Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Books on Activities for and with Kids... Unused

I have at least 4 books on things you can do to and with your child to facilitate their different developments that are gathering dust on my shelves. My cousin just poured over one for her caregiving assignment.

Meanwhile, I have while away the afternoon in front of the PC because I didn't want to deal with my firstborn and a particular discipline issue. I know, I am so bad for being an escapist. But there you have it, I am not in a good place and has been failing my sons as a Mom.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If We Had To Do Our Weddings All Over Again...

My mom friends and I have been chatting on FB about our weddings and what we'd do differently if we could do it again. Mind you, we're all generally happy about how it turned out but still, there are little things in hindsight that we could have improved upon.

Like me, I'd have gotten Cecilio Abad instead and just begged for mercy on the price, rather than travelling to and from to Tet Hagape's :) Then, we'd also have invited less people, and maybe really did that breakfast wedding & reception thing and just throw a party after the honeymoon.

I still would have gotten Unity Coins instead of hunted high and low for Morgan silver dollar because I like that our arrhae had all those marriage tenets stamped on them.

Oh, I also wouldn't have bought so much liquor for the guests, insisted more on RSVP and maybe had our reception at that ballroom because the garden at PICC just proved way too big :)

But i'd definitely have married the same man. I can't imagine anybody else being the father of my kids.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Advantage that's a Disadvantage of Technology

Do you remember a time when you will meet with friends at a designated place and time and you will do everything in your power to be there at the exact time since there's no way of letting friends know you'd be late, or they might think you're not coming anymore and go on without you?

How about going on a trip on a convoy with your family and just really following the lead car?

Nowadays, people can give warning beforehand that they're already there, will be late, or are stopping. All they have to do is whip out their samsung cell phones and text or call. Good, right? However, it also allows for less diligence to stick to the plan. You're at the meeting place 5 minutes before the agreed time and instead of waiting and staying put, you text all the others to text you if they're there already and you'll just go to this shop or that, or finish errands. On the way, you start suggesting this and that and plans change. The time it takes to assemble lengthens.

So, I really hope I train myself to stick to the plan like I used to, and then train my kiddos the same way. We can change the plan when we're all together already. Time wasted (and all the energy texting and calling and consulting) is time wasted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Plight of Moms in Japan

sharing here my friend's FB alert


No wonder i feel so lethargic during the day..Not even nine in the morning and we already have 3 pretty strong after shocks in my prefecture. Tap water in Tokyo is not safe for infants that they are now distributing bottled water to households with babies.Many kids in the Chernobyl disaster developed cancer months or even years after drinking milk/water spiked with radioactive iodine but thought to be safe level at that time. Imagine the anxiety of mothers now who can't even wash milk bottles with running water thinking it might give their precious children thyroid cancer in the future..?

Tsubasa called me last night saying,mom,send me bottled water,i can't find any in the supermarkets,sold out despite a limit of two, two-litre bottles per customer.

Earthquake is something you can feel,so you know when it's coming and hitting you.Radiation is invicible,making it so scary and hard to fight,making people paranoid. Just yesterday, they announced not to eat cabbage,spinach,cucumbers and a lot of green leafy vegetables grown in Fukushima and my place cos they tested positive and so farmers are suffering a lot too. I had to throw away the cucumber i just bought the day before cos you don't wanna take the risk. Vegetables grown from other areas deemed safe are not selling well too cos people are afraid.

And yeah, i just saw that they are distributing free bottled water in some parts of my prefecture too that tested with high levels.They distribute them to every household tho,not just those with infants.

After shocks,radiation and food/water shortage..Life goes on...

** oh mec i thought of you when i saw those moms worried faces wondering if the water they drink will also affect their breastfeeding babies and asking if they can bathe them too. tsubasa is an adult and im worried for him but just thinking of those young mothers with small children breaks my heart.thanks again everyone..:-)

Japan is one of the countries with a high breastfeeding rate. My friend there says that you really do not get to leave the hospital without knowing how to breastfeed. If you want to formula feed there, you will have an option of two brands at most, usually just really used for babies with special cases.

But indeed, what of breastfeeding moms drinking contaminated water? How will this affect their babies?

And what of young children already eating solids... what water will they use? How long will this go on? How far will it spread?


