Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vito's list of spoken words at 16 months old says that while a 16-month-old can basically understand almost everything you say, he/she can only speak an average of seven words.

Well, that makes my boy a huge talker! Here are his spoken words:
  1. Mama
  2. Papa
  3. milk
  4. water
  5. kain (or, when he's really hungry, he says "kang!")
  6. more
  7. no more
  8. dede (that's his word for chest, breasts and nipples)
  9. buhok (hair or head)
  10. toes
  11. nose
  12. t*t* (yep, his penis!)
  13. baby
  14. bye-bye
  15. hi
  16. baba (go down)
  17. no
  18. oh no! (he says this when he drops something or he's upset)
  19. car
  20. taxi
  21. choo-choo (that's his word for train)
  22. ball
  23. catch (for when we play ball)
  24. shoes
  25. book
  26. toothbrush (he says it as too-bush)
  27. light
  28. tray (his booster chair has a removable tray)
  29. doggie
  30. Teeda (our rabbit Matilda, although when he sees rabbits on TV, he still calls them Teeda!)
  31. fish
  32. monkey
  33. cat 
  34. blue
  35. yellow
  36. two
  37. moon
  38. flower
The other night at bedtime, we were praying, Vito and I, and when I said "Amen," he said, "Amen!" But I think it was just mimicking so I won't include that in his list just yet.

He can also comprehend our speech so giving him directions is easy now. This makes parenting easy and hard at the same time. Easy because we can communicate; hard because we can tell when the little someone's deliberately being defiant and disobedient!

The jump in his speech development all happened in the last three weeks, when we had no yaya. It can't be a coincidence, right? Vince is really into reading to our boy, and massaging him while pointing out different body parts--activities they very much enjoy. I'm into pointing out everything in his environment.  Clearly, being with Mama and Papa is a huge stimulation to his developing brain.

My friend Earl is a full-time mommy and Sophia, her daughter who's just 3 weeks older than Vito, can speak in full sentences. As in, "I like this car" and "Thanks for cooking macaroni, Mommy." She's just 17 months old! This has definitely made Vince and me think more about spending quality time with Vito!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Back on the treadmill in 2012!

This post is brought to you by Adidas.

Over at Topaz Horizon, I listed down my New Year's resolutions. I said in a previous post that I was going to exercise come first week of December but... I didn't! Oh well. I have 20 weeks to get fit before D-Day so next week, I'm lacing up the adidas trainers I have and will ease myself into a fitness regimen.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Loving life without yaya and maid!

It's been almost 2 weeks since the household help abandoned us and it's been wonderful every single day! Well, we're tired all the time, of course. My face has sprouted several pimples, a sure sign that I'm exhausted. But it's been more than marvelous living life with just Vince and Vito.

There's no drama, no different bodily smells, no pakikisama to do, no stress, no hiding in the bedroom to talk or to make love, no qualms about walking around in undies or no undies, no restrictions. Everything is where they should be, everything is clean and orderly, everything is not broken!

Vito was always sad whenever Vince and I went to the office.
Best of all--and this breaks my heart--Vito is so happy. I've never seen him this happy, and I think it's no coincidence that it's because it's his own mama and papa taking care of him. I've never been guilty about being a working mom. I never had to be--I work just across the street and I have flexible hours. I go to work usually when Vito's asleep so I never felt that he missed me. And I guess I never felt that Vince had to be more involved as a father since, well, fathers work all day--that's what they do. So to ask Vince to stay home and be Mr. Mom just never occurred to us. But now, seeing how Vito's all lit up with both his parents taking turns caring for him, oh, I'm seriously rethinking our arrangements.

I don't want to quit my job. Like I said, my job is the best gig because it's so near and my time is my own. So I'm really happy that, in the last two weeks, Vince and I have made adjustments to our schedules so that we can both work and care for Vito and manage the chores. The chores, obviously, are the last priority but even then, visitors to our home are amazed at how clean and tidy our place is (thanks, Mr. O.C. Vince!).

