Monday, January 31, 2011

Good old Sesame Street tunes

I watched Baby Beethoven yesterday and I'm not very impressed. Looks to me like Chuck's Intersect program on slow mo--just disconnected images with no rhyme or reason! Then again, a lot of parents swear by the Baby Einstein DVDs so I won't say the videos are useless.

I'd go with Sesame Street, though. I'm the proof that that educational show works. Me and the Third World Nerd! I really truly believe Sesame Street's songs, skits and educational tools help a child understand the world around him, to make connections and to be smarter. So I looked up some of my favorite Sesame Street tunes and got all nostalgic!

The Lonely n Song

The Alligator King

The Ladybug Picnic

Manila Mommy said that there's a new version! What do you think of the new one?

Ohhh, I want my Vito to watch Sesame Street! Vince, can we buy him a whole set please? I know you hate strongly dislike Elmo so we can just buy the classic videos! How about you? What are your favorite Sesame Street videos?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

On hand-me-downs

There's a huge Baby Co. sale at Megamall right about now and I've been wanting to go except that I am sick. A cold that started three weeks ago finally took a dramatic turn for the worse and I have taken to bed.

Anyway, I don't really need anything for Vito. Being the youngest boy in the male-dominated Sales family, he's inherited a ton of clothes and baby things from his cousins. I just wanted to get foodie things like a bowl, a sippy cup, a rubber-tipped spoon, a food grinder and... Well, I just wanted to check things out! I also wanted to go to the department store and get cheap slipcovers to protect the white leatherette of our dining chairs. With Vito about to embark on solid food in a couple of weeks, our lovely house is in danger!

My onesies, socks, bibs, stroller, carrier, bath tub... all for free!
Anyway, I also wanted to shop because I've been dealing with this nagging feeling that I'm not getting Vito new stuff. You know? His stuff. It was Vince who started it. He's the youngest in his family and he always got his brother's hand-me-downs. So even though he likes it that we haven't spent anything on Vito's clothes and stuff, he also feels bad that we aren't even trying to get him new things.

I'm no stranger to hand-me-downs either. Because my family didn't have much when I was growing up, I got the clothes of my cousins. And oh those clothes were so beautiful! So I have a good experience with second-hand stuff. Hence, my fascination with eBay!
DVF silk ladybug shift dress from eBay!
Miu Miu by Prada silk dress
from eBay!
H&M belted LBD from eBay!
But then I have friends who also gave birth this year. And they tell me about how the onesies here are so cute or the bibs over there are so clever or how the strollers now are so high-tech... and I get insecure. There are so many nice new things out there! Should I rush out and get them for my Vito? After all, he is my first born. My only child. Should I try harder? Am I taking this save-the-planet thing a bit too far? Am I relying too much on the kindness and oh so wonderful generosity of my Sales family? (Thanks, Anj! Thanks, Lizelle!)

I really don't want to care but it's so strange how a little baby changes everything!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vito's baptism, Part 2

So Vito was finally baptized. The lunch reception followed at Cafe 1771. I chose that place because it looks so much like my own house! I wanted everyone to feel at home. But because my apartment was too small and not equipped for parties and children, we really had to do the lunch somewhere else. Cafe 1771, with its cozy interiors and book-lined walls, was perfect.

Let Vito tell you all about it:
There's Papa, Joe and Uncle Joben
Looking at camera are Mama, Lola Digna, Joe and Uncle Joben
My most generous and kind grandparents,
Lola Digna and Lolo Mon
Cafe 1771 really looks like a nicer version of my house!
Uncle Lit, Zo, Elizabeth and Kevin. They're funny!
Sean, Joe, Auntie Reza, Uncle Phil and Auntie Anj.
They gave me really nice gifts!
Elizabeth, Lolo Mon and Kevin. I wanted to eat E's fries.
Mama, Tito Migs, Yvonne, Nicole, Rachel and Tita Jacqui
The buffet: cream of tomato soup, caesar salad, fragrant rice,
coffee pie squares and lemon squares...
... seabream aglia oglio, orange pork spare ribs, Spanish
paprika chicken and steamed vegetables. Very tasty!
Yes, I tasted them in liquid form from Mama's milk!
Guess what we gave away? Jelly beans!
Every guest took home a box of jelly beans. 
Outfit post: Enfant cap, Big & Small polo, Signature plaid shorts
And that was Vito's first party! Very small, very intimate, very simple, very elegant. Just the way his parents like it!

