Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Topaz Mommy is a dancing queen

And Vito loves it! Yes, life is a whirlwind of fun in our happy home!

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's hard to be a mowdel

You have to deal with lotsa people staring at you.
Or ignoring you.
They give you nice things but you can't eat them.
You can't drool on the nice stuff!
Just when you're happily playing, they drag you away from the toy.
Or they take the toy away!
It's hard to be a mowdel!

Despite all that, Vito did very well on his first photo shoot for a magazine. He didn't cry. Well, he did when we put him in the stroller. Vito hates strollers. Yes, hate is a strong word but in this case, it's the most appropriate word to describe Vito's relationship with those contraptions.

Other than that, he smiled when asked to smile, he laughed and played and, well, the camera loved him and he loved it right back.

Whew! And there I was so scared for him. Silly mommy me!

Hmm. I think I may have found a way to fund his college education! Calling all diaper brands, baby clothing shops, baby grooming products, baby services and everything else baby-related--my Vito is now accepting modeling jobs!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vito's first magazine modeling stint!

Smart Parenting just made a silly mommy's dream come true: My baby boy's going to be a mowdel!

Today is the shoot. It'll be at our apartment. That's so Vito will be at ease, in familiar surroundings, while strangers with big scary gadgets and bright popping lights try to make him smile.

I'm a little worried about that, of course. That's scary for any child. Plus, Vito can be moody (like his parents). Sometimes, no matter what we do, what tricks we pull out of a hat, pleading, cajoling and bribing (haha, no we're not at the bribing stage yet!), Vito will not smile at the camera. Take these pictures, for example:

No siree, no one forces Vito to do anything he doesn't want to do. He's really like Vince and me! Why am I surprised? Wish us luck! Or maybe it should be wish Smart Parenting and the photographer lotsa luck! It's their feature on the line here. Yikes!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The kindness of strangers

You know what I enjoy most about blogging? The friendships I've made. That's what I love best about this whole business of opening up my guts to the world.

With mommies I met online :Jen CC Tan, Michelle Lim of My Mom-Friday, Martine De Luna of Dainty Mom,
Paola Loot of Mommy Treats, Eli Ypon, Rone Valles and Neva Arboleda-Santos of Manila Mommy

When my mother died, I was deluged with love from all over the world. When I got pregnant, I had strangers from all corners of the earth sending me gifts and support and encouragement. And now that Vito's here, it's strangers who care more about him than my own family.

That's true. My entire pregnancy, my father saw me just twice. My siblings maybe less than five times. My friends threw me a lovely baby shower, and showered me with gifts. I got one gift from Papa and that's to congratulate me when I got pregnant because my father thinks women who aren't married and/or have no kids are useless. I got none from my siblings. Vito's 9 months old now and my father and siblings have seen him maybe five times. When they do ask about Vito, they do so in this manner: "Hi, how's the baby? Hey, we need money."

It's not that I'm asking for gifts; in fact, in my life, I've been so used to never getting anything from people who supposedly love me that when gifts from all over Manila, and then all over the Philippines and then from countries like Germany and France started arriving on my doorstep, my first impulse was to ask myself, "What do these people want from me?" It took me a while to understand that you just want to make me happy.

Thank you.

I'm glad I got pregnant. You see, I have a negative view of the world. Yes, despite my seemingly chirpy tone, I am quite the pessimist. I always expect the worst to happen, the worst from people, the worst everything everywhere.Well, with a family like that, can you blame me? But I'm not angry at them anymore. I'll tell you why.

I became a mother. And things are changing every day for me. My pregnancy and my mommy adventures have opened my eyes to the beauty of the human soul, to the fact that you don't need to share the same blood to truly care for someone, and that generosity and affection can spring from a stranger's heart.

I entered motherhood with trepidation, especially since I didn't have a mother to guide me through this. Well, you know what, all you fellow mommies have been a mommy to me. You chatted with me late into the night when I was brimming with questions about taking care of a newborn, held my hand virtually as I waded through post-partum depression, told me about what diapers to buy, how to breastfeed, what food to eat to aid my milk production, sent me food and malunggay leaves, sent me stretchmark oil and so many other preggy mommy and baby things, sent me books and links, told me how to get a baby to sleep, told me that it's okay to be awake with the baby and just tell him my dreams for him, assured me that motherhood may be hard but we're all the better for it. You have been a mother to the motherless. And my heart is comforted and grateful for your love.

