Monday, February 28, 2011

Sibling Loving

One of my majors concerns is how to help M1 and M2 get along with each other.  I have been reading a lot on the topic and the most common tip I got was to let the older sibling in on the fun.  Let her help with the baby.  How?  Here are a few examples:

1.  When bathing the baby let the older one soap the baby's feet and or legs.
2.  If they want to carry their sibling, sit on the couch beside each other and lay the baby's legs on top of her older sibling.
3.  The older sibling can also wave a few toys in front of the baby.
4.  If you pat the baby to sleep, the older sibling can help you pat the baby's butt.
5.  For the older ones who can control their movements mo, they can help mix the formula for the baby, just make sure the water isn't too hot.

I saw M1 becomse giddy with joy the 1st time her sister squeezed her finger and help onto it tight.  M1 exclaimed "Shobe hold Maxine's finger!".  She loves it too that her sister watches her and her sisters loves watching her because she's so on the go all the time.
Before the baby even arrives purchase books that you can read to him/her about the coming addition to the family.  My friend gave me one and it really helped. Here are some titles.

You can just think of the small ways the older sibling can be involved, the older they are the more they can contribute.  But no matter the age, always be careful with both of them.  It also helped that I let the 2 kids spend time with each other without their momma and poppa.  So M1 got used to having her sister with her without her feeling the need to become crazy jealous.  Everyone has their own personality and will take having a new child in their own ways.  Its all up to the parents to help ease them from solo artist to becoming a duet.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nursery Decorations

 All moms love to prepare for the coming of their child and one way we do that is to decorate the room.  I love seeing pictures of couples painting the walls of the nursery as they get ready for their new baby.  When we had M2's room made I chose a feminine color because I wasn't allowed to do that with M1's room for the off chance that I'd give birth to a boy.  I didn't and I haven't yet.  So, I got to make this nursery pink.  Poppabear's best bud thought he was having a girl and had his nursery painted pink too!  He also bought butterfly wall stickers from the states.  He had a boy.  His nursery walls were repainted and I got the butterflies.  Thanks Sharon and Gel! :)

I found out that M2 can already see when she kept smiling at her butterflies.  I also heard her first laugh when she laughed at them.  She even talks to them and wakes up happy and quietly because of them.  Yaya even insinuates that she sees "something" there.  She doesn't, she just really loves them butterflies.  Our friend got these at Target in the States but I also purchased other wall stickers.  I got some from HK and a few more here in Manila.  I think they are a great accessory to any room and you can just take them off when the kids out grow the design.  Here are some of the other stickers I have.  I also got a wall measurement sticker that is beautiful and useful at the same time!
Circus Animals from HK
Cute animals around her bed from Nu Dekor
You can purchase these here in manila in bazaars or online.  I got some from Nu Dekor and you can also get personalized ones from Sticky Things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tiger Mom Amy Chua

I first heard about this through a friend, I then brought it up with my other friends last night and they've all read the Time article on the book and on Amy Chua.  I decided to google it and after reading the article today, I believe that we were in fact correct in saying that her stories aren't such a big deal.  We've heard worse and experienced the same things.  Who is Tiger Mom to the west is merely a normal mom here.

I agree with her when it comes to complementing a child.  We applaud so much now for the smallest of things, saying to our children how smart they are or how great they are.  When we should in fact be praising them for their actions and not who we think they are.  To say "you're so nice!" and "helping mommy with that was nice"  is  different from each other.  We need to encourage them to do more positive acts.  I myself made the mistake of getting used to applauding when M1 did or said something she just learned.  Like the other night she said "Barney is a dinosaur" we were so surprised that she said the whole sentence on her own.  Somehow it's gotten to her head that as long as she says certain things or accomplishes tasks she deserves applause.   But now I try and save the applause for the things I think really deserve them.

Nowadays we want to be loved by our children so much we're afraid to anger them so we don't discipline as much as they need to be disciplined.  Whatever happened to "No means NO" and LAST.  Often times I see parents using someone else to scare the child.  I myself, am the scary aunt to a cute little boy, his mom told the fairy tale that we are neighbors and that I lock kids up in my dungeon.  In order to be strict we need to be firm.  Those two things come hand in hand.  We need to stand our ground at all times.  Waiver a bit and they know they can push you over.  Kids are smarter than we think and they will push the line until you place a brick wall and show them their boundaries.  They are waiting for you to do that, they need for us to do that.  The thing is, in our society there are a number of primary caregivers , where in even the grandparents are very involved in raising the child, we lose the consistency.  The mom says one thing but the dad says another.  In my house I don't mind being the bad guy all the time.  As long as she knows I am still the boss.  She doesn't have to love me all the time but she has to listen to me ALL the time.

