March 31

My Toddler Diaper Bag Must-Haves

Weekends means the most awaited family time. It is two days of hitting the mall, leisure parks and going to church. Whenever we go out,
my toddler’s bag has the following standard contents:
Extra pair of clothes – a t-shirt, shorts, underwear and socks. I only bring cotton ones so it won’t get too bulky inside the bag
A pair of Sweaters – just in case it gets too cold inside the mall
Cloth diaper – Truly a mom’s best friend! An all around helper! It can be used to wipe sweat, spills, drool, to dry wet hands
Water bottle – I’m very particular with the water that Heinel drinks so I make sure that he brings his own. I place it in a small bag so in case it spills, it won’t wet the entire contents of the bag
Wet towel/Wet Ones – to wipe dirty hands and for “emergency” trips to the bathroom
Hand sanitizer
Light snacks such as biscuits/crackers – you’ll never know if you will get stuck in traffic or the food that you ordered takes time to be served
Toy – since my son loves die-cast cars, I make sure to bring 2 or 3 small cars to keep him entertained insde the car or while waiting in restaurants
Insect repellant lotion
Extra reusable bag – to store wet or used clothes
Fan – for hot days inside the church
It may seem a lot but I am able to fit all these in a medium sized trendy bag. How about you fellow mom? What’s inside your kid’s bag? Feel free to add to the list!
Photo credits: Pursepage.com
March 30

Weekend Blog Hop!

Aside from sharing my thoughts, the one thing I like about blogging is reading blogs especially from other moms like me! So today I joined the Weekend Blog Hop!

Category: Blogging Gigs
March 29

My early CS Delivery

On March 15, 2012, 6 months (26 weeks, 2 days) into my pregnancy, I gave birth to my second child, a 2lbs, 1 ounce baby boy. It was not a kind of birth experience I would want any mother to be in. I cried upon hearing him cry, but not of happiness, but because of fear and worry. He is already out when he should not be and I do not know how his small body will take the outside world. I did not get to hold him or to see him because he has to be incubated right away.
My water bag rapture on March 12 but to give baby time to absorb the steroids needed to fast track the growth of his lungs, we had to wait two more days. I was given an IV to try to replenish the lost amniotic fluid but I was still leaking. Those two days were tense ones as my Doctors strictly (hourly) monitored my baby’s heartbeat and movement. On March 15, after the ultrasound showed that I barely had amniotic fluid and infections are starting to come in, my Doctors decided to deliver my baby via Ceasarian Section. It was not a better alternative. Having him inside my tummy will risk us both of infection, but delivering him at that point will not guarantee his survival. It was heartbreaking to hear those words from the doctors.
I always ask myself if have done something wrong that could have triggered the rapture in my water bag. My husband and doctors said that I was not at fault. They gave me all medical explanations for what happened. I believe them. But now the next thought that came: “Did I give my son the best protection and nutrition while he was still inside my womb?” I hope so. But I suddenly felt guilty for the days when I cheated on my diet and ate chocolates and donuts and sip half a cup of coffee. I felt guilty for the days when I allowed myself to get so tired at work that I can barely get up from bed when I arrive home.
If there’s one thing I wish other pregnant moms will learn from my experience, it is to never take for granted a day into your pregnancy. The womb is the safest place for the baby to be in for those 37 weeks or more that he is inside it. Every single day that the unborn baby is inside the mother’s womb should be cherished. Every vitamin must be taken, only the healthiest food must be eaten. If you are a working mom, always have plenty of rest. If it means taking a nap in the middle of the day at work, then find your space and just nap away. For stay at home moms, do not stress over household chores. Ask help if needed. If you feel anything unusual do not hesitate to ask your Doctor about it. Always talk to your baby. Our Neonatologist advised us to always talk to our son in the incubator because hearing familiar voices soothe and calm him.
Two weeks after giving birth and my baby is showing good developments. We still have a long way to go, say 2-3 months inside the incubator, but I cherish each day that the good Lord adds up to his life.
March 29

Teaching my toddler to write

Heinel’s teacher always praises him for his good writing skills. I find this a compliment because it is a result of our writing sessions that we started at home when he turned 3.
Before starting on any learning program for my son, I always assess whether he is prepared for it. By the time Heinel was 3 years old, he is already very familiar with the letters of the alphabet and is showing interest in writing. I’ve proven that no matter how good the program is, if my child is not prepared, it will not provide positive results and will lead only to frustration to both me and my son.
For our writing drills, I decided to group the letters of the alphabet depending on my assessment of its degree of difficulty for a child. Letters with simple horizontal and vertical lines are easier, compared to letters with curves and swirls, thus, they come first.
To help with our writing drills, I bought two workbooks; 1 for line strokes, and 1 for letter drills. There are several workbooks available in your local bookstore for you to choose from depending on your preference. I bought Heinel workbooks in which he can trace the lines initially, and then later on, there are blank spaces for him to write the lines on his own.
We begun with writing drills on basic lines; vertical and horizontal lines. The first few study sessions was a bit frustrating to Heinel especially when he could not figure out yet how to properly hold a pencil. At that time all that I can to do is to be patient and be encouraging. As much as I want to teach him how to hold a pencil, that is something that he has to figure out on his own depending on where he’s comfortable at. After mastering the basic horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to letters with vertical and horizontal lines such as letter E,F, H,I, L, and T.
After letters with horizontal and vertical lines, we proceeded to drills on slanting lines. Then followed by practicing letters A, K,M,N, V, W, X, Y and Z.
After letters with slanting lines, we proceeded to curve strokes. This is more challenging for Heinel as it requires more control of the pencil in achieving the different curve strokes. Once familiar with the curve strokes, drills on letter B,D,J,P,R, and U followed.
The last series of drills involved wavy lines then followed by letters C,G,O,Q and S.
Heinel and I have writing drills every weekday, 30 minutes each session. On days when he feels inspired, we have two sessions. I try to limit it to 30 minutes so as not to tire him out. This schedule also works well with working moms like me because we still have time to play. Usually, we have 2-3 sessions per letter but not all in one day. But we don’t mind extending if I feel that he needs to practice more. He does not have to write it perfectly, just as long as he remembers it properly without any help from me.
Aside from a writing being a learning activity, it is also a great chance for me to bond with my son. The key is to be supportive and encouraging. I always end our study session with a hug and praise for a job well done.
March 28