Thank you. God bless you all.

*Thanks, Mom-Friday, for the pic! Mine was madilim kasi.

I thank God for him every day

Every single day. That's what makes my Monday (and every single day!) a happy day.

Have a happy Monday, fellow grateful mommies!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

NIVEA's got some super sun protection for kids

Introducing NIVEA Sun Kids collection! There's three variants and all of them boast of super SPF 50+ protection for our kids' sensitive skin. There's Children's Sun Lotion, Swim & Play Kids Sun Lotion and Children's Pocket Size Sun Lotion.

Each lotion is especially formulated to be gentle on Vito's skin but tough on the sun's harmful rays. That's SPF 50+ protection that's based on a potent combination of mineral and organic filters. Plus, it's extra water- and sweat-resistant so whether Vito's in the pool or playing under the sun, the lotion won't slide off easily.

Too bad I didn't know about this when my family and I went to Cebu last month. We spent a lovely weekend at the amazing Shangri-la Mactan and Vito experienced the beach, the pool and sunbathing for the first time.

He was not without protection. We used VMV Armada Baby SPF 50+. But it was such a chore to apply because it's a thick pasty cake and was in this jar. So imagine me trying to get some SPF on super duper active Vito! The consistency of VMV is too thick so I had to keep rubbing at the cake to get a decent amount on my fingers. It took forever, I tell ya!!! It's so expensive pa. Sooo not worth it!

If I had known about NIVEA Sun Kids lotions, I'd have used them. We're a NIVEA family. Vince especially is a huge fan. I stock up on NIVEA's wet wipes because they're always sold out. So now we have new lotions to try on Vito!

To know more about this skincare range, click here!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If the world were to end today

I won't change a thing. I'd still go about my day today, which is to spend the whole day with my Vince and my Vito. 

We'll look at houses today. We can't afford a house yet but we still got a real estate agent to show us some properties. It's nice to dream and plan, especially when you have a darling baby boy.

We'll also drop by the Yummy Eats event at NBC Tent. It's the baby of my friend, Franny of Franywanny: A Food & Travel Blog, so I'm excited to see what she's been busy with these past weeks. Then we'll go to Power Plant and buy Vince a new PS3 game and maybe I'll go buy an electric pleated skirt from Zara.

Then Vince, Vito and I will go home, cuddle and watch TV while we eat the last tub of Haagen Dazs ice cream that Vince gave me for Mother's Day. I'll just stay there in my husband's arms, with Vito squished between us, all three of us in a pile, and we will laugh at the funny things we're watching on TV or at Vito's many new tricks or at each other's silly silliness. Because that's what we do every weekend and this weekend won't be different.

And if the world were to end at that point, it would be most bittersweet because I have never been this happy in my life and so I regret nothing. Well, I would regret one thing and that's I won't see my darling Vito grow up into a handsome, healthy, smart, loving man. And that thought makes me sad.

So I hope the world doesn't end today or ever because some good things shouldn't end, and what I have right now, right here in my small apartment that's filled with all the love in the world, is very good.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy mistake

Remember when I was pregnant and Vince and I saw our Jelly Bean in my tummy via ultrasound and we decided to give him a serious name because he looked like a serious baby? Well, just look at this baby!

If Vince and I had been correct with our assumption and Vito turned out to be a serious baby, we'd love him just the same. Still, this crazy baby we now have sure is fun to have around!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm okay with not being a perfect mommy (and I'm sure my kid is, too!)

Stay still for the picture, Vito!
When I started this blog, I promised I'd be honest, brutally so, about motherhood. That honesty appealed to a lot of readers.

That honesty also offended a lot of people who believe mothers should only be sweet, warm, loving and kind. Mothers are not supposed to have any negativity, never get tired, never complain, never have a career, never look good, never cry for herself, never make time for herself, never ever think of anything but her child. That's what mothers are supposed to be.