Whatever way you wish to raise your child is all up to you just always remember to be consistent.  Consistency from you and the primary caretakers of the child.  If she gets away with things when you aren't around then she will only learn to hide things from you, then lie and then cheat.  The teachers always said that if you cheat on your exam you're only cheating yourself and now as an adult I know this much is true.

Everyone is special. Everyone can be good at one thing or another.  But greatness is 2 steps above good and behind every great child is a very strict and loving mom.

click here for the q&a article with Amy Chua and here for an article about the book.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Did You Know?

Ever notice why we usually notice our fever when its in the afternoon? I always thought that it was because we were tired from the whole day but it's not just that.  The natural cycle of our internal thermostat explains why doctors get most of their phone calls about fever in the late afternoon and early evening.  Apparently, everyone's temperature rises in the late afternoon and early evening and falls between midnight and early morning. 

So don't be alarmed when baby's temperature rises a bit in the afternoons and early evenings but it doesn't mean that if their temperature is up at that time that you shouldn't worry.  A fever is still a fever.  


No mom thinks she's doing a perfect job.  We all lie there wide awake thinking we don't do enough, we don't give enough, we don't spend enough time with our kids.  The moms who are fast asleep are the ones who are exhausted from doing it all.  All that we cannot do.  Kaylabear is sick again due to my lack of attention and being super irresponsible.

Back in HS writing down my assignments was a chore and doing those same assignments was a bore.  I remember those days when my heart would start pounding because I yet again went to school empty handed.  This is how I felt last night, well, multiply that by 100000000. I also remember feeling untouchable, invincible and superhero like back then.  All that is gone when you have children.  Goodbye to not having a care in the world.  Farewell to spontaneous trips and zero planning.  Forgotten are the times when you walk around having nothing to do and nothing on your mind.  I have not updated my ipod since 2008, I haven't felt the sand between my toes since the summer of '08, Haven't gone out of town since the fall of '08.  It all ended when Maxine came out.  Time consuming, attention demanding lil Darling.

Then a year a 10months later Kaylabear comes out, the complete opposite of her Achie, she is not at all demanding.  She can stay in her crib playing with her toys.  She doesn't cry when she wakes up, she just waits for you to notice her.  So all the attention stayed with the sweet and noisy Achie.  We don't know yet what's causing Kayla's sickness so we're going to go thru a few tests the coming weeks to find out.

Between my lack of sleep, forgetfulness and what feels like 15hr days I know that if I were more careful she wouldn't have gotten so sick again.  I am only human but I wish to not be an irresponsible human and be a normal well balanced mom. Goodluck to me and I would really like to know how other moms do it all?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crying = Stronger Lungs For Baby?

Is it true that crying strengthens a baby's lungs?

Expert Answers

No. Letting babies cry doesn't do a thing for their lungs.
Babies cry for a reason, although sometimes it's hard for adults to figure out what that reason is. They may be hungry, tired, wet, or overstimulated. They may need to vent, suck, or simply be comforted.
Crying doesn't benefit babies physically or emotionally, and it doesn't teach them to cry less. In fact, studies show that babies whose cries are responded to cry 70 percent less than those who are ignored.

Article taken from

I'm sure you've heard someone older say it, that its okay to for the baby to cry because its exercise for their lungs.  But thank goodness for the internet to help us debunk so many myths!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Toy Review: Play Doh Kitchen Set

Play Doh Meal Making Kitchen

My fascination with Play Doh grew as I walked around toy stores and there were so many options.  We decided on the kitchen set because it seemed to give the most bang for my buck.  It also served healthy and "real" food Maxine was allowed to eat (she's not allowed to eat ice cream and other junk food). The kitchen was a big hit because of the little oven.  Who'd have thought our little girl would fall in love with cooking big time so it was the perfect set for her!  We made spaghetti, pork chops and brocoli using the molds.  Be careful though, she was so excited to use the garlic press that she squeezed it together while my finger was still in it. OUCH! That happened to both me and her father. My only complaint about the Meal Making Kitchen is that the other parts are used as both a mold and part of the kitchen, so you cant use the molds if you want your whole stove to be upright.  Oh! and it won't be upright if you use it on the bed.  Also, dont expect to make real pretty bread using the toaster mold, it wont happen.  We still love playing with it even if some of the clay are harder to use now because they've dried up a bit.

*quick tip: put a few drops of water in the canister and cover overnight.  open and mix with play doh utensil to somehow get back its former texture.  repeat as long as necessary.

