Monday, December 30, 2013

A lesson at the playground

At the playground some time ago, my three-year-old boy wanted the slide all to himself. He had been playing there for a good 10 minutes all on his own when a couple of kids joined him. I told him to share, then stood back to see what he'd do.

He did not feel like sharing.

He barred the way up the slide. He shouted, "No! My slide! Go away!"

The little girl he shouted at got angry. She stomped her foot, and with one stern finger pointing at Vito's face, she snapped, "You are a very bad boy!"

My Vito looked like he'd been slapped. He ran to me and pointed to the girl, who looked at me in alarm. I said, "Well, Vito, you didn't share the slide. You shouted at them. That's not what a good boy does. She's right. That was very bad what you did."

Vito and the girl looked shocked. Vito's eyes welled up with tears, but I didn't say or do anything. When he realized he wasn't going to get any sympathy from me, he sat quietly beside me. The little girl and her sister played on the slide happily. A few minutes later, Vito stood up, looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mama." I hugged him, a big quick hug, nothing too special. "I'm glad you want to play nice. Now go and play." He went to the little girl and said, "Sorry!" And she smiled and then they all played together.

Since that day, we have never had problems with Vito not sharing or not playing nice. He's always been a good boy but he's a kid and he does naughty, selfish, stupid things once in a while. We're pretty relaxed parents but when our kids do bad things, we are quick to correct them. We never let bad behavior slide. We're aware that if you allow just one whine, one mean word, one rude expression, then it's back to square one and sooner than you think, you have a monster living in your house. It's exhausting, this constant vigilance!

You always have to stand up for what is right, even if it means standing up against your own kid.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Conversations with Vito

Just before bedtime.

Me: Okay, all the boys have taken a bath! Papa, Vito, Iñigo. I'm the only one who hasn't taken a bath. And I'm the girl!

Vito: Whaaaaat?! You're a girl?!


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When we announced the pregnancy to the boys.

Me: Vito, Iñigo! Mama has a new baby in her tummy!

Vito: Whaaaaat?! Baby again?!


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One afternoon while Vince and Iñigo were napping after lunch.

Me: I'm so hungry. Baby Chicken makes me hungry all the time.

Vito: You want rice, Mama?

Me: No.

Vito: You want bread?

Me: No.

Vito: You want pizza? I make pizza!

Me: Oh, sweetheart, thank you but I don't want to eat pizza.

Vito: Ummm... Chicken? Cake? Cookie?

Me: No. It's okay, baby.

Vito: Mama, you need to eat! Come! (Brings me to kitchen) Eat!

Me: What Mama wants isn't here.

Vito: What does Mama want?

Me: Empanada dipped in vinegar.

Vito: Whaaaaat?! Paaaaaa-pa! Wake up, Papa!


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One morning when Vito was feeling bored.

Me: Vito, why don't you talk to Baby Chicken?

Vito: (leans close to my tummy) Bok! Bok! Bok! Bo-ok!


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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Healing our country through music and prayer

This post is brought to you by SMART Communications.

It's almost Christmas and I'm sure us mommies are thinking about the families, the orphans, the homeless, the victims of the earthquake in October and super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in November. They are still on a long road to recovery, that's why we just have to keep on giving!

Smart Music now offers a way for us to help and all we have to do is download the song, "The Prayer." Known as the song Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli sang together, it was sung by the Loboc Children's Choir in the rubble of earthquake-devastated Loboc, Bohol, a performance that quickly went viral. 

Ramon Chuaying of the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI) says, “These children may be from Bohol, but their innocent voices represent not just their home province but also earthquake-damaged Cebu, war-stricken Zamboanga, and typhoon-devastated Leyte, Samar and Iloilo—all of whom are praying for a miracle to allow them to rebuild their lives.” 

“We asked the help of various Filipino artists, to lend their voices, to represent our country and show the world that the Philippines has one voice, one prayer—that we work together to help our countrymen rebuild their lives brick by brick,” he added.

