Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Third Blog Award

Can you believe that? I can't! I just got another blog award from another mama blogger MomInRome.  Here ya go:

I am more than thrilled and grateful! The moment I read MomInRome's comment on one of my entries, I yelled the news to hubby who was equally happy :-D.

Ok, so on to the meat of this award...  as any other award, it comes with a very nice and pleasant baggage :)  List 7 things about me and then pass it on to 15 other bloggers!... Whew, 15... it'll be interesting so let's start off.

7 things about Spanish Pinay
  • Here in Spain rabbit (not the kind that people normally have as pets at home) is a common food and I just can't myself eat it just yet.  Although as I've mentioned, it is not the kind of rabbit that we are used to having as a pet at home, I still can't shake it off from my head that it could be the poor rabbit I so wanted to have as a pet when I was young.
  • I learned to ride a bike on my own (when I was about 9 yrs old) borrowing someone else's bike without brakes!
  • When I was young, I used to jump from my room's window to the neighbor's window and then get out through their door to escape nap time. 
  • I hate repeating myself.  When someone didn't understand what I was saying or was not paying attention and would ask me to repeat what I just said, it drives me batty! - not the best quality, I know.
  • I feared baking.  Not anymore. I was so intimidated by the fact that one has to follow the recipe down to the last comma that I never tried it until the time for my Little Spanish Pinay's first birthday came and I couldn't find any pastry house around our area that will make a fondant cake for LSP.  So I dared make one myself.  Talk about conquering fear :)
my obra maestra

  • When I was young (really young) I wanted to be a manicurist/pedicurist... then I also wanted to become a construction worker as mixing cement (and the sound that it makes) fascinated me.
  • In general, I am a dare-devil when it comes to food. I've tried eating fried insects when I was Thailand! First and never again though!

Now, to pass this on to 15 more bloggers....

Icing & Crumbs
Mamas Todoterreno
My So-called world
Michi Photostory
My Little Home
The Mommy Journey
Choose Happiness
The Tottering Mama
Struggling Wife & Momma
Witchy Crazy Mommy
Chubby Mommy Me
Of Rice and Ramen
Mama Wants This
Jared's Little Corner
The EMT Mommy
One Proud Momma
Pinay Mommy Online
Green Minded Mom Blog
Pinay Mom Blogs!
Brown Pinay

Ok, I may have gone a bit overboard... but you guys, I can't help it.  I just have tons of awesome blogs in my list!

Time to spread the good news to these awardees!

Monday, May 30, 2011

America was scandalized by a baby doll that promotes breastfeeding

There are tons of make-believe toys for kids out there.  Toys to pretend a kid is a doctor or a handy-manny or a nurse or a cook or a homemaker or a gardener or a soldier or whatchamacallit.  So a toy that makes a 5 or 6 yr old little girl pretend they're moms that breastfeed their babies? What could be wrong with that?

El Bebé Glotón translated as The Baby Glutton

A spanish toy company released a baby doll that comes with a halter top that has 2 decorative flowers that are supposedly the nipples where the baby doll would nurse.  When the baby doll is put near these supposed nipples in the form of flowers, the nursing commences.  The flowers have sensors that activates the suction of the baby doll and making sounds like it is nursing. 

Here's a video demonstration of the toy:

Ok, anyone flipping out with the idea?  I am! But In a good way.  But before I elaborate on my opinion about that, let's talk about how America flipped out with the idea... flipped out in a totally negative way.  Conservative parents and parties were outraged.   

Fox News was one of 'em conservative parties who loudly expressed their concern, outrage, ridicule and mockery about this remarkable toy.  Yes, remarkable it is for me.  Anyways, back to Fox news... Bill O'reilly, the presenter of the show The O'reilly Factor, has regarded this toy as a toy that does a lot of harm to the children. Say, what?? According to him, this toy sexualizes the young kids and "can promote early pregnancy to children and adolescents".  Fox News editor managing health editor Dr. Manny Alvarez is another one of them that are against this toy.  According to him, "It's like introducing sex education in first grade instead of seventh or eighth grade," said Dr. Alvarez. "Or, it could inadvertently lead little girls to become traumatized. You never know the effects this could have until she's older."  In addition, from a Fox News article states: "Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com, said although he supports the idea of breast-feeding, he sees how his own daughter plays with dolls and wonders if Bebe Gloton might speed up maternal urges in the little girls who play it."