What she learned: Clay is not to be eaten, it is pretend food only hehe.  She also learned to pretend eat and pretend cook and to use her imagination more.
Durability:  The molds are all still intact even with Maxine's tough love.
Fun/Entertainment Value: Plays a lot with it until today.  She is now able to make more complex food using the molds.
Age:  1.9yrs old to 100

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Changing Yayas

When yaya leaves a big big part of their world changes.  No matter how hands on you are they are still affected by it because this is their first experience of someone going away.   When Bear's yaya left her a few months ago it was difficult for her, until now I can see that she hasn't gone back to her old self.  In the sense that she is still very much afraid that her new yaya will disappear just like the old one did.  There is no one solution on how to go through this process, there are different ways to help them depending on their personality and age.  With Maxiebear's old yaya, she left when Bear was a year and four months old.  Maxine doesn't remember her anymore now, but we had the yaya leave as M1 was taking her nap.  The yaya purposely went into the nursery and made loud noises so M1 would wake up, she did, she cried and asked the yaya to carry her but the yaya did not.  I took her and carried her as her yaya went on packing her things.  It took her more than 2 hours to pack.  I think she did it on purpose so that I would see M1 asking for her, she was not happy that I asked her to leave.  click here for the full flashback.

Here are some options you can choose from when your yaya wants to leave to help your child in adjusting.

1.  If your baby is smaller you can just ask the yaya to leave when baby is asleep and baby will look for yaya for a few days but will understand soon enough that the yaya is gone.  Depending on the age, the younger they are the less days they will ask.

2.  For toddlers, its better to tell them ahead of time and explain to them in the simplest of words that their yaya is leaving.  No need for reasons, just tell them that yaya will go back to her home but Mommy is here to stay.

3.  Make sure you remove all pictures of the child with the yaya.  One time M1 saw her picture with the yaya in the background, only the uniform could be seen, and she was reminded yet again of her old yaya.

4.  If she asks, answer her with the same line.  Be consistent in telling her the same thing.

5.  Make sure yaya never comes back to show her face.  M1's old yaya left a few days and then started calling me and dropping by the house when she knew we wouldn't be home.  Good thing the maid didn't let her in.

6.  M1's other yaya was nice enough to show the new yaya the ropes.  She helped show the new yaya how M1 liked things done so the adjustment wouldn't be so hard.  The 2 yayas worked together for 1 day with M1, showing M1 that it was okay for new yaya to feed her and do things with her.  The next day the yaya just hid in the room and watched from there, she didn't show herself to M1 anymore and that was it.  The bonus I got with the new yaya was that she's my mom's maid and M1 already knew her, so the adjustment wasn't as hard.

7.  Be extra nice and prepare yourself for the tears.  Depending on the child's personality, but most kids I know below the age of 3 usually cry when a caretaker leaves them.  If you are potty training let that take a backseat to this new adjustment, wait a week or to and get back to it.

8.  Don't leave the toddler with the yaya if the yaya is a person she doesn't know yet.  With babies its easier to leave them with the new person because they don't have a choice and they will sleep and adjust faster, maybe in just 1 day.  But with toddlers you have to be more careful abt the trauma it might cause them.  Let the new person do something with your child that you don't usually let the child do.  With M1 it was playing in the sink.

Usually the adjustment takes around a week.  A week for the child to get acquainted to the new caretaker.  A week for the child to fully grasps that the yaya he/she had is not coming back.  But everything else, we can't tell how long it will all take for it to go back to before.  In the past Maxine had no problem playing by herself in her room when she woke up from her nap, now she always asks to see her yaya then she can play.

For everyone going through this difficult task, goodluck!  But don't stop letting someone go just because you're afraid of the adjustments your child will have to go through.  Just keep in mind that this will pass by before you know it and that kids are resilient and adaptable.  If your child is 4yo and above I would think you won't have the same problems with yayas as we new moms do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Momma Bear's Eats: Happy Lemon Part 3

This is the last time I will blog about Happy Lemon for no other reason than it being too hard to blog everytime I drink some because I drink them a lot.  I have tasted a total of 15 drinks and I have found them all to be wonderful. There's something in the menu for everyone out there.  For the safe there's the normal milk tea with black pearl.  For the adventurous there's the green tea with rock salt.  For the non caffeine fiends you can try the lemon yakult.  For those in need of a green tea fix you can try the Matcha with Malt.

Don't order these to go if you want them at their finest : anything with Crispy, Rock Salt Cheese and the Lemon Yakult.  Drink them there.  This is a picture of my Lemon Yakult... looks nothing like the original.  And the covers are removable so be careful in the car ride, buy only what you can hold.  Lesson learned the hard way. But it was worth the sticky hands and spilled milktea.