PARI, Universal Records, DDB Philippines and Smart Music now present to you "The Prayer" by the Loboc Children's Choir and 23 Filipino music artists:


Friday, December 13, 2013

Are you a "Yes!" parent?

This post is brought to you by Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion.

I'm happy to announce that Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion is now a Topaz Mommy partner! I'm helping support their campaign called "Mommy PROs," because motherhood is a job and we are all professional mommies! In our case, however, it's always on-the-job training! Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion would like to help us on our motherhood career with tips and stories and shared mommy experiences on their Mommy PROs app on Facebook.

For our first topic, I'm going to talk about "yes parenting."

I find it interesting and even worrisome that parents are forbidden to say "no" these days. No spanking, no yelling, and now, no "no," too. Even when you say "no" to your child, you must always say so positively. For example, instead of "No, you cannot eat ice cream for breakfast," you say, "You can eat ice cream after you eat lunch."

I'm pretty much a chill mom. I say "yes" a lot. Yes to candy and ice cream and chocolates. Yes to iPad and TV. Yes to toys and playing with everything in the house. Everything in moderation, of course, but my husband and I don't see the point of being the happy police, and by that I mean we are controlling their happiness. If it makes them happy, let them enjoy it.

Yes to doughnuts! We get them these treats maybe once a month only.
Yes to iPad! Well, Vito's use is monitored but we really should say "no" more.
Yes to getting hands dirty!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Iñigo's kisses

I know some of you don't have Instagram so I'm posting these videos for you. They're of our Iñigo's kisses!



Our little toddler is such a sweetie. He's the one full of hugs and kisses. He hugs and kisses so much, Vince and I are, like, "Little dude, that's full on make out. Control yourself!" Iñigo loves kisses! He'd kiss us a hundred times. He kisses anything and everything—Papa, Mama, Vito, his cars, his toys, his high chair, the rabbit!



He tries to kiss Vito but Vito hardly ever lets him. Poor Iñigo!


Darling Iñigo! Thank you for the kisses! We are savoring every big and little smack of love!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happiness is one, two, three!

Proud daddy Vince said, "Why are you still keeping it a secret?"

Why indeed? So here goes:

We're pregnant again! We are so thrilled and happy and so excited!

We've known since my birthday a little over a month ago so that was the best birthday gift. Then we waited for a new ultrasound to check if Baby Chicken has a heartbeat and, hooray, the baby's heart is beating strong so the baby is the best Christmas gift, too!

Baby Chicken is the nickname of the baby now. We named our baby-in-the-tummy after candy (Vito was Jelly Bean, Iñigo was Wiggle, you know, like the sour worms) so this third baby was supposed to be Gummi Bear. But Vito took one look at this, saw the egg shape, and promptly said, "Hi, Baby Chicken!"

Hi, Baby Chicken! We can't wait to meet you! Be strong and healthy in Mama's tummy! We love you!

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Justin Bieber in Tacloban!

I've never had an opinion on Justin Bieber mostly because I don't listen to his music, although I did find "Baby" catchy.

As a former entertainment magazine editor, I was happy he was famous enough and dated someone famous, too (Selena Gomez, if you didn't know), to fill the pages of my magazine.

As someone who was bullied when I was a kid, I never approved of, joined in or thought it harmless that so many people all over the world loved to hate him.

As a mom, I definitely feel horrible that such a hardworking boy would inspire so much hatred from millions of people. He's a kid. Leave him alone.


And now, I think we should all just love the guy! I thought it was amazing he turned his focus on the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda with his #GiveBackPhilippines campaign. The campaign aims to raise funds for Yolanda's victims in Central Visayas. All you have to do is donate as little as USD 10. The more you donate, the more prizes you can win. Prizes? Yes! To encourage donations, Justin is giving away campaign shirts, signed lyric sheets, VIP tickets to his Believe movie premiere, and the grand prize of getting to spend the day with Justin at the studio as he records new songs. He says he'll fly the winner and a friend from anywhere in the world to L.A.!!!



