Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Breastfeeding Month and Birthday giveaway: Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags

Hi Everyone!

To culmimate breastfeeding month (and celebrate my birthday, hehe) , Medela Moms ( Supermoms Beng Feliciano and Maricel  Cua) are sponsoring our blog giveaway :)

We're giving away Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags, yipee! These bags can be used to sterilize your pump parts and bottles in just around 3 minutes. They're small and easy to store which is great for travelling and office use. Simply rinse the pump parts, place them inside the bag with about 2oz of water then pop it in the microwave. Make sure you read the instructions inside before using it :)

Here's how you can join, add a comment under this blog entry or facebook link
1. happy birthday mommy Nats!
2. your name and email address
3. at least one of the many reasons why breastfeeding is best

Good Luck!  Entries on or before Sept 30 will be accepted , spread the word!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ben's Favorite Ipad Apps

Ben loves the Ipad, yes I know we shouldn't let him play with it all the time.  We try to limit his Ipad time but as long as he's using it, might as well make it the experience both fun and educational.  Presenting our favorite Ipad applications:

Alphabet Tracing By Oncilla Technologies Inc - as suggested by our good friend, doc and preschool teacher Miel, we tried to look for an app that would help Ben practice tracing letters and numbers.  It's not the same as good old fashioned pen and paper but use a stylus with it and you get the next best thing :)

Dr. Seuss Apps by Oceanhouse Media- Dr. Seuss books are fun to read and having online versions of them are the coolest.  I like how the app displays and voices out the names of the objects as you point towards them.

Duck Duck Moose Apps - Duck Duck Moose offer several interactive appications for toddlers that uses familiar children's songs.  Brn's favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider :) You can even record your own voice singing the songs for a more personalized touch.  Among other choices are Wheel's on the Bus , Old MacDonald and Ba Ba Black Sheep.  They also have a Fish School math app that makes counting fun.

Sandra Boynton Books By Loud Crow Interactive Inc. - Ben loves Sandra Boynton Books.  They're cute and very easy to read.  We have a collection of her small board books here at home so when Bry discovered that some of them have interactive versions, he couldn't resist downloading them.  Going to Bed book was the first one, Ben's favorite page is the one with the animals in the bath tub.  The other books (Blue Hat, Green Hat   , Moo Baa La la la, and Barnyard Dance_ are just as adorable.

Monster at the end of this Book by Sesame Street - It took us a while to purchase this app because as much as we are Sesame Street fans, it's  little expensive.  However, I now understand why this has high ratings.  The plot and interactivity is simple enough for Ben's age yet at the same time, I can imagine him still enjoying it even after a few years.  It's quite a "long book" so it can keep your little one busy for a while.  Check out the sequel "Another Monster at the end of this Book" where Elmo joins the fun.

Alien Buddies –

By Artgig Studio - I honestly think this app helped Ben become familiar
with colors and shapes.  It has a lot of activities in it like  connecting the dots, puzzles, plotting 
stickers and matching.  The matching activity seems simple but you can really learn a lot if you consistently play with it.                                       

Toca Boca Games - Ben loves playing pretend so this series of apps is definitely  in our list.   His favorites are Toca Doctor, Toca Robot  and Toca House.  There are games like the Toca Store and Tea Party that are fun to play with a friend.  You obviously can't compare it to the real thing but it can keep you and your little one occupied while waiting for your turn at the pediatrician's clinic.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Toddler-Proofing our Home

Ever since Ben started being mobile, we've been trying to set-up our home, most especially our room, to be safe for him.  Here are the (not so) latest additions :)  Apologies for the blurry photos :)

RUBBER MATS IN THE BATHROOM - With Ben running around all the time, they serve as extra protection  especially  when I have to give him a bath all by myself.  We bought these at Ace Hardware. They can be hard to maintain, though, especially in the shower area.  Make sure they are cleaned regularly.

