Friday, December 31, 2010

I'll never forget 2010!

Because of this little Jelly Bean!
Pregnancy was a roller coaster ride. There was a lot of changes and I can't say they were all good but if I had to do it all over again, I would... but with more grace and joy.
One of the funny things that came out of the pregnancy was I was touted by Style Bible as stylish. Me? Stylish? I had to get knocked up to become stylish! Imagine that!
This was the year I also discovered that there's SO MUCH LOVE in the world! Many people--some from complete strangers!--sent their love and well wishes and a good many presents to make my pregnancy more comfy (like this yummy carrot cake!) and to welcome the Jelly Bean. In fact, we got so many presents that the only things we bought for our son was the crib and milk bottles! Incredible! Thank you!

This was definitely my year of discovering friendships. I had always been the sort of person who kept people at arm's length. And yet... Turns out that there are some things you just can't escape from. And am I glad that there were a lot of people who chose to love me, like this group of lovelies who threw me a surprise baby shower!
Here are my dear old friends from Assumption, just as pregnant Pinky Jacob Ileto and wise mommy Kristine Claudio Baradi. This year I again realized that friendship doesn't need to be high maintenance and that some things can really bond women together. And motherhood is the most powerful bonding glue!
And here's the Jelly Bean! We named him Vito Simon. Vito means "life" and Simon means "he who listens." Because he was an unexpected life who changed our lives. And because we want him to listen to others--listening is an act of selflessness and wisdom! Great names, if I may say so! 
And here are the two men I love most in the entire universe. Without Vince, I'd never have discovered who I really am. Without Vito, I'd never have discovered how it means to completely give myself. This was definitely the year of discovery!
Me and Vito when he was just 2 months old. He is a darling critter. We adore him. We always thought we had a good life but when the little one came along, now we really know that our life is beyond blessed. So this was the year of realizing and appreciating life. We are truly grateful!
So 2010 was the year of love, friendship, family and deep joy. I'd like to thank all of you--and you know who you are!--for the gifts of love, time and friendship you've shown to me and my little family. You can't truly imagine the happiness you've brought to us. Thank you, my dearest friends. The journey to motherhood was unexpected and not without its bumps but because of you, this adventure is all the more exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to 2011 knowing I have friends like you. God bless you! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vito's first Christmas!

So sorry I haven't been updating. This particular holiday season was super stressful! I almost was a Scrooge and if I could just tell you all the reasons why I didn't feel like celebrating this Christmas, I'm sure you'd forgive me if I said, "Bah! Humbug!" Let's just say Vito saved me from becoming one. Thank God for you, Vito!

Let me share with you Vito's first Christmas with his Sales family. Sales gatherings are overflowing with noise, hyperactivity, food and fun. Photos here are from my sister-in-law Lizelle's camera. I haven't downloaded ours yet! Anyway, Vito was a bit overwhelmed at all the commotion but I can't wait for him to start enjoying Christmas--the gifts, the talent shows, the love!
Rabbit Family photo!
That's Vince's niece Elizabeth and Auntie Gay getting gigil with Vito.
Vito likes being surrounded by girls.
Vince's sister, Anj
Vince's dad, Lolo Mon
Vince's mom, Lola Digna
And the whole Sales family!

How was your Christmas? I hope it was merry and blessed!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Out to meet the girls

Hi, my name is Vito Simon Amper Sales. And I am cute! Pardon my bathing photo. I don't wish to scandalize you, but today, I have a date with two of my mama's girlfriends, Auntie Nic and Auntie Nikki. They're two of my biggest fans and they're very very stylish. So I have to look great!

First, I took a bath. I like using Kiehl's Gentle Foaming Baby Wash. Either that or Lactacyd Milk Wash. They make my skin soft and me extra cuddly.

Then, I put on my Tushy Wushy cloth diaper. You're never too young to save the planet! I wore my orange one to match my...

New Mothercare Little Monster onesie! It's a gift from another gorgeous friend of mama, Auntie Paola. Don't I look tough?

I know, I know. The monster bit might scare people off... but look! It's multi-colored stripes at the back! I think the stripes make me look friendly enough.

Oh, I'm so excited for my date! See you later, Auntie Nic and Auntie Nikki!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vito's tushy loves Tushy Wushy

Here's the baby boy in his Tushy Wushy cloth diaper:
Yo, mama!
We love it! Since it's made out of cloth, it's gentle on his skin, cool and makes his skin breathe, is environment-friendly, and saves us money. It lasts for up to 4 hours. Not bad! We use it during the day. At night, however, we use Huggies Dry Comfort so Vito can sleep all night.

I wanted the red ones.
It comes in many colors but we got Vito black, orange, blue and army green.

They're as soft as pillows!
He loves his Tushy Wushies! If you're looking to help lessen your kid's carbon footprint and make him look stylish at the same time, try Tushy Wushy!

My Tushy Wushy doesn't have silly patterns
that show through my onesie.
I like that it doesn't have all those silly patterns on the disposables. Those just ruin his outfits, ya know?

