Thursday, October 31, 2013

What our kids really think about us

Today I was talking to a mom who believed she wasn't doing anything right.

I said, "Relax, mommy. Seriously, all that matters is they're clothed, fed and safe. You can put them in nice clothes or simple ones, you can feed them organic or canned food, you can watch over them yourself or hire trustworthy help. Whatever you do, as long as you do it in love, you're doing what's right for your kids."

She said, "I can't do that. I can't relax. How can you do that?"

"Because I don't have a lot of time with them," I replied. "Every day, they take one step farther away from me. I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts!"

A New Perspective For Moms from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

We need to love motherhood, mommies. We have to stop the guilt. Our kids love us just the way we are! 

Here's what Vito thinks of me:

Vito: Mama, you're hot!

Me: (blushing) What? Aww, thanks! Who taught you that?

Vito: Papa! (Then he touches my arm, rubs my skin.) Hmm. Oh no, you're not hot. You're cold!

There went my ego! Kids, you gotta love them!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

My iPad Mini makes me happy!

This post is brought to you by SMART Communications.

I totally forgot to tell you about my new nifty little toy!

SMART gave me an iPad Mini a couple of months ago because SMART is now a blog partner of Topaz Mommy! Oh wowowow! It was their welcome gift to the SMART family, which I'm really happy to be a part of.

I'm so glad they sent me an iPad Mini. I wrote here before how Vito is so in love with my iPad. Yes, I actually already have an iPad but Vito already claimed it. He calls it "Vito's iPad" and no one can say otherwise. So I needed a new iPad!

So why do I need an iPad? Let me count the ways!

1. The iPad saves me from boredom when I'm breastfeeding. I mean, really, there's nothing else to do. I tried books and magazines but my kids never liked it when I'm reading anything made of paper when they're nursing. They tear it up or flip the pages! But with an iPad, I put on some music to soothe the baby while I catch up on my Facebook, Twitter, fave blogs, and also my almost always neglected correspondence. I can also read ebooks.

2. The iPad also saved me from post-partum depression. When I was a new mom to Vito, I felt cut off from the world. The feeling of isolation was worst in the dead hours, when everyone was asleep and I was alone with a crying baby. Thank God for the iPad! I found mommy communities, I researched on childcare, I chatted with my mommy friends on Facebook. I stopped feeling isolated and started feeling like I now belonged to a new sisterhood.

3. The iPad organizes my life! Schedules, emails, notes, to-do lists—everything managed with a swipe of a finger!

4. The iPad helps me in my mommy duties. It helps me instantly find recipes, crafts projects, and household tips and tricks like how to remove nail polish my son spilled all over his shirt. I also do quick consultations for kiddie milestones and to check symptoms when my kids are sick.

5. The iPad helps me as a work-at-home mom. It makes it easy for me to promote my blog, interact with my readers, and communicate with clients and blog sponsors.

6. Last but not the least, the iPad helps keep the kids entertained when we're out. Thank heavens for the iPad!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to take care of my sick baby daddy

This post is brought to you by Vicks Vaporub.


Thanks so much, Vicks, for sending me this first aid kit for sick daddies!

I'm part of Vicks's new campaign about caring for our husbands when they're sick and they sent me a care package just in time because my husband really did get sick and needed extra TLC. So the Vicks Manchild Care Kit was extra appreciated!
Inside was a box of tissues for wiping away snot, a can of chicken noodle soup to warm up achy tummies, a towel for sponge baths, petroleum jelly to moisturize sensitive noses, green tea and Vicks VapoCool menthol candy to soothe sore throats, Vicks inhaler to unclog stuffy noses, and Vicks VapoRub to rub on congested chests and aching muscles.

As I mentioned here a few posts ago, these past two weeks, our home transformed to sick bay. First, Iñigo got sick. Two days later, Vito caught the bug. Four days later, Vince and I got the virus. Vince and Vito were hit hard the most. They were miserable and feverish, sneezing and coughing constantly. Vince fired up the steamer to humidify the air. We quickly used up the Vicks VapoRub on chests, backs, and melted in bowls of hot water to freshen up the air and help decongest everyone.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm proud to be part of NIVEA BABY's mission to help moms and babies at Fabella!

