Wednesday, October 29, 2008


To everyone out there: My hubby found a camera while riding a cab yesterday. It's small, compact and almost brand new. If anybody lost their camera or know someone who's lost their digital camera recently, please post the model, description and any identifying marks on the camera for us to know it's really yours/theirs (just to be on the safe side). We can meet up and we'll gladly return it. We know how it is to have lost things too.


Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So RF and I were talking about the feasibility of moving back to QC the other day. Supposedly it's cheaper than what we have to worry about here in Makati but apparently, the space we need (3 bedrooms) will cost us just about the same, compounded with the added cost of commuting to Makati everyday. Since RF's job requires him to be at the office from mid-afternoon to more often than not, the wee hours of the morning (sometimes more!), he needs to take a cab. Given that the fare hasn't gone down even if gas just had a recent roll-back, it's going to cost an arm and a leg in the long run. So, we're not going to be spending less. In fact, we'll be spending more than if we just stayed put. Of course, there's also the fact that moving houses is a major operation and a major pain in the wallet.

It's not easy to move. You have to pack up, box everything up, load and unload...If Manila had a service like one I came upon the web the other day, I wouldn't worry as much. is a consolidated website for making lives easier for people who need to move. They basically covered everything from the moment you first think about moving, to packing up, moving in and settling down in your new digs.

They have listings of houses that would suit your needs, especially if you want to buy (or sell)! Their free mortgage quotes will save you from using up so much time combing the net or the newspapers for a good deal. You can easily compare rates that come from with your present agent and see which one gives the best mortgage quotes. What I like best though, is the fact that they can also help you find the best removal services or a moving company in your area with corresponding removal quotes. From the description, moving companies under their banner are reliable, dependable and easy on the wallet. Nothing haphazard and your valuables are safe, from just a man and van to shipping needs. They take care of the moving vehicles, the handling and getting your things into your new home with as little hassle as possible. This would be extremely useful as I always have to find a truck and people to move things!

The website has tips and guides from organizing your move, moving people with disabilities or people in their golden years to legal issues you may come across. Short, sweet and to the point, you would find their practical advice easy to understand. They even list down things I normally wouldn't have thought about like the Geek Squad, for example! These guys help you set up your wifi, computer and all your home tech so you don't have to worry about your cables, wires and goodness knows what else you might end up crossing and burning the house down!

All in all, the website's very user friendly, navigation is easy and you won't drown in too much or useless information. You'll easily find what you're looking for. The website's focus is clearly making the decision to move a lot simpler and easier than it normally is. It even helps you decide if you really should move, if it's the best for you and your family. They take into account how kids normally react to being uprooted and how important it is for them to be involved with such a big step.

I like them. I really do. They make me want to move just so I can try their service out. It's no wonder that these guys won the Yahoo Innovation Award and the Yahoo People's Choice Award.

My only beef is that they only service Europe. So lucky readers from London, Wales and Scotland have it really easy. (Although, they can help you organize an international move/relocation as well, should you need it.)

Nevertheless, for people who are moving or deciding to move, their tips, planners, advisories and guides are still highly recommended by this mom. Their articles are still worth reading to organize your own move even if sadly, they don't have a local counterpart here for the actual physical move. We could really use their kind of service! So check them out at or root around their cool blog for more stuff about moving from their very own Moving Doctor.

Happy moving!
Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Monday, October 20, 2008


N@W is Newlyweds At Work, a Yahoo Group message board for newlyweds, about to be parents, wanting to be parents...everything that's got to do with being a wife, mother, woman, survivor, working parent, breastfeeding advocate, etc., etc., etc. Most are women though the odd guy comes around to see what post his wife keeps mentioning. Whatever the issue, there's a thread about it, a zillion ears to listen and shoulders to lean on or cry on. I'm not always an active poster, being guilty of running to the group mostly when I've got something I'm completely stumped about, but it's the equivalent of a sorority house without the hassles of being an initiate or a pledge. You can be sure of the support, understanding and wise advice of your sisters and brothers at N@W.

For those who don't know what being a N@wie is, it's the best group a first time mom can be in. Spinning off from the W@Wies (Weddings at Work) who went through the wedding and are now parents, the N@wies are a fun and supportive bunch even if I haven't met them all IRL (in real life).

And because I love this group, I made badges with the blessings of Benz of the W@Wie Rana Dynamic Duo :D Please feel free to grab one to post wherever you wish! Just right click and save. Link the image up to the W@W portal or N@W site so more moms out there can find their way to the group!

Here's the first batch! :)

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

More to come! Enjoy!

