Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick Mommy on Christmas

In the midst of having to wrap some last-minute gifts, research on my father's travel case for smoketip ecigarettes queries, confirm RSVPs for my son's christening and pack for our stay at my in-laws, my system went down and it gave in to migraine.

For the record, I am not a headachey and gastric person. So, I am not used to headaches at all, least of all to migraines. But there it was, December 24, driving me insane with every light I see and sound I hear. And it pretty much came about from a lethal combination of sleepless nights, holiday stress and allergic rhinitis.

Come Friday night, I was already barfing. Everything. So I had to miss Christmas Mass with my family. And I could only really get up around 12 noon the following day.

I am still sniffling right now. Nasal drip is so bad, sigh. Good thing Yakee seems to have forgiven me already for the lousy Christmas day... and Yamee doesn't care just yet.

Salt and Water = Magic

And here I thought saline solution is only used for gargling or flushing one's nose. Having been an allergic rhinitis sufferer, I have made saline solution my friend. In fact, my family each has his own bottle of Salinase. And unfortunately, we are all using them now, what with the weather and Christmas merry making/candy compromising our immune system and subjecting us to sniffles and sneezes. Sigh.

But I digress.

I just found out that sterile saline solution for eyes. For example, a site like 1800Contacts offers preservative free saline solution which I feel allergic people with bad eye sight will really appreciate.

Cold weather, air conditioning, plane flights and even one's health can all dry up ones eyes. And it's really amazing that saline solution is the only thing one needs to make sure one's eyes are not irritated by contact lenses. Makes for longer contacts usage, for sure.

Plus, you don't want to end up like those commercials depicting a Mom feeding her dog by mistake due to poor eye sight and dry eyes, right? And with colored contacts all the rage for teens right now, at least one's violet eyes can stay on for hours longer.

Say it with me then, salt and water together creates magic! Or at least, healing.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gifted Myself with Eden Again

Because we really cannot locate my gray Mamaway nursing top, I used that as justification to purchase new nursing tops. And I finally gave in to my desires and purchased another Infinitude... in peach blush this time. Plus, I bought an Aria nursing top (also from Eden). I so wanted a white one but they only had black in my size. Oh and I also bought myself their Poem Scarf, finally.

To date, I have officially spent some P15k on Eden Nursing Wear. And I can't wait for their new collections!!!

Somebody say it with me... addict!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Valentine Clothes for Christmas

Well, since I am really bent on having us all wearing red on Christmas, I might as well have us wear them again on Valentine's Day 2011 for some photo opps. I do look great in red, if I may say so.

But when, oh, when do I shop for them?

I just hope shops will carry a lot of red polos for my hubby and son. And I hope I can find a red onesie for Yamee (and maybe a wee Santa hat). I already have red tops care of Corsierre and Eden so I just really need to shop for them.

When, oh, when do I shop?


On a related note, I wonder when Yakee will start making up things and initiating greetings for such special occasions? I can't wait to receive a Valentine on February, or get flowers again for Mother's Day.


I don't even know what model this unit is anymore. With the wedding expenses we had to pay for back in 2005, it was all I could afford. But I was bent on finally having a camera phone then. So, I bought this unit.

It was the same phone that I was using while getting made up for church, the one where my groom's messages about being nervous that day are still stored... to this day. Well, he did text that he's sure I'd be the most beautiful bride ever, too. Our only picture of him carrying me on the threshold of our hotel room was also taken by this phone.

And can you believe it, I still have this phone. It's served me well in the five years that I've had it. And for the most part, I didn't think I needed a new one.

Except now.

Now, I want a Nokia C7 but I can't afford it. I am a stay-at-home Mom who just gave birth to her second child. We have priorities to take care of first. But I really want a Nokia C7 because of so many reasons, possibly trivial to others, but are real and serious ones for me:

1) I need to embrace touch screen technology.

2) And have a phone that will allow me to maximize my postpaid plan. I'm addicted to Plurk and Facebook anyway.

3) Plus, I blog.

4) And attend blogger events that require pictures. I can't keep bringing my DSLR to those.

5) And I'm a Mom of a preschooler and infant. Not only do I need C7 to help me capture magical moments, it will also occupy less space and weight in our baby bag when we go out.

6) I also plan to lose weight starting next year and run in the Mommy Milkshake marathon. I could use a Sports Tracker like what hubby uses to monitor his jogs.

7) This can be my push present. Technically, it's the husband who should give me one but he's already springing for our son's christening next week. We really have priority expenses at the moment.

8) Should I win it, and my hubby desires it, I'd readily give him my prize because he's the biggest blessing in my life. Bringing a twinkle in his eye is the least I could do for him.

9) And how else do I expect to raise techie-savy kids if their parents don't have the latest Nokia has to offer?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy to be Out

This was taken last night at the EB for my blog friend, and Yakee's Ninang, at Malayan Plaza.

The other night, our family took my Mom to the bus station in Cubao and bought a vacuum cleaner. I guess you can say, I have been exposing my sons to all kinds of germs these days. We were literally out every day this week except today, and it's either from exhaustion or cabin fever that Yakee acted out earlier tonight and scratched and bit me. My right wrist is still swollen and tender from the bite. I should really rethink tetanus shots.

But anyway, I'm still glad to be out a lot. It's hard, with two kids in tow, but it also makes me feel human. I'm just having issues with my breastfeeding clothes because I've lost weight so some of them are riding lower in front and exposing me more, and one of them is missing (the one I intended for the baptism).

Can you appreciate how puffed my eyes are?

And yes, it seems like my wardrobe isn't changing. Well, I really have to wear nursing tops when am out with the kids and it just so happened that I have four black, three red, two gray (one of which was missing, the other being the Infinitude) and a striped purple one. Not much variety, I know :)

Which is why it drives me crazy that I can't find a seller of the green and lilac Corsierre. Haha.

I have yet to buy outfits for us this Christmas!!! But oh, when to do it!


Meanwhile, Yamee's gaining almost 3x the normal weight gain of newborns. Yikes!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wish Come True

One of my dearest fantasies as a child was to become a mother and have my Mom take care of me and my son like what my grandma used to do for all her grandkids. She made a practice of staying with each family with a newborn. I don't know how long she stayed or if she was really hands on with each child but I at least had that impression. And thus, the fantasy.

Then, my parents migrated abroad before I got married. And even when my mom arrived a few weeks after I gave birth with my firstborn, she was really rather busy to stay put. She did wake us up so she can bond with my son but she'd immediately have to hand over Yakee because she had errands to do.

Now, she's back again and still busy. But she's also staying put more and has even taken it upon herself to teach Yakee table manners. And I can leave Yamee with her. She'd even sleep with Yamee on her chest. My father has even bottlefed Yamee my EBM and has made Yakee laugh with glee by giving him piggyback rides and playing basketball.

This morning, it filled me to overflowing to hear my mother's loud singing and humming to Yamee. My sons will never really enjoy my parents all the time but I am glad for these moments. Really thankful for these moments.

And somehow, all my old (and petty) resentments over their parenting are washed away... and/or forgiven.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bone Help

First of all, I am so glad that Mom bought us enough Calcium supplements to last for months. I am taking moringa capsules for calcium but my hubby prefers calcium supplements to moringa. And it's important we get enough calcium for our ageing bones. Plus, I am worried that the pregnancies and breastfeeding are depleting my calcium stores and are making my bones brittle. I am even now concerned about arthritis and Shoulder Bone Spur too.

Now, I can't wait to get a massage as well. My bones are just aching! Yakee has figured out I can start carrying him again. And he sometimes asks to be carried along with Yamee (by his Pappie, thank God, for I absolutely cannot accomplish that). Plus, Yamee really does not like being breastfed in the side-lying position. And breastfeeding counselor that I am, I don't really breastfeed sitting propped on a chair which means I don't provide ample support for my back. Thus, the back pain.

Am just glad that there are sites like discussing treatment options like using ice, massage therapy, stretching and exercise. The site eveb allows patients to share their treatment history with others. And yes, walking is a treatment option too.

I just really hope I am keeping osteoporosis at bay.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running on Empty

That's how it feels like most of the time now. I have been stress eating on chocolates to keep me awake for my demanding infant but currently need not research on the best weight loss supplement because the lack of sleep is just keeping weight gain at bay.

Hubs and I just look at each other sometimes, hoping the other will care for the child and let us sleep. well, I give in most of the time since he can't exactly breastfeed.

And the holidays are just sooooo bad for my Yakee's temper because the changes in his routine exhaust him, and in turn, us.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sneaky Mommy

For what it's worth, people just have to credit me for raising a reader in my firstborn. But these days, I am just so tired at night to read long stories to him so when I saw these, I immediately bought them.

Yakee loves Curious George.

And these books teach about measurements and grouping and nature.

And they're pretty short but really interesting stories.

I have been resisting the purchase of Curious George compilations because I just know Yakee would try getting me to finish the book and not settle with just one story from the book.

That's how am sneaky. Ahehe.


P60 each from Booksale :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

UP-PGH FMAB: Yay or Nay?

We have already enjoyed UP-PGH's Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB) because my sons' pedia has been holding clinic there since October and that's where we take my newborn. In fact, we're going back there for his shots on Tuesday as well as for Yakee's primary complex consult.

I was even surprised and happy that a blogger event was held there yesterday to help create buzz about FMAB and how it not only houses the creme de la creme of Philippine medicine but also offers all the latest medical technology.

When I was searching for what FMAB stood for though (as I kept forgetting), I came across this article and felt a little bothered.

It's true. Because I can afford it, I like the idea of a clean, air-conditioned waiting area when I go or take my child for checkups. And as a mother, I LOVE the idea of not having to look very far should I need to seek a specialist for my child. You see, our pedia is a pedia-neonatologist and he will be sharing the pediatrics complex with a pediatric dentist, a developmental pedia, a pedia pulmo, etc. I'm sure you get the picture. That is such a great convenience, isn't it? And these are UP-PGH doctors which I really consider to be the best in the country by virtue of their training attending to UP-PGH patients. Plus, I bet they'd be all breastfeeding-friendly at least.

I can just gush and gush and gush.

However, I greatly respect Dr. Jose Gonzales because he was my late nephew's surgeon and is very well-respected by even Filipino doctors abroad. So he must have a clearer view of the bigger picture here. Me, I am only being selfish and thinking of what's convenient for me.

Then again, I had assumed, after seeing all that space for private clinics, that the privatization of the FMAB will help subsidize the operations of PGH. And I was willing to be a paying customer because I thought it would contribute to free medicines for others. Plus, at least doctors will be more available to those who NEED them while also being able to earn a living.

My pedia still charges his usual rate. I really hope the same will hold true for the other doctors holding clinic there and that the FMAB will not take away from PGH's earnings. I also can't think of how exactly but I also hope the FMAB will actually bring in more money to PGH.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yakee's been diagnosed to have primary complex. We're still seeking a second opinion for it with his main pedia but it's not like primary complex isn't common in kids in the Philippines.

I told myself on the way home that I might need a good cry over it. Though curable, it still sucks to have a sick child. Plus, Yakee has to take antibiotics now for his bad cough (he already has phlegm and the cough's been around for over two weeks).

And I find myself resentful, upset, struggling and just plain angry about learning to care for two kids. Now, I really have to pump everyday just to make sure that there's something either Yakee or Yamee will drink, should they have a need for it.

And what's happened to my attempt to collect milk for donation? It got stuck at 8 ounces of frozen milk. Hehe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not an SSS Member

That was one thing we failed to do again for my last pregnancy: collect social security benefits pertaining to maternity. Before, I was enrolled with GSIS and they did not give maternity benefits to their members. SSS, however, does. I remember, a Mom who gave birth around the same time I did got P15,000 in maternity benefits.

We could have really used a similar sum this time, though I know a lot will depend on my employment status and the premiums I pay. Still, I haven't become an SSS self-employed member ever since I quit my government job. The most we did was have me declared as hubby's dependent in his Philhealth and TIN.

I wonder though if SSS offers disability benefits to its members. Maybe it isn't yet late for me and it's still wise to become a member.

Monday, December 6, 2010

ABC Project

I was browsing Artscow, basking in the delight of having just placed Photobooks I ordered, when I saw that there's a ABC category for the Photo Books. It seems mommies have made it a project to take pictures, or find pictures of their child with something starting with every letter of the alphabet and turned those into a photo book.

Brilliant eh?

I bet the kid will indeed be more enticed to learn his ABCs.

Now, am thinking of making one and just use both Yakee and Yamee's pics. Am sure it will amuse Yakee and well... Yamee will be confused enough to think it's all him. After all, they really look the same. Hehe.

I can't wait! Now, what size do I make them though...


At the Manila Doctors Bazaar, I bought matching necklace and earrings from Klasse Murae made from glass beads.

At the Noel Bazaar, I bought two necklaces made from shells and beads and three earrings to match. Yes, I am into fashion jewelry now, only I am limited by my funds, wardrobe and allergy to most metals. So, much as I really love some designs, I just dare not invite rashes. Plus, some accessories are quite expensive (which is why I am partly itching to go to Marinduque because the Moriones bazaar there has really cheap accessories vendors).

The same goes with bags. I just cannot get anything with studs and other metallic adornments. But my Mom gave me a nice, classy bag and now I really must get myself an Eden Poem Scarf. I'm just not buying a baby bag anymore!

Yes, I am into accessories now. But I have to temper all the purchases since Yamee will grow up and might start tugging and chewing my precious necklaces, so I just know, there'd come a time I'd have to forego the neck embellishments when I'm with him.

And that's practically all the time!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Buying Gifts Online

My husband's birthday was a quiet one and I didn't even have a proper card for him. I just digiscrapped a page and that was it. He had to buy his own cake even.

And now, Christmas is looming and I have no proper gift to give again. I know I can always find inexpensive gifts online for men but I also know that he is lusting for specific gadgets, which are quite expensive.

I am thinking of buying him this Obsession perfume though that I read about that (big) cats are supposed to like.

I also haven't bought gifts for any niece or nephew just yet, except my Artscow projects for three nieces. I am leaning towards not buying anyone anything (to be fair) but I also know that I am the gift-giving kind. Sigh. Who knows how else I will be stressing myself and everyone else.

I might just order from Clever Cats or :)

Mommy on a Rage

It could be the lack of sleep.

And too much chocolates.

And the niggling belief that it's my fault my firstborn is sick.

I have been on a rage for at least two days, and really emotional again for the past three.

So yeah, maybe my Mom being here is also a stressor, hehe.

Anyway, I have been in a mutinous silence all morning so hubs held my hand at lunch and told me SORRY. And I cried.

I cried because I do appreciate his efforts for wanting to make things better. And I also cried because I know he doesn't know how he's particularly contributed to my bad mood. But still, he was willing to either take the blame for everything that's not going right or acknowledge for me that he's sad too that everything's not going right. So maybe I should get him an xbox or iPad for Christmas, just to make up for all my crabbiness.

And does it really help when I try not to be too hard on myself? Sometimes, when I remind myself that I don't have to make sense since I have just given birth, it sounds like I am just rationalizing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

165 Lbs

This is me now, slightly Photoshopped to lighten the bags under my eyes. But aren't my girls nice? hehe.

And isn't my smile radiant?

Anyway, I am posting this to remind me to be vigilant about my looks and to keep my promise that I will work on being fab and healthy. I am 165 lbs. now and don't have the voracious appetite of my pregnancy days anymore. My parents just arrived from the US, laden with chocolates, and I curb all my sweet tooth as much as I can. I also try to limit my rice now and ignore hunger pangs while I wait for morning to come when my infant is being well... an infant.

But my Mom is bent on cooking for me. Today she cooked crabs and kangkong in gata and it was really, really delicious. I guess I should pump more milk, despite the freezing issues, if only to burn more calories.

But anyway, the point is... as of this moment, I am still on my way to fab :D


Also got 3 sets of eye shadows... and I only have to eyes, and we're talking 28 different shades. Haha.

And some blue liner and finally, a MAC lipstick again!

Haggard Hubby

Currently at wits' end attending to two sons, one of whom is an infant and the other is a feverish preschooler (who just also showered his play dough set with Yakult, arggh). Where is hubby in all these? Sleeping.

I let him sleep early to stave off a migraine. He was awake at 6 AM and let me catch some sleep for a while this morning so I owe him. Plus, he also wakes up when our infant cries. Soon, I may be getting him some wrinkle cream from just so he won't look older than his years.

But Readers' Digest did say that involved, caring people decrease their chances of getting heart attacks so I guess there is an upside to all this exhaustion. Plus, it's not like caring for our sons doesn't have its other rewards.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sleep Deprived

I think I need the help of natural sleep aids because I am being really grumpy on hubby and short on Yakee for lacking sleep.

Yamee actually has spells when he'd just sleep but during the day, I either squeeze in some work or playtime with Yakee. I also bond with my newly-arrived mom. At night, even when Yamee sleeps, I get awakened by the noises he makes, a cacophony of grunts and moans that disturb my sleep because I want to get him before he cries in earnest and disrupts his older brother's sleep. And even when I know someone is minding him during the day, I can't get any rest when I hear him fuss. Unfortunately for me, I cannot always go back to sleep after being woken up.


I am worried that I am turning out to be unloving to the other boys in my life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Flowers for this Mommy

About a week ago, hubs went out with my firstborn to buy something and get him out of my hair. When they returned, Yakee was beaming with enthusiasm as he said "hello Mommy, we're back! Here are flowers for you!"

Pappie prompted him about what else he should say and Yakee dutifully recited, "You're the best Mommy in the world for me and Yamnyoy!" :)

I was too exhausted then to be aptly delighted but I am thankful for my husband's thoughtfulness and my firstborn's exuberance. Somehow, I felt validated about doing some things right.

Your Kids May Be the Future Maestros -- Thanks to the Web

Like many of the moms having children approaching their teenage years, do you also wish that your children do something in the field of fine arts? Do you also wish that they learn to play musical instruments or have their own authority in the field of music? If your answer to these questions is, yes, then you should read on and understand how it can be done the easy way.

Having an ordinary computer with a reasonably good Internet connection might be all your children need to learn music, if they are beginning. This is because the Internet can provide you numerous resources that can be used easily for learning music at virtually no cost. Many websites are specialized and resourceful with a wealth of tutorials in written, composed, sung, or played forms of music.

You can educate and motivate your children to learn to sing, play instruments, or to read music scripts using the fun-filled ways these websites are equipped with. Also, with the help of their musical instruments and a computer, your children can even compose their own music and share it with their friends and others. This way your children will get a feeling of achievement when they get remarks and good ratings from others.

Learning music from the Internet can also be a good way of earning some cash as well. You can choose to sell music related products, such as music CDs, DVDs, new and used musical instruments, etc. For this, you can simply read an affiliate review of a suitable affiliate program. Sign up once you are aware of the products you are going to sell and the terms and conditions of the actual seller. In reality, you would be redirecting your visitors to the actual sellers of these musical products and earning a good commission for the purchase made.

A Mother's Saving Grace: Quick Cash

Being a mom isn't easy. Whether a mom is a stay at home type or a nine to fiver, days are filled from beginning to end with responsibilities. Many of those responsibilities are related to money. In many two parent households, mothers are responsible for managing the household budget, making sure the bills get paid, and doing the majority of the shopping. For single mothers, the “majority” part disappears, and they have to take care of everything. It's a lot of hard work, but somebody's got to do it.

At some point in a mom's life, especially a single working mom, something is going to go wrong. Maybe she needs to take time off work to take care of a sick child or another family member. Maybe there's a problem with a car, or there could be a problem with the house. In any case, money emergencies will almost certainly pop up from time to time. With as little time as most moms have, and with the financial obligations that single moms are under, unexpected expenses can be disastrous. Most live from check to check and have to carefully budget the available money down to the penny in order to live comfortably.

Payday loans may not be the ideal solution for these women, but they do provide an option to escape from disaster. They represent a way out of a sudden, unexpected emergency money situation. Instead of having to be hopeless, they instead have access to a way to get money quickly so they can resolve short term problems. All they need in order to do this is a steady job. They don't have to go through a long, drawn out application process. Often it can be completed in an hour or less. And when you're on a mom's schedule, every minute you can save is precious.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Breast Crawl That Wasn't

Have I officially said that I have given birth already?

Anyway, people are always commenting on how far Asian Hospital is from where we live so we always had to repeat that hubs' family is from the South and that's where we left Yakee, and that our pedia instituted the ENP in Asian.

Anyway, again, because I indicated in a note that I had a strong drug allergy history, intend to exclusively breastfeed and want to experience ENP, the attending anesthesiologist did not sedate me anymore to ensure that my baby won't be groggy and will do the breast crawl. Needless to say, it was traumatic for me hearing all the tinkle of the instruments and conversation going on.

Unfortunately, my darling Yamee didn't receive the memo that I wanted him to do the breast crawl and only had plans of sleeping till the next day.

So yeah, he was heartily crying, making the doctors comment that he might be a cryer but when he was put on my chest (because I was a CS delivery), he immediately stopped and slept.

But we did get precious skin to skin contact and I loved the instant connection I felt. I immediately felt that I was his Mom and he is my child, which took days before I felt it with Yakee. There was none of the estrangement and none of the insecurities. Our heartbeats just synchronized and I immediately KNEW that he KNEW who I was, that he was safe again when he was on top of me.

Of course, I guess it also makes a difference that Yamee is my second child already. I am just a lot more confident now. But really, somehow, I know him more or know more of him when he was born.

So yes, IF we're having a 3rd baby, it will be at Asian Hospital again and I will insist on ENP again.


Sometimes being a mom means giving up the more elegant things in life. For most of us, being a mom means messes and diaper bags and putting our pennies in a college fund, instead of taking that night out on the town. But it is worth it. What could possibly be more important than our next generation, after all? Sometimes, though, I think that we don't believe this as much as we give lip service to it. I mean, even beyond the sad state of our schools. I read this book recently that really freaks me out. It's called The Price of Motherhood, and it talks about the burden society places on mothers. Women, in general, are getting closer and closer to closing the pay gap, but mothers aren't at all. In fact, it says that motherhood is the most accurate predictor of poverty in old age. What a sad and terrible thing: how we care for our elders and how we care for our children. Fatherhood is correlated with higher wealth. It sounds like a lot of ugly, messy divorces, you know? It's really been a lot of food for thought.

I know I'm especially lucky, because (and don't tell him I peeked!) my husband is getting me some beautiful Roberto Coin bracelets for Christmas. They're gorgeous, really, exquisite even. And as much as I know that he's in this for the long haul, as much as I know that life is a lot safer now than it was back then, it feels a little bit like the old tradition of giving one's spouse fine jewelry because you know they can sell it, and be taken care of financially if something happens to you. Call me old fashioned, but it feels really romantic being given some elegant things in life.

LATCHers at the MDG-F Photo Exhibit

Aside, we could be models for Indigo Manila, Blissfulbabes and Eden Maternity with our fab nursing wear, no?
(photo courtesy of Stan from The Stork Studio)

I basically missed the entire thing since we got there late, save for the exhibit which was great. Anyway, briefly, the Millenium Development Goals Achievement Fund/Philippines has partnered with DLS-College of St. Benilde, Breastfeeding Patrol of Mandaluyong City, L.A.T.C.H. Inc., National Nutrition Council, Department of Health, SM, UNICEF and the Stork Studio to come up with a photo exhibit with their theme: "support, promote and protect exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding for a healthy child, family and community."

They got breastfeeding moms to pose while breastfeeding in public around MOA and put those on exhibit. Kudos really to Stan of Stork Studio for the wonderful pictures.

I am really glad that the government seems to be more proactive about breastfeeding promotion and support, and I really hope more families will be made aware of breastfeeding benefits... the long-term ones especially since saving money on formula for now is the least of it.

The Things We Give Up Being a Mom

There is nothing in the whole world that I desired more than to be a mother. I wanted to have that little child in my arms, hold them and love them. When I was little I always used to play house and had tons of baby dolls, so it is not surprising to anyone that knew me that this was a huge desire of mine to fulfill.

So now that I am a mother and have been for a while, I got to thinking of all the things that I have given up being a mom. Some of them I miss, some I don't. Here is my list of things I've given up recently to be a mother.

Fun Sites
I used to surf the Internet for hours and play on social media sites, sports betting sites and even shop on eBay and Craigslist. Gone are those days when I had hours to surf and look around online.

Me Time
My children are like "mini mes." Wherever I go they go with me. This is a wonderful feeling but one of the things I miss is the me time. The time I got to shop on my own, take a bath or relax. This doesn't happen often enough and it is one of the things I sacrificed.

An Adult Conversation
My whole day is filled with what so and so did, what they ate or their activities. I no longer have "adult" style conversations with my friends, family or husband anymore. I love my children but sometimes I crave a conversation about the latest TV shows, movies or sales event at the mall.

Looking back there are things I miss but I would never, ever ask for them back. I love being a mother and nothing can ever replace the feeling that I have holding my little one's hand. The sacrifices were well worth it.

Don't Gamble Your Children's Future!

As most everyone knows, having a child is an expensive proposition. Strike that – raising the child is an expensive proposition. Of course, there are things like keeping the child fed and clothed and so on, and then there's allowance when they grow up (if you do allowance) and buying them a car (if they're good that is) and so on and so forth. Still, the big expenditure that everyone thinks about when contemplating raising a child is the cost of education, specifically sending the child or children to college.

College is not cheap. It is a big investment, and investment is the right word, because most students come out of college with a large debt burden, which it is the hope they can repay with the fruits of the college degree they've just earned. But how do you as the parent pay for the cost of tuition in the meantime? There are several routes for doing this. Student loans are the method most people use. Financial aid through grants and gifts and the like is a welcome option to those who can get it. The lottery now is an interesting source for college tuition - interesting because it's a new spin on the big revenue-maker going philanthropic.

Perhaps if your children are able to afford school through the use of a lottery scholarship and go on to become mathematical whizkids, they'll get a job in the home of games of chance, in which case you should invest some of the big money they'll be making in Las Vegas property management, because face it, that's where the money is. And then other children can go to college, too! In any case, the important thing to know is that there are tools available. Do not let intimidating costs deter you. Seek the dream.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Last Preggy Pic with my Infinitude

I sorta actually wore this one the wrong way because I was supposed to tie the panels behind me. But anyway, I am sure going to miss wearing my Infinitude as a preggy woman.

I feel the same way about my bento box stuff, especially since wearing the miso skirt as top last Tuesday just found me having to hitch it up lots of times. Yes, I just sorta implied that I've lost a lot of weight already. I am now only 168 lbs. I was exceeding 190 lbs when I was about to pop. Let's do some Math here... that's what, at least 20 lbs. lost in two weeks!

I just hope Yamee will continue being a good nurser. I also hope that pumping more regularly will help me lose weight. I really don't want to put pressure on myself about donating milk but it's really something I want to be able to do, especially since I never did it with Yakee (and I nursed him for over 2 years!). I am not for tandem breastfeeding and may never be a wet nurse, but this much I can do. It's just the logical next step in my breastfeeding advocacy.

And if I don't win the pump I am haunting FB for, I just hope my trusty Pigeon will continue working wonders for me. 3 ounces from just one breast this morning! I am on a roll!

Telling Your Children About the Holidays

It can seem relatively easy to tell your children about whatever holidays are a part of your religious beliefs. However, in a culture that must be handled with increasing tolerance and understanding, teaching about one belief may not be enough. It seems like the earlier your children understand the diversity, the better it is. That doesn't change the fact that it's tricky territory to navigate.

Good Ways to Start
Children, especially the younger ones, won't question too much of what you say. That doesn't mean that they will remember or pay much attention to it either, though. One good way to get their attention is to make a game out of it as you start.

Luckily, the holidays are perfect for this. Different cultures have created songs, activities, traditions, and games that talk about the details of the holiday. If you're talking to your child about Christmas, have them listen to some Christmas songs. If you're teaching them about Hanukkah, help them make their own dreidel for spinning.

Make It Into a Story
Rather than just presenting ideas and saying "in some places, people celebrate like this," make it into a fun story. Children love hearing exciting stories, especially if they're told in an expressive manner. Tell the stories that surround the holidays, obviously editing them slightly to fit into your belief set and the child's maturity level.

Introduce Them to Other Cultures
Rather than simply telling them about one culture or another, try to have them meet people of other faiths, thus recognizing that they are people just like us. If you're comfortable with it, you can even take them to other religious celebrations.

Teaching your child about different beliefs may seem as daunting as beating an online casino, but it's very doable. If done right, it can serve as the perfect foundation for acceptance and kindness in your child's future.

Preparing for Baby During Pregnancy

Being pregnant is both an exciting and scary time in life, especially if you are expecting your first child. There is so much preparation that needs to be done and so many things that need to be purchased that the whole situation can be quite overwhelming. It is also a lot of fun.

You start your preparation for baby physically. You go to all of your checkups and take your prenatal vitamins religiously. You do everything you physically can to ensure that your baby is growing and is healthy and that you are taking care of yourself, too. You exercise everyday and eat three meals and snacks.

There are a ton of other preparations that need to be made before the baby arrives. You have to buy a crib and all the other essential baby items that you will need. A baby shower can help with some of this, but there are still going to be things that you will need to pick up on your own. Don’t forget to buy a car seat, too. You can’t bring baby home without one. You should have everything prepared for the baby by your eighth month so you can focus on relaxing and resting up the last month before your baby arrives. Besides, you’ll always find little projects to work on to keep you busy preparing for your baby.

For all of these baby purchases, you should check out to see if there are any discounts you can use to save money. After the baby comes you are going to have less money to spend in general because of the baby’s needs, so be sure to be prepared as much as possible. It never hurts to look for deals, so even if you can’t find what you are looking for in one place, you should keep trying other places.

Planning for Teenage Budgeting

If you're part of the (unfortunately small) group that learned great budgeting skills growing up, consider yourself lucky. It seems like almost no one hears the right lessons these days. In the meantime, kids are watching hours upon hours of television — and what budgeting lesson does that teach them? "Spend, spend, spend!" And worse yet... "borrow, borrow, borrow."

For some paranoid parents, the solution has been to prevent children from spending at all during their teenage years. What a waste! This is the best opportunity for children to learn how to spend wisely, and finally get a wise voice to contradict what they hear in the world of constant advertising. As such, I'm planning ahead to make sure that my children receive the best possible budgeting guidance during their teenage years.

One of the ways to start is by getting a savings account into gear early. While it's great to start a college fund, it's unlikely that your children understand the value of an education at this stage in the game. But they do understand the value of a bicycle, video game, or iPod. By teaching kids about how to invest gradually for something that they want, you can teach them the value of saving over borrowing.

Another good technique is getting a prepaid credit card for your child. This way, you can load their allowance or earned money onto the card, giving them a lot of independence to spend as they see fit. However, they also won't be able to cause overdraft charges or go beyond their budget.

If your child doesn't have an outside income source, such as a paper route or part-time job, see what you can do to help them find work of this nature. While an allowance can be a good starting point, income earned from someone else will give a much better sense of responsibility.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stressed Over Christening

We originally planned my son's christening to be sometime end of January or February. I wanted to have adjusted to two kids already and to have lost some weight. Plus, we needed time to come up with money for it.

But hubs' sister was arriving from Dubai and my parents are arriving from the US. And my Mom is going back there in January so it doesn't seem wise to delay it since we do believe christenings are a family thing.

So we've booked Aristocrat already for the reception and now, I am trying to get a decent photographer who's not going on holiday then. Hubs and I hemmed and hawed over the menu but decided on the packaged one. We'll just leave it to our guests to do their post-Christmas colon cleansing elsewhere... fish is just really more expensive than meat. Hehe.

Now, I have about a week to finalize the invitations (which we'd send via Facebook only) and maybe do the layout for the tarp. Then after that, I can print the meaning of Yamee's name to leave with Aristocrat so they can attach it to the souvenirs we're getting from them. It's an uninpsired glittery something but I just don't have the strength to scour Divi anymore.

Becoming a Better Mother and Role Model

While there is no greater joy in my life than being a mother, I have also found that I need to focus on my own well-being at times to maintain my sanity. As my son has reached the preschool years, being a parent has become more trying, and I must continually adapt my parenting skills to his rapidly developing curiosity. I want to be a strong role model for him as he grows so that he will have the skills needed to succeed in the world. If these are feelings to which you can relate, then I want to share a few ways I have found to improve my own well-being and thus, become a stronger role model for my child.

Eliminate Debt
A major cause of stress for me before having a child and even during most of my son’s infancy was debt. Having debt is emotionally draining because the worry about how to pay monthly bills takes attention and energy away from other more important areas of life, such as raising children.

As such, if you have multiple forms of debt, then I strongly encourage you to utilize a debt consolidation service as a way to eliminate this source of stress from your life. You will likely find that once you seriously tackle your debt, you will feel much more positive about the future.

Maintain Social Ties
While you may want to spend every moment possible with your child, it is also important to maintain social ties with other mothers or friends you had before you were a mother. Maintaining these social outlets is important because these friends can act as a support system when you need to vent about grown-up matters. They can also be an outlet to discuss things that are going on within your community.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Missing the Deaf Festival

It's Deaf Festival at CSB this week... and I am missing the final show. Actually, technically I can go and just bring my infant with me, I guess, but even though we've been to the mall already, I think it's still too early to sit through a show with him.

I am missing my FSL friends though. I am missing CSB too and it's Deaf community and handicapped signs and really cold rooms. I miss being a student again there, swiping my ID at the entrance and actually using anotebook again. I can't help but wonder what the kids will be doing this year and if they'd have as wonderful a guest as last year.

But hey, the reason am missing the festival is someone who's made life happier and more meaningful for me so I am not really complaining.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Struggling with Nursing Wear

With Yakee, I bought three non-padded nursing bras but didn't really use them. Instead, I just unclasped my regular brassieres and hitched my shirt or top up. I just didn't care if my flabby belly was getting exposed, it was the comfiest way for me to nurse.

With Yamee now, I have invested greatly in nursing bras and tops. Well, I only just bought a Mamamway bra and a Blissfulbabes bandeau. But I have really invested in nursing tops. Unfortunately, I am struggling with all of them! A part of me is convinced that I'm just not used manipulating them but a part of me also silently feels that the old way is better for me.


Bra pads on my sake tank tops (because a breast pad will get deformed and no pads will draw attention to my chest) feel like they're annoying my baby.

And the Mamaway bra's padded cups feel more like a barrier during breastfeeding.

I am liking my breastfeeding bandeau the most, since it offers hitch up or pull down options for me which wouldn't conflict much with my tops' openings. And well, my new Corsierre seems to be a lot more thicker and need not require pads.

I have to believe that there is hope for me yet and that I can breastfeed in style. I just need more practice!

Out and About

I arranged for today (well, technically, yesterday) to be a day for errands.

I finally collected cheque payments from Vibal and ABS-CBN, one of which ended up being stale so good luck asking for a replacement cheque.

Then I also applied for a replacement card for my EON debit card.

Then we went to MOA for the MDG-F Photo Exhibit that was co-sponsored by LATCH and also did some grocery shopping. Hubs, my cousin and I all took turns holding Yamee through the day that hubs asked why we didn't bring my sling. Truth is, even if I complain that Yamee is such a lazy nurser, he is thriving beautifully and can get quite burdensome in the arms already. At one point, I even wondered myself if we shouldn't get an ergo baby carrier there and then.

I just hope my antibodies are protecting my newborn because he sure was exposed to germs today.

Oh and it tickled me pink that people said I didn't look like I've just given birth. Hehe. And yes, I just bought another nursing top!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anticipating Loot from Abroad

Two of my parents' balikbayan boxes are already here, albeit we haven't officially received them because they were delivered while we weren't here and they wouldn't release the packages to my cousin.

Another one is on its way.

And while chatting with my sister earlier, she told me about how it's Black Friday sale this coming Friday and that's when she and my aunt are going to load up on things for me. My parents are also doing a last-minute shopping spree then and will just ship the parcels before they leave since they are already over the baggage limit.

So yeah, it was with a light heart indeed that I went through my son's toys and threw away about a fourth of what he has because I just know we need the space. Plus, there'd be two of them already. The diaper and wipes boxes alone will require a huge space in the house. I can't help but wonder what else my parents bought for us.

Forgetful Breastfeeder

I remembered not eating anything garlicky, but mostly because I didn't want to invite gas myself.

I remembered to forego squid, as it might cause my infant allergies.

But I forgot about eating spicy tamarind. Well, I forgot when I was buying the spicy tamarind that I can't really binge on it, and just remembered in time last night that it might upset my infant. Sure enough, Yamee was fussiest last night, and I wasn't able to really sleep since past 1 AM.


I have forgotten that breastfeeding is a lot like still being pregnant. I still have to watch what I eat lest it upsets my baby.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preschooler Acting Up

I don't have much time to spare these days. And instead of looking up diet pill reviews, I have to Google discipline tips and strategies instead because my firstborn son is acting up.

To his credit, he is still a happy and sweet boy. And much as it pains me when he cries quietly sometimes when he's done something he really knows hurt someone or is wrong, I also like that he's developing a conscience already and that he's growing up.

But he's always had a penchant for hitting, out of glee and frustration. Now, it's becoming more unmanageable. Just today, he punched me in the stomach and hit my cut (again!!!) when I was just asking him what he wanted for breakfast. In retrospect, I think he felt threatened that I wasn't going to let him play that's why he thought to act up.


Makeover Madness

My Plurk friends and I are on a makeover madness. We're all moms who felt we forgot all about taking care of ourselves so now, we're making up for lost beauty and wellness.

We're always busy comparing makeup tips and products, asking questions like "do diet pills work?" or "how much carbs do we really need per day?" and going to specialists to care for our hair, skin and teeth.

My main focus right now is weight loss, makeup and clothes. Looking fab, basically, while also going for a healthy weight. I have to start eating healthier though and that's easier said than done. After all, I am finishing off a huge slige of cake while typing this.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artscow Hearkens with Christmas Ornaments

Artscow is offering photo Christmas ornaments at $2/ornament and I am super tempted to order at least ten of them. Or twenty.

It's actually still really expensive since that would amount to P80 per ornament but we're talking about stars with my kids' photos here. I'm thinking I'd use what I will be ordering on our first Christmas tree in our own home next year, complete with other christmas plants and flowers to perk up the place. I really intend to decorate next year. Right now, all we have are Christmas balls hanging from the eaves of our living room ceiling.

Or, if I am really sweet, I could gift them to MIL, who always has the best Christmas tree ever.

I have several more dayd to think about it. To spend (and splurge) or not to spend.

EON Expiring

I was notified by Paypal that my VISA card enrolled in my Paypal account was expriring. That was my Unionbank EON account. I called their Customer Service Hotline and it seems I have to pay them a visit and request for a card replacement. Maybe I can ask them about banking careers while am there, hehe.

Then, since I am having issues accessing my cyber account with them, I have to create another account once I get the new card.

Good thing hubs is on extended leave so we can do this next week. I just hope the card replacement doesn't take long since my EON card expires this December.

Of Pendings and Deadlines

I was such a sloth while I was pregnant that though I did manage to cram the most important things I had to finish, there were still many things I had to leave unattended or pending.

First, I have yet to discuss the insurance quotes from Prulife UK sent to me by my agent friend with the husband.

I also forgot to leave authorization letters at home to receive packages in my behalf. I also forgot to pay the insurance for my parents' houses.

Then there's the AVP photoslide sideline that I have yet to plot on Moviemaker for my friend.

And the tons of things we have to throw away, from clothes to toys to old magazines, so we can make room for new stuff at home.

And I have also only checked e-mails and accounts properly. It seems I could have missed important writing deadlines too.

So now, I cram.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Got The Blues

With Yakee, tears came when he was born... and several days after.

With Yamee, however, tears have been my friend and solace everyday.

Of course, I shed tears when I heard Yamee cry... and those were tears of joy. But then, all the tears after that were unhappy, sometimes really resentful ones.

Like over the gas pain as I writhed in bed.

And having to ask that Yakee not be brought to the hospital because I couldn't deal with him and my pain and Yamee too.

And having a non-demanding Yamee and engorged breasts.

And every time Yakee goes shouting "Go away" or "Leave me alone," expressions he's picked up or were reinforced while we were away.

And every time Yakee would clamor for attention but Yamee will also start crying.

And the times Yamee's crying will wake up Yakee.

And all the times I wanted to sleep but can't.

All the times I need to get up and it hurts, physically, to do so.

Or Yakee having to sleep scrunched in the back seat.

And needing help, feeling undermined, being unheard.

I keep telling myself that I just gave birth. I don't need to make sense, I need to recover.

But even crying hurts me physically, so I cry more. And then I feel I don't really have anything to cry about, so I cry more again.

And I feel trapped in my anger and misery despite all the love and support I have in my life.

I got the blues.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Now a Mom of Two

It's been a challenging and rewarding and humbling week for us. And now, I am a Mom of two boys.

The challenge with Yakee is that we had to leave him behind for a while. And then, after the delivery, we had to literally ask that he not be brought to the hospital as I was in pain and hubs had a migraine and we just couldn't deal with a newborn and him. And then, the reunion isn't exactly that smooth as his cousins were around and he's still feeling conflicted about the changes. And he managed to hit my cut the day I was supposed to be discharged.

But slowly, he's coming round to letting me love him again, albeit a little differently now.

The challenge with Yamee is that he's not as demanding as Yakee was, and not nursing as well as I think he should. He prefers to sleep. On one hand, he's a lot like a Baby Alive doll whose biggest challenge is changing him after he poops, because he's an easier baby than Yakee was. But still, I am getting frustrated with the lack of appetite. I was all set for a baby suckling with gusto and literally sucking me thin. Hehe.

But my boys are coming together slowly... and I am learning to balance my time and energy between the two. Of course, we're still not yet home so a lot will still change and take getting used to.

I am now a mom of two. I can't imagine being this in love but I am. Love truly multiplies and I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Loved Him Well

I was trying to squeeze in some last minute bonding and conditioning with Yakee last night. To sort of prepare him for how demanding his baby brother will be, I spoke of how Yamee will be sleeping all the time, breastfeeding all the time and crying all the time. He said, “No Mommy, I will say, Don’t cry Yamee, don’t cry. Kuya’s here.”

I swear, I teared up in the dark. It brought home to me how the cycle of love continues... my first words to Yakee at the OR were, “It’s ok baby, it’s ok. Mommy’s here.”

Now, he’s echoing those reassuring words for his brother.

I woke up cramping up my right leg and had to wake up bith my son and husband for help. Hubby grabbed my leg and started pushing on it and Yakee, believing his father was harming me, kept trying to get in the middle while saying, “Pappie stop. Stop hurting Mommy.”

Pappie later on had to have a talk with our son to explain to him and reassure him that he will never hurt Mommy.

I did love him well, didn’t I?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ready to Pop

I am ready to pop now but I still insisted in being out for the weekend.

I attended a reunion of sorts with my former Grade 5 classmates and then Sunday, we went to the Global Pinoy Bazaar. This pic was taken after the reunion. I insist in wearing my Infinitude a different way each time. I couldn't wear it bacwards though because I cannot tie it around me anyymore due to my big belly. It sucks, really, since I can't wear it that way and still breastfeed once the baby is out. And yes, I look tired already here (twas past midnight when this was taken, I had to Photoshop some lipstick on me, haha) especially since all the cramming is making me lose sleep.

I bought a multi-wrap in cream from Laura's Shawl Couture and a mini-bento set in wine red from Eden at the bazaar. I am really crushing on the peach blush Infini (plus, it would bring some happy color to my wardrobe!) but I have to save up for it first. After all, I need nursing tanks more than I need shawls. The Multi-wrap was only P350 and I think I'd use it more than I ever will my boncho. Hehe.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Humbled and Grateful

I braved the aftermath of heavy rains today and kept my appointment with my OB, who turned up later than I did because she was caught in traffic herself.

I had to pay to cross two makeshift bridges along Taft going to CNR building and then faced a quandary of sorts at the corner of Taft and Apacible: do I finally wade in flood water or do I ride the rickety makeshift sidecars?

I opted to ride the sidecar and actually almost tipped over into flood water. I remember thinking of that woman who gave birth in the LRT and wondered if I will make the new myself if I give birth there and then. But God was with me and I managed to cross and reach my OB's clinic.

Two of the other patients who were ahead of me just had surgeries to remove cysts in their reproductive systems. One was given a 50-50 chance of conceiving and was advised to start saving up for IVF, which our OB deemed as her best bet in conceiving. That's around P500k without guarantees.

Another one was there for endometriosis and she was vocal about hoping to avoid surgery, not just because of the cost but also because she'd really rather she get operated on because she'll be having a baby.

All are childless still.

And there I was, stressing about delivery costs when God blessed me with not just the means to give birth at the hospital of my choice, but that He blessed me with child without having to go through what those women will be going through.

Of course, I know I am still entitled to stress and rant. I am entitled to my feelings after all. But with my contracting belly and throbbing yah-know, I was reminded of God's love for me and how it's such a privilege being who I am.

And so, I celebrate again the gift of motherhood... and silently offer others a prayer that those as deserving as I am be blessed as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Volunteer Opportunity/Casting Call for UNICEF

Got this in my FB:

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY/CASTING CALL!!! Looking for breastfeeding moms and babies willing to take part of a Unicef exhibit/campaign. Location will be at SM MOA and the theme is breastfeeding anytime, anywhere. Shoot dates will be anytime between Nov 10-17. Please email your photo (you and baby), not necessarily nursing to along with you and your baby's details (name and age.) THANK YOU!..

I'd have given birth already by then and heck, I'd sure love to volunteer to such a cause. But I think my hubby will bop me on the head for even wanting to go to MOA after just giving birth.

But maybe I can run this by him and see how supportive he'll be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Parenting Out of Fear

There are no guarantees.

From the viewpoint of fear,
None are strong enough.
From the viewpoint of love,
None are necessary. (Emmanuel Teney)

I have strived to not parent out of fear, though fear is such a strong motivation. So I have decided to choose which things I will fear instead that will motivate the kind of parenting I do and the kind of mother I become.

So, I allow my son some germs because he won't live and grow in a vacuum.

And I don't give him everything he wants or asks for, because it will not provide him with a realistic view of life.

And I don't feel guilty about not providing anything and everything money can buy, like enrolling him in everything there is, because I trust that what I don't help develop in him, he can grow up to find and develop himself.

I am more scared that he will grow up feeling entitled, not to my love, but to an easy life.

I am more scared that he will grow up not appreciating the consequences of his actions.

Or looking outside the family for company and guidance and good times. Or looking outside of himself for happiness and entertainment and fulfillment.

There are no guarantees. I just really hope that our brand of love will be enough.

PGH's Operation Foster Milk

The Lactation Unit and Human Milk Bank, Section of Newborn Medicine of the Department of Pediatrics of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is aiming to decrease newborn mortality and morbidity by protecting the mother and infant breastfeeding dyad and providing human milk to sick infants.

I like their slogan "Human Milk has no Substitute" and love that my son's pedia (Dr. Mantaring) is the Section Chief. And doesn't it just validate when a Human Milk Bank is placed under Newborn Medicine. Medicine. Human Milk cures and protects. It doesn't just nourish a baby.

Now, I still have a month before I can probably start donating milk to their bank since I'd be giving birth eight days from now and would let my milk get established first. I can just imagine pumping, something I really didn't like doing before, while watching fave blu ray movies or reading and thinking, at the back of my mind, that I am saving a baby's life other than my own.

What a privilege!

So please, if you are a lactating Mom or know anyone and want to help, call the Lactation Unit and Human Milk Bank at PGH: 554-8400 local 3418 and 3409. You can also e-mail operationfostermilk-pgh at yahoo dot com.


Also read "Maternal Health in the Philippines" and "Breastfeeding Saves Lives"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

9 More Days

Nine more days before I become a mother of two.
Nine more days before I bid adieu
to just being all yours
to just having only you
to having an only child
to knowing only you.

Nine more days, my darling
and it's real bittersweet
A part of me longs for a pause
A part of me wants to retreat
And yet, I can't help but be excited
For yet another gift

It will take me awhile
I will need to mourn
And you will have to learn
to adjust and be strong
In your faith
in my love for you
For nothing in this world
Could ever be more true.

I sometimes wonder how
I could love another child
But I just know, it's a fact
Love only multiplies
So, just keep holding my hand, son
Know your place is still with me
And together, let's welcome your brother
and all his possibilities.

I will always love you best
because I loved you first
And then I will love your brother more
because I know how to better love.
And I will cherish you both
Equally and differently
As I raise you both as individuals
Despite both coming from me.

- a poem for both my Yakee and Yamee... as I realize yet again how true it is, that no one can possibly know, nor limit, how much a human heart can hold

Monday, November 1, 2010

Staying With In Laws

Because my cousin went home to the province for the Halloween season, and my son got sick for a while, we decided to stay at my MIL's where at least I'd have some company should emergencies arise. My MIL's home doesn't exactly have fancy Moen kitchen faucets or a home entertainment system but it's a really big house with lots of space that allows my son to play tag with anybody willing to run after him.

Weirdly enough though, my son has been asking to go home to Paco for the past three days already.

And my stomach has been giving me trouble for the past three days, which seems to mean we may have to stay here for several more days just until my cousin comes back. It's just great though that my son is behaving pretty well and cooperating with me when it's nap or sleep time. Plus, he leaves me alone pretty much most of the time, content to just play or watch.

It's really different to have a support system when you're pregnant and ready to pop!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dressing Up While Pregnant

For one thing, I am not into clothes. I seldom gush over anything you put on. Dressing up usually just means showing some skin, some cleavage or some curves for me.

And looking fab while pregnant isn't something I ever aspired to do. After all, with all the waddling and widening I'd be doing, why would I stress myself with actually dressing up?

But being a SAHM and being overweight already... and then getting nauseous and preggy, that's depressing. And I wanted to have proper nursing wear this time.

Enter Eden Maternity and Nursing Wear by Bianca Araneta Elizalde. I know I have started to sound like a broken record but I can't stop raving about their sake tank top (the comfiest thing I ever wore!) and all the possibilities their Infinitude offers.

This interview about Bianca's line also echoed my sentiments:

"Women have to realize the limitations of non-maternity wear on a growing belly. And it doesn’t matter how slim they try to stay throughout their pregnancy — their bellies will grow! And it will grow big by the time they’re ready to give birth.

When you stick to non-maternity clothes, you will do what’s called trimester dressing. You will keep buying clothes a size or two bigger throughout each trimester, and that is never a good idea. It’s smarter to invest in a few good maternity pieces that will see you through the nine months. This is something I kept in mind when I designed Eden. Everything had to fit and flatter a woman’s growing body throughout pregnancy and beyond.? (Bianca)

I can't wait to give birth, of course, because the discomforts of the last month are just really annoying already. And painful. But a part of me will always regret that Eden wasn't launched earlier so I could have enjoyed their outfits longer in my pregnancy. A part of me will miss strutting my stuff in the sake tank top with my belly round and proud.

But I do look forward to breastfeeding in public in style!

Friday, October 29, 2010

At 36 Weeks

At 36 weeks, my neck and armpits are already really dark.

I weigh 190 pounds (and counting!).

I waddle like a duck and wake up with mini cramps every three days or so.

I have trouble putting on my underwear.

And yes, I can't see my feet anymore, let alone my yah-know.

I snore half the time in my sleep. And I need to slide my way off chairs and beds to help me get up.

And my yah-know hurts (nay, throbs!) half the time that I sometimes wonder if I am already dilated.

And all the people I meet either wonder if am carrying twins or that I might pop right then and there.

But thanks to Eden, I look fab here! Unfortunately, I am so wide and big, my son looks emaciated beside me.


How do you babyproof a house with a preschooler in it?

I am not even referring to safeguarding from pointy corners and electric outlets that are essential to child safety. I am talking about the preschoolers toys that he will either scatter about or offer to an infant. Toys that may be dirty, hard or can pose a choking hazard.

We never really installed stair gates before and we didn't even cover sockets. We did employ the use of a pen when my firstborn was just beginning to cruise and learn to walk. Technically, I think the same approach can still work with us especially if we're still living in the same house (where my father had the unaesthetic but quite effective idea of installing sockets and plugs in the middle of walls, far from the reach of young kids). And with someone always watching the kids, I feel security is covered pretty well.

But oh, how to train my child that his toys are not meant to be shared just yet with an infant and not kill his enthusiastic, generous spirit?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Essential Newborn Care Protocol

It takes time to download but everything one must know about essential newborn protocol care protocol/program (ENP) can be found here.

The Four Core Steps of Essential Newborn Care include:
* Immediate and thorough drying
* Early skin-to-skin contact
* Properly timed cord clamping
* Non-separation of the newborn and mother for early initiation of breastfeeding

Note to moms... drying a baby is essential since they easily get cold and cold is the enemy of newborns. Per my LATCH counselor friend (who is also a pedia), babies who get cold may have breathing problems. It is, however, not the same as wiping off the vernix (the waxy substance covering the baby which is a natural protection from infections). This is why part of the protocol is the delayed bathing of the baby (up to six hours).

The same procedure can be done for STABLE premature babies but for both unstable term and premature babies, resuscitation or other initial intervention is of course prioritized.

The ultimate goal of ENP is non-separation with their mothers, not just for breastfeeding but also for the colonization with the mother's bacteria (which the mother can provide protection from) and skin-to-skin contact (warming).

And yes, even moms who just had a CS operation can enjoy the breast crawl. In fact, it becomes all the more essential as the baby missed the good bacteria it usually gets from normal deliveries that is very essential in jumpstarting a baby's immune system.

And this is the beautiful Unang Yakap video again:

And this is the official World Health Organization flyer on ENP.


My nurse friend in the US shared that "mothers are best for their babies" is the cornerstone of what is referred in the US as NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) which I believe is the counterpart of our ENP.

It is really sad that a mother's natural capacities to carry, deliver, nourish and care for a child has been undermined by the modern way of life. Now, groups like ours even have to convince and empower women that the best they can give their children are nowhere outside them... that they are the experts and the authorities on their child.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Soyami with Yummy Mommies

I attended the Soyami Soya Chips mini launch at Active Fun last Friday with my friend Laya. So while our kiddos bonded (Oona and Yakee could be siblings, honestly!) at the playground that is Active Fun, we got to meet other moms and hear about the Soyami product.

the cutest girl ever, little Olly

Laya in a video shoot for Soyami (naks)

loved meeting Chats finally here (the lovely lady beside me)

Apple Morales, who owns the Active Fun branch in SM North and who thought of Soyami soya chips as a healthier food snack to offer their patrons, was a former UNICEF breastfeeding advocate. And I absolutely loved her and her tales about her son. I really hope they'd be blessed again soon!

Anyway, don't be surprised if you see a video of me in their site recommending their product. I do believe that it is a great alternative to the usual potato chip. And from the freebies we got, I can say that it's really made from soya since we've observed certain digestive/excretory benefits (to think we share a 50 gm. pack).

Soya supposedly helps in losing weight so dieters might want to consider Soyami for when they are craving for crunch. That surely beats having to determine diet pills that work, right? And soya is rich in protein and calcium.

I won't ever say to make Soyami a habit BUT if you are buying chips anyway, Soyami soya chips surely beats most junk food out there. The sodium content alone in the common brands are a killer, what more the msg.

Have I said that Soyami soya chips are certified Halal? Apples said that they import their soya beans which are certified GMO (organic). Soyami will start being sold in groceries this November and will cost P37/50 gram bag. Yes, it's a lot more expensive compared to other chips but you basically pay for healthier snacking.

Come on, save your colons and kidneys. Try Soyami chips!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things to Look Forward to

A great big part of me is stressed, worried and anxious about the new baby and how it will affect everything, like our budget (diaper costs!), our dynamics (Yakee is a happy baby but he's bound to be jealous), our roles (Pappie and I really need to be involved more as there'd be two of them requiring our love and attention) and the logistics of just being.

I guess you don't really fret over the expected pluses, anyway.

But I do have the following to look forward to:

1) Yakee mirroring our caring and nurturing.

2) Being more resourceful and creative, not just with time and money, but also with activities and tasks.

3) Learning to be more practical. We just really might embrace blog contests and online coupons and everything that will allow us to hit two birds with one stone.

4) Getting to know another person and watching him unfold.

5) The love that's bound to overflow in our families over the new baby (already, everybody can't wait to be sniffing a newborn again).

6) Building new dreams and hopes with hubby over our brood... as well as making new plans.

7) Personally, having another guy grow up worshipping the ground I walk on. Hehe.

Less Stressed Now

It's really great to have a loving hubby and friends to comfor you when you're stressed.

Turned out, I was so stressed yesterday that I couldn't sleep anymore, which made me miss a lunch with college friends and any opportunity to go to Rockwell to check out Eden's collection in new colors. I did get to catch some sleep around lunch time and at least feel normal again.

But we did get to go to a birthday party in the afternoon where I bonded again with N@W/Plurk friends. And it's great to be told I was blooming, haha, even though my neck and armpits are all dark and am waddling like a duck and bumping kids with my preggy bump.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stressed Mommy

I don't really know which of the things the doctor said, or which of the things that happened, got me stressed. But after my checkup and ultrasound at the OB, I came out feeling stressed.

Maybe it's the cost of delivery, knowing we'd really spend so much in 2.5 weeks. Maybe it's the fact that I laundered some of Yamee's layette this lunch and it rained late afternoon. Maybe it's having a definite date (11-11-10) of when life as I know it is going to change again for good.

Maybe it's being slightly polyhydramnios again. And the pedia I want may be out of town that time (to think we pushed for Asian because he instituted the ENP there).

I don't know. I just hope I relax again asap and enjoy the rest of the almost three weeks I have before things get chaotic again.

Fab in Eden Again

I was fabulously sexy in my Eden outfit again.

It was even really laughable to have drivers of cars, jeeps, and even small trucks oggling me as I was hailing cabs yesterday. I think they couldn't miss my wide behind (which are perky nonetheless, thank you) and then would get surprised that I actually have a pregnancy bump. Then they'd see my wonderful cleavage. Haha.

The sake tank top is really flattering and comfy that I am not really bothered about losing weight fast post-pregnancy, outfits-wise. I mean, health-wise, of course, I really hope breastfeeding will help me drop the pounds.

And at the Active Fun event, I even demonstrated some of the ways you can wear the Infinitude, having brought mine to show my friend so she can make up her mind if it's a sound investment or not. I believe I was convincing (and dang Eden, you should really give me discounts already for how much I rave about your stuff, haha).

Oh and those who didn't know me will usually do a double take after realizing I was preggo because the tank top was just really so flattering, it can even sort of hide a bulge as big as a pregnancy bump. I tell you, it should do miracles for everyday flab, I swear!

Anyway, it's amazing to feel this fab when am just two weeks away or so from popping a baby out.

Play Date in a Car

Basically, that's what happened to my friend Laya and me and our kiddos yesterday. We were supposed to attend two blogger events but started late and got caught in Friday traffic and rains so we spent most of our time on the road.

It also took a long time before our 3-year olds warmed up enough to each other. Active Fun thawed them a little but it was really the threat of separation before having dinner (where Yakee insisted on riding with them again instead of with me and his father) that got them really playing with each other. So, we ended up with really noisy preschoolers at 1521.

Sometimes, we found ourselves wondering out loud about our kids dating together. But as is the case with kids growing up with each other (which we hope they'll do), the chances of them complaining to each other about teenage acne and their dates is actually greater than them looking at each other as date material.

It was great bonding time for me and Laya though. Plus, her Mom's the coolest ever too. It was a great, great way to kick off the long weekend.

Plus, we're all seeing each other again tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

190 Pounds

Yup. I am now currently 190 pounds.

Being pregnant is not even a valid excuse for my height, which is only 5 feet and 4.5 inches. But I guess that will have to do for now. It's not like I can go on a diet or exercise much, considering that I still get nauseous when I don't eat all the time. And everything about me hurts. Even down there. I even sometimes believe that I just might be dilated already. Heh!

I won't be researching the side effects of phentermine anytime soon, but I really hope my appetite will die down a little after the delivery. And that I won't be depressed so much that I'd stress eat.

I am going on 36 weeks now. Just a week or two more! But please varicose veins, please, stop giving me grief!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Delivery Payment Strategies

When I gave birth to Yakee, we paid our deposit at Asian Hospital with cash. We didn't expect that all the professional fees of the doctors are expected to be in cash form too. Good thing hubs didn't need to take out a cash advance from his credit card because we actually had cash in the bank still. Needless to say, we used up all our cash that time though which isn't really wise, even if we had it. I mean, we also needed cash to buy food and medicines, see.

So now I have been thinking of what our strategy will be. Granted, we will have enough cash for the delivery (barring complications) and they're all in my ATM. I was thinking we'd just pay the deposit using our credit card and I will just withdraw enough cash to cover about 50-70% of our expected bill. This way, we'd still have cash in the bank and we could always pay off the credit card when the billing comes with hubs' salary. And then hubs need not give me any allowance anymore. Actually, I am just thinking of all these offsetting because I suddenly feel superstitious, that one of us will either lose the money or it might get stolen, so best not to have all the cash on hand.

What do you think?

My Morning Inventory

Since my darling son woke up real early today, I found myself in the mood to do some minor cleaning up and nesting. I also took out a bag of cloth diapers to check if there's anything there I should be washing for my unborn and that's when I discovered the fact that I still have to buy some more cloth diapers.