Some even more tremendously ridiculous comments from hosts and guests in Good Morning America were "That is just gross", " I would never buy my daughter that toy", "It can promote early sexuality and even pedophilia". 

Some more comments:

“That’s not cool,” Lori Reynolds, of El Paso, Texas, told KFOXTV.com. “No, I would never get that for my child.”

“What’s next?” wrote Eric Ruhalter, a parenting columnist for New Jersey’s Star Ledger. “Bebe Sot — the doll who has a problem with a different kind of bottle, and loses his family, job and feelings of self-worth? Bebe Limp — the male doll who experiences erectile dysfunction? Bebe Cell Mate — a weak, unimposing doll that experiences all the indignation and humiliation of life in prison?

Really now, people????

Ok, enough of these negative comments as I am starting to really get outraged by these narrow-dirty-minded friends of big formula milk companies.

What is the world coming in to? What kind of person would think that just because this baby doll immitates act of breastfeeding will make young girls become aware of sexuality and probably would go out and try to make their own baby because their maternal urges have started too early too soon?  Those comments from this columnist Eric Ruhalter comes from a person who is sick in the mind, I tell you.

Play dolls that come with feeding bottle has long been in the market for as long as formula milk was introduced in the minds of unsuspecting moms.  So baby girls taking care of dolls as if their own babies, feeding them with feeding bottles is not promoting early maternal instict? Ah, no? Just what? Caregiver or nanny instict? So that makes it safer and child friendly?  Toy guns, solider costumes for kids - arent these promoting early violence to kids? Toys like handy-manny or toys for cleaning the house, isn't these promoting early working-instinct to kids? Are we supporting child labor? Come on now, people.

So it's ok to promote to kids the "instict" of giving formula bottles to baby dolls rather than the more natural and better choice - breastfeeding? 

Since when does breastfeeding connotes sexual?  Only to dirty minds... only to dirty sick minds. 

Breastfeeding is one of the most tender act of parenting for me and motherly instinct doesn't just mean wanted to get laid and get pregnant and have a baby... motherly instinct is more than anything means the instict to care and protect someone.  According to Cambridge dictionary: to treat a person with great kindness and love and to try to protect them from anything dangerous or difficult.

Kids especially young girls have their mother instinct in them naturally.  Why is it that girls love to have baby dolls and feed them and change their clothes and take care of them just like how they see their moms take care of them? Because human, woman, girls no matter how young have motherly instinct in them... in different intensity and levels one might say.

How can we put malice to something so innocent and pure and tender and natural and humanly instinctive and nurturing and all that is good? 

Sometimes this overly conservative double-standard society gets into my nerves. 

I've mentioned that it's a remarkable toy for me.  Remarkable because for the first time there's a toy that supports the most natural way and healthiest way of feeding babies in history of humanity.  Although I have to mention that using flowers as "nipples" for breastfeeding is kind of off and can perhaps confuse the kids... but it's just a very small detail.  What's really positive about this toy is that it makes the babies be more aware of the more natural way of feeding babies - which is through breastfeeding and not feeding bottle.

Then as if it's not enough that women nowadays are having a hard time being successful in breastfeeding,  some cities in America passed a law that prohibits breastfeeding in public to well, control nudity in the city.  What in the world... so breastfeeding in public now is considered as public nudity.

Whey can't these kind of people just stick their noses into how they can prevent 16-yr olds to get ahold of guns and become rambos and kill people like they are bugs and stop referring to breastfeeding as something pornographic and not appropriate for children to become aware of, for crying out loud!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Camping out in the comfort of the living room

Another one of 'em frivolous baby products that we bought that we thought is essential but it's not at all essential, although we bought it on sale and was like half the normal price, and that, we know we can do without it. Travel crib or maybe travel cot is how it is called in English? I tell you, with all these languages in my head, I am getting so confused with how certain things are called in different languages.  I seriously think my brain is not capable to accomodate more than 2 languages but I just have no choice but to squeeze in a third language and make it as the first language to use where we live now...

Sorry got sidetracked.