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Sunday, October 19, 2008


When I was a child, there was only one room in the house where everything really happens. Since there was no distinction between kitchen and dining room, you can imagine that most conversations, interactions and family activities centralized around this area.

There would always be someone preparing food, eating, making a snack or using the dining table as a study desk, drawing table, battlefield for toy soldiers or secret bandit hideout from the cops stationed in the living room. I used to hide under the table to escape from having to sleep in the afternoons when I wanted to play. My mother had the coolest make-up kit from my grandmother's Hong Kong trips with little drawers and slide-out compartments. I'd sneak it out from her dresser, paint my face up and make a dash to the kitchen sink when I heard her coming down the stairs to hunt me down for the bothersome nap.

Most growing up conversations also happened around the kitchen/dining table. We'd get reprimanded, praised or grounded until we were thirty while we were having breakfast, lunch or dinner (when activity reports usually roll in for our parents to comment about). Of course you couldn't leave until you finished your food so even if you wanted to die of shame from being publicly executed, you had to soldier on while conversation flowed to other more wholesome topics around you.

When I was old enough to help in the cooking, the conversations evolved as well. From how to cook my favorite Sinigang (Tamarind Soup) to how to deal with the bullies in school, to deeper, more intense issues later on in life. Life lessons are easier to deal with while your hands are busy, but wrestling with them while chopping up vegetables amidst the warm, homey smells of bubbling broth seemed to drive them straighter, truer and deeper into the heart.

Late at night, on occasions where one is restless and sleepless with the countless things that plague growing minds, the kitchen/dining table was the scene of many a hot coco philosophical discussion.

Heartbreaks, arguments, life decisions, confidences. I'm sure many kitchens and dining tables in small houses like ours have heard them all.

My ideal house would have the kitchen/dining area exactly like that, where the heart of the home is at the hearth. (sidenote: Hearth= heart, earth/mother, eating, sharing food for the belly, heart and the mind are such earthy wonder we feel fuller and more grounded, reconnected.)

I've always dreamt of a home that would be sanctuary to family and friends. Such as when I was growing up and bringing home friends, we'd gravitate to the kitchen where my mother would usually be found cooking dinner. And since I brought extra appetites, she would whip up something for us and we'd help cook while filling her in on what happened during our day. Sometimes, one of my friends would find herself confiding in my mom while shelling peas or stirring the stew. My mother would listen and dole out her brand of wisdom like she would dole out steaming soup for the heart-sick. My friends would always say how cool my mother was, sated with the yummy food we helped prepare, hearts soothed and minds at peace with practical advice.

When I was still single, I had the fantasy of living alone but always having a warm and welcoming home. Now that I find myself married and a mother to a precious little girl, I am nostalgic for kitchens and dining areas that remind me of my mother's kitchen. Of course, this would mean warm wood furniture, unobtrusive kitchen appliances, functionality with down-to-earth, homey styles . . . and a bunch of wild flowers stuck in a jar somewhere.

I want Oona to know how it is to come home, plunk her school bag on a chair and tell me all about her day as she gobbles a snack and I start preparing the family dinner. As it is, at 14 months, she likes playing under the kitchen/dining table. She listens in on the conversations of her mother, father, grandmother and nanny. She offers her babbled opinions every now and then and pokes our legs to let us know she's still there. Whether we're cooking, eating or typing away at a laptop, she'd be right there, camped under the table, among the chair legs.

I look forward to having midnight coco in my pajamas talking over the serious business of a first love or deliberating over college courses with Oona and her siblings (hopefully soon!). I can't wait to be solving crossword puzzles with a cup of coffee at 2AM, waiting for the last kid to come in after a concert. Or making anti-hangover specials for someone who came in four hours after their curfew, reeking of way too much beers, hunched guiltily over black coffee, waiting for me to read them the riot act. God forbid my kids have my spunk! But I DO truly look forward to it all, including cooking their lunches for school and baking cookies (Cookies? Bake?! ME?? Quick, someone pinch me!). Well, I'm sure there are idiot-friendly contraptions nowadays for people like me who can basically cook but can't whip up a chef's masterpiece.

My husband would laugh and tease me no end if ever he reads this. He's never seen me take the initiative with ruling the roost, so to speak, let alone cook everyday. But since his Mom lives with us and she likes to cook for the family, I can understand her sentiments enough to know it warms her heart to see us gather round to eat together and enjoy her food. And I know, it will be my turn soon enough, to have my own kitchen and rule the roost. Nowadays, I share the crown with the hubby and his mom, but mostly, it's Oona who wears that crown most.

Currently, we are paying for a pre-sold condo home at nearby Beacon (so near, we pass the construction site everyday). It's amazing how it feels, to watch your investment for the future rise from the foundations going up, up, up! Before we know it, it will be our floor that's going to be done and the condo guys will be calling us to go over the specs we want for our new home. So this early, I'm already looking at lovely stuff I want for our own first home, interior decorating it in my head.

Most especially, I would finally be able to have a kitchen, a hearth of my own! Sure I'd still be sharing with Mama, my hubby's mother, but I would have picked the tiling, the cabinets, the stove, the everything! Besides, it doesn't take anything away from me to share the traditional domain. It makes for incredible conversations when we're cooking together, even now. For sure, since it's a condo and we have kids running around, we'll have appliances that would be space-saving and child-friendly (if not child-proof).

I'm glad I'm a net surfer so it's easy for me to find things I like and hopefully buy, when the time comes for moving in. The condo's already fully furnished in my head! Although I'd love to go out and "get dirty", walking around to hunt down furnishings, drapes and sinks, it really isn't realistic for me nowadays. It helps that the ever-reliable Shopwiki's there. I don't have to go all over the place to find something I need, they already have stuff from on-line stores all across the web, centralized in one website. Think your very own, friendly, reliable on-line warehouse with goods from all over the world in one place! The interface is very user friendly and very informative.

I would also suggest fully reading through the Shopwiki shopping guides as it also helped me decide which ones I can do without and which ones I would definitely need for condominium living and the lifestyle that I want. What's noteworthy for me is that they help promote Green Living with earth friendly products! Definitely for us earth mommas! They also support advocacies and causes near and dear to our hearts, like this October's Shopping for a Cause is about Breast Cancer Awareness. So think pink while shopping and beat shopper's guilt by saying: "It's for a cause!"

From the bedrooms, to the curtains to the little reading corner I want to have (with a computer, naturally!), I have bookmarked a dozen pages or so from this shopping guide! Too bad our bathroom's not big enough for a bath tub or a home spa . . . Oh well, I'll keep that in mind for the next house! :D

All in all, I truly look forward to making our new house into a home, where my daughter, her siblings, their friends and everyone we welcome into our midst, would feel the love and warmth radiating from the heart/h, filling up tummies, minds and spirits with food for the body and nourishment for the soul.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



It's Blog Action Against Poverty Day, and it's brought to mind so many things. Central to these thoughts would be how poverty seems to be the most used and abused condition.

Behind every campaign, crime and policy, on either side of law and morality, poverty is the ready answer, reason and rationale. And who are its greatest victims? Children. Always the children.



Can anyone really tell me what poverty truly is? Or where it comes from?

Is poverty solely a lack of material comfort? Or is it a lack of spiritual wealth manifesting as a lack of the material kind?

There are a lot of philosophical and metaphysical discussions all over the internet regarding "How To Increase Your Abundance", "Be Open to More Money" or "Be a Millionaire While Being A Couch Potato". It's pointless to tackle them one by one because whatever they're selling boils down to us (people who want more abundance) buying their program and making them more, well, abundant. You have to admire these people, seizing an opportunity to provide people for a means to reach their dreams of gold. So they make gold!

I get spam mail like that and as always, there's a catch. Fool's gold for the naive, incredibly stupid or incredibly greedy.

There's also that South African/Arabian/Singaporean/Alien Banker/expat/businessman/wife of dead politician who would email you about millions in US Dollars or Pounds that has to be transferred and can they please use your account? Of course you have to provide your personal info and bank account numbers. And YOU shell out fees.

Whatever. Scam central, hello?!

Internet sweepstakes also lure people into buying entries with the promise of sure winnings. But the only thing you'll win in the end is a huge credit card bill. It's true all over the world, in whatever way, the house always wins.


There are so many ways people all over the world invest in exploiting our common concepts of poverty. In or out of the net.

For me, I am not afraid of being scammed via internet. I'm not stupid, naive or greedy enough to bite into promises that sound too good to be true. Nothing is taken away from me.

I am afraid of poverty, however, when I step out of my house.

I see beggars everywhere. With children. Some look like they haven't eaten in days, some have a blank stare and some don't look like their beggar parents at all. They're either too beautiful or too different.

All in all, those faces, those eyes haunt me.

I know, because I've heard stories and watch the news. Children disappear everyday and babies are stolen from parents, caretakers and their own homes. They are never seen again, bought and sold like meat into gangs, syndicates or slave rings.

