April 20

The Casa Armas Tapas Y Restaurante experience

IMG_0591For my birthday, hubby and I decided to go low key and spend a quite dinner at Casa Armas Tapas in Y Restaurante in Greenbelt 2. Spanish is the theme for restaurant and is very much evident in their décor. Here is my take on our experience:

Ambiance:

The restaurants décor matches the overall theme of the restaurant. However, there are only a handful of customers considering it is a Friday night. It was not even our first choice because it is not that inviting since from the outside it looks dim but since everywhere else is full, we decided to give it a swing.

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Food: If it is your first time to dine in here, their menu can be very overwhelming because of the numerous items to choose from. They also have a wide array of wines and spirits on their menu. Although inviting, we did not order any wine that night since I will be driving home and hubby still has work after our dinner.

We initially tried choosing on our own from the menu but later decided that since it is our first time to dine in Casa Armas, it will be better to ask the waiter what their specialties are, and later, those are what we ordered:

Paella Marinera (Seafood Paella) – This is my favorite and well deserved to be called their specialty. The chef was very generous with the serving of

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shrimps, squid, fish, shellfish and more. The flavor complements the taste each seafood to the rice. One can easily order the Paella alone and he will be very satisfied. It is already a full meal on its own.

Callos – With just the right amount of taste of tomato sauce mixed with full ingriedients such as tripe, garbanzos, carrots and potatoes, their Callos reminds me so much of home cooked meal I enjoyed when I was a kid. Mom would surely approve of this. 

Beef Tapa –Their beef was well seasoned and very tender. For a non-beef lover, I enjoyed this meal so much. I like that it is not oily considering it is fried.

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Calamares A La Plancha con Alioli (Grilled Squid) – hubby’s favorite for the night. The squid was grilled to perfection; tender and juicy. None of the squid served to us was chewy, an indication that it is overcooked. We can taste the pinch of salt, pepper and lemon without overshadowing the flavor of the squid. All are cooked just right. The dips are very good to, perfect match for the squid.

Value for Money

Considering the serving size, which is small, food is pricey. Tapas (Appetizers) ranges from P240-500. The Callos is an appetizer and it looks just enough for one person. Main course ranges from P300-800 and the ones that we tried (the squid and Tapa) have generally small servings.

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Service

Waiters are courteous and immediately attends to you when called. Although the Paella took some time to be served, I will say that it is worth the wait.

Overall Dining Experience

Overall it was good because of the quality of food served but we will probably visit the restaurant on special occasions only or for date nights because of the price.

 

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Note: This is not a paid advertisement. The blogger came and left as a paying customer. Reviews written above are based on personal experience on the day we visited the restaurant.

April 20

The Relaunch

cropped-banner2.jpgbanner4.jpgbanner4.jpgWow, it has been almost a year since I last posted a blog. Normally, the next line will be “time flies fast”, but not for me. The few months that I have been on blogging hiatus, my family and I are finding ways to make my son better. Since I am no medical practitioner, I will not get into the details of my son’s medical journey here for I may give inaccurate or outdated information. But all I can say is this, the battle that we fought is long and frustrating. There is no one direct medication. There are several options but the effect is on a case to case basis. It can be addressed by just one, or a combination of two or combination of three or more; it is a series of trial and error until you get the right one. Imagine how frustrating that can be. Some were lucky enough to “get it” on the first try, but some takes months, for others, even years. At times I feel helpless and shaken. When you are a parent, the only thing that you want is for your children to be happy and healthy. You will do everything in your power to give them those two. But sometimes we forget that not everything is in our power. And when we lose that power, we feel helpless, insecure and vulnerable. The feeling that we have then can be compared to a person who suddenly walked into a dark alley and he will just have to rely on someone else’s instruction over the phone on how he will get out. That was how the past few months were like for us. Going through that changed us as a family.

In the dark alley that we took, God was our “person on the other line” guiding us on our way out. We did everything that we can, yes, to provide our son with the best health care even to the extent of buying medicine overseas, and at the same time, we kept asking God to guide us as we go through the experience. 4th quarter of last year, we were able to walked out of the dark alley. God showed us the way. It was a breakthrough for our family; another miracle, but not maybe very obvious for others. Our son is cured (for good i hope and pray), and is now making up for lost time and skills. He is catching up and we are giving him his own time to do so. When you are a parent of a child with a colorful medical history, the only thing that will matter to you is that they are healthy. Period. Milestones, skills; they will  take a backseat and trust me, you will not be even bothered by it.

And because faith is our major tool during our most trying times as a family, I only see it proper to relaunch my blog on this most important day in our Catholic faith. Easter. Easter symbolizes redemption, new beginnings, hope. I am not going back to blogging because things are all so well and perfect. Like every family, I know that ours will have our series of ups and downs. I am blogging again because I realized that there is so much I can share to other moms like me. And thru your comments i learn as well. I want to inspire others, especially who are going thru the same challenges that we went through.

So here’s to the new Mom Kat’s Notes. I do hope to see your comments on my post soon! Enjoy reading and Happy Easter!

