Monday, September 28, 2009

Online Donation

For all those who are based abroad who wish to donate for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, you may do so through Philippine National Red Cross's website (www.redcross.org.ph). online donations are accepted via secure credit card transaction (BDO Gateway). Just click on the "Donate to Us" button on the left hand side, and fill out the details on the page it will take you to. Make sure you choose the Typhoon Ondoy from the dropdown list of Project/Activity.

Please, please donate any amount you can. It will for sure go a long, long way.

Thank you & God bless us all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Wrath of Typhoon Ondoy



Just looking at the pictures and videos of the typhoon that hit Manila yesterday gives me goosebumps all over. I read from Facebook all the updates of my friends back home, and was stunned to learn that most of the metro was submerged in water after 6 hours of continuous month's worth of rainfall.

I became worried sick and immediately called my Mom just to check on them, including my pet dogs, Chloe and Chooey. I was relieved to hear that they're fine albeit my sister who got stranded and decided to stay at her classmate's place after their classes were suspended at St. Paul QC. Thank God the waters have spared our home, and that none of my family members were left treading the waist & chest-deep waters of the metropolis.

Next phone call I made was to my in-laws to check how they were doing amidst the heavy rains and flooding. They were at SLEX on their way to fetch my BIL who was stranded somewhere in Pasay. My SIL was also due to arrive last night from the US, and we were worried whether she made it home or not as I heard some flights were cancelled due to the heavy rains. Thank God when I called this morning, Mama told me she arrived in one piece and is now safe and sound at home.

I pray for my countrymen who have experienced yet another calamity. I pray for their strength, particularly those who were affected by the flooding - those who lost their homes, their properties, and most especially those who lost family members and friends from the wrath of the typhoon. I pray that the government rises above the situation, and fulfill its duty to provide public service.

To my kababayans, my thoughts and prayers are with you in this trying time.


September Happenings

September is almost over, and in just a few more days, I'll be back to work again :( I wish I could stretch my maternity leave as we're having so much fun, all three of us, despite the lack of decent sleep.

Since Dade turned 1 month old, he started becoming more interactive which amuses me & the husband. He's learned to smile and laugh, and is cooing and giggling a lot. We attempted to capture those moments but everytime we point the camera at him, he suddenly stops and takes interest instead on staring at the contraption. Hay! I promise one of these days, we'll be able to document that picture-perfect smile of yours, sweetheart!


Now that we've gotten the hang of paglalakwatsa with a baby in tow, we have taken to liking the idea of visiting friends and family, as well as attending birthday parties, too.  Before my Mom flew back to Manila, we visited my team mate, Hazel, who gave birth to her second miracle at the same hospital where I delivered.  A day before that, we attended her elder son's 3rd birthday party where Dade & I even won a prize from one of the parlor games. *thanks, Mom, for keeping a tube of red lipstick handy!*



with Klyde, his lola, my hubby, my Mom & of course, Dade


the DIFCA Pinoy ladies with the kids & the birthday boy


welcome to this world, Karlisle Hanz Joachim!

A couple of weeks ago, we as a family, visited my cousin, Sarj at her apartment, and swung by Bob's place after having coffee at Starbucks in Jumeirah Beach Road with my friends at work. Yep, all three socializing opportunities in just one night! And last Friday, we hied off to Ponderosa to attend Tin-Tin's Tinkerbell themed 3rd birthday bash which was a whole lot of fun! So sweet of Maria, Tin-Tin's mom, for bothering to pick out a gift for our son, too!



happy birthday, Kristina!


me & Dade


thanks, Aunt Maria! 

All these happenings were such a blast, thanks to our son's improving social skills & lesser crying spells. I just hope in the coming weeks his sleeping patterns would improve next *cross fingers*.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Cutie Monster at 7 weeks

Dade's ninang B couldn't get enough of him. I swear, this baby is gonna be rotten spoiled not by us but by his godmother who adores him to bits. When she stayed for the night Wednesday last week, she brought with her some photography gear so she can take pics of the little boy. Another free pictorial - yay! :)

holding on to Mommy
held by Mother dear
tiny ear
precious hands
my adorable boy
tummy time
innocent looking
our family

Thanks, bessie B for all these gorgeous pictures! Love 'em all!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Lens

From time to time, I get to use hubby's 40D. I'm not exactly fond of using it unless I really need to (read: sideline photography gigs) because it's so bulky, and uploading pictures is not as quick & easy as my G9 *lazy!*

Lately though, I find myself using it a lot to take pictures of Dade because we got ourselves a new lens. Yup, it's the very lens I've been wanting to get for the longest time but was procrastinating on buying because I was hoping i'd be able to save enough for the L version of it. But what the heck! It's sole purpose is to capture moments not for commercial use so I decided to be practical & buy the cheapest & most economical one among the three versions.