This post is brought to you by NIVEA Baby.

I just found out a truly beautiful thing: NIVEA BABY is renovating the maternity wing of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.

Fabella is a mother-and-baby hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila, famous for being a "baby factory." That's because of the high rate of babies born there every single day. I read on Wikipedia that 20% of Metro Manila's babies are born in Fabella. I don't know if that's true but just one look at this photo and I can believe that:

The volume of moms and babies is so high that they are forced to share beds. This is just one of the many challenges the hospital and its patients face. Space, ventilation, hygiene, storage... the list goes on and on! What grabs my heart most is the fact that their neonatal intensive care unit is so needed and yet so severely needing help itself! Dr. Melissa Juico, Chairman of the Department of Newborn Medicine, says, “Fabella caters to premature and high-risk babies. Most of the families you see here are those who cannot afford quality hospitalization.” 
The entry hallway
The maternity ward where up to three mommies with their babies share one bed.
The breastfeeding station.
Up to three babies share one bassinet in the NICU.
These photos make me cry. I gave birth to my sons Vito and Iñigo in the best hospital money can buy because I believed that giving birth was a sacred, beautiful, and powerful thing. Vince and I saved and saved for months and months so we can have that experience. I wish every mother and baby can feel what we felt—security, safety, comfort, peace of mind, good food, good care. The experience need not be luxurious. I've thought about giving birth at home actually because I seem to pop out babies so easily. So it's not luxury that I wish these moms experience. Giving birth just needs to be, oh I don't know... It just needs to be special.

This is happiness

Most days today are perfect. Thank You, God! Vince and I are constantly saying, "This is happiness!" Thank You, Lord! We are so incredibly happy so that even when we all caught a nasty bug that brought us all down for two weeks, we just can't help but feel grateful and happy! Thank You, God!

Before we got sick, my family and I had a simple little date at Greenbelt. It's nothing special and yet it's everything special. From how my boys' eyes widened with wonder at watching the fish to all of us eating our regular dishes at our favorite restaurant, it was all so ordinary and it was all so wondrous.

It was our family's first time at the fish ponds. 
They loved all the gorgeous reds and golds!
What fascinated us! The fish are so big!
My one true love! (Hmm. Parang ang liit ni Iñigo dito!) 
The boys running up and down the stairs of the atrium is always a source of great fun.
My baby daddy and my baby saying hi to me!
Starting our meal with dessert. As usual!
Iñigo throwing everything down to the floor while Mama tries to ignore hehe
Vito's favorite thing to do in Cibo.
Iñigo's favorite thing to do in Cibo.
This is happiness!

My marriage and my kids. They're all I need! Thank You, God, for the blessing!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm a Vicks VapoRub Mommy!

This post is brought to you by Vicks Vaporub.

Always do something new every day. That's a pretty tall order, especially if you're a mom who's trying to maintain a predictable schedule for kids. My life now is pretty ordinary—stay home all day to take care of the kids and the house then stay up at night to meet work deadlines. Nothing really special, except that last week, Vicks VapoRub asked me to co-host the launch of their new ManChild campaign!

I have never hosted anything in my life! I seriously tried to back out! But it's part of my duties now that I'm a Vicks VapoRub Mommy. Yey, mommies! I have a new blog partner! And we're going to talk about taking care of our hubbies when they're sick.

Here are some photos from the event:
That's RJ Ledesma and his wife, Vanessa, and his unico hijo, R3. RJ and I are the new brand ambassadors of the ManChild campaign. Vanessa was game enough to join us in a morning of embarrassing RJ haha.

Full house! I was freaked out! I even tripped on the stairs of the stage. That was how nervous I was.

Getting last-minute instructions. I sat with RJ's family and manager.

The show started with RJ talking about how men are the pillars of the home. They work hard to provide for and to protect their family. He said that that's why they must be strong all the time and that nothing, not even a little cold, can bring them down. That's when I laugh myself to death and introduce the idea of the "ManChild."

A peek into my babies' bathtime with Mustela

We've been using Mustela for our sons' bath time (although we're currently trying out Sebamed). I asked Vince to dig up photos of the boys taking a bath and he gave me these funny pics. Iñigo's just 10 months old here and Vito's just about to turn 3. They are so hilarious!

Mustela is a mommy-and-baby care line that offers natural, safe and innovative formulas for expecting moms, newborns and onwards. Even I use it to wash my face sometimes! They are hypoallergenic; tested by dermatologists and pediatricians; has no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalate, EDTA, genetically modified plant extract, chlorphenesin, alcohol, SLS, etc.; and at least 92% of ingredients are from natural origins. They smell really good, too! 

When Mustela invited me to a little gathering with other moms to check out their new line called Mustela Bebe, I just had to go!
The complete line of products with helpful Mustela girls to tell you all about them.
Yummy food at Stacey's at Bonifacio Global City.
The woman in the white jacket is Mustela's Sharleen Cu-Unjieng. The woman in the striped dress is our friend,
Vanessa Mayuga-Santos a.k.a. The Vain Mama on
The noisy table of mommies! From left: Rikki Mathay with her daughter, me, Jane Kingsu-Cheng and Keri Zamora  
Rikki, Jane, Mustela's Sharleen Cu-Unjieng and Tammy Tancinco, Keri and me 

Here's what I learned:

The Mustela researchers discovered that: 
  • A newborn’s skin contains a rich cellular resource: a reserve of stem cells at its highest potential at birth
  • These cellular resources constitute the vital resources of baby’s skin and are needed for a lifetime
  • This stem-cell reserve remains extremely vulnerable during the first few years of life, while the cutaneous barrier is being built.    
  • It takes several years for the skin barrier to reach maturity.
  • While it is still being formed, the skin barrier is particularly vulnerable to daily stresses.
  • As a result, this fragility prevents it from effectively protecting the precious vital resource present in babies’ skin.  

Now, Mustela's Bebe and Sun Protection products have a new active ingredient called Avocado Perseose, which supports the development of the barrier function and protects the reserve of cells against day-to-day stresses. 

I will have to say that Mustela is an expensive brand. That's why I ask my sisters-in-law to give Mustela to the boys for their birthdays! (I know. I am such a party-pooper!) But the products are really worth it. Try them on your babies and on yourselves now!

Mustela is available in stand-alone kiosks in Ayala Trinoma, Robinson's Ermita, Glorietta 4, Shangrila Mall,  Megamall A, Greenhills, The Shops, Alabang Town Center, and Mall of Asia.  Shop-In-Shop: Rustan's and Landmark Department Stores, Mothercare, Pure Beauty, Numa Eco Baby Store, Medela House, and Chimes Department Store, Davao.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

My kids' stroller is Silver Cross

We have two strollers for the kids: Silver Cross and I forget the brand of the second one (I'll update this post as soon as I check the brand). The latter is very small so we use it when we need to be quick. But most of the time, we use the Silver Cross stroller.

The Silver Cross stroller was Mothercare's Christmas gift to Iñigo last year. Here he is in his fab present (thanks, Mothercare!):

Here are more photos of him loving his Silver Cross stroller (which I personally also love because it's the brand of choice of British royalty!):

So it's really for the baby, but guess who loves using it, too?

Yep. That Vito! We're glad that the stroller can be used by both kids. So now we only need to bring one stroller and the kids take turns using it. Here are the reasons why we like our Silver Cross stroller:
It's a stroller, not a car. Seriously, I detest those strollers that take up the entire elevator or the entire sidewalk! This is a simple, light, and easy-to-open-and-close machine. We love that it's efficient.

It's narrow enough to fit into small spaces but spacious enough to fit a baby to a preschooler!

We love the comfy safety harness. Plus, the harness is easy to put on and to remove.

Well, we really shouldn't do this but we hang my bag on the handle. It's sturdy! This stroller is pretty strong but, like I said, it's sooo light!

And I love that there are many pockets! We also love the detachable cup holders, detachable hood and seat cover. This is such a fab stroller!

You can get Silver Cross strollers from Mothercare. Branches are in Active Fun Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 5, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Manila, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, SM Masinag, The Podium, Trinoma, Abreeza Mall Davao, Centrio Mall CDO, Harbor Point Subic and SM Lanang Davao

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