Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Peek Inside My Everyday

I blog for free.  I so far have more than 4,000 views in the span of 2 months that I opened my blog to the world.  I am neither famous nor have been paid in any way.  My only viewers are the people who are my friends in my Facebook account and more probably a few enemies who secretly read and critique me behind my back.  I have always wanted to become a writer, when I answered slumbooks as a student I would write in Occupation: Lawyer, writer and astronaut.    My grades told me I was not meant to be a lawyer though I can argue as much as one and only first born children can become astronauts so here I am still dreaming to be a writer.  I took a writing class years before and it has helped me alot when I used the techniques that my teacher gave. I dont use them anymore now, because they actually involve a pen and paper.  I often think that I am merely talking to myself or my best friend when I post my stories.  After which I realize people other than my best friend will read this so I have to edit and fix some of the things I said.  I also cannot just jump from one story to another nor can I not have a point.  There always has to be a point because if not then the post was just to be self indulgent.


I stay at home with the kids everyday.  I used to work around 8 hours a day (who am I kidding?!), actually I used to work for my parents before until I gave birth and barely worked for them.  I started to make clothes and hair accessories for little girls as it was what I really wanted to do to make some money.  I joined bazaars with my friend and stopped since the year started.

So, you see I am not just a mommy who sits at her desk and blogs about mommy stuff.  I cook most nights for Poppabear and I love having meals with my parents and brother.  Everyday I watch a tv show, I watch more than 30 shows now.  If I could blog about all the shows I watch I would but who has the time for that?  I love to eat and travel and im sure more than half the people you meet say that too, but believe ME, I love to eat and travel.  I was born, raised and trained to eat and travel... at least until my kids were born.  So this is what I do everyday. I blog, I facebook, I watch tv and I make headbands.  I know my day may not sound as exciting (or as productive) as other people's lives but I can sincerely say that (almost) everything I do I love.  I barely do things I really don't want to do anymore.  How about you, how was your day?

Take a look at my latest creation!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Foods Babies Should Avoid

Baby's first solids, its an exciting milestone for every mom.  What we aren't always aware of are the types of food that our babies cannot eat yet before their 1st birthday.  So, here's a list of things to avoid.

  • Honey, Corn Syrup and Maple Syrup.   Babies should never be given any of these products because they can contain the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. When babies ingest this, it turns into a toxin that causes botulism. Infant botulism attacks the baby’s nervous system and can result in death.
  • Whole milk should not be introduced as a replacement for breast milk or formula until after 12 months. This recommendation is due to the fact that whole cow milk cannot properly sustain a growing infant. It simply does not have all the nutritional components needed for healthy growth and development. This milk contains pathogens, micro-organisms that cause diseases such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other organisms. People with weakened immune systems, such as young babies, are at the most risk for developing a serious illness, possibly resulting in death, from pathogens.There is also a bit of difficulty in the digestion of whole milk proteins.
  • Soft Cheeses.  The list of cheeses your baby should avoid is feta, brie, camembert, blue veined and Mexican-style cheeses. Soft cheeses, even when refrigerated, can contain the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium causes flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches, and can eventually hit the nervous system causing stroke-like symptoms. For young babies’ immune systems, this can be fatal.
  • Citrus is very acidic and many infants under the age of 12 months old suffer rashes and tummy upsets due to the acidity. This has nothing to do with allergies.  So, hold back on the oranges, grapefruits, kiwi fruit and other citrus fruits
  • Unpasteurized juice Yes, even juice needs to be pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. Un-pasteurized juice can contain the bacterium E. coli and Salmonella, among others. About 98% of all juice sold is pasteurized but read the label if you are not sure
  • Strawberries and Shell Fish, and even Peanuts, can prompt severe, life threatening allergic reactions. The recommendation continues to be one of caution and delay.  This includes peanut butter. 
  • Raw Eggs. Babies and young children should never eat raw eggs or foods prepared with raw eggs. Raw eggs can contain the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis, which can result in severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Always cook eggs until yokes are firm and make sure foods containing eggs are cooked thoroughly.
  • Egg Whites.  Pediatricians prefer you wait to serve cooked egg whites to your baby until after the first year. Allergic reactions to egg whites are very common, so it is best to wait until your child has grown older to introduce them. Cooked yokes that are either scrambled or mashed are fine to serve to your baby.
  • Raw sprouts.  The bacteria Salmonella can exist in all forms of sprouts, (alfalfa, clover and radish), even ones that are grown at home. Refrain from serving sprouts, or any foods prepared with sprouts, to your baby.

