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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Diaper Care for Baby - CHANGE often (a Johnsons Baby sponsored post)

Stan has changed more diapers than I have but both of us know that changing diapers can be a scary experience, especially for a new parent.  You can be in for a treat if baby is cooperative and just lies back while you go about your business. But generally - that's not the case.  Especially with E, S has been sprayed with pee and poo countless of times!  Fun aside, changing diapers is serious business.  For the third post in this Johnson & Johnson series of Complete Diaper Care, I would like to focus on Step 3 - CHANGE your baby.

Cloth diapers have not always been a part of our lives.  With N, we semi-cloth diapered her and used disposables during the day and at night.  As a user of both disposables and cloth diapers, I can say that there are certain concerns that are applicable to parents of babies on cloth or disposables.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Keeping Kids in Car Seats

Car seats are not required in the Philippines.  Plus, because they are expensive, they rarely get included in baby registries nor do parents include them in must-have lists for babies.  N and E started using their car seats as soon as we got discharged from the hospital.
keeping kids entertained with
We started with a Chicco Keyfit infant basket.  It was huge, heavy and sturdy.  N used it until about 14 months.  At that time, the recommendations were that you can switch baby from rear facing to front facing when they turn 1 year old so we purchased a Mothercare Advance SP for her.   Her Keyfit basket was passed on to her cousin then subsequently to her cousin's cousin.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

OT: Bazaar Season is coming!

Breastfeeding mom and celebrity Tintin Bersola-Babao is holding her annual Christmas bazaar on November 9, 10 & 11, 2012.  She has been organizing this bazaar for several years and this year's beneficiary is Shepherd of the Hills orphanage.  

Tintin shared that she is interested in having more mompreneurs join her bazaars so if you are an aspiring mompreneur, want to expand your business or just starting, this event would be a good opportunity to showcase your products!  

I wanted to join but it is my sister's birthday on the 11th plus Friday the 9th is a workday.  However, my friends from Manila Baby Shop will be there! :) 

Contact 9310852 or 861-00-6 if you're interested to join.  See flier for more details.  


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Setting Direction to this Blog

Sometime in May, I won a coaching session from Mommy {T} Coach through a giveaway from My Mommyology.  My entry was

Jenny O:  What still is my biggest challenge is to decide whether to concentrate on being a WOHM or WAHM – concentrate on my full time job or on MBL plus the blog/advocacies and family!!  Doing all 4 is driving me nuts!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Bamboo Dappy Giveaway

E is almost 10 months old and has been fully cloth diapered since he was 7 weeks old.  That means that he has been cloth diapered for about 35 weeks.  We have avoided the use of 1,470 pieces of diapers (at a conservative estimate of 6 diapers per day).  With N, we only did partial cloth diapering and used Mamy Poko which was about 13 pesos per piece.  So with E, we saved more than P19,000 already plus reduced the landfill waste by more than 1,000 pieces of soiled diapers! 

More and more parents are switching to cloth and I'm glad to see a lot of cloth diapers available locally.  One of the local brands widely available is Bamboo Dappy - a brand developed by Jenny Chua, a mom of 2 active boys.  Jenny developed this brand when she found that disposable diapers take at least 250 years before they fully decompose.   Bamboo Dappy also supports the World Wide Fund programs that help ensure a sustainable future of our country.  Every time a Bamboo Dappy gets sold, the company donates P10 to their WWF for their monthly donation.

Monday, October 15, 2012

K-12 for Private Schools

In the middle of the year, I was lucky to have joined a small group discussion organized by OC Mom in Manila with representatives from the Department of Education.  Burning in our minds would be the implementation of the K-12 curriculum.  The meeting was held in SM North Edsa's The Block because of the ongoing DepEd GO! (Greater Opportunities) interactive exhibit to launch its K-12 Basic Education Curriculum information campaign.

