Sunday, September 30, 2012

It Takes Two Sides to Milk-Share Tango

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.

Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."


Milk sharing, whether through wet nursing or breast milk donation, takes the expression, "it takes a village to raise a child" to a whole new level.

I had originally intended to interview a wet nurse or two from Arugaan for this... just so I can share from their perspective, but I didn't manage my time well and wasn't in a productive mood. Good thing, I can tap on recent discussions in my mommy groups for something to say.

First, on the issue of wet nursing. I was among those who thought that a wet nurse should get screened and tested first to make sure she's 'clean' and 'healthy'. Sounds but practical and safe right? But there is something wrong in that thought because it is incomplete... and I thank God for Arugaan for setting me right.

Families who may be in the receiving end of the services/generosity of a wet nurse do have the right to make sure the wet nurse is healthy... after all, she is going to be holding your baby and giving that baby her milk. But they cannot demand it without also ensuring that THEY are clean too... after all, they also might be passing germs or viruses on their infant, who may pass it on to the wet nurse.

Trust plays a huge role here... because even after the tests (if the receiving family choose to have it done), both families would need to really safeguard their health too and be upfront about health issues for as long as the wet nursing is going on. The receiving family has an obligation to their wet nurse too, it is not a passive relationship wherein they would just take and take from the wet nurse.

How many of you have thought of this?

Now, breast milk donation will not require that same level of courtesy... but it does require courtesy too. In a mommy forum, some breast milk donors have felt offended and maybe even hurt that others seeking breast milk donation have been a little demanding about it. Some come off as if they're ordering pizza or something, requesting for a certain number of ounces already... and now. Since I never really pumped to store, I can just imagine how offensive that is to a mom who struggled to get her supply up... who would take time away from other meaningful work just to pump and store... and then have the heart to give her precious milk away... and that milk to be treated like some beverage being bought on a discount.

If you're the one seeking donor milk, or helping loved ones to get donor milk... please, be considerate a hundred times over. Offer to replace the milk bags, pick up the milk, don't pester for the milk at odd hours, say thank you for what is given (even if it is only a few ounces) and BUILD UP YOUR SUPPLY SO YOU CAN BREASTFEED YOURSELF. Donor milk is love usually freely given away, so do not take it for granted. Do not waste it. Do not think there's an endless supply for you to just tap at will.

And know that some of those who donate have been in the receiving end of help too because they struggled early on... and now, they're giving back. And it would be a poor way to repay their potential kindness by leaving them messages demanding for a freezerful of stash (even if you're paying for it).

Be nice. Otherwise, you might not get milk for your precious babe.

Milk sharing is a dance where both parties have to be considerate of each other's needs and feelings. And only when both are can the dance really be very rewarding.


Raed the other entries to this carnival:

Mafeth wrote about being a milk donee
Rachel discussed how she felt about receiving donated milk and nursing an adoptee's baby
Nats has a Milk Sharing Story too

Storytelling Workshop Under Kuya Bodjie

Yes... I know... I may never gush enough over the storytelling workshop I attended with Kuya Bodjie. It was really just a fun, fun day coming along the heels of a great depression, haha.

And his workshop was very different from the one I attended under Adarna House (which tackled the elements of storytelling and some techniques) because he focused more on getting people to be organic in the storytelling, and getting rid of fears and inhibitions.

Which reminds me, I really should practice projecting my voice... and maybe bringing puppets or books along all the time. Just so I can tell stories anytime, anywhere.

But let me tell you about my classmates too... maybe a third of them were teachers sent to the workshop by their school's Principal, but the rest went because it was by Kuya Bodjie. A lot were connected to NGOs or Sundays schools attempting to bring literacy to indigent children. A mother and daughter flew all the way from Palawan to attend the workshop... and they are working with friends to build a library for a public school in their area.

They were great fun :)  And they're proof that the world is still ok because there are still so many committed to helping little children.

Anyway... I related the story Kuya Bodjie told us to Yakee (because Yamee refused to listen and kept on glaring at me to read to him) that night... and man, it sure made up for the whole day I was away. My firstborn just LOVED it... and I really gave it my all (though all the growling I did hurt my throat, hehe).

So... yes, I am more excited about storytelling.

I am even considering theater workshops for me... or improv workshops :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Computer Worries and Reality Checks

I just shared this picture and posted this status update on my FB wall:

I dressed the boys in matching pyjamas (gift from Ninang Karla last Christmas). Yakee said, "Mommy, I think we should make Ninang XiAh see us on webcam."

I said... "Oh sorry baby, Mommy's laptop is broken, that's why I couldn't work all day."

Yakee said, "Ahhh... so you can play with us!"

Laya can I plead 'birthday blues' to my children to justify the extended PC use? No? Awwww.... :D


I do have the birthday blues. Weirdly enough, I have it bad again. And it doesn't help that both hubby and my sis have offered to buy me a new phone... which is sooo wonderfully loving of them... but I had to be practical and insist they spend on other things instead.

And so, we're going to Bohol in December!

