Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gray Chevron

Chevron is a pattern so common that I can't hope to make it a Topaz Mommy signature. But every time I see a gray Chevron pattern, I immediately think it was designed for my mommy blog. Like that rug from Pottery Barn.

Or like these:

I like it. I really do. Been thinking of decorating the boys' future room with Chevron but I realized that they'll have opinions by then (they already have strong opinions now!) and it's their room so it should be decorated the way they want.

Still. I love this pattern. Almost as much as I love colorful stripes (still my most favorite pattern). I even made a bag with a gray Chevron pattern!
I made this bag when I was still pregnant. I was home a lot (still am, what with a newborn!) so I spent one day making a Topaz Mommy tote. It inspired me to come out with a tote bag line actually. I just don't know how to get suppliers, like for thick canvas and nylon and strong leather and stuff. But once I find suppliers, I'm definitely coming out with a Topaz Mommy tote with a gray Chevron design!

*photos from Baby Furniture Plus, Project Nursery, Love Design Company, Room Service Store, Zujava, Giesendesign

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Join Vito at Ready Steady Go Kids!

Vito is turning 4 next month but we decided to keep him at home first and teach him ourselves instead of sending him to preschool. Yes, we're "homeschooling" him. It's very casual, only when I feel like it. Yep, the schooling depends on my mood and my schedule, that's why I think it's really not homeschooling, more like homeplaying. We're big on letting the kids play all day, and if they pick something up in the process, then that's great! I don't really feel the need to send Vito (and 2-year-old Iñigo) to school yet because Vince and I are home all day anyway. But because we live in a condo, we are aware that he needs to run, jump, climb, tumble and just use up all that energy inside him. 

So we enrolled him at Ready Steady Go Kids.

Ready Steady Go Kids is Australia's largest and most reputable multi-sport and exercise program for preschoolers (aged 2.5-6 years). With 10 years' experience, their high quality, physio-designed program teaches children the fundamentals of 10 different sports in a fun, non-competitive, team-based environment. 

Through sports, preschoolers will learn the following:
  • Develop their gross motor skills. When the big muscles are strong and developed, the smaller muscles are, in turn, refined, too. My sister-in-law Lizelle told me this, that making my boys run and climb and jump will help them with their fine motor skills—everything from writing, cutting with scissors and stringing beads together to talking!
  • Because the kids are moving and using their bodies, with hand-eye and foot-eye coordination skills mastered, they develop confidence in their bodies and become competent to tackle tasks independently.
  • Sports encourages school readiness because skills like concentration, listening and following directions, and knowing basic concepts like colors, numbers and shapes are boosted.
  • Sportsmanship! Kids will not only learn independence, they will also learn teamwork by taking turns, playing by the rules, cooperating with their peers, and encouraging and supporting the team—important life skills. 
  • Appreciation of their bodies and an active lifestyle. A healthy self-esteem thrives when kids feel their bodies working for them. They know that their bodies are working, efficient machines that help them do things and achieve what they want. This kind of thinking makes them love their bodies and care for them at an early age, and hopefully will prevent kids from basing their worth on what their bodies look like (as opposed to what it does) and from abusing it with an unhealthy lifestyle when they are older. 

Each class will be handled by qualified trainers with early childhood and coaching experience. There are two coaches per class, with the coach-to-student ratio at just 1:6! Hooray! This means the students will get focused coaching. Plus, at least one trainer per class is trained in First Aid for pre-schoolers. So my Vito will be in safe and expert hands!

Classes are 45 minutes to an hour, perfect for my Vito, who may be a ball of energy but he's still only just a little boy. Classes are once a week for 10 weeks (one term). The Ready Steady Go Kids program will introduce preschoolers to the fundamentals of 10 different sports (soccer, tennis, basketball, hockey, golf, AFL, rugby, athletics, cricket and T-ball), with the sports rotated every 2 weeks. All equipment used in the Ready Steady Go Kids program has been specifically designed and modified to ensure age appropriateness, reliability and safety. 

Vince and I are so excited for Vito to start!
Actually, Iñigo can also go but we want to see how Vito fares first haha. The Ready Steady Go Kids program is designed for kids 2.5 to 7 years old. Here are the divisions (which I copied from the press kit):
Ready for 2.5-3 years old An introduction to sport in fun, team-based non-competitive environment. The concepts taught are basic and the time spent on each activity is limited in order to maintain the attention of students. Emphasis is placed upon the development of gross-motor skills, listening skills, learning to take turns and following directions. At this age, we ask for parental involvement and assistance. Some children at this age are more than ready to take part in a structured environment and will actively participate in each class. Other children may prefer to watch some parts of the class instead of participating. This is a normal and natural part of learning (by observation). For example, it is not unusual for 2.5 year old children to be seemingly disinterested in singing or running during a class but reproduce activities from the class precisely at home. As children gain confidence and learn our routines their participation level will naturally increase. Skills such as listening, following directions, concentrating and participating are all emerging in the Ready group.
Steady for 3-5 years old Participants are more easily able to listen to and follow instructions and as such a greater focus is placed upon development of gross motor skills (through both locomotor and non-locomotor activities), fine motor skills (through hand-eye and foot-eye activities) and balance and posture. A greater emphasis is placed upon the sport being covered each week. We do encourage further independence at this stage and therefore parental involvement is not a requirement. However, parental involvement is always welcomed at Ready Steady Go Kids classes if you choose.
Go for 5-7 years old This group is more advanced with a significantly faster pace of teaching and more challenging activities introduced. Time is spent refining existing skills and there is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the sports covered in the program. Upon leaving the Go group participants will be ready to actively participate in a variety of sports in primary school and beyond. Children will have gained confidence in their abilities and have a positive attitude towards being active and healthy. 
We're so excited for Vito! We can't wait for him to start!!!

