Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cyber Girlfriends and a TEST

I've recently found and followed other mommy blogs that has become my allies in the kind of parenting I have chosen.  Of course my husband is my biggest ally but other moms like myself as allies are just different.  Gives me a different sense of affirmation and feeling that I am not the only odd one in the world of motherhood.  You know, sort of how girlfriends are when you want to shop for clothes.  It's nice to have your boyfriend or husband accompany you to go shopping but it's never the same when you're shopping for clothes with girlfriends.  To my hubby: It's true! Don't get offended.  I reeeaalllly (with Australian accent) love to go shopping with you but I miss shopping with my girlfriends too! :) It's just different.
So, talking about the other mommy blogs, I've started following a number of them.  They are all in Spanish however and most of them are in Spain so I can relate to many of the current events they are talking about regarding motherhood, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, etc, and many of the experiences they have living in the same country.  Some of them from different countries as well and it's just quite interesting that inspite of the distance, there is still a lot of connection between how different moms, think, feel and deal with the wonderful world of motherhood.
Talking about these blogs, Florencia of  Diario de Una Primeriza has tagged me to take a blog test.  She's a mom from Argentina and what's really fun is that she has a baby boy that was born on the same day as Little Spanish Pinay!  The same day! :) ... Could he be Little Spanish Pinay's soulmate? haha. She has tagged me back in Oct 10 but I didn't have time to do it before today... so now, I'll be doing this test.  Thanks, Florencia for nominating me!
The questions are in Spanish so I will try to translate this in English as well:
1. ¿Te llevas bien con tu suegra? Do you get along well with your mother in law?
Muy, pero que muy bien.  Tengo suerte que mi suegra me quiere como su propia hija. I get along with her really well.  I am lucky that my mother-in-law treats me like her own daughter.

2. ¿Cuál es tu reto? What is your goal?
Como madre, mi reto es criar a mi hija como mi madre me crió y poder enseñar a mi hija el valor de la vida y de todo a su alrededor, y sobre todo que crea en Dios.  As a mom, my goal is to raise my daughter the way my mom raised me and to be able to teach her the value of life and everything around her, and most of all for her to believe in God.

3. ¿Qué le dirías a tu jefe si te tocara la lotería? What would you tell your boss if you win the lotterry?
Hasta luego, Lucas! See you later, alligator! (hasta luego Lucas is a common expression in Spanish... my boss' name is not Lucas nor alligator hehe)

4. ¿Qué harías si descubrieras que alguien te está mintiendo? What would you do if you discover someone lied to you?
Lo voy confrontar si es verdad que me esta mintiendo y porque lo ha hecho.  Seguro que le voy a perdonar pero tambien seguro que la confianza ya no va a ser igual jamas.  I will confront the person and will ask why he/she lied and why did he/she do that.  I am pretty sure that I will forgive him/her but I am pretty sure as well that the trust will never be the same.

5. Si se quema la casa y solo puedes salvar una cosa, ¿Que salvas? If your house is on fire, and you can only save one thing, what would it be?
El portatil lleno de fotos y las fotos ya imprimidas.  The laptop full of photos and printed photos.


6. Entras en un sitio con mucha gente, ¿Qué haces? You enter on a crowded place.  What would you do?
Depende de la razon porque he ido a ese sitio... si hay algo importante que tengo que hacer, pues nada, aguantar y acabar con lo que tengo que hacer.. sino pues me salvo del follon.  Depends on the reason why I went to that place.. if there's something important I need to do, then I'll just suck it up... otherwise, I'll save myself from the trouble.

7. Ves el vaso medio lleno o medio vacío? Do you see the glass half-filled or half-empty?
Casi siempre medio lleno.  Almost always half-filled.

8. Te encuentras con una lámpara mágica, ¿qué tres deseos pides? You found a magic lamp, what three wishes would you ask for?
Sabidura para mi, un mundo sin pobreza y un deseo para cada dia de mi vida.   Wisdom for me, a world without poverty and one wish for each day of my life.

9. ¿Qué te llevo a escribir un blog? What brought you to writing blogs?
Vivo lejos de mi familia y escribir en un blog es una manera de comunicar con mi gente... para que sepan mis pensamientos y mis sentimientos.  También queria que algún día mi hija pueda leer estos pensamientos y sentimientos de su madre.  A ver si un día puedo compilar todos los artículos que he escrito y hacer un libro personal de recuerdos .  I live far from my family and writing in a blog is one way for me to communicate to them and let them know my thoughts and feelings.  Also, I would like my daughter to one day, be able to read about these thoughts and feelings.   Perhaps one day I could compile all the entries and make a book for pesonal keepsake out of this.

10. Si fueras un dinosaurio, ¿cómo te llamarías? If you are a dinosaur, what would you name yourself?
Ispanispinaysaurius. 

