Saturday, August 31, 2013

Spaghetti faces are love!

This post is brought to you by Del Monte Spaghetti.

You know what makes an ordinary day special? Soft bedsheets. Brewed coffee. A good book. A really great hair day. Bubble baths. Spaghetti.

My kids love spaghetti. Well, I don't know any kid who doesn't like spaghetti. But in our home, it's a pretty often request. "Giletti! Mama, cook giletti!" I dunno how spaghetti became giletti but that's how Vito says it! So what's a mama to do? I cook the giletti!

I'm glad that Del Monte made these Spaghetti Merienda Packs. They're so convenient.

I love the recipes at the back, although this hotdog spaghetti (which I cooked) was too kiddie party for me. Well, it is for the kids so I shouldn't complain!

I love that I don't need to measure anything, especially the noodles. The amount is just right for my family of four!

Ta-daaaa! And there's spaghetti!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Teach your kids the proper way to brush teeth

This post is brought to you by LOTTE Xylitol.

As Xylitol brand ambassador (that's me at rightmost, with the baby), I am compelled to talk to you fab mommies about dental health.

Actually, I'll confess that I don't have the best dental hygiene habits but I only found out how awful I've been after a fascinating talk given by Dr. Fina Lopez at the launch of the Lotte Xylitol Make It Zero program. I mean, I have really nice teeth. Even my dentist says so! But apparently, I've just been lucky because I've been brushing my teeth the wrong way for the past, oh, 36 years!!!

Dr. Fina Lopez. I super love her diamond drop earrings!
Dr. Fina said a lot of interesting things. Most of them horrifying for me actually! For example:
1. Cavities are contagious!!! OMG. Before you kiss a guy, ask if he has cavities! Joke. No joke! For us mommies, don't allow people to kiss your kids especially on the mouth. I have always found that gross. Plus, tell yaya not to blow on your baby's food because if she has cavities and her saliva splatters on the food, your baby will get the bacteria in her mouth. I actually had my former yaya go to the dentist and have her teeth fixed. Wow, it was soooo expensive! Tapos umalis lang siya after a few months! Kainis! But after Dr. Fina's talk, I'm so happy I did that!  
2. Cakes vs chocolate? Chocolate wins! While both food are sweet (and therefore bad for your teeth), chocolates melt.  
3. Iced tea vs soft drinks? Neither! Both are not just sugary, they are also acidic. Drink water!!! 
4. Always supervise your kids' Brush Teeth Time. That's what we call it here: "Okay, kids, Brush Teeth Time!" And then my boys run to the bathroom. They love brushing their teeth! But Dr. Fina said it's not enough to just brush together, we must actually make sure the kids are brushing their teeth right. Young kids especially don't have the manual dexterity yet so she said to lay the baby on my lap and brush his teeth while he's lying down. Good luck. This really annoys Iñigo. With Vito, I just make him bend his neck back so I can really see his teeth. 
Now let me tell you how to brush your teeth, mommies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I actually do care about the Miley Cyrus issue

I said this on Facebook today:

The link to the story is here: Everyone Calm Down About Miley

I used to be from that world so, really, Miley's antics aren't that shocking at all. It's entertainment. Horrible entertainment but it worked. People are talking about her, buying her songs, and the tabloids (both print and online) are happy. Just another day in Lalaland. But that's the former entertainment magazine editor in me talking.

As a feminist, I don't really care what Miley does. She's an adult. I believe in free expression and I can't impose on her what I won't allow people to impose on me: censorship.

As a mother, well, I feel bad for her. I'm sure Miley loves the attention (and the money in the bank) but if I were her mother, I'd rein her in only because what she did was beneath her. Miley's so talented. She could do better, and I don't mean better as in be virginal and sweet. She can still be sexy and hot and outrageous without being cheap. I mean, look at Beyoncé. That woman is practically naked most of the time herself, always showing off her legs, her butt, her cleavage but she does it well. If I were Miley's mommy, I'd make sure that if she wanted to show off her body, it wouldn't distract from her talent.

