Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Year, I Learned

Motherhood brings with it a lot of lessons, some of which you don't really want to learn (like washing a poop-ridden tush).

But I believe one can pretty much categorize all those lessons under two major themes: 1) how much more you understand where your own mother/parents were coming from and how limitless your capacity to give of yourself can be.

This year has seen me lose more marbles than my last ten years. But it has also been a very illuminating ride for me, one that made me realize how much I should be grateful for, and how many things I do not really need or want or care about.

I wish I can say i'm less selfish now... but at least I can say it is actually harder to be selfish because I have been changed in such a big way.

*~*

There was a procession of sorts in our barangay. They call it the Tatarin (but it didn't resemble anything of the movie) and they said those who wanted to get pregnant should dance under the piñata-like thingies that are opened to shower the procession with flower petals. Well, I was a bit embarassed about doing that but I danced some with my son in my arms while watching the procession. Hopefully, that, coupledwith the massage I got earlier, will prime me up for conception asap.

It would be such an honor, such a blessing, to be deemed worthy of another child.

*~*

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Vigilant Mom

One way moms spell vigilance is making sure important things are insured. So with the coming new year, make sure you make notes for yourself for all those insurance payments and allow enough time to research and compare auto insurance quotes or home insurance rates, whichever you're planning to get (or whichever it is that you still don't have but should have).

Even with the global economic crisis and insurance companies declaring bankruptcy, it's still really a wise move to get insurance for your home, car and life.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mommy Gratified

I'm such a rewarded, appreciated, acknowledged Mum. Gratified to the hilt because my husband thinks, and tells me, that am doing a good job raising our son.

Had we been living in New York, i'd probably buy him New York Yankees tickets just to show him in turn how much I appreciate his involvement in the whole parenting process.

And our son is a testament to just how much we have both been committed to raising him. He adores us both and is such a happy, healthy child. I love that he's generally eating and sleeping healthy, and is playful and engaging and very sweet. It's only been a year, I know, but it's been one great year parenting him.

I just hope I keep being up to the challenge. And that I continue getting all the validation I need to keep going.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Higher Level of Mommyness

You know you've hit yet another level of mommyhood when you really forget and do not mind the fact that none of the presents under the Christmas tree bears your name.

You're just happy and feeling special that your kid is getting lots of presents. And you open these gifts with glee for/with your child. And you appreciate the giftgivers more for the really thoughtful gifts (like the cousin who noticed that you still haven't bought your child a dining set, or the friend who knows you'd like your kid to grow loving books).

Parenthood really teaches us to learn to love without selfishness more and more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Moms Remember

If you're like me who took lots and lots of pictures of your tot in his newest outfits while opening his gifts, or when he was playing with the box and wrapper (and while his cousin and uncle plays with the toy itself), and after he's fallen asleep, exhausted from all the merrymaking, keep your sd cards now. Better yet, upload them in your laptop and your spouse's PC. And if you're real OC, upload them on the net.

Otherwise, the merrymaking in malls or somewhere else might result in broken or lost memory cards.

Make it a habit to backup your pictures/files. It sure saves us tears.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On Being Organized

I am not one of those who really loves organizing things, eventhough that was part of my job before. And I know that I can be very good at it when I put my mind to it. Why, my wedding coordinators before had little to do because I really took care of everything.

Down to the last detail.

But I maintain that i'm not OC.

And when you become a mom, you would really need to get organized. Some resort to the use of PDAs to remind them of the tasks that need to be done, but I believe most moms go on auto-pilot and pure adrenaline rush. That's how we usually get to pay all the bills on time, coordinate carpools and playdates as well as pack the vacation bags and make sure even the pets are fed.

Because if you don't organize and coordinate and plan, you would lose your sanity. And you won't get to enjoy the really important things, like your child's childhood (the only time that he'd be lovestruck with you and worship the ground you walk on).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yakee Today

Yakee slipped in the CR when I was momentarily distracted by my sister's chatter while bathing him. Good thing, everything was in slow motion so he was more surprised than hurt.

He also loves the carollers so we're being forced to give them money for entertaining him (supposedly, we'd only be generous on the 24th). I got a little bit inventive and started singing carols to him while beating an ice cream container. He started preferring my carols and got scared of the carollers.

Weird kid.

I also exerted effort for him today, buying him merienda at Chowking and venturing out with him on my own. Unfortunately, that didn't amount much to him, he still refused to be fed by me all day.

Sigh.

I just tell myself that maybe, he really likes the space away from Mum.

A Boy After Mommy's Heart



I need not have worried. And the wait was sure worth it. The Tales of Beedle the Bard was every bit as engaging and delightful as I expected it to be... and I cannot wait to be reading it to my son.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mommies, Careful, Careful

Most parents I know, a lot of them moms, end up eating their kids' orders and food. Aside from licking what's left of the batter, picking on the morsels from the fudgies, and eating the rejects from the baked macaroons, etc.

That's how Moms end up resorting to the use of weight loss pills like Lipovox or special workouts. We're not careful about the extra we eat just because they're leftovers.

So when heaping portions on your child's plate... make sure it's just a single serving. You can always add more to the plate after. And when attending birthday parties, do not start on your food with your kid. Wait for his leftovers because chances are, it will be enough to fill you as well. You can then take home your share and eat it, not as an extra treat, but as a snack or main meal later. Same goes for ordering food.

If this scheme doesn't save your waist, it should at least save your wallet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kids as Nurses

I think, aside from the demand abroad, parents are inclined to egg their kids to take up nursing because they expect their kids to take better care of them when they grow older.

Sounds logical enough, right?

But for whatever reason kids are being sent to take up Nursing, I just hope parents will also take the time to enrol them in proper training institutions. At least I can get my cousin and sister to consider enrolling at St. Xavier's for MS nursing to complement their bachelor degrees gotten here in the Philippines. What's more, St. Xavier offers online courses with a weekend of applied campus experience. It would work perfectly for them as they're still adjusting to life in the US. This way, they'd still be able to compete with the other graduates there as they will be trained according to what the US job market demands of its caregivers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Divi, A Mom-on-a-Budget's Friend

I've been to Divisoria twice to shop for our nieces, nephews and godchildren's gifts. And because we're strapped for cash right now (what with the one-income setup), I have limited my budget per child to P100 or less for none-godchildren and P200 for godkids.

That way, even if we end up giving these kids money, we'd still not end up overspending on them.

And Divisoria is a haven for moms like me. There are so many toys there (one can get lost in Ading's Toy Store for hours) that one can buy that is sure to deliver giggles of happiness from a child. Loot for loot bags an also be bought cheap there, so yeah, it's also real easy to go overbudget because of all the good, cheap buys.

And really, the crowd is very manageable. Maybe it's because I go on Wednesdays and start in the morning... or maybe the night market also helps.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Would we be House Hunting Next Year?

Sure, the real estate industry in the country isn't as booming or promising, not even as rewarding, as Wilmington NC real estate but it still does offer a lot of options right now. More specifically, more flexible and workable payment options that is.

So a SAHM in her 30s who is heeding her ticking biological clock (like me) can consider investing on a home without having to forego babymaking as well. Pag-Ibig has certainly made it very doable, especially if you're willing to settle on something good as opposed to your ideal home. After all, most of those who do get to purchase their dream homes are in their retirement years already, after years of hard work and vigilant saving, and only really after all the chickens have flown the coop.

So, would we be house hunting next year? Most probably. I'll just insist on three bedrooms at least, no matter how small, so that there'd be a girls' room and boys' room aside from our room. And a yard for Yakee to play in, of course.

Life rewards the brave and the diligent, so am sure we'd do alright.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Having More Kids

aka My Reasons for Wanting Kids Without Big Age Gaps
(the other side of the coin in italics... so as not to be totally one-sided, plus, everything can be turned into something positive, or at least, workable/livable)

~ I got married late. I hope to be finished giving birth at age 35 and I am now 31 (with a one-year old). Hopefully, i'd have two more.

~ My first pregnancy was a difficult one and I fear that age might complicate the next ones. So I want to give birth the youngest I can to all three, without totally compromising my body, my sanity and the family I already have. So giving birth every two years sounds ideal for my circumstance.

~ I am not easily impregnated. I fear waiting longer would also lengthen the waiting period (or challenge my fertility more because i'm polycystic and irregular at best)
(although pregnancies in a woman's 30s and 40s are more at risk of complications to both mother and child, technology and modern medicine has come a long way to come to their aid... conception is also facilitated by many different kinds of fertility treatments now)

~ I quit my job to be as involved as I can in my child's life. I also dropped my subjects because I couldn't manage it with my son's demands. I want to be able to give the same level of devotion to the younger kids. But I also miss certain things that I cannot fully enjoy with a baby. So might as well have kids who will cease to be babies together than to already be enjoying night outs again only to have to stay home again for a squalling, needful child. The culture shock of switching roles and giving up social enjoyments is costly to one's sanity, believe me. So I hope, by 40, I can do other things for ME again without worrying over an infant or toddler.
(I can have those ME times if I really want them, i'd just have to adjust my thinking and adapt another lifestyle and maybe adjust my standards... like weaning a child early so I can go mountaineering already, getting a yaya so I can have nights off more regularly, etc)

~ They say a plane uses around half of its fuel/energy source upon taking off. The same is true for mothering babies. So I want to have the next ones when I still fully remember attending to one. I don't want to have already adjusted to a pre-schooler and then have to learn all over again handling an infant.
(Learning to nurture is like riding a bicycle. Although it will take effort again to adjust to a wee one, it still wouldn't be as hard as learning for the first time)

~ This is the youngest i'll ever be and I really want to have babies when I still have the energy and the health to run after them. I also don't want to be sick or dead at 50 and leaving children behind.
(on the upside, having kids later may mean they'd have gentler, more mellow parents... not one quick to anger or frustration. And kids are resilient, so as long as other capable hands will be there for them, they can still grow up happy.)