Footwear for Moms on the Go

When one has kids, you are always on your toes. Motherhood changed a lot of my fashion preferences, most particularly with footwear. Gone are the days when I can wear platforms or stilettos or high heels at the mall. But hey, alternative footwear can be fashionable too. Here are my favorite mommy-friendly footwear:
Ballet flats
I’m a girl at heart so ballet flats are my most favorite footwear. It can be matched with almost anything; shorts, pants,skirts and dresses. I can’t seem to get enough of ballet flats. My favorite types are those laces, flowers and jewels. It adds personality to the shoes!
Low wedge
I still wear wedges but I just make sure that the heels are low. I usually wear it with my maxi dresses and shorts.
Flip flopsFlip flops are my ultimate “go to” footwear. It is comfortable and can be worn with shorts or denim skirts. With several designs in the market, you will definitely find one that will suit your personality. Just a tip, please make sure that flip flops are regularly washed and scrubbed especially if you will wear it to the mall. I find it a turnoff seeing dirty slippers. I mean, come on we still need to look presentable, right?
Sneakers
I’m not a rubber shoes girl so the next best sports footwear for me is a pair of sneakers. It’s a perfect footwear for days out in the playground or playdates with other kids. My favorite brands are Keds, Tretorn and Converse.

SandalsFor days that requires me to dress up a little like parties or school events, low heeled sandals are a must. I just make sure that I choose sandals that have sturdy straps to ensure secure fit. We wouldn’t want those straps to snap while I’m chasing my son, right?Your footwear brings out your personality. Nowadays we are lucky to have so much choices in the market that we can both have comfort and fashion combined.
March 26

Photo Album ala Scrapbook

Despite modern technology, I’m one of those who prefer to do things the traditional way. Like making photo albums! I know nowadays photos are in digital format and can be posted in social networking sites but I still get excited about seeing printed pictures and designing every page of the traditional album.
 
I used all sorts of materials; scrap booking items, ribbons, memorable items such as gift tags, movie tickets, etc… I haven’t fully embraced scrapbooking because I am not that artistic. Also, I prefer the sticker type photo albums because pictures are protected and can last a long time.
For days when I run out of ideas, I just stick the pictures together and provide captions. But most of the time, I let my memories of the photos inspire me to create a design for the page. In turn, my photo albums are unique and very personalized.
March 25

I’m a Breastfeeding Mom!

With my first born son, Heinel, I was not able to breastfeed except for the colostrum because I did not have much supply and he ends up feeling so hungry after latching. It was a frustration. But now, with the birth of my second son, Hendrix, (born only 26 weeks into my pregnancy), breast milk is a must. His small body needs only a mother’s mik. Initially I was worried that I will not have milk again. But with the help of our pediatrician, I was able to extract milk on my first try! Now, more than a week after giving birth, I extract about 1.5 ounces milk every 6 hours and it is gradually increasing. Doctors from the Neonatal ICU says Baby Hendrix only takes in 5ml of milk every 8 hours for now. But just the same, I regularly extract milk just to make sure that my milkflow will not stop and by the time I’m allowed to feed him directly thru my breast, I have enough to fill him up! Right now, we store all the milk inside the freezer and my husband delivers a bottle or two everyday.
More than nourishing my baby, my breastmilk also became my connection with my baby since I can not visit him daily yet because I am still recovering from a complicated CS operation. It somehow eased my anxiety of not seeing him knowing that thru my milk, I am able to help him recover.
I’m happy that I am now part of millions of moms who breastfeeds their baby!
March 21

I chose the right Doctor!

From March 13 to 19, I was at the hospital because 26 weeks into my pregnancy, my water bag raptured. I delivered our second born baby boy on March 15 thru a life threatening, both for me and my baby, CS operation. From the time I texted my OB-GYNE, Dra. Aurora Eugene R. Quiambao of Capitol Medical Center (CMC), of my condition up until my discharge, I really felt her genuine care and concern. Even at the wee hours of the night I can hear her staff giving her updates about me and my baby’s condition. Our conversations are not about my physical condition but she also uplifts me emotionally. She provided us the best team possible to take care of me and my baby’s delicate condition and best of all she referred to us a very good, dedicated pediatrician known in the industry that specializes in preterm babies who was not even from CMC but she deemed best to handle our case.
Her daily rounds always are full of comfort and advise. She is even updated about the condition of my baby. I was so happy with her service and how she saved me and my baby’s life that I was willing to let go of the professional fee that she will charge. Considering that she is one of the premier doctors there, and with all the service she has given us, I was even shy to ask for a discount. But I was surprised when she gave us a very reasonable fee. It was far lower than what we expected. I honestly believe that she can charge way higher than she did and nobody can complain with the level of her competence. Now I trully understand why she has a lot of patients and majority of the babies in CMC were delivered by her.
For those looking for an OB-GYNE in Quezon City area, I highly recommend Dra. Aurora Eugene R. Quiambao of Capitol Medical Center. She is exclusive to CMC which is why I only recommend her if you live along the QC vicinity.