11. ¿Querrías cambiar algo de tu pasado? Would you like to change anything from your past?
El pasado no se cambia porque creo que el presente esta hecho por el pasado... y con mi presente, no quiero que cambie por nada en el mundo.  The past is not to be changed because I believe that the present is made because of the past... .and with my present now, I would never change it for anything in this world.

12. ¿Cuál es tu sueño? What is your dream?
Ser la mejor madre para mi estrella y la mejor mujer para mi marido.  To become the best mom for my star and the best wife for my husband.

13. ¿Qué es lo más vergonzoso que has hecho? What is the most embarrassing thing have you ever done?
Hmmm demasiada cantidad que mencionar...? Hmmmm too many things to mention?

14. ¿A quién mandarías al Polo Norte si tuvieras poder para ello? Who would you send to North Pole if you have the power to do so?
¡¡¡A todos los que les encanta el frio!!! All those who love the freezing weather!!!

15. ¿Alguna vez te han pillado en un renuncio, o sea haciendo algo que no debías? Have you ever been sued or caught doing something that you shouldn't be doing?
No, gracias a Dios.  No, thank God.

16. ¿Comida preferida? What is your preferred food?
¿Comida Filipina, que va ser??? Filipino food, what else???

17. ¿Que fue lo mas descabellado/loco que hiciste por amor? What was the craziest thing have you ever done for love?
Venir aqui a España, a oceanos de lejos de mi pais, de mi familia y de mis amigos.  Dejé mi vida en Filipinas y empezé una nueva junto con mi marido (mi novio de aquella). Come here in Spain, oceans away from my country, my family and my friends.  Left my life in the Philippines and started a new one together with my husband (my boyfriend back then)

 The tradition is to tag another 8 bloggers.  But most of the ones I am following have already done this and that I still don't that much "connections"... so I guess I'd tag whoever feels like answering these kind of "slambook" test.  Oh well,  I'll tag  a friend of mine, Jane of Nine Months and After.  That is if she'd have time to do this.  She has just recently gave birth to a lovely boy and still adjusting with everything.  

By the way, take care Jane! I hope you and the beating peanut get well soon!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Truth on Tooth and Paying it Forward

A tooth is out. This time, it's the truth! Funny how people have been commenting that Tala will start teething very soon...since she was 2 months! She started drooling a lot when she turned 2 months so people were guessing she'd start teething veeerryyy soon. Finally, that "veerrryyy soon" came in at 6 months. Yesterday, I felt something rough on her lower gums and it's definitley a tooth. My poor Little Spanish has been cranky the whole day yesterday, even today. And I have a feeling that this will last for several days. She demands more attention than ever. It's still easy to make her laugh but after a short while, she'd start crying as if telling me "mami, something's hurting me, make it go away please". It pains me to know that there is nothing much I can do for her but to let her feel I will be there beside her all the time.

Just like how my mom was for me when I was young everytime I was sick. I remember having so much toothache when I was about 8 or 9. My molars were inflamed so it can't be extracted yet. We had to wait till the inflammation and the infection goes away. I was crying incesantly. My mom kept on telling me that she knows how painful it could be, that she understands my frustrations and that I just need to be patient. And then she told me to come near her so she can help me. I put my head on her lap and she gently rubbed the side of my cheek where the hurting molar was, telling me that soon, it'll go away. She didn't stop rubbing my cheek until I fell asleep. I can very well remember how good it felt. It calmed me. It calmed my hurting tooth. Her touch was magic for me.

Now that I'm a mom myself, it's my turn to rub the pain off my Little Spanish Pinay. And now I understand what my mom felt while seeing me hurting. I'm sure she wanted to take the pain to herself instead of me suffering because of that pain. I'm sure she wanted to do more but all she could was to let me feel she'd stay beside me all the time and that we are both in it together. That I wasn't alone and will never be. These are all exactly what I am feeling now for Little Spanish Pinay.

How I miss my mom. How I wish she's here beside me now instead of oceans away so she could see me as a mom myself now and the unconditional love and care that she has given me when I was young, is now being paid forward to another beautiful child of God. I want her to look through my eyes and see her reflections, of how these eyes look at my own daughter the way her very own eyes looks at me. I want her to be proud of me, to be proud of her with the way she has raised me and my other 5 siblings.