Sometimes, very rarely compared to those who are never heard of, there is the odd survivor who is meant to be found to give a call for action against this particular problem. These survivors are found in other far-flung cities, maimed, starved, beaten and abused, enslaved by criminal syndicates to pose as beggars' children to increase chances of larger alms. By some incredible blessing, they are found and restored, but not without having sustained injury and often permanent physical damage. Some have been found crippled or blinded by their captors. What more can we say about their mental, psychological and emotional health? Who can say that the only injuries they have are what we have seen? What about those who have no words for the horrors they have endured?

I fear poverty whenever I walk out of the house. I fear that its fingers will reach up and curl around my own child's leg and yank her out of my life. I fear that this little ray of sunshine would be taken from me, her mother, to line some dirty bastard's pockets. Bad things happen to good people. I know things happen for a reason, but my heart refuses to stop fearing.

Where do people get off doing this? Is there no conscience left in their souls?

This knowledge also conflicts me.

I want to help these beggars but giving alms only seem to aggravate the mendicancy problem. I want to help them maybe get a good dinner at night, but don't want to perpetuate the grim cycle. Or maybe they're really hard up and they have valid reasons, being victims of circumstance, to be standing at the corner begging for mercy, but how can we really know? How do we tell the really needy from the ones who are just exploiting poverty as we know it?

And I'm a mother. How can I resist another mother asking for help for her child? How can I risk shaming her in front of her little one by denying her? But what if she's in on exploiting the child? Do I want to be party to that?

I am scared of poverty, more so because I am scared of what kind of person it is driving me to be.

I'm not particularly well-off and we do try to make ends meet. But there will always be something to spare for those who need it. After all, RF and I always say that we'll give what we can spare for someone who needs it more than us. But, that doesn't include beggars.

We've come to the agreement that though it may be heart-breaking, it's best to give them food or clothing even. Rather than money, you wouldn't be sure would really be going to see to their own comforts.

Sometimes, I am ashamed to say that I try to ignore them. I am angry at how they make me feel. At how they make me slide my eyes away from where they stand, refusing to meet their eyes. I'm even angrier at the well-dressed people with clean, well-dressed children in tow, who pose as lost travellers who found themselves short of fare to go home. The people who use these children's plight try to take advantage of the guilt and conscience of other honest, tenderhearted, unaware people. Then you see them the next day somewhere else, saying the same lines. How can we be angels of mercy and charity when what we are up against is a great poverty of the soul? I am ashamed of my anger and angry at the shame.

I know the answer would usually be as long as you give out of the goodness of your heart, it doesn't matter where your money is taken or if it is used for the intent it was given. But how can you not care? Knowing your money will not be feeding the sad urchin you gave money to, but lining some fat syndicate's pocket DOES bother me no end.

I am scared of poverty and how it has become a monster to be reckoned with. It seems to me to be a huge, smelly, lazy giant with many dirty, hollow-eyed grim children at its beck and call. And how capable it is of turning me, us, you, into monsters as well.

I don't know what can be done to stop it and stop it good, never to rear its ugly head again. I don't know how we can reach out to each child in the arms of a pretender to give them back to their heart-broken parents. I don't know how to reach those who truly need help and rescue and separate them from the scammers and the thieves.

All I know is, I want this never to touch my child.


What really is poverty? Where does it come from? Where will it end?

Is it poverty that drives us to deplete our stores of humanity and decency? Or is it a lack of goodness in many souls that enables poverty to manifest on our material plane in such soulless proportions?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Parents! I got forwarded this email. :)

For moms out there who breastfeed and would like to breastfeed their child without having to leave work. Do pass on to those who can benefit from it especially now that (melamine tainted!) formula milk is replacing the best milk for babies..


    Being (and Keeping!) a Productive Employee Who Raise Healthy Children

    Breastfeeding is a rewarding and nurturing experience for both working mother and child. Learn how you can continue breastfeeding even after you go back to work.

    Get helpful tips on how to sustain your supply of breast milk before you are tempted to buy a can of formula milk out of desperation.

    Find out how employers can support productive employees who desire to raise healthy children through breastfeeding.

    Get it straight from VELVET ESCARIO ROXAS, Deputy Executive Director of Arugaan – an NGO that is a staunch advocate of breastfeeding and earth-friendly and indigenous diet for children.

    OCTOBER 18, 2008
    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    The Kolisko School for Steiner Education
    10 Alabama Street , Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila , Quezon City

    Php 250 donation entitles you to a seat.

    Fifteen (15) slots only!

    Please reserve a seat before October 18.

