Monday, September 29, 2008


What to wear?

Being from a culture that is still exposed to baby-carrying using cloth slings, I was wondering if I could just use a traditional malong or similar piece of cloth the way some indigenous tribes still do. It was a short jump from using a blanket to secure her to us.

The malong garment is a woven length of fabric sewn together at the sides to make a wide, tubular garment. It can be worn any number of ways, has many varied uses and comes in a variety of colors and designs. Coming from parts down the southern Philippines, it is the multi-purpose garment one traditionally has from birth to death. It is similar to many other multi-functional clothing pieces (sari, sarong) around Asia.

I hunted for the malong I had when I was a kid but I remembered that it already became so threadbare as to be almost transparent. So no go. It might disintegrate, if it hasn't already.

<--- Maranao Dance to show the versatility of the Malong. Here, the Badjao girl demonstrates how the tubular cloth is transformed into a baby carrier.

Then looking in the department stores and checking out the price and make of today's malong, I am sad to say that not only are they more expensive, but they aren't made like they used to. I seem to remember that they were a lot thicker and sturdier back in the day. I would have to go to my father's home town to get one I could trust to carry Oona around.

Fortunately I didn't have to go on a long trip. I was browsing through the web and came upon different modern baby slings. Some had rings while some are tied up, but all very versatile and durable!

Modern Baby Slings

I chanced on The Baby Wearer site and checked out different styles and reliable suppliers. It made it easier to decide on what seems to be right for me, Oona and RF.

They're very reliable when it comes to carrier type comparisons, taking into consideration the products' suitability for newborns or older babies, durability, strength of the fabrics, breastfeeding-friendliness (the word!), adjustability, learnability (for us parents who are all thumbs!) and comfort.

So far, our choices were looking good. Now, I couldn't decide what to pick as they all appealed to me and the kind of lifestyle I wanted Oona to have: mobile but still developing close to us (I'm sounding like a parent!!!).

This one is by Sleepy Wrap. Yes it's an American company but with online shopping these days and overseas delivery, all you need to worry about is whether they ship to our country (they do via UPS) or if you have a credit card to make the purchase.

I love this because it seems to be so soft and comfy for both
Moms and babies. It looks to be very versatile, easily transformable into different wearing styles and very secure. I'm sure the babies are snug enough to fall asleep easily or observe the world from the safety of Mommy or Daddy!

I'm just afraid it might get too hot to wear for us in a tropical country. The loops and knots seem to be a bit complicated to me, however I'm sure once anybody gets the hang of it, it's going to be a lot easier.

I fell in love with this one though.

Isn't it so sweet?

It's the Peanut Shell by Goo-ga Style Inc. As with all parenting-friendly products, this was developed by working parents who still wanted to take an active role in raising their baby, then called "Peanut".

I imagine it to be comfy, easy to wear and snug for Oona!

Try as I might though, I couldn't find a local supplier then and it wasn't as if I could spend all my time trying to track down one pronto! I still can't find one but I don't really need it now. I already found a good match, but I'll tell you about it later!

I saw this one by Infantino but it was only perfect for newborns. It does look like a large shoulder bag, then Surprise! Inside, there's a strapped-in baby! It's really cute but for me, it's a luxury I couldn't afford. Sure it looks so cool, but after a few months, I wouldn't be able to use it anymore. Oona would be far too active to stay prone. She'd want in on the action outside her cute little bag and I'd be scared to death she'd pop out!

I know it's safe and all, but I was looking for something that would last far longer than a few months and would be able to "grow" with Oona.

Other slings and pouches I really liked:

The Mei Tai - based on Chinese Baby Carriers!

Combination Hip Sling and Mei Tai: The Mei Hip by Ellaroo
Next: Baby Ring Sling!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Robo Monkey Pixel Fighters (it's a mouthful, I know!) in partnership with Euphony Music Studio, is going to be holding a series of Cartooning Workshops. For those in the Makati area, enrollment is on-going! Sign your kids up or maybe even yourself later on! Check us out at our website for more details! See you!

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is one of the reasons why I am so thankful Oona was breastfed during her infancy and how I'm hoping I can still continue being her milkmaid. Right now, Oona is mixed-fed, leaning more towards formula (SAAAAAAD MOMMY LAYA!) and solid food. I'm nearly dry now, but for 6 months she was exclusively getting her food from me.