I went through the exhibit but it was focused on public schools which had a standard implementation.  I had several questions for DepEd, particularly on the simultaneous implementation.  You see, N asked me a very valid question.  Her cousin, J, turned 7 in May 2012.  Meanwhile, her friend K (incidentally, Next9's son) was also 7 (turned 7 in December 2011).  However, J was in Grade 1, while K was in Grade 3.  Both boys go to exclusive boys' schools albeit colors apart ;)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sponsored Post: Let your baby star in his/her own video!

This is the second part of a 3-part series sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Baby.  You can read the first post, A Mother's Commitment: Giving Without Counting the Cost, here.

Being a photographer's wife is both a boon and a bane.  It is a bane because Stan usually gets booked during weekends so we have limited family time since I am working during the week.  But it is also a boon because I can ask him to take photos of the kids on a whim.  We have amassed quite a collection of photographs for both N and E.  N's photos have been compiled into an album and she enjoys browsing to them and asking us to tell stories about her during that certain age.  Meanwhile, we are compiling E's monthly photos and plan to create a photo wall for his 1st birthday.

Because I have compiled a good number of E's photos, I was excited when I found out about Part 2 of our J&J assignment - I was to upload E's photos and have him star in his own video!  I enjoy personalized products and since I am not a creative person, having a set video where I was just to upload photographs was an easy assignment.  The challenging portion was choosing the photos from a myriad of choices :) Without further ado, presenting E's first photo video courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Baby.

Do you want your own baby to star in his or her own video? You can do so by visiting Baby's First JB Video app. Note, however, that you do have to toggle your privacy settings and allow cookies for the app to work.

Visit the Johnson's Baby Facebook page to learn more about Johnson's Baby Complete Care Diaper System.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oversupply and Strong Milk Ejection Reflex

When my milk finally came in with E, I had a raging oversupply!  No, I didn't pump during the early days but I think the breast compressions must have somehow triggered my body to make a LOT of milk resulting in an overactive milk rejection reflex. [Milk Ejection Reflex or MER is what is commonly known as "letdown".  LATCH President Buding shared that she learned from her breastfeeding training in Canada that MER is better used as it is technical and descriptive as opposed to letdown which is negative and implies failure]

As a result of my strong MER, E usually coughs and unlatches when my milk starts to flow - and he not only gets a mouthful of milk but a face full as my milk usually sprays all over his face and clothes!

I did some online research and was able to control my oversupply and help E manage the milk flow better.  He is now 8 months and I do still have strong MER sometimes but it's either E has learned to swallow fast or my management techniques worked ;)

To manage oversupply, I used blockfeeding.  I feed E 2x in a row at the same breast, instead of switching breasts.  This way, the breast A won't be as full during the 2nd feeding and it will regulate the supply in the other breast (B).  This is  because breast B becomes full and won't make as much milk.  Remember that an empty breast results in faster milk production.

Along with the oversupply, I had a strong MER.  During the early days, I utilized a washcloth.  E latches and stimulates my milk, when it starts to flow, he unlatches and I immediately use the washcloth to catch the wild sprays.  When the milk flow slows down, I put E back to breast and he is able to contentedly feed without issue.

One of the suggestions I read here is to nurse the baby in an upright or "Australian" position.  The baby lies on top of mommy's tummy while feeding, allowing gravity to play a role.  However, we didn't use this because E was small (about 2 weeks) when I started to encounter a strong MER.  So I resorted to blockfeeding.

If you are so inclined, you can also pump to reduce engorgement.  However, when you pump, don't pump to empty the breast (again, empty breast results in faster milk production).  Pump just to feel comfortable or to get over the first MER.  Throughout the feedings, there are usually 2-3 MERs and it is the first one that is forceful.  When you get over the 1st MER, the 2nd and 3rd ones are usually better handled by baby.

La Leche League has a detailed page on how to deal with oversupply and forceful MER.  Check it out HERE.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My little models and Happy 9th Month E!

N and E both love posing for the camera! Maybe it is because of the influence of their photographer dad Stan.  I, on the other hand, hate posing.  In fact, whenever we do family portraits, Stan gets irritated because I get irritated after maybe about 5 minutes of posing.  I want shots to be quick and fast!

My kids are the opposite! Both love hamming it up on the camera and in fact, N has gotten to the stage where SHE directs her dad and tells him what angle or what pose she wants.