You see, I had a dozen of white gauze diapers, a dozen of printed gauze diapers, a dozen of Gerber pre-folded diapers and six pre-folded Chino Pino. I thought I only used half of the gauze ones (the printed ones for wiping/drying my baby's bum, the white ones for wiping spit ups & sweat and serving as receiving blankets in the early days). Well it seems I used up all the white gauze ones which means that I have printed ones for my second-born's bum, but I don't have cloth diapers to use as receiving blanket for him.

And no, I don't wanna use the old cloth diapers on him, no matter how clean they are (because I am still using them to wipe Yakee's sweat with when we're out). And I can't use the prefolded diapers for spit ups and sweat, eventhough they were never used (I only road tested one of each but just really preferred disposables).

So yeah, wouldn't you know it, I have more shopping to do!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last Stretch Woes

I am unable to sleep now because I am just not comfortable anymore. And I am always hot, even in the past few days that it's been raining.

When I do get to sleep though, I wake up to mild cramps. Then I get stressed about scaring my son, who I end up waking as I writhe in pain, and upset that he's not yet old enough to help. I always literally have to slide my way in the bed, while lying down, to get my legs near the wall so I can push. I have cramps in the morning, you see, after hubby has gone to work.

And then I'd spend the day limping.

I have just asked my masahista if she could come by because my body really needs some TLC.

And don't get me started on other inconveniences like bowel movement and things related to that. Having to pee all the time, I can live with too, but aches and pains down there, not really.

Plus, I do feel heavy and exhausted all the time. This is really the last stretch... and I have yet to wash my baby's layette!!!

Video Production as Part-Time Work

I am currently in the midst of making a Video production for a friend for her Mom's birthday in December. We have decided to already start on it this early as I am due to give birth in November. And it's nothing fancy really, more like a photoslide of digiscrapped pages with her choice of songs. I have a long way to go before I can come up with anything like a corporate video production, you know, with Flash and animation. Hubs has been asking me though if I wanted to learn, since maybe it is an opportunity I should tap and something I will be good in.

Well, priority right now is having a safe delivery. But as with attending blogger events (for the SEO opportunities), I have been toying with the idea of really mastering Photoshop and video production since I have a knack for the sentimental anyway. And if I prove capable, making video productions as part-time work wouldn't be a shabby thing indeed. I have enough friends who can get me to create their corporate video production for special occasions. Maybe I can even just get my old company to hire my services every Anniversary and Christmas celebration as I used to create the AVPs for those events anyway.

The possibilities are endless, even if you're working from home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunny Today and Other Thoughts

It's sunny today, thank God, but I didn't launder any of my unborn's infant layette. And the sun is just so perfect for drying everything in a day. Arrgh.

Such frustrations over indecisions and missed opportunities can probably beat even the best weight loss pills out there. Or not. I mean, they may drive me to finish off a box of Krispy Kreme donuts (redeemed because we're charging so much lately on our Citibank credit card).

My son is down and whiny with allergic rhinitis. It's not just colds because it gets better when we're out and got worse when we ate Thai food last night. Plus, his eyes are all itchy and watery. He even let me massage his forehead and face last night, which he seldom allows.

Meanwhile, my nether regions have started feeling really weighed down. Ouch!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Dream

I had a very vivid dream.

I dreamt I already gave birth, prematurely. But it seems I did it normally because hubs just handed the baby to the doctors. And then I was a little pissed that all my breast crawl plans didn't materialize and I had to ask for the baby back to breastfeed her.

Yes, her.

I gave birth to a 6.2 pound baby girl and I was like, "Oh no, have to tell my sis to stop buying boy things and start buying girl things for my baby."

And I still haven't washed my child's layette so we had to ask my cousin to just iron them so they'd be rid of germs so my baby would have something to wear.

I was so stressed that nothing went according to plan... hay. And I don't know if it's just my fears or it's really my instincts telling me that Yamee is coming out sooner than expected.

As it is, I am now 35 weeks along. Technically, we're good to go in two weeks.

And I still haven't washed his layette!!! And there's a storm due in the country so I can't launder them still. Arrgh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gimik Tonight

Well, not really gimik as it's just a dinner something with my FSL friends. I thought it will be over a week before I go out again. At least I have a reason to put on my freshly-bought makeup!

A friend directed me to a site yesterday selling wraps that are like a cheaper version of the Infinitude. I really should be investing in them to jazz up everyday clothes and special occasion dresses. Oh and I really need more proper accessories (like earrings and necklaces). I doubt i'd ever be a scarf-donning chic though.

I am excited! I wonder if they'd all be signing so fast, I wouldn't be able to keep up, hehe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Preggy Out and About

This is me at the Manila Ocean Park last Saturday where we celebrated my son's birthday with our families. I was still puffy and blah from my barfing episode. I'm wearing a Mamaway nursing top here (thus the openings) which would hopefully look like a tent on me after I give birth.

And yes, most of my tops are dark or outright black, which really makes me regret the ash-colored Infinitude and gap blue boncho. Howell.

But my bump isn't so big here right?

I just noticed though that I have varicose veins on my lower legs already meaning I am really getting too heavy for my well, veins. It will really be such a challenge to lose weight next year but hopefully, all the jogging hubs is doing will egg me on. Plus, I don't want all my investments to go to waste... I just cannot look frumpy and have two kids!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mall Sales this Weekend

It's sale at Mega Mall and Robinson's Place Ermita this weekend, starting October 15. Hubs and I were at Mega Mall last Monday and were checking out the baby stuff there (lots of cute stuff, but I have already completed Yamee's layette). With just enough wishful thinking, we also checked out the toddler beds there. We know we still can't really buy Yakee a toddler bed for lack of space in our one-bedroom home. Maybe when we get our own house, we can make room for pine beds for our two boys and just cater to their childhood whims via character bedspreads and pillows.

And maybe a dinosaur and truck mural.

Maybe I'd go to Rob to invest in more makeup or get myself colorful and stretchy tank tops.

On a Makeup High

Went to meet a fellow LATCH peer counselor who's also a PruLife UK agent at Rob this afternoon. We mostly talked about our kids though and other parenting concerns. Then I took myself shopping for a basic set of makeup brush, another eyeliner, some sponges and a concealer set.

I am on a makeup high! Eeven though I am really not heading anywhere for the next week or so, I still felt justified in my purchases. I only just realized I forgot to pick up a lip balm too.

Now, I must practice using all of the blasted things.

And I should stop checking out Eden's site and wanting more Infinitudes. Hehe.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unilab's Mommy's Day Out

Yesterday, I attended a Mommy's Day Out for mommy bloggers sponsored and organized by Unilab. I believe it was part of their "Discerning Mommy" campaign but this was more about taking care of oneself and feeling good. They invited only ten bloggers and only seven of us managed to make it. Still, the intimate gathering was so much fun.

Over lunch at the Sky Lounge of the Linden Suites, we talked about potty training woes, earning online (from paid links to customer service jobs from Odesk), pregnancy cravings, our decision to stay at home and the different blogger events we have attended.

The daddy blogger who welcomed us, Mr. Jack Orendain (Unilab Corporate Affairs) shared something which I loved. He talked briefly about an aunt and uncle who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary whom he asked for the secret of their happy marriage. The aunt supposedly said something like "marriage is quality time together, and quality time apart, and the quality of time apart from each other is something you also bring into your time together."

And then Ms. Marie Calica shared with us her beauty mantras:

~ Exfoliate
~ Moisturize
~ Don't forget the eyes and the neck
~ Make water your friend
~ Take Vitamin E
~ Get enough Sleep
~ Use sunblock all the time
~ Keep Yourself Clean
~ Make Beauty Products Available

After that, Ms. Angie Gogna taught us the basics of applying makeup and even demonstrated the how and why of each one.

High on makeup tips, we were then given beauty/hygiene products from Unilab and then ushered to Linden Suites' Mane Depot for some foot and hair spa.

I was the last customer out, which proved lucky as hubs was able to fetch me and we managed to squeeze in a dinner date at Gotti's in Mega Mall after.

And yes, I had such a lovely pampering day which made me feel good about being a Mom. It also strengthened my resolve not to let myself go anymore, and invest in not just makeup but also on nice clothes and other things that make me feel good.

Oh, and I've just increased my Mom network too!

All the pics I took are here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recovering from the Weekend

It's so nice to see my son preoccupied with all his new toys, and having in-laws compete on who's giving him the best gift ever. It's such a great feeling knowing my son is loved, and that, should anything bad happen to us, he'd be left with a loving family.

I am thankful.

I was imagining losing hubs and son this morning. I know, I am weird that way. And I texted hubs that I so love them I don't get the logic of letting a piece of my heart go wandering about, much less having another child to worry about. I mean, this much love can kill because it's so easy to threaten.

But when I think of the price for not having to live with that kind of fear, I also cannot in good conscience want to not have my family to love. It's a privilege and such a rewarding experience.

Anyway, this is hormonal me brimming in gratitude and love from the weekend. Now, I am off to a blogger event catering to mommies.