One thing I truly regret now from being a working mom, was that my milk supply began to suffer because I couldn't feed her on demand. Back then I had a stressful job that had me in the office
during the day and well into the night. Sure I pumped like mad and made sure my Medela PISO (Hehehe! No pun intended!) paid for itself, but not having Oona around to encourage the let-down made all the difference. So my milk went down eventually, that at eight months, she was having more and more formula because I couldn't keep up. By ten months, when I finally resigned from work, my milk was truly down since she also ate more solid food as well. I felt worse because just when I could be with Oona all day to respond to her needs, I had less milk to give her and she needed less as well.

At thirteen months, Oona still turns to me for comfort feeding at night. For me, it's an affirmation that we still share that bond and I treasure it more than ever! She still wouldn't accept a bottle from me and would only consent to my giving her formula when she's really hungry. Yes she's used to ac
cepting a bottle from her Dad, her Grandma or her Nanny Rina, but not really from Mommy. I'm glad she expects me to satisfy her need for sustenance and comfort, but it breaks my heart not to be able to give her as much as her little tummy needs now.

Her pediatrician recommended Nan HA1 when she started formula feeding. According to my research, NAN H.A. (Hypoallergenic) with Protect StartTM/ /Protect PlusTM has added probiotics ("good" bacteria) that helps create protective intestinal flora like breastfed infants have. It promotes gastrointestinal health, helps reduce the incidence of diarrhea and has easily digestible proteins that helps reduce the risk of allergies. So far Oona liked it and has been on Nan ever since.

She then graduated to Nan HA2 which for awhile concerned us because we couldn't find it in Waltermart where we shopped. It turned out that they just changed the HA to HW, but it's still the same banana. It's getting harder to find though since the demand's high and we have to go all the way to SM Supermarket just to find Nan HW 3, which she's on now because she's past 1 year old.

The growing unavailability got me alarmed too, especially since China's milk crisis. I had to go online to check if Nestle was affected. I know Switzerland is far from China, but who knows how far these things go, right?

Apparently, all milk that was manufactured anywhere else except China is safe. Nan HA 1 and 2 are from Switzerland and Nan HW 1 and 2 are from Germany and they have passed safety and hygiene tests. Other milk manufactured here in the Philippines are also safe like those from Mead Johnson, Wyeth and Abbott and no raw material for these products come from China.

At least, knowing Oona's safe has given me room to breathe a sigh of relief. For now. That is, who's to say it can't happen again? If not the chemical scandal that China's facing now, what about another form of contamination? There are periodic recalls, protests, boycotts and the like all across the baby milk brands. From metal particles to dioxin, packaging problems to chemical imbalances in the formulation, making baby milk is very sensitive business.

It's not just China who has a problem. Nobody's really safe and I may just be a paranoid mother here, but I'm scared because this is my child we're talking about. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was primarily scared for everyone, but having your own child makes you a little bit selfish that way. I wouldn't want to be the mother of one of those kids who developed kidney failure and died or is now seriously sick and hospitalized from melamine in a brand I trusted. My guilt would be too great, eating me alive.

My child trusts me to make decisions for her well-being and health. She trusts me to raise her as a healthy, human being. And because of that trust, she will take what I give her. I fear the day then that through this trust, that nobody should ever violate (especially me, her parent), she would be taken ill or die. I feel for those mothers and fathers, it is not their fault and should never have been their burden in the first place. They could never have known that the trust they gave their brand would be violated, in effect violating the pact they had with their children. I can only barely imagine their pain, anguish and rage.

Yes, now I truly wish I could produce milk again for Oona, if only to beat a scare I never thought of. Breastmilk is truly the best food for our babies. It's pure, unadulterated, and perfect . . . just as Mother Nature intended specially for us. But if we can't and need something more for our children, may we be saved from the heartache China's parents are experiencing now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



The best example of a baby carrier with a frame would be the American Indian papoose. It has a frame, straps and paddings.

Whenever we'd go malling, we tried using a similar, modern carrier and pouch. An inherited pouch was big and I personally felt it was too stuffy for Oona.

It isn't as comfy as a papoose would be. I was afraid she'd get crushed or something. Of course though I know it might be safe and even comfy for her, I'm a new mom and I'd rather err on the side of caution.

