Oddy’s first birthday

One of my favorite godchild, Oddy, celebrated her first birthday. Her party was held at Kidzoona, an indoor playground for kids and kids at heart, and I tell you that Mischa and Maxine truly enjoyed the party and the venue. Even I loved it because I could let them be since I can see that most of the attractions are safe and kid-proof. I say most because Mischa injured herself going down the slide, but it could be because she didn’t tuck her arms in, scraping the inner folds near her elbow. But it was totally fun on the whole!

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In Deutschland

I got lucky again because, despite the constant stress brought about by my work, I get to see travel and see the world. This time to Germany. More than ten years ago, I was able to set foot in the United Kingdom, but this is my first time to be in mainland Europe. Yay!

The weather was quite good the whole time we were there. It was smack in the middle of fall, and it wasn’t too cold. It rained for a couple of days in Essen but it was okay overall. I loved the crisp air, and savored the feeling of not sweating, which Manila does to me all the time. It was very nice walking the streets of Berlin and Essen mainly because of this. As always, my heart jumped at the new sights and smells of a foreign country. Thank goodness for some free time in between official duties.

Did all the touristy things in the capital, such as visits to the Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, the Bundestag, Tiergarten, Branderburg Gate. Met up with a friend and his family, took the subway, took the bus, had curryworst, name it.

Quickest planning

My mommy duties beckoned as soon as I got off the plane. Aside from the usual and unusual household stuff I had to contend with, I didn’t know I had a party to plan! Maxine’s birthday is coming up, and we were supposed to just have spaghetti and cake in school for her and four classmates (plus two teachers). Well, it turned out I had to make an event of it. lol. Kidding aside, I just love doing these kinds of parties. I have always thought of changing careers and doing these things. Who knows, if God willing…

So for this party, I had to choose from among several of Maxine’s favourite characters. Pink would just not do it. Her recent obsessions are PJ Masks, Paw Patrol and Puppy Dog Pals. After some thought, I decided on PJ Masks.

I quickly scoured the net for invitation templates, order some loot bags and giveaways from a trusted printer/supplier, talked to a baker friend for the cake, bought other items online, drew up a menu, and so on. So I’m quite excited for next Wednesday.

Indisposed

Perfect timing as usual, my dear bunso. Why oh why do your sick days fall at times I am or will be away at a significant length of time, or I am or will in a place that need long haul flights? Not that I want you to get sick at all…but more so when I cannot be with you.

Thank God you are better, and I can leave for a while with some peace of mind. We can put behind the last three days of our being in the ER and your consequent confinement. Never mind that we spent Daddy’s birthday at the hospital. I will still be thinking of you and Ate for most of my waking hours anyway. You will understand, I hope, in the future, that all of leaving are for you and your sister. All of what I do are for you both.

Manam

If you are looking for traditional Filipino food livened up with a twist, then Manam is for you. The restaurant is an ideal place for families or a group of friends sharing a hot meal, or even couples of bffs chilling out or plain relaxing. Each of their dishes come in three sizes: small, medium or large, so you can order according to the size of your party or your heart’s desire. You need not worry about ordering too much or too little.

You can start off with drinks concocted with ingredients that you would not think are possible together:

Banana melon sago

Camias with lemongrass

Papaya with black pepper

For the main dishes, there were so many to choose from. If I had my way, I would have gotten their bestseller sisig and the sinigang na corned beef sa watermelon. But as I was with hypertensive and people watching out for their sugar levels, we opted for the safer though still yummy dishes.

Batil patung (famous in Cagayan where the husband is from)

Braised then fried pork and chicken adobo (a hit with Mischa)

Gising-gising

Binukadkad na plapla with buro

Sinigang na ulo ng salmon sa guyabano (a hit with Maxine)