  • Pre-Sweetened Foods and Candy 

    Sugar-fortified cereals, candy, sweetened juices and sodas are all low in nutrients and high in sugar, an ingredient your child doesn’t need a lot of. Once children are pre-disposed to these sweat foods they will prefer them to the healthier ones. This can also lead to your child being overweight or obese later in life. Skip the sugary foods and give your child foods that are healthier for him. Make sure the juice you serve is 100% fruit juice, not the flavored varieties.
    We would also like to point to a few other examples of why it might be prudent to delay the introduction of certain foods. Broccoli for example is known to cause gas in many people. Offering broccoli to an infant who is 6 months of age is really not a good idea. You would not want offer a 6 month old baby Beans either, as these too may cause painful gas.
    *The following information was found in and

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gwama, My Idol.

When M1 cries M2 cries too, if M1 sees M2 cry she cries too.  Imagine how noisy the house is when they start their duet.  As I was trying to tune out their noise my Gwama (mom's mother) came to mind, she had 11 kids and was able to stay sane.  How she did it still boggles me, she was a superwoman.  A cousin of mine brought this up at our Gwama's wake, wondering in awe at how she did it all.  A cousin in law said that she wasn't a hands on mom, thats why.  During their time no one was hands on.  Everyone was trying to make money for their children's futures.  This is what my grandparents did for their family, they raised them as best as they could and I think they did one helluva job.  But really, it wasn't just the bringing up of 11 kids, it was also the budgeting.  Obviously everything was cheaper way back then but imagine enrolling 8 girls in ICA.  Imagine all those school books and those uniforms.  Imagine all that food!! They ate gallons and gallons of ice cream.  Times were simpler too, my mom and aunts retold tales of them playing patintero, hop scotch, and hide and seek.  All games that don't involve mechanical toys, all they needed was each other.  Now we have a few kids and a lot of toys to compensate for the idle time that they have.  One of the things I look forward to is seeing my two girls playing games together when they get older but for now I get them toys that may or may not help in their IQ.

If my heart and pocket could afford it I would want more than 2 kids but for now the budgeting is hard enough.  Spending 100pesos each day on diapers is enough for me to roll my eyes and not want to count how much I spend on milk and all else.

11 kids, Gwama, you still amaze me.  11 uniforms, 11 diapers, 11 beds, 11 mouths to feed and to listen to, 11 cries to calm down, 11 boo boos to soothe, 11 tantrums to appease, 11 report cards, 11 demands, 11 seats in the car, 11 allowances to give, 11 water jugs and baons... 11 kids and you still worked day and night.  If I could be half the woman you were I could apply to be a superhero's sidekick.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Benefits of Naps

Naps are super important for the health and growth of our children... its also very important for our sanity.

Here are 5 benefits napping can give you:  (You're the one napping not the kids, if the kids are napping that benefits everybody :P)
1.  Makes you smarter!  Newly learned knowledge or skills are integrated in the brain during sleep, this includes 60-90minute naps.  

2.  Less Stressed.  Take a nap and your stresses will go away.

3.  Take a 20 minute nap for more alertness and productivity.  Its even better for your stamina to take a 20minute midday nap than to sleep 20 minutes longer when you wake up in the morning.

4.  Good for your heart.  Taking 40 winks in the middle of the day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, particularly in young healthy men.

5.  You'll sleep better at night.

So, if napping is this good for you, just imagine how much it will benefit your children.  

