Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's get baby in the pool with i play reusable swim diapers! (Yes, another giveaway!)

CONTEST IS CLOSED.

Yep, it's super hot. The only way to save our sanity in this insane weather is you either turn on the AC or you jump into the pool. We've been stuck with the air con solution until Ecokids, Inc. sent Vito i play swim diapers! Hooray!!! Here's Vito reading looking at the tags:
The snug water-tight poly outer shell prevents poop accidents!
It feels cool and comfortable!
And comes in many fun summery designs!

Here are a few tips from i play about their swim diapers:
- Swim diapers are designed to hold poop so that they don't fall/leak into the water. They're not supposed to hold pee (if they did, they would also absorb the pool water), so let Vito wear them only when he's ready to swim.  :)
- Make sure the waist and legs are snug (but not tight). As long as you can still insert your finger under the diaper, then the fit should be okay.
- As soon as you learn that there's poop in the diaper, get Vito out of the pool promptly. If you plan on letting him back into the pool, wash his diaper area first with soap and water. I sent you 2 swim diapers (the board shorts comes with a built-in swim diaper) so you have an extra in case he wants to go back into the pool. 

Now that we read the instructions, off we went to Sofitel to test the swim diapers.


Vito's soooo cute!

Anyway, we got two diapers--a swim trunks style and a board shorts style, but I was only able to take photos of the trunks. So what's my unbiased review? We love the swim diaper! It was snug around his waist and thighs but didn't bite into the flesh (of course you have to get the right size but some diaper elastics irritate baby skin). It didn't weigh him down like a diaper or even cotton shorts would. Best of all, when he pooped later on, the poop was so easy to remove--it just plopped into the toilet--and the diaper lining was so easy to rinse! I love it!

Ecokids, Inc. wants three of my readers to love their i play reusable swim diapers, too! Yes, they're giving away three diapers to three water babies so we'll have lotsa fun in this super hot sun! Here's what you have to do:

1. Like the Facebook page of i play.
2. Like my Facebook page, too!
3. Leave your Facebook name in the comments below so I know who joined.

That's it! Soooo easy! I'll announce the winners next Saturday, May 5. That should give the lucky winners enough summer days to enjoy their i play reusable swim diapers!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finally fired the yaya

As I type this, the house is undergoing a mini-renovation. Thank goodness I had finally hired an all-around girl to help with the housekeeping and babysitting. She started Monday. I really hope she's the one. Already we can tell she's much better than the last yaya.

I finally fired Yaya Grace. She's been a huge pain in the ass since the first day I hired her in January. But she's the cheerful type and was able to entertain Vito so I tolerated her. Very soon, she proved to be lazy and ignorant of household chores. She didn't even know how to cook rice in a rice cooker. How is that even possible? Vince kept pointing out that Vito always looked dirty, had little cuts and scrapes on his legs, and that he caught Grace eating Vito's food when she was supposed to be feeding him (Vito eats whatever we eat). He said, "Mukhang pinapabayaan si Vito." But I tolerated her since she and Vito seemed to get along.

Then just before Holy Week, I got off work early. Looking at my watch, I knew Vito would be at the playground so instead of going home and napping, which was my plan, I went to the playground to surprise my toddler. I didn't expect to be the one surprised. From afar, I saw Grace slapping Vito's arm repeatedly. I can tell that Vito was being makulit. He was grabbing at an exposed wire. I had told Grace before that a child is always curious and will investigate everything. No matter how many times you say or yell "No!" and "Stop!", the child will keep at it. The solution is (and we got this from Cesar Millan, the dog trainer) you stop, distract, remove the child. Physically stop him, distract him from the object, then lift him up and away. So Grace knew our method. I also warned her that we never ever hit our children.

So when I saw her slapping at his arm, well... That just decided it. I was very calm. I called to Vito. She looked up alarmed. I led Vito away from the exposed wire and told him to get me some flowers and leaves, which he happily attended to. Then I told Grace, "We do not hit Vito." She said, "Ma'am, hindi nyo alam yung nakita nyo." Talagang ako pa ngayon ang mali!