A friend told me I'd be singing a different tune if I had daughters, that I would be bothered by Miley. Actually, if I were a mommy of girls, it still wouldn't really bother me. If I had daughters, they wouldn't even know who Miley Cyrus is. Yup. It's possible. I grew up without a TV or movies. My mother said they were tools of the devil. So there. No media exposure. I feel like an idiot sometimes especially when I landed a career in media but that's what my parents did and even though I grew up in the age of Madonna, Britney and Spice Girls, I didn't end up sleeping around, being undressed and all that—supposedly the result of being a fan of these amazing women. Why? Because my parents, who eventually allowed TV and a few movies, controlled what media we were exposed to while teaching us good, solid, home-cooked values.

(However, my parents overlooked books. Books are more dangerous than any TV show, movie, song or half-naked celebrity.)

I compare this issue with parents blaming iPads and TV and video games as the reason their kids have behavioral problems or they blame junk food as the reason their kids are fat. Duh. Who bought those gadgets? Who bought those chips? Who is the parent who supposedly controls what the kids do, get exposed to, eat? Some responsibility please.

Don't blame the star for being a bad role model. Look, stars don't become stars because they want to be a role model. They want to be famous and rich and adored. So if the issue is Miley is a bad example to little girls everywhere, there's really no issue.

But but but I'm not done with this issue yet. As a mother of sons, I am concerned. I'm worried about how moms of daughters are so worried about Miley Cyrus and girls of her ilk. Why are you worried? If you're raising your girls right, you'll have nothing to worry about! You'll know that they'll know where real self-worth lies, that seeking attention is vanity, that success borne out of hard work and talent is valuable. I want moms of daughters to not be afraid of Miley. She's a product of the entertainment industry. She's not real. She's an image, a commodity. She's not scary at all.

But I'm scared because I have sons. If your daughters grow up to be like Miley (twerking, half naked, tongue lolling out and all), you'll still love her. She's your daughter. You will love her forever.

If my sons end up with wives like Miley, oh dear heaven, I don't know what I'll do!

P.S. Mom of little girls Daphne Paez told me that Miley's dad is actually worried about his not-so-little girl so there's hope for Miley yet! His advice:

"How many interviews did I give and say, 'You know what's important between me and Miley is I try to be a friend to my kids'? I said it a lot," he admitted. "And sometimes I would even read other parents might say, 'You don't need to be a friend, you need to be a parent.' Well, I'm the first guy to say to them right now: You were right."

Parents, be a parent to your kids. Don't be their friend!

UPDATE Aug 29: Well, this song was just released today. Justin B and Miley C. This song is going to explode. I told ya Miley had it all planned out.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How much protein should I feed my kids?

The visit to the pedia is still weighing heavily on our minds. Dr. Cricket says our boys need to get taller and that can happen with more protein in their diet and more sleep at night.

Tonight, we had success again. Well, sorta. Iñigo was asleep before 8 P.M. while Vito followed at just before 9. We still got them to sleep within that 8-9 frame so I'm going to relish this achievement. Now I'm researching on how much protein my boys should be eating.

My boys eat a lot. In fact, their weight is normal. But they eat mostly a carb-heavy diet—rice, pasta, noodles, bread, cereals. Rice is usually with mashed veggies like squash, pasta is with tomato sauce, noodles with a meaty broth, bread with Nutella. They eat a lot but as you can see, there's hardly any protein in their diet.
Gourmet chicken nuggets. Vito likes chicken actually.
Iñigo eating chicken empanada.

Protein can be found in meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish), eggs, dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese), beans and soy (tofu, taho, soy milk). How much protein should they be eating? Well, according to lots of sources, 2 servings of protein a day is what a toddler needs.