Dream Homes

Most of my friends are getting married now and with marriage comes living in new places and trying to make it "home".  We all have dream houses, dream kitchens, dream bathrooms and etc...  As hard as it is to believe, the small space I have now always felt like home to me because of the people living in it.  The bedroom may feel cramped because of all the things in it, the flight of stairs a bit tiring when you have to go back downstairs if you forget something and the bathroom is small.  There are times when people laugh at where I live and I cannot help but feel embarrassed but an hour or so after, I still really love the space I have.  Who wouldn't want a bigger house? Or to live in a better neighborhood?  I think we all dream to have something more than what we have, even those of us who live in mansions.  But to be happy and content with where we are is a gift I thank God for everyday.  And all this happened because of my family.  I live 200 steps away from my old house where help is always available.  Whatever it is I need, I know I can find it there.  I live in less than 200 square meters of unabashed noisy laughter, unending smiles and unconditional love from, when put together, 50lbs worth of human beings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Best Part Of Parenting

My bff sent this article to me to read.  It is about a mom who used to blog about parenting but now she writes books and even children's stories.  She could be my idol if only I knew who she was and if i've read her works, but sadly I haven't and I don't really have the time to do so.  She is so much more knowledgeable than I am, maybe 10000x more, she has 3 kids and they are now all adults.  I, on the other hand am barely an adult myself.  After reading her article I realized that even if I do want to keep my babies as small as they can be I also really do look forward to seeing them grow up and have conversations with them that don't involve the same question being asked 100x.

What for you is the best part of parenting? Click this to read the Article

For me the best part of parenting is everything about it except the lying.  Give me a person who has never lied to a child and I know for sure that person doesn't have kids.  KIDS.  I emphasize on the plural and the word kid, not baby, kids.  I started out idealistic and not wanting to lie too, but how can you not when your child doesn't want to wear underwear?! Or she refuses to let her bumbum be wiped after dropping a super sh*t bomb in the toilet?!  So I tell her worms will go and eat her bumbum and she quietly absorbs that information.  I love spending everyday with her, I love it when she wakes up all slow and sleepy eyed.  I love having conversations with her and listening to her monologue about Beth the girl in Barney.  I love her little quirks and unexplainable urges to stretch, dance off beat and speak in a high pitched sing song voice.  Toddlers are a challenge and a wonder.  Children are so different from each other, M1 was as demanding as an old man sick in bed while M2 is a smiling little angel who can watch you while you go about your day.  They are both astounding creatures that I feel so blessed to have, although I am not looking forward to being the mom of 2 teenage girls.  UGH!  Thank goodness I still have more than 10years to prepare!  The best part of parenting is the joy of being a parent.  Waking up to their voices (or cries) annoys the hell out of me BUT also makes me smile.  They can turn any bad day into a wonderful one.  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm Back Home

I took a leave from blogging when I went to Boracay last weekend.  The wedding was beautiful and the food was good.  The beach was as I remembered it and the company was great but nothing can compare to the high pitched laughter of my 2 babies.  A few days away from them really helped me realize that I never want to leave them again!  In the few days I was away, I think M2 has forgotten already who I am and M1 sort of matured.  She is now able to sit quietly and play all by herself for 10mins or so.  This only happened once before and that was when I gave her a small pair of scissors to cut with.

M1 was okay even if her mommy wasn't with her for 4 days.  I am so relieved that my trick worked!  All you have to do is help them beforehand.  Tell them constantly that you will be going away and that you will come back.  I showed her a painting of a boat we have in the house and told her I will be riding in something like that going to the province.  Since M2's yaya just came back from the province M1 knows that wherever that is people still come back from there.   Let them anticipate it and deal with it while you are still with them.  I am now telling her about going to school without her mommy and yaya.  I told her that when the kids are with Barney it is like their school and that Barney and friends are teachers and there are no mommies there just other kids.  I think she understands, at least I hope she does.  I used to just avoid the issues and I realize now that its so much better that she knows whats coming, so she knows to prepare herself for it.