Well, I'm a mother and I get sad, I get annoyed, I get tired—no, I get exhausted,  I lose my temper, I get sick, I forget to brush my hair, take a bath, change my pooped-on shirt. I don't sterilize, I don't do organic, I get confused, I give the baby to the yaya or my husband when I'm tired or sleepy or getting deaf from all his tantrum screaming (ah yes, at 9 months old, we're already at that stage). I lose control of schedules, I miss appointments, I want to miss appointments, I roll my eyes at fake crying, I give the baby tiny bits of chocolates to reward him for doing a trick much like how a dog trainer rewards good puppies, I tell the kid to sleep so I can sleep, read, bathe, eat, make love to my neglected husband, and, oh yes, I fail.

He's a handful but we survive each other!
Oh God, do I fail. Every day is a day of many triumphs and just as many failures. But hey, Vito's happy and healthy if not a bit sweaty, dirty and maybe even stinky, and I can live with that. I even cuddle and kiss that sweaty, stinky baby because that's the best thing in the world to do. And I believe all the good mommies will agree with me. Except that—I forget, silly me!—good mommies never have sweaty, stinky babies!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vito is 9 months old tomorrow!

How fast time flies!

These were his photos when he celebrated his 8th month birthday. They're funny!
Chocolate cake?
Sans rival?

Tee hee. He didn't get to taste his cakes, poor thing. But sooner than later, he will be eating cakes! Yep, Vito's all about food now. He eats more than his own Papa! He now eats a full cup of food every meal, followed by milk.

Since he turned 7 months old, he's been eating three meals a day with snacks in between. That's not supposed to happen yet! Dr. Cricket Chen said, "Vito, you're eating like a grown-up!" He's such a greedy little rabbit, eating all the time! But he doesn't get fat. I wonder if it's because he's super active or because, and this is Dr. Chen's theory, he took after his parents who don't get fat no matter what.

Still, some people have commented that maybe it's the breast milk and maybe I should switch him to formula to fatten him up. Ya know, breast milk is the best for babies up to 2 years old. There's nothing better than the best. Besides, I really don't want a fat baby. Healthy active babies are cuter!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pampers salutes moms this Mother's Day

This post is brought to you by Pampers.

It’s my first Mother’s Day this Sunday. As you know, Mother’s Day used to make me sad, like, if I can only forget that day, I would. And even though I got a lot of greetings last year when I was still pregnant, I wasn’t cheered up. I also thought those were like count-your-chickens-before-the-eggs-hatch kinda thing so I deflected those well wishes.

This year, however, I’m looking forward to celebrating because this year is the first of many, many years of happy motherhood!

Right now Vito, at 8 months and 3 weeks old, is unbelievably active. Remember that photo? He was just 7 months old there and he was climbing up slides. Now, he’s literally bouncing off the walls (yes, literally—poor thing!). He crawls very fast, it’s scary. He likes to dance, which makes us laugh so much. He climbs everything in sight, which makes us nervous. He can climb down the bed and sofa, which makes us proud. The best part is, at his young age, he’s already trying to walk on his own! He’s such a big boy!

This is really such a fantastic time. Vince said this is possibly the best time of our life. He and I are so happy, so proud of our little boy who seems bent on growing up as fast as he can. There’s no stopping Mr. Vito!

Yesterday, we bought him better shoes from Hubsche & Ginoble. We also have to buy him long pants to protect his knees. I also bought new diapers, Pampers Active Baby. I’ve been seeing the TVC for some time now—adorable babies everywhere!—and I realized Vito needs a diaper that can withstand all the pounding, twisting, moving and pooping and peeing, too! So we’re trying out Pampers Active Baby because it says it has an extra lock layer—it’s a layer that locks pee in even if baby squishes the diaper again and again. Brilliant!
I’m still testing Pampers Active Baby this weekend. Will update you next week. Meanwhile, Pampers is celebrating Mother’s Day with a special video of mommy and baby moments of love. Hundreds of mommies sent Pampers photos and videos of their best moments of fun and play, giggles and laughter, sleep and dreams, and hugs and kisses.

View the special video on Pampers’ Facebook page, and join Pampers as they salute moms this Mother’s Day. It will also be shown on nationwide TV today so watch for it.

Happy Mother’s Day, fellow mommies! 

P.S. Make sure you scroll down to win a fabulous diaper bag!

Happy Mother's Day! Gifting time!

There is already a winner and she's been notified.

Helloooo, my fellow mommies! I'm so thrilled today because it's my first ever Mother's Day! To celebrate this momentous day, I am going to share my blessings and give away a LeSportsac diaper bag. Hooray!

