Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Is Around The Corner!

Whew! It's been a heckuva start for December! We gave up our yaya and then the family came down with flu. And we suspect Oona's teething again. She's been really cranky and clingy, refusing her usual solid foods, drooling a lot and sticking her finger in her mouth, rubbing her gums. We think her canines are about to make an appearance soon.

To top it off, the holidays are upon us and we haven't had much time to really get down to it. In truth, the holiday season starts really early in the Philippines. As soon as the -ber months hit, Christmas songs are starting to play and the malls have stuff for decor and presents lined up for Pre-Christmas Sale and promos. We only managed to buy a parol yesterday and materials for a DIY christmas wreath for the front door. The happy thing about shopping and decorating a little late is that we got everything on sale! Now, I have a really nice wreath done up the way I want for half the excruciating price if we bought it at the peak of the decorating season. We agreed christmas trees would be for when Oona's older and she can better appreciate it other than trying to pull down the pretty balls to see if they bounce.

Looks like this year, we won't be able to go crazy for presents like we used to when RF and I were still both working, childless professionals. (Nevertheless, it doesn't stop me from window-shopping!!!) Still, there are really great finds on foot and online. Landmark and SM are for shoppers like me with an eye for pretty stuff and a bargain. With a Christmas Sale going a dime a dozen in every mall and promos with freebies at almost every store, now's the time to go shopping! Go when it's not rush hour madness from 5PM til 8PM: lots of people, less time to choose items and sometimes, less chances of nabbing what you really like. The magic shopping time for me is as soon as the mall opens at 10AM until right before lunch time when the malls fill up with people trying to eat and shop at the same time before going back to work. Then again at around 2PM til 4PM, before people rush to the mall from school or work. Cabs are also easy to get at around those times. :D


Speaking of presents and pretty stuff, Grow In Style invited me to check out their online store. I fell in love with their sweet Eco-friendly, Organic Diaper Cakes. For the uninitiated, Diaper Cakes are not edible cakes. They're constructed of diapers and other baby items put together in an adorable way. It beats having stuff in traditional gift boxes, you know. It not only looks good as a present for birthdays, baptisms, or the first hospital visit, it can even be the baby shower centerpiece if you want them to start early in style! It would even look good under the christmas tree! (I want one for my next bundle of joy, people! Hint! Hint!) :D

Diaper Cakes are so practical, bursting with items you and your baby needs but looking SO darn good, you'll have issues about pulling it apart. See? SEE? That on the left is the Buzzy Bee 4 Tier Diaper Cake. That's my favorite. And no, you really can't eat it.

This one comes with: Approximately 70 Size 1 Baby NatureCare Diapers, Organic Bumble Bee Cotton Teether by Under the Nile, Natursutten BPA Free Pacifier, 100% Organic Onesie, 100% Organic Thermal Receiving Blanket (measuring 30"x40"), 5 Piece Weleda Starter Kit, Buzzy Bee Storybook, and 2 Handcrafted Bumble Bee Alligator Clips (can be used as decorations or hair clips for a baby girl). You can even add your own surprises to be tucked within the cake itself!

Apart from the way the Grow In Style Diaper Cakes are made, I'm particularly happy about the fact that they're 100% Organic and Eco-friendly. You can use everything guilt-free! Their baby products are all made from natural ingredients, some are even hand-crafted. Toys and accessories use non-toxic paint and "guaranteed NOT to contain any harsh chemicals, parabens, BPA, PVC or phtalates". Weleda Baby Care Products were also chosen for these qualities. According to Grow In Style: "they protect the baby's skin using the gentlest and most natural ingredients, such as Calendula, beeswax and almond oil. The 5 Piece Starter Kit gives mom the opportunity to try out a variety of their products."

However, should you prefer the more traditional gift boxes, they still have goodies you can put together for thoughtful presents that show you care (Uyyy...Tag line!). And since all this is online, all you have to do is place your order and they'll deliver it to you or the recipient (if you're not able to give it personally). Yup, Ninongs and Ninangs, they do international orders! They're based in the US but shipping overseas is okay. (I'm not sure how long it takes to get to Manila though.)