Please join me in praying for the people of and in Japan. Radiation is a monster that they could do without.

The Academic Run-Around

Friends and I have been discussing where we studied and how we ended up there and if we'd send our kids there.

I took up Psych in PNU because I ran out of options. I wanted to study in UP but was naive and weak-willed enough to listen to our HS guidance counselor who said that we're just wasting our application fees since UP doesn't accept students from private schools. So, I just never tried.

And then came college application time and I realized my Mom never intended for me to attend a private university! Gasp. Shock. Ouch. I still tried with CEU and Adamson but also never felt the fit. I gave in and also took entrance tests in PUP and PNU. Well, I got scared of the people I took exams with at PUP... and while I thought all the vandalism at their covered walk and walls were cool, I just knew my sheltered existence cannot tolerate that for four years.

Plus, I always intended to take up Psychology... so PNU was the wisest choice among my limited options since it at least had a good reputation. I graduated with Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology, minor in Education... fourth among the graduating Psych batch and 22nd out of the entire graduating class (over 600 at least).

My mother, on the other hand, sent my brother to a private school. her rationale was, since I was already smart, I can go anywhere and still be smart. My brother needed the edge of private school education. Ouch again, but I got the point more and more as I grew up.

Fast forward to now. I have absolutely forgotten all the things I took up in college. Plus, the cum laude accolade is pretty useless since I am a stay-at-home Mom. :) Me reading to my child is more because I love to read than due to the expert recommendations of teachers and psychologists. Me signing to my child is more because I have always wanted to learn sign language. Me prioritizing family time is because I felt I didn't enjoy much of it growing up.

So, the great undergraduate degree became just that, a degree. A certificate. A piece of memory attached to a piece of paper.

Meanwhile, education has changed. Who knows by which standards I will measure it with years from now, when my sons go to college... if ever they do go :)

No Distances Please

About three weeks ago, hubby was in Singapore and we had to resort to video chats every night to stay connected. I told hubby then that I really can't make it if ever he'd have to work far away from us because I was already super sad then, and he was only gone for five days.

Some families thrive despite the distance. I'm not sure ours will. But I should really be more open to it since, when the boys leave the nest, we'd really have to rely on web conferencing to keep in touch. Good thing that's around two decades away yet.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Boys Are Okay

Yamee had vaccine shots last Thursday. I decided to have the doctor check on Yakee's eye too, even though it looked like it was resolving itself already, and had Dr. Mantaring listen in on his lungs too. I am still a little concerned about the primary complex thing even though Yakee's eating and thriving overall. I trust or doctor's judgment but just because Yakee didn't have it in December doesn't mean he won't get it somehow ever. Our air is dirty that way, hehe.

Yakee's only 13.5 kgs. while Yamee is now 7 kilos. (The scales at the clinic tell me I am 63 kilos which is about 139 pounds. The scales here at home tell me I am between 140-144 pounds.) At that age, Yakee was only 6.4 kilos so just maybe, Yamee will be a little bigger than his Kuya was. Let's see how he fares with solid food.

Yamee didn't cry over the shot :) And when I told the doctor that we suspect Yamee to be teething, he told us he (normally) cannot possibly be at 4 months old. Then, I told him that Yakee had teeth at 4 months (and Kuya also didn't cry over the rest of his vaccines). So, the doctor told me my sons are weird, hehe. Nice weird :)

That well-baby visit cost us almost P4k but it's really one of those times that I think money is well-spent because I know I need not worry and that I am validated for my efforts.

Sometimes, it's so easy to say, "The boys are fine." but you only realize how wonderful that is when you have had a sick child. And I thank God my boys are okay. They're okay!! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Choice to be More Than a Woman

"Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women's Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

Women are human beings who menstruate, gestate and lactate.

Now, I know some have been able to control their menstrual cycles by tampering with it. And if we want the circle of life to continue, we really have to get pregnant because the men just can't (at least, not yet).

And we lactate because the same miracle that allows us to grow a child inside our bodies made provisions for us to grow that child once outside of us.

Now, a woman can choose if she'll have her period, whether or not she'll get pregnant and whether she will breastfeed or not. Yet, she is no less a woman. She is no less a human being whatever she decides.