My mom has held my hand and now, it is my turn to hold my own daughter's hand.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alayn, Alayn, Alaaaayn

In the Philippines, babies are normally taught with what we call "baby tricks".  I could name a number of them:

* Beautiful eyes --> The baby bats the eyelashes as if something gets in their eyes. Of course this would look really cute as they're doing it on purpose and often with a smile.
* Flying kiss --> I think this is very self explanatory. The baby would put one hand as if trying to cover the mouth but it's actually to later on send kisses in the air.
* Close-open --> The baby closes and opens the fist.  This is often done while an adult is chanting "close, opeeeen, close opeeen" in a very sing-song way.
* Arimunding --> The baby moves the hand in a way like the royalties wave their hand to people.  Again, accompanied by an adult singing "Arimunding, munding, munding..."
* Kuyakoy --> The baby, seated in a place where legs are freely hanging.  The adult would sing "kuyakoy, nang kuyakoy...." and the baby would move one or both legs like a swing.
* Apir --> Filipino version of give me five or high five. This one is probably a transliteration of "Up here".
*Alayn --> The adult would say "alayn, alayn, alaaaayn..." with the index finger seemingly pointing to and moving it closer to the baby.  The baby would do the same towards the adult until the index fingers of the two meet at the fingertip.  Now, I believe the origin of the name of this "baby trick" is "align"... as the concept is to be able to "align" the fingertips of the index fingers... capiche?

While these "baby tricks" sounds too "baby-ish" and corny to many, especially to westerners, I believe these have a very good purpose other than just for the adults to have some fun seeing the babies do these uber cute gestures.  I started teaching some of these things to Little Spanish Pinay (LSP) as I wanted her to kind of "get in touch" with being Filipino.  I want her to experience other traditions we have in the Philippines... as teaching these things to babies are in a way, I consider as a tradition, after all, they were passed from generations to generations as far as I am concern.  While I was teaching "alayn" to LSP (we have just started so for now, this is what I am teaching),  I realized that these baby tricks actually have a very good purpose.  They are very good for developing babies' motor skills like coordination and control.  With alayn, LSP is learning to control her finger movements like closing the other fingers while one is pointing outward.  Also, she's learning to move her hand and arms towards something in a precise way - after all, the objective is to touch my index fingertip with her own index fingertip.

For now, I am trying to teach her alayn and close open.  She can almost, almost do alayn.  She can't completely point yet but she can already seperate her index fingers from the rest and the other fingers are a tad lower than the index finger.  Then she'd get too excited in the process that instead of just touching my fingertip, she'd grab my whole finger and bounce with happiness.  I am also trying to teach her close- open.  I'd open and close her fist with my hand and she'd look at her fist attentively, eyes wide open and an excited smile in her lips.  She'd look at me from time to time.  And then I'd remove my hand and let her try to do it on her own.  She'd look at her fist, look at me, the smile would faint and be converted to plain look of conccentration.  Then I'd try to show her again how to do it and she'd bounce with happiness.  No close-open on her own for now but I know she's studying it and trying to learn.  I can see it the way she looks at her fist.

Alayn with mami

The other baby tricks? They too are good tools for helping babies develop good motor skills.  They are good excercise for stimulation and coordination of hands, arms and legs.  What about "beautiful eyes", you make ask me.  Well, it helps the baby be more aware of the eyes and eyelashes and learn that he/she can move them at will.  Does that sound convincing? If not, then it doesn't matter.  It's still overly cute and just worth it to teach them and enjoy the sweet and innocent gesture.  During the old times, there were not many toys in the market for babies that normally claim good help in babies' development on different areas, so for sure, Filipinos of the old times being ingenious that we are, have invented these fun baby tricks.  Besides, parents especially moms of the old times, have more time staying at home (not many moms were working moms back then) so they have more time to be with their babies and play with them without the need of buying many toys. 

Wasn't that actually nice? Less expenses for buying toys and more bonding time with babies.  Ahhh, the simple and happy life of before.

Then again, having the toys of today doesn't have to mean lesser time to spend with the babies.  They are not really meant to be given to babies so that they can entertain themselves hours and hours while parents mind their own business.  They are there as tools for parents to help stimulate babies and at the same time have fun playing WITH them. 


One of our favorites.  My cute hubby named this cute pony as cocoroso.  He trots and neighs (the pony not my hubby) when moved in a certain way.  It's very colorful and has different things to touch that stimulates babies' eyes and sense of touch.  The brand Lamaze has a lot of interesting stimulating toys for babies.  Plus their cuteness is to die for.

With LSP, these toys are big help for me to get her entertained for a few minutes so I can quickly go around the house or perhaps quickly check my email.  She sometimes enjoy those few minutes of being alone with her toys discovering things on her own (and talking on her own).  I do make sure though from time to time to call her and talk to her even from where I am seated.  She'd look at me and smile (and bounce - she looovvvves to bounce when she's happy) and go back to her business.  But most of the time,  hubby and I are with her playing and helping her explore things. And of course me, teaching her alayn, alayn, alaaaaaayn.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Half a Year, Twice as Dear

We're 6 months! And my Lord, she's growing up so fast. Little Spanish Pinay seems to be taking some magic growth ball. I see her bigger and bigger everyday. I literally see the difference each day. Oh and not just see but also feel. I can hear my arms yelling "#?!%!!#?!" so loud. Even my back and my legs are joining the protest. But I don't mind them. They can start a picket all they want, nobody's getting a raise! Hah!
Obviously bigger now! We have just unbuttoned her diapers to one size bigger.  