    Contact 0906-3034065,

    Wife of Jonathan Adam Roxas, head of TATAY - a father support group especially for breastfeeding

    Mother of Jehielle, 6 years old, Bahay-Bahayan at The Kolisko School, breastfed for 3 years and 2 months.

    Mother of Voegelle, 15 months old, currently breastfeeding. Her waterbirth is a Philippine Medical pioneer - the first ever recorded hospital-based waterbirth in the Philippines !

    High School Mathematics Teacher
    Philippine School for Innovative Studies
    Malingap corner Malumanay St. ,
    Teachers Vill. West, Diliman, Quezon City

    Deputy Executive Director, Arugaan
    April 2003-Present
    #2 Starlight cor. Vista St., SSS Village, Marikina City
    Email: arugaan@mozcom. com Tel: +632-4905452

    • Counsels mothers on good infant and young child feeding practices
    • Teaches proper breastfeeding techniques to other mothers and other health practitioners including doctors, nurses, midwives, etc.
    • Co-authored the book “Let’s Eat, Learn and Play”
    • Creates crèche/daycare for babies and toddlers
    (home-based, community-based and in workplaces)
    • Instrumental in organizing the “First International Workshop on Indigenous Foods for Complementary Feeding” of 13 countries in Southeast Asia held in Bangkok, Thailand
    • Organized 1,000 women and youth leaders as breastfeeding counselors and defenders held in Quezon City Hall
    • Team leader and team member in coordinating and organizing different events (trainings, seminars and workshops) supported by different organizations including WHO (World Health Organization) , UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), DOH (Dept. of Health), WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action), IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network), Plan International Inc., etc.
    • Trains, presents and lectures for different national and international trainings, seminars and workshops


    Lecturer/Trainor/ Presentor:

    • Asia Pacific Conference on Breastfeeding
    November 30 - Dececember 3, 2003
    New Delhi, India

    • First International Workshop on Indigenous Foods for Complementary Feeding
    June 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand

    • Every Mother is a Working Mother
    August 14, 2004
    St. Luke’s Hospital, Quezon City

    • Lifeskills Training for Brgy. Health Workers and Day Care Workers
    January 30 – February 1, 2006
    Llorente, Eastern Samar
    September 2005
    Lilo-an, Leyte

    • Women in Media’s “Bulong Pulungan”: Pushing Up Breastfeeding as a Culture for Moms
    August 2007
    Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Pasay City

    • The First Father Support Summit
    October 2007
    UP Diliman, Quezon City

    • Breastfeeding at the Heart of Waterbirthing
    November 2007
    AMA School of Medicine, Antipolo

    • Waterbirthing for City Health Workers
    Feb. 2008
    Maasin City, Southern Leyte


    By Greg Kitma
    President, Philippine Biodynamic Agricultural Research Foundation

    OCTOBER 26, 2008 (Sunday)
    7 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Malvar, Batangas

    Php 750/adult, Php 350/child

    Contact BABA ALBERTO 0921-2234844

    SOURCES of STRENGTH: Exercises that Nurture the Soul

    Speech and the Developing Child

    Creating a Stuffed Animal
    Crocheting for Kids and Adults
    Raise Nature-loving Kids in the Time of TV and Gadgets
    Effects of Electronic Media on Young Children

    Homemade Juice from Indigenous Fruits
    Budget-friendly Ways of Raising Healthy Families in the time of Junk Food
    Education That Promotes Social Transformation
    Teaching Math through Art, Movement and Music

    HAMOG/MORNING DEW: Harnessing the Power of Nature to Improve Health Sing a Song to Promote Social Health
    The Big C: Social and Spiritual Dynamics of Cancer
    Unclutter Your Home, Mind and Heart
    How to Start Saving for a Baby
    Household Rules for Working Parents
    Multiple Intelligences: Unfolding Your Child’s Specific Intelligence at the Right Time

    CONTACT: for more information.

    Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Friday, October 10, 2008


At last, we arrive at the sling we (or rather I, since RF says he'd still rather carry Oona, aching arms and all) eventually chose.

There were not a lot of this type of sling in the net when I was first looking for one. Sure there was a growing number of it abroad but the merchandise hadn't reached local department stores yet. At the Newlyweds@Work message boards (offshoot of Yahoo groups Weddings@Work), I chanced on asking about baby slings and learned that members Jen and Ella had developed a product that was both functional AND stylish as well!