Kids grow up so fast and we more often than not assume they cannot understand us yet, but they do and they can.  Just be patient in explaining and use pictures, videos and even drawings to explain.  The more they understand the more they can deal with it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleeping In A Different House

Two more nights and then I am leaving on an airplane the guilt is eating up inside of me.  If I didn't have a wedding to attend I really wouldn't be going away for 3 nights.  Today we moved Kaylabear to my mom's house so she can get used to sleeping there before her sister has to be there too.  It will be a weekend of adjustments for them both as they have never slept in the same room, ever.

Leaving the kids for the 1st time in months (never since M2 was born), is a struggle for me.  I am filled with mixed emotions as the date comes nearer.  I am preparing both Maxine and myself from our separation.  They say its better to separate before you even leave.  So, I try and not spend as much time as I want with her.  I bought a few things to distract her while she is at the other house.  I got her a small pool and asked the driver to put sand in it, sticker books and a new Dora book that teaches her how to close buttons, snaps and zippers.  I hope it is enough.  I hope she's been prepared enough.

here she is eating her pate before we leave for the airport

M2 not really knowing that we're leaving

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

M1 and M2 Went to The Doctor

Kaylabear has gone through some tests to see what was wrong with her.  The VCUG showed she has reflux on both her kidneys and her urine culture shows that she has 2 kinds of bacteria still.  Even after 2 wks of antibiotics.  I finally got to talk to the doctor today and she said that the 2 kinds of bacteria shown in the lab results are fatal and there's no way that Kayla has them.  She is assuming it is contaminated from the lab.  Thank goodness.  All that additional worry for nothing.
on the way to the doctor
Maxiebear is growing up so fast.  She now drinks 12oz of milk 3x a day and eats 1 and 1/3 cup of food 3x a day for her meals.  We went to the doctor last week to get their shots and they are both underweight but still tall.  now my goal is to stuff Maxine with as much food as I can.  I even got her cotton candy the other day but she didn't want to try.  I really don't know where she gets her unadventurous attitude towards eating but surely in time she will be just like her momma.  Her momma who loves everything fried and cooked/ slathered/ dipped in butter.  
In their pedia's ofc 

Kaylabear's Results

Kaylabear has gone through some tests to see what was wrong with her.  The VCUG showed she has reflux in both her kidneys and her urine culture shows that she has 2 kinds of bacteria still.  Even after 2 wks of antibiotics.  I finally got to talk to the doctor today and she said that the 2 kinds of bacteria shown in the lab results are fatal and there's no way that Kayla has them.  She is assuming it is contaminated from the lab.  Thank goodness.  All that additional worry for nothing.  We just have to keep praying that the medicine does its job in preventing her from getting sick again.  Until next month's urine culture, we can breathe easy.

Here she is at the grocery for the 1st time looking around with her NR face.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

If there are Tiger Moms then there are Dragon Dads,  I grew up dad fearing (not that it stopped me from my share of antics, out of sight out of mind!).  I barely have any childhood memories left but I know for sure that he can stop your heart with one look.  As I grew older my fear diminished slowly and I realized that age has tamed the dragon.  I often think that I was made from the same mold as my dad, we like the same things, we think the same way and we even have the same heart stopping look when we're angry.  If you knew him well enough you would know how much he loves ketchup.  He puts ketchup on his rice when he eats fried chicken, that used to disgust me until i realized I did it too!  He puts ketchup and sauces on everything!  I don't like eating food without sauces.  Today is his birthday, we rarely say I love you to our parents, given that the chinese do not have any emotions, but I would like to take this opportunity to say I LOVE YOU DADDY! You are my favorite dad in the whole wide world.  But more than that I would like to thank you, for walking my palate through all those tastes and textures.  From turtles, horses, rabbits and snakes, I wouldn't be the carnivore that I am if it weren't for you always pushing me to try.  "Try it once because how will you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it." Thank you for literally showing me the world and all its wonders.  For taking me to zoos, beaches, mountain tops, churches, desserts and amusement parks.  Most importantly, holding my hand through it all.

