Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When Natural Disasters Strike

A lot has been said about the tragedy at Northen Mindanao brought about by the recent typhoon.  Our family continues to pray for those affected.  As a mom, it is especially heartbreaking to see the children suffering.  I saw a video clip at the television of a mom who had to use the drinking water she had to give her baby with a fever a sponge bath.  Lets all try to help the best we can.

I also came across this site that compiles list of ways we can send out donations to the victims.  Aside from this, let me mention that Medela Moms is also accepting donations in form of breastmilk and other breastmilk feeding supplies.  This is important because (1) it is important to nourish the infants in the evacuation centers especially those separated from their moms (2) breastmilk is even more important for these babies because they need the antibodies and it's hard to prepare formula without clean water.

Hopefully those in relief operations can give special assistance to the infants and their moms.  I wonder if there are some breastfeeding counselors in the area who can help reach out to moms and encourage them during this stressful time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ben's Christmas at Explorations

Our little master had his Christmas Party at school last week.  It was quite fun, too bad we weren't able to take much photos.

The toddlers sang some action songs, with the help of their wonderful teachers.  I'm sure they practiced a lot because I can see that they're participating.  I also got the chance to read a story to the kids.  Teacher Giselle lent me a Maisy Christmas Story Sticker Book, which was a lot of fun especially for our toddler's older siblings. I was quite nervous but I hope I did I good job somehow.

Then came the food ... yummy!!!! We brought pasta and ice cream which were a big hit.

And to top it off, the families got gift tags and banana bread especially made by the kids.  I think it's really cute and thoughtful .. wait ... now those I have a photo of ...  (P.S. To our family and friends who will get presents with gift tags made especially wby Ben, hope you'll keep them as souvenirs!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Simbang Gabi Story

3 masses down, 6 more to go .. :)

Family and Friends close to us know how important Simbang Gabi is to me. As with all religious traditions, it all started with my father. For as long as I can remember, he would drag us in the 4:30 am mass at our nearby parish church. My brother and I would attend the first and last mass of the 9 day novena. I actually dread it, since I really don't like waking up so early and the church was so crowded and the mass was sooooo long. There were speeches after communion abd before the final blessing that took "forever!!!"

Then came second year high school. I think it was about that time that I learned you get to make a wish when you complete the 9 days ... I decided to try completing it despite the hassle. My wish was pretty shallow, quite embarrassing actually, hehe. I didn't get my wish but somehow this didn't discourage me for going again the following year. But this time, we convinced my dad that we should go to Mary the Queen Parish near our school. I love this parish, the ambiance, the location, and the people. I honestly believe that I wouldn't be going to Simbang Gabi until now if not for this parish.

What about the wishes? Well, lets just say that maybe God was telling me to aim higher with my wishes. He may not have granted my first "mababaw" one, but He has been answering my prayers ever since. One of the reasons why the start of Simbang Gabi is meaningful to me and Bry because it is our original anniversary as boyfriend-girlfriend :) Fast forward 15 years later, we now have Ben - another answered Simbang Gabi prayer - which is why I insist on bringing him along despite being a handful.

Things are a little different now, though. Ever since we had Ben, we're been attending the anticipated masses to accommodate his schedule. It may seem easier because we don't have to wake up early but it still requires a lot of effort. And aside from the wishes, I think it is a good way to prepare yourself for Christmas. Whenever I'd attend Simbang Gabi, I'd find myself reflecting on the year that has passed and feel grateful and hopeful. I wonder if Ben will have a special place in his heart for Simbang Gabi someday.

Anyway, my prayers for this year's novena are mostly related ... hmmm .. will keep yo guys posted how it goes (wink!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We wish you a Merry Nursing :)

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (December). For this month, we want to honor breastfeeding for having enriched our lives and blessed us, maybe even empowered us, in a way that only breastfeeding can. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

This year will be our second Christmas with Ben, and I can say that I am a more confident and wiser mom now than last year.  I still have a lot to learn, but I felt God has shown me through breastfeeding Ben that I need not to be afraid of the challenges being a mom would bring. 

Breastfeeding calls for faith, patience and humility.  You got to have faith that what you can give your baby is enough for him.  You need the patience to sort through the breastfeeding woes.  You should also be humble enough to realize that being able to provide for your baby is a gift from a higher power.  When I was pregnant with Ben, I knew I wanted to breastfeed but was scared if I could do it.  I had hormonal issues which made my pregnancy difficult and was concerned this will affect my ability to provide for him.  I prayed and trusted that things will fall into place.  I feel blessed that I was able to overcome the challenges.  It made me realize that I can count of God and my love ones to support me whenever I encounter trials in parenting.

For me, breastfeeding is not just about nutrition, it's about establishing a connection with Ben. When you nurse, you are called to stop and take time to get to know your child.  Right now, Ben is in a phase when he wants my full attention when he nurses.  He would even tell me to put my cellphone aside so that I don't get distracted.  You are also called to be creative in terms of adjusting your lifestyle with your new role as a parent but not lose yourself in process.  This is such an important skill to have as a parent.  It was not easy but I eventually learned how to have a social life while sustaining a nursing relationship with Ben.