We went home soon after. I didn't speak to Grace. I was deciding whether I should just give her a warning or dismiss her. I spent a sleepless night. Vince had one solution: "No one hurts my kid. Get rid of her." But Vince said to let Holy Week pass since Grace might have a hard time getting a ride home. So that was the plan. But the next morning, as soon as I saw her, I knew I just had to let her go.

So I prepared her separation pay and told her, "Grace, sinabi ko naman sa iyo na hindi pwedeng saktan si Vito. Dahil sa ginawa mo kahapon, hindi na kita pwedeng makatrabaho. Etong buong sweldo mo for April. Alis ka na ngayong umaga para may mahanap ka pang sasakyan pauwi."

She replied, "Ma'am, never ko pong sinaktan si Vito! First time lang yung kahapon! Hindi na mauulit!"

"Paano ako makakasiguro na totoo yang sinasabi mo? Hindi na kita mapagkakatiwalaan. Kailangan pa naman yun lalo na't manganganak na ako at mas madalas kong iiwan si Vito sa iyo."

She started crying and then said, "Ano na lang sasabihin ng mga katulong at yaya dito? Na pinaalis niyo ako. Ma'am, paki-sabi na lang sa kanila na nagbakasyon ako!"

Imagine that. Hindi man lang nag-sorry. Ang mahalaga sa kanya is what the yayas would say about her instead of what she did to my child! She left after one hour of packing. But she had enough time to deface the closet of the maid's room and destroy the handle of the Swiffer my mother-in-law gave me. Oh, and she also stole the radio. Good riddance.

I let her go very kindly. I never lifted my voice in anger despite what she did to Vito. I gave her a full month's pay so that she won't go hungry while she looked for work again. But after I started bringing Vito to the playground and telling the yayas that Grace was on holiday to save her face, the yayas told me that Grace let Vito eat stuff he picks off the ground and when they reprimand her, she'd tell them, "Okay lang yan. Wala namang pakialam ang nanay niyan." Kaya naman pala nagkakasakit at nag-LBM si Vito! They told me Grace just texts and talks on the phone while Vito would roam around the pool area. The pool area! I should be grateful my son is still alive!

The anger came then. And I told Vince. And he said, "I don't know why you keep protecting her. You're not doing any of the kids downstairs any favors. The yayas need to know that when they hurt their wards, they will be fired." So finally I told everyone that I dismissed Grace because I caught her hitting Vito.

Vince and I have been very angry at Grace--we treated her well, we gave her a great salary, generous days off, we hardly even made her work! One yaya in our complex said, "Yang si Grace, ma'am, laging nagyayabang na wala raw siyang ginawa kundi matulog sa inyo. Ang swerte naman niya!" Swerte talaga siya. Tapos anong ginawa niya? Diba there's that saying that if you teach a person to fish, he'll never go hungry? Well, sometimes kahit anong turo mo sa tao, anong klaseng tulong pa ang ibigay mo, itatapon nya pa rin lahat yun dahil saksakan siya ng tamad.

So there. We've been yaya-less for three weeks and, because of my advanced pregnancy, life has been very difficult. Juggling work, blogging, housekeeping and child-rearing... Wow, it's not easy at all. Thank goodness Vince is here. He's totally taken over everything so I can work.

We hired a new yaya anyway since I'm due any day now. Vito's still warming up to her. We hope they'll get along soon. Most importantly, we hope she'll love him and care for him as if he's her own. I really don't know how I can trust a yaya again after this, though. I've been having nightmares, beating myself up for ignoring the signs, ignoring what my husband was pointing out just because I needed a yaya so that I can work. But deal with the guilt I must, and trust again I must.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pillow fight!

Happy Monday, mommies!

I've been quite remiss with my blogging duties (here's why) but I'll update this week. At least, that's the plan. It will be a majorly busy week but I don't want to lose touch with my beloved readers so I will really really try to blog!

Anyway, guess what Vito's new favorite game is? Pillow fights!

Mebbe I shouldn't have started him on this, however. He sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and starts a pillow fight and I'm too sleepy to fight back. Naughty boy. He's also very strong. He likes physical games and pouncing and jumping and diving and battering and hammering. Such a boy. So I thought he'd love pillow fights (he does!) but, oh dear, poor me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beautiful skin for me and baby is possible, says Judy Ann Santos and Johnson's Baby Milk Bath

This post is brought to you by Johnson's Baby Milk Bath.

I got a big bottle of Johnson’s Milk Bath for Vito and noticed how soft and yummy my hands became after bathing my little boy (his skin, meanwhile, is always soft and yummy!). So I was toying with the idea of replacing my current shower cream with Johnson’s Milk Bath but felt that I’m being selfish. Agawan ba talaga ang anak ko, diba?

Turns out I’m not the only mommy who thought of doing this. Guess who the other mommy is? She’s a superstar actress, mega-endorser, a happy wife, and mom of two. It’s Judy Ann Santos!

I found out about it when mommy friends told me they joined a live chat with Judy Ann, a.k.a. Mrs. Ryan Agoncillo, over on Facebook recently. I was invited to join that chat actually and I did want to join. Wanted to check if Judai (yes, she told me herself that that’s how her nickname is spelled!) still remembers me. I met her when I was still pregnant with Vito and she was still pregnant with Juan Luis (or Lucho).
Judai 5 months pregnant, me at 7 months preggy

Friday, April 13, 2012

How do I deal with a newborn and a toddler?!

This is a knocked up me at 34 weeks (I'm 35 weeks today) and that's a knocked out Vito, who is 20 months old today (it's Friday the 13th! Same as the day Vito was born. It's a lucky day!). By this time next month, he'll be a big brother. And I'll be a mommy to a newborn and a toddler who isn't even 2 years old.

Who is this woman?! Wasn't I the one who kept insisting I'll never have kids? In a few weeks, I'll have 2 under 2!

Lately, I've been having mini panic attacks. My thoughts go something like this: "Poor Vito. Once the baby comes, I won't have time for him. No, I'll make more time for him! But then... poor Wiggle! It's bad enough that he'll be sleeping in a cradle, separate from me, while Vito had always co-slept with me and Vince. So maybe I should just insist that Vito sleep in his bed. But then... Poor Vito!" Etc, etc.

I want to give Wiggle what we gave Vito--tons and tons of physical affection and attention. But Vito had the benefit of being the only child. Now we'll have to learn how to divide our time between our sons and still be 100% devoted to each. How on earth are we going to do that?! Panic attack! Help me, mommies!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I may want halo-halo but Vito wants Magnum

So I was craving halo-halo yesterday, right? Well, I'm not the only one craving something cold and sweet. This little boy just discovered the joys of Magnum:
More photos here!

For the record, that was my stick. I decided mid-way through it that I preferred something else (a strawberry milkshake) so Vito happily finished it for me. He went mad for it. Absolutely insane. I mean, just look at that face! That's one happy boy, I tell ya. As a good mommy, I swear I won't give him another stick. But since I sometimes let my bad mommy escape (on weekends mostly), I'll get him another stick this weekend just to see that face again.

P.S. Stay tuned! I'm doing another giveaway--a summer staple for our babies: swim diapers!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vince takes on the Parenting Police

I'm beyond thrilled that Vince got published in Philippine Daily Inquirer. And even giddier that his article has been shared over 990 times (last I looked). If you don't have the March 28 paper, check out his article here: Take That, Parenting Police.

And here's the damning photo that shoulda accompanied the article:

Many moms told me over at my Twitter feed and Facebook wall that they are relieved that someone finally understands that they try, try so very hard to be the best moms but always feel they come up short because of what so-and-so parenting expert said. Or what their mothers say. Or what their friends say. Everyone seems to know what's best for our children, everyone except us, their parents!

P.S. What else do you want Vince to write about? Please send us your suggestions!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

True confession: The awful things that happened when I gave birth!

I wrote about finally nesting a few posts ago and I'm grateful that despite what I said about wanting to have a private birth, I got support and understanding from my readers. One reader, however--and I didn't publish her comment because she was mean--said that she's 6 months pregnant with her first child (congratulations!) and she's actually ordered catering and balloons and signed up a pro photographer for the big day. She said that I--and the other moms who left comments about having private births--was selfish and ungrateful and don't deserve our children.

Well. Strong words. But I understand. It's your first baby. Of course you don't know what you're talking about! So let me tell you why I feel this way for my second time around.

I gave birth to Vito at almost 8am. It was such an easy labor and delivery, but my body was obviously traumatized. I was shaking uncontrollably till around lunch time. Noon was also around the time that I felt the need to pee. So, for the first time since 4am, I stood up and found that my legs were wobbly. I stood still to find my balance and found to my horror that I had incontinence. I was warned by mommies that I won't be able to control my pee for some time after giving birth (the muscles down there would still be in shock). Even then, I was appalled when it happened to me. I tried to hold it in but the pee just flowed and flowed (I hadn't gone to the bathroom since 4am). It filled my adult diaper and overflowed and pooled around my feet.

Then, to my humiliation, the door burst open. There I was, in a hospital gown with my naked back and a big heavy diaper exposed, and I was standing in a pool of piss.

It's a good thing the visitors were my nurses. But I was still embarrassed. My relief and humiliation turned to anger and I barked at the nurses to quickly close the door. Then I burst into tears. I was thinking what if the visitors had been real visitors. What would they think when they saw I had a diaper on? What would they think when they saw what I was standing in?

The next couple of days was filled with other indignities. There were times I was naked from the waist up as the lactation consultant showed me how to breastfeed Vito. Again, what if someone walked in at that moment? There were also the times I had to bend over and have the stitches of my episiotomy (that's when the doctor slices the skin between the vagina and anus to prevent tearing) slathered with antibiotic cream. Again, what if someone walked in at that moment?

To my relief, on all those awkward moments, no one walked in. And my visitors always always knocked first. Thank the heavens! So I always had a few seconds to compose myself.

I did wish I had at least brushed my hair, put on powder and lipstick to receive all the wonderful people who came to see us the proud parents, and our darling boy Vito. But I was too exhausted. When I look at all the photos from that day, I cringe at how ugly I looked. After all, when I was still pregnant with Vito, I swore that wouldn't happen. I'd be the most beautiful woman who just gave birth ever! Well, I wasn't. I was pale and swollen and tired (but incredibly happy!). I hated it that people had to see me like that but, hey, they stared at the baby not at me! So it's okay.

So I'm not saying I don't want visitors. How can I say no to so much good will and love and happiness? I'm just saying that I didn't expect the days after giving birth would be so horrific as much as it was ecstatic. No one warned me about those other awful things. How raw and emotional I'd feel, how swollen I'd look, how adult diapers are so yucky and uncomfortable, how I'd be so tired I won't have the energy to even brush my teeth.

But, mommy-to-be planning a huge party in your hospital room, this is your lucky day! I'm sharing with you what happened to me so you won't be so smug. I know how you feel really. If you read through the 2010 posts of this blog, I sounded pretty much like you: Why are pregnant mommies so ugly? Why don't they put on makeup when they give birth when it's such a photographed day? Yada yada. I was such a judgmental know-it-all. Well, now I know better.

So I really don't begrudge your smugness. It's annoying but I understand. I'm hoping that this post warns you about what might happen on that happy day so that you'd be prepared. So that you won't be caught standing in your piss, with your breasts exposed, and with your ass in the air.

And even if those things happened, it'll still be alright. After all, your visitors aren't there to see you; they're there to see the baby! If there's anything I learned that wonderful day, it's that life has truly ceased to be about me--it's all about my child now. And that's okay. Have a safe delivery!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I love Lucy

... and Lucy loves me!


Lucy Torres Gomez reads my blogs! OMG! I am so thrilled! I can't even begin to describe how delighted I am right now. So I'll just pat myself on the back for a job well done. So stoked!

P.S. We're talking about the Ethan Allen design challenge, by the way. Lucy helped campaign for my bedroom (Thanks, Lucy!). Contest results will be announced tomorrow. I do hope I win it, but even if I don't, I'm cool. The consolation prizes are pretty amazing, too! Happy sunny Sunday!

P.P.S. Follow me and Congresswoman Lucy on Twitter!

April 3 UPDATE: I won!