We were able to use this carrier when Oona was older but the straps, buckles and clasps were so fussy to put on that either she or RF would start getting cranky and we'd end up leaving the contraption at home.

We also felt that the paddings and the cloth was way too thick and hot for Oona. On a nice, cool day, we'd find her fussy in the carrier because she would be all sweaty. We were concerned she'd get sick and/or develop rashes so that plan went out the window quick.

We tried using this again now that Oona's bigger, but the straps and the general placement of the whole thing on me wreaks havoc on my sciatica and balance. Not to mention that it's still too fussy to put on.

We found another papoose-like pouch in the supermarket.

Honestly, we weren't supposed to get another one because RF was swearing off pouches as an un-needed expense and carrying Oona made less of a hassle than putting on a carrier.

On the other hand, RF was also starting to feel Oona's weight cramping his arms. I saw it was lighter and cheaper than the pouches we saw in the department store so I just snuck it into the grocery budget. If it didn't work, it wouldn't be too much of an expense. Amazingly, it was sturdy and both father and daughter seemed to like it!

The down-side to it was that it only came in one size and the straps couldn't fit me. So boo! for that. At least, Oona was more comfortable in this one than the first carrier.

It was sadly fast outgrown. But since it didn't cost an arm and a leg, we didn't have much regrets. We also felt that it was well used. After a few months, the snaps and the straps were getting to be too tight on Oona and kept popping open. This time, I was afraid that Oona might suddenly wiggle free or slip through the pouch onto the supermarket floor. I wasn't keen on proving that she was a bouncy baby girl that way.

So the hunt for a "perfect" baby carrier began.

Next: Baby Slings

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Friday, September 19, 2008


Baby wearing has been around since women figured out that they can multi-task. (I say this as a woman explaining to the men out there reading this.) Think about it. We needed to tend to the fire, wash clothes in the river around the corner (turn left at the two big trees), prepare and cook the game our cavemen brought us, and who knows what other chores our ancestresses had? Later on, we needed to tend to the fields and herds. All the while, we couldn't leave our young all alone to fend for themselves while we did what we had to do. Besides, baby formula hadn't been invented yet. So, being the enterprising creatures we are, we had no other alternative but to bring our babies along and invent something that would enable us to use our hands but keep the baby close to us.

Today's population can credit the endurance of the species to ancestors who worked at survival with their babies strapped to their bodies. All over the world, evidence of baby wearing can be found among people as far removed culturally and geographically from each other. Among the top examples would be the Egyptians, the American Indians, the Chinese and other Asian tribes. Now, a growing number of people are beginning to largely practice it again, with a few modern day improvements.

Local History

From the mountain tribes to the low-land ricebowls and the sea-dwelling fisher-folk of my country, baby wearing is a deeply ingrained part of our heritage. I only regret that I can find few pictures to better show it, but our children have been raised as close to the bosom as possible.

Historically, this is largely by necessity as parents work hard for the family's daily bread or tend to other familial chores themselves and there are no nannies. Sure there are other relatives the children can be left with but babies are generally never far from their mothers, especially when they are not weaned from their mothers' breast yet.

Nowadays of course, there is a decline (compared to the numbers back in the day) in baby-wearing with the advent of nannies and other care-giving amenities (the bassinet, the breast pump, the baby formula, etc.). Parents can work while not worrying about whether their baby has enough milk at home.

However, my present culture is still not that far in time from the old days. Westernization did not happen for my country until just recently (if you can call a few hundred years "recent"). And with the West's dawning consciousness of natural family living, of which attachment parenting is a part, it just seems right that I would look to affirming my child-rearing inheritance. (Naks!)

Next: WEAR YOUR BABY 3: Baby Carriers

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Monday, September 15, 2008


I know it sounds like I'm talking about a fashion accessory. But really, when we're talking about attachment parenting, wearing your baby is a part of it . . . and why shouldn't be tradition be fashionable?

The Why!

I wanted to have a baby carrier early on because I wanted to be as mobile as I could be. I was also still feeling weak and afraid I might drop Oona with the exhaustion I was feeling from too little sleep and general fatigue. However, I wanted to keep carrying Oona around while I was doing stuff around the house or if I was going out to the grocery. I wanted to be as close as possible to Oona with my hands free.