Then,  I started moping yesterday because I have officially told my breast friend that I won't be joining them at the World Breastfeeding Conference this December (in India)... mainly because it coincides with my Mom's arrival, and I would lose 5-6 days with her. And I have never really felt comfy about spending that much on me when I don't earn that much (well, I do, if you count blog earnings for the whole year, haha).

Good thing hubs spent on Indian food to comfort me.

And so, I just manic planned our Bohol itinerary instead.

But I'm still feeling down... and then my laptop refused to let me log in (thus, the conversation above). Hubs asked me if I have an external hard disk big enough to transfer my files to (yeah,  I started thinking of cloud backup solutions there and then) because he thought he'd have to reformat and reinstall things.

Sniff... sniff.

Good thing Google came to his rescue and he managed to fix my laptop. But yeah, I really should start saving more files in Google docs and what-not.


I would just like to say that most of my computer time is still done at night, when the kids are asleep. BUT... I have been losing a lot of sleep and I know that is afecting my parenting. And I have been preoccupied with a lot of things lately. And then, there are all these chores that I have to get done.

But I guess, these reasons aren't really reasons enough to a child who just wanted to play with his parent.

Sorry darlings... Mommy has been selfish and blind lately.


Oh something that I am looking forward to... Eden's going to have a sale :D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Milk Mama Diaries Tackles Milk Sharing

Next week, September 24-30 is World Milksharing Week 2012, with the theme: Sharing Milk, Nurturing Community.

Jenny (of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom) and I decided another blog carnival is in order (and long due!) so we are now inviting mom/dad bloggers to share their thoughts/experiences on and hopes for sharing milk.

Check out my previous carnival posts to get an idea of how the blog carnival works and how posts look like. To join, please fill up the form here:

The following blurb must be included in your carnival entry as well as the Milk Mama Diaries logo:
"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.

 Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."

If you don't have a blog but would like to join, please email us so we can arrange to have you hosted as a guest blogger in our blogs:
Jenny (jenny[at]chroniclesofanursingmom[dot]com)
Mec (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com)

Deadline for registration for the carnival is on September 24, 2012. Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on September 25 and the carnival will go live on September 30, 2012. PLEASE POST ON September 30, 2012, beginning 12MN.

Please write about the theme provided. 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 are articles that are aimed to market products or services.

Kindly note the deadlines and please POST your entries on September 30, 2012. The deadline of  24 September 2012 is also strictly observed for REGISTRATION.

*You can begin sending blog URLs on 25 September 2012 for inclusion in the carnival list by e-mailing Jenny and Me. We will only include the links of those who e-mail us so please do not forget to e-mail us those precious URLs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yakee on Drums

Lately, whenever Yakee finds an unused set of chopsticks (usually from takeouts), he would gather all the stools and plastic toy chests in the house and set up his drum set. We have taken videos (just haven't uploaded any) and he's really so adorable 'playing' for us. Hubs has always wanted to purchase a drum set for him so this developing interest is super fine with him.

Party pooper that I am though, I say that any purchase of  pearl drums will have to wait till we have a better home... with a den or garage just for musical instruments (noise over practice). Hehe.

Yakee's widow (his capacity to commit sounds to memory) is good so if he grows up musical, that would be really awesome!

And yes, him banging on things helps in releasing some of his nervous energy... which is great for facilitating sleep. Haha.


He wrote his first word that I asked him to write/spell: BAT

Monday, September 17, 2012

Milestones and Moments

Earlier, because I was multi-tasking (teaching Yakee how to play luksong-tinik while tracing Yamee's feet on paper for him)... and Yakee wanted to do something that required my whole body (play hide and seek), my firstborn was driven to express that he wished I had more hands.

I really couldn't help but laugh... because my son just gave me a moment of cliche, a mom whose hands were full and it not being enough.

It's really very challenging dividing oneself between the two, whose interests and skills are different... and well, when they do decide to do the same thing and play the same game, it usually spells PAIN and EXHAUSTION for me... you lose some, you win some, you lose some :D


Yamee is so jealous and territorial... he's always snapping at his Kuya. Yakee, on the other hand, has never missed an opportunity to defend his brother from our 'mean' parenting.


Yakee wrote a very decipherable IOIBP on his magic slate and asked me to read it. Then he asked me to write words we can read. And just like that... he was reading CVC words for the first time by learning to sound them off properly and deducing which word it sounds like.

I was at a loss and very unprepared... but we managed the mat, pat, cat, sat, bat, fat words... then went to ted, bed, red... then gun, sun, bun (I didn't know which words to start him with)... at and it... and mama and papa. He asked me how to write alien. Then he's had enough lessons.

Hubs kept teasing me that our son really wants to learn now... and I kept reminding him that our son learned on his own, and we should celebrate that he's ready and curious and is learning :)  I have no doubt he'd learn fast when we really go into it, but I also want him to just enjoy his new discoveries.


Yamee is lining up  play dough balls. Haha. I love these little signs that their brains ARE developing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Boys Are Exhausting Me

I know I am not girly enough to also win with a little daughter of my own who would insist on hair stylist supplies and playing dress up... but really, my boys are exhausting me!

