Monday, November 30, 2009

Laundry Matters

We were not so environmental where laundry is concerned. We've used fabric softeners ever since, even with Yakee's initial layette, but used Perla soap to wash his clothes.

And we still use fabric softener on his clothes now, but use Tide bar on his clothes already. At least we don't need water softener here in Manila. Less chemicals used is still less chemicals used.

Thankfully though, Yakee isn't extra sensitive. And since we hand wash our clothes, we also make sure we rinse well after getting all the dirt out.

What about you, who washes your kid's clothes and what productsdo you use?

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Anvil Shopping Spree

Every December, Anvil Publishing holds a Book Sale. When I heard that you could buy Archie Comic Books for as cheap as P5 (well, I bought mine for P10 each), I really decided to at least check it out. Plus, I wanted to see if they're selling storybooks which I could give away as Christmas gifts.

Well, taxis are hard to get these days so we had to commute. I had the brilliantidea of letting my son tag along. But at least there wasn't any major traffic.

Most of the books are kinda dusty. Good thing nobody was smoking Rocky Patel cigars there because the dust on the books was already enough to make my son's eyes puff and all of us itch. But the staff was gracious enough to direct us to their washrooms.

There were a lot of inspirational books, Michael Crichton's The Lost World, old storybooks selling for P10 each, old Archie Comic Books (but only two titles remain). The Kwento ni Lola Basyang storbyooks are being sold at 20% discount but they didn't have a whole set out (plus, we already have a whole set which we bought at 15% off when we attended a parenting seminar before).

My splurge buys? Barney coloring and sticker book because it was only half-price off and a new storybook (a brother with autism) that's only 20% off. Those cost me P169.

But the rest of the books, I bought for P1,012.00 and am talking of 77 books (including a set of Toy Story stickers and sticker book).

We were already going home when one of the staff mentioned that they're bringing in Magic School Bus books and a mom said that she'd return for them. I was curious so we had merienda and returned for the books. They cost P20/pc but I decided to buy one of each (and some extra to give away). It's silly but I believed them that it's big in the US (plus, the books seemed very informative).

I actually bought a lot of storybook extras, because am retaining a copy for our mini library and giving away some to nieces and nephews.

While waiting for the Magic School Bus books, Yakee had me read The Mahiwagang Biyulin. I've actually memorized this story and can tell it while also signing half of the words.

Hopefully, Yakee wouldn't ever outgrow his love for books :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Possible Whys

I am still looking forward to my son's WHY phase. I know most parents just really got annoyed but hopefully, I don't and hopefully, I can inspire learning when he starts asking one question after another.

It's not that far now, since we can understand his words 50-75% of the time. I can't help but wonder what things he'd be asking me about first. Will he be asking about cars and what an rv breakdown is? Will he be asking about helicopters and planes that will get me buying a globe for him and different plane models? Will he be asking about food, and challenging his routines? Will he want me to map the dinosaur era for him? Will he ask questions about why Jesus was born?

I can't wait. It'd be a whole new world for him and like a rebirth for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wish Granted

There is this Ally McBeal scene wherein Ally was telling Renee that she wants to get married, to grow old with someone and have babies and get fat.

Well, I am fat now, due to my fault mostly, and certainly not helped by my age and pregnancy. And with the upcoming wedding I am to attend, I am feeling every bit sad about my lumpy shape again.

But... even when I think of my glorious days as a thin woman, I really cannot find it in me to wish for those days again. I am really happier now. It's only really important socials that get me feeling anxious and insecure but other than that, am happy in my own skin.

So maybe I will just attitude myself along with whatever dress I wear on Sunday. I am a Mom after all, always wanted to be, and should be glad that my wish was granted :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Keeping My Child Healthy

Recent happenings in our home had me reflect on the changes we've made and the practices we have that aim to keep him healthy. Firstly, my husband and I talked about how important it is that our kids be healthy. That meant having to improve on certain practices from the families we came from and learn, basically, from our parents' mistakes and bad habits.

And then of course, there was that decision for me to be a stay-at-home Mom (SAHM). This way, I was able to ensure that I can monitor what happens to my child and what he eats. There was never a desire to be obsessive about it, but we wanted to be vigilant about keeping him healthy.

So I breastfed. Despite the struggles and exhaustion and my own mother pushing me to mix-feed, I kept at breastfeeding. My own husband even went to two breastfeeding seminars with me so he could fully support me. I roomed in my child as soon as his pedia allowed it, so we could breastfeed everytime he wanted to and so that my loving touch could also help boost his yet immature immune system.