Thanks to Canon's 50 mm f/1.8, I can now take nice bokeh pictures in one easy click of a button. yeah, it makes noise and is much slower than the f/1.4 and f/1.2 but it does take very sharp images without the hefty price tag. I'm so glad I didn't cough up that large sum of money for a lens that takes awesome pictures. Me likey! :)

I'll be postin' some recent pics of Dade shortly. Gotta go in the meantime as my now talkative boss beckons me. Later...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Life According to Madonna

Reposted from a tag in FB.

USING ONLY SONG NAMES from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!



Pick Your Artist:
Madonna

Are you a male or female?
Material Girl

Describe yourself:
Lucky Star

How do you feel:
Where's The Party?

Describe where you currently live:
White Heat

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
La Isla Bonita

Your favorite form of transportation:
Easy Ride

Your best friends are:
Cherish

Your favorite color is:
True Blue

What's the weather like:
Fever

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Take A Bow

What is life to you:
Express Yourself

Your current relationship:
Till Death Do Us Part

Breaking up:
Bye Bye Baby

Looking for:
Holiday

Would not mind:
Music

Your fear:
Die Another Day

What is the best advice you have to give:
Open Your Heart

If you could change your name, you would change it to:
Angel

Thought for the Day:
Live To Tell

How I would like to die:
Bedtime Story

My motto:
Love Makes The World Go Round

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Babysitter



I hate to admit this but Ryan is a far better babysitter than I am.

For someone who has no experience whatsoever in taking care of an infant, he is doing a fantastic job. He's good at changing nappies, great at pacifying the little one, and is terrific at lulling the baby to sleep. I see that he's got this innate ardor with kids, and our little boy is a testament to that.

If only he has mammary glands, O'm sure he and Dade will do fine without me. Sorry for them both, I have what the little one needs and wants the most :) Tee hee!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Motherhood at 6 Weeks



The past 6 weeks since Dade was born have been the happiest for us especially for me as a newbie Mom. Sometimes I catch myself feeling overwhelmed at the sight of my son - the baby that I helped create...the one who literally lived inside me while I was building him.

With the daily grind that takes place in our household, I try as much as I can to pause for a few minutes at least to take in the events, big or small, that unravel right in front of me.

So far, these are things that I learned/realized/felt/experienced:

  • A baby is a special blessing. Despite the weariness his demands can do to you, seeing his innocent face can make it all worth it. And the irony of it all is that you would keep wanting to do more for him despite the trouble.
  • A straight 8-hour sleep has become a luxury I could probably never afford in the next 7 years (or more!) It's ok though because it's all part of the beautiful experience of motherhood.
  • Despite the deep love you have for your child, 2 growth spurts in less than 2 months can get the better of you. But when you realize that he has to go through this side by side with his developmental milestones, you just bear with his fussiness and go with the flow.
  • Learning a new trick to soothe your fussy baby and lull him to sleep feels like striking an oil mine after hours of constant digging. Turns out Dade likes being swaddled even after many attempts of breaking free at first. He also likes his swing now (hallelujah!!), and prefers to listen to classical music to the likes of Vivaldi and Mozart. A combination of these two rock him to sleep pronto.
  • Nursing is a fulfilling thing to do. It keeps you more connected to your child and makes you feel extra special in a unique kind of way. Hell yeah, I'm a Dairy Queen & I love it!!
  • However, when you nurse, you also wanna feed yourself every couple of hours or so because the hunger pangs you feel are so intense to ignore. Well, you need to be nourished in order to nourish your child so for now, the idea of aiming for the pre-wedding shape is temporarily shelved.
  • 'Baby blues' are not called such for nothing. The first couple of weeks all I ever wanted to do was cling to the husband - literally! I remember Iwould feel extremely sad when he had to leave for work. There were several times when I would nurse our son in our bedroom, and I would find myself suddenly crying buckets of tears whenever I'd gaze at my two boys. I couldn't explain why but all I could blame for all these are my hormones.
  • Not all babies like being in the water. Dade still hates taking a bath. He screams and cries like crazy as soon as water is poured over his skin. I hope he overcomes this soon.
  • Mini-massage is heaven to babies. They feel soothed and comforted especially after being forced to take a bath :)
  • It took me about 4 weeks to finally distinguish the kinds of cries my baby makes. More or less I have mastered this, and I could now easily tell what's bothering him just by listening to the tone of his blubber.
  • Mothers are there for a reason. They will never stop parenting you even when you're already a parent. So listen to what they have to say even if they seem to be too old-fashioned or superstitious for you. You will still find yourself learning a few tricks of the trade. After all, she is the mother who raised you so she has that credibility.
  • A brief "me-time" can make you feel guilty for leaving your child to be cared for by someone else - even if that someone else is your own husband or your own mother. I didn't know a one-hour pedicure can lead to so much worry and guilt! Despite the calm ambiance of N-Style, the Friends episodes they played, and my very own Sennheiser ear phones, all I ever wanted was for the nail technician to finish as soon as she can so I can rush off to my waiting son.
  • Shopping with baby in tow should only last for a maximum of an hour & a half. That's generally for a top, a dress, and two pairs of shoes from 4 different stores in Dubai's largest shopping mall. Go beyond that to push your luck and you'll end up dealing with a bored baby whose only means of communication is crying.
  • But thankfully, my son likes to go malling. I guess he likes the noise. At his age, he's a certified mall rat - been to all the major malls around town. Just make sure you're always pushing his pram because he gets cranky when his ride is idle. Oh, and did I mention he also fusses when we're on our way home? This happens ALL the time. (tsk, tsk...lakwatsero ang anak ko - mana sa ina!! hahaha!!)
I know I'll be discovering more in the next coming weeks, months and years as a new parent. and with that, I say, "bring it on!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September: Season of Series Premieres

I love this time of the year - fall! It's the season when all my favorite series come back to the small screen for their new season's premiere.

