Friday, 16 December 2016

Millennial Mom's Picture-Perfect Guide to Feeding a Newborn

Millennial Mom's Picture-Perfect Guide to Feeding a Newborn

Our family has just come home from a weekend of an intimate celebration of Charley's birthday. Yes, that meant a weekend full of chasing, throwing a fit, trying to go through a full 5-course meal in peace (and failing), and not destroying anything in the hotel lobby. 

It's warm to think how small (and manageable) Charley was two years ago. As a first time Mommy, I really prepared for all the possible scenarios motherhood might give me. I read all self-help books and parenting print and non-print journals there were. My roommate (my husband, btw) and I met with our doctors before we tried to conceive and were in constant communication with them all through out the pregnancy. 

Picture perfect. That's how we want our child-rearing to be. 

Of course, it was far from that. 

As a modern-Mommy in the 21st Century in a strong Asian culture, I received all sorts of advices (all of which, appreciated) almost from everyone I know. Yes, everyone had a say on how I rear my child - especially on how Charley was fed. 

Despite the assurance of my doctor that my milk would eventually flow after a couple of days, my parents, in-laws, and random strangers' frustration why Baby Charley was not breastfed was upsetting...if not infuriating. 

There was a sudden panic-attack of, "What if I don't have milk? Will my baby be deprived of its benefits? to "Am I good Mommy?!" This is heart-breaking especially since everyone seemed to have a success story of breastfeeding their little ones the moment they were born. 

Relax people! I will tag you all when my milk finally comes. 

Picture-perfect despite Mommy's lack of milk in the first week
Like every first time millennial Mom, I google for "how to improve lactation" and "what is wrong with my mammary glands?" before I even left the hospital.  Not only did I try the Lactation cookies from Mommy Treats and other treats from, but I also took Mother's Milk from Healthy Options. 

I loved Lactation Plus because it is convenient and healthy at the same time. Plus, since it has natural ingredients, I was sure not to gain extra more pounds. Friends who have used it reported to have healthy glowing skin, too! 
Unique organic lactation pills with all-natural ingredients like Fernugreek

Of course, when my milk finally came, there was no sudden gush of the precious milk right away. It started with a few drops of yellowish liquid colostrum - said to be the healthiest part of a breast milk - before white milk would come in a few more (sigh) days after. So, white milk or none, we still breastfed baby Charley every day. 

Finally, we're bonding! It was adorable just having Baby Charley comfortably sleeping on me with the eyes and smile of contentment. I also love it that my roommate was on all-out support of taking care of me and the baby throughout the process. 

However, a hungry baby figuring out how to latch and suck without drowning or starving herself and hurting me in the process could be tiring, too. When I'm exhausted from lack of sleep, it's not easy to be patient all the time especially since baby Charley seemed to be hungry every hour. Not to mention my mom and in-laws were constantly asking, "Are you sure she's getting enough milk from you?"  

It took Charley and me some time before we both figured out breastfeeding without disowning each other. There were times that we got impatient with each other and literally hurt each other in the process. 

Hello, chapped nursing nipples! Sometimes, it was tempting to wish to have a Pause button so Charley would not ask for milk while I nurse my sore breasts. Fortunately there are products like the Organic Nipple Balm to relieve irritation and revitalize sensitive nursing nipples. 

It was not picture-perfect, but it was a journey we both shared, and we're thankful for. 

Toothless Smiles~ 
I know nothing could ever replace the benefits of breastmilk to babies and mommies, but days before I went back to work, we slowly prepare Charley to transition from exclusive breastfeeding to Formula Milk. I admire colleagues who have the energy (and the supply) to pump milk during their breaks and store them in the freezer, but my roommate and I figured that what would be best in our situation was to mix-feed Charley.  

Besides consulting with Charley's pediatrician, we also researched for formula milk that provide the nutrients my growing baby needed at that time. Our first option was Nan HW, which had the closest taste and nutrients to breastmilk. Of, if only we knew Organic Premium Formula then, it would definitely be an option, too, because it is modeled after breast milk and is a carefully blend of iron, Vitamin D3, calcium, and folic acid. 

Pure, organic, with high-quality ingredients
The struggle to feed my newborn was soooo two years ago, but sadly, sometimes I still receive critical looks from Mommies  whenever I feed my daughter. 

Isn't she old enough to drink milk from the bottle? 

Why is using formula milk? 