We exposed him to morning sun rays and people, but do not frequent crowded places and certainly do not take him everywhere. And we had the necessary vaccines administered to him on time. It's also great that he had a main pedia and an HMO-pedia to turn to when he gets sick.

When he started solids, we were faithful with mashed vegetables aside from commercially-prepared baby food. And when his pedia declared he could have table food already, we sustained him with long-trusted Filipino dishes that are rich in vegetable broth like tinola, sinigang and nilaga. We could have fed him brown rice for a healthier fare, I guess, but since we use white rice, we just prepare his meals part-rice and part-vegetable. I also puree different vegetables together with some meat and make this into soups for his rice, not only for variety in taste but also variety in nutrition.

There are seldom junk food (say, chocolates) in the house and these treats are given in controlled portions and not everyday. Of course, we allow him ice cream and cake and cookies, but as treats after a good meal, and not as snacks. And softdrinks and other instant powdered juice are definitely out of the question.

We also give him fresh milk over powdered milk for kids, which is usually sweeter. Too much sweets in one's diet compromises the immune system, after all, so I really made sure that if he wants sweets, he will get them from fruits instead. My son is a slave to bananas, grapes, apples and pineapples. And we avoid processed food (except maybe cheese) as much as we can for they often contain high amounts of sodium. So for snacks, my son has biscuits and crackers or corn on the cob or porridge or oatmeal, not chips.

One other healthy habit that I developed is checking food labels. Some brands come out with supposedly kid-friendly snacks but if you check out the label, they're high in sugar and salt.

But health is not just nutrition. Exercise is also very, very important. So aside from letting my child run about, instead of keeping him confined, we also make sure to limit TV time. And we don't buy him video games and other personal gaming consoles because we'd rather he engages in play where he'd actually move. We let him stack his blocks, play his guitar or drums or go jumping on the bed instead. And we look for TV programs that require dancing to get him moving as well.

When the weather is good, we take him outdoors. Last summer, we also enrolled him in swimming class so he'd learn to swim early and to strengthen his lungs. When we have money and time for trips, we also generally make sure there's swimming involved so he can play without getting too hot. And seldom do we take him to a mall for entertainment, usually it's really for errands and we allow him to help now by pushing the cart.

My son is only two. Feeding him will continue being a challenge as he grows more and more independent and smart. Making sure he also continues being active will also be a challenge. But we remain believers in the value of good nutrition and healthy habits for our son. It's actually not that hard now, what with more and more websites like Immunity Foundation providing tips and tricks in keeping kids healthy and more and more parents being aware of how our own habits in childhood resulted in diabetes and hypertension problems in our 30s. But still, I hope more parents will quit with the fastfood treats and mall trips and go to the park instead.

And yes, now am assured we've laid a great foundation for my son's resistance.

All's Well That Ends Well

Last Thursday, I was devastated because the HMO pedia said that my son had typhoid and could have primary complex. Primary complex, I understood how easily one can get it because it's literally in Philippine air. And since my son was going through a bad bout of coughs and colds, his respiratory tract was already compromised. But typhoid behooved me! We eat at home 95% of the time!!!

But anyway, we consulted my son's main pedia for a second opinion and my son was declared well. We do have to watch out for primary complex signs but other than that, he was not prescribed any new medicine or vitamin.

And I had forgotten to update my sister but I had told her of the sad news before, so she told my father and my Dad texted me this morning asking what meds my son is taking because he might be able to buy it from the U.S. :) Sweet, isn't he? I just reminded him to make sure they take vitamins, eat healthy, and possibly replace their furnace filters so they won't have as much cold or allergies this winter time over there in Michigan. I also told them to start taking fish oil supplements.

And my son continues to thrive and play and harass us, his parents. So I guess he really is a healthy child who just had colds. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Overprotective Parents

A long, long time ago, when I was not even married yet, I think, I worried about getting a car with my future groom. It was irrational but I felt that having a car will groom me and our future kids to lead pampered, dependent lives. Well, we have a car now and I do think thrice about commuting to far-flung places but I still use the jeep. And i've let my son ride in one (even buses going to Las Piñas!).

I have enrolled my son in swimming lessons but he generally stays and plays home with me, my cousin and my husband. He's not out of the house everyday to attend some class at age 2. I have taught him sign language but not yet his alphabet. And though we can afford, and even have some, fancy electronic toys that supposedly boost intelligence, I allow my child to play with pots and pans instead. It's lovely seeing him wearing pails, baskets, bowls, colanders and even fruitcake boxes as hats.