Lemon Yakult To Go
Personally my favorite drink there is the Green Tea with Rock Salt Cheese and my favorite to go drink is the Crispy Cocoa Milk Tea with Brownsugar Jelly.  The most refreshing drink for me is the Lemon Peppermint with Nata de Coco.  My favorite topping is their Brownsugar Jelly.   If you haven't tried it yet go now! Stop reading and go now!  Their branch is in Promenade GH.  Right where Fully Booked used to be.
Caramel Milktea With Brownsugar Jelly
Lastly, I end this series with a beautiful conclusion... Happy Lemon's tagline is Happy Everyday!  Well, if you get to drink a cup a day then you really will be happy everyday! :D DRINK UP!  Have a nice weekend everybody!

Wifely Duties

They say you have to be a wife first and foremost then a mother.  But if you have kids, you need to be reminded that you were an individual before they were born.  That you once had a life and you once did things for yourself.  So where does the hubby come in?  Well, if I were to make a pie chart of a mother's priorities then it would be crust and cheese kids, toppings would be the husband and self?  Well, I eat the pie.  It was our anniversary so I am reminded that my babies did not fall from the heavens after all.  That he's a part of the reason why they exist here on earth.

Take some time out from your busy week and spend one night just the two of you.  Don't spend the whole night talking about the kids, make the conscious effort to talk about other things (maybe the weather??).

Eat together.  Watch a movie.  Go for a drive.

For those with more time, drive out of town.

Do the things you used to do when you didn't have any munchkins running around or bawling their eyes out.  We aren't just moms, we're partners too, to the wonderful men we married.  Sometimes we also have to pull them from the sidelines and make them the stars of the show.  Even if its just once or twice a year.  :P

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Do

Last year and the start of this year was filled with weddings.  We have attended around 20 weddings in the past few months... Each of them reminding me of my own wedding 4 years ago today. I got married to the man of my dreams.  Without him there would be no M1 and M2, so I want to use this post to say...

Poppabear, thank you for making my life complete.  Thank you for giving me 2 precious gems and for sharing this journey with me.  Life is stormy and gray but with you I choose to simply enjoy the wind and the rain.  Together nothing can stop us, together we can do anything.  As I promised to you 4 years ago, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, something something something, til death do us part.

Thank you for downloading my tv shows for me.  Thank you for buying me food.  Thank you for waiting with me for hour long milktea and understanding that I really don't want to share.  Thank you for not insisting that I share when I really really really don't want to share.  Thank you for eating whatever I cook and for cooking when I don't feel like it.  Thank you for supporting me in everything I do or think of doing.  Thank you for being a great daddy to our little munchkins.  Mr. town critic, talk show host, courtside reporter and drunk b*stard I love you kahit na ang ingay ingay mo :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Growing Pains

One of the hardest things for me to accept is the fast in your face fact that my babies are growing up.  I like to carry them in my arms, I like to feed them slowly and I like to bathe them.  As each day passes M1 seems to be growing older with the speed of the road runner being chased by a coyote.  She seems to be in a hurry to go out into the big world without her mommy.  The next toughest thing for me to do is to let go.  I need to let her be the person she wants to be, I know, I will, BUT at 2 years old?! REALLY???  I understand that she was born with a mind of her own and super strong willed, the apple never falls far from the tree.  I also understand that she knows what she wants at times and needs to have her way but even if I am the sole human being alive who can say no to her constantly and consistently she still loves me the most.  Or so I thought.  The past few days have been difficult.  We have been battling a lot on what she can and cannot do.  No she cannot waste toilet paper and no not tissue paper and no not cotton buds.  No she cannot take off her clothes nor can she take off anybody else's.  I have been saying no to her and I am paying the price.  She is now at her Gwama's house, by choice and is going to sleepover.  Because she wants to.  Or so she thinks.  Lets see.  Today I give in because she's been going through some things and we all have no idea what they are.  She's been having bad dreams, crying in her sleep and shouting alot.  Today she didn't take a nap despite being put to sleep for 2hrs.  We finally gave in and told her she can go down and play.  I used to be her number one person in the world but now because of all my rules I am not.

My Darling Bear,

If because I want you to grow up with discipline, learning right from wrong and believing that even at the young age of 2 you can learn those things already, I will become your nemesis, then so be it.  I will not give in to your tears and wails, there are rules and boundaries in this house and you are to learn them and follow them.  I love you but I will not spoil you.  I will bend the rules sometimes because I understand that there are days you don't feel like eating so you don't want to finish your food.  But you will learn to stop hitting people and you will stop kicking the dog.  I will always love you and even if I want to stay your friend I need to be your mom first.  So, finish your food, drink your milk and go to bed.  Goodnight sweet dreams and stop saying ayaw.