So, I was saying we have this travel cot and really, it didn't have much use as we didn't travel nor LSP wanted to sleep in it.  She took a nap there when she was smaller but just from time to time and then it just became her play pen later on...on which she would only stay to play for a good 10minutes or so the most.  Lately, she doesn't want to be limited inside of it as she enjoys moving around the house now... so I thought it's now ready to retire.  Until I thought of something that may be fun for LSP.   I put it down sideways... or better yet just look at the picture below as my now-very-limited-english can't exactly explain it.

she removed her cloth diaper herself and ran around the house trying to escape from me and then finally found refuge inside her tent... she took her toy monkey as a hostage so I won't put her cloth diaper back on her. Look at her mean, mean face

She liked the idea that she can go inside and feel like she has her own camping site and then she can get out anytime she wants.  She'd sit there, read her books, try to stand even if her head touches the net roof  or just hang out there.  It's funny how she'd stay on her foot while inside the "tent" with her bended head.

I must admit though that this makes our living room look like a big mess all the more.  But hey, we have a very active toddler and a messed up living room is actually a new modern style in home decorations! Nuff said.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why co-sleep? My answer? Why not?

In western countries co-sleeping is an issue.  Experts say it's dangerous for the baby.  Some says it'll become baby's habit that will be difficult to get away from later on.  Professionals say it'll teach babies to become too dependent to their parents.  Many studies show that SID or sudden death infant is more likely on babies who sleep alone.  Dr. Sears for one, greatly advocates co-sleeping because according to his study, babies breath better and more regularly while sleeping with the mom. Find out more from his site.  Now, let's talk about the habit that will be difficult to get away from later on.  How long do you think a baby or a child would really want to sleep with the parents? At 5? At 7? Why do we want to push our kids to sleep in their own room, own bed as early as birth to teach them so-called independence and then wonder why at age 16 they'd already want to live alone. And then as we parents grow older, we fear that they'd put us in nursing homes and rarely be visited.  In this case, aren't we just reaping what we sow?

We've been co-sleeping for 9months now and not one single instance did hubby or I rolled over Little Spanish Pinay.  Not even once did we have accidentally hurt LSP while we were sleeping and it's not that we have a big bed.  We only have the queen size bed and space is just enough for the three of us.  My siblings and I co-slept with our parents and none of us put on a fight when it was time to stop sleeping with mama and papa because well, a new sibling just arrived the house.

Admittedly, when we were still pregnant with LSP, we planned for preparing her own room before her arrival.  I, more than my husband was obsessed with having everything ready before LSP's arrival.  It drove me batty not having been able to buy her crib a couple of months before my due date.  Good thing that LSP is smarter than us and didn't conform to second best.  She slept on her own bassinet during her first 4 months because mami and dadi thought it was the best for her and that's what people say we should do.  Those were tough moments and there were sleepless nights... there were days that I just find myself letting her sleep in our bed because I was already too tired but swore that it'll be our dirtly little secret and that we'll never tell a soul of it especially to LSP's pediatrician.  But then we realized that those stolen moments that we let LSP sleep with us in our bed are one of those nights when all three of us slept well.  Those rare nights became often and then it became the default.  We became co-sleepers in the closet.  But then being co-sleeper in the closet didn't last.  Understanding that this is what works best for us, we came out in the open and are proud to tell anyone that we co-sleep.  Of course we get different reactions and the most common is that we'll never be able to send LSP to her own bed.  Never is a such a long time, isn't it?  I myself don't have that much of a time in this world. 

Sometimes, I get to think that those co-sleeping risks that we hear around, is a malicious propaganda of buesinessmen to get us to buying those essential baby products like crib, bassinets, etc.  So many theories and ideas that make parents worry about the safety of their child so they fall victim.  It's the perfec scheme. Of course, parents would only want what's best and safest for their babies.

I fell victim.

But then I am now wiser.  The next time God graces us with a baby, I'd know better and I'll be more keen on what's really just essential for the coming of the baby.

In the meantime, we'll just continue to enjoy our little family's slumber party every night of every week of every month of every year.

Every weekend, LSP wakes up with her papi beside her and everytime, her face lightens up with happiness and surprise being able to wake up and seeing her papi on the bed with us.  Those are really precious moment I'd never exchange for anything else in the world.
So co-sleeping? Why not.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies for Friday!