Gossip Girl - September 14




House - September 21



Heroes - September 21



Grey's Anatomy - September 24



And the new series i'm following, Dexter, America's favorite serial killer - September 27


It's about time. I've ran out of series to watch.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dade at 3 Weeks

Just wanna share with you some pictures taken when Dade was 3 weeks old. Our friends, B & K came over our place 2 weeks ago, and transformed our flat into a makeshift studio to take pictures of our little boy. Thanks to them, we have these beautiful photos of our precious angel:



Friday, September 4, 2009

Breastfeeding Rollercoaster Ride

I thought it's going to be easy. Turns out it's tougher than it looks.

I have been very vocal about my desire to exclusively breastfeed my son. Just like every mother, I only want what's best for my child. But when the time came for me to finally fulfill this, I felt my world about to crumble because of the threat of defeat. It wasn't as simple as I thought it would be.

The day I delivered Dade, he was immediately roomed-in so we can have that ideal mother-child bonding within the hour he was born. Still feeling groggy from the operation, I quickly jumped to the opportunity and agreed to have him latch on to me. All along, I really thought he was latching on properly, and that we were both doing so well.

However, on the second day, I noticed that he was getting fussy and seemed to be needing to feed like every hour. Add the sore nipples that I started to have, too. For someone who has gone through a CS operation, the need to wake up almost all day and night was a torture especially after barely 48 hours, and with pain from the stitches attacking you when you least expect it. Eventually, the lactation consultant confirmed my worst fear - my son wasn't latching properly. As a result, in less than 3 days, he lost 12% of his birth weight and ended up jaundiced.  The interim solution: mixed feeding.

My heart sank but I had no other option. The lactation consultant, however, was encouraging and reassured me that this was just a learning curve for both me and the baby. Going forward, she asked me to pump on the third day. I managed to produce 10ml each session which was cup fed to Dade with the help of the nurses and Ryan. Thereafter, he would be given formula for sustenance. On the day we were discharged, the lactation consultant came by to see us both and had Dade latch on to me to see any progress. Things did improve. Not that great but a lot better than the previous days. I was told to just give it a week's time and see how my milk production would be. Once my milk production improves, I can take out the formula milk from Dade's menu even sooner than planned. So off we went with a few bottles of formula milk on hand and with hopes that I would be able to produce more milk later on.

I am so thankful I did invest on a good breastpump. It has become my new BFF since I became a Mom. But despite having one of the best equipment for expressing, the first week was challenging to say the least. There were days when I literally prayed to the heavens to make me produce enough milk each time I pump. I also went crazy researching ways to improve my milk production. The silly goose that I was compared myself to other nursing mothers, which only made me feel worse. There were nights I would cry out of frustration, and even came to a point where I questioned my capability to nurture my own son. I almost gave up.

Despite having a supportive husband, I decided to seek solace from my sisters in an online forum I belong to. I thought if there is someone who can understand what I'm feeling, it would be another mother who also nurses her child and had gone through challenges in the course, as well. That's when I decided to write one of my breastfeeding inspirations, Mandy, who is an online friend, for support and tips. And I'm glad I did because right off the bat, she did come to my rescue. I thank her for her assistance because not only did I manage to help myself increase my milk production but also gained confidence with what I'm doing. Despite her busy schedule with raising two kids and home schooling her daughter, she took time to answer my mundane questions and became my virtual cheerleader.

Now almost five weeks later since I delivered, my milk production has improved tremendously. My letdown was way, way better. My son also learned how to latch on properly and my nipples don't hurt anymore even when he feeds every couple of hours. The best news is my son gained a quarter of a kilo in 3 weeks. When he had his 2nd check up yesterday, his pedia said we did good - our son is strong and healthy.

I know there will be more challenges ahead with raising a child, but I realized that with perseverance and positive thinking, any parent will be able to surmount them with flying colors. This is just one of those uphill battles that I need to face, and I'm sure there will be more to come. Lesson learned: don't raise the white flag that easily.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy 1st Month, Dade!

Baby, you've just turned one month old today. Time does fly when you're having fun :)
You've given us 31 days of pure bliss and we're so joyful of that.  Just seeing your precious face makes the sleepless nights all worth it.

We love you so much! Hugs & kisses, precious munchkin!!