All in all, do I think Grow In Style's got bang for your buck? Yes I do. It's all natural, very practical and very safe. They also look darn GOOD. So Go! Support Eco-friendly products! It's never too early to start kids on being earth-friendly either! Make a new Mom or Mom-to-be happy.

Sigh. As for us with toddlers nearing potty training, I guess we'll have to wait for the next baby to have the perfect excuse to expect or get ourselves a Diaper Cake! :D

Friday, December 5, 2008

FUN STUFF FOR MOM: Baby Astrology

you're nauseated, nothing settles you down and your hormones are giving you a heckuva rollercoaster ride. great news is, you're pregnant!

there's so much stuff on the net to help you have more fun if your hormones aren't driving you to be moving around or nesting. on the down times, here are a few places i checked out.

First up is Baby Astrology: What's your baby's sign?

Yes. I checked out Oona's Astrological sign one day that I was bored to death. Along with being named after strong women, I'm afraid we hit her with a double whammy to be a fierce little fighter with her Western astrological sign. At least her Eastern Birth year tempers it so we haven't had a really difficult time with our little Leo Piggy! Read on!

The Leo Baby is, above all else, loud! Forget sleep for the foreseeable future, Mom and Dad. This is a baby who must be heard and will certainly let everyone in their midst know what they want. Think center of attention, since there really is no other way for this tot!

> so true! she's a little dynamo! moving, moving, moving all the time! nobody goes to sleep before she does. the only way for us to convince her to go to sleep is to pull in the shades so this little sun-worshipper could rein in her energy for a bit to get rest in the afternoons. she doesn't know her own limits yet so we're teaching her to sleep at a certain time so that she won't over-exert herself and get cranky the entire day. she also loves noise, even in the dark, she would still play or sing or babble or carry a weird conversation with me (weird because she's got her own language and i can't understand it in a cerebral way). she expresses herself well, though...babbling, pointing at what she wants or dragging you to what she wants you to do or where she wants to go. at a year and three months, she uses her entire body for expression. but, no coherent speech in our language yet. all she's got is her own language and that bond we share with her. so far it works. she's also a true performer. being the center of attention, she's very gracious to her audience, pulling out all the stops on her cute tricks and adorable antics. thank god she behaves well whenever we're in public or with company...except when she's already stretched to tantrum-point (like any child) and even that hasn't happened beyond what I can count on one hand.

With a Leo baby as part of the plan, family life will revolve around this magnetic child. The Leo baby adores an audience, so it should come as no surprise that many of these tots go on to become stars of stage and screen. This babe is auditioning early on!

> Yep, she loves a good, appreciative audience. But I'm also glad she has enough independence and confidence to be able to play on her own. When there are people, she'll be her gracious little self, like a gracious little hostess entertaining guests at a dinner party. I haven't seen her be mean or selfish to anybody. She pulls out all her toys to share to the kids, even gives the adults a toy so they can share in the fun...she tries to give people a ten-cent tour of her favorite spots in the house or attempts to share her bottle. When she's tired, she'll be quiet or if she really doesn't feel up to it, she tells Mommy or Daddy or Lola in no uncertain terms (whimper...).

To that end, this is a child who is also competitive, so maybe they are prepping for that dog-eat-dog Hollywood whirl from day one. When in a play group or any social situation, the Leo baby will make friends easily and will thrive on the interaction, since being on-stage is where they're at. Even so, they will have a hard time sharing things, such as roles, responsibilities, and even toys.

>Hmmm...If I have anything to say about it, she will continue being the gracious and unselfish little girl that she is. A little competition is fine but I don't like brats and spoilsports. After all, I am an Aquarian and I live to break the mold. Above all else, I'm happy that Oona has a sunny disposition and nothing should ruin that...not childish selfishness or vanity at always being the center of attention. I don't want any shooting stars for my child, I want her to shine steady, strong and true. Light like that shines longer.

The King (or Queen) of everything they see, they will be the one making the rules, after all. To sum up, the Leo baby is the leader of the pack, loads of fun, and will expect to live in the most comfortable of kingdoms. Pity the parent who won't play along!