We also noticed that Oona seemed to be less fussy, nods off quicker and sleeps better whenever she was carried. We know it's because the rhythm of walking around mimics the motion she was used to in the womb and the heartbeat, no matter how faint, is a comfort. There's also the warmth and feeling of security she gets whenever she's close to us. And for RF and me, there's that warm fuzzy feeling of being able to provide for that kind of well-being.

Another cause for concern for me was that I felt that my hips and my back weren't like what they used to be. It was only later on that I found out that I had a mild form of sciatica from my pregnancy. Bending over to pick her up or carrying her would sometimes cause me to have stabbing pains that I was afraid I would drop her one day. I would feel like I was locked in place by the pain.

My center of gravity wasn't totally restored either so I was always off-balanced. With my hands free and Oona strapped securely to me, I would be able to better maneuver in case I should fall. That was what I was thinking then, but god forbid should that have ever happened and I fell on Oona instead!!! Que horror! (This is why most of the pictures are of RF wearing Oona more than me!)

The Make-shift Sling

What also worked for us when Oona wasn't sleeping through the night yet (and wanted to be held ALL NIGHT or be as close as possible to me or RF) was we'd swaddle her and wrap her securely to our chest with a thin blanket. We were wearing her to sleep, so to speak.

I wasn't afraid I'd roll over her or suffocate her. I was virtually bolted in place by the pillows all around me and the weight of the baby on my chest. She woke up periodically to nurse and her movements would immediately wake me up. I'd then loosen the blanket-wrap, give her a feed and put her up on my chest again for her to burp and go back to sleep.

For RF, coming from night shift, it was also to ensure he didn't drop her while spending quality time with her before nodding off for his own dose of the Zzz's. He'd be so tired that he would fall asleep in the middle of a lullaby he was signing. I'd find them sleeping together this way, surrounded by pillows and I wouldn't have any space left. I'd sleep on the bottom half of the bed or in the couch on the living room. Good thing we invested in comfortable furnishings!

Oona also seemed to have less reflux and wasn't colicky at all. She slept longer and woke up a nicer baby. She used to wake up with a vengeance when she sensed she was not wedged or warm enough to indicate a human body was right next to her.

We weren't confident to try the make-shift blanket wrap outside the bed of course. We weren't playing with a doll!


Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Saturday, September 13, 2008


RF and I didn't plan on becoming a couple. Nor did we plan to become parents. We wanted to have children but were unsure as to if and when we'll actually have them. I was more unsure than RF but towards the end of our first year of marriage, I was already thinking about it. We weren't using protection or any method to avoid pregnancy, but we weren't really going for gold.

I found myself looking at my tummy in the mirror sometimes. I was thinking how my belly, full with child, would look like. Of course, later on I would be sadly disappointed and would shy away from pregnant belly portraits that's still all the rage today because I just looked like a very fat woman who waddled like a very fat duck. But I wouldn't know that then!

I was fantasizing about what I would wear, recalling how my mom would look in her nice, long shifts. Nevermind later that I couldn't possibly wear her old preggy stuff. I was too large and overheated that I wanted shorter, lighter dresses with a bit of cleavage (Ha ha!).

True, fashion concerns are not the meat of it. But everything, no matter how seemingly trivial it is, matters. It contributes about how you feel about the whole thing.

One of the very few things we thought about before we actively tried to have Oona, was if we were ready for parenthood. As individuals, as a couple . . . was our marriage ready to welcome the responsibility and strain of raising another human being?

We had our fights. We had our preferences. We enjoyed our lifestyle. Was our lives big enough to share with someone else?

It does sound selfish, but they're actually realistic and honest questions I felt I had to answer. I wanted the chances of regret anytime in the future to be significantly small. Whether I wanted to or not, I didn't want our future child/children to consciously or subconsciously feel in any way that I blamed their birth for anything I might miss out on.

Exploring my feelings, I knew my life would change profoundly after having a child. I knew there were a lot of things I wouldn't be able to do anymore and a lot of things that would remain dreams. I would give up things, miss out on things and maybe regret things.

What about my career? I felt like a hotshot, with the world at my feet. I had so many dreams, plans . . . isn't motherhood going to stifle me? Wouldn't it hold me back? I run with the wolves, outstripping bulls and facing down everyday mayhem. I loved that life! What would happen to me when I suddenly stopped?

I felt a part of me would die but I had to face and deal with it, lay it to rest for my child's and my sanity's sake. I've read far too many disgruntled mother/housewife stories to want that for myself. Although I have no illusions about the future, even then, I would make damn sure I don't end up unhappy at the very least.

Me, as mother, being unhappy would affect how I would be as a Mom and a wife. I don't want my kids to hate me or wish for a different mother. Which begs the question, what kind of mother would I make? I've heard too many stories of horrible mothers too. What if I wasn't meant to be a mother? I really didn't want to find out when I already had a child that I would be unable to care for and love! Needless to say, I had a lot of angsts.

RF was a lot easier. He swanned gracefully, almost without effort, into the role of Dad. I would say Fatherhood becomes him . . . even the impending Fatherhood gave him an extra Oomph!

We talked about how our plans for the future would change, little knowing that talk barely just covers the possibilities, but it greatly helps.

At least, we nailed down the basics:
1. We love each other no matter what.
2. We're in it together.
3. We'll do our very best, always to the best of our abilities.

There would be less dates, unplanned trips, splurges or even drastic career shifts. Everything would be revolving around the welfare of the child and family, more than the pleasures we used to fantasize about. Very practical, very discipline life, very safe and I feared, very dead-end for me.

Then one night, I was home alone as usual, RF being on his night shift. I realized that despite all this worrying, I was really giving the baby and motherhood matter serious thinking. I wasn't shying away from it at all. For me that was an indication that I cared about the life we were bringing into the family. Family! We were going to be a family, our OWN little fan's club! Terribly exclusive.

I laughed, then I cried. I suddenly felt that I wanted it to be real at that very moment. Did this mean that I was ready? Hahaha. Right. Knowing what I know now, nobody's ever ready for motherhood. I also still believe that there are people who can't be parents but now I know, I'm not one of them.

What I realized then was that my heart felt so full of love and the cup that RF and I share, doth runneth over. (Ugh! Cheeeeeese!!!) There's really so much love to give and it's such a shame to waste on what now look like trivial pursuits that wouldn't make a difference a hundred years from now.


A part of me did die, but it was a welcome death. What mattered to me was that I found that a whole new part of me sprung up to live. Being a mother had its own adventures and did I really mind giving up late nights, hungover-sick mornings and going home to an empty house?

There are a myriad ways to fulfill oneself. I still don't know how my life would find expression aside from being wife and mother, but I'm not afraid to find out. I'm actually excited.

But above all else, pouring the love RF and I share to this amazing little girl is all that truly matters to us.

Friday, September 12, 2008


October is Attachment Parenting Month.

For many of us in this part of the world, Attachment Parenting isn't really a new concept. How we care for our children, like breastfeeding, swaddling, co-sleeping and maintaining close contact are part and parcel of our heritage. It is deeply ingrained in our society that still sustains extended family ties and caring for our elders in their twilight years.

It's a little jarring then, and very humbling to learn that other countries don't do it like we do and take this kind of upbringing far less for granted. Since it's almost second nature for us, we tend to overlook just how valuable our customs in raising our children are.

In other countries, especially the US, there is a resurgence of this kind of parenting, which they call Attachment Parenting, a term coined by Dr. William Sears (yes, THAT Dr. Sears!).

According to Dr. Sears' theory, groups like the Attachment Parenting International (API) promote the development of a secure bond with children through eight principles or goals for parents.

These are:

  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Engage in Nighttime Parenting
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

These are naturally subject to personal interpretation. Attachment parents can also choose to have a natural family living (NFL) lifestyle.

According to Wikipedia, the NFL lifestyle ascribes to practices "such as natural childbirth, home birth, stay-at-home parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling, unschooling, the anti-circumcision movement, the anti-vaccination movement, natural health, cooperative movements, and support of organic food."

The good thing about Dr. Sears is that he doesn't require any strict set of rules, instead he 's encouraging parents to creatively respond to a child's needs. Attachment parenting, in a nutshell, really focuses on the responses that help develop secure attachments.

I really think it's just getting back to our roots. That primeval bond between parent and young that gets lost in the modern day grind of work, career, material comfort and their accompanying results. Childhood is today's greatest casualty.

From the API website:

About AP Month

What: Attachment Parenting International (API), along with the Sears family and other prominent AP supporters, have declared October to be Attachment Parenting (AP) Month.

The AP Month vision is to create one strong voice for AP through activities, events and information and to celebrate what we believe in — the value of “Giving Our Children Presence” for our families and for our communities.

Who: All parents, AP partners and like minds around the world are invited and encouraged to join with us in “Giving Our Children Presence” during the first annual Attachment Parenting Month.

Why: “Giving Our Children Presence” is the theme for AP Month 2008 and an antidote to the upcoming holidays so often filled with the giving of material presents. During AP Month, parents are challenged to incorporate more family time into each day and AP Month partners will offer resources to support and sustain these efforts all year round.

Key AP Month Goals include unifying the AP voice to:

1. Offer parents and adults support and confidence in “Giving Our Children Presence” to last a lifetime
2. Promote awareness of AP
3. Educate about API, other AP Month sponsors and their services
4. Provide a source of funds to support the API mission

Resources: The AP Month Central website is the gateway to information about AP Month. It includes a calendar of activities in which to participate and the AP Month Toolkit as resource for you to use to plan and promoting your own events and activities for October.

Our love, our presence, our time and attention are the most important things we can give our kids.

I'm glad the other half of today's culture (the "westernly" half) is becoming more involved with this kind of parenting. I'm also hoping it's not just a fad or a novelty for them, as with most movements that start out with good intentions. And for us who already use this kind of parenting style, may we learn to appreciate our parenting heritage more, value it and affirm its benefits through our own kids.


So Blogger still hasn't restored my "store blog". Sooo . . . I made a new one.

I am a closet shopaholic. When I was nesting, RF was fighting off panic that I would buy half the department store's baby section merchandise every time we passed by while malling. As it is, we've some stuff that we had to give away or box up because Oona ended up not using them at all.

Of course, what they are escapes my memory as I've developed a convenient partial amnesia due to the trauma of putting away such cute, but barely used stuff. I am therefore determined, for the rest of Oona's stuff, to get as much mileage as possible. I don't care if she's not going to a party, but by golly! She's going to be wearing those dresses for a walk in the park! Or the lobby for all I care! They're too cute not to be worn and she's going to look cute every day!

Anyhoo . . . my other blog.

Surfing, blog-hopping and subscribing to all those newsletters ran me across so many drool-worthy stuff. I know I can't buy them all, but if I can't, someone else might! And oh the virtual enjoyment of it! I shall *lurve* it vicariously! So I'm posting them all there.

Online window shopping is also a great way to satisfy my love of seeing new things without the threat of bankruptcy. After all, my problem isn't I have to have it! . . . It's more of a girl geekazoid's awe of Ooh! Look! . . . something like that. I also have the habit of buying for people (Oh, my sister would like that!), stocking them as gifts and never mind if their birthday's still in January and it's the middle of May.

I'll have product features, reviews, shops I've gone to with my preggo needs and the results of my world wide web window shopping sprees.

So, pardon the unfinished look of the new place. I'm still painting a few corners and putting up some more shelves, but you're all welcome to drop by and poke around at Luscious Picks!


October 15 is the BIG DAY for bloggers, podcasters and videocasters all over the world wide web! It's when all of us talk, post and blog about one topic, create enough noise to be heard about it and hopefully effect a change that would go beyond our computer monitors. This year, the topic is about Poverty. We see enough of it everyday, but what do we do about it?

Ripples, people! Ripples! The power of the written word, bloggers! Pen, mightier than the sword! The spoken word puts ideas into other people's heads! Let's use what we have to bring this issue out and make it possible for our thoughts, ideas and feelings to walk out into the world and into concrete action.

Just one day. Imagine what could happen if we all talked about it, all at the same time! How far would our ripples go? Let's see it touch the lives of people all over the world!

Join us! Click that graphic up there and contribute a little of your time to make that ripple grow!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was largely uncomfortable when I was pregnant.

AND uncomfortably large. I ballooned to 200 lbs. and the bad part was that I didn't look pregnant. I just looked FAT.

I also felt so over-heated that I needed the air-conditioning on with the electric fan. RF would swear he was in the Arctic Circle, freezing his butt off while I would be complaining that the Gobi Desert was probably cooler than our room at high noon.

I had food cravings, aversions, mood swings and crying bouts. I'd get irritated with RF but didn't want him out of my sight. I cut off my long hair because it was falling off in alarming amounts. Then I regretted it big time. I felt ugly. I waddled. Nothing would fit me.

Hay! That's not even half of it.

Nevertheless, making my pregnancy album took me back to that time and surprisingly made me laugh. Sure there was pain, nausea and Goddess knows what else, but there were pay-offs that continue to this day.

I'll be sharing the album I made as a series with a trimester-ly write up, not only to share what I and RF went through, but also to help others out there who was as clueless as I was.

Spam Blogged Out!

I spent the past week and a half fixing up the blogs and setting up a "store" blog. The shopaholic widgets make my pages take forever to load, so I decided to put them all in one shopping page.

Last night, the hardest part was bending the blogger templates to my will, given that there seems to be a quirk with saving my work and an error would appear. But I was able to re-layout the page to make it look like my other pages with extra panels to accommodate a lot of widgets. I spent hours wrestling with CSS code and the usual html/xml mumbo-jumbo.

I went to sleep with a slight headache and my dreams full of frameset=char/script/noscript>.

Then I wake up to THIS --------------------->


Cue Music: *Psycho Shower Theme*


Apparently the blog I was making made their robots suspicious that a Spam blog was being constructed.

Kasi, I wasn't able to post any articles yet. I was still trying to make sure my Amazon widgets fit and if they looked good on the lay-out. Unfortunately because there were four links to Amazon when I turned in for the night and not much else that personalized the page by way of original content, I got shut down.

So now, I sent an unlock request to Blogger to prove I'm not someone else's robot bent on clogging the search engines and wasting human beings' time. And to further hammer it down to Blogger, I'm blogging about it too while I wait for the requisite 24 hours or so while a human being reviews Luscious Picks!

And if they still shut it down, I'll put up another one! I'll beat their robots' logic yet!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oona's Growing Up

Oona's becoming more and more pilya.

Oona with an electrical cord (NYAAA!).
Don't worry, that's not the business end of it. She also doesn't put it in her mouth.
Plus she's well supervised. So lay off the lecture, self-righteous people! Get off my blog!

Of course, she's still as lovable as ever, and getting more so everyday. She's also developing a sketchy sense of right versus wrong already, but I'll be darned if she actually knows what right or wrong really means. Sometimes she thinks it's a game, until her plans (like opening the kitchen cabinet doors and going through the bigas) is foiled.

She knows that when Lola or Yaya Rina says "No" or starts shaking their heads, it means that whatever she's doing is, er - unadvisable. She merely takes it as a suggestion though. She somehow knows how to get around them by appealing to their tender-hearted natures with a sad, saaaad face.

She'll also appeal to her doting father with the look. I think all babies have that innate ability to look at you and make your insides melt at will. Ooh, POWER!!!

(<--- That's the "I am not amused" deadpan/blank stare.)

She's also developing a few impish tricks of her own.

An example would be, whenever she wants to go to the space behind the sofas (forbidden because we put the electric fan and the cables there, out of her reach), she'll "accidentally" drop a toy there and point to it. As soon as you move the barricades to pick up the toy, she'll make her move! She'll scoot past you on her little butt like greased lightning, laughing all the way! (She can toddle but she can't crawl on her hands and knees.)

Of course, she'll cry at the tragedy of being picked up and put out of harm's way when she's noticed. She'll sniffle a bit but she'll try the trick again...and again...and again.

I think the only way to counter the look is by developing the voice. It's a mother's most powerful tool, next to mom's the stare. Since the stare only seem to affect older kids than Oona (it varies or so I've heard), the voice seem to be a good alternative to develop.

I'm not so hot on spanking my kid, I mean jeez! She just turned one. I'm not about to yell at her either. But I figure we have to aggressively start her on discipline for her own protection. It's about time for her to learn that not everything is safe for her.

So far, when I use the firm tone in the voice she seems to be responding. She'll shake her head and pull her hand away from whatever dangerous thing she's bent on examining.

Then she looks at me. She grins.

. . . And does it again.

Sigh. I have an adorable imp of a daughter.


It brings to mind the blog series I wasn't able to finish. The last entry was about how we were just given the news that Oona, then called the Bean, was not attached to my womb securely. There was a threat that we could lose her.


The Clinic Chronicles: Part 6
Keeping The Bean

“It’s going to be okay.” The doctor said as she patted my hand. “Just keep on drinking the medicine and taking it easy, alright?”

I just nodded and thanked her as Mr. F helped me out the door. I wanted to escape so badly but needed to keep as much dignity I could muster.

Can you imagine how it’s like to swing from ecstasy to utter despair in the space of a few minutes? I could be schizoid for all I know, but given the circumstances, I would have a legitimate excuse. I now felt like a baseball bat walloped the back of my head, my throat was too tight, and my heart was too big for my chest.

It amazed me how these doctors could take on that kind of responsibility. They literally have their patients’ lives in their hands. They could make or break a person with a few words.

How do they handle it, facing mortality every day?

I think Mr. F and I just went on home afterwards. It was exhausting: exhilaration and the dregs in one unbeatable combination. We just ate something to dull the headachy feeling and talked.

We knew we wanted to keep the Beanie Baby, as the sprout was now called. I’ve stopped smoking (cold turkey since the day before), stopped drinking (last drop of alcohol was the week before), and we agreed that I’d have to stop the helter-skelter pace of my work life.

Curled up on our comforter, we cover random stuff, basically musing about how we would be parents. I wondered which of us would be the disciplinarian and the devil’s advocate. Of course, Mr. F claims to be the spoiler.

“You would be the Supreme Court. I’ll be the Court of Appeals!”

I scoffed at Mr. F.

Right. Like that’s going to happen.


Of course now, she's as rambunctious as they come and RF is the spoiler! Hehe!

Time flies so fast!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mommyluscious Goes Mobile

I guess this is my equivalent of the little notebook where you scribble stuff for further elaboration, random thoughts and word doodles.

This is also my contribution to my advocacy as a green mom. I'll be using my PC less when I'm writing my blog drafts. I'll shut it down completely and just use my very capable, very versatile Nokia N95 8GB, publish via Opera Mini (through our WiFi) and edit later.

After all, my excellent DSL service is there to be used! Why not further maximize my resources while allowing myself more freedom AWAY from the desk? I made our DSL into a sweet WiFi deal with a simple router to make sure RF gets a connection anywhere in the house (while he's out smoking, in the living room, while in the loo...did i mention that I'm married to a workaholic? He always needs to check work email!)...So why not make it work for me too?

Especially nowadays, Oona's much more mobile and terribly pro-mommy, I can barely go anywhere without her toddling after me. True she's got her yaya but here's me feeling like others get to spend more time with my daughter than me, her own mother! She's growing up so fast that I'm afraid I might miss out on something while I'm cooped up in the room.

Blogging will always be there for me after all. I can put it off for later, when she's tucked in for the night, when she's bonding with her lola or dad, or she's being fussed over by her yaya. It's not like it's going anywhere, unlike Oona's childhood: so fleeting, so precious, so infinitely special.

I'm glad there are resources like these available to me. It makes me feel so spoiled as a new mom. I'm just thankful at how blessed I am to be able to choose to be there for Oona and still be able to do my own thing. Right now, i am writing this while Oona has her afternoon nap. She wouldn't go beddy-bye without me and would wake up should I try to get up. I am watching her gentle breathing and lovely face and can't think of anywhere else to be...or anything else more blog-worthy than her.

Hehe...I know I sound like I'm such a blog-addict! In truth, while I am building my on-line presence, blogging has afforded me a measure of sanity, an avenue for individual expression and a way to make sure my creative muscles don't atrophy. Especially now that I am technically a SAHM (stay at home mom), I need the extra-curricular activity. I used to be a workaholic too, you see. And while being a mom has a more frenetic, action-packed schedule, the periods of down time could drive a former career person nuts.

By this paragraph, Oona's been up for about two hours. I've fed her, bathed her, changed an incredibly smelly poopy diaper and am currently watching her play by herself. In the interim, I get to jot down a few thoughts here.

Not for long though. Oona doesn't let me off the hook that easily. As soon as she notices I'm sneaking in a few lines, she scoots on over and pounces on me!

So before she starts grabbing for my cellphone (bright shiny mom's toy!) or crying (because mom's cellphone is not a toy, Oona and I am not giving this to you!), I'll be signing out now to be my daughter's activity play center. :-) Later I'll be editing for final post, tags and adding pictures.

Sigh. I just love technology.