"When I heard about the massive scale of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster, I wanted to help in any way I can," Justin said. "One of the best ways I can do that is to bring a major fundraising effort to my fans all around the world—especially via social media. Prizeo will make it easy for them to donate and to share information with all their friends, hopefully maximizing the funds we can raise for the relief efforts."

I'm now even more impressed that Justin Bieber actually took the time off his busy superstar schedule to make the long trip to Tacloban to help bring a little bit of sunshine to the survivors. When I was watching his little concert at a school on the evening news and saw how the girls swooned and the guys grinned, I just have to give it to Bieber: He sure made them happy!


To donate to #GiveBackPhilippines, CLICK HERE!!! It's an exciting page actually. Go check it out! Mommies with daughters who are Beliebers, you will want to support this!

Thanks, Justin!

And thanks so much to Smart, PLDT and TV5 for partnering with Justin Bieber to promote #GiveBackPhilippines. I'm so proud to be part of the Smart family!

The photos of Justin in Tacloban is from the Facebook page of Smart Communications. Click here to see the rest of the album.

P.S. Donate! Win a prize! Mwah!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Skinny kid problems

My boys are blessed with the skinny genes of their parents. No matter what Vince and I eat, we never gain weight. I say it's a blessing because we enjoy our food so much and we can eat all day and never have food issues. It's the kind of thing you wish on everyone.

It's never been a problem to feed Iñigo. He eats anything. Except fruit. He doesn't like fruit. He got that from me, I think. I'm a veggie girl. Vince is the fruit guy. Other than fruit, Iñigo will gobble up anything. As you can see in these photos, he is a joy to feed!

But he's not gaining weight. He's getting taller, he's very active and energetic, he's super smart and funny, he's not moody or listless. That means he's well fed! But but but he's not gaining weight.

The pedia said it's great that Iñigo is not a picky eater. That's the problem of most parents of toddlers. We had that issue with Vito, for example. But the pedia said Iñigo needs to gain weight. She thinks my breast milk is drying up and he's not getting enough. She told me to pump milk so I can gauge just how much milk my breast produces in a feeding, but I already know in my heart that she's correct. My boobs have lost their fullness. I know there's hardly any milk in there.


So the pedia said we're to give him 6-8 oz of fresh milk every day. Give him multivitamins. Give him rich food like ice cream. Fry his veggies in butter. Feed him all the fatty food he can take!!! Then we'll see. The pedia says that if he's still 10 kgs after 3 months (he's been 10 kgs for 6 months now), we'll have to maybe switch him to a fatty formula. Good luck with that!

Iñigo can eat all day but when it comes to other milk, he's not so welcoming. He'll sip a bit of fresh milk and chocolate milk but he always wants my milk. I actually want to wean him already (I have a super valid reason but I'm keeping it a secret!) but because he loves to nurse, I just allow him. He's 19 months old now. I guess we can keep this up for 5 more months.

Except my breast milk is either not enough or not fatty enough. So maybe he is better off on other milk. Oh, the problems of being thin!


This reminds me of how our neighbors used to make fun of my parents. They said, "May laman nga utak ng mga anak nila, wala namang laman ang tiyan." All because my siblings and I were skinny kids. We never went hungry. We always had something to eat but people still thought my parents didn't feed us all because we didn't gain weight.

That made me so angry. It still makes me angry. I hope no one looks at my skinny kids and think we're not feeding them. Ha. In this country where everyone thinks fat kids are healthy? Tough luck.

Darling Iñigo, I don't want you to be a fat baby even though I'm going to feed you lots of bad food like ice cream and cake and cookies. I just need you to gain a bit of weight. I don't know how that's going to happen, given your skinny genetic makeup, but we have to make it happen! Good luck to us!

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