Monday, May 20, 2013

Daddy Bry's Birthday Giveaway!

Happy Birthday, Daddy Bry!

I'm proud and blessed that Bry is a hands-on dad. Now with three kids, he's juggling between going back to basics with the twins (diapers, burping, swaddling) and handling a spirited pre-school-er like Ben (reading/counting, discipline, and answering questions like "if girls don't have birdie, how do they wiwi?")

Bry cupfeeding Bridget at the NICU during the twins' early days
Most important of all, he understands that a happy mom makes a happy home. He'd let me get some rest in the evening by taking care of Ben so I have energy for the twins' night-time feedings. He's supportive with my goal to breastfeed and is willing to do his part to make things easier. Last but not least, he understands why we need to once in a while take a break from all the craziness at home, have dinner out and unwind. He makes me a better mom and I'm lucky to have him as my partner in taking care of the kids.

So for our simple give-away  I'd like to honour one of Bry's recent favourite snacks, GREEN TEA KITKAT! One lucky reader gets a small box of green tea KITKAT and because he loves trying out new things, we'll throw in small pieces of some other flavours as well. It's not much, but hopefully it can serve as a reminder that as parents, we do need a break once in while :)

yum! yum! yum!

To join, simply share the following info as a comment here or at this blog entry's facebook link:

Happy Birthday, Daddy Bry!
Full name
Email address
What do you do to reward yourself/ when you need a break from your parenting duties?

Good Luck!

(Entries will be accepted until May 31!203)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Do it!

(belated) Happy Mother's Day ... :)

I always wanted to be a mom.  When we had Ben, I realized what a challenge motherhood can be.  Still, Bry and I wanted to give Ben a sibling.  What we weren't expecting was that Ben will have not just 1 but 2 sisters :)

Family and friends have been asking me how  we manage handling 3 kids.  That has always been my concern ever since I found out I was pregnant.  Now I realize, no matter how much we prepare for parenthood, sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and just do it.  The same goes with breastfeeding the twins. I    take things a day at a time, thankful for each day that the kids are fed and healthy.  Breastfeeding is working for me because it makes me consciously think of the twins even when there's a tendency for their brother to monopolize my time and attention.  There are moments when I feel so overwhelmed I'd cry but somehow the Lord is able to give me that extra burst of energy when I need it the most. 

What also gives me strength is that I am lucky enough to be surrounded my supermoms who inspire me.  They are there when I need a boost and when I think of them, I'd tell myself, if they can do it, then I can, too.

I must admit, there are times when I wish the kids will grow up a bit faster so they can be independent, but I know once they do I'll miss this stage in their lives.  We love you, Ben, Bree and Bea.  May you love each other as much as your dad and I love you :)

Why I Vote

It's election time again and just like the last election 3 years ago, I was a breastfeeding mom. It's an effort to prepare to leave the house to vote, pumping and endorsing the kids to the yayas, not knowing exactly what time I'll be back, but I am glad I did it.

I vote because I want to set a good example for my kids, that one should make an effort to do one's civic duty and let his/her voice be heard. I want my kids to grow up caring about the issues around him / her even when it can be tempting to just be apathetic. I want them to feel blessed that we are in a country where our voices are heard. Yes, it may just be one vote, and chances are not all the people you vote for would win. What is important is you made your stand and commit to do what it takes to be part of something, in this case, choosing the leaders for our country.

Bry and I are still assigned in different precincts  but by the next election, we plan transfer to the same precint so that eventually all 5 of us (with the kids) will be able to vote together. Hopefully there will be more improvements in the election process by the time it's their turn

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ge Lai Survival Guide

Gelai is the chinese custom of a month long recovery period of a mom after giving birth.  The rules behind Gelai stem from the olden times in China when access to hot water is very limited.  Still, many Fil-Chi moms still practice it.  Here are some tips how to survive 30 days of being on house arrest and no shower (yikes!!!)

1.  Plan ahead - as you approach your due date, make a list of errands : groceries, haircuts,  your dental check-up, check-up of the older kids, etc.  Bry, Ben and I got haircuts a few days before I was scheduled to deliver.  We also made sure our pantry was full.

2. Watch TV Sitcoms - I love watching tv sitcoms because they're able to give me a short break from all the craziness that's happening.  They're great pumping buddies, too, since they're just 20 minutes short.  My favorites:  Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope, New Girl and The Big Bang Theory

3. Take lots of naps - I read somewhere that naps are God's gift to the impatient.  In a way it is true.  When you're tired of waiting, a nap helps you pass the time.  In case of a newborn mom, naps are important to get enough energy.  I usually have to take a short nap after lunch and after dinner so I can take care of the twins properly.  When I am left to take care of the twins all by myself, I do my best to put them to sleep until reinforces arrive.  Of course, ahia Ben needs his nap, too!

4. Watch what you eat and drink
Moms who go through gelai have a certain diet.  Generally speaking these dishes are nutritious but if you are nursing, you have to observe the effects that eating these dishes have on your milk.  Some babies are sensitive to chicken, wine, chocolate, and other herbs.  If there are signs of allergies on the baby, try to revise your diet and check if the symptoms persist.