It is as if, no matter what I do, I receive the same label - Millennial Mom, she couldn't have known better. This is sad and annoying at the same time. I have very high respect for Mommies. I respect them more than anyone else in the society. I know the struggle to simply make sure the child (and the husband) gets fed and does not get hurt...much. 

Instead of putting each other down just because how one chooses to feed her baby is different from ours, we could build support groups and cheer for each other. 

Instead of giving each other stern looks and labels, we salute and call each other who we really are...


who only want the best for our children. 

Monday, 31 October 2016

Mommy Hack: Having a KidSafe Halloween

Having a KidSafe Halloween

For most Filipinos, Halloween (All Souls Day & All Saints Day) means mini family reunions…in the cemetery. Growing up, I also looked forward to such events because that means I could play with my cousins all day and all night long – scaring each other with silly ghost stories, creating giant balls made from candles’ wax, and playing different games.

Now that I am a Mommy myself, I can’t wait to let Charley experience the same thing, too. But ooops! Charley is still a toddler, and I’m pretty sure I was a lot older than her when my Mom brought me to the cemetery to visit our departed loved ones.

Top: Big &;Small Co., Leggings: Guess Kids; Shoes: Minnie Mouse; Hat
This year, my roommate (my husband, btw) and I decided not to bring Charley with her cousins to the cemetery. We both felt she could be a little too young to truly understand what was going on. Now, before anyone calls me kill joy for our decision, we decided to just pay our respect before everyone in the province does. That way, the whole family (Charley, husband, me) could pray in silence without having to go paranoid if Charley was kidnapped already. Or if she has terrorised someone else’s tombstone.

Here are some hacks I wanna share to ensure your kid's safety and your sanity this Halloween if ever bringing the baby out is inevitable. 

  • Provide an identification for your child. This is especially true for kids whose jobs are to give their Moms and Dads a panic attack. We’ve all heard of kids getting lost in public places, and sometimes it’s just frustrating (and scary) if the child is too young or too scared to remember who he/she is. To avoid such, have your child wear an ID with your contact numbers, or make one yourself. Write your child’s name (could be a nickname, too), your and your hubby’s names and contact numbers, too. I’m not very comfortable with putting our full names and address, but such info could be at your own discretion already.
You can also make matching ID’s that you can show the Help Desk. I truly understand if the Help Desk refuses to give my child right away when I pick her up without proper identification. That way I know they’re really looking after my child’s safety.

This one's available in

You can order this from 
There are so many kids identification products online, and I'm not sure if they are already available in the PHilippines. Well, we can always make our own and laminate them, right Mommies? 

  • Always have someone with your child. If you cant be with your child 100% all the time, designate your husband or a househelp, or a responsible elder cousin to be with the baby all the time. Elder cousins usually enjoy having such responsibilities because it means they are trustworthy. Grab that opportunity and don't forget to praise them afterwards or offer longer screen time if that works for you. 

  • Dress your child comfortably, but easy enough to be seen. Forget those silly costumes; everyone else is wearing one anyway. What you need your kid to wear is something that will easily catch your eyes if you ever lose sight of him or her.  
Comfort is of course paramount. Charley loves wearing her favourite tees from Big and Small Co., Cotton on Kids, Zippy, or Barbie®. 

Comfy wear from SM Kids 
  • Prepare for all kinds of weather. It has been quite erratic lately; you'll never know if it's gonna rain or be extremely hot all day. That's why we always bring our trusted umbrella from Fibrella wherever we go. With its easy to open and close system, I can chase Charley while having it ready. 
Fibrella baby
(Top) Zippy; (shorts) Gingersnaps; (Shoes) Tough Kids 
Rain coat from Zara Kids 
  • No matter what time of the day it is, have him/her wear a mosquito patch. When Charley got sick for almost a week mid October, I feared it could be Dengue. I don't wanna take chances especially if it's Charley's health; that's why she always wears her MoskiShield Anti-Mosquito Patch we buy from SM. It has cute designs, so Charley doesn't mind wearing it...not that she has a choice. I think this is also available in National Bookstore, Hypermarket, and Mercury Drug Store. 
24 Patches for Php200
My roommate, on the other hand, prefers using Kiel's on her. You can buy this from our favourite online store, Mommy's Little Boss. Read all about this amazing Mommy shop here

  • Always bring an extra pair of clothes for change. Charley is a dirt-magnet. I think she has reached that age when everything is a playtoy and she simply attracts dirt wherever she goes.  That is why we always make sure to bring her an extra pair of clothes cos people usually schedule family pictures when my daughter already looks sabog. 
Cotton on Kids (top) H&M (jeans) and Florsheim (doll shoes) 

Owl Tees from SM Kids 

Have a safe Halloween, Mommies and Babies! 

