Friday, May 29, 2009

My Baby Just Loves to Play

My baby daughter loves to play - with her toys, mom’s “kikay” kit, my aging gadgets, plastic wares, doors (my goodness), and all other things that are new to her sight.

But that’s how kids are, right? They care nothing less in the world than having fun ALL the time. If they can’t associate the idea of fun with the things you want them to do, they will most likely do something else.

Dinner Time. My daughter gets bored eating even if the only thing she has to do is to open her mouth and chew. She doesn’t care if you keep on babbling that it’s good for her health. Just what is health to a child’s perspective? Ah... umm... ahh (exactly my point).

It’s a different story though when it comes to the goodies from her lola’s sari-sari store. The taste of lollypops and cookies is a joy for her to nibble.

So to make her eat, we let her finish her food at lola’s store. Her lola would usually promise her a choco bar after she’s finished with dinner. And by the time she's finished, she’s already satiated to eat anything else.

Brushing Time. My daughter would usually run or cover herself with a blanket whenever it’s time to brush her teeth. Even if the only thing she has to do is to alternate smiling and saying “ah” for about a minute while I do the brushing. Nope she still can’t understand with her baby mind that brushing is beneficial for her teeth and gums. Sitting still while holding her mouth open for half a minute is an endurance test for her.

To shorten brushing time, I bought her a motorized kiddie toothbrush - one with a recognizable Buzz Lightyear design. Her “toy” brush raised her excitement the first few days. But later on, I have to couple it with a video of her choice. Now that her attention is focused on the LCD, I can brush her teeth better.

Sleeping Time. Ah… the capital punishment for my baby when either mamsi or dadsi (that’s me) is too tired to play. Sleeping for my daughter is the opposite of her ultimate babyish goal – play, play, play! Forcing her would only end up in mamsi (love you mamsi) yelling and the baby crying. Scaring her that a boogeyman is about to get her is not psychologically good either.

To help (not make) her sleep, we usually “cool” her down. No not with ice on the forehead or setting the air-conditioner at full power, but with bedtime stories, musical videos, or even just plain milk. This way her brain tries to relax, diverting her desire from jumping or playing in bed to just listening and observing. And before we even know it, she’s already asleep.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Formula (or Bottle) Feeding Benefits

Less embarrassment, less public attention. How often do you see a mother breastfeeding in public? Unless you’re a known personality or a high profile individual, bottle feeding your baby in public doesn’t draw attention as compared if you were breastfeeding. No curious glances, disapproval, or even malicious glaring from passersby. No need to refasten bra or to redoing the buttons of your shirt after bottle feeding.

Monitored intake. Feeding bottles have calibration marks which give mothers an idea of just how much her baby is taking. Freeing her from the worry that her baby is not getting enough as is the usual concern of mothers with small breast (milk supply can be proportional to the density of milk glands within).

This can be a disadvantage for some parents pressing on to their babies to take more than is necessary. They think fat is cute but it ain’t healthy for the baby.

Gives you more time. As my wife stressfully remembers, carrying the baby in breastfeeding position for long periods can be exhausting. Plus it ties her down most of the time.

With formula feeding, the mother can ask someone else in the family to monitor the feeding as she takes a break to her favorite noontime show. It also gives her the option of sleeping through the night un-interrupted if dad is kind enough (hopefully) to take on the task.

Or if a mother intends to go back at work after her long maternity leave, she can request her in-laws (or even grandma) to supervise the feedings instead.

Dad can participate. Daddy can take a part and share the experience of joys in feeding the baby. Although he would probably prefer to watch his favorite game, you can appeal (or better yet – demand) that he can do so after feeding the baby.

Can wear any clothing. No need for specialty wardrobe (one that can easily facilitate breastfeeding without the need to lift the dress from the waist up) usually worn by nursing mothers.

Less restriction on medication and dietary consumptions. A breastfeeding mother has to be wary of her diet and any supplement she takes. For everything that a mother has taken, it usually has an effect on her health and on the quality of her milk which is then passed on to her baby. Though most babies react rather mildly to the change in the usual composition of their milk, some of them are. And it’s better for mothers to be always on the safe side.

A formula-feeding mother doesn’t have such restrictions.

Longer satisfaction for baby. As compared to a mother’s breast milk, infant formula derived from cow’s milk is more difficult to digest for a baby’s developing digestive system. As a result, babies feel full longer extending the duration between feedings to several hours more.

Summing it up, formula feeding is done at a lesser frequency than breastfeeding is, giving most mothers time to do other chores (or even rest if they prefer).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yaya (Nanny) From Hell

For parents who are willing to entrust the care of their child particularly to non-family members, beware of the so-called yaya’s (nanny’s) from hell! Take every precaution that the stranger you are trying to employ to your house has sufficient documents (NBI, birth certificate, etc.) to support her identity including her mental stability.

But if you still must, always have someone (an in-law or a sister) to oversee the activity in your house whenever you’re away. And if possible, teach your child when and how to dial emergency numbers. Remember, a yaya’s intention to care for your child is only driven by money and not by blood relativity.

I cannot wish that the child did not suffer any bruises or broken bones for the events had already transpired. My only hope is that this does not happen to anyone… anymore, not here nor anywhere else.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Breastfeeding Benefits

Just for your baby. As cow’s milk is best for young calf, your wife’s breast milk is best for your baby. Breast milk contains about a hundred ingredients that aren’t found in cow’s milk. It contains proteins and anti-bodies that cannot be synthesized in the laboratory. The composition and nutrients in breast milk adjust to the needs and capacity of an infant. For example, breast milk from a mom who had a premature baby is different from someone had a normal term; also different for the first month than at the second or even third.

It strengthens immune system. Breast milk contains anti-bodies that can help boost a baby’s developing immune system. Breast milk is the preferred first line of defense for infants against sickness rather than prescription medication. Though a baby may be sensitive to something a mother has eaten (like when my wife unknowingly used bagoong for sour mango), breast milk in itself is practically tolerated well.

Easily digestible. A baby’s digestive system is very sensitive to external nutrients because of its still-developing nature. The choice of milk can either gratify or cause discomfort to a baby. A mom’s breast milk is designed for her baby rather than for a young calf. Its fat and protein composition are easily handled by the baby than those coming from cow’s milk. Same is true with its micro-nutrient contents which are easily absorbed by the baby than its counterpart from cow’s milk. Breast milk is also less likely to cause intestinal discomfort like constipation and colic disorders to babies.

It’s safe. Unless you are sick, into drugs, or simply do not observe personal hygiene, you can be sure that your breast milk is not spoiled, contaminated, or otherwise improperly prepared.

It’s cheap. No need to buy powdered formulas that usually cost more than your week’s meal. There is also a risk than the formula you bought is not tolerated well by your baby hence, a waste of money. This is not true for breast milk. Just eat sensibly and your breast will do the rest.

Stronger mother-baby bond. You probably knew this by heart that breastfeeding further strengthens the bond between a mother and her baby. There’s cuddling, eye contact, and baby-babbling involved during breastfeeding. Though the same experience can be enjoyed from bottle feeding, it takes more of a conscious effort since you are more likely tempted to entrust feeding to someone else or to a trusty supporting pillow.

Breastfeeding FAQs

Question: Can my wife breastfeed even if she has small breasts? What about mothers with flat nipples?
Answer: The shape and appearance of breasts have no affect on the production of milk or your wife’s ability to dispense it. Breasts and nipples of all sizes can satisfy a hungry baby. Of course, like a battery eventually losing its charge prolonged use, a mother has to replenish her “milk reservoir” through proper diet.

Question: Is breastfeeding is a lot of hassle?
Answer: Well, for first timers – yes. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that it will never be so easy to feed your baby. As compared to bottles, breasts are almost always ready when your baby needs them. Less worry too! You can’t forget about them when you take the baby to the mall or don’t have to fret about the milk inside spoiling under the sun.

Question: Is breastfeeding for full-time housewives only?
Answer: Of course not, though it is obviously more suited to mothers who intend to be with their babies most of the time. They can, however, opt to express and store their milk for later use. This way, the husbands can share the tasks of “breastfeeding” when mommy’s too tired from work. Or they can always supplement with bottled formula.

Question: Will breastfeeding cause my breasts to sag from baby suckling?
Answer: Breastfeeding will not mess up the shape and size of your breasts, pregnancy does. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You see, during pregnancy, your body automatically prepares your breasts for lactation - whether you intend to breastfeed later on or not. Sometimes these changes are permanent. Too much weight gained during pregnancy, poor bra support (some prefer bra-less because they only get soaked), or even age can result in breasts that are less firm.

Question: Breastfeeding didn’t work for my wife on our first baby. Will she be able to breastfeed on our second one?
Answer: Research shows that your wife is likely to produce more milk and will have an easier time breastfeeding the second time around. And if it still doesn’t, keep on trying. As for the case of my wife, she was only able to breastfeed after (I think) a week of trying.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eat Bulaga: Twitter Trend?

I was surprised to find out that Eat Bulaga, probably the longest running noon time show in Philippines, is becoming a trending topic among Twitters (or is it Tweeterers). According to them, it’s because David Archuleta, the #2 American Idol contender last season 7, made a guest appearance on the said TV show.

As expected, several young televiewers were so thrilled upon seeing him that they can hardly stop talking (and tweeting eventually) on how ecstatic they were.

Unfortunately for us parents, the only time we can watch television is after office hours. Except of course those who are on the night shift.

Hmm… I wonder if there are any torrents for Eat Bulaga. Or even Wowowee? Naah…

I just need to see if Ariana is still with Eat Bulaga.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Elevated U-Turn: What the Heck?

The path from C-5 to Kalayaan Avenue in Makati had always been the bane of complaints from motorists and commuters alike. But if you’re one of those who takes the EDSA route (a favorite target of rallyists and the notorious league of F1 bus drivers) or even the select few who just walks their way to the office, then you probably don’t know what I’m blogging about.

Imagine your usual 15-minute drive to your destination extending for about an hour? Or your typical one hour morning commute stretching for a 2 hours even? Exaggerated?! Maybe but that’s the general description you’ll be hearing from those who have no other choice but to endure the crammed traffic condition along C-5. Its flow of traffic gets even more sluggish with the slightest of rain and the occasional road mishaps.

Lucky for us, the government took notice and thus received numerous proposals from its (sadly corrupt) agencies to help alleviate the problem. Among them were the flyover (a popular “first thing that comes to mind” solution for the general public), a tunnel (another tried and tested alternative, albeit more expensive to maintain), and an elevated U-turn (Say what?).

Ah yes, the controversial twin elevated U-turns. These infrastructures were unheard of until their construction started to cause even more clogging. In short, criticisms came speeding up the media highway at a rate the C-5 traffic would never ever catch up.

Four months later, here I am (and probably you too) benefitting from the decreased travel time. Still not that fast for an average of about 50 kph for the entire C-5 route, but it surely is faster than what it was without (Do I have to mention it again? Sigh, oh well here it is the) elevated U-turn.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Baby's Almost Ready, But Are You?

Getting pregnant is a miracle every couple desires. It’s the definitive joyous moment when a husband becomes a father and a nagging wife well… an even more nagging mother.

No pun intended here, dealing with pregnancy is no easy task. There are lots of sacrifices to be made – friends, weekly night outs, foods, PSP, and the internet. W-w-what?!

Ah yes, both partner need to put a clamp on certain habits. Limitations have to be set forth and understood that this family, this baby, preparing her (or him) for the world to see is the number one priority.

There’s no way to be completely prepared for the time when the baby is conceived. But there are a multitude of steps that can be taken to make the transition a smoother one. From selecting the right baby name (single or dual, hopefully not a phrase) to choosing the right hospital (near, trust-worthy, and within your means), from deciding between breast feeding (still the best for babies) and bottled formula to choosing between old-fashioned cloth nappies and disposables diapers.

But the more the parents attempt to get ready, the more they get frenzied with the flurry of activities. Nevertheless, a good preparation will help them get hold of a better approach even for the more hectic pace that awaits them after their baby is born.

After nine months of waiting, the big DAY is just around the cervix.

So for all you future parents (or already parents expecting another addition to the family), are you ready for your baby’s arrival?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Seriously, who is this?

If you're gay (or planning to be one), you wouldn't want to click on this link of a certified 1000% gay hater's blog. Yep, your eyes didn't deceive you - that's one thousand percent of fury!

Not really sure where he gets all his resentment from, but it's definitely from a very hurting experience in the past.

If you have the guts to spare and a very high tolerance against homo blasphemy, go ahead and click the link above.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you enough.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Best Job in the World

Just when you thought life couldn’t get better for the majority of the British boxing aficionados who fell short of their expectations from Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. In case you haven't heard, their Hitman got HIT MANy times and was knocked flat out cold by Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

Well here comes one British guy who just landed a job that’s almost too impossible to be real.

Ben Southall, a bungee jumping, ostrich-riding charity worker from Petersfield, Hampshire was named the winner of what has been dubbed the "Best Job in the World" — a 150,000 Australian dollar ($111,000) contract to serve as the caretaker of a tropical Australian island.

Mr. Southall beat out almost 35,000 other applicants from around the globe for the dream assignment to swim, explore and relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months while writing a blog to promote the area.

He will live in a three-bedroom villa on Hamilton Island – complete with private plunge pool, endless ocean views and a golf buggy to go exploring, and, between fishing, hiking, sailing and snorkeling, will be responsible for a weekly blog, video and photo diaries to promote the island worldwide. A bloggers envy indeed… sigh.

The job is part of a AU$1.7 million tourism campaign to publicize the charms of northeastern Queensland, and officials say it has already generated more than AU$100 million worth of publicity for the region.

A vacation paradise for half a year with pay! Wouldn't you wish you were friends with Southall? His job starts July 1.

Monday, May 4, 2009

London Bridge is Falling Down

The fight between Pacquiao vs Hatton had been highly publicized event. Though the actual fight may have been shorter than the parade and the introduction spectacle, the results have never been short of exploding.

In a clash where one man will conquer the other, neither fighter should ever be too confident of themselves or their styles for that matter. And the pound-for-pound boxing king Manny Pacquiao has proven this with his devastating left counter.

As the crowds ecstatically leave the arena, a familiar tune was heard very much like a pre-school nursery rhyme. Yep, it’s the rhyme often used in children’s singing game. Not sure who among the crowd started singing it, here’s the lyrics of that song as taught to pre-schools these days.

    London Bridge is falling down,
    Falling down, falling down.
    London Bridge is falling down,
    My fair lady.

    Take a key and lock her up,
    Lock her up, Lock her up.
    Take a key and lock her up,
    My fair lady.

    How will we build it up?
    Build it up, Build it up,
    How will we build it up?
    My fair lady.

    Build it up with gold and silver,
    Gold and silver, gold and silver.
    Build it up with gold and silver,
    My fair lady.

    Gold and silver I have none,
    I have none, I have none.
    Gold and silver I have none,
    My fair lady.

    Build it up with pins and needles,
    Pins and needles, pins and needles.
    Build it up with pins and needles,
    My fair lady.

    Pins and needles bend and break,
    Bend and break, Bend and break.
    Pins and needles bend and break,
    My fair lady.

    Build it up with wood and clay,
    Wood and clay, wood and clay.
    Build it up with wood and clay,
    My fair lady.

    Wood and clay will wash away,
    Wash away, Wash away.
    Wood and clay will wash away,
    My fair lady.

    Build it up with stone so strong,
    Stone so strong, Stone so strong.
    Build it up with stone so strong,
    My fair lady.

    Stone so strong will last so long,
    Last so long, last so long.
    Stone so strong will last so long,
    My fair lady.

My daughter loves to sing this especially with daddy helping in raising and lowering the arch. Mommy, on the other hand, struggles to pass through by crawling which makes our daughter laugh.

(Lyrics courtesy of