~ I am hoping to homeschool my kids. So having them with close age ranges will mean i'll be finished with homeschooling sooner rather than later.

~ I fear that bigger age gaps make for more jealous older siblings. I think that the younger a child is, the easier he accepts the new one and makes room for it as opposed to an older child, who has to give up more years of 'baby' role.
(then again, having a much older sibling will mean extra helping hands for the new baby and someone who you can communicate his feelings of jealousy and displacement at a more verbal level)

~ Young babies limit one's choices in travelling and going out, and an older child might want or ask for outings which we cannot accommodate because of a baby. I want to limit those possibilities so the older child wouldn't feel restricted so much by the younger child, and when they're more grown up, the younger child wouldn't feel so denied/left behind by the older child
(parents can still manage these through a divide and conquer scheme, wherein one parent goes with the older child while the other attends to the other... besides, children will also have to share their parents anyway and be considerate of everyone in the family, even if it's their birthday)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Beasts In Children

My friend's 11-year old daughter got stoned for being Asian in New Zealand.

Sadly... children nowadays are becoming prey to fellow children. There wasn't as much bullying in my school days as there are being reported now. And kids are even being bullied in cyber space. And they are committing suicide, getting depressed, and losing their way much earlier than before.

Of course I blame the parents.

Only hurt and morally crippled kids can bear to hurt innocents. Only hurt, neglected kids can be angry enough to lash out on other kids who are different, to make them feel better and relevant.

I shall never excuse a child's bad behavior but his parents will always be equally accountable, maybe even more so, especially if the child is still really young. It's our job to set them right. It's our job to make sure no parent out there is anguished because her child has just been violated and traumatized.

Britney: Still the Hypocrite

Britney talked about how her sons have been using bad words, which she says they may be hearing their Dad use.

I won't be surprised that Kevin Federline uses the F word around his kids. But I also wouldn't put it past Britney to be doing the same. I love how she's turned her life around (it seems) but she doesn't think it harmless to drink or smoke around her tots, so what's to stop her from cussing?

Please!

Bronx Mowgli

Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson named their son Bronx Mowgli.

I just hope he really grows up cool and talented and handsome and good... because otherwise, his name is horrible.

And I dunno... no matter what Pete and Ashlee says, am with those who believe they chose the name for sheer shock/commercial value.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Mom's Rings

I know... I have lamented about it already before, how my hands are seldom dry from washing one thing or another as I go through my SAHM business.

And I know for a fact that others like me don't get to wear their wedding rings and engagement rings a lot anymore, even when we're going out. They're actually very easy to forget when you're still trying to squeeze your son's foot in a shoe as you go out the door.

And it's really a bummer since I was hoping I could get my husband to buy me an eternity ring too. But that would be pointless really.

And no, wearing my rings all the time is out of the question. My wedding ring is pretty heavy duty but the design (which was brilliant when I first suggested it) is a nightmare for leftover muck. And I do not want anything ruining my pretty engagement ring. I've lost the original stone already so am not about to lose this one.

Then again, it's not like I really need either to remind my child that his mother is loved. Am sure he knows I am, and how he is therefore blessed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mean Mom 2

How can I go from happy-calm to roaring mad?

I don't know why or how... but one minute I was okay, the next I was seeing myself hitting and violently shaking my son from anger and frustration. I was not able to control the sudden anger entirely... I ended up screaming at him.

Ugh.

I love him. And I really try my best to remain calm. And I try my best to be a fun parent. To be an understanding Mom.

Heaven help me. I really don't want to be mean to him...

*~*

At the homeschooling conference we attended, they said spanking your child when you're angry is being selfish, because you'd just be using the spanking to vent your anger, and not really to discipline the child.

And I know it's easier said than done... spanking and not being madat the same time. But I pray God will give me the grace for it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Encounter with Formula

In a way, I am mourning that the day finally came.

On the other hand, I am not really as sad as I thought i'd be.

Hubs and I attended the 2nd Philippine Homeschooling Conference yesterday, which is an all day affair. We decided not to bring Yakee anymore since he'd be more likely disruptive and tired. But since he doesn't nurse as much anymorr, I thought it a bother to work on increasing my milk supply just so I can leave him some breastmilk.

So I bought a small box of Lactum instead, to tide him over for the day. As it happened, he only drank 100 ml of it and in a cup. Now, I really have to keep his bottles away since he obviously wouldn't be using them anymore.

And he's alright, after having taken in formula.

The world didn't crumble as I expected. :)

And he missed me and my breasts... and nursed with a vengeance all through the night. But still, my son has taken in formula and it wasn't the contamination i'd sort of thought it to be. I guess for him, it's like me drinking fresh milk.

Sigh. He's a big boy now really.

Because Winter's Up

... in other parts of the world, some of the Pex Moms have begun lamenting about layering up their kids when they're going out, how much of a hassle it really is, and how kids shouldn't be buckled up in their carseats with thick clothing on (basically, that's like being strapped loosely).

Although i'd love to play in the snow someday, I really don't envy them the extra trouble and worries. Those of us living in tropical clime need not worry about snow chains and damages to the roof and central heating, we need not worry about our tots slipping in the snow or catching colds.

More time and energy to get excited over Christmas then.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Encounters with the Less Fortunate

I regretted last year, not buying presents for my nieces and nephews because I opted to give money instead (which they can use to buy what they really want). Plus, I did just give birth so I wasn't in a shopping mood pre-Christmas. But like what I was saying, I regretted seeing their sad faces because all of the adults didn't buy presents and they had nothing to open after the Noche Buena feast.

Sad!

So I braved Divisoria to shop. We sort of decided we'd actually just give picture frames as gifts to the close families in our lives and I also thought of buying some loot for the Christmas loot bags (so that it wouldn't contain just candy).

Anyway, as I was picking out sticker booklets, two boys also started browsing the rack with me. They asked the seller how much the booklets were worth and have even started counting out their money. But they hesitated a lot, argued about making a purchase, browsed again, counted money again. You get the picture.

I asked them if they liked any and they smiled and said YES. I told them to pick out what they like and they told me they really don't have money for it (when the other boy was counting, I saw he only had around P30-40) so I told them i'd pay for it. I told them to pick two each.

They pointed to the Highschool Musical stickers... and Hello Kitty. I thought it sweet, they wanted stickers for a sister or love interest (they looked about 7 years old to me, but could be older if you factor in poor nutrition). Then they told me they're gay.

They weren't flamboyant nor soft so I was mildly surprised. And then I couldn't help but wonder/worry for them... how it'd be like for them to grow up gay in a world of tough kids and men in the streets of Divisoria. Do their parents know? Are they supportive? Do they get abused for it? How will they help earn for their family... will they keep to selling wares? What about carrying/transporting the heavy goods around? Will they do that?

I really wish those two well.

*~*

On my jeepney ride home, two dirty boys boarded the jeep and the younger one started handing/throwing us envelopes, which basically asks for money. The younger boy's eyes were dilated, and he was acting weird so I wouldn't be surprised if he was high. (I personally don't give money and I feel strongly against enabling the poor to beg.)

As the two were getting off the jeep, after not getting lucky with any of the passengers, another (dirty) boy greeted them and taunted them and spat on the last to get off the jeep... spit landed on my shorts and hand, while other passengers got teenie drops as well.

As annoyed as I was, I couldn't also wait for my son to grow up so I can make him realize how lucky he is... because other boys become lost souls very early in life. Some don't even get to grow up to become men.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mommy, Pet Please

One of the first words my son immitated is the word DOG. And although he can't really talk that distinctly yet, we know when he's 'talking' about one... when he's just seen one on the road or in a book. He just loves them! Even an upset, nervous, incessantly barking one doesn't scare him off.

In fact, he's always eager to hug one... however mangy or angry the dog is.

So my husband has been trying to get me to agree to getting one and some dog supplies. Sigh.

But despite the delight in my son's eyes whenever he sees one, I still really cannot allow for him to have one just yet. I want him to be responsible for his own pet, not Mommy. And he's a handful enough as it is, without me having to deal with yet another needful being dependent on my caring.

Maybe when he's five, we can re-negotiate.

Mothering with Books

Mothering sure is made easier with books. The bright pictures catch your baby's attention, the flaps interest him, and if all else fails, any book is sure worth a lick or gnaw.

Babies have learned to eat books way before dogs learned to eat homeworks, after all.

So aside from the Harry Potter hardbound copies which I hope to pass onto my offsprings, these were the first books I bought. Baby Loony Books from Booksale.

And thanks to thoughtful gift-givers, my son has at least four electronic books as well as Sesame Street books, Brainy Baby books and some Christian books (I love his Baby Bible Book). I've also started investing on classic fairy tales and currently reading this Read-Aloud series of Myths and Legends.

And am halfway through completing the Amelia Bedelia series too!

Hopefully, my son will grow up devouring books as I have, and not literally too... but literary!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Mother's Heart Crying

It was my stupidity really.

Having missed my period for around three weeks now, I thought of testing for pregnancy on the day of my hubby's birthday. I was caught up in my fantasies of waking him up with the happy news, forgetting to brace myself for a negative result.

So I failed to anticipate how depressed i'd get.

How bitter and resentful i'd be... of life, of my husband, and on his birthday too.

But what can I do? I physically long to be pregnant again... for all the wrong and right reasons man can think of. I just really feel that it's time for the next one... and I really want to be 'cooking up' the next one already. So negative results in a pregnancy test will always feel like I was denied, deprived... weirdly enough, it feels like i've lost someone.

That lonesome strip dashed hopes and dreams of a new life, of a new somebody to love and learn from, to raise and nurture, to influence and witness.

Sigh.

*~*

Just for the record though, my one child fills my life with lots of blessings and happiness and reasons to be thankful for. And I really think it is because of this that I want more kids.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sperm Donor News

There is currently a sperm donor shortage in Britain, which they feel was brought about because children resulting from such procedures can now know the identity of their donors.

I'm guessing none of these kids can ever sue their fathers for child support ever, but I guess the possibility of some kid knocking on their door after twenty years isn't worth the trouble of giving a cupful of spermies. Then again, why donate sperm if you'd be weirded out that it would become an actual human being someday?

And I really think children have a right to know who their biological parents are. After all, they pass onto you their physiological inheritance and biological limitations. And indeed, what if you hook up with someone you're biologically related to? Case in point, twins parted at birth who got married in the UK.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Salma Hayek: Addicted to Breastfeeding

Salma Hayek says she's addicted to breastfeeding, finding it impossible to stop breastfeeding her over-a-year old daughter, Valentina.

That's nice news... and am sure more celebs like her being really outspoken about breastfeeding will further the advocacy and result in healthier kids. It may even save lives, especially for marginalized Latin Americans who must look up to her.

And true, breastfeeding isn't a foolproof fat burner. But generally, it does help in shedding much of the pregnancy weight, especially in the first 6 months when a baby doesn't eat solids yet. After that, of course a woman's body wouldn't be working much on milk production so it wouldn't be burning as many calories like before.

I plummeted to 118 lbs. in the first six months after giving birth... and only started gaining weight when my baby also started pon solids. Now that he's generally nursing at nights only, my weight is back to 135 lbs. Then again, I also gained back my voracious appetite after my son started sleeping through the night, so it's a combination of many factors really.

Still, I hope mothers will pander to their vanity at least and breastfeed... burn those calories in the most productive way possible!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Parents and Careers

Parenthood cannot help but rearrange priorities for us.

And sometimes, we feel emboldened to take bigger career risks. Sometimes, however, we realize that slowing down is what we really need, or want. And then, for others, parenthood opens doors to bright ideas and entrepreneurship, one that wouldn't require much time away from home.

And then there are those who take a break away from the corporate world only to return to it after a year or two, feeling refreshed, or less guilty, or having realized that staying home isn't for them. Of course, they may need to check out Austin resumes for some idea on what the world is looking for now, and be willing to start from scratch.

Still, whether parents have held the same job for decades or had a, or several, career change, I just hope they still make it a priority to be involved in their children's lives, even if it may mean having a child help out in the family store.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What to Give Hubby

Husbands have it easy. There are so many things out there they can give their wives as presents. There's food (desserts), jewelry, spa certificates, money (or a new bank account), insurance, trips, etc. aside from all the other girly (flowers, chocolates) and practical (washing machine, steam iron) stuff.

But what's a stay-at-home-Mom to give her techie, geeky husband? Wallets and clothes and belts are as commonly given as Victorinox swiss army watches. I can't really afford the gadgets he lusts for and who knows if we'd ever own a brand new car?

Maybe i'll just give him another child. I can't think of other things as priceless... but then again, he might complain because it would be additional financial obligation for him. Hehe.

Bikini Wax While Pregnant

It may be bad of me to sort of undermine other women's concerns... especially those who are pregnant. After all, we have our own issues and Waterloos, all aggravated by hormones during pregnancy.

But this is one of those pregnancy concerns that can't help but have me wrinkling my brow and saying "WTF!"

And true, since it's never been my habit to get waxed down there (since am allergic to weird things, I dare not risk the wax), maybe it's really the opposite for some women... they feel "naked" when they're more natural. But really, I should think the fact of pregnancy brings about more important concerns and realities.

Like the fact that you're playing host to a life which you're responsible for... which should make you want to avoid anything that might threaten it (and believe me, waxing CAN invite infections aside from ingrown hair).

And the fact that pregnancy hormones may get you hornier, but also make your skin more sensitive.

And should we really discuss how you'd handle pain down there while you're being waxed? Aside from having to expose yourself and who knows what you'll do as the strips are being pulled off! (I mean, do you suck in your tummy? how?)

Like what I posted in a message board... unless one intends to keep her husband administering oral loving to her till she's dealing with lochia and post-partum blues, I really don't see the wisdom of wanting or getting waxed. If your belly is huge, the bush-free va-j-j won't really be seen, right?

And just in case there are women out there who think that when they give birth, they'll be shaved to the quick... be assured that no, the most is they will shave you for a clearer view but that's it. They don't need your flower to be hair-free to sew up episiotomies. (They just need the baby not to be gagging on hair balls! hehe... joke) Some even don't require the shave.

So just trim... with the help of a mirror or by having your spouse help you. Other than this, do not mess with your hair down there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good Only for Milk

Left my son for most part of the day yesterday and he didn't once sign (ask) for milk. My cousin and sister said he was just happy as a lark eating and playing, and even managed to nap for a straight two hours (usually, it's reprieve enough to get him sleeping for an hour)! I didn't leave him any milk, see.

But the minute I arrive, he signals for milk and napped again while nursing. After waking him, he immediately continued playing and didn't even bother Mommy at the PC.

I'm only good for nursing, but even that has become an afterthought for him. Sniff. And he's only a year and a month old but already, it's like he's weaned. Sniff.

*~*

On a funny occurrence though, I let my son walk around without diapers because he pooped an hour before I was due to wash him for bedtime. He pissed on the corner of his pen... and then he pissed again on the floor and played with his piss there. Wehehehe.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sometimes, A Mom Has Got to Shout

I don't like doing it.

Heaven knows I make every effort to use a firm voice instead when disciplining. But sometimes, I really end up shouting. It never escalates into anything really bad, but I know I sound mean sometimes. I know I sound really angry sometimes. I know others get scared that I might start shouting more, or hitting my child (my temper is legendary!). It's a good thing a mother's heart can never be immune to her baby's cries or smiles (like most kids, my son thinks it's still play when I get upset). Weird, am trying to discipline him but he's also teaching me a lot about self-discipline.

And always, he is a saving grace. Just like my husband.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Separation Anxiety - the first one

When I was around eight months pregnant already, I was absolutely impatient! Not only was my body giving out, but I couldn't wait to smell and hold and see my son. I couldn't wait to see his first smile, and hear his first cry.

And yet, I also felt sad around that time because I knew the time when i'd have to really share him was coming. Eventhough his father was very involved in the pregnancy, my son, till he was 40 weeks and some days old, was really all just mine. So yeah, in that aspect, it's kinda hard to beat biological mothers really.

For nine months, I had an exclusive relatioship and attachment with this person. Which was why I was bent on rooming him in. Just the idea that there'd be one second my son will feel scared and confused and abandoned (yikes!) in that cold, sterile nursery is like a knife through my heart. The minute I woke up, I started harassing my husband to get us started on rooming in. The nine hours apart till my son was delivered officially to us for rooming-in was torture for me, considering we nursed twice in that time, and considering that we were first-time parents who didn't know anything about being parents.

And even when my son squalled all night and we ended up more physically and emotionally exhausted, all I kept thinking about was how awful it would be if he was crying that way at the nursery and no one will be hugging him, and he won't be hearing my voice, and he might feel unloved.

So I can't imagine how painful it is for my cousin's wife, who's been separated from her youngest for over a week now. And I can't imagine how other moms saw their hearts through, those who had to leave their baby behind after the delivery because of complications. I can't imagine having to touch my baby while he's in an incubator, unable to hold him.

So in a weird way, maybe it's because God knew my heart couldn't take it that's why He did not (or has not) tried me that way. Kudos really to the brave moms out there who fight for their babies from afar...

Because of Many Nieces and Nephews

... I really wish i'd have a movie room in our future home someday, one that can accommodate home theater seating so that everyone will be comfy as we watch Disney classics.

We'd have popcorn (or maybe my SIL will whip up some churros for us) and be a child with our kids. We'd marvel with them at what's going on, get excited with them, cheer with them, and while away an afternoon or two just being carefree like that.

That way, we also get to monitor what they watch, and readily answer queries they might have about the flick. That would sure be bliss indeed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Help Pray for my Niece Please

When my cousin's wife texted me last week that her blood pressure became unmanageable and she's been scheduled for a CS delivery already, my heart really stopped for them.