They keep competing for my attention... Yakee wants me to watch him, Yamee wants me to show him things or name things for him.

Yakee would want us to play, but Yamee will want to nurse.

Yakee would be telling me stories (and since we have this thing about 'listening with the eyes') but I have to police and follow Yamee as he tries, tastes or destroys odd things.

And their play is ALWAYS rough... always involving running, climbing over me, etc.

I will even admit to looking forward to Fridays and Saturdays, because that's TV-watching day for Yakee and I can shake him off during those times... an hour of not having him competing for attention with Yamee is heaven!!! Always heaven!

And no... this isn't exactly a rant. It's a statement of fact.

My boys are exhausting me! :D

Saturday, September 8, 2012

To Whom I Spanked Today

This goes out to my two boys, who I spanked with our spanking stick for the same crime, for the first time.

Know what? I was annoyed and getting tired already... but I really wasn't that mad yet. But something told me it was a good opportunity to spank the two of you for making things hard for Mommy, who was preparing things for our afternoon nap.

I think, most people would have found me so mean... you were just having fun after all. You were just laughing and playing. The thing is, you were both not heeding my requests and you were both making the work twice as hard for me. That's not funny. And I did not see any of you paying attention to me. That's unacceptable. And I saw you fueling each other's inattentiveness.

So, I got the spanking stick and hit you both with it.

I know you were both hurt (it wouldn't be spanking if it didn't hurt) but I also gathered from your expressions that you were more shocked... and maybe even offended. Because this was a new experience, that both of you got in trouble for what you were doing.

But that's just it, darling boys. There will be many more occasions wherein you'd both be so high and in the moment of whatever it is you're up to... which may also result in trouble, danger or pain.

I want you to start ppolicing each other somehow.

It's just really unacceptable that both of you won't be listening and obeying.

Yakee... it may be unfair that I have to be more exacting of you, but you are your younger brother's hero... his role model.

Yamee... just because Kuya is doing something, or is engaged in something, doesn't mean you can forget who the authorities are in your life.

I love you both, my precious boys, and it is really only because I love you that I discipline you.

I may have been wrong for what I did today... but I hope the fact that you are loved and prayed for will help you grow up good.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Deferred Farm Day

Remember, about a week ago when I was gushing about the GK Enchanted Farm Country Fair and wondering aloud about selling produce off trailer hitches for cars? Well, it looks like we're missing the GK this weekend because hubs' father is in the hospital. It doesn't quite feel right to still go, I don't know.

The good news though is that there is the Balik Bukid Country Fair in November to look for ward to, and on hubs' birthday no less. I just hope though, that if we miss the GK one, we won't miss that one.


I was looking forward to spending a happy farm day with the boys...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maria Lactans

I sincerely hope that the site won't mind that I copied their pictures to post here. I was just really amazed at the many wonderful paintings/sculpture on Mary as Nursing Mother. I really checked each one out.

This post is coming along the heels of the picture ABS-CBN posted in their FB wall that is garnering a lot of really WTH comments from prissy hypocrites. Yes, I am labelling them :D

Anyway, here are my faves of the Maria Lactans:

artist: Pisano

Anonymous French Sculptor

Cleve (he has many breastfeeding paintings, and I like that he depicted baby Jesus/babies falling asleep at the breast... and Mother Mary/moms going about other nurturing activities, like reading)
Fouquet (I think others in this day and age would find this sensational... amazing that it was created in AD 1450)
Michelangelo (most Our Lady of La Leche paintings show Mother Mary'sbreasts really full, and usually, nipples are prominet)
Morales (don't you just love how romantic this one is? and how it depicts the baby trying to soothe himself by nippling the mom?)
Robert Campin
Orley (look, baby Jesus is already standing and still nursing!)
Painting at Bethlehem's Milk Grotto

Alonso Cano's depiction of the spiritual nourishing of St. Bernard by the milk of Our Lady, based on this legendary mystical experience: Bernard prayed before a statue of the Madonna, asking her, "Show yourself a mother" ("Monstra te esse Matrem"). The statue came to life and and squirted milk from the breast onto the Saint's lips.
But like what a fellow breastfeeding Mom said... at least people are talking now and more people are becoming aware that there is such a thing as Our Lady of La Leche... that this devotion to the nursing mother is real and has been in practice for a long time... and sanctioned and supported by the Vatican. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Going on a Country Fair!

I got my hubby to be willing to drive to Bulacan next week for the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Countryside Fair :)  I am beyond excited for my sons because they'd be roaming the outdoors... and I will be shopping.

I have often wanted to go to country fairs like they do abroad... with merchants utilizing trailer hitches for cars so they can just sell from their car whatever produce they have harvested or goods they have made. I have always wanted the kids to 'ooohh' and 'aaahhh' over different plants and animals for sale, and compare which stall has the biggest squash or the freshest melons, to sample toys and things and dips and whatever else... and maybe find something to truly spice up a wardrobe or home.

I cannot wait!!! :)

Yes... I don't know where to get money for it... hahaha... but I cannot wait to go!