Now, with Papa taking care of him, he's always happy! He doesn't even mind when I have to leave for the office!
I'm so grateful to Vince. He's really taken to the nurturing and caring for Vito so well. For example, he's a more patient teacher than I am. He reads books to Vito, he does play activities with him to refine Vito's motor skills. Me? I'm better at the feeding, bathing, changing diapers part. Funny because I'm the one who used to be a preschool teacher! Vito now has more words in his vocabulary, he's more active, looks more healthy, cries and whines less, and is just so much happier! Best of all, Vito is also now so incredibly close to his Papa. It's now always, "Papa! Papa!" It just warms our hearts.

Life with no yaya has proven to be absolutely wonderful. If I weren't pregnant, we'd go on with this arrangement forever. For the sake of the new baby, however, I need to rest more often, especially since this was a delicate pregnancy and I need to take care of myself and Wiggle more. I'm so exhausted now, I forget to eat and take my prenatal vitamins!

Well, the new yaya starts on January 2. That's exactly 10 days from now. Just thinking about it makes both Vince and I sad. But we figured we'll continue with our current arrangement and just have the yaya as more of maid than yaya--you know, cleaning, washing up, tidying up so we'll do nothing else aside from our work but to be with Vito--then just have her babysit when Vince and I need to go out. Emphasis on need.

But definitely, after seeing the big and wonderful changes in Vito, we're going to spend even more quality time with our boy.
New Year's resolution: More quality time with you, Vito!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Juggling work and home. Whew!

Haven't been able to update because, well, if you'd been following Topaz Horizon, you'd know the household help abandoned us last week and, boy, it's been tough to juggle caring for the baby, the house and the job! But you know what? It can be done! The past few days have been incredibly exhausting but super incredible, too. I will say that I am lucky to have the job I have because my hours are flexible and I get to bring Vito to the office!

Tonight was the office Christmas party, by the way. I wasn't able to go because of my yaya-less situation. I feel a bit bummed--very slightly--because the Christmas parties of Summit Media are insane. Being a media company, we're populated by highly creative, very expressive, super fun lunatics. Some people are decked out in lingerie, some wear costumes like cheerleader outfits, nurses uniforms and all incarnations of Johnny Depp's movie characters. Some guys have attended as women, some women have attended as... well, let's just say their mothers wouldn't have approved! All in all, our parties are fun to attend if only to see what crazy outfits people come up with.

But I haven't gone to a Summit party since 2009. That year I was suffering intense nausea and fatigue as I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. Last year, I didn't go either because I was a new mom and was just overwhelmed and tired. This year, well, I had no one to leave Vito with (I'd have to bring Vince because no way am I going to a party without a car, not with the hellish traffic we've been suffering this season!).

Am I sad to not have gone? Well, a part of me wanted to see all the craziness again (it has been a while!) but a bigger part of me just wanted to cuddle the baby. It's not sourgraping. It's just being a mommy, I guess. I get a lot of crazy from my 16-month-old child all day anyway!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All I want for Christmas is a big car for my little boy

I've blogged about the silly stuff I want for Christmas over at Topaz Horizon. And I figured that I can buy myself a few items on that list, like the dress, the curling iron, or the nail polish. That should cost me around 4K thereabouts. But something happened this week that made me change my mind.

Vito discovered cars.

Vito knows about cars for a while now. He loves riding in his Papa's Zoom Zoom. He shrieks, "Cars!!!" every time we're on the road. He loves watching his Papa play Gran Turismo. He loves his Hot Wheels cars (that are supposed to be for 3-year-old kids). He loves cars!

But when we went to the supermarket one time and we put him in a toy car/cart, well, that just blew Vito's mind away.

He was soooo happy! He honked that horn. He said, "Vrrrrroooooooooom!!!" He wanted us to go faster. He kept turning the steering wheel, the key in the ignition. He. Loved. It.

So I've been staring at these for days now.

The Little Tikes Mobile is a kinda stroller, kinda car. I can push him around (the boy who hated strollers!), which is a relief since, with my burgeoning belly, I can't carry him around anymore. It's soooo cute! But it's P7,000! There's a deal at Deal Grocer right now--the mobile is now at P4,900. What do you think?!

Then there's this: The Cozy Coupe, also from Little Tikes. This one I'm really liking because it's very similar to the shopping cart car that Vito loved. This can also be pushed around. What makes this better than the Mobile is this can eventually be a real toy. Take out the floor of the car and Vito can push himself around with his feet a la Fred Flintstone! Now this coupe costs P7,999. Ouch. But, again, at Deal Grocer, there's a deal that offers it for just P4,999. That's P3,000 in savings! What do you think??!!

Sigh. Just so you know, I'm not the kind of mom who shops a lot for her kid. I haven't needed to! So many people give gifts and clothes to my son so I've spent the last year just getting him food and diapers. Recently, the shopping's been all about his shoes since Vito's feet grow so fast. Toys? He's happier with remote controls, paper bags and his Papa's gadgets. So I've never actually spent on him. Which is why my husband says we should pull out all the stops this Christmas and waste some money on our boy!

So which should is be? This isn't a sponsored post, by the way. Neither Little Tikes nor Deal Grocer is paying for this post (although I do believe they'll enjoy the mileage) so I hope they don't mind that I grabbed their photos. I'm definitely going to buy anyway, I just haven't decided on which, but I will buy. I have no choice really. I mean, just look at the rapture on my little boy's face!

What mother can resist that?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Free the fishie!

This boy, oh, he just killed me! He's sooooo adorable!

"He's beautiful!" Aww, sweet baby, that you are, that you are indeed. Thanks for making my day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My little sprout in a Green Sproutlets outfit!

Vito attracts all kinds of good will. Just last week, his Tita Michelle of My Mom-Friday gave him this fabulous set of new clothes from Green Sproutlets:
Heed my wise words.
Green Sproutlets is an organic clothing line from the US of A. The fabric is made from either bamboo, soy, hemp or organic cotton. These are all biodegradable, soft-to-the-skin, durable products you and your babies will love.

I'm so cool and comfy!
I like the clothes for all those reasons but my number one reason? My Vito looks oh so adorable in them! Plus, he seems to like how comfy it is.

I like how it makes my cute little butt cuter!
Hollywood's most fashionable tots agree. Green Sproutlets has been spotted on Violet Affleck, the eldest daughter of movie stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Obviously, since I'm the editor of OK! magazine, the country's first and only Hollywood title, I love that my little star is wearing celebrity-approved clothes!

Ah, I love my Green Sproutlets outfit!

Thanks, Michelle! You're so nice to my Vito. You and Paola and Rone are such doting titas to my boy. God bless your beautiful souls!

For more information on Green Sproutlets, check their Facebook page.
If you want to shop for your little ones, check out Mothering Earthlings.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

IQ Air for fresh, clean air for your home

Because we live in a condo near EDSA, my father-in-law gave Vince and me an air purifier when we got married. When I got pregnant with Vito, my Papa gave us an extra air purifier and ozonizer so that the air in our home will be even cleaner. Our folks are really concerned about the air we breathe because I have asthma and Vince has allergic rhinitis. And our not-so-little baby boy may have the allergy gene so the lolos and lola were insistent on clean air. So far, so good--Vince, Vito and I haven't suffered any allergy attacks!

If you also live in the city (or you may live in the province but there's lots of allergens in the air like pollen), the IQ Air system may just be the air purifier your family needs. Mothercare sent me a press kit explaining this advanced air cleaning system from Switzerland, and it listed illnesses we can get from air that's polluted or have allergens, bacteria, chemicals and strong odors:
  • allergic reactions
  • eye infections
  • irritations of the nose and throat
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • headaches and nausea
  • breathing difficulties
  • asthma attacks
  • skin reactions (i.e. eczema)

Clearly a matter to take seriously by parents everywhere! Yes, not just city-dwellers. I grew up in the hills of Antipolo, when it was still rice fields and mango trees. The freshest air you could breathe! We chased dragonflies and fireflies in the fields, caught mudfish in the creek, climbed trees and ate duhat and alatiris and kaimito nestled in the branches... and yet my asthma was so bad. I always thought I'd die in my teens! I had asthma every night during the rainy season, woke up to swollen eyes and a runny nose, I had eczema on my fingers and feet. My allergies were wild! I was so miserable.