Inspite of the complains I get from my body parts, I am enjoying every bit of Little Spanish Pinay's (LSP - I better start using this acronym to save me sometime typing especially if I am just using my phone to blog...with the tiny keypad my phone has, it's quite nice to save some words to type) big and small milestones. I try to capture in photos and videos each moment but sometimes they just happen quite fast for me to get the camera or sometimes, I'm too busy clapping and yelling and opening my mouth in amazement that my brain gets stunned to order my feet and hands to go for the camera.

She is sooooo active. She loves to jump enthusiastically. She demonstrates her particular liking to a certain thing. She loves listening to opening (ending) songs of cartoons, kids shows, commercials, etc. She especially like the song from the latest commercial of Apple being shown here in Spain. The one that plays the song When You're Smiling by Neils Armstrong. She loooooves that. Once it starts playing in the TV, she stops whatever she's doing, look at the TV, and sways her arms up and down happily while smiling from ear to ear, nose to chin...yes, that big of a smile. She would jump non-stop if she's standing while doing all of the aforementioned things. After the commercial? Back to business as if nothing happened. Looks like she enjoys voices like Armstrong. But she also likes high-pitched voices like the opera or when her papi sings to her in his falseto voice :-). She likes the extremes, the contrasts.

She is in constant movement. She has recently learned how fun it is to swing her arms as though she's holding a jumping rope. While doing that, she'd hit her head and tummy but she doesn't mind.  She's really enjoying her new discovery. She is so fascinated by it, she'd do it all the time. And I mean ALL the time. Even in her sleep.  She cracks me up.  With her antics like this.  Her different facial expressions? Priceless.

One of her silly faces


It's also getting harder and harder each time to change her diaper. She'd twist and turn looking for something interesting or sometimes she'd do that in protest when she's not in the mood for a diaper changing session. What she really loathe? Changing her clothes! She gets really nervous and mad about it. She'd cry and arch her back in utter disapproval. It really requires agility and skill to change her fast to not prolong the big battle and upset her even more. My betcha-by-golly-strong-charactered LSP. Worst is that it's just getting more and more complicated since now, we have to use more clothes for the winter. Those long sleeved bodies and dresses? Big pain in the arse!

LSP in action during one of our difficult diaper changing sessions

She's also trying to crawl more and faster! Especially when she sees something really interesting, like cables, mobile phones, remote controls...yeah, things that are not for babies. But she's still crawling like an army in a battle field, though you'd see some attempts to lift her butt and move her legs to crawl. Everytime she does that? I shriek with excitement. And that sends her to stop and look at me with a confused face. So I'd clap my hands and she'd be all wiggly with happiness, moving her arms and legs like a dog swimming in a pool but in a much faster way.

Army crawl!

I have to stop the shrieks. Seriously.

What she doesn't do yet? Put her feet on her mouth like many babies at her age do - including younger ones. She finds them interesting and try to put them in her mouth but it seems to cost her much not to mention she gets too excited and would start kicking so she'd lose them. Perhaps LSP is not that flexible. And I forgot to ask about that during her 6-month check up! Darn. She's still not into pacifiers and I don't think she ever will. Better then. We wouldn't need to wean her from it later on.

Talking about her monthly check up, she did quite well. She started crying when the pedia started exploring her tummy, mouth and ears. Oooohhh, she so hated it. She was infinitely mad. But it was quite funny when the pedia made her stand on her feet.  She was crying and very upset but she was jumping.  The pedia and the nurse shook their head laughing.  And when the nurse gave her the vaccine? 10,000-decibels-shrieks and a bucket of tears. But all she needed was mami's comforting arms and kisses. She immediately stopped. A real champion.  But she'd throw a gaze at the nurse from time to time and then look at me and would start to sniffle. She's so cute I can just eat her up.

Horz, I always forget to take photos on her monthly check ups.

Anywho... she has evolved quite well. The nurse was surprised about her ability to crawl, like what I call an army crawl. She said that she moves fast and that many babies at her age do less. And I told her that she even tries to stick up her butt in an attempt to really crawl, she was quite impressed. Atta girl, my Little Spanish Pinay! ::Now, I just have to type that completely ;-) :: We have an early developer, y'all!

At the risk of sounding so cliché, I'm gonna say, I'm such a proud momma! There I said it. Inspite of all the hardwork and strength-draining effort of a hands-on mom, I feel so well-compensated. Every night I'd go to bed with an aching body but nonetheless, with a raging heart. I am overly grateful that LSP is such a healthy and happy baby. She is downright attached to her parents. Her sweetness melts me everytime. Her strong character? Flips me. Ahh, mami has a stronger character so when she gets mulish? Mami's more mulish. Heh. That's just how it'll work. Anyways, a strong character doesn't have to negative...it's just a matter of applying that on the right moment, situation and people. So we'll see how LSP will evolve in the coming years. For now, we just need to make sure that we mold that into something positive.