LIFT AND LOCK SWING GATE BY THE STAIRS - Ben knows how to go up and down the stars by himself and this helps us with making sure he waits for an adult.  Find one that's sturdy and easy to install.  Having a design that goes well with the rest of the house is  plus, too.  Actually, I got this idea from my mom who told that when I was a little girl, I fell from the stairs once while chasing an ice cream cart, ooops!

BED RAIL - Actually, we usually sleep with Ben at a mattress by the floor during nighttime.  The bed we have doesn't seem to be big enough for the three of us to sleep through the night anymore.  But this bed rail is helping for us during nap time and at nights when he wants to sleep at the big bed.

Hope these ideas help :) :) :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My PTC (Parent Teacher Conference) Adventures

I grew up fearful of parent-teacher conferences. When I was still studying, if your parents are called for PTC, it usually means the teachers have concerns on your behavior or grades. So my mindset was no-PTC = good and kept a low profile. I guess this is why I get nervous whenever it is time to have one at Ben's school. We have 3 PTCs over the course of the school year, one is for goal setting, one in the mid-year, and another by the end of the school year that lets us evaluate if he is ready to move up to the next level.

Anyway, I just had my first PTC for this school year. As usual, I was both anxious and curious about how Ben is doing inside the classroom and I am glad (and relieved, haha!) that the teachers are quite happy with him. His teachers said that having Ben is like having an extra adult in the classroom because he knows the routine and encourages the rest of his classmates to participate as well. He's now more open to cooperative play and is quite independent in doing his tasks. He is also the class entertainer. He enjoys singing and dancing in front of the mirror and his classmates. He even has a classmate that enjoys watching him so much that he would look for Ben whenever he's late so much so that the teachers are saying that the class doesn't really start until he arrives because he's the life the party. A performer like his papa? :)

He's also very open to the new materials the teachers would bring in front of him and to my surprise has a GOOD attention span. Wait, are we still talking about the same boy here? I couldn't even get him to sit still to finish a glass of milk at home!

There's room for improvement, of course. We still have to encourage him when it comes to arts and writing, and as much as he likes playing with others he still needs to be reminded to share once in a while. The good thing about PTCs on this level is that the parents and teachers can make sure they are on the same page when it comes to disciplining the kids and share tips on how to deal with their personaliies. Like with Ben, I found out that he likes it when his artworks are posted on the wall so I'm going to try to do it at home. Whew, so far we're doing ok, now only if I can get him out of the "bang-bang" (play gun) phase before the rest of his classmates catch on, hehe =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Breastfeeding Month :)

Happy Breastfeeding Month, fellow parents!

It's 2.5 years since I gave birth to Ben. I never thought I'd be an advocate. It took me 3 months to actually be comfortable and eventually enjoy breastfeeding, and another year to be given the opportunity to be properly trained to help other moms. I am glad that I still feel strongly about this advoacy even if Ben is about to become a preschooler. I am even more happy that I am somehow able to share my knowledge and experiences to moms who want to breastfeed. I must admit, I still feel shy whenever someone approaches me and says that they heard I counsel breastfeeding moms and have some questions of their own. After all, there are people who are more experienced and knowledgable than I am. However, it warms my heart to hear success stories of moms who never thought they would breastfeed for as long as they have and are now reaping the benefits. I think it's about having the right information as well as having someone (who has the same experiences) to be a listening ear and ally.

I must admit, sometimes it is hard to balance showing passion for the advocacy and giving moms just the right information that they need, and I do pray that I'll do a better job with each mom.

So speaking of helping out other moms, here are some things I'd like to share to my fellows moms and moms-to-be:

For moms who are able to donate breastmilk, victims of the recent typhoon need your help. Please drop off your milk at the Medela house (#29 1st St. New Manila QC) or directly to PGH.  Your gift will go a long way.  Please be reminded that as a general rule, donating formula milk isn't allowed.

For moms to be, please join LATCH at our upcoming workshops on Aug 18 at St. Lukes QC and on Sept 8 at The Medical City. Both workshops will be in the morning from 9am-12nn. I promise it will be time well spent :)