The diaper bag I'm giving away features a print of many cute dresses. Very girly! It has lots of pockets, a changing pad with the same print, adjustable/detachable shoulder strap and can be attached to a stroller. It's worth about P6,000.

It was actually given to me by Stores Specialists, Inc. (thanks Anton Huang and company!) but since I already have a Lassig diaper bag (also available at Rustan's), I figured a lucky mommy-to-be or new mommy will love my super cute LeSportsac diaper bag better.

Okay, here's all you have to do:
Tweet this: I want to win a LeSportsac diaper bag from @FrancesASales #topazmommy http://bit.ly/lNF484
Post on Topaz Horizon's Facebook page: I want to win a LeSportsac diaper bag from Topaz Mommy! and tag three of your mommy friends!  
Blog about it and leave the URL of your post in the comments section below.
You can do all three to increase your chances of winning!

I'll raffle off the prize on Wednesday. One important thing: You have to be able to claim the prize personally. Yes, you'll have to get it from me!

Happy happy day! Good luck, mommies, and God bless you all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What I Now Know About Breastfeeding Just Because I Breastfeed!

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (May).  This carnival is dedicated to all moms, celebrating Mother's Day today.  Participants will share various topics covering A Breastfeeding Mother's Top Ten List.  Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

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Early morning nursing session!
One of the things I'm most proud of is breastfeeding my son, Vito. I was ambivalent to breastfeeding because I was never breastfed and I turned out perfectly okay. Very sickly until I turned 30 but, aside from that, I think I turned out quite alright!

I was also scared to breastfeed because I've heard so many horror stories. For example, it hurts like hell, your nipples will become black, your breasts will become porn-worthy huge. I'm glad to say that of the three examples I mentioned, only the first one was true!

Which brings me to this list of the things I now know about breastfeeding!

1. Breastfeeding is painful.
Yes, let's get that out of the way, shall we? Breastfeeding is painful but only in the first two weeks. The powerful suction of your newborn's mouth coupled with the sensitive nipple just made me see stars the first few days.

Many women give up because, after the pain of childbirth, really, do we need to feel pain to feed our child? Well, what got me through that phase was, funnily enough, my ambivalence towards breastfeeding! Every day, I said, "Ouch ouch ouch! This will be my last day to nurse. Tomorrow, I'm switching to formula!" But then tomorrow came and I figured if I survived yesterday, I can breastfeed again today. By the time the second week rolled along, the pain had disappeared!

2. Breastfeeding is so pleasurable.
Vito is now 8 months and 3 weeks old. I'm still nursing him because "breast milk is best for babies up to two years old." My real reason? It feels really good! Not in a sexual way, okay? Strangely enough, there's nothing sexual about nursing.

The pleasure I feel is relief when the breasts are emptied (yes, breasts swollen with milk is not a happy feeling), happiness at the thought that Vito is getting tons of perfect nutrition from me, and contentment because I never feel as close to him as I do when I nurse him. It's just such a sweet and joyful intimacy!

3. I don't need big breasts to produce milk.
Another reason I was ready to formula-feed Vito was the fact that I've been flat-chested all my life. I wasn't even an A cup, I was an AA cup. Yes, that's an even smaller size. My kid's yaya made me feel worse when she took one look at my chest and said, "Your breasts are small and you are old. Your child will go hungry." Great. Thanks a lot for making me feel oh so much better.

Wonder of wonders, Vito has never gone hungry and is very healthy! My breasts are now a B cup, a C when very full, which seldom happens as I am with Vito 18/7 (I wish 24/7!). I will admit that I now mix feed. But the formula (I use Dairy Gold, which is goat's milk--lighter than cow's milk, causes less allergic reactions, and free from growth hormones) is just there in case my supply of expressed breast milk runs out when I'm at work.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Please check out the other wonderful blog posts of fellow breastfeeding moms:

Friday, May 6, 2011

I'm a fashionable mommy!

Ooh, what a cool Mother's Day gift! Stylebible.ph just included me in their list of fashionable mommy bloggers!

Check it out!

And I know I said there that I want a shopping spree for Mother's Day, but this and this will be nice, too.

And if you come back here tomorrow, you'll find out how you can win a LeSportsac diaper bag!