OH! Befor I forget, LSP is not the only one celebrating 6 months of healthy and very good development. The boobies also reached 6 months of lactation with flying colors! Yay for Las Boobies!

Las Boobies on duty

After the whole day's hullabaloo, LSP was soooo tired.  We've been out and about with errands today and she has missed her naps.  She was KO by the time we got home.  Poor LSP, errands on her month-birthday instead of having a cake... sweet dreams, my Little Spanish Pinay! Today, we love you more... tomorrow will be even more! ::Song in my head... I love you more today than yesterday...lalalala::
ZZZzzZZzzzzzzzzZzZzzzzz

Statistics:
Weight: 7.860kg (p75)
Height: 65cm (p50)
Head Circumference: 43cm (50)
Food tried: pear, banana, apply, bread, rice, potatoes
Fave food: pear, banana, potatoes and bread

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Best of Breast: A Fair Fight Against Cancer

It's breast cancer awareness month.  A good timing for me to start the first entry of the series The Best of the Breast.


Breastmilk is best for babies.  That, we all know.  What many don't know is the act of giving breastmilk to babies - that is - breastfeeding also benefits mommies.  It helps mommies fight breast cancer.  According to this study, breastfeeding for 2 years or more gives a woman 50% less chance of having breast cancer.  Another study says a woman with family history of breast cancer, breastfeeding for just 3 months is already an equivalent of taking breast cancer preventing medication for.... wait for it... a resonating FIVE YEARS! Holy smokes! Not only that it gives free food to the baby, but the act also protects itself from notorious cancer.  That's pure nature, baby!

But wait, it doesn't end there.  Studies also confirm that breastfeeding also helps fight other types of cancer such as uterine, ovarian and endometrical cancer.

This reminds me of the big ordeal our family had faced before.  My youngest sister was diagnosed with chronic liver disease and histiocytosis x when she was about 1yr old.  She and my mom spent like a yr in the hospital while doctors tried to diagnose and treat my sister.  It was a very difficult struggle for the whole family both emotional and economical.  I was in high school back then and I remember going to the hospital form time to time to visit my sister.  She loved getting visitors.  She'd smile and play with us inspite of her very sickly appearance.  She lost her hair, she's very thin - really thin like skeleton thin, and she got her tummy really, really big. Even her skin color has changed - pale dark.  Her veins in her arms are all bruised up with many tests and blood transfusion.  She had undergone skin biopsy and liver biopsy.  At a tender age of 1.  I remember seeing my mom nursing her no matter how much my sister would bite her.  My mom would cry with pain.  She'd cry with pain.  But she'd even say that  if she can take all my sister's pain, she'd do it.  My sister tends to bite my mom because of the pain and the stress she was also suffering from.  My mom suck it all up.  All she had in mind back then is that she wants to give the best for my sister.  The nourishment, care and warmth only a mom can give her.  She wanted to tell my sister that mama is there for her always and that she will get better.  The hardest part was when the doctor told my mom that she can bring home my sister... for the family to enjoy the remaining days that she has.    With a broken heart, my mom accepted the fact and just let God's Will be done.  She went home with my sister.  My siblings and I were very happy to see them back home.  I had no idea about the doctor's revelation to my mom.  My parents hid the fact to us for a time as they didn't want us to get affected by the truth.  I discovered about it later and I too was heart broken... so are my siblings.

We tried to make every day of my sister the happiest as we could.  My mom continued to breastfeed her, my dad passed by Quiapo Church in Manila and pray to Nazareno.  He would wipe Nazareno's feet with a hanky and put it in my sister's tummy when he got home.  We played with our sister everyday and she enjoyed it a lot.  All this, while she continued to take her medications - basically to ease her from the pain.  Surprisingly, she seemed to get better day by day.  The remaining days that the doctor told us? It still goes on until now.  My sister? She's 18 yrs old now.  We call her our miracle baby.

I know this is not breast cancer, nor uterine nor ovarian nor endometrical cancer.  I know it can't be proven that my mom's breastmilk helped her get cured, but I believe this has helped my sister somehow.   The warmth and care and love she felt everytime my mom held her in her arms to nurse her, gave her the will to fight and strength to continue.  Together with the faith in God my family, especially my father has, my sister won over these sickness that almost took her from us.

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

¡Soy Lactivista!


I'm joining Ileana's pro-lactation campaign.  So I'm posting the logos (right panel of my blog page) that says Soy Lactivista in spanish and I'm a Lactivist in English, as a sign of my support for the rights of the babies to be breastfed and the rights of the moms to breastfeed anytime and anwhere he/she needs to be breastfed for as long as the he/she wants, without prejudice and disapproving looks and comments from the society.   

Just in time for The Best of The Breast blog series I intend to do...