Vito's baptism, Part 1

Vito was finally baptized on January 9. It was a few days shy of his 5th month birthday. We wanted it to be very intimate (just immediate family) and have a delicious lunch reception.
This was Vito's invitation that I sent over Facebook. Photo by Stork Studio.
The baptism was held on a sunny Sunday morning. We wanted a private baptism so we booked a small chapel at Christ the King Greenmeadows all to ourselves. It was indeed a small chapel, but with just our families present, the place felt quite spacious!

Let Vito tell you all about his day:
I just had one pair of godparents, Auntie Lizelle and Tito Ted. Tito Ted wasn't able to make it so Uncle Phil filled in.
I kept smiling at the priest. Charmed, Fr. Ed had to pause and say, "He's a very happy baby!" Yes, I am!
I like baths a lot so I didn't cry at all when this happened.
With Mama's papa, Lolo Jules
With Lolo Jules, and Papa's super nice parents, Lola Digna and Lolo Mon
With all my cousins, except Joe and Tom, who followed at the reception later
With the Amper family. Tito Ted and Tita Rose also followed at the reception.
With the Sales family. Uncle Joben and Uncle Lit followed later.
The reception in next post!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby sale this weekend!!!

I'll be there!

Say hi to me, mommies! I want to meet all the fabulous, strong, smart, kind, generous, funny, encouraging, persevering, overflowing with love mommies who read my blog and have left so many messages of support to me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Miranda Kerr and baby boy are SO CUTE!

image source and story here
Sigh. Just looking at this photo and I'm brought back to the early weeks of Vito's birth. His amazing newborn scent, his teeny tininess, the awful pain and sweet intimacy of breastfeeding, the horrible way I looked...

Miranda looks fabulous! But her eye bags say that she's a new mommy indeed. Her eye bags and her happy glow. Ah, new baby love--such pain, such joy. Congratulations to the new parents!

Baby in red...

... is smiling at me! And when that cutie smiles, all the cares of the world just melt away. Happy Tuesday to you all!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tanglad tea is good for everybody

The past weekend was an exhausting one for me because hubby was sick. Still is actually. Now Vince is not a fan of taking medicines so I was despairing on how he can recover from his cough and colds. Then this morning I remembered my friend Jennie and how she raved about the benefits of tanglad tea. For you Thai food aficionados, that's lemongrass tea!

So off I went to the market and bought some tanglad leaves. And here's a photo essay on how to make some:
Wash leaves. You can steep it in white vinegar if you like.
Cut leaves into 1-inch sections.
Bring water to a boil.
Oh, this is just a pretty shot. Love all those green hues!
Boil leaves for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Then steep for
5 to 15 minutes. It depends on how strong you want the tea.
Serve with calamansi and honey!
Easy! Vince loves lemongrass tea. I should always remember to make pitchers of this! I strongly recommend that you brew this tea for your family, too. With all the health benefits, this is one refreshing drink you and your family will most definitely enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Treats for the breastfeeding mommy!

Let me first tell you about Paola Marie Noelle Loot. A few months ago, she left a comment on my blog's Facebook wall. She said that when she was at St. Luke's Global City last August, her fetal monitor printed out her record but it was my name on the therma paper. As you know, I gave birth in August and it so happened that Paola, who reads this mommy blog, was the next one who occupied the (over sa grabeng expensive!) high-risk pregnancy unit a.k.a. the mommy waiting room.

And that was the start of a beautiful friendship! Over the months, there have been messages exchanged over email, Facebook and text, and gifts (mostly from her because she has the most generous soul!). Paola is the mommy of the most beautiful girl, Sjofn, and we talk about our children, born a few days apart, and we dream dreams and hope hopes together. It's really quite lovely. Paola, thank you. Your friendship is quite a treat!

Speaking of treats, Paola made me her guinea pig for her lactation cookies. I got a bag of oatmeal cookies, some filled with raisins, others with chocolate chips, others with white chocolates. But these were no ordinary cookies! Each cookie was packed with the galactagogue fenugreek, Omega 3-rich flaxseed and Vitamin B powerhouse Brewer's Yeast. Here was my review:
LOOKS yummy! And I love how they're all packed with raisin/choco chips. Hindi siya tinipid!
SMELLS heavenly! I love that fragrance wafting up when I tear open the plastic!
TASTES great! I love the texture--it's chewy, not crumbly; moist, not oily. 

After two days of munching on her cookies (she sent me enough for 5 days), I noticed that my milk became creamy and the supply increased. You see, my breast milk is a bit watery, like coconut water, and as for supply, I can usually express about 3-4 oz. After Paola's cookies, I was able to express 5-6 oz of breast milk!