She already has three other kids and other complications might happen. I didn't want my nephews and niece to lose their Mom.

And then there's the fact that she was giving birth eight weeks away from term. What if her youngest don't survive?

And there's that hell of a hassle where breastfeeding is concerned, given their circumstance.

So I really fret and prayed with all my might.

God is good. Bianca Serene was born last October 26. Her mother has been discharged already too, but she is still under observation (plus, she really couldn't nurse just yet so she's 'fed' intravenously) because there seems to be some obstruction in her intestines. Which is why I need your prayers. Please help our family pray that she'd steadily gain weight (she was born at only three POUNDS and several ounces) and whatever blockage in her stomach will resolve itself without requiring surgery. Help us pray that Bianca will weather these early storms and have a chance at life. That she will be enjoyed by her siblings and enjoy having them love and fuss over her.

Bianca means white or pure. Serene means calm. I thought up the name (because my cousin and wife were too exhausted and emotional to think of one, so I thought up various names and combinations for them).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sex Selection Procedure: Yay or Nay?

Charlie Sheen and wife Brooke Mueller are expecting twin boys, thanks in part to a fertility procedure called "sperm spinning". It's basically a sex selection procedure wherein X spermies are separated from the Y spermies and only the preferred sex-carrying spermies are inseminated in the mother to boost the chances of conceiving the preferred sex.

Not really sure i'm excited ove this procedure. I understand medical interventions that hope to ensure only the healthiest babies survive, but preferring a gender over another seems superficial for me. Aside from the fact that we're supposedly living in a time where men and women are equal, having a boy doesn't exactly ensure he will want to grow up a man. He could choose to be bi, gay or transsexual in time, so why focus energies on something like this?

And it's not that I don't understand the longing for a specific sex. I've always known i'd be okay without having a son, but I know i'll pine for a daughter. Mainly because i'm a woman. And well, maybe because I want to forge a better mother-daughter relationship with a child of mine than the one I had with my own mother. And come on, girls are a lot more fun to dress up and accessorize!

But I was blessed with a son for a firstborn. And even if all three kids I want will be sons, I don't think i'd ever really want to tamper with perfection, which is what nature thought to bless me with.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Exasperated Mom... Sometimes

One hour before we went home from my in-laws, three people were already shrieking and telling my son that he's stressing them, namely: hubs, mother-in-law and sis-in-law. Me, I was grinning for having them worry over my son instead of me for a change. Of course, they were also tripping on things in their rush to avert accidents for my son (falling off steps and chairs, slipping while running, knocking his head on a wall and putting everything in his mouth, to name a few).

He also likes using chairs and bar stools as sort of stilts or steps.

And he's taken to plucking the hangings from our Christmas tree and chewing on them. And walking off a bed without minding the edge (which he used to do, but it seems its more fun seeing if anything will catch his fall).

He does all these things, most times... which leaves me exasperated sometimes. Sometimes, I find I have the grace to actually find it cute or feel sentimental (awww, he'd only be one year old for a short time!). Sometimes, others are already stressed over him for me (my Mom, for example, gets reduced to a shrieking, nervous wreck when they converge in one place).

I've already thought of a more apt adjective for my son... better than saying he's a handful or he's spirited. I've forgotten the word though.

I just hope I don't ever forget this time though... and never crush his spirit.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Preggy Naomi Watts Riding Second

(Image and story source: Babyrazzi)

I can see this preggy lady is wearing a helmet but is this even safe? And really legal in the US (because Philippine laws aren't as strict and as implemented anyway)?

And I know it may be just my prejudice (and lack of knowledge) against bikes that's talking but shouldn't pregnant women desist from riding bikes when they're pregnant? A bike leaves you so defenseless in road accidents, it's like inviting trauma to your unborn child!

Tsk, tsk. Very irresponsible of her, if you ask me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home for those in my Heart

Hubs has attended a Pag-Ibig talk regarding home loans. So we're now contemplating on really looking at properties and studying mortgage quotes and what-not.

Anyway, i've always dreamed of a big house. Not a grand one, mind you, but a big one. With a big yard. And not because I want (or that am eager) to tend to a garden, but because i've always envisioned MY kids to be playing in our own yard.

The dream has always been me on a porch watching over kids at play in a yard. Now it actually sounds like a tall order, given that kids in the city play with gaming consoles and in arcades, but then again, i've also vowed to banish any child of mine to a childhood lived outdoors. I just think playing where the sun actually sees you should be an integral part of all childhoods.

So I know i'll have a yard someday.

And a home.

But if truth be told, my silent wish would always be, for my spouse and kids to think that home is where Mommy is.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cried Last Night

I'm sure many moms have one or two similar experiences. My son was being uber exuberant again and was carrying a big ball in front of him when he tripped. He fell forward and the ball he was carrying made him bounce backwards.

It was all slow motion for me, watching him fall backwards from where I was lying down. I heard the thud of head on floor even before it happened. In my mind, I was sure I would see blood. Or that my son would be unconscious.

I insisted that it was his hardest fall ever (and my son has this habit of falling and bumping his head, no matter how closely we watch him) but my husband assures me it wasn't.

Still, for a moment there, I thought something seriously wrong has happened... that it might evenb result in a loss.

I cried.

I'm now very, very scared and traumatized.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Parking and Carports

Am sure, many harassed moms have wished for carports everywhere to be a little more protected from the elements, and that there's some magical way somehow for parking to never be a problem ever again.

Especially when one is carting a baby, a stroller and a baby bag (heaven knows all the little things one must have handy end up weighing a ton all the time!). Oftentimes, when I go out, I end up realizing that I haven't got an extra hand for my shopping at all. So I either leave the baby behind or end up making more trips with the baby in tow. Grocery shopping become three-afternoon affairs.

Yikes.

So yes, I am among those many parents who find parking more of a hassle now that I have a baby. Few garages and parking areas are close enough, cool enough, or close enough.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Archiving is a Mom Thing

Moms can be anal about archiving, documenting and backing up files. I am more so. Just the thought of losing all or any of the pictures we've taken of my son absolutely terrifies me.

So I always make sure I back up all files. And I don't delete any pictures yet in our compact flash cards, or SD cards or micro sd (from phones) until I make sure i've saved them in at least three places (a desktop, a laptop and our MyBook). Talk about obsessive-compulsive behavior.

I am lazy about a lot of things but never about backing up pics. It's already a blessing that they're all digital files now so I need not keep boxes of pictures and negatives. I hope someday to digiscrap some of them, and that my son will appreciate that he had a lot of pictures growing up. It could, at least, remind him how much he was loved ever since.

I just hope other Moms are as OC :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

House Bill for Workplace Breastfeeding

There is currently a House Bill that encourages breastfeeding at the workplace. If passed into law, it will offer tax deductions to companies that encourage and support breastfeeding (maybe through breastfeeding timeouts or stations?).

I really hope this will be passed into law. Companies don't even have to provide breastfeeding stations readily, but just a change in attitude, making breastfeeding normal and common and ideal will do more than enough to further the cause of lactivists. Besides, a breastfeeding station is just a nice-to-have. What's really more important is that women can flash or pump without being teased, heckled or oggled at, or scolded for using up electricity and extra water (and maybe fridge space).

I shall really pray for this one. The melamine issue should be reason enough for politicians to jump on this great bandwagon idea for a change.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Belated Sentimentality

I couldn't sleep last night. And for the first time in our lives, I willingly put my son on my chest, hoping it will result in a more restful sleep for him (because he has colds and there was too much excitement lately in his life).

Other parents might be confused as to why that's a first for me. Basically, I have a claustrophobic thing against anyone 'hindering' my movement so letting my son sleep on my chest IS a big deal. But I knew sleep wouldn't come anyway, not while tears were sometimes falling from my eyes while caressing his back.

My son turned a year old last October 07 but we only celebrated his birthday yesterday. So it was only last night that it sank, how a year has already flown, how i've been literally caring for a person for twelve months now, and how my baby is fast becoming a little boy.

So I mourned a little.

And rejoiced a little.

And was relieved that I managed somehow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Advocates Are So Hilarious (or weird)

PETA is supposedly pressuring Ben and Jerry's to start using human breastmilk for their ice cream to alleviate cow suffering. And Heather Mills has signed on with them.

Can you say, major ewww?

Breastfeeding your own babies is one thing... and a really important thing at that... and breast milk supplied to people with cancer and sick babies, why not? Heck, even Marcos' daily intake of this liquid gold isn't bizarre, but PETA's new cause certainly is.

Obviously, they really don't expect the ice cream giant to switch. Not only would the production costs quadruple, the administrative side of managing hormonal women (and breastfeeding Moms still are!) will be a nightmare!

So it's a laugh, really, but what is the point of trying to make a point by going the ludicrous way?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mean Mom

When my son refuses to heed my "NO" and especially when he acts as if we're playing (and this usually involves him and an electric fan or sockets or the TV or PC), I put him in his pen and let him cry.

Of course, since there are toys in the pen, he sometimes ends up playing but it's usually only a matter of minutes before he realizes his space and movement has been limited. So almost always, he ends up crying and I let him be.

For a while.