How big is a serving? For kids, it's half an ounce. An ounce of meat is the size of a domino, so half an ounce is half a domino (see illustration below). Wow. That's not a lot! That's like a thumbnail-sized chicken, beef, fish! Half a tablespoon of peanut butter! Isang tokwa! I have no excuse! If I can't get my kids to eat a mere half-a-domino-sized piece of chicken, that just makes me a lazy mommy.
image source

For vegetarians, here's a great guide. Just half the serving for your kiddos!
image source

Okay, mommies, that's the second stage of my Make the Kids Grow Taller Campaign. First, make them sleep by 8 P.M. Second, make them eat protein-rich food. Third, get them to exercise more. Exercise is good for growing bones and muscles. Let's see how this goes. I hope to get better news at the next pedia visit!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The importance of good uninterrupted sleep

This post is brought to you by Pampers.

Success! It's 8 PM and both boys are fast asleep.

It's been difficult lately getting them to bed at around this time. During the day, Vito and Iñigo mostly play on their own, or Vito with Vince, Iñigo with me. It's their age difference—Vito keeps himself busy with the iPad and his Legos while Iñigo has his Lego Duplo and various household objects that still fascinate him. But at night, when the lights are out and no toys are in sight, that's when they play together. Bedtime has become so fun that it's just crazy trying to get them to sleep!
During the day, Vito plays with his Legos while...
... Iñigo is fascinated with everyday objects.

Anyway, today at the pediatrician's clinic, Dr. Cricket Chen told us that the boys' height has hit a plateau. It should be steadily rising. So while our boys get comments frequently from other parents about their height ("They're tall for their age!"), their pedia said we can't rest on our laurels. The kids need to grow consistently so she advised more meat in their diet for protein and more sleep. "They should be asleep by 8 P.M. because that's when the growth hormone is released," Dr. Cricket said. So we're so relieved and happy that both boys are now sleeping soundly even before 8 P.M. chimed.

To add to this, my new site partner, Pampers, sent me materials emphasizing the importance of uninterrupted sleep. I read this:
"Sleep is vital for babies as it helps them make sense of all their new experiences and enables full physical and cognitive development. Processes occurring during sleep help to stimulate the development of the nervous system.  
Dr. Luci Wiggs, an infant sleep expert at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, commented, 'Sleep is vital for the healthy cognitive, behavioural and physical development of your baby. External influences such as hunger, discomfort, noise and other disturbances can all affect a baby’s sleep and bring them into a heightened state arousal (disrupted sleep) even if they don’t fully wake up.'"
In the same Pampers info sheet, Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines President Alicia Estiller says, “Sleep deprivation is associated with stunted growth, weight problems, low attention span, delayed learning and behavioural problems.” I did some research on what lack of a good night's rest or what interrupted sleep can do to growing little bodies. I was quite alarmed to confirm what Ms. Estiller said. According to Baby Center, these can be the results:

  • slowed or stunted growth
  • the strength of heart, lungs and immunity can be compromised
  • hormones that regulate hunger are affected causing a child to overeat or to prefer high-calorie food. This can lead to insulin resistance.
  • motor skills, concentration are affected
  • behavioral problems 

I will confess that Vince and I were feeling blue after we left the clinic today. We want our boys to be tall and strong and smart and happy. By allowing them to enjoy bedtime too much, we may actually be harming their growth and development!

Here are our steps to ensure the boys will sleep early and sleep throughout the night:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Moms for Moms accepting donations!

My babies are sick with coughs and colds but they are warm and dry in bed. My heart is breaking for all the babies and children out in the cold and wet tonight. Here is Iya Giron, same age as my one-year-old Iñigo, floating on the floodwaters of Malolos, Bulacan.
Photo from YouScoopGMA

I am sure all the mommies who've seen the news on the victims of Typhoon Maring can't sleep tonight either. I'm so glad that a group of mothers called Moms for Moms are doing something for the little kiddies.

I'm going through my boys' hardly used things later today to send to Moms for Moms. I'm sure you'd love to do the same! They need volunteers, too. Here is their Facebook page.

Happy giving!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why our kids need iron (very important info!)

This post is brought to you by Sangobion.

Because I'm a Sangobion Brand Believer, I was reading up on how our bodies use iron.