Thanks to http://www.tenemostetas.com/ for this initiative.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Best of The Breast

How many women obsess about having beautiful breasts? They want them big.  They want them plump.  They want them to show off sexy cleavage. ETC.  Why is that so? - Only an extremely naive person would ask.  Well that is to look beautiful and sexy and be attractive to the opposite sex!  But here's a little anthropology review, big breasts (like big hips) are naturally attractive to the opposite sex to denote a good ability of a woman to reproduce. And the purpose of breasts does not just end on attracting "reproduction"... they also serve a greater purpose AFTER reproduction.  To nurse, protect and comfort the by-product of the reproduction act. 

I'm a fan of breastmilk ::If that is not yet too obvious::. I've seen my mom breastfed all my younger siblings and back then all I know is that, it's the natural and the only way of feeding a baby. We were all breastfed until 2yrs old minimum. I was never aware that breastfeeding has tons of amazing benefits for both mom and especially the baby but was already fascinated just by the plain image of my mom nursing my younger siblings. I'd always watch. I saw how happy and peaceful my younger siblings every feeding time. My mom? Full of love and satisfaction painted all over her face (except when she was being bitten hehe... but even then, she takes it with good humor). And somehow the peacefulness radiates to me so I'd look forward every nursing time to be there beside my mom and watch. I never saw my mom had a problem with breastfeeding or perhaps I was too young by then and just never understood. If there were, my mom has surpassed all those.  I never thought there are a lot of obstacles a mom can face at the beginning, until I got pregnant and started reading articles about breastfeeding.

Since I grew up in a family that breastfeeding was the only way babies were fed at the beginning, I was never aware that there had been a growing battle between breastmilk and formula milk. These kind of topics were not in my radar until I was given the turn to be a mom myself. Moms in this modern times are losing awareness on the real benefits of breastmilk and are often driven(both by self and most often than not, by society and circumstances) to use formula milk. Moms had lost the natural instinct as well on how to properly nurse the baby to avoid problems and to be able to successfully continue breastfeeding. So, when encountered with these obstacles, the common solution is to give up on breastfeeding and resort to formula. Not to mention that there are more and more moms nowadays that are working moms and doesn't have a good facility and help to be able to continue breastfeeding. Sometimes circumstances just make it almost impossible to continue breastfeeding inspite of a mom's willingness to continue.

Lately, there are various studies showing hundreds of amazing benefits of breastfeeding and hence, different social groups and sectors incuding governments on different countries have started comprehensive promotions and campaigns for breastmilk. There is a great need now to promote breastfeeding and to offer support as clearly, moms are now tending to substitute breastfeeding with formula for perceived convenience and other circumstances.

I, for one, would like take part on this move (in my own littlest way) so I'd like to start a series of blog entries that talks about benefits of breastfeeding. Especially those that are not too known by many. In the hope that a mom or a mom-to-be might accidentally stumble upon this blog and get inspired (or enticed perhaps) to breastfeed or if already breastfeeding, to continue breastfeeding until baby weans by him/herself, inspite of some challenges that come along the way.

Sometimes, what is really needed is full and proper information.  I know that there are moms who just couldn't breastfeed due to physical or health reasons (although very, very rare) and that there are moms that don't really want to breastfeed for personal reasons.  And that doesn't make them a bad mom. They are not to be condemned for choosing one way over the other.  But for those moms who really want to breastfeed,  every correct information and support they can get is essential.  Had I not been informed of possible problemss (sore and painful nipples, mastitis, slow milk flow, baby not latching, etc.) at the start of breastfeeding and how they can be resolved, I might have resorted to formula feeding.  I would have think, this is not just for me.  And then if later on I found out that there are ways to avoid those problems, would I feel guilty that I didn't give the best for my baby? Perhaps. Because I know I should have informed myself more ::I just realized now that being a mom, you take all the blame and always feel guilty about so many things that has something to do with your baby:: But most of all, I would feel angry.  Angry because no one has informed me.  No one told me that these things can happen but they're not a reason to stop breastfeeding and that there ARE ways to correct these things.

Or knowing that in my husband's family runs a history of allergies and nobody told me that with breastfeeding, the possibility that my baby will get allergies is far lesser than using formula, would I resort to formula feeding? And if I do, I would feel guilty and angry.  Angry that this information was not given to me to help me do something to make breastfeeding possible.

And so, I am starting this blog series (hopefully in a regular basis), to be just another source of information on the benefits of breastfeeding no matter how few readers I have.  We never know where a simple blog like this can reach... and if there's even just one, just one among the gazilion moms out there who can find this useful, that will be a treasure for me to carry till life after.


She Stood Up, He Shed a Tear

Another big milestones, y'all! Our big girl just stood up on her own last night when she was in her play pen. And that was sufficient enough for her papi to get all emotional.

There she is with her triumphant smile and drool all over her shirt.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Officially Filipina


Little Spanish Pinay is now officially Filipina! Our passports arrived yesterday. Yay!

Always cracks me up to see her passport photo. Put on a name plate in it, and she'd pass as a baby suspect for a crime. LOL.

