Friday, January 29, 2010

Booksale Madness

I was really bent on either getting a massage or body scrub this afternoon but I happened to pass by Booksale at Rob Malate. And there I remained for over an hour. Sigh. Plus, I also spent the same amount of time at National Bookstore, comparing book prices and wondering if I could find the same books at Booksale.


I ended up buying three books there. I swear, you can visit the store everyday and find daily deals. But what I do is visit different branches so that i'd be sure to find great finds. Have I said that I found Quidditch Through the Ages in one, in mint condition, for only P40? :)

I did resist in buying this Maiasaura storybook :D I don't want to overwhelm Yakee with dinosaur stuff, lest he loses interest. Three books for now is enough.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marlene Aguilar Is A Mom

Marlene Aguilar is a mom. But for the life of me, I cannot sympathize with her just now.

I've always remembered this mother before in the panel being interviewed by Mel and Jay at the height of the Vizconde Massacre/Webb Trial who admitted to probably also hiding her son and sparing him from a life in prison. That, I actually understand. A parent doesn't have to be in denial of her child's crime for her to want to protect said child.

But Marlene not only kept her son from facing up to his crimes, she armed him and ended up harming him more. I seriously doubt NBI folks would have opened fire that much if Ivler was unarmed. But Ivler was armed and he 'defended' himself by shooting at law enforcers. How is that not a recipe for disaster?

And now I see Marlene detailing the many injuries he got from the shootout and all I can think of is, she armed her son. The same son who ended the lives of other people. Worse, she compromised her other children's lives because she was protecting this one. The others could have been easily home and hurt... and the trauma alone is more than an average kid can handle.

Seems like a classic case of a mother knowing/believing she failed a child and making up for it in any way possible, while invoking motherly love.

I don't have an enabling bone in my body and I've always felt that you can't say you're a mother if you can't be a mother to other creations. Being a Mom is a title that not everyone fully deserve.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What If Wednesdays

What If Wednesdays is something I thought of to hold for my kids someday, and hopefully during mealtimes. Experts say you shouldn't be discussing family problems at the table and What If Wednesdays is something I think will tickle my kids' fancy and boost their creative, thinking, imaginative skills.

Basically, one just says, "What if this is that?" and the others will think about it and voice out possible scenarios. Samples:

What if there's no more water? (then we'd all die, then we'd evolve to not need water anymore, then we'd recycle water more, then we'd melt the polar ice caps, etc)
What if farts are visible? (then nobody can deny it, then I wish it'd be colorful, then it's not gas anymore and will be gross, etc)
What if we have three feet? (then shoes will be more expensive, then we'll be walking bent a little forward, then we won't be easy to stumble, etc)
What if everybody was deaf? (then we'd all know sign language, then there won't be music, then we'd all be expressive, then we can't whistle at dogs, etc)

I hope to make thinking and learning and bonding fun for my family. I don't mind if my kids will be into rocket science or rv repair or baking clay, but I really hope they'd have a passion for learning greater than the one I have, and a passion for family greater than the one we'll raise them in.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Playing With Baby

Playing with your child is just the hardest thing to do. Because you shouldn't be directing the play and just letting him do what he wants, letting his world unfold naturally while you watch and glean what you can from what he does.

Plus, it's been proven time and again that when they're the ones making the connection, they learn the idea better.

Take for example a remote control car... I sometimes really want to grab the remote control from my son's hand to show him that the car can be made to move forward as well. Or when we're playing with clay, I sometimes want to insist that the molds are there so we can make pretty stuff with the dough. 90% of the time, I resist and let him be. And because I do, the rewards just keep coming and coming.

Because play with them is a serious, serious thing. It's how they make sense of the world... even if we can't make sense of their play.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Siblings' Diabetes Increases GD In Your Pregnancy

If you have a sibling with diabetes, that increases the likelihood that you will develop gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. The odds are even bigger compared to just having one or both parents with diabetes. This is based on a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study found that having two parents with diabetes increased a woman's likelihood of having diabetes eightfold but only doubled the likelihood of gestational diabetes. When a woman has a diabetic sibling, there was a sevenfold increase in the risk of gestational diabetes but only a slightly elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes. The results were based on a study of 4,566 mothers who participated in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey.

At a time when even children are being diagnosed with diabetes, this is especially helpful for women of child-bearing age. Hopefully, people from families with a diabetic history will be more vigilant with their diet and lifestyle and will get themselves tested regulalry. And pregnant women from such families would do well to follow a strict diet and lifestyle plan during their pregnancy to avoid gestational diabetes, which brings about so many pregnancy and birth complications.

Breastfeeding Conversations on Facebook

It's really funny that once upon a time, I only ever talked about Sweet Dreams novels with this girl in class. She had to migrate to the US after our second year in high school and I have never heard of or from her since... Facebook. Now, we're both married. And both moms. And it's refreshing to see her commenting on most of my breastfeeding-related posts.

Another girl who was once a classmate is also now a regular commenter when I talk, rant or rave about breastfeeding. :)

I know some of my friends can't relate (especially the unmarried guys) and I know other women really just give breastfeeding a token go, but it's still nice that Facebook allows us to bring breastfeeding into the mainstream. Hopefully, each day, at least one person becomes a convert enough to save a child's life and health someday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hair Loss and Mommyhood

When I first got pregnant, my hormones acting up meant that I had lots of falling hair. Then that stabilized and I had real shiny hair. Yup, I had the pregnancy glow so much, I have never been more beautiful!

Then after I gave birth, I had months when I really wondered if I already had alopecia. Then I also thought the stress of adjusting to a new baby will get me bald! It was really yucky having to sweep hair off the floor everyday. I felt I could get a wig made every day! Ugh. I consulted doctors if I needed hair loss treatment but that was not prescribed.

Now I still suffer a lot of falling hair, but mostly because I use warm water for bathing. See, I also take a bath at night, so even if I don't heat water during the day, I'd surely heat some at night. But since I made the connection of hot water and more falling hair, I made sure that the water we use is not overly warm, just enough for our bodies not to be cold. I don't want more hair follicles dying on me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Addicted to My Own Baking

I baked cookies last Friday to bring to my FSL graduation. Well, technically, I prepared the batter because it's still SIL who spooned it all onto the cookie sheets and put them in and out of the oven.

We made some 300 cookies, I think. I modified the classic choco chip cookie recipe by using some chopped white chocolate chips too. And it was a hit at the grad party, even with me. Yikes!!!

Well, at least, if ever i'd need to read quicktrim reviews to rid myself of all the calories from bingeing on cookies, I just need to turn to the Kardashians. Hehe.

And I promise to reduce my cookie intake once we get back home again! I really, really promise!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

When the Colds or Coughs Won't Stop...

... and the doctor says his lungs are clear, he's taken meds, and seem healthy anyway, then maybe it's time to do some spring cleaning in your home, especially the bedroom. Maybe it's time to change beddings, blankets and mattresses/pillows. Or at least, the sheets. You should also clean your electric fans and AC filter.

If all that doesn't get your child's sniffles improving, it could also be your laundry service's cleaning aids that's causing the irritation for your child.

And then of course, there's the diet. Feed him organic, natural, non-processed food. Some avoid dairy and other highly-allergenic food like nuts.

The point is, sometimes, a persistent cold and cough is not viral at all, but an allergy. Make sure you look into that before subjecting your child to numerous medicines he really didn't need.

Mommy, Help!

Weirdly enough, my son didn't scream and cry that loud because he wanted me to get a toy for him, or food, or his guitar. Now, more than ever, he has been trying to act very independently. If something piques his curiosity, he goes after it. He's been climbing anything and everything, has even tried jumping off chairs just to reach something.

Such independence could be the death of me! Then again, am sure he's not the first child who ever scared his parents so and since parents are everywhere, I guess fear for my son's health and life is not fatal.

Anyway, he cried those words over and over again the other night because his father got him and placed him between him and our bedroom wall, away from me. He wanted to sleep between us, to have Mommy beside him. But as he was being naughty and hurtful (kicking, jumping about, etc. at bedtime), he had to be contained at an area where I can't be kicked anymore.

I was torn between laughing and climbing over Pappie to get to him. Sigh. Even when we're being hard on him (which is necessary sometimes to teach values), even when Mommy has been quick with her temper with him, am still the only one he NEEDS for comfort.

Such a privilege. Such a blessing.

May God Bless Me With Good Health

I have shared my happy problem already. More income opportunities are coming in. Must be, the recession is finally lifting and economies everywhere are all rising back from the ashes and landing on their feet.

Or maybe, God is really just proving we cannot outgive him (thanks to Jennie for the phrase).

Unfortunately, sometimes, laptops and internet fail you. And there is that matter of a demanding son. I try my best to work around his schedule so that am still available to him when he's awake and about... but when laptops and internet fail, I only end up losing more sleep! Soon, I might actually just need anti aging products because am already all haggard-looking. How I wish it's making me lose weight instead, haha, but no, it's just really making me look tired!

So may God bless me with good health... that my skin won't break out more (since it's already ravaged to begin with), that I won't catch colds that would develop into pneumonia, that I won't develop other illnesses like hypertension.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Weight Loss Program

McGee from NCIS supposedly had a lap band which resulted in a drastic reduction of weight. Then there are those who get hcg injections or pills. It is short for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and supposedly can get a person losing up to one pound a day at less expense and health risks than a gastric bypass. Plus, of course, you don't have to exercise so am sure thousands of people have tried or are using this product.

The health risks posed by a gastric bypass is also often downplayed. People who undergo such often require close monitoring and use of special foods and supplements, not to mention medication. Then there are common problems following it, like vomiting, dumping syndrome and nutritional deficiency.

Other weight loss programs are as equally bad. Any rapid drop in weight usually compromises systems aside from depleting calcium in the bones. Too much exercise can also strain the body too much.

Well, since I don't have the money for those things, I just do it the slow and sure way. I am basically cutting down on rice, exercising at least three times a week, and also not having second helpings and Starbucks frappes anymore. I'm also eating less sweets and meat. When I exercise, I try to do a little bit of cardio (to burn those calories up!) and toning exercises. I've even settled for a slow but sure two-pound a month weight loss. That's such a low expectation but i'd rather go for a steady weight loss that's achievable.

What about you, what is your weight loss program?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Happy Problem

When it rains, it pours.

And the New Year has brought in more income opportunities for me working online. There are even many blog assignments for me to do that I can't find the time, nor the wits, to do colonix reviews and also document what's really going on in my life. After all, most of my blogs are still personal blogs. I have even yet to dissect this learning documentary I watched that was replete with information that will give any parent and teacher new perspectives on learning. Tsk.

I am losing sleep!

And I am finding a hard time balancing all these with quality time with my son.

But it's a happy problem nonetheless because it's challenging me to really manage my time, stick to my priorities (which is still QT with Yakee), rise up earlier and of course, earn extra!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Natural Anti-Wrinklers

I am 32 now. I know it's even vogue to already use anti-wrinkle creams even in your 20s to really combat skin aging. I didn't really do that because I have never been particular about beauty and I figured, my skin is oily so I really won't wrinkle much. That is probably the only advantage we have over dry skin.

But still, as part of my better me, better wife and better mom attitude, I started on becoming more particular about moisturizing at least.

And I've researched natural anti-wrinkle stuff one can use for minimal or no side effects.

Did you know that you can just mash together cucumber and lime juice and use that daily for a younger, fresher look?

And if you don't want to make your own, you can just buy Ilog Maria organic natural anti-wrinkle anti-aging soap for P75 I think (yes, I am still on a Buy Filipino high) or Human Heart Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil (gave my MIL one for Christmas). Papaya products are also bound to have anti-wrinkle properties so use papaya-based soaps and lotions instead (plus again, it's Buy Filipino!).

Let's all be more beautiful, bodacious Moms!!!

Looking for Adoptive Parents for a Crack Baby


A friend of mine has a deliquent brother who was a druggie, who impregnated a fellow druggie. Their daughter is turning two and the wife is pregnant again, giving birth in two months' time. My friend and her mother have convinced the couple to give up their second baby since they're dirt poor and cannot really provide for even themselves.

Crack babies come with a slew of problems sometimes. They may be sickly, have congenital anomalies, may go through withdrawal after birth, etc. My friend assures me that the mother has at least stopped using drugs during the pregnancy. But the mom has yet to have prenatal check up and she certainly needs prenatal vitamins.

I know the couple can still change their minds at the last minute. But still, i'm hoping there is a couple or family out there who'd consider adopting the child. We can't because 1) we are not open to that at this point in our marriage and 2) am sorta close to the family (what if the druggie dad tries to visit or what).

I have yet to check with an adoption agency though how best to facilitate this. Then again, I will admit that i'm all for just having the adoptive couple sign the birth certificate when the baby comes out. I know, it's not legally right but in this case, I believe it is still the moral thing to do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Healthier Mommy, Happier Child

Technicaly, that means that being a healthy parent gives you more energy for play and activities with your child, which will make them healthier, happier kids.

But in my case, the rewards of exercising include my son finding it fun/cool to watch me panting. He even demands I ride the treadmill just so he can watch. And he enjoys the aerobic stuff I do. He sometimes immitates me but mostly he just likes seeing me move. I guess it's the same when he gets me dancing the Hokey Pokey a dozen times a day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Moving Homes

My Dad has been harassing us all by moving a lot of our things from our Manila home to our Lipa home. I should really store things in chests now so when the time comes that we'd need to move, all my life clutter will already be in plastic chests and no need to sort them out anymore.

That got me thinking about my sister's possible move to Chicago. Did you know that there are movers like where military families even get $20 off as an added benefit? The site also gives $10 off for bloggers!!!

That particular site is very helpful as it probably has the most extensive listing of helpers in all 50 states in the US (so if you need Los Angeles Movers or New York Movers, you really just have to type and click and browse) . Plus, it has sections for Moving Help, Landscaping Help, Cleaning Help, and General Help / Day Labor so basically, if you need help, you only need to look in one place! Or in this case, website. The site even has a Learning Center section with up-to-date information on a variety of concerns that homeowners are sure to find relevant and useful. What more could one want?

Oh and I love the authorization code system they use. Basically, you pay through the site and get an authorization code for that, which you give to the helper after he's finished with the job. The site then will deposit the funds to the worker's bank account. Doesn't that gurantee the worker showing up? Plus, since you have already deposited the money online, no need to be withdrawing cash or issuing checks or even having cash in the house.

It's really a bummer that there isn't such a site offering similar help here in the Philippines. Maybe I should start one myself? There are enough yuppies moving around a lot, not to say families moving back and forth cities and provinces, that would require similar help, after all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Too Much George

We're watching Curious George again. Sometimes, I really wish we're in panama city beach FL and I can just let my son loose on the beach. Of course, Marinduque is nearer and more accessible but that's what wishful thinking is for.

It's not that Curious George isn't great. I actually love it. But my son has memorized the dialogues already and he's only two. Then again, I can rant about this or Barney or Kidsongs or Brainy Baby, because my son goes through them all when he's a little fed up himself of something.

But really, too much George. I'm getting turned on by Will Ferrel's voice already, haha. Kidding.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mommy Gifted

This is a picture of Yakee with the cake clay he made. He painstakingly broke the crayons so he could stick them on the clay to serve as candles. And of course, the first recipinet of his masterpiece is Mommy.

I guess that's one of the intangible rewards of all that I do for him.

And of course, we had to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out the candles. Creative play is upon us in a major way and I welcome it, celebrate it, and want more, more, more!

Telling My Son About the Weather

(Image source: Amazon)

This is one of the books that my darling mother sent us with the balikbayan box and my son absolutely loves it when I read this to him. Of course, it's the SNOWMAN book for him.

I especially love it because it has these transparencies pages.

Whenever I'm reading it though, I really can't help but wonder how I can make it more relevant for him. You see, I grew up reading American textbooks and had always wanted to see seasons changing and the like. Unfortunately, I have yet to see autumn and I have yet to see snow. I have yet to enjoy outdoor fireplaces and go sugaring. So yeah, sometimes I feel a little sad that my son might end up like me. Then again, not everyone will travel the world for real, and I have always been thankful for reading because I got to be in different places and time.

Well, son, Mommy will do her best to give you the world but if she can't, I hope I raise you well enough to go get it for yourself.

Homeschooling Looms

I am still on the fence whether I would enrol my son in the Reading Program of CFA this year. I'm thinking that since he's already able to recognize some letters, then I may just be able to teach him to read without the guidelines the program will offer. Then again, other households get their children enrolled in playschool at age two even so I really shouldn't shy away from the reading program which promises to have a child reading in three months.

One other reason I have is that bittersweet feeling of having just one year left before the textbooks and actual instruction begins for my son and I. I am not yet overwhelmed by the responsibilities I will face... it's just that this is more proof that Yakee is no longer a baby.

Anyway, we're breaking ground with attending Church more regularly this year. Faith is the basic foundation of homeschooling anyway.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Zero to Ten Temper

I'm one of those people whose temper goes from zero to ten. No in between. I'd be patient and calm one minute and suddenly, am mighty angry and rabid as hell.

Unfortunately, it's not good if am parenting my child because he doesn't get any warnings at all when am going to combust. So there I was, patient and loving one minute, trying to help a post-Holiday Yakee to settle back for his afternoon nap when I suddenly lost it because Yakee kept trying to poke my eye out. I started spanking. And it wasn't calm, controlled, numbered spanking either. I was not screaming but my voice was raised also and I was shaking with anger. Then later on, with guilt.


I was spoiled with over a week of having others to help me care for him. Pappie was there, for one. He was also spoiled with having other people to entertain him. Today was the first day that we're left to our own devices and Yakee didn't wake up happy to start with because I was not in bed with him, I was out hanging the clothes I washed last night.

After my son has calmed down, he started telling me again and again "I Love you" (Awahu). Sigh. Then we played with clay, and he asked for HOT MILK and bread. Now he's there, playing the drums. And am very calm again. But I also hate what happened.

I vowed to be a better Mom and am not making good on that promise.

Dreaming of Daybeds

Yakee is old enough now for me not to be worried that he might fall off a bed. Plus, I sort of really want a sofa of sorts in our living room already. Of course, getting a day bed would mean less space for him to move and dance around in our living room. Plus, good ones are will be as expensive as our bed upstairs. Hmmm... should I get some Minka Aire lamps instead?

Sigh. Can't wait to move in our own place. It would make decorating a breeze if I know that we're staying there on a more permanent basis. Right now, there's that mindset that we're leaving this place anyway so why invest in it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Diet Begins

It's not like it's anything drastic. But i've cut down on rice. I plan to do things slowly and ease myself into the healthier eating. I'm seriously craving bananas too. Sigh. Hubs, on the other hand, hit the treadmill again. I am trying to arrange my routine so that I'd have time to do that in the early hours of the morning while hubs is still here and our son is still asleep. But that means I shouldn't be working in the wee hours of the morning anymore.

The lack of sleep is really exhausting me. I can't keep up with other things anymore and constantly feel as if am going to get run down by a bus. Wonder if I should purchase an online life insurance already, just to make sure. Hehe. But really, it's such a mark of how old i've gotten. I used to thrive in just a few hours of sleep. Now, I seem to not get enough.

But like what I said, the diet begins. Good luck to me.

Alexander von Furstenberg

Most women probably know his mother more, the luminous Diane von Furstenberg who repeatedly amazes and challenges Project Runway contestants. And certainly, his lineage is far from shabby, having descended from the adoptive family of Emperor Napoleon I and William Thomas Beckford, with both parents well-known fashion designers and a bloodline that literally spans Europe and Australia. But Alexander von Furstenberg is famous in his own right for being an astute businessman. He was able to turn Diane von Furstenberg Studio, LP (a global luxury lifestyle brand)'s annual revenue, for example, into $200 million.

He is also famous for being one of the more visible philanthropists of our time. He currently serves as Director and Secretary of The Diller - von Furstenberg Family Foundation which supports education, communities, disease research, children, the environment and human rights issues world-wide. Just last September, he made a donation of $150,000 to Heal the Bay. And just a day before Christmas, it was reported that he made a pledge of $50,000 to the Roy W. Roberts, II Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club in Loas Angeles. The funds will be used to jumpstart a music program for the kids in the Boys and Girls club by allowing them to purchase instruments as well as get trained by world-renowned music teachers from Venezuela.

I just chanced upon his name and the news and decided to read it to my son. Apart from intending to read to him of inspirational legends like Washington and Shakespeare and Rizal, I also hope i'd be able to offer him enough modern-day heroes to emulate and learn from.

Gifts Mommy Liked

Gifts Yakee got, that is.

Well, first of all, I am really thankful for everything he got. It's great that people are thoughtful and he is loved. But of course, there are gifts that literally made Mommy smile.

1) Books (it showed consideration of my kind of parenting, plus, it's really a gift he enjoys again and again and again)
2) Whiteboard/Blackboard/Magnetic Board (gift from Tita Ninang Gang... which he can't wait to use)
3) Leather Chest and Seat (gift from Momsy which I hope to turn into his learning chest, just have to figure out what things to put in there and where it will be stationed)
4) Color Palette Learning Set (it's made of cardboard but teaches colors in a really fun way, we both had a blast playing with it already, and Yakee is trained enough not to crumple the cardboard anymore, gift from Andie)

What about you, what gifts did your kid got that you liked?

And were there gifts that you really wished weren't given? Ahehe.