Bath Time Fun with Baby Care Plus

Bath Time Fun with Baby Care Plus 

If there's one thing Charley and I have in common is our love for water. We enjoy going to the beach almost every week if our schedules (yes, Charley has her own schedules, too!) allow us. So, if we're stuck in the city for the week, Charley takes her time to enjoy her bath.
Long weekends mean beach time!
During Charley's first trip to the beach - she was barely a month old!

@ Rockwell Club, Makati 

Charley is one of those babies who are obsessed with bath. She simply adores her bath time. The bubbles...the play time...the clean squeaky feeling it gives her afterwards. I, on the other hand, love how Charley smells the baby-feeling Charley has after every bath time.

Look who's excited to try the pool? Charley at 8 months 

This is why it saddens me when her favourite bath time turns to cry-time. As a new mommy, I'm still trying out different brands for Charley's bath. Sadly, I have made a few mistakes, too.

There are some popular brands that smell really good but hurts Charley's eyes. When this happens, she's getting very anxious for bath and refuses to use the shampoo and baby bath.

Sometimes, we gave her Baby Bath and Shampoo that claim to be gentle on her skin, but Charley ends up with several rashes after a week use. Her soft delicate skin turns rough with patches of wound that Charley scratches often.

Of course, there are really excellent brands that are gentle on her eyes and skin, but is terribly expensive. No matter how often we wish to use them on her, we simply can't afford them.

Thankfully, someone introduces Tupperware's Baby Care Plus products to me. The set includes Baby Care Plus (Bath, Shampoo, Lotion, Powder)

 Kids Plus (Bath, Shampoo, Lotion, Powder, Cologne) 

Mom Plus (Soothing Balm, Anti-Stretch Mark Cream, and Bath Soap). It was an ultimate package for Mommy and Baby!

I simply love the whole set! However, there are still so much more to love about Baby Care Plus. 

  • Dermatologically-Tested. Charley's sensitive skin is paramount to us; that's why we love that Baby Care Plus  products are hypoallergenic and will never irritate baby's sensitive skin. Also, it moisturises leaving baby's skin silky-smooth.  
  • Fresh powdery-scent and fruity scent. Baby Care Plus leaves babies smelling fresh like a powder while Kids Plus gives the fruity scent, so there'll surely be more gigil moments after bath! 
  • Affordable. Freshness and moisture need not to be expensive. Baby Care Plus and Kids Plus are way more affordable and convenient than the leading bath sets. 
Charley and I love bath time. Thanks to Tupperware Baby Care Plus and Kids Plus, we're enjoying bath time even more! 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Mommy Hacks: Why VitaCubes is Too Good for Kids (and Mommy's Sanity)

Mommy Hacks: Why VitaCubes is Too Good for Kids (and Mommy's Sanity)

Early this October, Charley and I both got sick at the same time; she with a viral infection and I with a bacterial one. So, for almost a week, we made Makati Med our family tambayan. It was a terribly exhausting week (physically, emotionally, and financially) for everyone, and we just couldn't wait for the time to realy bond as a family...without the tusok-tusok in Makati Med of course.

Coincidentally, Mommy Bloggers Philippines, invited Charley and me to attend an event hosted by VitaCubes - VitaCubes 2 Good Fun Day - at one of our favourite places, Active Fun in BGC. Why, it's where the 9th Avenue School and Urban Ashram are.

Look who's excited for the VitaCubes 2 Good Fun Day?
The event was loaded with Mommies, Daddies (yes, Daddies!), kids of all ages, and fun games and surprises from our generous sponsor, VitaCubes! 

A Take Your Own Photobooth welcomed the guests and surprisingly, Charley enjoyed having her picture taken. That was a good sign that she's really feeling better already.

Modelling my favouring Fruit-flavored Jelly Candy 

Also, there were red, green, yellow, orange, and violet balloons everywhere - representing each yummy flavour of VitaCubes - strawberry, green apple, mango, orange, and grape in cube-shaped jellies.

Mommies and Kids having fun! 
A food table set-up just for the kids 
 Soon, games have unfolded for the kids...and ehem! kids at heart. There were Twister, Battle of the Brains, Bring Me, and lots of Parlor Games for the kiddos! Of course, each kid got to bring home VitaCubes goodies while the winners were generously showered with so much more.