It's Friday and I am craving for something sweet and... healthy :)  Little Spanish Pinay loves oatmeal in the morning so I thought she'll probably love oatmeal cookies even more.  So I checked for an easy recipe in the internet and found this recipe by Martha Stewart.  I don't like raisins so I just substituted it with chocolate chips.  Also, I used a powdered vanilla extract (I can't find liquid vanilla extract here) and it just turned out fine.  I'm beginning to think that baking is not an exact science and that you don't have to always follow the recipe to to the last comma... then again it pays to be prudent in terms of following the recipe :-D

 I love the smell of something baking in the kitchen

As usual, being new in the world of baking, I've had my boo boos.  I forgot to add the chocolate chips so I had to open the oven in the middle of baking and put the chocolate chips on top of each of the cookies... then I put 3 trays with 6 cookies in each trays... I gave them too much space between each other so I had to use 3 trays... bad... the cookies on the lowest rack got a bit burnt. So lesson? Hmmm maybe just do by batch or take the out the cookies that are at the bottom rack probably 3 minutes less than the others...

Cooled down chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

Inspite of these boo boos, they turned out really yummy.  Hubby couldn't stop praising the cookies and Little Spanish Pinay couldn't stop walking around the house excitedly while she munches on her cookie on hand. 

An entry for

I've Become My Mother!: Be A Donor - Save A Life - An Urgent Request

I've Become My Mother!: Be A Donor - Save A Life - An Urgent Request

Please read on and help.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Foul Words

Children seldom misquote you.  They more often repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said ~ Mae Maloo

Little Spanish Pinay has been working on her language these days and her eagerness to talk is very noticeable.  She even starts to repeat the words we say and then we enter into a non-stop exchanges of the same word.  Most of the words she says though is still not recognizable and sometimes it might sound like a certain word but I don't reallly think that is what actually she would want to say.

One day while she was "reading" her book with her nanny, she uttered a word that sounds like "c0ñ0". (I changed the letter o's to zero as I don't want this article to be included on the adult websites).  That word is used as a curse word here in Spain and it literally means that private part of the woman in quite a vulgar way.  When Little Spanish Pinay seemingly said this, the nanny told her.  "What did you just say? c0ñ0??... Did you say c0ñ0?".  And that made me jump from my seat while I was working and told the nanny not to repeat the word.  First, I don't think that's what Little Spanish Pinay actually said even though it sounded like that and by repeating it, she's just trying to teach the word to the little girl.  It's really no biggie - as Little Spanish Pinay is still really young, doesn't have the concept of words vulgarity yet and that she's still experimenting on her sounds so some words that she probably already know may sound different when they come out from her mouth.

But it made me ponder about kids learning foul words and how a parent should deal with it.  Sad to say, there are kids - including very young ones who enjoy saying foul words and the worst is that there are parents who enjoy hearing their kids saying these bad words even using them to insult other kids or people.  Shame on these parents.

As for me, I would do my best to educate LSP into understanding why these words shouldn't be used. But at this period, there's really nothing to worry yet.  At a very young age, what I believe is that parents shouldn't react when the child says a certain foul word.  Chances are all the more that they'd like the word and would keep repeating it - because mommy's or daddy's reaction is fun.  So what can be done is divert their attention to probably another intersting word to learn and make it even more fun to repeat this word.

Then as the kid grows and understands more of the reasonings, then we can start instilling to them why a certain word shouldn't be said.  Of course the most important thing is to set a good example to them... and not hear these words at home.   It will be alsmot impossible for them to not hear these words when they start to really go out the world and meet other kids or adult so it is crucial to develop a good foundation on our kids about respect and being proper on choosing their words.

What about those parents with older kids now? Have you experienced hearing them say foul words? How did you deal with it?

Take A Photo Tuesday Blog Hop: Pets

Here's my entry for this blog hop.  The picture was taken when my Little Spanish Pinay was 6 months.. .and she's 13 months now! How time flies.

The cat is my hubby's family pet.  He could be way around 12 years! He's the sweetest cat.  He loves cuddles, carresses, attention and songs!  Here's another picture of him enjoying the attention we are giving to him and to demonstrate how happy and contented he is, he doesn't stop rolling over the floor back and forth.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Moist Banana Cake

We had some over ripe bananas in the fridge so I decided to make some banana cakes.  I found this nice easy to follow recipe so off I said to another baking self-lesson.

Yesterday afternoon, as soon as I finished work, I went and started the work.  I was really anxious about finishing it before hubby comes home but then again I realized I don't have enough bananas.  I didn't want it to lack with "banana taste" so I just waited for hubby so we can all go out and buy more bananas.  Bad thing is that batter was already done.  I thought it won't hurt if I let it sit there for some hours before putting it in the oven.