If you have a very sensitive tongue, you may be able to taste a slight bitterness. Paola said it's the Brewer's Yeast. It's not unpleasant, just a bit unusual, but you'll soon get over it especially since you know it's caused by that special nutritious ingredient.

So if you want lactation cookies from Paola, go to her Multiply site, Mommy Treats!

P.S. I ate 6 cookies a day. My favorites are the raisins and white choco chip. Yum!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How I, a working mom, manage

Mommy Ems sent a message to some of her working mommy friends:

working mom's need your advice... how do you do it? when you start going back to work and leave your precious little one behind for the yaya to take care won't she/he be looking for the yaya in the long run? pano work hours mo? what time is left for your little one?

Dear Emily, I wanted to reply to your Facebook wall post but realized I'm going to have to write a looooong reply. So here it is.

Ate Marita took care of me when I was a kid.
Now she's taking care of my baby!
First, I believe the baby will always want what he wants! Sometimes, it won't be you. Most days, Vito is content to fall asleep beside me. He has a little ritual where he'll suckle for 30 minutes then sing himself to sleep. Then there are days Vito pushes me away when he's sleepy and looks for his yaya because yaya is willing to rock him for hours while I, his mama, am not as patient with this whole rocking-baby-to-sleep business. So I won't impose my will on Vito; to do so will just escalate into a crying fit. Instead, I let yaya take over. She's happy to rock him, he's happy to be rocked, and I can blog! Or eat or shower or watch TV or read or spend some time with the hubbylicious.

It's not just the yaya. There are days when my son is really fussy and nothing I do can soothe him. Then Vince enters the room and simply smiles at him, and Vito starts laughing. Obviously, I was the problem there! I learned very quickly not to take it personally. Vito has moods. Like every normal person! Some days he wants to be rocked, some days he likes yaya, some days he likes Papa, some days he wants me and me alone.

I've always believed that it takes a village to raise a child so if there are more people taking care of Vito, the better it is for everyone. I know someone who refuses to let anyone, even her husband, care for her kid. She's afraid the baby will love other people. So she's an angry woman--she's angry at pretty moms ("They obviously spend more time in front of the mirror than with their child!"), dads who go out with their friends ("Look at how these men enjoy themselves while his wife is stuck at home!"), angry at her friends who don't have kids ("You are selfish for not wanting to give your life to another human being!"), angry angry angry! How does this make her a better mother? 

My friends always volunteer to watch over Vito so I can have some "me" time
Well, I already know that Vito will eventually love other people, unless I keep him locked up in a tower! So I might as well share him. I don't feel threatened because I know that I'm his mother. His only mother. I'll always be first in his affections (until he gets married!). I like it that many people love Vito and it warms my heart to see that he loves a lot of people, too. I see that he's friendly and curious about other people. 

My Mama was a working mother and she never ever had time for us. Seriously. I hardly ever saw her. But as you know, I love her dearly. So it's not really the quantity of time, but the quality of time we spend with our kids. I know I'm resorting to old sayings with the "takes a village to raise" and "not the quantity but the quality" but these sayings are true.   

Now, as for your question about how much time I spend with Vito... Well, I'm very very lucky. I'm a working mother, yes, but I live just across the office. Plus, my work hours are very flexible. I can even work from the house! And sometimes, if I really have to go to the office but I can't resist Vito, I bring him along to the office and he just sits there charming everyone while I work!

Can't bring Vito to the salon (all those chemicals!) 
So, unlike a lot of very brave working mothers out there whose hearts break every time they leave their little ones, I get to work and spend time with Vito as well. I spend so much time with him that I sometimes purposely schedule a salon appointment or a lunch with my friends or a romantic date with Vince. Because I may be a mommy, but I'm also a friend, a wife, a woman. I need time to nurture the other aspects of myself.  

So, Emily, I'm not one to give advice. Each mom's situation is different. But since you asked how do I do it, all I can say is I can do it because I let other people help me, and I've designed my life in such a way that I can spend a lot of time with my family. Not a lot of moms are as trusting, not a lot of moms have people willing to help them out, and not a lot of moms have the work arrangements that I have. So there. I don't know if that helped at all but, Ems, don't worry. Your little Chesca is in very good hands.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vito's date with the girls

My son is very popular with the ladies. Like, he really really likes them and they really really like him. Observe what happened when he had a dinner date with his aunties Nicole and Nikki a few weeks ago.

It was most definitely a night full of laughter. Won't mind doing it again! Nikki and Nic, see you soonest!