5. Break a few rules
Strictly speaking, Gelai calls for a mom not only to postpone taking a shower for a month, but also to avoid drinking anything cold and to always wear long sleeve tops/long pants (among others).  The reason behind is to avoid getting sick during this recovery time since it is believed that whatever sickness you get during gelai, you'll get it for the long term.  I do my best to follow all the rules but given that I gave birth in the summer, I would occassionally wear short pants with sleeveless shirt and have a drink of lukewarm water.  Also in our case, I'm not suppose to leave the house or take the stairs but didn't have any choice since I had to go back and forth to the hospital.

6. Have someone do errands for you 
No matter how much you prepare, chances are you'll need help with some of the chores especially in your first month.  Have someone do the groceries, cook food, go to the bank, etc. 

7. Make a list of the things you plan on doing once you are a gelai graduate
- It helps to know the finish line is around the corner, and planning what you'll do once you can officially go out and about may motivate you to finish the month.  Mine was being able to watch a movie with Bry and going to mass.  

8. Have a newborn shoot at home - your little one will only be little once.  Why not have the experts document this precious phase? Try Stanley Ong Photography !($

Whether you believe in Gelai or not, hope you'll find some of these tips useful in surviving being a mom to a newborn.  In my experience, doing it the second time around doesn't make it easier, but knowing what to expect makes you wise enough to think of ways to make it more fun / bearable.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Small Victories

Last week was a week of small victories. Nothing fancy, but sometimes having the little things go your way can cheer you up big time.

I've been thinking of buying swimming fins for Ben but didn't know where to look for one that's his size. Luckily, his coach and fellow parents from his swimming classes told us about Aquamundo, a shop for swimming and diving wear in Makati. I was able to buy it in time for Ben's next swimming lesson. I was also able to buy him a new pair of goggles to replace the one he broke, yehey

I was also determined to watch two movies during the week. I wanted to watch Sarah Geronimo and John Lyodd's It Takes a Man and a Woman and of course the much awaited Ironman 3. I've been looking forward to watching these movies for months. It may not seem like a big deal but planning to watch a movie when you have newborns at home isn't easy. We almost didn't make it to the time slots we planned on watching because of traffic. For both movies, we had to ask the ticket attendant to let us in even if we were late. During the Ironman show, we even had the usher of the theater go to the ticket seller to tell her that there were still available seats in front. We were lucky we were able to make it. (PS. We were lucky with the other movie, too! It takes a Man and a Woman has been in theaters for a month by the time we watch it, some movies don't last that long)

It may not seem much but sometimes having the little things go your way can re-energize you big time. What's your latest "small victory"?

(Movie poster photos courtesy of wikipedia :))

LAB Wears Mommy's Day Promo

Great news mommies!!! The wonderful ladies behind Latch A Babe Nursing and Maternity Wear are having a promo :) see the photo below for details. Hurry and share your photos and get a chance to win discounts :) I'm also sharing a photo of me and the girls, courtesy of Stan Ong (who else!) As you can see, their Cher dress in mocha is one of my favorites. It's very flattering to a mom's post partum figure and I get compliments like "You don't look like you just gave birth to twins" ... well, it's the magic of the dress and actual breastfeeding, of course!

Looking forward to seeing your lovely photos in the LAB Facebook page, Good Luck, mommies!

Friday, May 3, 2013

NICU Diaries: Breastfeeding talk at the Hospital Nursery

Ahia Ben visits his shobes

I spent almost 2 weeks at our hospital's nursery feeding the twins. During that time, I heard a lot of things about breastfeeding / feeding newborns. Just wanted to share my thoughts about them

1. Breastfeeding is best for baby - this one is something I agree with. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both mom and baby that can't be found elsewhere.

 2. Know how to hand express - I honestly think all moms who are interested in breastfeeding should be taught how to hand express milk before leaving the hospital. I learned how to do it during Ben's second month. In the case of the twins, it became a lifesaver during their early days. I think I was able to express more milk by hand than the pump when I was just starting. Anyway, the skill costs nothing and comes in quite handy during emergencies (and not noisy, too, hehe)

 3. Avoid using the pump as it will damage your breast - Direct feeding may be the prefered way to feed your baby but a pump can be your best friend if you use it properly. Try not to go over 20 minutes when pumping and massage to help unclog your milk ducts

 4. "I just came here an hour ago for a feeding, gutom na naman?" - Isn't this the story of every mom during the first few weeks of breaatfeeding? With the twins, I lose count how many times I feed them especially at night. When it comes to newborns, you watch the baby and not the clock. Easier said than done though, but hopefully frequent feedings will lead to more supply

 5. "Doc, can you please prescribe me formula milk just in case?" I've encountered moms who were sent home with recommendations from their pediatrician as to which brand of formula milk to use just in case they want to stop breastfeeding or start mixfeeding. I hope these doctors were able to explain to the moms the benefits of breastfeeding before talking about what kind of formula milk to give. I am not anti-formula, but I am for encouraging moms to breastfeed for as long as they can, and letting them of the benefits so they can make an informed choice.

 6. "She is a lactation consultant" - Strictly speaking, a lactation consulatant is one that is internationally certified. We only have a handful of them in the country. Then there are lactation counselors like us in L.A.T.C.H , who voluntarily provide support to moms. Then there are lactation therapists/masseuse. All of them can be helpful in your breastfeeding journey if you match your requirements with their skills.

 Hope this info is helpful especially for new mommies. Good luck :)