And though I pick him up, hold him, pat his back and wipe his face and brow... though I tell him I love him and give him kisses, I keep on scolding him.

They say consistency is the key. I should remember that, because sometimes I just lightly slap his hands while giving a stern "NO" and wagging my finger. Maybe the timeout in the pen will work better (but what if the pen isn't around to restrain him?).

Or maybe I shouldn't be so impatient. After all, kids will test your "No" evey step of the way. That's how they learn to depend on you too.

Sigh.

Post-Partum Weight Loss

Before working on losing weight post-partum, mommies should keep in mind that they have to recover first from the pregnancy and the delivery (especially if it was a C-section, which is still a major surgery). Hormone levels will be crashing down so even the best diet pills might not work as efficiently since your chemical makeup is still normalizing.

One other thing mommies have to remember is that they'd easily lose between ten to twenty pounds just from the delivery. The baby, after all, weighed several pounds not to mention the amniotic fluids. And then, because you'll be adjusting to late nights and really losing sleep, you'd lose more weight!

Plus, breastfeeding is a mother's friend in terms of losing weight fast.

So if you didn't gain so much weight to start with, you may not even need to have a diet and exercise regimen. I lost forty pounds and more effortlessly in the first six months after I delivered, so I even went back to my pre-wedding weight. Alas, when the baby started eating solids and thus didn't nurse as much, I started gaining back the weight.

But really, recover first from all the difficulties pregnancy and an addition to the family put you through. Do not stress yourself over weight loss.

Just don't binge on unhealthy food though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Mother Cramming

A sick mother can be pretty useless sometimes. But since this is the week before my son's party, I had to grit my teeth and brave heat and humidity and rain to finish all my errands.

I went back to Chocolate Lover yesterday for last-minute additional supplies (because SIL intended to pipe icing on the cupcakes and I couldn't let her shoulder the ingredients when she's doing most of the baking) and was annoyed that they have increased their prices on the ingredients I wanted.

I also went to Divisoria to buy cheap plastic loot bags because it wasn't working out with the brown paper bag idea I originally wanted.

And then I had a great allergic rhinitis attack last night... and all alone with my son all day today while groggy with the meds. Hopefully, I can be productive tomorrow and on Friday.

Needless to say, the candies I was going to give away melted some... so am not sure if I can still use them or they'd be too sticky to repackage.

Sheesh.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Gift Wishlist

Ahehe.

Invited friends have been asking me what to get Yakee for his birthday, and usually I tell them to just get him clothes since I haven't bought any for him lately.

But I also would't mind educational toys and instructional materials. Or learning videos. Or books to be read to him.

But the most I'd appreciate is invited people to come... but not to bring extra unwanted/unknown guests with them (especially without telling me first). Oh, and RSVPs will be really appreciated but its not usually the case with people I know. Howell.

My Mom is Hotter than Your Mom

Or so says a shirt that am thinking of buying for Yakee :D

But you know, no matter how Multiply has brought shopping to a new level, it also just makes me realize all the more how i'm just not a shopaholic. I am an impulsive buyer at times but my son has lots of toys and clothes because so many people are showering him with them, not because Mommy cannot go home without buying a new one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Missing My Music

I lent my mp4 player to my sis before when she went to the US and she went back here without the charger and cables. Since then, I have not had the chance to play DJ for myself.

Now i'm currently considering media players and ipods again. I feel I can afford an hour or two of personal music time without fearing that my son will cry and I won't hear it. I couldn't really play music out loud before because it disturbs my son's sleep (instead of lulling him and keeping him asleep) and that has gotten to be a habit.

But now... i'm missing the heartbreak songs and oldies that are dear to my heart. And my son already knows other ways to catch my attention. So maybe this Mommy can ask for a new media player? A 30 gb Creative Zen wouldn't be bad but I also actually don't like anything bulky anymore.

Oh wait... my cellphone can play mp3s. Maybe I should start with that first and not just use it for texting and calling. Hehe.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

TMI but Funny

Chef Jamie Oliver confessed that he wet an adult diaper and froze it, and then wore it (but cut a hole for his peen) while making love to increase the chances of having a boy after hearing that it's all about temperature.

This is the first time I heard of it and I find it really funny... but I guess it couldn't hurt to try it, if you really want a boy. Buy maybe somebody should have told him first about him and the wifey adding more salt to their diet first (or maybe he's already heard that!). And yes, I believe that one is an old wives' tale while the frozen diaper thingie isn't.

Now, I guess I should check if over there in Alaska, there are indeed more boys born than girls. Hehe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family Dinners Saves Kids

It was on Readers Digest that I first read of the study (and its results) made on family dinners (and conversations at the dinner table) and its effect on children development. Basically, the finding was that family dinners keep communication lines open and saves kids from delinquency and depression.

Imagine being able to save your kid from ever going into an alcohol rehab, or succumbing to peer pressure that lands him in serious trouble, or being able to give him reasons to say YES to education and a bright future. Imagine not ever having to send the child you raised to a drug treatment center. All by just having dinner with him/them most nights of the week. All by just bonding and gabbing over food. All by just getting them to pitch in with the food preparation and cooking.

Certainly not too much to ask, that is, unless you're dirt poor and having something to eat is already a huge challenge, what more the luxury of having time to sit down and bond.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kids and Motorcycles

Hubs and I have been discussing the wisdom of kids and motorcycles. See, if our kids are already adults and they want to ride one, we really don't have a say on that anymore. But what if they're still young? Would we let them on one, even the kiddie ones?

My husband is torn about this. Sometimes, he'd be thinking if he and our son can learn to build it from scratch (like that father and sons, American Choppers?) and would wonder where he can get his hands on some Harley parts, other times, he'd be adamant that no kid of ours will be allowed to put himself in that kind of risk.

Well, the kid is only turning one. I say we have time to discuss some more.

Preparing for Halloween

I would be shameless and say that I am absolutely giddy with excitement over the coming Halloween. My son already has three costumes (tiger costume, Hogwarts uniform, Gryffindor Quidditch robe) and I have been scouting for trick or treating activities around the city. Plus, we're sure to go trick or treating at Ayala, Alabang, where it has been a tradition for decades now and where villagers really go out of their way in decorating their yards and providing good treats to knocking ghouls and angels.

I'm excited. It's times like these that all the antsy nights and growth spurts and teething woes and breastfeeding struggles become all worth it, because I have a beautiful baby to doll up. And yes, it helps that he's a very outgoing boy who actually revels in the attention.

I'm excited. Have I already said that? :)

Now, i'm just thinking of halloween treats to buy which we'd give in turn at my BIL's house. My SIL bought lots of Divi treats last year and we do have a lot of candies already here at home (all bought in the US, courtesy of my parents) but am thinking, maybe I should have bought more of the prize thingies for my son's party so I can use them on Halloween too.

Oh, and my friends who have babies are also all excited about my son's party.

So yes, Halloween equals excited moms.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Was I Too Posh to Push?

I sometimes can't help it. I feel slightly embarassed about having a CS delivery and never experiencing labor.

But I swear, despite my low pain tolerance, I didn't think i'd need a C-section. I mean, all my female kin were able to deliver vaginally! 10-pound babies and twins were delivered by aunts and cousins normally!

I think I was around my 36th week when I was hit by the fact that i'd be in soooo much pain (labor) soon. I was lying in bed then, reading a book, and I started feeling scared and weepy. I was fearful of the pain, wondering how i'd tolerate it, how traumatized i'd be by the experience. From then onwards, i'd be like that every night. Plus, being a first-time Mom, I was scared that I might miss the fact that I was already in labor (like mistake real contractions for Braxton Hicks).

Well, I never had much of Braxton Hicks either. I delivered at 40 weeks and 4 days so I reached the cannot stand up by myself and the achy va-j-j walls part. And yes, my back and hips were killing me. And yes, there were times when my whole tummy froze up in pain, and i'd whimper, but that would only happen once or twice at night, and not even every night. And never while I was sleeping. Its getting leg cramps that were truly the most horrible for me that time, and I only got two or three during the latter part of my last month.

But okay... why did I deliver via C-section?

The short answer we usually give is... baby was overdue. Which, technically, he wasn't because he's actually allowed to stay inside till 42 weeks. He was postmature.

But he was also a polyhydramnios case. A high level of amniotic fluid usually suggested a congenital anomaly or gestational diabetes.

Baby also didn't lighten or engage. My cervix ripened (I think) but remained closed. In short, inducing him would be reckless at that point... and the chances of me going into labor within a week was slim. Meanwhile, waiting a week more would mean a bigger, pooping baby who might have some congenital anomaly. Talk about risks. Talk about possible breastfeeding struggles.

I looked at my husband and we didn't have to really talk about it anymore. That was around 7 PM of October 06. Our OB started looking for available ORs and we luckily got the 9 AM slot the following day at Asian Hospital.

So, was I too posh to push? I actually don't think so. If at all, I was too scared of risks, maybe, or too impatient. After all, I know some who delivered babies at 42 weeks normally (but let's not talk about their episiotomies, hehe). But I couldn't risk it. I couldn't risk my baby's life, not when we had enough money to make sure we didn't have to.