Now that I'm older and aware that my condition could've been prevented, managed and improved by simple allergy medication and filtered air, I'm vigilant about preventing allergies in my home. If you have the same philosophy, do invest in the IQ Air! More from the press kit:
IQ Air’s Health Pro 150 Air Cleaner (Php 71,095.00) and the Health Pro 250 Air Cleaner (Php 79,695.00) are now available in selected Mothercare stores.

IQ Air systems feature the most reliable and efficient air cleaning technologies against indoor pollutants targeting the following:
  • Pollen, spores, dust mite allergens, and other particular matter – the can trigger hay fever, asthma, and other allergic reactions. Even short-term exposure to elevated concentrations of fine particles can significantly contribute to hearth disease.
  • Microorganisms - such as viruses, bacteria and fungal spores are responsible for various infections like tuberculosis, influenza, aspergillosis, MRSA and SARS.
  • Pet allergens (dander) – mainly found in salvia and therefore on hair and skin of pets. When the allergens are inhaled, they can lead to serious allergic reactions.
  • Tobacco Smoke – contains thousands of chemicals and particles which can irritate the mucous membranes and lead to acute and chronic diseases.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – are gaseous chemicals emitted from vehicles, industry and building materials. They can be carcinogenic and cause damage to internal organs.
  • Smog and Ozone – can cause irritation of the respiratory tract even at low concentrations and can trigger asthma attacks. While these pollutants are mainly generated outdoors, they enter buildings via doors, windows and ventilation systems.
  • Cleaning products, sprays and solvents – can irritate the mucous membranes and aggravate allergies such as asthma and hay fever.
  • Paints, varnishes, and adhesives – can contain a multitude of harmful substances. Inhaling the vapors can lead to headache, nausea, and allergic reactions. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic diseases.
Depending on your specific air quality needs, take your pick from the following filters: Pre-max Filter (Php 5,295.00) controls coarse & fine dust particles. The V5 Cell Filter (Php 8,795.00) controls a broad range of chemical pollutants & odors. The Pre-Max MG Filter (Php 8,795.00) is a combination of the Pre-max & the V5 which controls coarse & fine dust particles, as well as chemical pollutants and odors. The HyperHepa Filter (Php 14,995.00), which is used by hospitals, controls fine particles, allergens, bacteria, viruses and mould spores.

IQ Air is available at Mothercare branches in Greenbelt 5, Shangri-la Plaza, Robinsons Galleria and TriNoMa.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Second pregnancy update (because there's been hardly any updates and here's why)

Unlike with my first, I've not been as open about sharing my second pregnancy experience. I know why and I also don't know why! That will make sense (I think) in a bit.

When I got pregnant with Vito, it was such a surprise, so overwhelming (I wasn't ready to be a mommy despite my three-year marriage), so new, so scary, that I just had to share the journey. I had no qualms about opening up about how I felt. The only time I paused from the sharing was when I was about to give birth and I felt that I didn't want to share photos of Vito. Vince said that since so many people were sharing the journey with us and have been so kind and generous, the least we could do was share our new baby boy. And you loved him and embraced him when we did. Thank you!

Now Wiggle. With this second pregnancy, I felt a need to keep quiet from the very start. I don't know why! Every time I wanted to announce the pregnancy or blog about it, something stops me. I was telling Vince, who was wondering why I'm like this, "I just feel like I want to keep this baby to myself." What I couldn't actually say was "You'll never believe me but the baby seems to be telling me that it doesn't want to have a public life."

Did that sound crazy or what?!

It sounds crazy. But I'm not crazy. Or am I? It's weirding me out actually.

Well there. I hope I'm wrong (I was wrong about my feeling that Vito was going to be a serious baby, for example). I want to share my Wiggle with you because you love my family. And I'm sure you'll love Wiggle, too. Maybe I'll feel different tomorrow or next week or when I'm waddling or when I give birth. But for now, the new baby wants to be, er, left alone.

Did you ever feel this way? Or did you always feel that every pregnancy update should be shouted from the rooftops? Did you ever want to keep it a secret (and I don't mean that kind of secret!)? This is so strange!