Much Awaited Friday, Baptism To Look Forward To, and a Raffle To Win

This week has been quite a long week for me.  Between work, house and Little Spanish Pinay, I've got my back really sore and my arms and legs feeling like they were used as punching bags.  I can't express enough how thankful I am it's Friday already.

We went to mass yesterday together with my mother-in-law.  Little Spanish Pinay was really behaved the entire mass. The only thing is that she was distracting the couple seated behind us because she doesn't stop smiling at them.  She had them crazy over her.  I kept hearing muffled laughter and whispers (talking to little Spanish Pinay) from the couple behind us while the mass is on-going.  

After the mass, as we were preparing to go out, Little Spanish Pinay in my left arm, me talking to hubby on my right, I suddenly heard squeals from old ladies in my left.  When I turned my head, there were like 4-5 old ladies crowding Little Spanish Pinay... they were all enchanted by her.  Look at her causing such a commotion. 

One old lady fascinated me when she asked me if Little Spanish Pinay is a Filipina. There are not much Filipinos where we live... I actually just know one Filipina apart from me and Little Spanish Pinay of course.  So people here are not really very oriented with how Filipinos look like.  I am often mistaken as Chinese or Japanese. (As if, in Asia there's only China and Japan... whatever).  So I was surprised when the old lady nailed down right into the spot that Little Spanish Pinay and I are Filipinas.  Of course I answered yes with a beaming smile.

After saying hasta luego (see you later) to all the new fans of Little Spanish Pinay, we went straight to talk to the priest to inquire about baptism.  We're planning to have Little Spanish Pinay's baptism on the first Sunday of December!  I'm excited :)  We were originally planning to have this last August but circumstances didn't gave us the chance.  September and October were crossed out too due to some other family matters.  I don't like the month of November either so, December, it will be.  I was baptized on the 25 of December, hence, it will be really nice if Little Spanish Pinay will be baptized on the same month... besides, December is a really nice month.  Very festive.

Finally, it's my first time to join a raffle from a blog... so let's see my luck.  I'm crossing fingers (and everything that I have in twos lol)... the prize is a pair of really cute booties from a fave store TeoYLeo.

Here's the link to the blog.  The raffle is to celebrate having 200 followers.  Yay for la mamacontracoriente!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Saint's Day



Here in Spain, people get to receive two more gifts in a year aside from birthday and Christmas. There's also gift giving on the day of Three Kings. Although with more practical family, everybody would just agree on exchanging gifts on either Christmas day or Three Kings.
And then there's what they call Saint's Day. It is very common for people here to have a name based on the name of a Saint. So the feast day of that Saint whose name is carried upon by someone is also celebrated aside from the birthday. Then the person gets to receive gifts! How fun.

So why am I talking about this. Well, since in the Philippines we don't celebrate this, I do not have a Saint's day. In my family-in-law's house, they do celebrate this. Obviously each one has their Saint's day except me. Everyone including Little Spanish Pinay. I feel marginated. Hmpf.

Good thing we have given Little Spanish with two names. And what a very good cooincidence since her padrino's birthday (Sept 30) is St. Sofia's feast day! So, we'll get to celebrate this day twice as fun. Yay!

::padrino is godfather in Spanish. 
 
As of me, maybe I'll start to look for my own Saint... Our Lady of Lourdes maybe. That's Febuary 11. Now it's just a matter of getting people used to this idea. Or not. Sigh.


5 Months and a Late Post

So Tala is 5 moths now! Actually, she's 5 months and 2 weeks. As usual my blog post is late. One reason is because I am tremendously busy nowadays and the only way I could write is while breastfeeding Little Spanish Pinay and not working of course. Thanks to a little gadget called smart phone. I write with it, save the blog as draft and then just proofread and/or add photos as needed whenever I have time to sit in front of my laptop. Another reason is that I got diverted with other blog topics while I was composing this one.

Anywhooo... Tala is 5 moths and a half! How cool is that? Time passes by reeaally fast. She's more and more precious every day. Me being proud is an understatement. A stage mom in the making. She gets attention just everywhere we go. And she loves attention. Oh, she loves it!  So does mami! She's so willing to give her sweetest toothless smile to people showing funny faces and silly sounds just to make her smile. And she rarely disappoints.  It's funny how people are in front of babies.  Baby-talk using high-pitched voice or that of when you inhale helium, silly smiles, distorted faces... picture what I'm talking about? I am one of those people.  It's just that making a baby smile is such a warm, fun and satisfying feeling.

What I don't get is that sometimes there are people (like strangers) that would blow on Little Spanish Pinay's face... Uhm what is awkward? That is! Not to mention a little unhygienic too. Hellooo! Virus! They think that's funny for babies? Or funny for them as babies would suddenly close their eyes.  Ok, babies are cute when they blink their eyes many times... and I do that to Tala, I confess.  But I'm the mom, not a stranger! And then, as I hold Tala I get a fare share of the stranger's breath being blown. Flips me out. Where do they get the idea that babies enjoy smelling someone else' breath? Flips me out. And where do they get that much confidence to honor another stranger of smelling their breath? Flips me out!!!