Iron is a mineral that our body needs for many of its functions. For example, our blood needs iron to make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout our system. It also helps enzymes to digest food. Plus, according to WebMD, "iron is necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair and nails." When you don't have enough iron in your body, not only will you look horrible, you'll also feel weak, forgetful and maybe even stupid (you know how sometimes you do dumb things even though you know you're a smart person haha?). That's what happens if you're an adult.

Because they're in rapid growth phases all the time, our children—especially infants and toddlers—need lots of iron, even more iron than we adults need! If our kids are iron deficient, they can suffer delayed motor and mental function. In short, when our kids are anemic, they may grow up slow and stupid. Scary!!!

I got scared because my kids don't eat meat often. Meat is the biggest source of iron. My boys like carbs (rice, bread and noodles) and milk and cereals. I checked our cereal boxes for iron content and all of them are iron-fortified (Nestlé Koko Krunch and Nestlé Cookie Crisp both have 14mg per half cup, Kellogg's Coco Pops has 5mg per half cup). That's great! Vito and Iñigo need about 7mg a day!
Chart from Wholesome Baby Food. Read more about iron and your baby at their site

Of course, I'd rather they get their iron from not sweet food (breakfast cereals are too sugary). Heck, I'd rather they get their iron from real food! Here's a list of iron-rich food that I got from Kelly Mom:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Is breastfeeding for rich people?

Of course not. One look at all those documentaries of tribes and you'll see women with their breasts hanging out and a child (or two) latched on to her chest. It's those documentaries that convinced me that breastfeeding is the easiest thing in the world.

Of course when I gave birth to Vito, I was in for a shock. Breastfeeding is just about one of the most difficult, most painful things I've ever experienced! When Iñigo was born, I thought, "Second time around. This should be easier." Hell, no. It was even worse! I keep telling people, "I would rather give birth than breastfeed." Yes, it's that bad. But, hey, I breastfed both kids successfully. I'm still breastfeeding Iñigo actually. Breastfeeding is a skill that mommy and baby must learn. Once mastered, only then does it become the easiest thing in the world.

Nursing 3-month-old Iñigo at Power Plant. No cover. I'm a shameless hussy.

So here I was feeling smug about being such a fabulous breastfeeding mom. I have my breastfeeding clothes, my nursing covers, my breast pumps (one electric, one manual), my breast pads, my nursing bras, my bottles, my lactation aids. When I experienced trouble with nursing, I turned to books, online resources, videos. When I went back to work, I had my own office to pump milk in comfort, the pantry ref to store my milk and a cooler for transporting my precious milk back home. I am a fully equipped breastfeeding mommy! And it crossed my mind that my success in breastfeeding comes from my money. And it crossed my mind yet again that maybe the reason why many poor moms don't breastfeed is because they can't afford it.

One day, a few months after giving birth to Vito, I was at an Air21 to ship a package. The lady there was pregnant at the same time I was pregnant so I asked her how her baby was doing. She said her baby girl was doing well, just a bit on the skinny side. I told her that fat babies are not necessarily healthy babies and added that my Vito, who was born a few days before her daughter was born, wasn't fat either. "It's the breast milk," I assured her. "Hindi tumataba nang grabe ang baby na dumedede sa ina." And she replied that didn't feed her baby breast milk. She stopped nursing after 2 weeks because she had to go back to work. She said her breasts became so engorged, she had a high fever but she had to work. So she just wrapped her breasts tight in plastic and hoped the pain and swelling would go away.

"Pang-mayaman lang po yang pagpapadede," she laughed at me. "Wala po akong pump na sinasabi niyo. Kung meron man, saan po ako gagawa nun? Nakabantay po ako dito maghapon. Mas lalong di ko pwede pisilin yung dede ko para lang makakuha ng gatas. Wala rin po akong lalagyanan. Mapapanis lang po. Mas mura pa ang Bear Brand. Pwede na yun."

It's hard to be smug after you hear that.

The truth is breast milk is the best food for our babies. But there's also that truth that not every mother find providing that milk easy or without cost. If mothers didn't have to work, then no issue. We can all just stay home and breastfeed our children. No excuses! But many mothers need to work—either the father is absent or isn't earning enough. For these mothers, what is the solution?