And I think, hubs just didn't want my life to be put at risk either...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Air to Breathe, Space to Grow

One of the hazards of being a SAHM is staying home day in and day out. The routine can get to you. And the constant proximity can frustrate you and your child. Have you noticed how even your darling baby sometimes prefer anyone over you?

Air to breathe. Space to grow. We all need that. So us Moms, we need time away. If only to get pedicures or a massage. I don't super stock up on things sometimes just to have an excuse to go out. Even for only an hour or two.

But like what I commented on a friend's post, the best part of being away is coming home to a child that missed you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In need of Beautification

This Mom seriously needs some acne blemish treatment!!! Ever since my period came back, i've been dealing with acne again (and major PMS tantrums and cravings). It annoys and upsets me all the more that my face is getting ravaged again when my son's birthday party is already coming up. We hired the services of a wonderfully talented photographer but I fear that i'd look oily and scarred and certainly not my best on the day.

That will compromise our family pictures!

And I really hate having to Photoshop those flaws away.

Sigh.

Hopefully my skin clears a little after i've had my period already... which should really come asap too, it's some ten days due!

Lots of Suri

(Source: babyrazzi)

If you check celebrity baby blogs, you're sure to find lots of pictures of Suri Cruise. Isn't she cute?

I think she looks more like Mommy Katie. And I think sometimes she actually likes (or is used to) the paparazzi. Maybe it's because they've been staying in New York where the paps are many and watching their every move (and katie seems to bring her everywhere).

Anyway, she's really cute. I hope she wouldn't grow messed up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Make-ups

Sisters at N@W have recently talked about make-up, the must-haves and even lessons. Some have shared tips on what works best for them, which foundation lasts, and the touch-ups that really brighten up one's face.

And just like paint, there is even airbrush make-up these days, which supposedly looks more natural. Or mineral make-up. Of course, I am clueless as to what those are but I was reminded that I need to buy new ones for myself. My pressed powder/foundation is over a year old already, same with the two lipsticks I use.

I'm thinking of buying eyeliners and shadows but know that am not really going to use those most of the time, especially since I seldom go out nowadays. Heck, I even use my son's anti-rash baby powder most of the time (and his colognes and lotions too).

Well, I think I can use a good concealer too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chinese Milk

Because the death toll has increased to four already from milk from China, recalls for other products that used China milk have begun.

If the text message I got is to be believed, there were a lot of ice creams (like Magnum) and chocolates (M&Ms, Snickers and Dove) that are being recalled.

This should bring about a greater vigilance and advocacy for breastfeeding, aside from stricter rules and monitoring from food and drug authorities. After all, everything is being manufactured in China now.

And if the four deaths still doesn't grab attention, consider the 6,000 babies that are sick because of melamine contamination. 6,000 babies!!! 6,000 infants that could have been spared had their parents been informed and supported to breastfeed instead of formula feed.

Tsk.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Stretch Marks

First of all, expecting Moms should face the facts. Stretch marks is a fact of pregnancy. It cannot be prevented nor can it be removed (the most is, it can be improved and lightened). Factors affecting just how horrid it will be include skin elasticity, genetics, diet, weight gain, environment and lifestyle.

They say, Vitamin E-rich lotions help. Some swear by the use of virgin coconut oil, some swear by cocoa body butter.

I opted for lots of lotion and cocoa body butter. And I used Body Shop's and Palmer's. If truth be told, I prefer Body Shop's. It is more expensive but it really gives one a smoother, softer skin within days of use. Plus, it's more spreadable and doesn't leave a sticky feeling. And it beats Palmer's scent by a mile.

So, if a Mom asks me how best she can pamper herself, i'd really suggest she invest on Body Shop Cocoa Body Butter. She'd feel and smell delicious in no time, which would be small consolation but consolation just the same, for the trying times of raising kids.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Waste of Lotion

Motherhood sometimes feels like a waste of lotion, especially on one's hands, mainly because I end up having to wash my hands all the time anyway. The minute I put some on, say, after taking a bath... my son will poop so i'd have to wash him. Or he'd drop something which he intends to put back on his mouth, so i'd wash it first. Or he'd end up with a dirty, sticky face and i'd have to wash him.

Pregnancy Glow

I battled with acne all my life, and it seems the only acne cure that will really work well for me was to get pregnant.

Yes, I enjoyed the pregnancy glow. My hair was shinier and more manageable. My skin became less flawed and more clear. Good for me, really, because the pregnancy mask is not always wonderful for all pregnant women. Heck, sometimes, they even vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. And no, it's also not even true that it automatically follows that clearer skin means you're having a girl, and blotchy skin with acne and warts mean you're having a boy (because I had a boy and I looked the most beautiful when I was preggy, but my Mom looked all kinds of fugly when she was having my younger sister).

And yes, regardless of whether you look better or not, hormones are the culprit.

And it is actually quite sad to only look glowing when you're pregnant, because ultimately, your hormones sort themselves out and you get back to your natural look. Most of the warts and acne disappear within two months or so after the delivery, so some mommies shouldn't be alarmed or that terribly concerned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Personalized Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is coming up and one of the things Moms usually take charge of is shopping for all the Christmas presents, from gifts to nieces and nephews to your kids' teacher or crush (and yes, they're sometimes one and the same).

Can Christmas gifts come in the form of personalized gifts as well? Of course, they can! One idea i've thought of, a spin off really of dressing up your kids' textbooks, is giving away books to all and personalizing these by dressing them up in their own digiscrapped covers. Just use the recipient's own picture, or wordart of a fave quote from the book, or your dedication fluorished with swishes and curls for the cover. And you don't really have to design 100 different covers, you can just design a template and edit it accordingly for each recipient.

Take advantage of book sales and Booksale for cheaper-priced books... and spread good cheer and reading for the Holidays.

Gift Wishlist

Since my son's birthday is coming up and I have been informally inviting friends already, they, in turn, have been asking me what gifts I want my son to get on his birthday.

Since I haven't shopped for new clothes for him, I ask for clothes. I appeal for bigger sizes because boys wear bigger sizes and babies grow up so fast. I also appeal for cute outfits and that they come in colors other than blue.

Other than clothes, I also ask for toys, preferably educational ones. If you ask hubs though, he'd probably suggest remote control helicopters or action figures, hehe. And of course, books. A child can't have too many books, even if he's like my son who only uses the ones he have to gnaw at.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Saw Your Yaya

I Wish There's One Here.

Well, okay, some Moms might just get all the more stressed if there's a local version of I Saw Your Nanny given all the yaya horror stories i've heard.

Plus, abusive yayas are less likely to maltreat their ward in public, where others can record it on video for all to see later. But the idea of having other people watching your back (in this case, your kid really) is sure nice.

Me, I can't imagine at all what i'd do to someone who maltreats my child. But am sure i'd go warfreak on them like other moms.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Breastfeed for Good Bacteria

Special attention to Moms expecting C-sections or those who underwent one.

If you're like me who subscribes to Readers Digest Asia, there is an article at the last page about how normal births lead to infants coming into contact with a mother's good bacteria as the baby passes through her vagina, which in turn stimulates the baby's immune system.

Babies delivered via C-section are deprived of this opportunity because they are delivered in a super sterile way. Which is why, breastfeeding them is all the more important and necessary so that their immune system will be jumpstarted by the good bacteria in mommy's milk.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eat Fish and Breastfeed Longer

A study in Denmark has found that a mom's diet of more fish during the pregnancy (so long as it's not tuna sashimi and other sushi) and breastfeeding a baby longer are linked to better physical and cognitive development in infants.

Quoting the article from Medical News Today:

"The children whose mothers ate the most fish during pregnancy were more likely to have better motor and cognitive skills. For example, among mothers who ate the least fish, 5.7% of their children had the lowest developmental scores at 18 months, compared with only 3.7% of children whose mothers had the highest fish intake. Compared with women who ate the least fish, women with the highest fish intake (about 60 grams - 2 ounces - per day on average) had children 25% more likely to have higher developmental scores at 6 months and almost 30% more likely to have higher scores at 18 months. "


Now, isn't it lucky that fish is super abundant here in the Philippines? Sure, gone are the days when they're cheaper than other meats (because they no longer are, even the lowly galunggong already costs over P100/kilo... except maybe in the provinces where they are caught) but it's still really great that we've been blessed with such an abundance of fresh water and salt water fish. They even throw away giant tuna caught in Calapan because there isn't means available to trade them in Manila in place just yet.

So Moms... eat fish! I know fish is one of the more common aversions during pregnancy but that usually lasts for up to the first trmester only. Plus, you can make do with fresh water fish like milkfish and tilapia. Or you can be creative in cooking up your fish.

nd as always, breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed!

Losing Weight Post-Partum

Before embarking on a quest for diet pills that work post-partum, a mother shoould know that breastfeeding already goes a long way in helping get her back to her pre-pregnancy weight. Seriously.

Of course, certain body parts will sag and be lumpy at first (except your boobies), which you'd really have to tone later, when you are already allowed to really exercise. My tummy wouldn't ever be flat anymore, I guess, but after losing forty pounds, it seemed flat to me (and everyone).

Too bad I gave in to the return of my cravings so i've gained some twelve pounds back, and all in my tummy area (so yeah, am now sporting a preggy-looking pouch again, and it jiggles).