Nope, this isn't a sponsored review! We just really love Tushy Wushy. Click here to buy your baby a set.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Vito's yaya, Ate Marita, is what some people would call a manghihilot. Once I had one of my infamous migraines, the kind that lasts for three days. Within minutes, Ate Marita massaged my stomach hard (and I yelped, "My tummy doesn't hurt!) then she applied pressure on my temples, then she practically pulled out my hair and then... my migraine disappeared. Weird! But effective.

So when I come home from work and see that she's applied some of her strange practices on Vito, I kinda let it slide.
Exhibit A: Vito is sucking on a boiled octopus tentacle. He really liked it, by the way. I was just nervous because his parents (that's me and Vince) both have asthma and allergic rhinitis so I was scared Vito might be allergic to the octopus. What it does: This supposedly protects the child from pilay should he fall or have an accident, which is often the case with active kids. This also makes good luck make kapit well.

Exhibit B: Vito has a dried kalabasa something pinned to him. That something is that round thing on the vegetable that the stalk is connected to. This supposedly will protect him from fever and pain when his teeth come out.

Exhibit C: Vito has a loose thread from his diaper stuck to his forehead. This supposedly gets rid of hiccups. In our experience, the hiccups went away when they wanted to go away, as hiccups are wont to do!

I think there's no harm but some people, especially my Born-Again friends, have said this is witchcraft. I got frightened by that and so have told Ate Marita to cease and desist. She was really hurt when I said that because she will never do anything to hurt Vito. And I believe her! But some superstitions and superstitious practices may stem from wiccan tradition so, to be safe, I have stopped this.

But I'm not with Vito 24/7 (more like 20/7) so, because I can't be around all the time, I just cover my son in prayer. How about you? What superstitious things do you practice on your child?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

So many colors!

Vito is mesmerized.

There's a lot of photos from this particular scene, all of Vito's expressions and reactions captured. It's so entertaining. But I'm lazy to resize them all!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don't blink!

My friend Daphne told me, "Don't blink." She told me that repeatedly.

Well, Daphne, I looked away for one second and the next thing I knew, Vito was walking.

Well, at just three months old, it's more of he's trying to walk. Vince and I are proud, of course. But we also despaired. Vito's growing up fast.

I'm keeping my eyes peeled from now on.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The breasts issue

My former officemate Sorsi emailed me recently. She said Vito "is sooooooo cute" and asked how was the labor and delivery. She also asked, "Are your boobies bigger?"

Now first, a little history. I have the flattest chest in the world. Well, I used to have the flattest chest in the world. I even wrote about it for Candy magazine. But it sure does help that I have other things going for me--like I'm smart and I have nice legs! To my relief, Vince happens to be a leg man. Even when it comes to chicken, he ignores the breasts and devours the leg and thigh parts!  

Then pregnancy happened and I filled out. Everywhere. But I knew, to my consternation, that it was my breasts people looked at. Insert exasperated sigh here.

So anyway, back to Sorsi's email. This was my reply:
Labor was okay. It hurt like hell but kaya. Di man lang ako sumigaw o nagmura. Parang super grabe over na LBM. Then I pushed the baby out in 5 mega pushes. Tapos na! So anti-climactic. 
My friends na di pa naganganak asked, "Did you shout or scream?" And I was like, "Well, if you're on the toilet having a mega-dump, do you scream and shout? I just basically closed my eyes and pushed!"
And yes, the boobs are bigger. Like double. So weird looking! Kasi they're full of milk so they look distended and hard. In Vince's words, "They look fake." The irony, Sorsi, the irony! For the first time in my life, I finally have boobs and they look fake!
My breasts aren't huge, though. Just okay-sized. Except that they look fake!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Giving birth at St. Luke's Global - Q&A

I've gotten many questions, requests, even demands (you pregnant women talaga!) inquiring about my experience at St. Luke's Bonifacio Global City. Since I was very very happy with my stay there, I'll finally answer all of your questions in this post.

The main lobby
Is it expensive there?
Yes. I wish I can say it isn't but, compared to other hospitals, St. Luke's Global is pricier. BUT!!! With all the things you get--spacious room, wonderful facilities, expert care, professional service, and the fantastic gourmet meals--it's oh so worth it. You can even say the cost is reasonable.

But look here--a normal delivery at Medical City is about P90,000. Makati Medical and Asian Hospital charge slightly higher. At St. Luke's Global, we paid about P130,000. That's a big difference, but to me, it's not since my stay at St. Luke's Global was waaaaaaay better than any hospital I've ever been in (and being a sickly girl, I've been in a lot). The food alone... grabe. So worth it. Ang sarap!

Of course, you can tweak the cost by choosing the cheapest room and asking discounts from your doctors. If your delivery was uncomplicated (like mine), you can choose to stay just a few days. We went home on the third day so that definitely kept costs down. However, my OBG is the chair of the department--so her fee is high. But she gave me a huge discount!

A 4-months-preggy me at Dr. Singson's clinic
Who's your OB? What's her contact info?
My obstetrician-gynecologist is Dr. Rebecca Singson. As I mentioned, she's the head of the OBG Department. She's been my OBG for almost 12 years so even though I was scared of her professional fee, I still remained with her.