I honestly don't know.

This Breastfeeding Awareness Month, my Facebook feed is filled with calls to attend breastfeeding classes at this posh hospital, to buy tickets to this breastfeeding rock star's talk, to avail of special discounts on breastfeeding paraphernalia, to pressure malls and other public places to build comfortable nursing stations with nice chairs and electric sockets and refrigerators, to condemn forever all moms who feed their babies formula. This is all good, of course. All good to us fabulously lucky mommies.

I'm not saying we should stop talking about breastfeeding. I'm forever going to be an advocate! I am in fact in the middle of editing a book on breastfeeding. But I know I'm really lucky. And that luck makes me feel so bad for those who aren't because I really don't know how to help them.

I told the Air21 lady, "Bilhan kita ng manual pump!" And I thought as I said that, "What are you doing? A manual pump is still a few thousand pesos! You have to buy her bottles and a cooler, too!" But I didn't need to worry because she refused my offer. She just laughed at me again. "Wag na, ma'am. Nanakawin lang yan. Salamat na lang po. Masaya na po anak ko sa Bear Brand."

I never went back to that Air21 shop. I was afraid of her. I didn't want to see her anger and scorn and shame and guilt. I know she felt that because when she laughed at me, I looked at her and knew what she was screaming at me silently: "Keep your fucking bleeding heart to yourself, bitch. You don't tell me what to feed my child!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vito's on Disney Junior's Birthday Book!

I was really hoping for the TV version but it's tough to get in! So I'm still happy he got included in the online Birthday Book.

I love that his picture frame matched his Gingersnaps shirt. But Vito doesn't like Little Einsteins (he's too young to appreciate it) so when he saw this, he asked for Mickey and Jake and Huggiemonstee instead!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vito is 3!

Today, Vince posted this photo of Vito covered in Nutella on his Facebook wall. He said:
"They grow up so fast. This guy turns 3 today and already he needs a shave."

Tonight, our three-year-old boy is asleep. Exhausted. He started his third year at 6 in the morning, the first one up as usual. He opened the bedroom door and exclaimed, "Wow!" The house was festooned with party decorations that his Tita Jacqui put up the night before. Vito slowly inspected the house, saying, "Wow!" every now and then. His little brother, Iñigo, followed him around, saying, "Wa!" too!

Vince and I decided that we won't have a party for Vito. Instead, today was Vito's Favorite Things Day. So he had the iPad all morning. Then chocolate cake with a birthday candle, chicken empanada and spaghetti for lunch. Then we all went to Active Fun for unlimited play. Then we had doughnuts. Then he opened his gifts (he yelled, "Ninjago!" as soon as he ripped the wrapper). Then his first friend, Alfonso, dropped by the house to play for an hour. Then he slept at around 6pm, saying, "Fun! Happy!"

Happy birthday, my dearest darling Vito. Thank you for the best three years of our life! We love you beyond comprehension!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet my assistant! He's cute!

I'm a work-at-home mom. That's actually not truly technically true. I may write at home but my freelance job as a writer and editor still requires me to be out a lot. I have meetings and photo shoots and interviews and events la di da. Tough job! Hehe. No, I'm lucky to do what I do. It's not so hard. Ya know why? I have the cutest assistant in the world!

For example, for this photo shoot of Dr. Yanee Vasquez for my Manila Bulletin column...

... Iñigo is in charge of getting food. I just tell him, "Okay, act cute and do your thing." No fail. The food and drinks magically appear!

Of course, he eats all the food. He doesn't even share! Here he is stuffing himself again. Photo shoots aren't very interesting, by the way. I caught him looking really bored here.

Then when I ask him to style the products, he has this huge attitude problem!
"Fix the Lacoste, Iñigo." "No!"

Then he's always distracting the photographer. How can anyone do their jobs really with Iñigo around???