Daddy with M1

Friday, March 11, 2011

Momma Bear's Links: Up Inspired Floating House

For those of you with preschoolers and older kids who most probably watched the Pixar movie Up and told your kids that its impossible to do and it's only a cartoon.. well the people at National Geographic just found a way to make a cartoon come to life!  Amazing!!! Click here for the pics.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

10 Ways to Detoxify Your Life

Saw this article and thought I should share... We all want to live a long, healthy and clean life so here's 10 ways to do that!

Click Here for the full article from In Style Magazine

1.  Eat dark chocolate - so fun and so easy to do!  Just make sure you're eating the right kind.  Duty Free has Godiva Dark Chocolate bars and Bacchus has Valrona.
2. Not so applicable to me
3.  Filtered tap water -Remember distilled water is super bad for your kids teeth!  As my dad's doctor friend said to me, your kids aren't batteries so why give them distilled water?
4.  Houseplants - its also one activity you can do with your kids! Take care of a plant together and watch it grow!
5.  Clay Mask - i want to try this soon!
6.  Dry Cleaning - who'd have thought this would have toxins!
7.  Lotion - i don't know which lotions don't have parabens. If you do do let me know.
8.  Fruits and Veggies - wash! wash! wash!
9.  Freezing pillows - this one we can't do, too bad for us.  But a good option for kids is getting them a Gummo pillow.  Gummo is
10.  Shoes - great tip!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Bane of My Existence

Stretchmarks! Oh! How I hate you SO!!

I gained more than 40lbs (I'm not giving out the real number) during my 1st pregnancy and was carrying M1 for 42 wks.  Because of those two reasons, I have 1 million stretchmarks.  NO, that is not an exaggeration.  Fine, it is but still, I look like a zebra. Even 2years after I am still zebra like and I still haven't accepted it.  Once upon a time I used to love the beach and I could go at any time.  Wearing bikinis was as easy as putting on my shoes.  Some people had to skip a meal to look beach ready but not me.  Not until now.  I haven't gone to the beach since I was pregnant, I have been afraid for the world to see zebra that I am but now I don't have a choice.  My good good friend is getting married in Boracay next weekend and here I am eating my sorrows away.  (I know! talk about Catch 22!!)

I have been searching for new suits to wear because my old bikinis really don't cover enough.  Searching in the malls and online I found one brand that really stuck out.  Having great solutions for the animalesque skins and bodies out there! Naked Sun Swimwear offers suits with enough coverage and distraction for those who no longer have the perfect body. (Yes, I am implying that I once had the perfect body.  Well, more perfect than the one I have now!)  Check out their new collection after I make my purchase! :) Just click on the link.

Going back to stretchmarks, I asked my fellow mommies out there about theirs and based on my research, moms said that stretchmarks are genetic mostly but I noticed that the less weight you gain the lesser your chances of getting any.  Which is only common sense, I know.  So no matter what you put on your skin, body butter, oil and the like, if you gain more than 35lbs you're bound to get some.  So pregnant people out there, save yourself from this misery and put that cupcake down!  Give the last slice of cake to your husbands and place the chocolate back in the box.  HEP HEP HEP!  Chips, fried chicken and jolly hotdogs aren't good midnight snacks!  Eat after you give birth because your child may one day leave your house but your stretch marks WON'T!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Sacrifice. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday the start of lent. I started my lenten sacrifice the day I found out that Kaylabear is sick again. I decided to only eat meat once a day and not drink milktea.  I don't really do much everyday so food is the only thing I can really give up.

Before i had any children I myself acted like a child even as an adult. I didn't like sharing my food. But looking back now ever since M1 was born that has changed.  I didn't even eat the pate my sis in law got for her from HK because she really loves it. I love it too but for her I would gladly not eat.  I guess even if food was my first true love that is no longer true.  The sacrifices parents make are immesurable and innumerable. We find ourselves doing things we never thought we would.  The sleepless nights, wiping their asses, cleaning boogers and saying no to parties to spend time with them.  Gone are the days when life was all about me.  When i could just get up and go any where and stay out til the morning or sleep in all day.  Everyday it is all about my family.

