2008 New Year celebration and pics
Friday, January 04, 2008
Note: Long post with pics.

And now I've posted batch 2 of our holiday pics, the New year celebration. Check them all out in this album. I've uploaded videos as well, and you can find them here.

Read on for the lowdown on our celebration with Mr. Frost's side of the family.

Brief Notes:
December 26, 2007, Wednesday - Jewel gave birth to VALERA YZABEL MORALES-JOVEN at around 7AM, making Ping, her husband, a very proud father. (The JOVENs)

December 27, Thursday - Ate Jenny, their eldest, arrived at Manila in the afternoon all the way from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte with her husband, Kuya Franz, and kids, Jem and Cheska. (The FELIPEs)

December 28, Friday - Jewel was discharged from the hospital and they brought baby Yza home.

Ping picked us up at Fort Bonifacio in the afternoon. We loaded up and went on a long drive to the far end of Quezon City. We had to stop over at the University of the Philippines (UP) campus, though, because we had some engine trouble. After about an hour, we went on and arrived at their house a little past 5PM.

I let Issen rest for a bit, then I gave him a quick bath. After that, Mr. Frost and I went to SM Fairview with the Felipes for some last minute shopping. Mr. Frost and I have been wanting to buy Issen a small chair and we did buy one at Toy Kingdom. Here it is being used by the tyke when we got home. I chose this one because of its bright color and because it has a picture of a cow, one of Issen's favorite animals these days, at the back rest.

Reading with his Ate Cheska, sitting on his new TV seat

Anyway, he's at a stage when his stranger anxiety is at its peak, but surprisingly, he warmed up very easily to his Ate Cheska. The sweet little girl read to him while he was on his new chair and voila! Instant best friend! Look at him so comfy while Cheska was reading to him. All throughout our stay there, Issen was giving Cheska hugs that he usually reserve for people he likes very much.

The next day, we were supposed to go with the Felipes to the Global Fun Carnival and the Science Expo at the SM Mall of Asia. However, I wasn't feeling well so we just stayed home. I took a couple of pics of baby Yza, and here's our pretty baby girl.

Next morning, Sunday, Kuya Jem greeted Issen "good morning" with his Christmas gift: a classic Thomas and Friends train set. Jem got it as a gift 12 years ago, when he was just a year old himself. Amazing how he (and his parents) took care of that toy for 12 long years! And because of that amazement, I was not able to take a picture of the assembled set. But I did something better: took a video of Issen and the moving train! Click here to see the short video. And here's a pic that Mr. Frost took of Issen's amused face while watching the train move.

Reaching for the train

Monday, we prepared for that night's celebration. My body still felt like lead and I can't move around much. Anyway, we heard mass at around 7PM then we pretty much waited for 12 midnight. I was able to take a picture of Issen fooling around with his Dada at the gate. Look at that precious smile.

Behind bars and happy about it. Should we start worrying? Or saving for bail money?

Unfortunately, Issen fell asleep at around 930PM. He woke up a few minutes before we start opening gifts, but that meant we have a cranky little monster with us. He won't go with anyone else but me, and you can imagine how hard it was for me considering the other load I have to carry inside my body.

Anyway, here are pics of Mr. Frost and his sisters with their respective families.

The Felipes: Tito Franz, Tita Jenny, Kuya Jem, and (in front) Ate Cheska

The Jovens: Tito Ping, Tita Jewel, and Baby Yza

The Frosts: See the cranky little boy?

And here's the whole lot. Nope, no chance of Issen smiling in this one.

Our growing family

We then moved on to the opening of the gifts. Issen was still cranky, but he calmed down bit by bit while we were opening his presents. He finally got his good mood when he saw his new musical hippo toy. Check out in this video how he went around chasing after the toy.

"I own you, Hippo."

We got that gift from the N@W Christmas party, but we opened it just now because we wanted all toy gifts (I kinda figured it was a toy) will be opened during our stay here.

At 11PM, Issen was ready to go back to sleep, so we cleaned him and put on his jammies. His Dada sat beside him as they watch his Sesame Street videos while I get a decent meal. A few minutes before midnight, Issen was fast asleep.

Look at Dada so proud to have put Issen to sleep.

We transferred him to the bedroom and watched the fireworks outside. I kept on going inside to check on him and fortunately, Issen was not awakened by the noise that the midnight firecrackers brought.

We just had several "kwitis" that the kids enjoyed lighting up with Jessa, Issen's sitter. We also had an improvised bamboo cannon that Ping made. Here's a video of how the cannon worked. Other than that, we contented ourselves watching the neighbors' fountains and other types of fireworks and firecrackers. It's a kinda nice feeling being entertained by expensive fireworks and firecrackers and knowing you didn't spend a cent on them.

That pretty much summed up our New Year celebration with Mr. Frost's sisters. It may not be much, but for us, those four days meant a lot. They only have the three of them left for a family, and it brings us great joy that we can all be together at least this time of the year.

More pics in this album, in case you wanna see more.

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