The Best Block Party!

While I have always looked forward to our neighborhood’s block party, to the point of clearing out our calendar for this day, this year’s was so far the best. Evan was big enough Tom and I didn’t have to worry about him wandering off to the other streets, a couple of my friends and their kids came over to join us and the weather was perfect. Even Tom lingered for the most part of it.

Evan shares my sentiments, calling it “the best day of my life ever!” Why wouldn’t he? Playdate with Charlene in the morning after mass, block party in the evening and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” outdoor movie with the neighborhood kids at night.

Looking forward to next year’s!

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This Blog Post In Pictures

Did I mention I am busy with work? Oh yes, I have in my every blog post since April I think, hehehe. Been working for 2 (or 3?) weekends in a row and even the July 4th holiday (it was too hot to venture outside anyway). I’ll make up for my absence by posting a lot of pictures in this blog post. Well, the other day I have submitted the final pdfs for printing the second edition of the 150plus page catalog and 2 inserts. The week before I finished a 60+ page of handbook as well. Add to this my boss/client is out of the country so he made me in charge of holding the fort. Thankfully, I have only 1 project left for now and that is to make an interactive version of the catalog. I was doing market check last night and I thought to myself, hey I can specialize in this. It’s like a combination of website design and print. Very cool, interesting stuff.

Well on to the promised pictures. The first one is our first time trip to 6 Flags mid June. I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy it but I did. Even rode a few of the milder rides and got me thinking to put the tougher rides in my bucket list. Just to get my adrenaline going. And oh, I was able to squeeze in an hour and a half of work in Six Flags, thanks to my laptop.

The next couple of pictures are the usual of Evan and his books. The first is Evan asking for a baby pig after reading Charlotte’s Web. Can you hear him saying “Please?”

The second photo is him reading Phantom Tollbooth. The second book was recommended to me by a couple of friends after they say the baby pig photo on Facebook. Curious about the book myself I read one chapter a night to him before bedtime. He probably got tired of waiting for me so he started reading it on his own.
Evan is pretty busy with sports camp this summer but I also want him not to forget school stuff so I have him do a few pages of an activity book everyday. This is his take on the difference between needs and wants:

Aside from freelancing, I am also teaching a couple of afternoons a week. This is a photo of me when a potential student in the Youth Computer Graphic tutorial stood me up. My next class, Photoshop Elements Advance, was in full attendance though.
It’s been a long time since I posted a photo of me and my filipina friends and here’s one from yesterday. We’ve known each other for close to 8 years and we don’t see each other as often but when we do the talks, giggles and hilarity are non-stop.

Before I got married to Tom I have always thought I may not be lucky in love but I was lucky in friends and family. Only to find out when I met Tom that I was lucky in all three. It’s a blessing I never fail to thank God everyday.

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Our Father’s Day Gift

My husband very hard to find a perfect gift for. Then I had an Aha! moment. Why not make a painting of that print he is so in love with but wouldn’t buy for himself because it costs almost $200? So I bought a $17 canvas and a $7 big tube of white acrylic. The rest of the colors I already have from years back. I was so excited and so was Evan:
I even had an assistant who was a big help with the under paintings.
For the above painting session, the third day (we paint in the morning and in the afternoon right after Evan’s sports camp), Evan was in charge of painting the waters. He suggested, “let’s paint shark in the lake.” A when he accidentally dabbed a blue paint on the shoreline, he excused it with, “that’s just a wave.”
Suffice it to say Tom loved his surprise gift (kudos to Evan who was really good at keeping our secret for 6 days!). Tom spent Father’s Day morning going around the house trying to decide where to put it. He decided on the wall facing him from where he sits on the dining table.

I honestly didn’t think I would be able to pull it off but even if I worked 30 hours that week, still did my running early in the morning, still gave Evan piano lessons EVERYDAY (also did his haircut), put in a little time on my personal project I remember being so happy. Painting is very therapeutic and it was fun to do with Evan. I am excited for our next collaborative project. Maybe I will be joining an art fair next summer, who knows. With Evan being 6 years old, I AM finally getting a lot of MYSELF back,  maybe that’s why I was so happy.

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From School To Summer

How time flies. It wasn’t too long ago I was dropping Evan off to school for his first day in Kindergarten and now summer has come. With me being conscious that I could be flooded with work anytime and my time being involved with Evan’s activities becoming limited, I over-involved myself and signed up to chaperone 2 field trips on consecutive weeks.The first one was the day after Evan’s birthday, at the Nature Museum. This I looked forward to going because of the butterfly habitat, it was actually the first time I’ve heard of this.
The second trip (the last of 6 field trips for the schoolyear) was at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I brought comic books for my wards and they were the quietest during the relatively short ride to the zoo.
During this visit I heard some of Evan’s friends tell him how “it’s not fair” (a kindergartener’s favorite expression) that Evan’s mom can get to go with him during field trips. A couple of more years, having moms on his field trips won’t be cool anymore, so I am glad I was able to do a few of it this year.Two days after his last day of school, Evan reconnects with Charlene for a trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum. They tried the photo booth for the first time but I think they need to wait a few more years to get better results.The following afternoon we spent it at the beach, even had a picnic/dinner of pancit, buffalo wings, brownies (yum!) on the sandy shore with Charlene’s parents.While I was growing up, Saturdays or Sundays were spent at the beach with my family and hordes of cousins. Many years later and 8,000 miles from the Philippines the beach is how I plan to spend most of our weekends too, at least in the summertime. Ironically, our beach here is a lot nearer (just a walking distance) than the one we go to in my childhood hometown.

While Evan may not have the siblings and cousins that I had to play with, I don’t really worry about that aspect because Evan being the extrovert that he is ( I don’t know from which gene he gets it from) has no problem approaching other kids and finding friends to play with. It’s funny how Evan was initially asking Tom and me to put sand over his legs while all I wanted to do was relax. So I told him, “Evan, we are not your playmates.” It might seem harsh but after a few minutes he made friends with another boy (shown above) and they had fun building a “pool” for the next couple of hours. =)

Looking forward to spending the rest of the summer with Evan – in between his sports camp schedule and my summer teaching job AND pending freelance projects, that is. It’s going to be fun.

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Super Six!

Six years ago this little guy came and changed our lives forever. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.So for this year I wanted it to be as simple as possible since I didn’t know what my schedule was going to be like. Sure enough I got another project but luckily I was able to squeeze in Evan’s boys-only Spy themed birthday party.

Evan thought of the Spy theme way back in March, long before McDonald’s came out with it’s Spy Gear Happy Meals.

I saw a photo of this cake on the internet and I knew I had to make it. What I didn’t know was the amount of butter and egg (whites only) I needed. I was nervous at the possibility of flopping because what a waste of ingredients it would be.

Fortunately, I made it work. It had the tastiest and fluffiest frosting too. No more powdered sugar frosting in the future for me, thank you very much.

On his real birthday I went over to his school to bring ice cream and Pirate Booty chips for his birthday celebration.

The pre-packaged ice cream in a cone was such a hit with his classmates that I got hugs from probably 8 students. Even the teachers (his class has 2 teacher assistants) loved it saying the size was just perfect for the kids. I guess the poor children are tired of the usual cupcakes. I’ve seen a lot of them wasted, with just the frosting being eaten, that I knew I had to bring something different.

After school, I took him to his swim class, then to the comic books store where he got to pick 2, then to our favorite nearby restaurant. We capped his special day with a visit to the beach (the above photo was taken around 7:45pm). I asked him why he was taking his comic book to the beach. He told me, he just wanted to read and relax.

Indeed what an exciting day it has been for him. And for us too.

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