So kids stay young for as long as you can.  Enjoy your freedom and your childhood...  and parents squeez in as much time as possible with ur kids while they still want to be with u bec before u know it they're walking down the aisle and u dnt know where time went.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kaylabear 5 Mos Old

When we're still pregnant and people ask us whether we want a boy or a girl the normal reply is "Any as long as the baby is healthy".  Even if the answer sounds rehearsed and overused we mean it.  Especially when you find out your child was born with something wrong with her system.  Makayla has had UTI twice, one of the worst moments of my adult life was when she was admitted to the hospital.  Last week we took her for an ultrasound of her kidneys, the results only showed the size of her kidneys and if there was any scarring caused by the two times she got sick.  Today we took her for another test called VCUG, it shows whether or not the urine is backing up from her bladder and into her kidneys.  Unfortunately the results weren't good news.  Both sides have Grade 2 reflux.  Hopefully she will outgrow this when she turns two.  But she will have to drink low dose medication everyday until she turns two.  

Enough with the medical mumbo jumbo... I am sad.  


There's nothing more we can do but to pray and pray and pray.  
I am still grateful that there's a big chance she will grow out of it and won't need an operation.
I am grateful that it's not something worse.  

I am grateful that baby Kaykay smiles every time she sees me.
I am grateful every time i hear your laughter and your small voice.

In UST hospital wearing the small gown
I am grateful for you, Kaykay. See you tomorrow little darling.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby Photography

One of the things new parents do the most, other than feeding their babies or changing diapers is taking pictures.  I took more than a thousand pictures during the 1st month of M1's life.  I have already filled 3 albums during her 1st year of living and have spent more than a month's salary to develop photos.  All that and we haven't even started on the professional shoots.  My friend gave me free membership for The Picture Company when M1 was born, so it was automatic for me to have her pictures taken there.  I didn't go every month, I went every 2-3 months and had photos developed every time.  I said her 1st birthday would be the last time we went and so far i've kept my word but only because I've been so busy.

Now it's M2's turn and we tried out a new studio in Wilson street because it's so much nearer and cheaper than Pic Company.  Shutterbugz is located beside Santis Deli.  They also offer membership for a year and prints are priced at 650php only.  In Picture Company a print is more than 900php.  Take a look at their Facebook page here to see their photos.  The picture Company has its own website, they used m1's pics there but the costumes that she's wearing are our own and not theirs.  Though they do have an abundant rage of costumes and set ups.  Another choice would be Blow Up Babies but they have 1 branch only and it's at Serendra which is too far for me.  Their pictures are great because it's a whole production, your baby can become an egg yolk or cupcake topping!

My dream photo shoot is still from stork studio, I still haven't had the chance to bring the kids there because of the price but I promise that when M2 turns 1 we're going to go there to have our pictures taken.  They take wonderful newborn photos!  The best I've seen from someone based here in Manila.  They don't need alot of gimmicky costumes because they showcase their talents.  A bit steep for one shoot but pick a milestone and use that as your reason for getting them.  Here's their website so you can view how great they are at taking newborn photos and their rates.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mommy Brigade

The most helpful thing I had during the 1st few months of M1's life was a friend who gave birth a few weeks ahead of me.  At first I was apprehensive about asking her so many things in the wee hours of the night while I was breast feeding but I needed answers so I texted her, expecting a reply the next morning.  To my surprise she would reply almost immediately, even if it was 2am or 5am or 7am... she too was breastfeeding her little darling.  Weeks after M1 was born, another friend gave birth and I was the one who got the questions.  Most new moms, no matter how harassed, are always happy to be of help.  That same friend who gave birth weeks after me, also had a friend who gave birth after she did and also asked her questions.  It makes sense to text or ask someone who gave birth recently because everything is still fresh in their minds.  I barely remember those first few months so i'm almost useless to ask now.  

Start your own mommy brigade.  Ask around, no matter how stressful your day becomes having someone to talk to who is going through or has gone through what you are will certainly help ease the seriousness of it all.