Still, I like to think of the decision to breastfeed as something that allows women to be more than what their bodies dictate, even if it starts out as a physiological capacity. It's a decision to extend the time that your body is not yours. It's a decision to feel exposed when you're nursing in public. It's a decision to get a special wardrobe that can accommodate this choice. It's a decision to be attached to a child for six months, or two years, or more. It's a decision to make breast milk storage experts out of working moms. It's a decision that makes you fight for your beliefs. It's a decision that causes stress when dealing with non-supportive or uninformed medical experts. It's a decision that challenges lifestyle choices, work setups, family dynamics and even government decisions.

For some, it's a decision to make them fight for all the other children not being breastfed. Or at least, a decision to save their family from some expense, or the earth from some pollution. And it's only true reward is in the doing because it cannot really generate income for you that will make you ludicrously rich.

Breastfeeding is a choice to be more than a woman because it makes us intentional parents and life advocates. It requires a commitment greater than just 'putting food on the table' because it requires so much from us women. And with this decision, we have effected changes. The progress has been slow but its progress made nonetheless. None of us who got pregnant had to breastfeed, especially those of us who can afford formula milk. But we do it. We do it even when it doesn't make sense to the modern world of quick fixes and convenient measures.

Breastfeeding is one of the ways how I love my children. There are so many... but none as truly demanding, nor as truly rewarding.


Pleare read all the other insightful entries :)

Nurturing Rafael, same old brand new me by Dinna

The Breasts and Me by Apples and Dumplings/Cai

Of Nursing and Self-Awareness by Tea Cups and Melodies/Christine

Breastfeeding made me a better and stronger mom…and woman by Ethanmama/Doc Joey

The Adventures of Supercow by Rheea

Please Think Before You Comment by Jenny of Fabnaima

Breastfeeding has made me a better Woman by ruly Rich Mom Tina

My Breastfeeding Story by Manila Fashion Observer

Loving Jaden, Changing Me by Misis Teapot

Juggling Mommy Act: Breastfeeding While Caring for ME by Handy Mommy Ichel

Breastfeeding and My Career by Touring Kitty

feeling Fab at 40 by Pittipat

Breastfeeding and my Self-Image by Topaz Mommy

Joining the Milkwagon by Dotty

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Power Struggle with my Preschooler

I shouldn't really let Yakee engage me in a battle of wills. But, when I lack sleep or Yamee's fussy, I can easily get irritated. And once I am angry, it takes time before I calm down.

We did sort of made peace yesterday and had a perfectly regular bed time ritual without fuss. He was also still agreeable this morning... and then, it's one stubborn episode after another, coupled with disrespect and acting out in public.

I sometimes feel that Yamee's burgeoning cuteness and interactivity is to blame... it threatens Kuya, no matter how loving he is. Then I think it's also him just testing his limits more.

I believe I cried myself to sleep two nights in a row, hating our fights and hating the feeling that I am a failure... hating the possibility that I may be doing more harm than good... hating all the implications of these little fights... wondering how to get to this point and being a grandparent to their kids without burning bridges or sending anyone to the loonybin.

God, grant me grace and wisdom and more, more patience.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drills for Kids

In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, hubs and I started trying to make our elder son Yakee aware of how to take care of himself. Pappie has practiced standing by doorways with him and I have cautioned him to stay away from broken anything: mirrors, lamps, TV or even outdoor lighting fixtures.

But I think, most important of all is to practice obedience and following directions. We also have to have a great level of communication, otherwise, we won't be able to help each other in times of crises. Just a simple 'stay put' could save his life... or a 'get this' save mine.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Praying for the Japanese

With so many displaced, some of whom are probably injured, I really hope the Japan government has trained its people well to go to Centers for Medicare as soon as they need assistance. They may not have to evacuate like those living in the nuclear power plant or in the tsunami areas but just cleaning up after those aftershocks (almost 300 already based on the last resport from CNN I saw) can result in injuries.

My friend has even said that the first thing they cleaned were the broken mirror after their mirrors and TVs fell during a particularly strong aftershock.

I also understand that the health care provided in Japanese can easily compete with Texas Medigap and the like under normal circumstances. But what's happening to Japan right now is so far from normal. It's so scary and guilt-generating, watching and praying for those in Japan while at the same time thanking God it's not us, it's not here and that it ends in Japan.