Hehe. He's cute! Seriously, he's the easiest baby in the world. In fact, because he's so adorable, he's the ice breaker at every client meeting, photo shoot, event and celebrity interview! So he makes work easier!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Love the shopping at Gingersnaps!

I was going through my iPhoto library recently and realized that I have dozens of photos and stories that I missed telling you all about. Then I saw that my Iñigo seems to be wearing his Indian shirt from Gingersnaps over and over and over again. It's crazy. You might think Iñigo doesn't have any other clothes hehe. Here's the boys in a few of their Gingersnaps clothes.
We love Gingersnaps because the clothes are very soft on baby skin. At a recent lunch date with the owners of Gingersnaps (hello beautiful mommies Sabrina and Sherry), I found out that the proudly Pinoy brand really tests each design to check if it's soft on skin but tough enough to withstand active play. I can attest to this. My boys are really comfy in their Gingersnaps outfits and the clothes don't get torn or misshaped with rough use!

So I was so happy that after lunch, Sabrina and Sherry said we can shop for our kids (and ourselves, too!) at their lovely Greenbelt 5 shop.
Aww. So adorable!
I like that the girls' clothes look like little girls' clothes. I can't stand sexy clothes for little girls!

The other mommy bloggers went straight to business. They perused the racks of cute clothes like professional shoppers!
Moms of boys Eli Ypon of The Painter's Wife and Neva Santos of Manila Mommy
Jackie Go of Go, Jackie Go! and my Iñigo are both in gray.
Tin Dychiao of Manila Fashion Observer with Sabrina Uy of Gingersnaps (in red)
Martine De Luna of Dainty Mom (standing) and Charlene Sio of Apples & Dumplings

I looked around but—big confession here!—I don't shop for my kids without their father's opinion. I don't even shop for my husband's stuff. When it comes to male fashion, I leave it to Vince to decide. So I waited for Vince and Vito to join us at Gingersnaps. I wouldn't have been able to do any shopping anyway. Iñigo was running and playing around the store happily!

What a fun fun day! Thanks, Gingersnaps! We had a great time. Let's do that breastfeeding line! I can see it now—Topaz Mommy and Gingersnaps Stylish Nursing Wear! 

Anyway, I was so inspired by their story on building a business that loves children and expectant moms. I loved how Sabrina and Sherry are such successful women and amazing mothers. And I loved their gentleness most of all. 

Gentleness is a quality I don't see anymore in women. It's not a quality I possessed. Ever. But as I become older, I find that there is value in grace, compassion, patience, kindness, quiet, discretion—all gentle traits, traits that have always been attributed to women (which I thought was a sexist attribution). But it's lovely. And to see women living so gently and so successfully inspires me to do the same.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reader question: How can I love another baby when I love my only child so much?

There's always room for more!

You know, I keep getting this question! Funny thing is I also had this question when I was pregnant with my second boy, Iñigo. Since my heart was just so full of love for Vito, I also wondered if there would be enough left over for Iñigo. I was plagued with guilt so much and I haven't even met Iñigo yet! That was definitely a cloud over my pregnancy.

Well, the good news is, yes, you can love another baby! And you can love and love and love again! I won't lie, though. The love you feel for each child will be different but you will love them anyway. The reason I'm blogging about this is because a reader, Nerisa of Baby Neo's Mama, sent me that question and I could feel her heartache even though she doesn't even have another child yet. So I remembered my guilt at having Iñigo and I thought, "Many moms feel this! There is no need to suffer!"

Here's our emails:

Nerisa said yes to my P.S. and that's why I copy-pasted our correspondence. But I want to add more.

In a survey reported by the Daily Mail in the UK, it was found that 1 in 12 parents have a favorite child. As the article's first line said, this survey proved what we kids who have siblings knew all along! There really is a favorite child! As I said in my email to Nerisa, in my case, Mama favored my brother Theodore. That's because he really was the perfect child. Handsome, sweet, kind, talented, obedient, grateful, loving, compassionate. I pray all the time that my Vito and Iñigo be like their Tito Ted!