Baby Charley was too young to join any of the games, so she was just happy popping the balloons, and yes, having more of her pictures taken.

While the kids enjoyed decorating their cakes, Mommies got to listen to a small talk from another Mommy-blogger. Here, we learnt why VitaCubes is way too good for our children.

Kids love having them without getting over-dosed. Plus, it's not another candy disguised as a vitamin supplement because VitaCubes is really loaded with essential nutrients our kids need!

It has lysine for proper growth, zinc to boost their immunity, Vit. A for the eyes, Vit. B for memory enhancement, Vit. C for healthy body and gums, and Vit. E to help fight germs and infections.

I'm sure Mommies won't have a hard time giving these to their kids because VitaCubes look and taste really good!

It's also exciting to know that Mommies can use VitaCubes to spend more quality time with their kids. Charley and I love naming the five (5) different colours of VitaCubes. Sometimes, we use these to learn counting, too. The possibility is endless - all we need is Mommies' creativity.

Sick baby no more! 
Guess who enjoyed the free cake from the VitaCubes 2 Good Fun Day? 
After the event, all Mommies took home a bag of goodies from VitaCubes. 

On the other hand, kids enjoyed an hour of playtime at Active Fun. Charley enjoyed the 5 and below section although I was secretly dreaming of going down the huge slides!

VitaCubes 2 Good Fun Day was indeed an exceptional day for Charley and me. Surely, we both went home happy. We can't wait to spend more time together...maybe to the groceries to buy more VitaCubes! 

Monday, 15 August 2016

10 Years with Mary

10 Years with Mary

Today, August 15, the Catholic community celebrates Mary’s assumption to heaven, and my 10th school year in Assumption San Lo. That means I have celebrated 10 special masses with my Assumptionista girls, have eaten 10 slices of Assumption tarts, not including the ones I snuck from my unsuspecting colleagues, have tried to escape 10 dress codes of pants and white shirt (I really dread wearing pants), and have sung 10 Assumpta est Maria in full blast, hence the reason why it always rains during the celebration.

10 years.
10 years of being challenged to live a life like Mary.

How do you exactly be like Mary?

She who was chosen to be without sin.

The poster-girl of perfection.

The mother of God.

I am a mother – just like Mary. Although my journey in motherhood is nothing compared to hers, but a mother nonetheless, and there I found a strong connection.

White, gold, and blue - Assumpta est Maria! 
I am proud of my 10 years in Assumption, and I am grateful that I have been a witness of Mary’s untiring love far longer than I can count or sadly, recognized.

It is through the mysteries of the Holy Rosary that my family draws strength from whenever our faith seems to waver because of daily grinds of life – when Charley got sick but we didn’t have enough money to send her to the ER, when Charley has to skip a booster schedule (again), when the company we’ve prayed for didn’t call back, when my brothers and I were shaken by a problem in the family, when ‘Ayat and I wish we have more.

It is through each bead of our rosary that we express our gratitude for all the answered prayers (even those that were answered not the way we wanted to) and the hope for all the blessings to come –our paediatrician allowed us to consult her through Viber, thankfully Charley never got sick despite the erratic weather, my father-in-law shouldered the costly training expense, my brothers and I find strength in each other, and ‘Ayat and I realise we have just enough and that’s okay.  

It was Mary who received all my heartbreaks and sorrows when my husband and I lost our first baby last 2013. We knew that amongst all mothers, it was she who would understand me more even though that the grief I felt that time was nothing compared to how she felt when she lost hers.

It is through Mary, with the intercession of Saints Marie Eugenie and Thomas Aquinas that we prayed for a healthy baby girl when the time was right. Yes, a baby girl who would be our Assumptionista then later a Tomasino in the future, and a baby girl we have been blessed a year after we lost ours.

Our own "Maria" 
Finally, it is with Mary that I celebrate each milestone no matter how simple, each oops, oh no, and yikes, each finally, yes, and hooray, each yet, soon, and maybe next time I’ve had and will have with Charley.

Mama Mary has been there in every sorrow and joy my family and I have had, who has been our light so that we will see every experience as a glorious moment with God.   

Mary’s assumption to heaven reminds us that if we live less for ourselves and more for others, if we live a life for Jesus and in Jesus, we too shall share His glory in heaven.  

This year is my 10th school year in Assumption San Lo; this year I continue to celebrate God’s glory every day. 

Assumpta est Maria!