At first, stores around the metro had trouble keeping up with stocks as soon as these slings hit the local shelves. As they were just starting, supplies would run short and the more popular designs would get sold out. They were really so in demand and still are! I have had growing R'Jellybean sightings ever since last year when I grew aware of their existence. As a N@Wie, I was able to get in touch with Jen and was delighted to see new designs they were developing. She kindly offered me a sling from her own stock, but before I could take her up on it, we were able to snag one at SM Makati. It wasn't any of the posh designs and colors I wanted (saaad) but it was better than brown, the only other one left. Not that the brown wasn't nice, it was just that I'm not a brown person. Oona can wear brown, she's got that type of coloring and skin that makes brown rich. But on me, brown is too dark. So I got the stripey one in light orange, pink, white and dark, muted green. What I liked about it, more than the colors, was the textile used. It looked durable, felt durable and I knew this to be the type of fabric that was breathable as well.

Of course, it's one of those purchases that I was afraid would prove an unnecessary expense. Times are hard nowadays and I am guilty of being a closet shopaholic. However, it has managed to impress even my own husband who's often leery of my purchases (for purely practical reasons). I am proud to say that it's one of the BEST investments we've - - - er, I've made.

Next 9's R'Jellybean Ring Slings! It's proudly Filipina-made! WOOT!

Durable, stylish and very versatile. Quite close to the malongs and indigineous fabrics of my heart and culture! The designers even included an instructional video with every purchase to help you get the knack of wearing it and using different carrying styles.

With Oona getting to be more mobile, I thought she wouldn't be up to being hoisted around anymore. But, I was wrong! Oona still loves it at 14 months. She's already walking around and very very bibo. But I find that she still loves being cuddled and close to me when we're out. She's very quiet and relaxed, watching the world pass us both in the nested security of the sling and in my arms. She falls asleep faster, longer and better, even if it's a noisy environment when I'm out on an errand with her.

Everywhere I go, people stop and stare. Some are curious about the sling and ask if it's really safe. Yes, it is! The cloth is very durable, the stitches are very strong and the rings don't slip or snap.

Some ask if it's complicated to put on or if it's expensive. I always point them in the direction of the nearest department store in the vicinity and explain that it's very user-friendly and cost-efficient. I point out that RF and I barely use a stroller nowadays and can even go without it (on hindsight) as babies are better raised being close-carried by their parents in the spirit of attachment parenting. I can use the sling from infancy to toddlerhood since it's adjustable and breathable for the tropics.

Most importantly, I can use both hands when I'm slinging Oona, therefore making it easier for me to include her in more activities wherein I would normally have to put her down. The sense of belonging and involvement is priceless, as well as developing the child's natural awareness of her environment.

It also doesn't aggravate my sciatica. Prolonged lifting of course, still gives me a heckuva back ache but I can sling Oona for extended periods of time and not be debilitated for the next week as I used to be with the strappy carriers. I guess it's because when you use this type of sling, even with the wrap around Mei Tais, your center of gravity and balance doesn't have to shift that dramatically. You carry the weight closer to your body rather than away (which puts unnecessary strain and tension on your whole frame to compensate for the shifted center of gravity). To keep yourself from falling over with the weight of the baby (in a frontal carry) and the carrier's placement on your body as dictated by the straps (that really doesn't conform to your body's contours and needs) you put undue pressure on your spine and general back area. You can't even adjust the carrier to a more comfortable position.

Let's not forget that the strappy frontal kinds are hell on milk-engorged breasts, not to mention that it's harder to respond to the baby with all the snaps and straps restricting access. With the sling, it was easier to breastfeed Oona. I just sit, snuggle her closer and lift my shirt. So eazsyyyy! We even had the bonus of the loose fabric to double as a modesty cover of sorts when in a public place. I also use the loose fabric to shield Oona from sudden onslaughts of the wild weather we seem to be having, all the while running for cover.

I can't rave enough about ring-slinging and R'Jellybean. Even RF and my MIL agree that apart from being unique and back-to-the-roots, it's really very practical. Old school does it best...with modern improvements of course! I even got RF to use it every now and then, although he still prefers to carry Oona around minus the aid.

It's different for everyone, I guess. For me, this is true love. I'm already looking forward to using this again with our next little one. Or more likely, I'll be buying another one to use because Oona might still be "baby" enough to want to be carried with her stripey ring sling, that RF and I would have to wear one baby apiece! :D

Up next: Interview with Next9's Dynamic Ring Sling Duo: Jen Tan and Ella Ampongan!

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So what have I been up to lately?

I can safely say that I have a new hat to wear: the Blogger Tweaker Hat. I'm not really a hacker, I can't invent code or CSS to save my life, but I do tweak existing and Already-Hacked Blogger Templates to suit my needs and wants. Sometimes I tweak them to death (not good). An example would be that 3-column template I wanted to convert into something else, I inserted a bit of code and then to my horror, sidebars and widgets ended up all over the place and refused to be reborn into something better than its former existence. As with anything, it had its limits and I had to let it rest in peace after it gave up the ghost in bytes and pieces.

At last I was able to finish revamping three of my existing blogs (Scraps Away, Weekend Wanderings and Luscious Picks) and put up a new blog for my photos named Photoluscious (what else?!). Mommyluscious I think I'll leave the layout alone and just streamline it a bit.

So here's my blog roll call, The Luscious Blog Network (naks!):

Of course Mommyluscious remains my standard bearer. It has since evolved from being the blog of a working mother trying to juggle motherhood and the demands of a growing art studio.

Mommy Laya quit the art studio a few months back. I haven't really covered the experiences and implications the decision to be a Stay At Home Mother presents because I'm still going through it now. All I can say is, there's much more time to spend being a Mother to Oona even if I do spend lots of time on the computer pursuing personal projects.

I'm lucky enough to have a very understanding husband. He does say that he likes me being home more than being a double-income family. Although of course, it would have helped if we financially prepared for my quitting ahead of time. But when you're not happy in a particular situation, there's no contingencies for that. Anyway, I am now a SAHM who's juggling the family budget, trying to find ways and means to add to it via projects I can do at home and with my limitations (time is such a valuable commodity with a baby!).

I blog, do graphics and try to be a mother to Oona as best as possible. I can also say I'm a recovering workaholic. Sometimes I get depressed over finances especially when bills get stacked in my in-box. Sometimes I envy the other people who have schedules and places to go to and things to DO. I know that sounds like a ton of regrets in the future. Honestly, I can't say what will happen ten years down the road, if my decision to quit and stay home will haunt me. But I do know the feeling passes.

Every time Oona achieves a milestone in her young life and I'm here to witness salary in the world matters. Other parents know what I'm talking about. It's different when you're single. It's different when your child discovers she has legs and can run around and the nanny just tells you about it when you get home from work. It's different when it's YOU she runs to with that face split in a smile so wide, it melts your heart, with the look in her eyes that says "Look, MOM! LOOK!!!". :D

Scraps Away is my digital scrapping blog. It's really in my DNA to do something creative and it's to make sure my creative muscles don't atrophy. Nowadays, since I took this crash course in Template manipulation and blog improvement, I haven't been able to update as regularly as before. Rest assured though, I have a couple of LO's already in the pipeline, just waiting to be finished and posted.

To satisfy my wanderlusting, I came up with Weekend Wanderings. Travel is really one of the things RF and I love. We also want to impart to Oona the wonders of the world we live in, our own backyard, most importantly. I'm not really a die-hard nationalista, but I do have an intense appreciation for this place. There's really so much to like and enjoy more than complain about. After all, it isn't the actual place you go to, but the myriad little things that get you there that makes the destination really special.

I put up this blog primarily as a partner to Weekend Wanderings. I find that I really am trigger-happy, just about as much as my husband is with his camera phone. At first, using my N95 8GB was a means to an end since I have a Canon Ixus as well. But I found myself using my Nokia more because it was easier to whip out and I didn't need to carry around extra memory cards just to augment my Canon's 16MB default card. Besides, they're both 5 Megapixels so not much difference when it comes to resolution.

So, I am currently indulging my National Geographic Photographer fantasies using my trusty camera phone with a beautiful 8GB storage space. I did adjust the photos' contrast and saturation a bit with Google's Picasa, but all the photos came from my phone. Someday, I hope to be able to save up for a DXLR, the real sweet deal! Until then, I plan to enjoy this little baby.

Last but not the least, my blog for stuff that I like online and offline. I love a lot of stuff that I can't usually afford, but you don't really need money to appreciate beautiful things. For me, the truly beautiful things are truly useful things as well. Yes, lingerie are useful things. They make you feel beautiful, so there! That's why in this blog, I have lingerie, earth-friendly furniture, baby stuff, make-up and power tools in the same place. I just don't have car accessories or hard-core guy stuff (like jockstraps or whatever only for guys thingies there are). I can't drive and I'm not a guy. Anyway, I put stuff in here in case anybody stumbles on this blog and happens to be looking for something I've already seen. Hope this blog helps!

So there you have it, my starting five. Check them out and let me know what you think! Enjoy! :)

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While it's a warm fuzzy feeling connecting with your little tenant for 9 months, it can get infinitely boring staring off into space while you're bed-bound.