Soooo I got diverted again. I meant to talk about Tala's 5 months milestones and not strangers' breath. So here we go.

* She has started learning how to sit by herself.
* Started eating mashed fruits (apple and pear).  Just a few bites though.  We're just letting her experience different taste.  So she's not yet really into solids.
* She is talking A LOT! She says ma-ma, pa-pa, ba-ma, ba-ba, bui-mi, something like niw-niw and makes a lot of rare sounds.
* She has mastered grabbing hair with such precission and speed. (Grabs other things too but she especially like to grab and pull hair).
* She has mastered rolling over a little before she turned five months.
* She started doing some efforts to crawl. She'd end up crawling like those military soldiers but would just move few centimeters.
* She now knows her name is Tala. She responds and turns her head whenever she hears her name being called.
* She kisses her papi and I. Specially me ;-). It's like she's thanking me for the yummy milk heehee.
* She loves to hug.
* She's full of smiles and laughter. A happy baby definitely!
* She loves to be in her high-chair with us in the dining table.
* She loves now-mami's-gone-now-mami's -back game.
* She learned that dropping or throwing things is fun.
* She raises her arms whenever she wants to be picked up.
* Oh, and hear this.... She's getting more hair! :-D

Whew! That's quite a list. She's growing up so fast and she's demonstrating a lot of changes every day. She gets new facial expressions, new mouth movements, new sound.... in short, something different everyday. Always something to look forward everyday. And it's going to be like that for the next 5 decades(or more) of my life.

Just woke up. Good Morning, mami!


Kiss Me

I never thought I'd ever kiss someone a thousand times a day like I do for Little Spanish Pinay. We spend hours and hours together (like 24 hours haha!) a day that not a single minute would pass that I wouldn't give her multiple kisses. I'm not a mushy person nor showy with regards to my feelings about people...not used to saying sweet words either.

But sure do people change.

If you have a husband that is ultra mushy, mega sweet, and super duper affectionate, tendency is, you'd realize how wonderful is the world of kissy, kissy, embrace, embrace, caress, caress, sweet words all day. And you'll become one of them. In my family, we are not very expressive of our feelings for each other, though we know that if any one from the family is hurt by any one from the outside, they'll soon meet their Creator. Yes, that's how we love each other. We kill for each other! Like a mafia.

Serioulsy now. With my husband, I am expressive.  He's is really contagious...not a single day would pass that I never felt like bombarding his face with kisses or putting on my puppy eyes demanding for his kisses (I know, I know, ewwww).

Now with Tala, it's just tremendous. I'm double, no triple, addicted with kisses. It's a scandal. If she can speak already, I know she wouldn't stop complaining.  Or if she's already walking, she'd run away from me the moment she sees my lips starting to form like a flower bud.  In the meantime, she is but a helpless 5-month old precious baby and couldn't even walk yet to escape from me, so I'd take advantage. And as sure as the sun rises in the East, I'd take advantage of this every single moment. As one day I know she'll be off on her own (man, I'm getting emotional now just imagining that).

If my siblings would hear me with these words, they won't stop teasing me... My siblings... That's how they show their affection. Call you with funny names, tease you until you cry... That's how we are with each other. No kissy kissy moments. Except me with my youngest and only brother. He was my baby. Was. As he is not baby anymore!!! He has his own baby now...at 15 yrs old. NO, STOP. Not baby like a child but baby like you know, sweetheart. Darn. But that's a different story.

The story now is me addicted to giving kisses to my Little Spanish Pinay. How I've converted to a mushy, clingy, oooey, goooey mami. I think for now she's enjoying all the attention and affection that mami is giving her. In fact sometimes she demands more! The best for me? Sometimes she kisses me back (on her own drooly way) and/or caresses my face with her little fingers. Those are my cure-all-tiredness-sleeplessness moments. I really do think she has learned to kiss. Would that be too early? I don't know. At least it feels like a kiss. Sometimes when I carry her facing forward, she'd scoop my face with her hands sideways and then she'd turn her head, open her mouth and pull my face towards her mouth. And she does that slowly. Not like her monster moments when she attacks me head straight with her mouth open and then bite! So it does feel like a kiss. Or other times I have her standing on my lap facing me, she'd put her two hands on each of my cheeks, smiling with her amazed eyes, she'd lean over with mouth open and there goes what feels like a kiss. Every time she does that, I melt like a woman's face full of makeup under the scorching heat of the sun. Ehrm, that is icky. I'll just use melt like an ice cream. And when the time comes she'd say in words that she loves me?

I will explode with pure bliss. Like a balloon that suddenly touched a hot bulb.

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