> She is certainly Princess-in-training-to-be-Queen-someday. But I hope we would be able to guide her to be a true Queen as her namesakes are: to emulate the best qualities of each, learn from their mistakes and avoid them and be strong where their frailties have weakened them. From myself, though I know I'm far from being the perfect specimen, I hope to help her along to learn from history and her own experiences. I am terrified, of course. This is huge. We can all only hope for so much for all our children. But that is what parents are for.

I never liked brats or the kids who can't control themselves. I'm no paragon of virtue but I'll be darned if I let Oona grow up to be a Queen and not deserve every bit of the good it means (and none of the bad).

Now on to Oona's Birth Year!

About the Pig Baby

Contrary to its rather negative reputation in the West, the Pig of Chinese Astrology may be the most generous and honorable Sign of the Zodiac.

>WHOO-HOO!!! Great tempering agent to the aggressive Leo!

Pigs are nice to a fault and possess impeccable manners and taste. They have so much of the perfectionist in them that others may be inclined to perceive them as snobs, but this is a misconception. Pigs are simply possessed of a truly luxurious nature, one that delights in finery and riches (in surroundings, food, lovemaking and otherwise).

> Hmm...must teach Oona value of simple living. After all, one can find elegance in simplicity. Think the Japanese way of life!

This Sign believes in the best qualities of mankind and certainly doesn't consider itself to be superior. Pigs also care a great deal about friends and family and work hard to keep everyone in their life happy. Helping others is a true pleasure for the Pig, who feels best when everyone else is smiling.

> Bait ng anak ko! Buti na lang Leo sha so she won't be a push-over! Oona does love to laugh and see others laugh. She's generous with her smiles and her flying kisses.

A Pig with no one around to appreciate its giving nature is a sad sight. Pigs are so magnanimous they can appear almost saintly; this can lead some less-than-well-intentioned souls to stomp all over this Sign, and the bad news is, the Pig will take the blows! Pigs make great companions in part because of their refusal to see the more negative or base qualities in a partner, but that rose-colored view can lead to this Sign's allowing itself to be taken advantage of. Contrary to their seemingly benign dispositions, however, Pigs can be quite venomous in response to being crossed by a lover, friend or business partner.

> Yup...Oona really is a generous little girl. Mental note: Must enroll Oona in aikido for proper ass-kicking training. You know, just in case. Still, I'm hoping that the Leo in her kicks in to balance this emerging magnanimity. I hope she can manage to be firm and giving without being a doormat like I was when I was younger.

Pigs are highly intelligent creatures, forever studying, playing and probing in their quest for greater knowledge. They can be misinterpreted as being lazy, however, due to their love of reveling in the good stuff; this Sign could happily spend hours on end making love, napping, taking a long bubble bath or dallying over an incredible spread of rich foods. Pigs tend to make wonderful life partners due to their hearts of gold and their love of family. Even so, Pigs can be rather exclusive, choosing to spend time with those who will appreciate them most and ignore the rest of the populace. Pigs would do well to realize that there's more to life than being needed. When they open up their world to a diverse group of people, they will truly bloom.

> Must cultivate her innate qualities and balance it out with the Leo's love of social interaction.

The most compatible match for a Pig is the Rabbit or the Goat.

> Haha...tsaka na yang compatibility thing na yan! I'll deal with the matchmaking after seventeen years or so.

Of course RF and I believe it's in the upbringing how Oona's going to turn out. We both have high hopes and dark fears about ourselves as parents. I know we'll never be able to get rid of the feeling that we're responsible for this little being, because it's true. We brought her into the world, it's up to us to teach her how to get on in it. While there's no manual on how to raise a good person, it does help to have little things like these to contribute to how we could shape her character and how well she'll do later on.

Of course an astrological reading has to be more in depth to truly nail things down, but I don't mind a general overview. I still pretty much love surprises so I think it's no fun if at this point, I'll be neurotic enough to want to know everything about my daughter's fate and destiny, if such things can truly be 100% read in the stars. She'll have to figure out those things on her own, I believe. I won't be the kill-joy to deny her the adventure she'll be making of her own life. I'd like to help and be there along with her and be as surprised as she is at the wonders waiting for her.

Next Up:
Babies Online

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


anybody out there who is from CEBU DOCTOR'S UNIVERSITY? if you lost a camera in manila, please comment here or email me. please, no spammers and be honest!

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker