Sunday, December 25, 2011

Goodbye to Babyhood

SIL 1 (hubs' sister) showed me the stash of clothes they are donating to Sendong victims and it was a huge stash. There wasn't quite yet any equestrian riding apparel (my niece is just turning 6) but a lot of really cute, mostly pink and white and yellow, outfits were in the stash. She held onto a lot of her daughter's clothes for sentimental reasons, plus, she was thinking that I or our other SIL will have a girl who could inherit the clothes. So far, I've only managed to produce boys and SIL 3 (hubs' brother's wife) is just about to try to get preggy next year. She also told me she cried over those clothes.

Meanwhile, SIL 3 is preparing for her daughter's 7th birthday next year. I told her to put up a time capsule wall of pics, souvenirs and dresses at the party because it would really be a nice and inexpensive something to capture the years that went by.

I, on the other hand, told hubs on the way back home that this is probably the last Christmas that we'll have a baby. Yes, despite being very short-tempered already, I think it's really sad that come Christmas next year, Yamee won't really be a baby anymore.


Time flies so fast when you're learning how to love more and better.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Allergic Christmas

Ended last week with text messages to our allergologist asking if I and my youngest could take antihistamines/decongestants for our allergic rhinitis. Mine was keeping we awake and my sinuses were so painful so I was really ready for drugs.

We were given what to take and the dosage as well as an order to steam inhalate. It kinda made me wish we have this claw foot tub that's super huge where we can all fit, and I can just steam all our sniffles away while we're all in the tub... but alas, I have to make do with sitting on the toilet bowl while watching my sons (in separate huge plastic basins as makeshift tubs).

Good thing their delight was the same.

Then, yesterday, I got a weird allergic reaction to sago't gulaman. Weird, because my lips swelled and started feeling sore (normally, my eyes notify me of allergic reactions to food). Had to take antihistamine for that.


Now, my fingers are all cracked again... this after 2 weeks of strong steroid creams and sleeping with my hands in socks. Hubs tells me I might be stressed... well, I didn't think I was before but I sure am now!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hey, Christmas, I am in no Rush!

Carolling and Midnight Mass has officially begun, classes have also ended for the year, and I am sure most people are on Christmas rush mode. The rest are just in stuck in traffic.

But apart from telling Yakee that we are not giving him gifts for Christmas (because we will be giving other people gifts, and yes, I guess that takes care of the Santa Claus talk too) and finally setting up our old Christmas tree (goodbye Jesse tree idea, maybe I will be more inspired next year), I really haven't done anything FOR Christmas. No shopping, no preparing, no planning even.

And now that a lot of fellowmen died (at least 440) because of typhoon Sendong, my only wish now is that THAT is the last of the typhoons for this year, and that the government has enough resources to send some sort of gusher pump to each community flooded by the typhoon, and not just let nature takes its course. I seriously don't want epidemics to plague those people on Christmas Day, much less have dengue outbreaks left and right greet the New Year in.

Are my sons shortchanged by a Mom so not in the Christmas mood? Maybe. But the important thing is they are loved and we are blessed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Gift of a Changed Man

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (December). For this month, we want to honor breastfeeding for having enriched our lives and blessed us, maybe even empowered us, in a way that only breastfeeding can. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."


Breastfeeding has many benefits, all of which are gifts that I enjoy and am very thankful for. But there is one thing breastfeeding has done for me that I am super happy about... and that is my breastfeeding-supportive husband.

True, his great love for me made him support my idea to breastfeed. But this is a man who was not really breastfed, nor were his siblings. This is a man who used to still feed from a bottle when he was already attending preschool (to drink chocolate milk). This was a man who grew up used to fast, processed and junk food.

Now, why am I talking about junk food now?

Well, because a lot about how we parent our sons now stem from breastfeeding.

My husband never had to be the one to register for our first brestfeeding seminar, but he did. He refused to read "What to Expect" and yet took the breastfeeding talk to heart, raised his questions then.... and months and years later, would even correct me when I faciliate group discussions on breastfeeding.

He could have insisted on formula when our firstborn wasn't pudgy. He could have blamed my milk whenever our son got sick. But always, he'd be the first to say, "thank God, you're breastfeeding mahal."

And after that, he also came around to the notion of not raising our kids in fast, processed and junk food. He has learned to celebrate our son's lean body since he knows he's fed well (and right) and focus instead on our son's speed, smarts and general well-being.

Hubby need not go to breastfeeding events with me, but he did, and he's learned more and more. Again, my group refers to him as an honorary LATCHer 'coz he's almost as visible as I am.

We could go to just any doctor but he'd understand, and sometimes wait with me, as I consult with breastfeeding-friendly ones.

And now, at work, he's the first to tell pregnant colleagues and expectant dads to TRY breastfeeding.

I believe, the fact that he embraced the beauty and natural-ness of breastfeeding helped him open up to Waldorf education and homeschooling.

I could go on and on and on, saying basically the same things about my best breastfeeding supporter, but it will really just boil down to him being a breastfeeding dad. Someone who doesn't have issues about a running child nursing from his wife. Someone who knows he has to share and doesn't have first dibs (for now). And that is the best gift I can think of that breastfeeding has brought into my life... it did not just change me, it also changed my husband. And in his own way, he has set himself on a journey of breastfeeding advocacy.

I will be forever thankful to God for that.

Merry Christmas, you all!


Do take the time to check out all the posts in this month's carnival:
Shaps- Beyond Being Thin
Gretchen - Breastfeeding Gifts for Christmas
Carol - The Gift of Miracle
Jenny O.- The
Gifts of Breastfeeding

Anne - The Gift of Breastfeeding
Nats - We Wish You Merry Nursing
Jenny R. - If the Magi Were Queens
Em - The "Breast" Gift
Isis- Got Milk?
Armi - Breastfeeding Gifts
Liv - My Breastfeeding Journey
Laya - Time in a Drop of Milk

Saturday, December 10, 2011

'Tis The Season to be Charging

... and I'm not, shopping and charging it to my credit card, that is.

You see, for the longest time, I have only been using a complementary credit card. But when I lost it, I started using the BDO credit card issued me (just because I opened a dollar account at BDO). It's the first time I am being billed for credit purchases and still getting the hang of it.

Like, when is the cutoff for purchases if I am planning my credit according to expected cash flow?

And I was waiting for the billing for this month, having forgotten that I seemed to have said yes to their offer of online billing. Thus, I have just incurred interest charges on unpaid balance. Hehe. What a painful way to learn.

I have also been intending to look into what rewards I can get and how, or where, when I use my credit card. Some banks offer free movie tickets, some offer free fast food. I just hope I can really maximize my charges and still get perks like those offered by cashmoneylife Best Business Credit Cards, definitely more enticing and useful than free pizza.

I was planning on charging anything and everything I can to avail of rewards points and establish my credit standing, but still pay off all charges when they're due so as not to incur interest charges. Hopefully, such will be the case in the coming months.

At least, within a month of using my credit card, I have already asked for my annual fee to be waived. Hubs has been paying annual fees for both our cards for 7 years now... that's around P20-30k we could have used shopping! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shame on SM Management

Allow mw to direct you to two blog posts concerning recent incidents wherein breastfeeding moms were told by SM security guards that they cannot breastfeed in the mall, and that's why there was a nursing station provided in their mall.

The right to breastfeed: An open letter to Sm Supermalls Management

Incident at SM Davao

When I first read about it, I really said that if the same happened to me, I'd have probably cried buckets there and then from sheer anger and offence.

The fact is, breastfeeding stations are for those who might need/want a more quiet or private place to nurse... but just because there is one shouldn't mean breastfeeding should be done ONLY there.

I heard certain buses in Davao allot seats for breastfeeding moms as well... does that mean passengers intending to breastfeed should sit there and only there?

Last time I checked too, they don't allow companions in their nursing stations in SM... what is a mother supposed to do with her husband, child, etc who are all prospective shoppers/customers?

And what of the real supermalls where there is only ONE breastfeeding station? If you were at SMX, would you really walk all the way to heaven knows where in the main mall to nurse?

I tried going to the breastfeeding station at MOA before and couldn't find it, my son finished nursing during the course of our search. I never attempted to find it again.

I also don't know if it applies to all... or just some... but SM combines nursing stations with their clinic. Apart from the complaints that the nursing stations they've seen/been into do not smell good... could you blame a Mom if she does not want to go somewhere where some stranger with bad-a$$ germs could have sat?

Breastfeeding stations are like disabled lanes, it is a courtesy an establishment extends to its patrons... not some room like a CR where you SHOULD go to DO certain things that would be really objectionable and unsanitary if done in public.

Maybe, if SM looked at a breastfeeding station not as a loss of income for allotting facilities/staff that do not generate income but as an investment in their valued customers' well-being, then they'd do things better. These moms are the ones who frequent your Baby & Company area, and if they're happy, they will buy more.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thankfully, No Twiddling

One thing I realized this afternoon while I was playing peek-a-boo with my son Yamee using my shirt is that he thankfully never even attempted to twiddle my nips for comfort. I know other breastfeeding moms who still have to put up with that even after weaning their babies...

I just really nipped any attempts in the bud, so to speak, and just held their hands or tucked their arms wherever I could, so they don't develop the habit of playing with the nipple they're not suckling from.

I guess that's why I wasn't enticed to buy a rubber necklace (or are nursing necklaces made from latex? Some, I know, are made from semi-precious stones and marble-like stuff). I didn't need it.

Maybe it made a difference that my kids are boys... a part of me doesn't want my boys running around touching other women's breasts, because they're drawn to them (and I don't mean orally).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Milk Mama Diaries for December: Breastfeeding Gifts

December is Christmastime... a time of celebration, gratitude and gift-giving. To cap our first (and succesful, if I may say so myself) blog carnival year, Milk Mama Diaries' topic for December is BREASTFEEDING GIFTS. We want you to focus on how breastfeeding has enriched your life or delighted you, or maybe even changed you.

You can focus on your most favorite gift, or have a list of three (like the Three Wise Men bearing gifts) or more. Feel free to make it as personal, introspective or grateful as you want.

For those interested to join but have no idea how a blog carnival works, check my latest blog carnival entry on extended breastfeeding.

Because everybody is bound to be busy, deadline for registration to the December Carnival will be on 11 December 2011.

Interested bloggers may register here. I repeat, deadline for registration is on 11 December 2011. Posting instructions and Carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on December 12 and the Carnival will go live on 13 December 2011.

If you have questions or need clarifications, please contact Jenny (jenny[at]chroniclesofanursingmom[dot]com) or Mec (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com)


Yes, if you've noticed, we finally have a blog carnival logo!

Credits for the image go to the lovely Ms. Erika Hastings of Mudspice: Mucking about in Art and Motherhood. Her original painting of breastfeeding a toddler was in autumn hues but I took the liberty of Photoshopping it a little to make it pinker, to touch on BREAST CANCER. I also decided to use the 'breastfeeding a toddler' painting rather than the 'breastfeeding an infant' one because WE ARE FOR EXTENDED BREASTFEEDING.

For those who will also notice, the words MILK MAMA looks like Angry Birds-ish and you will be right. However, I used the font because it's name is actually FEAST OF FLESH and 'us breastfeeding moms do offer our babies a feast using our flesh' :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One of Yakee's Dreams

It amuses me sometimes the things that Yakee has expressed interest in becoming.

There's the fireman.

A superhero.

A teacher at St. Michael.

Recently, it's becoming a vet (because we're reading a storybook on dog bites, and he's keen on being a doctor for animals rather than a doctor for people). Now, I don't know if Veterinarian Jobs are in demand here but it's nice that he's really attracted to nurturing roles. It gives me hope that whatever I'm doing is good enough and will pay off... and that he will learn gentleness in his own good time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Ration My Son, Do You?

We are not super rich people. But we are still pretty much blessed materially.

One issue I have been battling with inside is rationing my son.

He likes doodling, so I provide scratch paper. I even make a visit to my former office to ask for a bound set of scratch paper which we use for drawing, doodling, painting, and making paper planes with. Even cutting. I'd seldom give him a clean sheet... even if we can afford to buy reams of paper.

And I also give him, say, 2 pages to paint on at a time.

For his coloring books... I rip a page and get him to color that page, not let him have his way with the entire coloring book. If I did, I knew he'd just swipe his crayons on each page... and then refuse to color that page again in the future.

When he's painting, I use a palette and we put paints there, and that's it for his painting session. I made the mistake before of buying the cheapie sets where every color is in the container and he'd only pour water on all the colors. So, I bought the more expensive tubed paints and just give him enough for a painting session (around 5 colors max at a time).

I don't put out all the toys given to him nor do I let him open everything. I actually feel I should work on this more because he still has over 20 toys out right now, and that's way too many toys for a child to really appreciate. He has over 24 tubs of play dough, but he can only play with 5-6 colors at a time... so the rest are still unopened, waiting their turn. And when he doesn't pack his toys away or are scattering them, they are put on timeout.

Makes one think sometimes, what's the purpose of a toy if it cannot be played with, right? But, how else do I teach him about treating things right and valuing the gift/love/work that was behind the toy?

And then let's go to food.

Do you know, I sometimes have to kick the hubs (lightly) to remind him not to give our son his share of Oreo? And that I only buy the single-serve packs... or that one roll which we have to stretch for at least two days? Yes, we do allow Yakee sometimes to have 3 cookies while we only get 1 or 2 each... but I insist that he really only has 3. Even if we can afford to let him have that entire roll. Not healthy though, and I don't mean physically.

When we have pizza, Yakee also only likes the pineapples and we do give him most of our share... but I also remind everyone not to give him all, or worse, let him eat up all the pineapples. I also insist that he eat an entire pizza, not just the pineapples. I remind him others also want the pineapples. Or the shrimps. Or the eggs.

Sometimes, I think I am mean. I've had a lifetime of 30+ years to eat pineapples... why not give all of mine to my son? Hubs thinks the same and it literally hurts him to deny his child 'more' of any food.

But... I have this great fear. I don't want to raise kids with an unrealistic notion of entitlement. It's our job to provide for them, but I want them to grow with the idea that it's their job to be careful, prudent and appreciative of what we provide.

I don't want my son to think that he can get all the pineapples and that it's okay (unless it's his own pizza). I want him to learn to eat something he doesn't like so much to get something he likes a lot. I don't want to set him up for a limitless expectation of resources without understanding yet how much work goes into providing those things... I don't want him to grow up thinking that just because he can pay for something means he also need not think of the implications (like wasted paper and trees... wasted water and well, water... wasted food and starving kids elsewhere... broken toys and wasted time and energy his father spent working, away from us).

So, yeah. When we're in the mall and my son asks me to buy something... I MAY allow it if it's food or a book, but definitely not a toy. Even if he says, "pretty please." Even if we can afford it. Even if it's only P25. Even if it's really cute.

And he can only put a maximum of two treats in the grocery cart (I don't count yogurt milk and Yakult as treat since, though it's processed stuff, it helps him poop, hehe), which is usually cookies (Ben 10 or Oreo) and Yan-Yan. That's okay since we only grocery shop once a month.

I set limits. I ration. I have learned not to feel bad about it, even if I do wonder sometimes if I am right... but the more important thing is, my heart is in the right place.

An overabundance of material things never really did anyone good... and an abundance of love includes tough love.


I just thank God that Yakee has learned to accept most of his limits. He will test them at times but generally, he knows "enough" means "enough." I also like that he trusts us when we sya there's plenty for another day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Scare

Sunday night, Yamee was fussy and bit me on the left nip.

Later, I felt a pain and a lump. That same night, the painful lump became a throbbing mess. Then. I didn't know if it was because of the lump or purely coincidental (it could have been a virus), I woke up feeling out of sorts. Then I felt super achy. I couldn't even lay down properly because my hip bones and backbone hurt. Everything hurt and just a brush on my chest wasenough to send me shaking from pain, what more a kick to it.

I was useless, I just slept all day. My kids' clamor for attention fell on deaf ears mostly because I really couldn't attend to them. I was in so much pain, I also think there wasn't enough milk coming out of me for the most part of the day, so Yamee was super frustrated... and he vented by being more carefree than usual: standing on top of the bed's edge and other unstable surfaces, like a toy firetruck.

I literally bawled on the floor at least twice, because Yamee managed to zero in on my breast with a foot or with his head... and I even had to deny myself Yakee's hugs because I couldn't bear to be touched.

That kind of pain.

It was horrible.

Good thing I did feel better lst night, felt better again today. I am on high dose antibiotics for the lump on my breast, which is probably mastitis due to a plugged milk duct that got infected because Yamee was putting dirty things in his mouth then nursing from me.

But for a day, I think I felt how someone with a terminal illness, like breast cancer, feels... and with young kids too. Briefly, I thought, if life throws us that kind of curve ball, we really don't have the financial resources... and maybe the emotional resources. Who will take care of me and my sons, because hubs will now have to work double time? How will I manage my stress over not being able to care for my sons? How will it impact my kids to see a mom so weak and in need of care?


Hopefully, the meds will do their magic and my breast ultrasound next week will show the lump gone.

God, please spare this family from cancer... if not forever, at least, now that the kids are still so young. Please. Thank you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 30-Day Mommy Challenge

A friend shared this in our FB group and I wanted to blog it so i'd remember it better... and just maybe, more moms will take up the challenge.

I'm thinking of doing it as my own Christmas countdown... for my sons. Click on the picture for a bigger, printable picture.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Good Read

This blog post is a very good read because it admits to one and all that homeschooling also produces unhappy, rebellious kids.

But whether homeschooling or not, one must read this... because the point really has nothing to do with homeschooling, but more about how even the most intentional parenting can produce sad or bad kids. Reading the comments though will offer some hope that the sad, bad kids do grow up in the end and make better choices. One can hope but really, no guarantees.

I have thought about it. Either of my sons could end up researching bomb making, or finding out crazy uses for a braided metal hose, or not going to college, or ending up HIV positive, or becoming a teenage dad. I can't say I have imagined the worst things they could be doing but I have thought everything possible. That is why I have also always reminded myself that I won't homeschool out of fear (that my kids will be bullied, that my kids will be exposed to germs, or unrealistic standards and comparisons, or that they would grow up with no values, etc) but out of purpose (I want us to grow as a family together, for them to really pick up values from the home, for us to be more invested in our parenting and child-rearing, for us to be forced to spend more time together, etc).

But my children will become adults someday... and who knows how they will respond to our parenting, to future circumstance, to other cultural changes and influences. Someday, they will choose for themselves... or need to wander a little if only to KNOW that HOME is where they belong. I have to keep in mind that the rewards of the things I have chosen to do for them are in itself, and not really in some distant future (though there could be something there still).

I breastfed for the short and long term benefits... sure... but reduced cancer and diabetes risks or not, I enjoyed breastfeeding them and bonding with them that way. It enriched our relationship.

I stayed home so I can nurture them all the time, and that is the reward, the having been there when they hit their firsts, the being there when they need hugs, disciplining, and empowerment. My staying home may or may not make for happier adults but the important thing is we had a chance to spend our days together.

I am planning to homeschool even if I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility and it may make for a more or less rounded kid... but again, the important thing is that I will become more so my kids can be more... and we still spend more time together.

Because in the end, time is all we ever get... and get to give. And time together with my kids will always be priceless.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Brother

While checking out our scanner software because I have a lot of scanning and printing to do for the boys' party, I chanced upon this quote and just had to scrap it. Yes, I was also downloading digiscrapping kits... I always multi task after all, or try to. Anyway, I got goosebumps reading the quote and thought about how i'd love for my boys to be each other's keeper... and to think of each other as so unique and so indispensable and necessary.

No one else will be like their brother.

So, I scrapped away... then checked out the rest of the song. Yikes. It seems to be some sort of eulogy to a departed brother. But somber mood aside, dead or alive, I still want Yakee and Yamee to think the world of each other.

I have so many wishes for my kids... but this one is sooo close to my heart. Because... it would mean we've really raised them with the idea that love gets multiplied... not divided between the two of them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shooting for the Benefits, Extending the Love

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (November). For this month, participants share their experiences on extended breastfeeding. This includes tips to moms with young babies, as well as barriers and myths which discourage extended nursing. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

Studies show that for mothers and babies to enjoy breastfeeding benefits like reduced cancer risks for both, they have to be breastfeeding for at least two years.

There was no question in my mind that I would go the full two years... at least. I only stopped after two years and four months with my first because I really believed breastfeeding was keeping me from getting pregnant so I weaned him. True enough, after a month of weaning, I got pregnant again. But I digress.

My son was already signing, running, singing, dancing, performing a multitude of other antics... and still breastfeeding from me. The hardest part of it was that he became so long for my lap. But after the first year, it was really almost a breeze.

I did not require breastfeeding bras anymore, nor breastfeeding-friendly tops... because I could just feed him in the car on the way and not bring my girls out anymore during an event. I did not have to hurry home or pump milk for him because he could already drink fresh milk if he so wished while I am away. He did not need to nurse as often anymore, so I also felt my body was my own again (maybe... 70% of the time?). And in the few occasions when he asked for milk in public, I had no problems cradling him in my arms and giving him that comfort.

What's more, it was still the easiest way to shut him up if I needed peace and quiet.

And best of all, breastfeeding continued to provide the sweetest moments of our days... hugging each other that way, smiling at each other with faces that close. The challenges of having a toddler were always offset by those moments of calm and gentleness.

Now... my second boy is turning one year old next week. I plan to breastfeed him till he's maybe 3 because now, I am invoking the contraceptive effect in me (note: breastfeeding as a family planning method is only really effective in the first 6 months, if exclusive breasfeeding and menses have not yet returned). Plus, if he's my last child... I think I'd really want to prolong this kind of intimacy. Somehow, I think babyhood truly ends when they stop depending on their mothers for some sort of physical need.

My advice to other breastfeeding moms who cannot imagine lasting as long... just take it one day at a time. Wean when both of you aren't benefitting from the relationship anymore. Smile when strangers cast you a questioning look when you're breastfeeding a child that, just a minute ago was running faster than they're walking... after all, in your arms lay one of the most beautiful creations in this world, and he is entitled to his mother's love.


Please visit the rest of the entries for this month's carnival

J and the Three Boys - No more "de-de"

My Mommyology - My Extended Breastfeeding Experience

Mommyluscious - Breastfeeding for Two Beyond Two

Truly Rich Mom - On Extended Breastfeeding (a perfectly normal thing to do)

Life of a Babywearing and Breastfeeding Mommy - Still breastfeeding after 2 years

Got To Believe - Breastfeeding Room Story

Apples and Dumplings - My Constant Challenge with Extending Breastfeeding

Mommy Kuwentos - Challenges and Rewards of Extended Breastfeeding

The Odyssey of Dinna - Nurturing Rafael: Extended Breastfeeding, Stretching Some More Lovin'

Legally Mom - Breastfeeding Beyond 1 Year: Barriers and Issues

Homeschooling Mommy - Yes, I've Got Milk

SOlovelyN - As long as he wants, I can

Touring Kitty - Extended Breastfeeding is Possible

SassyBiatcheMom's World - 1.4 and still breastfeeding

Mec as Mom - Shooting for the Benefits, Extending the Love

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom - Barriers/Myths vs. Extended Breastfeeding

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The End of Play School..

... hopefully, only for the year.

We knew when we enrolled Yakee at St. Michael that he'd only go till October. That will buy me time to just be Yamee's while he gets social interaction... and then party season will be distraction enough for him so that a regular class would be unnecessary.

I was considering letting him go back in January... but if i'm going to pursue the Waldorf crash course, that just won't do because nobody will be able to bring him to and from school.

So, maybe we'll just really enrol Yamee in the parent-child program and let Yakee go back again in June-Oct. Then again, that will depend on how our homeschooling is panning out, as well as his other classes... and maybe where we live (for I am hoping that we'd still get to move soon). I know we're still far from endeavors like whether to buy garmin chirp or not for geocaching, or investing in a heavy duty telescope to really observe stars, or going on immersions in far flung places with no clean water or toilets... but the challenge ahead is stressing me out. Before, I felt I had so much time left... but now, the time for more structured learning is here because he is already 4 years old.

Anyway, term ended for them yesterday and they all went home with Shoo Fly insect repellant and a sewn pumpkin holder for 2 apples. The Jap moms are urging me to enrol Yakee again because their kiddos are fans of my son... and they got Leah to hug Yakee goodbye.


I really wish Yakee can hang out with them again and again and again, even if not that regularly. I was thinking of inviting some to the birthday party but the Jap moms would be in Japan. Hehe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Milk Mama Diaries for November: Extended Breastfeeding

Babies up to one year NEED milk as their main source of nourishment but after that, they should be getting most of their nutritional requirements from solids. For November, however, we want to give a nod to those who aimed to extend their breastfeeding relationship even when their babies could already drink regular milk (or none, because it's calcium they require, not milk).


Thank you for joining the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival for November.
Theme is Extended Breastfeeding and participants are asked to share their experiences in breastfeeding their toddlers (past 12 months) as well as their tips to moms with young babies. Participants can also talk about barriers to extended breastfeeding as well as myths or comments they received from people around them.

Please fill up the form here to join. Deadline for registration for the carnival is on November 2, 2011. Posting instructions and Carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on November 3 and the Carnival will go live on 4 November 2011.

If you have questions or clarifications, please contact Jenny (jenny[at]chroniclesofanursingmom[dot]com) or Mec (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com) :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rewarding Field Trip Day

I want to blog more about it, with pictures and story bits, but I can't let the day pass without saying that we had a blast at the field trip to Malvarosa Orchid Farm in Malvar, Batangas.

I don't know who had a better time, the kids or the adults. The adults enjoyed lazing around in hammocks and eating organic food, away from work stress and social ecommerce, while the kids frolicked in the background. Plus, having all the kids together was an exercise in every-minute cuteness as we saw how each tried to behave their best. Snippets of conversation were all so adorable.

The kids loved vegetable picking, animal petting, and water play. A day at a farm was just really a perfect opportunity for them to appreciate food preparation more, as well as farming, seasons, readiness.

And I am really loving STAR Tollway despite the huge fees because it took us just over an hour to get to Malvar... both ways.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

First Field Trip Coming Up

As an end of semester thing at St. Michael, the kids (with interested parents) will be going to a farm in Malvar, Batangas next week. Hubs even went on leave just so he could join us. The kids are likely to get dirty trying their hands at gardening, fishing, produce picking and riding a carabao... aside from just having heacters of open space to run and play in.

I am stoked!

This will be our first official field trip, haha.

Someday, we'd probably do more of this as we homeschool. Then, further down the road maybe, hubs and the boys will be pouring over Polaris Ranger Accessories and going to those rough roading events... or we'd really be joining triathlons... or we'd all be climbing mountains... or lazing around in Marinduque watching the fishermen haul in their catch for the day.

Outdoors. Physical activity and the outdoors. I am really excited!!!


Of course, this being a Waldorf escapade... I can't exactly pack the usual baon, hehe.

But the fee we're paying covers two snacks and lunch... how cool is that? It's only P320 for adults and P200 for kids!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mommy is Crazy

Once upon a time, my brother-in-law started calling Yakee "crazy dog" to which Yakee would call him back "crazy duck." For hubby's siblings, anything that's funny, silly, mischievous, etc. is CRAZY. It's become a common expression for us all.

So, imagine my chagrin when walking from school one day, Yakee's classmate calls my son "crazy duck" in front of her mom. The mom gently corrected her child and I, of course, apologized and explained. The good thing was, the girl only called Yakee crazy, nobody else.

I didn't want Yakee to attach something negative to what has become a weird sort of endearment for him and his cousins... so, I told him that only members of our family can be crazy. I further explained that other people might not understand what CRAZY is, so he has to stop telling others they're crazy. I told him to tell his friends instead, "you're funny" or "that's cute" or "wow, cool!" :)

And then the same Mom tells me today that her daughter told her, "Mommy, Iakob's family is crazy." She had to ask her daughter to not say such a thing. I had to apologize and explain again and she did acknowledge that her daughter was just reporting something she heard, not making a judgment.

But there you go. Mommy is the crazy one for thinking CRAZY would stop having a life of it's own. Sigh.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Did Not Shop

An e-mail containing a list of sale scheduled last weekend was sent in our Yahoogroups. I checked it and bit my lip but willfully did not go to any. Even the one at my second home (Robinson's Ermita) where Accessorize was offering their cute accessories at 30% discount. I wasn't looking for transit token cufflinks or anything as fancy, just matching necklaces and earrings.

But my material whims have to wait till after I have spent on the birthday party and found money for the Waldorf crash course I want to take.

Heaven will provide and I am keeping the faith.

Besides, I still have all the fabric I bought to be turned into nice outfits!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Classes Suspended

I spent more time than I should looking for announcements whether classes were suspended for the day due to a typhoon signal. I am not subscribed to those sites yet, you see. I should have checked my phone first, though, because St. Michael has been nothing but prompt about such advisories.

Anyway, being affected by typhoons and hanging onto DepEd's words are really things I know I won't miss when we start officially homeschooling. Of course, this also means that rain or shine, I am stuck with teaching my son whatever is on our lesson plan. But at least, I don't have to wake up a perfectly sleeping child, feed and dress him up, only to be turned away or sent home at the school gate.

Hopefully, though, the homeschooling thing will really result in me being able to foster creativity in my son. I certainly wouldn't mind if he's blogging already by seven or eight years old, and coming up with real creative stuff (and grow to be like this blogger Timothy Ferriss, who is all about creativity, making money and living a positive life). Who knows, maybe we could make a tag team of our homeschooling blog.

Meanwhile, classes are suspended and Yamee is reeling from the excitability that is his older brother, and I am running out of ideas to occupy the older one.

I will find more energy soon. Yes, I will!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birthdays Done, Birthdays Due

My birthday happened without fuss nor fanfare.

Yakob's was spent at the Disney LIVE show and a weekend at my in-laws.

It was relatively a quiet week, and Yakee is a little richer in toys, I, in fabric.

Now, I am gearing up for last minute shuffling of expenses for the birthday party in November. After I finish all the things I have to buy for my sister and my Mom, I hope to finally shoot the photos I'd need and use for the invites and tarp... and have those sent out/printed.

And then I will track the street sellers I want to contract for the party, to save some money and get the products I really want.

And I will finalize my wardrobe (naks) :)

And I need to think of a nice surprise for my hubby, who is such a hardworking provider, lover, friend.

Wish me luck, energy, creativity... and always, a thankful heart.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Hands and My Sons

One thing I have been really sad about ever since eczema stuck my fingers is that I don't always enjoy holding my sons... because sometimes, it's too painful even to just hold hands. Yakee would even say, "Ouch Mommy, you're hurting me with your finger." because the dry, scabby skin would be rough on his face.

It was only lately, after taking antibiotics, when I started not feeling itchiness in my fingers and they got healed enough for me to actually enjoy caressing my sons to sleep again.... so I touched them all the time. But yesterday, the itchies were back. And now, the itchy bumps. Sigh. Soon, my fingertips will be cracking again, I just know it.

I don't know if it was something I ate, or if we need to have some water softener on top of the gentlest cleansers.... of course, I am hoping the eczema isn't here to stay.


I don't want my sons growing up with the notion of their mom having rough hands... not really for vanity. I want them to grow up liking being touched by me, and nobody really likes being touched by rough hands. Especially when the fingers seem like they're about to burst and ooze infection on you.


I shouldn't get depressed over the possible return of all the itchies but I am. I so miss being able to enjoy my hands.


While washing Yakee's face:
"Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a teacher at St Michael"

Napa-awww... and napa-kiss naman ako talaga!

That is a testament to how loving his Titas are at school... that he thought to be like them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Michaelmas at St. Michael

I really didn't think of bringing a child last night to St. Michael for Michaelmas/Parents' Night. I assummed they said the kids can be accommodated in the play school because there are whole-day students there who might as well stay there while their parents socialized upstairs.

It turned out, even former students were brought by their parents. Yikes. I so felt guilty to see Yakee's friends all there and a wonderful storytelling setup... and no Yakee.

I also told myself I needed the time away from my boys, what with my meltdown moment on the night of my birthday when I couldn't put them to sleep. Plus, I also didn't want Yakee excited at night anymore only to not settle down for bed again.

But again, I felt soooo guilty. I also almost quarrelled with hubs for trying to tease me about it. Sigh.

Anyway, it was a beautiful parents' night. Now, hubs and I need to be deciding on what's next for Yakee. We are still a long way from pondering the merits of Physicians & Surgeons Jobs (because we hope one of our sons would want to become a doctor) but in a way, it's really more crucial. omeschooling, a more structured one, can already start for us. But where to send Yakee for his socialization and physical activity needs?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Less Internet Time With Phone

Half the time, I really don't turn on this laptop anymore. I just check mails and Facebook on my phone, so I won't be tempted to mindlessly surf for hours.

But since I hate typing on my Android phone, I also tend to keep my phone surfing short. Plus, it just won't do for a stay-at-home Mom to be intent on a gadget with a toddler going up the stairs to follow his older brother. More importanly, to them, I am just looking at some gadget. Even if I was working (and I'm not), all they'd see is I'm glued to a gadget.

So, I have about 2-4 five-minute checks on my phone during the day. And then I just attend to the invitation
and send attachments at night, when the boys are asleep already.

Hopefully, I can cut short my night time surfing as well... but lately, I am just soooo into clothes!


Got my period back today. Goodbye to lactation amenorrhea. Twas fun while it lasted.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How Protected Are You, SAHM?

Recently, a hot topic in my ygroups was brought about by someone's two woman friends who were suddenly left by their husbands, without money of their own. This was a wake-up call to all, especially to one-income families like ours.

We trust the husbands we married, after all. We cannot imagine them falling out of love. Some will also never think of losing them to diseases or accidents. But the truth is, its not just separation or a debilitating illness that can throw a family's financial standing into chaos.

What if my husband loses his job? What if some tragedy happens? (I am writing this on the 2nd anniversary of Ondoy)What will happen, then, to a woman like me who has kids to support?

Hubby and I have always made sure we have enough money to cover a few months of him without work, that is our insurance cash. Then, we have some savings that's also available cash. Then, we have an insurance plan too.

But that's not enough. I have realized I have really failed myself the most when I didn't make income generating part of my days. I do not regret staying home and quitting my job, but I should still have continued generating income.

I have, in some ways, but I have not made it a priority. I should, though, if only to have my own money... or if only to have that extra income to fall back on. Plus, if I really want our own house, being a stay-at-home Mom shouldn't mean I shouldn't contribute to the purchase of it.


I know we should start checking out annuity rates online again. And I should make it a priority to update my insurance records to ensure my husband and kids are named beneficiaries. And I should be more actively earning from my online/writing gigs.

It's not just about the money. It's about being empowered, it's acquiring skills, being in the loop and taking care of my self-concept. Plus, it would also help me not to overanalyze my home situation and get my validation only from my family life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Biblical Spanking

As much as possible, I hate spanking but sometimes really feel that I have to do it.

Then, a friend's daughter asked her why she was spanking her if she loved her. That got our group talking about spanking and one of us found this blog post on spanking. She's the wife of the guy who I heard talk on spanking before at a Mommy Academy event and it was great to have this resource handy.

So, I started spanking more. For any outright disobedience.

The problem was I could never find a spanking rod so we used a big wooden spoon's handle. Unfortunately, although it didn't have sharp edges, Yakee bruised easily.

But I persevered, even if it pained me. And I spanked when angry only 1/4 of the time. That is progress.

For two weeks, I'd keep feeling brokenhearted over Yakee's marks on his behind. I didn't spank him everyday, but there were days I had to spank twice. I just gritted my teeth about the whole thing and made sure we followed the process. In fairness, Yakee would try to escape the spanking but would remind me that talking goes first, and hugging comes next.

And for several days now, I feel our relationship is actually better. And I could talk to him better and get him to cooperate better. He's more behaved, more helpful, doesn't throw tantrums as much and is somehow more open to meeting me halfway.

I am glad... and hopeful.

I really must keep changing and be more consistent to become a better Mom.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mom with Android Phone

I am super proud at being able to adjust to an Android phone.

It wasn't easy at first, you know, because I now have to text using both hands again and have to do it more slowly because of all the auto-suggests. And weirdly enough, the Sun signal is poorer in my new phone.

But it allows me to Facebook without having to open the laptop, which also means that I don't end up getting lost in the cyber world so much that takes away time from my sons. It's like I'm just texting for a minute or two and I'm there again with them!

Literally, I am feeling like such a gadget-savvy Mom, haha.

Which is why I am thinking of taking my son to the launch of Vibal's Chikiting storytelling at the MIBF tomorrow... yes, a Tablet with HDMI just may be in our future. It may be a useful tool in homeschooling, after all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner...

... but it has to wait till after we've thrown a birthday party for the family. I have even teased family members that they should think of parent gift ideas too since it's not just Yakee and Yamee celebrating their birthdays at the bash.


I swore last year that we'll have a wonderfully trimmed Christmas tree this year, one that is tall and proud and laden with lights and decor. But now that it's upon me, I am not so sure I have the energy (and budget) for one. But we still have to have some sort of tree this year. I must be resourceful.

Other things have to be attended to, like establishing routines and new habits for each one of us so that we can make homeschooling work for us next year.

I should also really master a routine so I can mark hours just for work... because I have to earn. Our bills are piling up and our desires for our sons continue to multiply.

Christmas is just around the corner... I trust blessings are too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Resistant to New Phones

I still have my Smart phone, bought 2005.

And I am still actively using my Sun phone, changed in 2007, I think.

I have had many opportunities to change phones. In fact, I have two other more hi-tech phones that are just gathering dust here in the house. But I am resistant to changing phones... mainly because I dislike transferring cell numbers (for cases wherein you can't migrate all of your contact info) and because I save text messages. Plus, I really don't think I need something high-end since I mostly really just text, seldom use my phone to take pictures and really don't want to invite more internet time in my life by having Wifi.

So, my Sun phone currently has some 1,000 messages in it that I am holding onto. But hubs, out of frustration from having lost his own Sun phone, got me a new one instead. He said it's time for me to finally have my own Android phone (if only to play Angry Birds in) and master using touch screen tenchnology.


So, now, he has the assignment of looking for a software so I can at least save my text messages as document files...


But I guess it IS time to make that change.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Survived Hong Kong

I had doubts, honestly. At the last minute, Yakee was still having some fever and we had to bring him to the ER for an ear infection scare. We also had to bring our non-portable nebulizer with us to Hong Kong.

And the lack of sleep, the late check-in time at our hotel, the walk to Harbour City... all those just really made me want to hibernate in the hotel with the kids.

But though we had to skip Ngong Pin and didn't really get to go around Hong Kong island much (or eat at Jollibee Hong Kong)... and I didn't get to go to Linea Negra as planned... we still survived the trip to two amusements parks and only Yamee seems to be the worse for wear. He's down with colds. But there hasn't been any major meltdown yet.

My roaming got busted so I really had to stick to hubs all throughout the time. Good thing I am no career woman who needed conference call services while on vacation (and good thing hubs also was spared with a lot of work-related problems). We usually got back to the hotel at around 12 midnight so the kids were really exhausted... and I normally wouldn't be able to sleep from exhaustion.

But again, we survived. I survived. I am now starting to tell our tales.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Lost Episode

It's probably one of the top things a parent is scared of... losing a child. I like to believe I keep an eye out for Yakee most of the time, and have impressed on him time and again how important it is for him to stay close.

Unfortunately... he will test his limits.

While atShopwise earlier, I saw him already making a game of sorta hiding from me by walking in the middle of displays where the goods will hide him from me. He liked that I would have to wait for him to become visible again before I proceed to where I intended to go. I didn't lose my cool but I reminded him to stay close.

As I was checking out bread, I told him again not to wander off. But I think he did the hiding thing again just when I walked around a bread counter and bent forward to check out more bread.

He must have missed me, panicked, and walked away (in the direction of his right) looking for me.

I remained calm, mostly because I was still in denial about him wandering off. But I was already pondering whether I should inform hubs already. I asked the guard nearby if he saw a child matching Yakee's description and gave instructions that should he do so, to hold onto the boy even if the boy tries to get away (him being a stranger).

It was a lucky thing that Yakee didn't wander off outside the grocery (we were at Harrison!) and most shoppers were probably family people. In our prayer tonight, Yakee said thanks that a man found him and told a woman to help him find his Mommy (I am assumming, a husband and wife). They were assisted immediately by a grocery clerk and I ran into them as I was passing the cash registers as I checked each aisle.

Yakee was crying but he still kept on eating his popcorn. The clerk commented that they found him crying but he never stopped eating popcorn.

Yakee cried and cried and cried while holding onto me. Then I carried him while I scolded him (and scared him about how some bad person could have taken him and he may never see us again and vice versa). I informed the guard about having found him, and proceeded to talk to him again about how easy it is to lose each other... and how, if he doesn't mind my reminders, I might lose him in HK (I also added that nobody will help him because they won't understand English, bwahahaha).


I need to brush him up on situations like this one.


If it had taken longer to find him, I think I'd have run away too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pre-Natal Pediatric Consultations Are Necessary

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it's "Talk to Me!" theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."
First of all, I was lucky. I had a husband who did not even question my breastfeeding intentions. In fact, he was even the one who called LATCH to reserve slots for us at the first breastfeeding class they ever held (back in Malayan Plaza, March 2007). This was before LATCH's partnership with The Medical City, that offers free breastfeeding classes to would-be parents, began.

And my mother-in-law couldn't raise any objections about my breastfeeding decision either, because her own daughter would do it for four years. And my Mom, though she encouraged me to mix feed so I can still continue working, was already based abroad and didn't have much say in how I lived my family life.

So, again, I am lucky. If there were people who tried to undermine my decision to breastfeed, it was doctors who I saw for sinusitis and allergy attacks. But I knew enough not to listen when I didn't need to. I was empowered.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post.

It is not common practice here in the Philippines to 'shop' for a pediatrician before giving birth. However, aside from the fact that you will see your pediatrician more than you will ever see your gynecologist, and you will entrust to a pediatrician the most precious thing ever in your life (your kids' health), a pediatrician also has much influence over your parenting.

And that is where breastfeeding comes in. It is a parenting choice, not just a feeding option, for it will require a certain lifestyle, a degree of commitment, and a lot of compromises and sacrifices. And if you're a first time parent who do not know any better, you can easily be scared, swayed and undermined.

In my experience, many first-time moms ask "They say my milk will come in after a few days from the delivery, so what will my baby feed on till then?"

Imagine if all pediatricians (and nurses) tell these new moms to have their babies latch as soon as possible because 1) they have colostrum to offer and 2) direct feeding is the stimulation required for the flowing, mature milk to come in.

Imagine if these moms who want to breastfeed are supported from Day 1 by their pediatricians, instead of being charged formula at the nursery where their newborns stayed.

Imagine if pediatricians didn't just check your baby but also met with the parents and talked about newborn care.

And so, I hope, aside from looking for the right gynecologist, or hospital to give birth in, would-be parents would also exert a lot of effort in finding a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician before they give birth.

Would-be parents can ask for referrals from trusted people (family, friends, their gynecologist, or in this internet era, cyber experts). They should arrange for a consultation and expect to pay the usual PF charged by the pediatrician. And they should ask their questions, after all, they are paying customers.

It would be more prudent to just tell the doctor that you are looking for future pediatricians that you can work with. Then, express your desire to breastfeed. Proceed maybe by asking them about the breastfeeding practices in the hospitals they're affiliated in, or whether they had breastfeeding training.

These two links also provide questions one can probably use, although I feel some of the approaches suggested may be too forward for our culture.

Finding breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians

Choose a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician

Other tactics that you can use is raising other concerns to indirectly raise the issue of breastfeeding, like:

* Doc, I am really anxious about feeding my baby. What can I expect the first few weeks? What happens when I go back to work?
(if supplementation with formula is given as a ready option, then you might as well assume that any complaint from you of sore nipples or exhaustion or colds will also result in the same 'solution' from that doctor)

* Doc, we have a strong allergy history. Are there things I can do to reduce the risks of my baby getting them?

* Doc, I want to breastfeed. I'm just wondering though what scenarios will be deal-breakers with that desire?

* Doc, if it's a given that the baby is healthy, how long before you allow such baby to be roomed-in?

* Doc, what are your thoughts on co-sleeping?

* Doc, I believe some newborn babies cry a lot. What are the common reasons for that?

Yes, indirect may work better for us Pinoys... plus, you get a greater sense of what a doctor stands for that way, instead of asking questions answerable with a yes or no.

Bring your spouse/support system in this 'shopping spree' and really try to get one you know you can trust and will work with you, not against you.

I have heard enough stories of pediatricians commenting that a breastfed baby was underweight or small for his age... but most are actually referring to the wrong charts or paid to push certain formula brands.

Let's keep these doctors on their toes. Make prenatal pediatric consultations a top priority during pregnancy and reduce, if not totally eliminate, those moments when you'd be made to feel as if you're not doing enough for your child just because you chose to breastfeed.

And once you've chosen your pedia, include him/her and your brestfeeding intentions in your birth plan.


Other participants to the carnival include:
Apples and Dumplings: Communication and First Time Breastfeeders

Dainty Mom: Creating a Pro-Breastfeeding Culture in the Family

Truly Rich Mom: Truly Rich Tips (esp. for moms) - How to get others to support you in breastfeeding

On breastfeeding: Say it, claim it, get support!

EthanMama: My Best Breastfeeding Support System — My Husband

TouringKitty: Communication through Breastfeeding

Escie's World: Ready, Get Set, Go! for Breastfeeding

J and the Three Boys: I'm breastfeeding, and that's that.

Nanaystrip: BreasTALK : Text, Retweet, Share your Knowledge and Experiences

PenpenEspie: A Shout out to My Breastfeeding Buddies

Project Blog by Kate: Talk and Make It Happen

Newbie Wife: How I Taught the Family to "Breastfeed"

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Effective Communication Bucket List

Go Help Yourself: “6 persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates”

Mommy Kuwentos: How I recruited my top breastfeeding buddies

Handy Mommy: Communication Decision

Dinna: Making It Known


Sunday, August 14, 2011

1 Week Before Hong Kong

A week before we leave for Hong Kong with hubs' family and... Yakee and I are still medicating (and he is still really coughing!), I still suffer from post-nasal drip and Yamee has a fever and refuse to eat.

What a happy lot, eh?

We also still haven't bought extra batteries for our cameras (and I can't quite locate my waterproof cam's battery charger) and I haven't decided yet on whether I would put my Sun phone to roam or just use a spare Samsung phone (I wonder though if samsung cell phone batteries will stand longer in HK's humidity compared to Nokia's).

I have not purchased new clothes, nor have we checked the luggage bags we intend to use. I have not mapped our proposed IT in Googlemaps yet too.

I can actually go on and on... I guess I am being complacent because I have been to HK before and it's a very family-friendly toursit destination where English is spoken. But still, cramming starts tomorrow... officially.

Tonight, I deal with internet obligations.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grown Ups

I watched Grown Ups (Adam Sandler movie) last night and was really entertained. More than that, it reminded me so much of my hubs' HS friends, who we often see over kiddie birthday parties. The repetitive reminiscences and references to their years together at La Salle Zobel, the things our kids get into when they're together (if my son would only remember, he'd say, the girls terrorize him since there are more of them and they usually refuse to play 'with a boy'), the desire to see your child playing outdoors... all those from the movie appealed to me.

Sigh. It's good to have your kids grow up with the kids of your friends. It's like getting extra cousins.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Antsy Yamee

I just tell myself it's another growth spurt season... but Yamee has taken to acting up during bedtime which necessitates me outting him to sleep downstairs so that his older brother and father could sleep.

This, in turn, means I get to watch a lot of TV. While I now know that Newell does rv repairs and upgrades, and that there is a hotel in Camboadia that takes in only one set of guests, and Andrew Zimmern first knew that ice cream is eaten IN/with bread by Filipinos... it also means I snack a lot (because I breastfeed more) and sleep less.

And yes, I know, I watch a lot of TLC.

Oh Yamee... please settle down to a happier normal. And stop propping yourself up in a standing position when Mom isn't looking... unless you're willing to do it in your pen. It's quite dangerous for you to be doing that unattended, you know.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Milk Mama Diaries - Blog Carnival for August

August is Breastfeeding Month so although we've only held a breastfeeding carnival last month, we are doing it again!

For our topic, we will be adopting the theme Talk to me! Breastfeeding - a 3D Experience" by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) on a more personal level.

We will deal with communication, as the third dimension in breastfeeding support. So, for the blog carnival, we want participants to blog about how they communicated their desire to breastfeed and/or breastfeeding goals to their support system.

Maybe you have an interesting story about how you informed your husband. Or tell us how you enlightened your parents and well-meaning friends, or taught your nanny to handle expressed breast milk instead of preparing formula. How did you reply to those challenging your decision, your child's weight gain, or any of the myths surrounding breastfeeding? How did you talk to your doctor/s or boss/es and had them accommodate your breastfeeding decision? Do you have tips? Share!

Read my July Carnival post to get an idea of how a blog carnival post looks like. To join the carnival, please fill up this FORM. Please include this short blurb on the top of your post:

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it's "Talk to Me!" theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

If you don't have a blog but would like to join, please email me (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com)or Jenny so we can arrange to have you hosted as a guest blogger. Deadline for registration for the carnival is on August 14, 2011. Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on August 15 and the carnival will go live on 17 August 2011.

Kindly note that we really expect participants to stick to the theme. We currently do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your entry from the list of carnival participants should your post be offensive, irrelevant to the carnival theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles, articles that are anti-breastfeeding or articles that are aimed to market products or services.

Kindly note the deadlines and please POST your entries on 17 August 2011. The deadline of 14 August 2011 is also strictly observed for REGISTRATION.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Panicking Over HK Trip

It's still a good 3 weeks away but I am already stressed by our impending HK trip. Partly, I am not sure if my boys can take the stress. And then, it's been real rainy the past few weeks and I really don't want us just getting wet and sick there. I also haven't really washed the backpack we're going to use for our daytime jaunts (since the sun hasn't really shone lately for any decent laundry to dry) and we haven't purchased extra batteries for our cameras.

I did buy some long-sleeved shirts for Yakee already and some thin Chute rompers for Yamee (who, I expect will stay warm when I babywear him) but I was hoping we'd have a chance to wear funny tee shirts, or just coordinated ones, in a picture. I'll see if I can get matching polo shirts for the boys.... in red (because my nursing tops are just really either black or red).

Hopefully, Yakee will really have fun with his cousins. He's started asking us if we're already going to Disneyland every time we go out. And he doesn't seem to remember that we have to FLY somewhere in a plane first... *stress*

Monday, August 1, 2011

LATCH Kicks Off Breastfeeding Month Fabulously

It's Breastfeeding Month and I am happy to share that the breastfeeding org I am affiliated with has loads of exciting things to offer.

First, check out this wonderful, wonderful logo/theme:

The GIVE LIFE part is oh-so-true for developing countries, where the poor don't always have access to sterile equipment and water nor enough money to buy formula or afford medical care.

The LIVE LIFE part serves as a reminder that breastfeeding NEED NOT LIMIT a woman/mother to enjoy the things that she loves... in fact, it may even get her doing more (after all, a lot of mompreneurs started their breastfeeding accessories business after being inspired or seeing a need/niche they can fill).

Now, LATCH has also partnered with ABS-CBN and Working Mom Magazine. The product of this collaboration is a magazine spread on breastfeeding in public (as moms go about their lives) in the August issue of Working Mom.

Yes, the Moms are dressed in Eden so you can really see how the new collection works

What's more, if you buy a copy of Working Mom's August issue, you can use that mag and gain free entrance for the whole family to the All About Baby bazaar happening on August 13, 2011 at Rockwell Tent.

Drop by the LATCH booth to meet and mingle with the LATCH ladies, attend a free class and avail of free counselling :)

Also, LATCH will have a Best Beginnings in Breastfeeding Class at The Medical City too on August 13 (instead of September 10) from 9-12 noon. So, would-be Mom... there really is no reason for you to say the information isn't out there :)

See you all!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Planning HK Itinerary

One of our must-visits in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Computer Festival and we'd be getting there on the last day of that gadget expo. Hubby is already salivating from the idea of what he'd see there (a lot of hardware, some MegaMeeting video conferencing software probably, and all the Chinese knockoffs one can imagine, I bet) and I think he might be driven to purchase yet another tablet.

Anyway, I just hope we can really accommodate what I have come up with so far. We really need a high-low-high-low actitvity ceremony. The geek in me is also super duper excited at our visit to the Science Museum because I just know it, my Yakee will love it there.

Hope no one gets sick...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Conversation on Death

Yamee woke up crying and so I rushed to breastfeed him. Yakee, still awake, suddenly asked out of the blue: "Mommy, will you be dead on Wednesday?"

And this is how our conversation went:
Me: What?
Y: Will you be dead?
Me: You mean, will I die?
Y: Yes.
Me: Yes, I will die. In time.
Y: Why?
Me: Because everybody dies. All living things die.
Y: Where will you go?
Me: Hmmm... hopefully heaven.
Y: Wy?
Me: Because I want to go there, but not anytime soon.
Y: Will I see you with the glass, like the lola?
(amazed na he's only now talking about the wake we went to over a month ago)
Me: You mean, will you see me in a coffin, and you'd look at me through the glass, like the dead lola?
Y: Yes!
Me: Well, yes. I will be in a coffin too. Hopefully, not soon.
Y: What will dead you?
Me: You mean, what will kill me?
Y: Yes, what will make you dead?
Me: Maybe a disease. Hopefully, old age? And hopefully, not yet anytime soon.
(long pause)
(incoherent words)
Y: You will not be dead with guns?
Me: I hope not baby.
Y: Why?
Me: I really hope to just die of old age. I don't want to die from guns. That would be a terrible way to die.
Y: Yes (and makes firing actions and noises)
Me: I hope I won't die yet. I want to see you grow up.
(pause again)
Y: What made the lola dead?
Me: Oh, the lola was sick, died from a bad heart. And I think, old age too.
Y: What made the lola sick?
Me: Her heart was old so it got... (struggling to find words he'd understand) broken.
Y: Broken?
Me: Well you see, baby, hearts are like batteries. When they run out of charge, they won't work anymore. So, a person will die.
Y: Why is the lola old?
Me: Because she lived many, many years.
Y: What number of years?
Me: She lived past 80 years. You have only lived almost 4 years. So, the lola... she's lived a loooooooooong time.
Y: Where did she live?
Me: In their house in QC
Y: Why?
Me: Because that's where she and her family lived.
Y: Who is her family, what are their names?
Me: I don't know their names, I only know my friend's name. Rolly. Now, go to bed and sleep Iakob. Yamee cannot sleep because we're talking. We can talk about death some more tomorrow.

It felt morbid talking in the dark about death... and I am superstitious enough to wonder, what if my son felt something (premonition?). But all in all, at least i've managed to gauge that he's still not yet scared of the idea.

And talking about death didn't make me feel uncomfy... now, let them start asking questions about sex... and i'm sure i'd UHM my way through the thing. Haha.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Dream

Last Friday, I happened to see two of my batchmates from my LATCH training. One of them is the Mom of my son's 'classmate' at St. Michael, the other one is now based in Puerto Princesa as a yoga instructor. They're the moms behind Indigo Baby :)

Anyway, Monica shared that they're starting their own version of St. Michael Playhouse in Puerto Princesa. I was happy for them, for Palawan in general... but also a little bit envious. How can other moms just do the things I want to be doing?

I remembered Nanay Ines of Arugaan always telling me to keep dropping by Arugaan to get pointers... and start my own creche. Arugaan and St. Michael have a lot of similarities and it would be really great to be able to embrace the lifestyle change they offer: going more organic, environment-friendly and child-involved.

I am not sure if I have a green thumb but there is that dream of growing our own vegetables and tending to backyard chicken coops with my sons. I hope to have a self-sufficient home utilizing solar energy and recycling water. And just lots of space where my sons can run free and imagine possibilities while learning about Science and Math :)

That is the dream. I hope I realize it someday.


Another set of signs I'm sort of getting composes the following:
1) A N@Wie friend who has started training to be a marriage and family counselor.
2) My college friend egging me to take up counselling with her.
3) A blog friend working as a part-time counselor under Ms. maribel Dionisio of the Love Institute.

I also hope to be a marriage and family counselor. It sort of feels like a natural progression from my stint as a peer counselor for reproductive health and teen issues from all those years ago. I am, sort of, a breastfeeding peer counselor now. Oh, and I also sort of want to be a child nutrition expert. But anyway, the deal is... since I am a wife and parent, I want to be an expert on family life and help others that way too because it is now what's relevant to me.

I am still struggling now with being a good enough wife and mom and I don't have energy for serious academic commitments.

But someday... when I've had more family life experience, I might study to become a professional counselor. When I know better, maybe i'd also learn to be better faster.

That is another dream.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Taking Breastfeeding Further

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (July). For this month, we join the National Nutrition Council - Department of Health in celebrating Nutrition Month with the theme "Isulong ang Breastfeeding - Tama, Sapat at EKsklusibo!" Participants will share their experiences in promoting breastfeeding or their tips on how breastfeeding should be promoted. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

The most nutritious thing for Nutrition Month is such a perfect theme and there are no words to how amazed and delighted I am that DOH seems to really have embraced breastfeeding advocacy.

Personally, I know I have done a lot for breastfeeding. I certainly talk about it a lot, and can talk about it for hours (nay, days). I have blogged about it many times, not just my journey but things that frustrate me, and things I have learned. I have even blogged about the best nursing tops to breastfeeding-related events. When Ondoy struck, I joined three breastfeeding missions (Rizal, Pasig and Laguna). I have also joined L.A.T.C.H. to know more about breastfeeding and be trained as a breastfeeding peer counselor.

I also literally troll my yahoogroups and forums for those with breastfeeding queries and in need of support.

And I breastfeed in public, very seldom with cover, because I actually hope to inspire other people to think about how 'natural' it is.


I have only volunteered for two TMC sessions, so far. And I do get weary answering the same questions... and sometimes also lack tact and gentleness when I do respond to them. For a while, I was even very judgmental of how other mothers can choose formula over breast. My current pet peeves are Judy Ann Santos and "I just gave birth and I don't have milk yet" sentiments. And I have not yet visited the clinic in our street and offered my services there.

In short, there is lots of room for improvement in me. There is so much more I can do. I can be so much more. And... I can potentially save more lives.

And so I strive to be gentle, even when I am frustrated. I answer the same questions again and again and again. I run the risk of alienating Facebook friends by speaking the truth. And I make sure everyone knows I have taken a side: this side.

Now... I hope I won't be so shy and lacking initiative to approach people of power I can connect with... to bring breastfeeding talks (and thus, awareness) to the masses.


I think this is the perfect time to also blog about things I feel the government can do to further breastfeeding awareness, support and advocacy.

DOH should really work with all other government agencies.

Get DECS to incorporate breastfeeding into children's books (Math sample problem: Nanay pumped milk at 8:00 AM and was able to express 3 ounces of milk. If she does the same two more times with the same volume of output, how much milk will she have pumped by the end of the day?... Health sample question: Give three examples of galactagogues.) and improve the medical curriculum to actually include a subject on breastfeeding for would-be doctors/medical practitioners. Children have to be enculturated back to a time when breastfeeding was natural and typical and common. The campaign with kids and in schools need not be aggressive, but pictures and storylines of making formula for a child just really has to be stopped and in their stead, more pictures of breastfeeding/babywearing indigenous cultures.

Get a law enacted to prohibit any entity from giving free samples of formula.

Tweak maternity leave due to mothers. While other countries enjoy up to a year of maternity leave with security of tenure, I really don't think our economy can afford that luxury. But I think we can improve on our current maternity leave by making it two months plus all Wednesdays till the 6th month. This ensures that working mothers will have that Wednesday breather from the stress of pumping at work. It just might also fuel productivity since working moms will know it's only 2 days before they can take care of their babies and directly breastfeed again. That's basically just 16-18 extra days that are potentially the same number of days a new mom has to be absent/goes to work unproductive due to a new baby/sick child.

Quit with the generic "breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years and beyond" bit in TV ads/formual cartons/posters. Have catchier slogans ("human milk for human babies"), funny cartoons or outright correct information instead ("breastfeeding reduces cancer risks for both mother and child" or "exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months can save you at least P20k, which you can use to spend on vaccines").

Maybe, DOH can also get volunteers (nutrition students' practicum? hehe) or work with hospitals to hold impromptu talks for waiting preggos in OB clinics.

Instead of breastfeeding stations wherein you have to invest in separate rooms, maybe public areas like malls can allocate seating areas with signs saying, "if you're breastfeeding, sit here" :D (well, it can double as rest area for preggos and the elderly too).

And can it be made a practice for OB Gyns to instruct a prenatal consult with the pedia, who can then discuss feeding and caring options/information with the parents?

The thing is, since breastfeeding benefits a lot of aspects (health, environment), there should also be a more wholistic and concerted approach to its promotion. And we have to support the mothers most because it generally is their battle, their investment, their lifestyle change. And the government should feel free to tax tobbaco and milk companies more to finance these endeavors... hehe... after all, breastfeeding reduces cancer risks and allergy risks, which smoking and formula milk perpetrate.


Please find the time to also read the entries of the other Milk Mamas joining this carnival :)

Dainty Mom reminds not to bash formula feeders

Lazy Mama also encourage breastfeeding in public and Legally Mom doesn't do it in nursing stations
and Frannie pumps even with male colleagues around

The Painter's Wife is informed and fearless

Dinna, the low milk supply mommy did it

We also get breastfeeding promotion tips from a fearless formula feeder which offers a lot of insights

I would also love a billboard on EDSA featuring celebs with mass appeal

Benz is the chillax advocate but oh, has she the influence

Breastfeeding Mama prepared herself for it and Rachel just hearts breastfeeding

Reach out to other moms, be encouraging to them and maybe we can really push for longer maternity leaves

Having the right information and support will help moms who weren't succesful do better next time, since the right psychology can help you succeed

And here's Deng, who actually stars in some breastfeeding ads while June breastfeeds with her sisters.

And as the perfect cap, a juxtapostion of Jenny's take on breastfeeding promotion in the Philippines and what a doctor Mum wants to see in UK

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mean Mom Days

Lately I have been sending my eldest to bed without reading, lullabies and caresses... because he's also lately been really pushing his limits and trying to negotiate, delay or rebel against instructions. I trained him by telling him he has so many minutes left for play or eating and now, he asks me for extra five minutes here and there and insists on the number of minutes even after sooo much time has passed. Makes me want to purchase a timer asap, just so we'd both be more mindful of time.

I've also been really frustrated with his kind of play... I've caught him 'playing' with Yamee by tying a jumping rope around his neck, hitting jis face with a net or crushing a pillow on his face. He is really just playing and it doesn't help our discipline that Yamee giggles when his older brother does these inappropriate things.


Someday, when television stands and ice cream cones and homecooked meals are really things of the past, I hope what I am trying to instill in my sons, like obedience and loving presence, will have been ingrained... and working for them.

Everyday is a struggle. But everyday, I do see the promise of greatness.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ballooning Momma

Wearing my pink shirt the other day and trying out shorts at the mall, I realized that I have lost my waist yet again. I am now officially a rectangle again... probably pushing 150 lbs. again.

I felt the weight gain starting when Yamee started eating solids. And well, I have been having a chocolate feast, with all the cookies and ice cream I have been eating. No one to blame but me, I know.

And yes, it's high time to get the workout zumba working for me. I should be ashamed to be missing the Mommy Milkshake Marathon come August (but well, since I get cramps just standing for a longer period of time, I am really unfit to do any running).

Breastfeeding Month is also Mom's Month

August is breastfeeding month and it's such a perfect opportunity for more Mom gifts, I think, ones that show support to breastfeeding and appreciation of all that it requires from a woman.

Clueless husbands can just click here for ideas, or just give their wives free rein in shops like Indigo Baby, Mama.Baby.Love or Eden :) Spa certificates will also be welcome for moms with aching backs, plus, it will relax them enough to give of themselves more freely.

I can't wait for my boys to be old enough to come up with their own gifts. I'd appreciate handprinted shirts, little ones, since you've already marked my heart for life... as yours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best Beginnings in Breastfeeding at TMC

It was my first time last Saturday to handle a topic for the Best Beginnings in Breastfeeding Workshop that LATCH conducts for The Medical City every other month. Suffice it to say, hubs was my worst critic, haha, but I appreciate the support, really.

I opened the talk with my favorite quote these days:
"We make time for what we choose to have in our life." (Lucy Torres Gomez)

me doing the Benefits game with the chocolates wrong

demonstrating how to switch from cradle to cross-cradle position which would be useful when, say, one is eating

my all-time breastfeeding supporters (hubs even offered to answer questions from the dads in my breakout group, hehe

Swannie (N@wie), Ethel, Buding and me (trying out the SaYa gift from Buding)

always with a girlfriend!

I realized that I really know so much about breatfeeding already... at least, the basics. But I could use more practice in my delivery. I believe i'd convince more people to breastfeed if I can be as charming as Buding when I talk about breastfeeding. Haha. Just like what the doctor said that time, hearing Buding talk makes her want to breastfeed there and then (and she's not even a Mom yet).

PMS, Here I Come Again

I had hoped that i'd have a longer lactation amenorrhea this time around. I really don't miss getting my period and would be perfectly content not getting it again, unless it suggests some medical problems for me. But I have started feeling that the day when i'd get it back is coming. One sign is the overall rage and bad mood, another is the aching back and hips for no real reason.


I guess it really means Yamee is requiring less milk now, which means, if I don't watch it, I may have to resort to diet pills for women because i'd just really gain all the weight back. And we're talking some 40 lbs here. Yikes.


Meanwhile, it stresses me to no end that Yakee is a sickly child these days. We're skipping school again today because he's running a fever again.