June 9

Mom Kat Recommends: TEAM UMIZOOMI

Team Umizoomi is a Nickelodeon show of three friends who takes on different adventures in order to help their friends. The main objective of the show is to teach preschoolers the concept of math such as counting, shape sorting, patterns, additions, subtractions and skip counting. I also liked how it teaches the value of team work and  patience. My son started watching its episodes even before he started school. On his second year in pre-school, they started having more math drills even at home.   I noticed he did not have a hard time at all. I can say that the show helped him early on.

If kids will be exposed to television, this will be a good show for them. I am not sure if this is still shown in other countries. Just check the schedule of the Nickelodeon channel in yours. But if not, there are several episodes available in YouTube. Below is a good epidose and in HD too! Happy watching!

March 30

Letter to Hendrix on his 1st Birthday

March 15, 2013
My Dearest Baby Hendrix, 

As the clock strikes twelve on March 15, 2013, I look at you with tears in my eyes, and greatfulness in my heart. Finally, it’s your first birthday my son! Words cannot express how happy I am. I’ve longed prayed for and waited for this day, and several times I feared that it will never happen. I look at you now very at peace while you sleep when exactly a year ago I am not even sure if I will have the chance to see you. I still remember so vividly when you came out, I did not get the chance to hold you or even look at you because you have to be immediately taken to NICU. But I heard you cry; a loud one,  which seems to tell me “Mommy, I’m gonna be fine. I’ll see you soon.” The next few days was a daze with regular updates from your doctors; all of them asking us to pray hard. The next few days I pushed myself to get better so that I will be able to see you inside NICU. I was so determined to be with you but Dad wanted me to wait. I could not understand and I found it unfair for he can see you everyday and talk to you while I’m only allowed to see you by the window in which the view is not very near. Dad tried to delay me seeing you but when the day came when he could not stop me anymore, I excitedly walked inside NICU for the first time eager to see you. And when I saw you, that was when I knew why Dad wanted me to be strong enough for our first meeting. He knew my mother’s heart will melt. You were so small; tiny and very fragile, and with tubes and line on your arms, legs and mouth, Your hand can barely hold my thumb. I was heartbroken. That was not what I intend for you to be on your first few days of life. My tears shed and I whispered to you how sorry I am. I closed my eyes several times hoping to realize that I was just in a dream. But when I opened my eyes, I am still in NICU and you are still there inside the incubator surrounded by machines. On my way out, your doctor, Dra. Uy, consoled us and said that you’re fighting to survive and that’s what you’ve done the past 365 days; fight your way to reach this day. After 3.5 months in NICU, 3 hospitalizations thereafter, two of which are in PICU, I am so proud and thankful of how you’ve fought your way thru life. You are our miracle baby, a living proof that nothing is impossible with prayer. For the past year, Dad and I remember March 15 as a day of uncertainty, worry, and fear. Today, you change all that. Now we can already see March 15 as a joyous day; a day of celebration. I pray that it will be a fresh start for you. I know everyday is not easy for you, anak. With what some babies can do so easily, you have to work ten times as hard. But I want you to know how proud I am of you. It was a roller coaster ride the past year with some ups and and several downs but I can see how hard you are trying to keep up with everything. I wish I can make things easier and simple for you, my son. I may not show it to you but my heart breaks whenever you’re having a hard time eating or when you cry because you’re having a hard time in therapy. But please know that everything that we are doing now, all these therapy and weekly doctors’ appointments are for your own good. It is not every day that I am a strong mom. There are times that I get weak, both emotionally and spiritually, especially when I see you having a hard time. Several times I almost asked God why He is allowing you to go through so much difficulty. But everytime I reach that point, there will be reminders of your past; an urge to look at your photos on your first day of life, a sudden message from someone telling me to hang on or just you smiling or laughing while looking at me; these things I believe are God’s way of reminding me of how far you’ve come. God could’ve taken you from us on several occasions, but He did not. He allowed you to survive, and with that I must trust in His grand plan for you. I know I have no right to question God because He gave me what I beg from Him upon your birth, and that is for you to be with us. I know that God entrusted you to us because He knows that we can take care of you, and that  is what Dad and I intends to do for the rest of our lives.
Hendrix, on your first birthday, Dad and I only have the highest hopes and dreams for you. My constant prayer is for you to be always healthy and happy. Dad and I promise that we will give you the best quality of life possible for you . May God continue to give you strength especially now that we are catching up on what might have still be developed during the 3 more months that you should’ve been inside my tummy. I also hope that by the time you are old enough to understand everything that is going around you, we’re all ready past all the therapy and constant doctors appointments. I want you to look forward to weekends as family time; wherein you, Dad, Kuya and I are going places having a good time. Hendrix, I pray that one day you will be able to read this and know just how much we love you and how thankful we are that you here with us now. We are past the “one day a time” period. Now, we are taking it one year at time. We have one major hurdle this year but im hopeful that you will be able to get through it. Thank you for being so strong and so brave. You may not say it but I know you love us too by the way you look at us. Happy, happy first birthday my son. Always know that there are so many of us who loves you and who is inspired by you. We will forever be proud of you my baby bunso. I love you so much.

 Love,

 

 

 

Mommy

 

 

Category: My Preemie