She is fantabulous! I have endometriosis, you see, and she's the big reason why my endometriosis--a painful disease of the uterine lining that can cause infertility--has not troubled me in the last decade. I also credit Dr. Singson for my son since her treatment is obviously effective!

If you'd like an appointment with Dr. Singson, call her secretary Tinay at 789-7700 local 7305 or (0918)926-6614.

We got a private tour assisted by customer service
You got a tour of the facilities. How can I get a tour, too?
Just approach the information desk or customer service  and ask for a tour. They'll gladly arrange one for you.

Vince loved the wait as long as it's on this chair!
What's the maternity section like?
State-of-the-art! There's a large waiting room for dads and partners and parents and other kids. There are several couches, a big flat screen and magazines and newspapers.

For you mommies, you also have a special waiting area but maybe you shouldn't wait there because it's frakkin expensive!!! All preggy moms stay at the High-Risk Pregnancy Unit, an area of posh cubicles with a soft bed, leatherette pillows, fetal monitor, big flat screen TVs and a La-Z-Boy. Very nice. Very pricey.

If you can wait at home, do so. Just go to the hospital when your contractions are 10 to 5 minutes apart. Because that means you're ready to go so you're whisked off to another room, a bare one. This is where they check your dilation. And when they see that you're popping, they wheel you briskly down a loooooong hallway to the delivery room.

Wow. The delivery rooms at St. Luke's are like something straight out of a spaceship. Antiseptic, bright, cold. I actually asked the huge male nurse to hug me because it was so cold! Or maybe that's just the anesthesia. After your baby pops out, there's a nice little corner for the newborn. That's where they check him, ya know, if everything's normal. It looked warm in his area, I tell ya.

Anyway, if you're worried about your baby getting switched, don't. From the delivery room to the recovery room (where they serve coffee and water) to my room, Vito and I were together. He was never out of my sight!

Can my hubby be in the delivery room while I give birth?
Hmm. In my experience, yes. But another mommy I know (hi Paola!) said they didn't allow her hubby to be with her. At first, we also thought Vince won't be with me. So we said, "Bye bye, see you later, love you!" Then, in the delivery room, as I was waiting for the OB to arrive, someone asked me, "Do you want your husband here?" Of course I said yes! A few minutes later, a bewildered Vince in scrubs was beside me. And, whether he wanted to or not, he saw all the blood and gore!

Vito and me in our room
Is it true they have a rooming-in policy?
Yep! There's no nursery at St. Luke's Global. All babies, except those that need intensive care, are placed in the same room as mommy. I loved this! I got to stare at and cuddle Vito all I want! And I didn't have to go anywhere to feed him so whenever he woke up, I took care of him.

Of course, the downside of that is you get no rest at all. And when visitors come, they go straight to your room to see the baby, which means you'll get no rest at all again!

It's like a hotel! The service, I rate as 5-stars!
What's the post-partum care like?
The best! I got my own nurse! She taught me how to carry the baby, to swaddle him, to massage my breast so milk will come out, to bathe the baby, etc. I especially appreciated her at night, when it was around 2 or 3 am, and I'm up. She sat up with me and chatted so I didn't feel so alone (Vince was fast asleep on the comfy wide bench beside the bed). I was very babied, I almost cried when I finally went home.

For more posts on St. Luke's Global, click on the following:
I want to give birth here!
Part 1: A tour of St. Luke's maternity unit
Part 2: A tour of St. Luke's
Vito's birthday

Anton Diaz also wrote about his experience there, plus the restaurants you can dine in (click here!). Yummy places to eat at. Vince and I love the oysters at Via Mare!

And no, this is not a paid/sponsored post! I really liked it there!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vito and me

I love that little boy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happiness is spelled like so: V-I-T-O!

At almost 10 weeks, my Vito's interacting. And not just because he's hungry-wet-sleepy. He's curious now, he looks around, listens, coos, mimics, smiles, laughs. His favorite source of amusement? His Papa!

Occasionally, he likes me, too!

To be honest, because of certain events, these past few days have felt like a nightmare. But when we see Vito, happiness just overflows. Yes, despite the disasters, life is good. Vince even dared to say, "Our life is perfect."

Vito, thank you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vito's first Christmas is just around the corner! Let the preps begin!

You know how some people book photo shoots for their Christmas cards? I used to giggle at them. Well, guess who just joined that silly crowd? Me!

This photo was taken by my sister, Jacqui, and it's now my Facebook profile pic. It's cute enough, I think, for holiday cards but Vince isn't with us so no, can't use this. And the picture's too dark. And our outfits just won't do! Besides, by December, Vito's face is going to be much different. I guess I should just book a photo shoot in November.

Meanwhile, we're taking dozens upon dozens of shots of our little boy. This is him last Tuesday. Now, doesn't that smile just brighten your day?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is your Monday blue?

Mine is. Vito in blue is just too cute! Happy Monday, mommies! Enjoy the new week!