P.S. I always thought we would start fighting when you became a teenager, who would have guessed it would start this early.  This just means when you're a teenager we won't fight anymore :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Wish... I'm Glad

Thing I wish I'd known or Changed before its too late..

1.  I wish I made Maxine drink her milk from a glass.
2.  I wish I took her everywhere I went so she'd be more adjustable to situations.
3.  I wish I let her eat whatever she wanted to eat when she still wanted to try new things.
4.  I wish I took her on road trips when she was still smaller, so she'd get used to going on long car rides.
5.  I wish I didn't follow her every word or whim when she 1st started speaking.  So she doesn't think she's the boss because I am.
6.  I wish I didn't baby her so much because she still wants to be a baby now that she's 2.

But.. I'm also glad that she doesn't drink from a bottle.  She didn't get sick too much as a baby because I kept her home.  She still doesn't like to eat candies, chocolates and ice cream but eats carrots bananas and apples.    Speaks quite well, forms 5-7 word sentences and will always be my darling baby.

You win some you lose some.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Toy Review: Leap Frog Scout and Violet

When they say a baby cannot play with toys yet, I think they only mean babies that are 0 months of age.  Kayla can play with her toys, she tries to grab them and eat them.  I just watched her rollover in her attempt to chew on a toy beside her.  Violet is her best friend, she is calmed down by Violet's music and voice.  Since the buttons are on the 4 paws and are soft and easily pressed, Kayla can somehow turn on Violet by punching and kicking her.  Kayla wakes up in her crib and stays quiet that no one knows she already up because she's just there staring at Violet and the stickers on her wall.  She was 2 months old when she started playing with Violet and we have changed batteries 3x since then.

What she learned:  Nothing much but the toy shows promise since it sings a lot of songs and you can even specify your baby's name so the toy will say it and incorporate it in the songs.
Durability:  Its still working fine but it hasn't really seen much action outside of the crib.
Fun:  For a newborn, its hours and hours of fun. I give it 5 stars.
Age: 2months to 2yo

This would make a really good gift for your babies or godchildren.  There's a green version named Scout for all the little boys out there.
*tip:  buy lots of rechargeable batteries, you're going to need it for all the toys the kids are going to have.

Patience and Sumpong.

Sumpong comes out whenever it feels like it.  It hits you like a tidal wave, you stumble and fall but not too hard.  When it happens, it takes a while to figure out and conclude that that IS what is happening.  To try and figure out WHY it is happening is useless, you just have to take out your Patience hat and wear it til the waves calm down to a halt.  

Today Maxine wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.  She is bratty, cranky and sad.  She didn't sleep well last night and kept waking up shouting and crying.  Bad dreams can make anyone cranky.  So today she is crying for the smallest of reasons and needs extra TLC.  These is no solution to sumpong, like a bad storm, you just have to wait it out.  For all the people who have to deal with this... God Bless us with the patience that lasts longer than the sumpong if not, just go out of the house.

Happy Valentines Day everyone! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

One of the hardest things Maxine has ever gone through is accepting her baby sister.  She didn't understand why her mommy had to leave for 4 days and when her mommy came home there was a new baby in the house.  Yesterday I heard her say "maxine hindi big girl, maxine baby girl". Regression sucks big time!  Although half of her antics are funny (drinking from a baby bottle, drinking her sister's milk, wearing a small bib) the other half is not.  Especially not when she hits her shobe, even if she does it lightly.  Because of all this we are so careful with her, with them both.

 There is no perfect age to have a 2nd baby, some say that its better if the child is older so she'll want a sibling to play with and take care of.  But how old is older and do you really want a big age gap?  Others say that if you have them close together the older one can't complain yet because he literally cannot if he doesn't speak yet.  Good idea for the kids but not for the mom who has yet to regain her calcium and other stuff!  Also you don't want to be carrying a baby in your arms while carrying one in your belly.

I guess we cannot really put our kids in protective shells to make sure they never get hurt, because they will.  Whether its a sibling or a stranger who won't share his toys.  Our kids cannot and should not get everything they want just because they want it.  The other day we went to have our picture taken at a studio and before leaving the house Maxine was asking me who's going with us and I said "shobe" and she said "ayaw shobe sama, iwan shobe sa house".  I told her that shobe really is going because she needs to have pictures taken just like Maxine had hers when she was 4months old.  She still kept saying "ayaw" but had no choice in the matter.  She dealt with it, as a matter of fact she was ok with it.  She was her normal self in the car and when we were in the small grocery she even played with her sister's ear.