Anyway, this article is such an eye-opener and reality checker. I know a lot of parents really just mean well. But if love needs air to breathe and space to grow, chidlren need them more.

Let's love them and guide them and support them... and the only thing they need to succeed in future is the knowledge that 1)they effect their destiny, 2)they are human and will commit mistakes and will always have limitations, and 3)they have a family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Help Me Pray for Baby Janina Perianne

A N@wie sister recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl they named Janina Perianne. She's just as perfect as can be, however, she was also born with Apert's Syndrome. She's a month old now and is thriving but she also needs a lot of tests, possibly some surgeries, and a lot of little and big miracles to help her lead a normal, healthy life.

Please help me pray for her, that she be resilient and brave and stay happy despite all the treatments. And help me pray for her family, that they may find support and resources to provide Janina what she needs.

Thank you.

Home Owning

Since our current home was not really affected that much by typhoon Ondoy, I really have no idea how it is for those who were. I understand though that many decided to sell their homes instead rather than stay in their old villages. Most probably, some of them are still paying for housing loans used to build those homes. Chances are, there were some who were affected so badly that they just couldn't afford the payments anymore, especially given the recession and the massive loss of property they may have sustained.

So for their sake, I hope there are already institutions in place here that offer credit counseling like in the US. Since the US economy is also suffering greatly from the recession, and foreclosures are common, companies like Consolidated Credit are invaluable to home owners and whatever housing-related problems they may have. Such companies also offer other services like mortgage default, money/debt management counseling, and reverse equity mortgage counseling. Debt consolidation, where you can take out a loan with really low interests and fixed rates to pay off many others, at a time you're really down is very helpful as well. I hear that in cases where the debtor is in danger of bankruptcy, a debt consolidator can buy the loan at a discount. Now that's true help ina time of crisis!

Maybe home owners should be approaching banks and established insurance companies to see if thse are offered in the country already.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Missed the Gossip

Right now, I am catching up on celebrity mommy news at Babyrazzi. I know they're rich and their kids will grow up having their own home theater systems and perfumes named after them and that they will start trends themselves so they really live in an alternate reality. But some of them had the same issues I did (like post partum blues) and am sure mothers everywhere will agree that being a mom sort of puts you ina different league and you'd always feel one with other moms.

So allow me to marvel at the fashionable maternity wear and outlandish names in the meantime... my baby is sleeping anyway.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving Children Medicine

My son is actually a lot better than other kids about taking medicine. He doesn't love them exactlt but he's usually very cooperative. He doesn't rage so much, as if he's being poisoned.

But... he does have a hard time keeping some meds down. Especially antibiotics and the antihistamine Aerius. So these tips on giving children medicine, though very helpful, do not really apply to us. Then again, I may need to work on my coaxing skills and timing skills. Like this morning. I had thought some breastmilk is enough for his tummy to accept the Augmentin. Maybe it was, but I also immediately gave Tempra too. Then again, to defend myself, he was running a really high fever.

Thankfully though, he kept the second dose of Augmentin and slept just fine without barfing. Hopefully, I just really have to keep his tummy full and time the meds right.

Sigh, Sigh, Sigh

Now my son has acute otitis media. We have to change his antibiotics because the basic dose of amoxicillin isn't doing a great job in combating the infection. Sigh.

But at least I can breathe a sigh of relief that his lungs are clear and his blood test showed no great infection or platelet count drop.

Part of me is worried that someone will blame me for him getting sick... say, suggest that am not doing a great job at it. Well, I would have probably killed that person but I guess mothers are their own worst critic. I can't help but ask how I failed... but except for dipping him in the pool while he had colds, I really can't think of any other lapse of judgment. And though we're paying dearly now, I also know I couldn't have possibly banned my son from the pool that weekend... but yeah, had I known, we wouldn't have dipped him under water talaga.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Of Medicines and Ear Infections

In a way, am still thankful that I was spared till now. Some babies had ear infections when they were actually babies. My Yakee is already a sturdy two-year old, one that can even take medicines in teaspoons and not just drops.