Enrolment is now ongoing! Enroll your preschoolers now so our kids can be classmates!!!

The first ever Ready Steady Go Kids term starts first week of August, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There are two venues: Treston International College at BGC, Taguig, and Valle Verde 5. Check out their website ( for more details and to enroll!

Ready Steady Go Kids
Unit 202, Three Brixton Building, Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City
T: (02) 631-1497
Globe: (0917) 863-0094
Smart: (0919) 993-6189

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pottery Barn is in Manila and Piero went to check it out!

There's a new brand in town that I believe will have you mommies freaking out. Pottery Barn is here!

Pottery Barn is a home furnishing brand based in North America. It's their first time in the Southeast Asia region and they chose to open their first store here in Manila. Right now, they are offering their summer collection so expect to see lots of nautical designs and bright colors.

Here are a few photos from the launch:
Host Issa Litton looking incredibly svelte as she welcomed the media.

Pottery Barn is very Americana, not really the style of our home. But I do need new bed linens to match my tufted headboard, plus I want bold sheets for my boys. We also want new rugs and maybe thick towels. I'm also tired of our throw pillows and I liked the throw pillows that I saw at Pottery Barn.

The store occupies two floors. The staircase is pretty steep and high so I didn't explore the upstairs even though everyone told me to climb up. Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Baby are on the second level, you see, but I just gave birth and so didn't want to venture the climb. There's an elevator but it wasn't operational yesterday.

So I plan to drag my husband to Pottery Barn this weekend! If you see us, say hi!

I couldn't take a lot of pictures because my hands were full of cuteness so do head on over to Chuvaness since she has tons of photos.

I also didn't get to see a lot of the merchandise since this was my first time out in a long while so I spent the 45 minutes I was there chatting with old and new media friends. When I saw this photo on Cecile's blog, I gasped. I must have that gray Chevron rug!!! It's so Topaz Mommy!!!

Pottery Barn is at the Central Square, the new mall at the west end of Bonifacio High Street. It's super new, like there's nothing open yet save for Baskin-Robbins and Pottery Barn. Make the trip anyway, mommies! The new shop is so gorgeous!

P.S. To pregnant mommies, new mommies and breastfeeding mommies, check out my cute dress! It's a maternity dress that you can also use when you nurse baby! Shop it at Elin!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Piero's birthday

Topaz Daddy here again for the traditional birthing post.  I am taking over the blog! Frances is busy with non-stop breastfeeding right now, so she rarely has two hands free. Piero is a very hungry boy. But I am getting ahead of myself...

And so it began just after midnight on July 3, Thursday. We got to the hospital at 3AM when F's contractions were 10 minutes apart. She has always delivered super fast, so we figured it would be a good idea to get to the hospital early.

Ooh lookee! Contractions. 35 means it's a moderate contraction a.k.a. F scratching at the walls in pain.

It's not obvious in the picture but Frances was in a lot of pain this time around. She says it was her most painful labor, and I believe it. It was also the longest. We're normally in the recovery room by the time the sun rises. I told her to ask for the drugs, and once the epidural was in, it was mostly smooth sailing. F even took a nap between contractions.

Almost showtime! Here I am, all dressed up in scrubs.

Hellooooo big boy. No wonder why F was in such pain. He looks like a 1-month old!

For those who are counting, he was 3.55kg, or 7lbs 13oz. The time was 8:23 am.

Moments later. Happy mommy. Good job! She pushed out that big baby in three pushes.

And here we all are, relieved, ecstatic, sleepy, proud.

One of Piero's first pictures. The doctors were cleaning him up.

His whole name is Piero Raoul Amper Sales. Frances and I are big on the history and meanings of words. Piero is an Italian version of Peter, which means "The Rock." Raoul is another version of Raul, and it means "wolf counsel."


We have visitors! The first ones to arrive at our room are always from Nuffnang (they handle F's ad partners for her blog, Topaz Horizon). They always arrive the day F gives birth and always with huge flowers and yummy food. Thanks, Nuffies!

Also, our first two boys are here! Hi Kuya Vito and new Kuya Iñigo!

Sleep during the day, party all night.

With the proud grandparents, my mom and my dad.

Iñigo checks out the merchandise.

Frances and the boys with  F's sister, Jacqui, who saved us all by taking care of the kids when labor began. She braved Antipolo to Mandaluyong at 2AM for the little guys.

We had more guests but forgot to whip out the camera. We were too busy trying to escape from the hospital. We had just learned that it was possible for Frances and the baby to get discharged the day after giving birth, so we went for it. The boys didn't want to spend another night away from their mother.

Our first family picture just before we left the hospital. My heart is full.

Touchdown at home. Hooray!

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