I guess we just have to be understanding of their feelings, just as we would if they were adults.  We (and when I say we, I mean the older generations who have no psychology behind their weird actions) sometimes abuse the fact that they are small and have no choice in things.  They don't understand that even if the kids are small they have feelings too.  Making the child jealous about her younger sibling will NOT help and its not that I want to protect M1, its that I want to protect M2 from her.  If M1 gets angry because of the constant nagging words like "okay, if you dont want me to carry you, i'll just carry shobe" then she'll get angry at her shobe and not just the adult.  *sigh* But I have learned that I really cannot control other people and I cannot keep Maxine inside the house.  I just wish that people would think first about how other people would feel before they spoke.  Even if the other person is just a small child... Especially because the other person IS a small child.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Small Successes

Yesterday we went to Maxine's future school for our parent interview and although I knew Poppabear wouldn't be impressed at the school's building as it looks like a house turned school, I was confident he would be impressed with the people there.  He was.  How could we not be, they met Maxine once and they already knew her core issues and how they planned to deal with it.  They have all that I want in a school, it's close to the house, the student and teacher ratio is small and they are very focused on their student's individual development.  So much so that in the hour that we sat in the class they saw what she liked and didn't like and they knew how to engage her in activities without scaring her into tears.

It's so easy for us parents to see and point out the bad things and the things our kids shouldn't be doing but so hard to pick out her small successes that don't involve learning new words or tricks.  Maxine has always been an anxious child when it comes to strangers and strange places.  I think I didn't help the situation by being an over protective mom.  From what I've read one way to ease her anxiety is for her to have more confidence and for her to have more confidence she has to learn to do things on her own.  Thats why I started potty training her already, I wanted her to learn to become more independent in her everyday life.  "Makine eat rice sariili"  was what she told me the other day.  She also soaps her self while taking a bath and can put on her underwear, socks and shoes on her own, IF she wants to.

busy bear at uncle brian's house
I asked the interviewer what else can be done to help her confidence and she said to acknowledge small successes.  Its one thing to say "very good" the whole day for the things that don't really count and another to tell her that she was a good girl when she really was a good girl.  Like the other day we were at a friend's house and she was walking around being friendly, it surprised us because I expected her to complain and say "Makine go home na".  She didn't, she enjoyed herself and was responsive to the other adults.  I should have taken that opportunity to tell her she did a good job of being friendly so she knows.  I think I was so busy being shocked that I didn't want to ruffle the calm by saying anything.

I also make the mistake of keeping things from her because i'm afraid that if I told her where we're going and what's going to happen she will just keep saying "ayaw".  She already says that to things she likes, what more to the unknown.  But now that she knows to ask me "san tayo punta?" I don't have a choice anymore and I tell her and I explain who will be there and what we're going to do.  The interviewer said that its better she knows what to expect so she can deal with it beforehand.  Sometimes I don't explain because I don't think she'd understand but I vow not to underestimate her anymore.  The explaining really works, her yaya went out last month and Maxine didn't really react much to it because we kept telling her days before that Ate is going to go out but will come home at night.  So now I keep telling her that she's going to go to school soon and that mommy and ate won't be there inside with her.  I hope she accepts that easily too.

I'm glad i learned something yesterday about how to improve on my child's confidence.   I hope to work on it everyday until school starts so her transition won't be too hard on her.  Crossing my fingers and toes!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


M2's 1st tooth is out!!! She is now 1 tooth closer to eating! The little munchkin has been green with envy at everyone else's food.  Teething caused M1 alot of pain, it disrupted her sleep and lessened her milk intake for a few days.  With M1 its a totally different story, she didn't give any signs that she's been teething!  Blessed be my little Angel.  Here are some of the things I did with M1 to help her in the painful process of teething.

1.  Wet towel in the freezer.  Dip the small square towel in water and put it in the freezer.  It helps numb and soothes the pain.  The only problem is the whole towel will be cold.

2.  Munchkin fresh food feeder.  For those kids who are already eating solid foods, they can just use this.  Be warned it will become a messy situation after she's done munching on it.  You can use frozen grapes, frozen bananas or even crushed ice.  For those babies who get teeth very early you can use your breastmilk and freeze it in the ice tray and give that to the baby.

3.  Teething rings with plastic handles.  I got one for M1 before and it was much easier to hold on to rather than if the whole thing could be frozen.  Making it harder to hold.