But still, it has been a really trying two days since I deduced that he may have an ear infection. I should have thought of that immediately that Sunday night he winced when I was cleaning his ear. It's otitis externa, and am telling you, even the best wrinkle cream cannot possibly remove the wear and tear on Mommy for the past two days. Mostly, the exhaustion is on administering the medicines because he has to take paracetamol, decongestant, expectorant and antibiotics. And I have to make sure the ear drops actually get to pool in his ears and soften his impacted ear wax, which will be flushed this Saturday.

I don't even give him his regular vitamins anymore... to give him a rest from the droppers.

Son is experiencing diarrhea from the antibiotics and am paranoid to my wits' end because the last time he was given antibiotics, he ended up being too sensitive and succumbing to a bad gastroenteritis spell. One that landed him in the hospital for almost a week.

I cannot, will not, do not want that to happen again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Proud to be a Breastfeeding Mom

There are some mothers who breastfed because they were told to do so. So they did it and that was that.

There are some mothers who breastfed because it's supposed to be the best and they want to be good mothers. So they did it and that was that.

There are some mothers who breastfed because they were stay-at-home Moms or were poor and felt they had no choice. So they did it and that was that.

And then there are some like us... not everyone of us started out fine, not everyone of us had the right support group, or the correct information, or the ideal birthing scenario or healthy baby. Not everyone of us was exclusively breastfeeding at first and some of us even had sores and infections and whatever else breast-related pain. Heck, some of us even had babies who refused to latch, period. But somehow, breastfeeding became a personal thing for us. We fell in love with it, its benefits, its rewards. So despite the initial discomfort and the exhaustion over being at the beck and bawl of a wee babe, we kept on. And we started reading up about it. And we started egging friends and family to do it. And we dressed for it. And we did it in public. And we can talk for hours on end about it. It's become part of our belief system, our lifestyle, our child's babyhood. And however way you shake us, and though we can respect other moms' decisions, a part of us will never, ever understand again how other moms can choose not to breastfeed.

Somehow, in the course of the conversion, breastfeeding has become as natural to us as breathing, eating, loving and mothering. Suggest to us that we stop cold turkey and we feel threatened, that we're being stripped of rights.

Any fertile woman, heck, even a teener, CAN technically become a mother by getting pregnant. And with modern medicine, giving birth isn't anymore the one-foot-in-the-grave thing that it used to be. But breastfeeding still remains to be as much of the motherly sacrifice as it was hundreds of years ago.

And thus, donated breastmilk can nothing be but pure love in milk bottles.

I'm blessed to be a Mom. I'm proud to be a breastfeeding mom.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sick and Sick

First off, am down with allergic rhinitis. Must be the grass in the resort we stayed in that's giving me the sniffles. Sigh.

And though I should be sleeping, I am uploading pictures of our swimming party and is absolutely horrified of my flab. Should I reconsider Wii and ask hubs to buy wii accessories already? Or a gym membership? I don't want to go on a crash diet and it's not like am pigging out all the time. Heck, last weekend, I only ate one whole crab. Normally, i'd have consumed at least three that entire time.

Howell. Son woke up...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Uploading Pics

Thanks to many sites like Flickr, Photobucket, Pbase and Multiply, mothers everywhere get free online backup for their photos. And I always encourage fellow moms to be vigilant about this because I seriously cannot imagine losing pictures in case my hard disk crashes.

We took it a step further though. We have a paid Smugmug account. So I was kinda chagrined that Multiply is now offering their Premium account for like P800 only, but then again, it'd be such a hassle trasnferring all my files there. Plus, our Smugmug account also hosts my blog pics. It would be a bigger hassle changing all those URLs.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Opps Please!

A friend wonderfully thought of me for an income opportunity requiring me to just write an advertorial for a certain product. It required me to submit my blog traffic statistics though and this blog didn't make the cut. So now am wondering if I should use some seo software soon to boost traffic in my blogs so that I will have more blogging opportunities as well. I really should be more entrepreneurial in my endeavos here at home to get some extra income for more spending money.


If only I can sell things!

Halloween Binge


We spent the long weekend at my in-laws and I binged again. I didn't eat a lot of the regular food but I ate half a gallon of ice cream the entire time we were there. If news of this reaches my SIL in Dubai, she just might send me some Kettlebells for "strength conditioning and permanent fat loss". Because really, though I am not yet round, I am very, very, very wide. It's just a matter of time before I become as round as siopao.

And it's the Holidays too. How do I deprive myself of food during the Holidays? What do I do with the rest of Snickers here at home? Ugh. Gluttony.


I did binge on veggie soup and veggie viands there. I hope the effort counts.