I like them both! Sometimes, I like one less (tantrum!) or the other one less (tantrum again!)
but I love them both to bits, even when I'm annoyed with one or both!
I think you can't blame parents for liking a child over the rest. It's unfair but it's not shocking. I think this way because growing up with Theodore being the favorite didn't make me envious or resentful. I get it. He's my favorite sibling, too!

I will confess that there were times I wished my parents liked me more but I really was just too different. They wanted a pliable, sweet, obedient daughter and they just weren't going to get that. I could've chosen to be what they wanted me to be and be adored for that, or I could be who I am and then they'll just have to grudgingly respect that. Very early on, I decided that my parents didn't have to like me because they were very good at showing me that they loved me—no matter what! And I am grateful to them for loving me so much that even when I felt their dislike and I disliked them, too, we knew we loved each other anyway. This love allowed me to grow and be who I am without fear, and it allowed them to shower their favor on one child, which I'm sure was a relief!

They have each other. My heart is at peace.
Like and love. They're different things. I tell my boys, though they are still very young, that they don't have to be friends, they don't have to like the same things, they don't have to even like each other, but that they have to be there for each other, that they'll have each other's back, that they will watch out for each other. No matter what! And that's what having more than one child has done for me, too. I know my kids have each other. Vince and I will die one day. Our children won't be alone. It's a comfort to a parent's heart.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Time flies

This morning, over breakfast, I was telling Vince about the LeBunny Bleu launch. As usual, I brought Iñigo with me. What's unusual was Vince and Vito followed us at the event. I said, "The magazine editors (that I used to work with) kept calling Iñigo, Vito!"

When Vito finally showed up, the editors were so shocked. "This is Vito?! Wasn't he just a baby?!"

And Vince and I laughed at the story. Vince said, "For single people, time stops. Kids remind you every day that time is passing you by very fast."

And I said, "Yes. Every day, I look at the kids and I think, I can't catch up. It's too fast!"

He doesn't like me kissing him anymore =(

The bittersweet irony of becoming parents (well, one of its many bittersweet moments!) is that parenting is the beginning of a great adventure. Perhaps the greatest for many of us. But it's also the beginning of the end because every single day that our kids grow, develop, learn, become stronger, wiser, better also means that we, their parents, grow old, become weaker, fade away.

I don't really mind. I'd give up all of me if it means my children will become a better them. And yet I pray to God every day, "Please give me a long and healthy life! I want to see my children grow, love, live! Give me time, dear God. If it is Your will, give Vince and me time."

Time, it's the most precious, fleeting thing I want!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Show me your kid's #SpaghettiFace and win a fun Del Monte merienda gift!


Okay, I promised over at my Facebook page that I was going to do a giveaway today. So here ya go! I'm giving away an arts and crafts gift set to two mommies!!! Thanks, Del Monte!

Del Monte Spaghetti already makes merienda time super special with their Spaghetti Merienda Packs, but they're upping the ante by giving away these gift sets so that your afternoons with your kids will be even more fun and special!

Here's what's inside:

To make the bonding time fun and educational, Del Monte thoughtfully included these activity cards for you and your kid to do.

Here's what Vito, Iñigo and I did: organizing colors and painting with watercolors!

Of course, the winners will also get a Spaghetti Merienda pack and a nice glass bowl!

Here's how to win your Del Monte Spaghetti Merienda Pack Gift:
1. Follow Del Monte PH on Twitter!
2. Follow me on Twitter!
3. Tweet a photo of your kid's spaghetti face. "@FrancesASales Here's my son/daughter [kid's name]'s #SpaghettiFace! We love @DelMontePH spaghetti for merienda!"

Here's an example of a spaghetti face: Just your kid eating spaghetti!!!

That's it! Super easy! Super fun! Super sarap! Good luck! I'll pick the two cutest winners!!!

And the winners are:

I loved how Geoff and Kahlan are feeding themselves and how messy they are. Spaghetti is a messy affair. It's the only great way to eat it! Congratulations, mommies and kiddies! Del Monte will send you your fun gift packs soonest! Just send me a message over at my Facebook page so we can go over the details.