4.  Frozen pacifiers!  For the little ones who cant hold on to anything yet.

5.  Lastly, go to the store and buy teething snacks.  Gerber has one that is so tough M1 chewed on it for an hour and she didn't get to half of it.  Which is a good thing because that means their teeth can't cut into it so the pieces  remain big.  People think to use carrot sticks but thats dangerous because if the stick breaks then it becomes a choking hazard.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tips On Putting Baby To Bed

Sleep... As kids we hated it.  In our teens we loved sleeping in, as older and freer adults we think we don't need it. As parents we crave for it and as we grow older the more worries we have, the lesser hours of sleep we get.  If it's one thing I lost that I still dream of getting back its my sleep.  8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Because I am still breast feeding, I only get a maximum of 8hours until I am awakened by the pain that a full tank causes.  So no matter how much I want to stay in bed and go back to sleep I am forced to get up and unleash the milk.  As new parents all we want is for our babies to sleep through the night, sleeping through the night means 5-6hours of sleep.  To be able to make that happen as early in their life as possible I have a few tips you can try.  These aren't secrets I have unearthed from the secret sleep cave, these are just common sense things that we forget due to our own lack of sleep.

Of course make sure that baby is well fed, clean and comfy...

#1 Don't let them nap too long and too deep in the afternoons.  When napping open the blinds or curtains, let the light in.  If they nap too long or too close to bedtime, its only natural that they will stay up later and wont sleep as long during the night.  During the night, turn off all the lights.

#2  Start a routine and keep to it.  Some moms like to massage baby before sleeping, others read them books or you can even play them soft music.  Both M1 and M2 have the same routine, they get bathed again in the afternoon or just wiped clean, drink milk and then lights are off and they are put to bed.  Any calm soothing activity is okay, but don't do 4-5 activities you don't want to over stimulate during the night.

#3  Start as you mean to go on.  This not only applies to sleep routines but to everything else as well.  With M1 she got used to being carried, rocked and sung to when being put to sleep.  Until now at 2yrs old she still likes that.  With M2 she got used to being rocked in her rocker and fell asleep on her own, now she's used to being put in the crib and literally falls asleep on her own just sucking on her fingers.  I've seen a dad bop up and down to calm his little baby during his sister's wedding.  We do whatever it takes to make them stop crying but remember, start as you mean to go on. If your knees can't take the bopping, don't start it.  :)

#4  Consult their schedule so you know what's going to happen next, take cues from them too.  They thrive when they follow routines so stick to that and you'll know generally what time they'll be tired but not exhausted when putting them to bed.

#5  Don't look at your baby in the eye when putting her to sleep.  It just encourages her to play with you.  Look at her belly or away from her so you don't strike a conversation anymore.  With toddlers, if they talk to you just answer with 2 words or less and tell them to close their eyes and you do the same too.  Some moms falls asleep before the kids do and theres nothing wrong with that. :)

#6  Don't wait for them to tell you they're tired, they won't.  Set a time and stick to that.  As toddlers they will fight you on sleep.  They will want to play til they can't anymore, they can't tell time yet so instead of saying "its 8pm its time for bed", give them a warning 30mins ahead of time.  Say "its time to go to sleep soon"  and by the time its really time to sleep they'll have had enough time to deal with it and let you put them to sleep.  Get the time they usually wake up and count how many hours they need to sleep at their age and then you'll know what time they have to be put to bed.  Maxine wakes up at 6am, she needs 10-11 hours of sleep so she goes to bed at 7 and falls asleep an hour or less after that.

#7  Give them sleep inducing snacks like a glass of warm milk or whole wheat bread with peanut butter.

#8 Lastly, there is no right or wrong thing to do... Do what works for you and if they don't stop crying, don't worry, they will!  They will cry until they are so tired they will fall asleep on their own.  I witnessed this happen when M2 was in the hospital and the doctor kept trying to put her IV in.  Doctor tried for an hour so M2 cried for an hour.  She eventually fell asleep even as they were still poking and prodding her.  So the last thing you can do is do nothing.  But I don't think any new mom can do that and before you even think about doing it, read up on the dos and don'ts of the cry it out method. :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Secret Blog Revealed

I started this blog when Maxie bear was born, my sunshine.  I wanted this to be a time capsule of sorts for her to read when she's older.  Designed to be a love letter for her and for her to know how I felt at each of the milestones that she would go through in her life.  A secret blog for her. Who would have thought I would be blessed with yet another star in my life so soon after Maxine was born.  Kaylabear.  In order to be fair, I readjusted and made some changes in the blog and decided it was time to let the world in on my secrets.  But who really cares about what I have to say to and about my two little darlings?  So I decided to be helpful and make lists and write about things I wish someone had told me when I was pregnant with Maxine.  There is no scientific study behind any of all this.  Everything I write is merely based on what I have experienced myself and from the experiences of people I know.  This is still mainly a love project for my two children, an ode to their existence, an internet scrapbook for them both.  If they grow up vain or insecure this will aid them in a twisted way.  This is both for them and for me to be able to record the things I truly want to remember.  When you have kids you literally see how fast time flies, it moves so fast you rarely have the chance to take it all in.  Making time to record everything here makes it easy for me to take a look back into the recent past.  I revealed my secret blog a month ago and would like to thank everyone who has read an article or two.  Hopefully I have helped in the scary tasks that motherhood has in store or even just helped you figure out what to crave for during your pregnancy.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?