Lastly, breastfeeding has opened new doors for me to connect with other moms.  I'm thankful for mommy friends who can relate to my experiences and share my advocacy.  Moreover, I feel blessed that I'm given the opportunity to learn from and help other mothers.  When counseling other moms, I can honestly say that I've been in their situation and could actually give tips that has worked for me.

These gifts that I have received through breastfeeding Ben will surely help me become a good mother to him even long after he weans.   It's my hope that more moms will have a fruitful and meaningful breastfeeding experience like mine.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours :)

Here are the entries of my fellow participants :) Enjoy!

Shaps- Beyond Being Thin
Gretchen - Breastfeeding Gifts for Christmas
Carol - The Gift of Miracle
Jenny O.- The Gifts of Breastfeeding
Anne - The Gift of Breastfeeding
Jenny R. - If the Magi Were Queens
Em - The "Breast" Gift
Isis- Got Milk?
Armi - Breastfeeding Gifts
Liv - My Breastfeeding Journey
Laya - Time in a Drop of Milk
Mec - The Gift of a Changed Man
Marnellie - From a Donee to a Donor
Icar - Breastfeeding

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Confessions of an Online Shopaholic

Yes, I'm Nats and I'm an online shopaholic :)

It all started when I gave birth to Ben.  It was hard to go out and look for nursing clothes so I researched and found sites where I can order and have them shipped at home.  Since then, there was no turning back, hahaha!  I like buying stuff online because it's quite convenient.  It's hard to find free time to shop and most of the stuff I end up buying are hard to find in malls.  I learned quite a lot since my first purchase though.  Hope these tips will be helpful.

1. Research the product first before you purchase

When i was still starting out with nursing clothes, I found it easy to buy online because it was a hassle to leave Ben behind.  Also, there weren't many stores that sell nursing clothes back then.  I'd usually order size small because I assumed that was the size that best fits me.  But i was glad to have gotten the opportunity to visit the shops and bazaars of my suppliers, fit the clothes and realize that I am size XS in the brands.  This made future orders online better because I finally knew my exact size.  

2. Know your supplier.  
Is your supplier easy to contact? Does he/she reply to email or text messages promptly? I enjoy buying from sellers who would quickly confirm once they received the order and payment. What are his/her return policies? Some suppliers actually allow you to return purchases under certain conditions.

3. Take note of the couriers used and how to track your package. 
Most online sellers provide their customers with waybill numbers so they can get updated shipping info.  I've had quite satisfactory experiences with most couriers except for two instances when (1) my package arrived a day late because they couldn't locate our place plus their vehicle broke down and (2) a package that  I expected to have 5 items inside contained only 3.  We complained but there's only so much that you can do.  I guess the lesson to be learned here is both sellers and buyers must try to protect themselves against problems like these by knowing about shipping policies and documenting what's inside the packages.

4. Document your payments

Save your confirmation emails and keep your deposit slips.  Also, check your deposit slip before leaving the bank.  There was a time when I had to go back to the bank for a certain transaction because the teller entered the wrong amount in the computer.  As for using credit cards, make sure you log out from the website properly just to be sure your credit card info will not be saved.

5. Provide feedback to benefit other online buyers

Some websites, particularly
ebay, would request feedback and ratings from buyers and sellers.  This can be a helpful tool.  Also, sellers would usually appreciate suggestions about their products and policies.

Happy Shopping and Advance Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ben visits Tita dentist, again :)

I recently took Ben for his second dental check-up.  I was very proud of him, no crying, no fussing and he opened  his mouth on cue. What's more, he showed the dentist that he can gargle and spit.  I must say  I give yaya credit for teaching Ben that skill.  She's the one who would make toothbrushing a game for Ben. Sige na nga, plus points na  nga for her. Hehe

I've shared in a previous entry some dental tips for toddlers.  Additional tips I've learned from this visit are
1) Direct breastfeeding helps a child develop a beautiful set of teeth. Most breastfed babies do no need braces when they grow older. Also, direct breastfeeding helps develop a child's facial muscles .and 2) Fresh milk is better for the teeth than formula.  This is because formula is sweeter with more sugar.

With Ben now having an almost complete set of teeth, one of the most  frequently asked questions is does it hurt when nursing? At first it did, but I've learned that he'd only bite when he's bored so I'd stop feeding him whenever he's showing signs of biting.  Also, by the time a baby starts teething, he is already able to understand the concept of "no", so I'd talk to Ben in a firm voice when he used to bite. Babies use their tounge and upper palate to feed so with  the proper positioning and latch, it shouldn't hurt.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Goodbye Love Seat?

Just in case you guys know anyone who might be interested :)

We are selling our slightly used love seat through  It's actually a very good and comfy sofa for two.  Too bad we need to make more space at the house because of Ben's stuffs, hehe.

Here are the specs:

Color: Apple Green, Brown Wooden Frame
Dimensions: 36L" 52W" 28H"
with two pillows: 10"L by 18"W

Since we posted this product on ebay, we are required to entertain all purchase inquiries only through their website.  But if you like more info or want to view  the sofa, please feel to contact us directly :)