But the point is, breastfeeding is also best for losing weight and keeping the weight off. My son's milk intake has lessened since he started taking solids which meant, I couldn't eat as much anymore because i'm also not burning as many calories in milk production.

Diet and exercise also helps. And yes, in time, maybe even a diet pill when you've weaned your baby.

Books, Books, Books

Amazon books is one of those sites am sure moms really frequent. After all, it's the first site to browse for pregnancy and baby books. Plus, friends have been generally satisfied about shipping and how their orders have been handled.

I believe Amazon also sells previously-owned copies and you can register or work (like blog reviews) for Amazon gift certificates. That already saves you on book expenses and you'd still get to read to your heart's content.

But do check the Manila Book Fair happening this weekend. Am sure there'd be a lot of titles there to choose from, especially from up and coming authors with fresh takes on the usual subjects.

Mommies Who Wish to Tell Tales Better

You might want to attend the 25 Ways to Entice Children with Stories: a workshop on storytelling, happening this coming Saturday, September 13, at SMX.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hollywood and Twins

Dennis Quaid had them. Jlo also did as well as Brangelina, Marcia Cross, Julia Roberts and Geena Davis.

Now they say even Ashlee Simpson is expecting twins!

Jerry O'Connell is also expecting twins with wife Rebecca. Lisa Marie is also expecting twins. Arggh.

I'm envious :D Am sure, though, that aside from possible IVFs, these twins are mainly coming about because the mommies are getting older and older... and really, it's them that can afford these twins anyway.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. It's just really a romantic notion I keep dreaming about but won't really mind if it never happens to me. After all, I can barely make it every day with my one son :D

Baby Magazine November Theme

Baby Magazine's November theme is FUNNY FACE and deadline of submissions is this September 20. Send 300-dpi quality pics via e-mail to babymaggallery@yahoo.com asap with your name, baby's name and age!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Mother's Best Friend

Or should I say, a highly-allergic Mom's best friend?

Vacuum cleaners are, that is. Not only are vacuum cleaners nifty gadgets to help make cleaning easier, they also really help reduce the incidences of allergies at home. Allergic reactions to dust and molds, like asthma and rhinitis, are the most common and requires the most vigilance to avoid.

So, really, thank heavens for inventions like these. Now, I need not sneeze my head off and worry about compromising my son's safety (try going up and down the stairs carrying a child with a groggy, woozy head). What's more, I also need not worry about my son developing hypersensitivity to the same allergens.

Mommy Makeover

Normal, average women usually let themselves go at the latter stages of pregnancy. After all, who cares anymore about looking good when you're not feeling good anymore, no matter what you do, from all the edema and heaviness of the baby and the waddling when you walk, and the lack of sleep and Braxton Hicks...

I can go on and on and on.

And normal, average women also don't care about their appearance after their baby is born, because the hormones come crashing and the baby needs feeding and diapering and comforting and singing to. Usually, we're just too exhausted emotionally and physically to pay attention to our looks.

But we do wake up from the stupor that is post-partum depression and start getting makeovers. I started with pedicures and hair spa. Then two months from delivery, I srtated getting massages again... Six months after, I started using derm products on my face again for my stubborn, post-adolescent acne (which went away when I was preggy, sigh). Then I finally agreed to a hair rebond.

Baby steps, all of these, to making sure I don't look washed out and pitiful. I'm even slowly overhauling my wardrobe and buying sexy outfits again (instead of frumpy wifely/motherly fashion).

I have yet to get my body scrub though. And i've agreed to get some nail art done for my son's birthday.

Celebrities get highlights, lifts and tucks, liposuction and botox and even new breasts. Had I the money, i'd probably still opt for weekly massages since I keep forgetting to schedule appointments.

Anyway, how about you, how did your post-partum mommy makeover go?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More on Jolie's Post-Partum Woes

... i'm not really obsessed but of course, I'm fascinated.

Anyway... here's a video of some news segment speculating that Angelina Jolie is having problems adjusting to her twins, who are also being reported as colic (I know, can you say yikes?!).

Will you breastfeed a calf?

This is a very nicely written article that hopefully will enlighten more people and rid them of their prejudice against wet nurses or the practice of wet nursing.

I once ranted about how some hospitals defeat the breastfeeding process (or at least, delay its success) and said in my post there that PGH and Fabella at least are better, because they generally make sure all babies who are hungry get attached to a breast, even if it's not their mother's... and every able and willing mother is breastfeeding, even if it's not their baby.

One or two commenters on that post found the idea repulsive especially since there is formula, after all. Why give the breast milk of someone else? I granted that the idea may seem controversial and unusual but i've always known that's how it's been done for centuries. That's how the human race survived, women came to the rescue of other women (same principle in employing the services of a doula).

Breast is best... so really, why give cow's milk?

Does this mean I would just readily let my son nurse from someone else? Maybe not... but it's kinda pointless to contemplate that since we're breastfeeding just fine. And I think, any resistance from my end would stem more from jealousy, that the magic and intimacy of breastfeeding him will be shared with someone else. Sort of like losing territory.

Then again, when you think about it... couldn't nursing from someone else's breast be more rewarding than being formula fed by someone else? After all, breastfeeding's benefits go beyond what you get from the milk itself. It's bonding time, it's touch therapy.

And one can always get/buy pumped milk anyway... but that takes away from the emotional and psychological benefits of breastfeeding.

Sometimes, i'd encounter requests for milk donation from people whose babies are born with congenital problems... and these parents know that breastmilk alone can fortify their babies to triumph over whatever medical malady it was that needed conquering. Why should it be different for healthy babies? Don't they deserve the best, or second best, just because they're healthy?

So... if the rumors were true that Claudine Baretto and Kris Aquino hired wet nurses because they had to get lipo and whatever... I only pass judgement on them prioritizing the beauty makeovers, but actually like that they did give the next best thing.

Anyway, this post does not hope to get all mothers exchanging babies with other moms when it comes to breastfeeding. But I really think it is an option that should be considered more and supported by the government and private sector.

*~*

Hopefully, however, I have not yet become annoying in my breastfeeding advocacy.

*~*

Oh, and I want to tell the author of the article that giving formula may have prolonged the pain she was dealing with. Hehe.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Unexpected Expat Lives

Mainly because of the globalization happening, where opportunities everywhere can be grabbed by anyone, it is not anymore unusual to find yourself living an expat life.

But what of Moms who aren't SAHMs and would still like to continue working instead of just staying home in a foreign country? Well, they are actually more than welcome to take advantage of relaxed policies when it comes to working abroad. Sure, companies will still screen you and all but more and more are willing to sponsor you and work visas are easier to get nowadays.

Hubs got a job in Massachusetts? Then submit those Boston resumes asap so arrangements for your interview can be made asap as well. Who knows, you may even land a job already before you and your family gets there and you need not worry overmuch about the conversion rates and your savings running out.

Lose Weight, Mommy

One of the issues women struggle with is weight loss, especially after a pregnancy.

Good thing there's breastfeeding, which helps us burn much, much more calories that it's easy to be back to our pre-pregnancy weight in just two months. Some even shed the weight in as little as two weeks (I lost 12 pounds in two weeks, 20 pounds in six weeks). Actually, when you start hitting those growth spurt months of three to six months after the birth, when baby's appetite gets ludicrously ravenous, you might even end up looking emaciated! Breastfeeding and all the lack of sleep got me to lose over forty pounds...

... so expecting Moms, you should really rethink breastfeeding as the only option!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Raising Son: Not-so-Urgent But Important

I am seriously having issues with time management and juggling time between my son and my schoolwork.

I actually have the option of standing my ground and letting him be attended to by my cousin every afternoon so I can do what I have to do. But that might also require me to leave the house everyday because when he sees me, he involves me. I get distracted with all the diapering/changing, feeding, running after him, playing with him, watching cartoons with him and teaching him tricks stuff that I cannot concentrate at all on schoolwork. Try reading "Teacher Education Guidelines: Using Open and Distance Learning" with a cute baby toddling up to you, to kiss you, or show you the latest thing he's put in his mouth.

Arggh.

Generally, I do get to study at night... but pulling an all-nighter affects my temper during the day. Plus, it just really doesn't do to be tired and sleepy when you have to attend to a toddler. That's just inviting accidents.

Anyway, some might say that playing with my son isn't a very urgent thing right now. And that would be true. But playing with him is a very important thing. Not doing so undermines the principle behind me quitting my job to stay home for him. Plus, he'd only be this sweet and cute for a short period of time... already, he is becoming less and less needy.

I know I should try harder to manage my time. But in my heart of hearts, I als know it wouldn't be, it shouldn't be, at the expense of my time with my son.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Post-Partum Angelina

It's being reported that Angelina has required medical attention from exhaustion over her twins.

For one, I really don't believe that they don't get all the help they need, mainly because they can afford it. But I also believe that Angelina Jolie tries to be as hands on as she can. She's one of the few celebs who I really think takes care of her kids, and not just uses them as fodder for paparazzi pics. And since she has six kids already, ages seven years old and below, i'd actually have been more surprised to see reports of her just cruising along through all of their demands.

Plus, I know how exhausting breastfeeding is. And how not all babies got to read the manual on sticking to schedules. Multiply that by two and post-partum depression is likely to get doubled as well.