Newborns sleep a lot they typically need 14 to 18 hours a day during the first week and 12 to 16 hours a day by the time they're a month old. But most babies don't stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, day or night, during the first few weeks of life.
At 3 months, most babies sleep a total of 12 to 15 hours a day, including nighttime sleep and naps.

By 6 months of age , most babies sleep a total of 11 1/2 to 15 hours of sleep a day (between nighttime sleep and naps) and are capable of sleeping for long stretches at a time.  A long stretch means 5-6hrs at a time.  

At 9 to 12 months, babies typically sleep 11 to 14 hours a night and nap twice a day for one to two hours at a time.

AgeNighttime sleepDaytime sleepAverage total sleep
2 years10.5 to 12.5 hours1 to 3 hours (1 nap)11.5 to 15.5 hours
3 years10.5 to 12.5 hours1 to 3 hours (1 nap)11 to 14 hours
4 years10 to 12 hours0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap)10 to 13 hours
5 years10 to 12 hours0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap)10 to 12.5 hours
6 years10 to 11.5 hoursnone10 to 11.5 hours
7 years9.5 to 11.5 hoursnone9.5 to 11.5 hours
8 years9.5 to 11.5 hoursnone9.5 to 11.5 hours
*Note: The two sets of numbers don't always add up because children who take longer naps tend to sleep fewer hours at night, and vice versa.

All this is taken from

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Record Everything

I am obsessive compulsive at times.  I like to write lists, actually I like to write things down.  On pen and paper.  So when Maxiebear was born I wanted to know everything, I wanted to have a record of everything.  From the time she wakes up to her temperature and how many times she poops in a day.  However, pumping all day took most of my time and I couldn't be there 24/7 so the yaya was the one who did all the boring things while I got to play with her afterwards.  Where does writing everything down come in?  Well, I require all my yayas to write everything down in a notebook/planner.  The one I use is free from Pioneer Insurance.  It's big enough for me to write everything I need down.  This is how it goes..

Temp 36.7
6:30am Wake up
6:45am Take a Bath
7:00am Breakfast- Oatmeal
7:25am Poo
8:00am Drink milk 9oz
10:15am Lunch Potatoes, Cauliflower and Beef
11:45am Milk 9oz
12:00nn Sleep
2:20 Wake up
3:00pm Snack Apple
5:15 Dinner Rice, Brocolli and Beef
6:50pm Milk 9oz
8:00pm Sleep

This is helpful because you can keep track of what she's eaten so for example if she gets loose bowels you can look back at the list and see what she ate that day.  If she's sick I also write down what time she takes her medicine and how much she takes so that there won't be any confusion if she's taken them yet or not.  It's good to keep track of everything especially if they're still babies because when they start a pattern you can see the general skeleton of their day.  How long she naps, how often and what time.  You can also use this record to know if she gets enough sleep for her age.  You can also check if she's getting enough milk the whole day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kayla Bear: 4 Mos

Weight: 7kilos
Height: 24.5"

We see you smile everyday and look at us with twinkling eyes.  You look more like Uncle Ba than me or your daddy.  You can now sit with assistance and you always want to stand.  It's so funny to watch when you want to reach for something because you look like a little boxer punching and punching.  You like your sister now, you smile when you see her.  You are such an easy to please and pleasant baby.  When you wake up in the middle of the night to feed, your yaya just puts you back to bed after burping and you fall asleep on your own. I always wanted to call my 1st child "angel" but it never felt right, now with Kaylabear it does.  My sweet little angel. Happy 4th month birthday.  I love you my baby Marshmallow Angel.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toy Review: Play Doh Fundamentals CUT!

The last set we got her was a Play Doh Fundamental set.  It teaches a child to use scissors, the pair of scissors is plastic and cuts clay.  There are also 3 other cutters in the box but the main star of the show was the scissors.  She's been nagging me to let her use real scissors and I refused until I saw this.  I used these as training scissors for her.  A few days after she mastered using these scissors I let her use a small pair of real ones as she sat on my desk.  She cut for almost an hour the first few times.  Also, two 2oz cans are included in the box

What she learned:  She safely learned how to use a pair of scissors.
Durability:  The scissors and the chopping snail always breaks apart but is can be easily snapped back together by an adult.
Fun/Entertainment Value:  Spent 20-30mins each time we played with it.  Loved playing with it but soon got tired of the novelty of using a pair of scissors when she got to use the real thing.  But she still plays with the other cutting materials included.
Age: 1.6yrs old to 100.