So when Rone of Mothering Earthlings offered me the chance for my 2 kids to be included in her Model Earthlings program, I excitedly accepted!  We are regular customers of Mothering Earthlings and that's where I get E's bibs and funky shirts.  You can read more about Mothering Earthlings in my previous post.

The kids' loot arrived on Thursday which was perfect since we scheduled E's 9 month pictorial last Sunday.  I know it was late! E was sick during his 9th month-day hence the delay.
N is wearing a Sweetheart Ribbon Headband
In a vibrant Aja Dress.  N requested for this shot!
the little boy is in a Fiddle Tops striped shirt
and loves his Velcro Sneakers
yes, he is a little seƱorito!
Did you know that you can only get Agoo apparel from Mothering Earthlings? I love their unique designs and have almost all of the girl designs!

Thanks again Rone for choosing my kids to be part of your Mothering Earthlings program!

Friday, October 5, 2012

VitaPops: Candy or Health Supplement?

One of the activities we attended last August was the launch of an innovative product from Unilab - VitaPops - the first & only pop rocks Vitamin C.  The event was held in Active Fun, Global City and was hosted by Donita Rose. Another guest was Daphne Osena-Paez, who like Donita, was an endorser of VitaPops. The theme of the event was "Pop Rockin' Field Trip".  I loved how the organizers included activities for the kids, to allow the moms to participate and listen to the speakers and main activity.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Filipino Association of Babywearers' Babywearing Event is happening

The last babywearing meet happened in March.  We've been working hard and have come up with a logo plus a Facebook page!  But we couldn't let 2012 slip by without organizing another meet.   So the last meet for this year is happening on 20 October 2012, 1:30pm at Renaissance 3000 function room.   
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 The program will consist of an introduction about F.A.B., a talk on babywearing benefits, babywearing safety plus our new activity: Sling and Move with baby!  We will be having raffles and special sales from our vendors! You can see some photos from the previous babywearing event here. Visit the Facebook Event Link.  Do sign up below to join and see you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PSA: Alay na Gatas mo. Sagip sa Buhay ko

There will be a milk letting activity in CAMANAVA on 11 October 2012.  This is to show their support for the No to the Milk Monster Bill Campaign.  See details below.
We are pleased to inform you that the Breastfeeding TSEK (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo) campaign has been effective in raising mothers’ awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding in the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela.
To date, our exclusive breastfeeding rate have significantly increase from 41% in 2010 to 74% in 2011in Caloocan City, 66.24% in 2010 to 82.23% in Malabon City, 49% in 2010 to 61% in Navotas City and 74.54% in 2010 to 80% in Valenzuela City. We are most grateful for ARUGAAN for training and mentoring the peer counsellors and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to guide and assist pregnant moms with their babies in their breastfeeding journey. 
Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil/Bulatlat.com
Our campaign does not stop here and we are in fact on our way to implementing the program on a wider scale through the conduct of a simultaneous breast milk letting activity “Alay na Gatas mo. Sagip sa Buhay ko” on October 11, 2012, Thursday to be participated by all health centers in CaMaNaVa District. 
A total of at least 3,000 lactating mothers will participate in the activity that aims to advocate that infant formula is not needed during calamities, crisis and emergencies since mothers who breastfeed can donate their expressed breastmilk to infants in need. Breastmilk to be collected will be donated to the milk bank of Philippine Children's Medical Center to help premature and sick children in need of mother's milk. We are working with the local government units and breastfeeding advocates who can help with our cause. 
We hope to provide tokens of appreciation to the breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding support group members who will join the breastmilk letting activity. Special prizes will also be given to mothers who are most participative, breastfeeding icon, best breastfeeding practice barangay etc. We hope that you can support us by providing tokens and prizes for the mothers involved. A donation in cash or in kind would be highly appreciated.
What is urgently  needed would be breastmilk bags to store the milk that will be collected during the event.  If you would like to pledge milk bags, please do contact the City Combi Officer, Kenneth Samaco at 09164632165.
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