Alas, it was already past 11pm and still I wasn't able to put it in the oven as we had to do some impromptu errands, then had dinner with my inlaws and finally came home late at night already.  So I just gave up on it and decided to put the batter in the fridge.

Then I wonder if it will be alright so I digged over internet if batters for cake can stay overnight and still give good results.  What do I know... almost every baking experts says that batters shouldn't be set aside without baking it for more than an hour... let along overnight! My heart sank.  But there's no way I'll throw that batter away so I just slept with a sunken heart and a little hope that my banana cake the following day will be still be ok.

So the next day came and over my lunch time, I mashed some more bananas and mixed it with the batter that was put in the fridge overnight and sprinkle a dash of baking soda - I did t his because people say cakes that were set aside overnight doesn't rise enough.  I was able to half-fill 2 bundt pan and then place them inside the oven with my fingers crossed.

The timer finally set off and imagine my grin from ear to ear when they turned out quite well... at leaset they looked good. They did rise enough.  I am not sure if it is because I sprinkled a little baking soda or maybe they'd rise anyways without additional baking soda.

Banana cake fresh from the oven

One interesting trick that was mentioned in the recipe I followed, is to put the cake inside the freezer for 45 mintues right after it was taken out from the oven. This is supposed to make the cake really moist. I was kind of doubtful about it thinking that process might hurt my freezer.  You know,  how our moms tell us never to put food that is still hot in the fridge? Then much less in the freezer!  Incidentally, my lunch time was over so I had to go back to work. So I just left the pans inside the oven with the door slightly open (so they won't get burned since the oven is still hot).  Right after I was done with work, I took the pans (the were still hot) and wrapped them with cling wrap and popped them in the fridge. 

Ready to freeze!

I set the timer to 45mintues and right after it set off, I took out the banana cake and tried it... it was sumptous! It wasn't cold at all.  It was really soft and moist. 

I topped it with a little cream cheese frosting that was a left over from the green velvet cupcakes I recently did and enjoyed it with my Little Spanish Pinay and hubby.

Ready to be chowed

She's one serious critic

Why is Breastfeeding Becoming a Challenge Nowadays?

I do not intend to answer this question as they are my very own question and really haven't found the exact answer.

Nowadays, one of mom-to-be's worries is if she will be able to breastfeed her baby and for how long.  I for one, was worried about this when I was pregnant.  I so wanted to be able to breastfeed.  My mom was able to breastfeed all 6 of us minimum of 2 yrs and I've always found it so amazing seeing my mom breastfeed my younger siblings (I'm second to the eldest).  As I became more aware of the almost uncountable benefits of breastfeeding, all the more I swore that I will do everything in my power to be able to breastfeed once I am blessed with a child.  Inspite of the common obstacles, I am glad I am able to stick through it and still enjoying breastfeeding for about 13 months now.

But reflecting about this, breastfeeding is supposed to be something so innate to women that it shouldn't be difficult for us to do it, or it isn't?  Women are made to breastfeed as they are made to pro-recreate.  But why women are now doubting this innate ability? It has become something like a learned skill that not many can learn and master. 

I've read some articles about breastfeeding that there are indeed cases of women that are not able to breastfeed at all - a form of abnormality but is a very rare case not something happening with 2 out of 3 women.  And yet, just by looking around women we know, there are really lots of cases that no matter how mommies tried, very less milk comes out.  So what's going on? Is this abnormality that studies declare that is not very rare to women become common?  When a pregnant women - even a frst time soon-to-be-mom -is asked: "are you planning to breastfeed?" The normal answer is "yes, If I can."  Why is there a dbout about it?

Isn't that with all the accesible information we have around about breastfeeding it would be even easier for us to do be able to do this without us feeling insecure or questioning our own ability to breastfeed?  Or perhaps modernization is pullling women out farther away from their natural instinct?  If we compare women from underdeveloped countries, there are way more women that are able to breastfeed than from the more advanced countries.  Considering women from the advanced countries have far better chances of education and all.  Does that mean education is reversely proportional to the ability to breastfeed? Or maybe it is the "equality between men and women" that everyone always talk about and demand for that's now in-abling us from the our natural ability to breastfeed? Equality? What am I talking about - you might ask.  It comes to my mind because these days, more and more women are fighting to be able to work and not be bound inside the four walls of their house.  "Because women are not just for staying at home or taking care of kids or cleaning the house but also be able to do what men do - like earn dough for the family".  Isn't that part of the equality we so fight for ever since I don't know when?  Yes, women have become successful and finding a place for them in every facet of industry even excelling and making a big difference.  But then their duty at home never changed nor got lessened.  And then we have to pay the price of not being able to spend as much time as we want with our children or family...  after a month or so most women would have to go back to work and leave their babies in the care of someone else... and with work, continuing to breastfeed poses a bigger challenge and many if not most, would end up leaving breastfeeding behind.

I might not be making any sense from everything I've babbled here but I keep wondering about these things.  And it makse me sad that many women who do wants to breastfeed, end up having to stop it abruptly.  Now, I know that that there are women that chooses not to breastfeed from the very beginning and that is a different story not to mention that I respect that decision.  Breastfeeding is a personal choice.  No woman should be forced to it no matter how big the benefits it can give for both the mom and the baby. And most importantly, no woman should be just by choosing not to breastfeed.  But what I believe is that all women should be given the chance to know and understand all the benefits (not just economically because that is only secondary) that breastfeeding can give plus receive all the necessary support from the society and the government.

What I am glad about is that there are growing groups now that are promoting breastfeeding, providing free support and information to moms.  I do wish them more power and that they may be able to continue and extend their help to even more women out there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I Am Not Proud Of

I am second to the eldest among children of 6.  Between my eldest sibling and I, I am the one "more disciplinarian" when it comes to my younger siblings especially to our youngest.  There are 15 years difference between my youngest brother and I.  Or is it 16 years? Doesn't matter.  But what I am trying to get into writing to this entry is how I have disciplined my youngest brother back then.  Why am I disciplining my younger brother back then, you may ask? In the Philippines, part of our culture for younger siblings to have big respect to their older siblings and older siblings tend to be authoritative over the younger siblings.  And that's good especially the part of being respectful to older siblings.  But then the latter part has a dangerous part in it... see the supposed "authority" may be abused.  And I may have to admit that I have abused mine perhaps, misused or overly imposed.

I've seen how my mom takes care of all 6 of us and with my younger siblings, I'd see her sometimes having a hard time between keeping the house clean and taking care of us.  She gets really tired and when my younger siblings on top of that, misbehaves or does not obey her, it drives me batty and I'd interupt pretending to help my mom or at least take her "off load" from the task of disciplining my siblings.  And I can get hard on them :(.  Now that I am already a mom myself, those memories of disciplining my siblings makes me feel ashame of myself.  My husband and I chose attachment parenting for our Little Spanish Pinay and the more I get to understand how attachement parenting is and my babies or kids act this way or that, the more these memories of disciplining my younger siblings flashes back before my eyes and gives me a tremendous feeling of guilt.

Not that I have hit my younger siblings until they bleed or leave them bruises or anything like that to be categorized as legal child abuse.  But I have yelled at them.  I have refused to listen to what they have to say.  I have insisted on having them finish their food down to the last grain.  I've forced my youngest brother to go upstairs (almost dragging him through the stairs while he cries) and make him stay in the room until he is able to "reflect" on his "wrong action".  I smacked his palm as what is termed nowadays as occasional spanking as a form of discipline.  And although my intention is for him to learn something for his own good, no, I can't and will not use that to justify what way of disciplining him.  All I can do is recognize that I have done wrong, chose the wrong direction and be ashamed about it and most of all never do these things to my own child.  I thank God that my wrong decisions didn't cause serious damage to my siblings especially to my youngest brother.  And I still have a very good relationship with them.  I even receive a great amount of respect from them which I may not deserve.  Because children, are forgiving naturally.  That is the wonderful truth.

Am I saying that I will never hit my child even occassionally to discipline her when she's misbehaving? Yes.  I know it will be hard as anyone can lose his/her patience when faced with all the pressure of the day's tasks and a child's misbehavior.  But I will do everything I can to avoid hitting her even in the slightest manner... including not to raise my voice.  It will be a hard task and I am sure, being human, there will be times that things may go out of my control.

Will I spoil my child by choosing this direction of disciplining her?  No I don't think so.  I am not saying either that we'll just let it go everytime our little one do something wrong or something dangerous for her or for the people around her.  We are choosing positive discipline along with providing all the respect, affection, attention and encouragement that she needs.

I am not trying to make a conflict about this at all and I am not trying to say that parents who choose occasional spanking to discipline their children are bad parents.  Not at all.  This is just my personal reflection, realization and choice after being able to open my eyes with an alternative to occassional spanking.

Let us say motherhood has changed me and my views about child rearing and about life in general.  And I know it is for the better.  Especially for Little Spanish Pinay whom I live for together with my husband. I feel really positive about it and it makes me feel a better person than I was.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cassava Cake

This motherhood thing rocks.  Of course there are times that tiredness brought my mommy tasks kills me at night but the wonderful moments sends those difficult moments to trash.  One of the things that motherhood is doing to me is that I am conquering my fears.  I feel more daring and brave to try new things out or learn new things that I never dared to learn before.  I've already mentioned before that I never dared to bake before as I see it too complicated for my cooking ability (or lack thereof)... but something in me says for my Little Spanish Pinay, it will be really wonderful if I learn how to bake.  I'm sure she'd love the thought that mami prepared something yummy for her with all mami's love and effort.  And one day, we can bake together and it will be awesome.

Big deal some might say, right?  For me, ya bet it is!  I'm shallow like that.  Ok, so enough of the intro.  This post is sounding like it has nothing to do with the title. Duh.  Let's go down to the grain.  I was able to cook cassava cake!  And I am sooo happy.  It was sumptuous and just like how it is made in the Philippines.  Even better than some I have tried.  I found this very nice and easy to follow recipe from Panlasang Pinoy. Love this site as it even has step by step video for each recipe.  What's more, is that the host/cook speaks in Filipino.  Cool, ayt? (cool for us Filipinos ;-) )

A little background on what's cassava cake:  This is an all-time favorite Filipino dessert or merienda for many in the Philippines.  Made with cassava or yuca, as what Latin Americans call this wooden shrub.  In our native language, it is called bungang-kahoy.  I always thought it is difficult to do but it wasn't at all! When I saw some cassava in one of the supermarket, I couldn't believe mah big eyes. I even doubted if it is THE cassava that we use in the Phiilppines to do cassava cake.  Then I felt kind of sad thinking even if it is THE cassava,  I didn't think I can make cassava cake.  Boy, was I wrong.  So now, without further ado, here are some photos of my first ever cassava cake.

I didn't have a baking tray big enough and i tried to stuff all the batter in this baking tray... I thought it will overflow.  I never stopped looking at the oven while biting my nails.

Done with topping.  Well done.  Too well done,  I think hee.  
Never mind the seemingly burnt part, ok? Promise it is really sumptuous inspite of the look ;-)

I topped it with grated cheese hopping the burnt part will be covered.  
But no, it didn't work. Can't blame a girl for trying, right?

And I just gotta try it first before letting hubby try it... one bite, and I was brought back to my years in the Philippines.  My beloved Philippines.

See how motherhood rocks? :-D

this shall be my entry for Fun with Food Friday hop!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Sakang - is how we call this in my native language.  Little Spanish has learned to walk about 12 days before she turned one.  Here's a video of her first attempts:

After a month, she seemed to have almost mastered the art of walking.  She loves to walk and sometimes she'd run and it scares the hell out of me everytime as she would seem like she'd fall.  But amazingly, she'd keep back her balance (although there had been instances that she had lost her balance and fell flat on the floor).  Lately though, we are noticing her peculiar way of walking - that is out-toed or sakang.   We've been joking about it that she walks like her father, her abuelo (grandpa), and apparently her bisabuela (greatgrandma) - which means the style of walking runs in the blood.

But somehow, it started to worry me - and worrying is really uncommon of me (insert sarcastic tone here).  So I kind of dig a little bit about this thing.  First, I thought I'll check how other babies normally walk.  So I checked youtube for videos of 1-yr old babies walking... from a number of videos I checked, none of them walks like Little Spanish Pinay.  Ok, so red orange flag is waving on top of my head.  So I poked around some articles about walking disorders on babies and found some that talks about in-toeing and out-toeing.

According to this article:

Out-toeing is much less common than in-toeing. The most typical presentation is within the first or second year of life. Most children are born with external rotation contractures of the hips and this resolves shortly after walking begins. In those children in whom the resolution is slower, out-toeing is the result when they first start walking. This will almost always resolve within a year from the onset of walking

Within a year from the onset of walking it almost always correct itself.  Within a year... will I survive waiting for a year before knowing if LSP has some real walking disorder? Oh hello, paranoia!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Potty Training - Updates after a month since we first tried potty.