I remember, during the first two months, I cried lots. Mind you, I still cry sometimes. But even then or now, despite all the exhaustion and bitterness, I really wouldn't want to not be a Mom again.

I love being Mom. I always wanted to be a Mom.

*~*

may I direct you to what I thought the best thing is about being a Mom?

New Credit Card Blog

My friend shared the link to me first. She was all rave and praises for this new credit card blog, because it is very useful for people looking for credit cards as there are so many to choose from.

So I checked it out and indeed, it can prove very useful for people who want to read reviews of the best credit card offers. I especially love all the 'Did You Know?' posts.

So Moms, do check it out. It's another internet tool for us budget-savvy species.

Mommies and Security

I know fathers are always bent on providing for their family. But I find that it's really the women who are adamant about security, their own and their kids'. So we're more likely to be the ones reviewing life insurance rates, education plans, credit card incentives and the ones more likely to keep an expense log.

Some Moms I know even maintain cash flow statements for their families. I also actually do, but I update it every three months or so.

And I know Moms like to shop but I also know for a fact that we're also big on savings. And medical insurance. And knowing where to get the money for bills and anticipated expenses. Our financial forecasting is legendary.

Which is why most Moms, though they'd really rather stay at home to raise their own kids firsthand, would opt to continue working because they like having a say in the cash in-flow, and do not want to be at the mercy of a one-income family and all the risks of being one.

So, although I am a SAHM, I really feel for those Moms whose hearts ache every morning as they leave their cuties behind. And I thank God everyday that I can enjoy my situation, that I am privileged to do so.

But that's not to say I don't deal with my own security issues. But generally... we have covered the more important bases.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mompreneurs, do your research!

I know of moms who have turned into entrepreneurs, especially those who have quit their jobs to stay at home most of the time to spend more time with their babies. But with the economic problems affecting our nation, we're all inclined to seek part-time jobs and sidelines to make the family's budgeting and planning a little easier for us. After all, the less resources you have, the harder the budgeting and planning can be.

Anyway, the W@Wies I knew (who are N@Wies now) who are mompreneurs can do their research at a familiar place, or rather, event. The Wedding Expo in Manila would be a fabulously fun venue to see what's selling like hotcake and how they can improve their own services according to what's trendy and hip right now. Besides, Moms are the best people (biased opnion, I know) to cut costs without sacrificing quality and aesthetics, so they're sure to find ways to provide the same services/wares (or similar) at cheaper prices.

Hopefully, i'd see you Moms there!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

PBBC 7: Disciplining Our Children

PPBC 7: How do you discipline your kids?

I am just a neophyte in the art of parenting. My son is only turning 11 months old. That isn't to say that discipline is not yet an issue for us because it is. However, it's not yet time really for us to be practicing on our child because we're still in the process of disciplining each other and ourselves.

Yes, we will discipline our kids by disciplining ourselves.

Hubs and I came from different backgrounds and family dynamics. We react to conflicts and crises differently. I tend to make a mountain of a molehill, he tends to go in denial. We're still discussing, agreeing, testing and researching on a middle ground, so we can say that we raised our kids with thoughtfulness and leadership instead of just plain love.

Discipline is a tricky thing. It's not something that exists in a vacuum, because it is affected and impacts a great many things. It's not a closed captioning thing, where only the curious child will read more into our actions and motivations. It's not something that happens, it's not something we do, it's something that is. Have we, as parents, set goals for our family? Is it clear for us what values we hope to inculcate in our children? Are we examples of the kind of people we want our children to become?

Disciplining a child has less to do with how you reinforce good behavior, or punish the bad. It has more to do with a parents' leadership, how they exercise their authority and maximize their influence.

Parents who aren't disciplined won't be able to discipline effectively. So my hubs and I, we're still really struggling to be the people we want our kids to learn from and be like. It's not easy. It requires commitment and vigilance. It requires courage and consistency. It requires transparency and grace. It requires wisdom from experience.

If I raise my child eating only healthy things, while I myself binge on junk food, I still won't be able to say that I disciplined my child well. The most I can say is, I have misled him right, but I misled him just the same. We just simply cannot give what we don't have.

*~*

I can't ever say that I am pro- or anti- spanking. I believe that it's a tool parents can use to discipline ther kids, yes. I can't ever say it is not abused, but I also won't ever say that parents who spank their kids are abusive and that kids who have been spanked are victims of abuse.

But I believe there is a 'right' way to spank, and that it works for some and in others, not. Same way that timeouts don't work for everyone or at any age.

I also believe that if spanking will be used, its best served to younger kids who still lack the experience and capacity to understand. Physical pain is something they can easily register and process. Appealing to reason is best done with bigger kids.

Mothering Kids with Special Needs

Once upon a time, I spoke out loud of a wish of mine to have healthy babies, and none with special needs.

I didn't think I can handle it. I still don't... but I have matured enough to know that had I been given one, i'd still have loved that child so much. Especially since, I may just be one of few people who will ever, really, love that person.

Meanwhile, I tell other women who voice out similar fears, or who are depressed because their child does have special needs, that there is some consolation to be had. There are now schools and specialists for these kids. People born with defects, limitations, disabilities... they can now enjoy a quality of life they never could before. More people are sensitive and responding to their needs. Heck, you can even hire cerebral palsy lawyers if you need to, and you'd know where to find them.

Because help and support is available now to parents and children alike. And more and more people are reaching out to them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Wrong Perspective

An e-mail has been circulating about an incident involving 13-year olds at Trinoma Mall who were victimized by a thief masquerading as a cop, who accused the boys of damaging merchandise at a sporting goods store. The 'cop' had the boys strip themselves of wallets and cellphones etc. as a prelude to a search, and ended up getting away with this loot.

The robbers and crooks of this world are sure imaginative and relentless. That's not really a surprise, is it? So I can't help but ask myself instead, should 13-year old kids be allowed to go malling with peers on their own? Aren't they, essentially, still kids and should still be supervised?

And it's not that I don't get a child's growing need for independence but I do wonder about the boundaries parents set, and the liberties we allow just because it's 'what people do' nowadays.

Can we really expect a 13 year old to be able to put his foot down and stand up to authority, regardless of whether he did something wrong or not, even if only to insist that their parents be called to be there for them?

I certainly don't think so... even adults lack the presence of mind and get swindled and terrorized all the time so why are we leaving our kids at the mercy of these predators?

And no, am not all for curtailing independence and self-reliance, but I hope parents do not equate promoting autonomy with forgetting that teeners still lack the life experience to think and behave as adults.

They need our guidance and protection. Sure, it'd be nice if society helps out, but that responsibility lies in us first.

And again, it's not like we don't know of the crime rate in the city.

This is the same contention I have for parents who let their kids run around with their own gadgets. Aside from giving in to commercialism, they just make their kids (and others) a magnet for crooks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First At-Home Amniotic Fluid Leakage Test

This should give paranoid first-time Moms and high-risk preggos a reason to celebrate. First At-Home Amniotic Fluid Leakage Test is now available!!!

It comes in sanitary napkin form, with the test easy to do anytime, anywhere and would go a long way in assuaging a woman's fears for unexlained wetness during a pregnancy. Of course, it shouldn't replace regular check-ups and monitoring, but it should at least help relieve infanticipating Moms of more pregnancy-related stress.

Friday, August 22, 2008

On Singing Songs

My sister has kidded me that my singing voice has improved. You can now actually tell which song i'm singing! Yes... I can finally, finally carry a tune!

Chalk it up to having to sing songs to a demanding baby... which, when he's been bawling all night and you're breastfeeding-tired as well, actually compose of old melodies you know by heart and original lyrics by you.

Some Moms ad lib by humming. I sometimes do that too... but since I never really had long conversations with my child while he's in my tummy, and he never seemed to like hearing me read stories to him, and I read that babies who are spoken to learn to speak much earlier... I just compose my own lyrics and try my hardest to make myself rhyme.

Mostly I sing about loving him, that's why he should sleep already. Sometimes, I sing about how he should love me, so he better go to sleep already. Yup, my inspiration is kinda limited but since I only sing to my son when i'm trying to get him to sleep, one should be able to get the motivation.

*~*

A version of Hush, Little Baby worked well with my son when he was an infant. Then I noticed he was responding more to Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music. Now, he's into Don't Cry, Joni.

He doesn't care about the lyrics... only the melody. So, say am singing to Don't Cry, Joni... i'd be singing instead...

"Baby, baby, go to sleep
please, please, yes
yes, please, please
Mommy, Mommy loves you
oh so much
so darling baby
go to sleep"


Who knows... it just might be why he sqealed "Mommy" twice last Saturday! :)

*~*

On the celebrity front, Solange Knowles' secret mom talent is similar to mine!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Be a Parent Like Him



The Backgrounder

A son asked his father, "Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?" The father who, despite having a heart condition, says "Yes". They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father is always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, "Dad, let's join the Ironman together." To which, his father said 'Yes'.

For those who didn't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The Father and son went on to complete the race together
.


Oh, to be a parent like him. To have the courage to keep a child's faith that everything is possible, and his dreams will not be denied. To teach by example, to give hope to others as well, to continue being the invincible hero in your child's eyes even after he's grown up. To give your child something to look forward to, a purpose, a reason for living.

To be a parent like him.