Christian holiday.  We always encourage our children to participate in the singing and praying as these are the best ways to secure graces, pardons, and favors from God.   Also, attending mass is a legacy to our children, and by the time they have their children, they may most likely do the same to them.

10.  bedtime habit:  a perfectly made bed 

I do not know who started and introduced the 21-day practice rule, but it seems pretty effective.   This mother would often tell her boys to make the bed, but more often than not, they tend to just brush off my request.  Good thing though I’ve read somewhere the 21-day rule and requested the boys to arrange their bed every day after sleep for 21 days.  Until this day, my boys are used to make the bed.  And funny that even if we sleep in a hotel, they would still tidy up the bed.


11.  play station to the highest degree this summer


Video games may be entertaining.  Often, playing PS2 is my reward to the boys after helping me clean the house or after doing their homework on the weekend.  Firstborn so love playing video games that for his birthday, he requested some Spongebob CD copies.

Perhaps it’s the feeling of independence, having control over their actions that push the boys to love their play station.  Also, it’s fun and reassuring to know the kids learn teamwork, good communication, and trust.  And so, for his birthday, Firstborn got some Spongebob CDs for his PlayStation.  Happy playing, my son!

12.  No house cleaning for his birthday!

Cleaning the small house is surely not a favorite of the boys.  This summer, though, the kids are tasked to clean the house — scrubbing toilets and watering plants included.    Cleaning the house lays a perfect groundwork for responsibility and work ethic in years to come.  Though I effort very much to make cleaning a child-friendly task, still I know they dreaded this responsibility.  To be fair, though, Firstborn’s birthday was declared as “No house cleaning day!”  and everyone agreed!

I just hope that these activities far exceeded Firstborn’s expectations.  Happy 12th!



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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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