I'm wondering though if the Japanese will start paying for Medicare Supplemental Insurance like what sort of happened here after Ondoy... or their government will just really shoulder everything.

I am, however, really amazed at the efficiency by which they have handled such a catastrophe. I know the room for improvement is there but even video feeds do not show so many people, as they have been able to evacuate properly. Even the United States didn't lack their calm and coordination.

I am really praying for Japan... that support will be found, less lives will be lost and that they bounce back stronger than before. Like they did after Kobe.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake Scare

I was out shopping for clothes and diapers for my sons when I got a text from hubby asking that I go home as soon as possible. The earthquake that happened in Japan today is currently scaring everyone here as all are on tsunami and earthquake alert.

I felt a little panicky when I realized we don't have a working flashlight at home. I have to make sure there are some snacks and water and light in the house, in a bag, along with our important documents. It is kinda great that office supply is the furthest thing from my mind... and I thank God somehow that I am still breastfeeding (which wouldn't amount to anything if an emergency strikes and I am separated from Yamee) because it ensures clean food for my sons. Yes, both of them.

Let's all pray that we are not next... and that Japan and New Zealand recovers soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Enrolled My Son Today

Figured out a way to really commute to St. Michael Playhouse. It seems I got enchanted going home though because I rode the wrong jeep (found myself in Ayala so I turned back). Got off at the wrong place so I had to walk another block. Then, rode the wrong jeep again so I had to ride a pedicab to finally get home.


But still, enrolled my son today.

And I did get another Eden breastfeeding top, a babydoll one this time. Size small! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Milk Mama Diaries Blog Carnival for Women's Month

Fab Naima has been joining breastfeeding blog carnivals. I suggested for her to host one, the first Philippine one, with the topic: HOW HAS BREASTFEEDING CHANGED/AFFECTED YOU AS A WOMAN?

After all, it is women's month!

So far, we have 12 that have signed up already. We're not after so many that it will be tedious to read all the entries, but everyone out there who believes in breastfeeding and want to share their story... is very much welcome!

Just sign up please :)

Oh and if you know anyone who's just pregnant and planning to breastfeed, we will be at the Medical City this Saturday, 9 AM - 12 NN to discuss best beginnings in breastfeeding. It's for free!!!

Managing Finances

I used to manage a monthly cash flow statement. Then I stopped doing it.

Then, for a time, I monitored my spending by listing down daily expenses. I thought it a great money management help to be able to actually track which things we spend on that are not necessary. It was mostly Starbucks frappes, haha.

But now, we have so many expenses ahead of us. Yakee will have his usual swimming lessons (which we deem very important) and we're pushing through with summer parent-child school at St. Michael. Then, we're having him also try football.

That's just for the summer.

If I figure out a way to commute to St. Michael, we'd be enrolling Yakee in their 3-day, half-day day care program too. Then, there will be our birthdays, a possible family trip to HK with hubs' side of the family... and Yamee's birthday. And then, there's the home purchase we're shooting for... and the daily expenses of a 2-children household.

Do I need a personal finance software or what?

Oh... and have I said I intend to take some classes too?

So, wish me luck managing our finances and say goodbye to all the junk food we're buying (mainly, chocolates, cupcakes and ice cream). :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Scatterbrained Mom

It was sale at Baby & Company at SM. I knew I did not have much cash on me but I still kept shopping for cute polo shirts for my sons and was planning to charge them instead.

Then, I realized I did not have my credit card with me. I stopped carrying it because I always end up buying stuff for my sons when they already have enough. Plus, I was waiting for the Eden launch :)

I left my purchases by the counter and tried to look for an ATM bank. Unfortunately, the ones by BPI (for Express Net) are capturing cards and no good. BDO is not accepting my Land Bank card... and when I tried withdrawing using my EON, I forgot the PIN (which I haven't changed to my customary PIN).

I was sooooo annoyed. Good thing LBP was nearby so I just walked there to withdraw money. I still had to leave a dress and socks though because I didn't have enough cash still.


I spent a long time looking for my PIN info, my credit card and our dollar account passbook (which I realized I have also misplaced). I looked high and low and gave up... only to find them under our DSLR :)

Good luck consolidating all our important documents and life insurance information, yes? Haha.

Hubs says it made him want to spank me.