Here are some video websites I went through while surfing during The Bean/Melon's down-time (when she's not feeling out my kidneys or tracking my intestines).

You Tube ... Search Funny Commercials. Worked for me!
Ask A Ninja ... On days when your hormones are raging, "I look forward to killing you soon!" will become a favorite quote.
Aske A ... In case you want to check out the Ninja Mart Store. Maybe they have "Ninja Uniforms" in baby size.
Moymoy Palaboy ... Too bad I only saw them now. Would've given my happy hormones a boost. I watch them with Oona now. Start 'em young!
Moymoy Palaboy on Bubble Gang ... I can't decide if they're funnier here or during their early days. You guys decide.

... Yes, I am serious. It does happen. If you're due at this time, keep your celfone charged, loaded with credit and always near you. Put your OB, your hubby and your parents on speed dial, in that order (I'd recommend it!). Breathe deep and don't panic.

Friday, October 3, 2008


This appealed to me most! From the ever-reliable Wikipedia:

"Ring Slings

These are baby carriers that use dynamic tension, a length of cloth and metal (such as aluminum) or nylon rings. One end of the cloth is sewn to two rings. The cloth wraps around the wearer's body from shoulder to opposite hip and back up to the shoulder, and the end is threaded through the rings to create a buckle effect. The baby sits or lies in the resulting pocket. Once a sling is threaded, it can be taken off and put back on without rethreading. A threaded sling forms a loop of cloth. The wearer can put one arm and the head through the loop of cloth to put the sling back on.

When the baby is in the carrier, the baby's weight puts tension on the fabric, and the combination of fabric tension, friction of fabric surfaces against each other and the rings combine to "lock" the sling in position. This type of sling can adjust to different wearers' sizes and accommodate different wearing positions easily: the wearer supports the baby's weight with one hand and uses the other hand to pull more fabric through the rings to tighten or loosen the sling. There are 6 basic wearing positions that are most commonly used, namely Reclining Cradle Hold, Cradle Hold, Snuggle Hold, Kangaroo Hold, Hip Carry and Piggy Back. The Cradle Holds are most useful for discreet breastfeeding."

Ring slings may be padded or unpadded at the shoulder, have padded or unpadded edges or "rails", and the "tail" of the sling may be open or closed. Some "hybrid" ring slings have curved seats sewn into the body, similar to the seam in a pouch. Ring slings are most closely related in use to the Mexican rebozo, the rings take the place of the knot.

Whether a user will prefer a padded or unpadded sling, closed tail or open tail, simple or hybrid body is highly individual and often simply a matter of taste. Ring slings are available in a variety of fabrics ranging from lightweight cotton calicos to silk brocade. Tencel, linen, hemp and rayon have also been used. Most common are homespun fabrics, lightweight twills, dupioni silk, and other fabrics with good tensile strength and a fair amount of diagonal "give". The rings may be nylon, aluminum, steel or other materials, but it is important that any materials used be of sufficient strength and that multiple layers of stitching be used to connect rings to fabric, as several recalls of ring slings have been caused by faulty rings (welds breaking) or stitching (insufficient stitching such that if a thread broke, there was no redundancy). Most rings used by manufacturers are either designed specifically for baby carriers, designed for high-tension situations like marine rigging or for securing heavy livestock. Lightweight craft rings should not be used. Fabrics which cannot safely hold a seam without fraying or tearing should not be used. Excessively slippery fabrics should be avoided.

Another significant point of variation is found in how the rings attach to the cloth, commonly referred to as "shoulder style". Basic shoulder styles include gathered, pleated, "hot dog" or "center fold", pouch-style (folded in half) and many variations. Which is more comfortable for a given user may depend on body shape (whether the user has rounded or square shoulders), sling fabric (some fabrics will only be comfortable with padding, others work better in a gathered, unpadded style) and user preference for a wider or narrower spread.

Ring slings can be used from birth through toddlerhood, but many parents find that heavier, non-mobile babies are easier to carry in a two-shouldered carrier such as a wrap or mei tai (see below) when carrying will be extended. However, for short-term use, or for toddlers and mobile babies who want to be picked up and set back down often, ring slings can be ideal. Ring slings are also considered very good for breastfeeding, their adjustability allows them to be lengthened to allow easy access to the breast, and they can then be re-adjusted quickly when nursing is done. Ring slings are often the carriers of choice in the first months of life, when babies are small and nurse frequently."

Sounds good!

Next: Our choice!

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