Let's talk about potty progress.  In my previous post back in April 19, I mentioned that Little Spanish Pinay has started getting comfortable with the toilet bowl.  There was two instances when she pooed and pee'd in the bathroom.  Fast forward to now, this going to the bathroom every morning has become a regular.  Every morning, I'd let her sit in the toilet bowl and she'd happily agree.  She would pee without fail and she would poo every 2 days.  For the rest of the day, since I can't watch her every minute, I can't read her signs and let her go to the bathroom to do her thing...  and as I've mentioned already from the other post, we're not in a hurry for her to be potty trained but it doesn't hurt to start as early as now even if it's just every morning.  Sometimes it does take a while for her to do her things but what's important for now is that she's comfortable at the idea that she's there seated on the toilet bowl.

see how comfortable she is?

and when she finally able to do what she has to do? She gets all happy and proud.

Hooray To Google Buzz

Everybody already knows what happened to Blogger last Wednesday afternoon and how it affected a lot of bloggers.  Due to the outage, I lost 2 most recent blog posts and of course the most appreciated comments that goes with them.  According to Blogger, they are trying to recover all removed posts and comments and should be all recovered by weekend.  I couldn't wait till they are able to recover all of them so I thought I'd rewrite the posts.  I already started rewriting but then I felt kind of lazy coz I can't remember exactly what I've written.  So I was kind of stumped.  Then hubby gave me the wonderful idea about Google Buzz.  He reminded me that I have this setting on Blogger to automatically publish all my posts on Google Buzz and he said my lost posts might still be cached in Google Buzz.  He was right on the money!

So then all I had to do is create new posts and copy and paste the content from Google Buzz to Blogger.  The only shame is that I can't recover the comments of course... but that's ok.  And if Blogger would be true to their word, and have my removed posts recovered, I guess I can just delete the duplicate posts.

So, hooray to Google Buzz! :) 

Speech delay?

Little Spanish Pinay loves to talk.  She would talk like she's telling a whole lot of stories and it's hilarious.  Her face full of expressions, she'd nod her head, wrinkle her nose, open her eyes widely or pucker her brows, shrug her shoulders while babbling seemingly trying to explain something or telling a story.  But most of the times, no real words can be taken out from it.  She'd sound like abalala, clakutuk, tak, pa-pa, tah-tah...etc.  Then again there seems to be some words that she does say:

pa or pah-pah --> means papa. She'd even point her finger to her papi if he's around.  If you ask her to call papi she'd put one hand on her mouth and yell paaaaa (with her deep voice)

lolo --> we think this is her attempt to say abuelo (grandpa in Spanish). If you ask her where is lolo or abuelo, she'd look directly at her abuelo and smile.  Then again it seems that she loooves the sound of lolo because she'd repeat it over and over and over again.

teta --> teta is boobie in Spanish.  She'd say teta if she wants to be nursed.  No matter how I try to tell her to say dede (boobie in Filipino) she'd keep on saying teta. Looks like teta is easier for her to say.

eche or  teche --> coche in Spanish and kotse in Filipino which means car.  This is her very recent learned word.

balala --> from bulaklak in Filipino which means flower.  Hard to believe but I do think she says this everytime she'd see flower and then when I recognize what she's saying and pointing out, I'd say "ahhh bulaklak" and then she'd ask me to sing "bulaklak, kay ganda ng bulaklak, kay bango ng bulaklak" while he sings along humming and moving her tongue as if she's also uttering words.

ta --> she calls herself Ta (from Tala).  She says Ta repeatedly everytime she sees herself in the mirror or if she sees a photo of her.

and the rest of her spoken words are still indecipherable to me.

oh, and by the way, the word mami? Nada. Zero.  She doesn't like to call me mami not even ma or mmm.  If I ask her to say mami, she'd say pa and then smile.  She learned the word teta for nursing but she refuses to say mami... what a little rascal.

While I can see that Little Spanish Pinay is very eager to talk, I am still a little bit worried that she may be a little behind with her language development.

See, our LSP hears 2 different languages at home.  I make sure I often talk to her in my native language especially when there's just the two of us while the rest of the world talks to her in Spanish.  Hubby and I decided that we'd want her to learn my native language first prior to English.  Some might think that this is a wrong move since English is a language more useful for her - think globalization, right?  Husband and I both agree that it is also important for her to learn English but our priority right now is for her to learn my native language.  My roots and my heritage which are also part of her roots and heritage now is more important for us at this moment.  Plus, we want her to be able to speak in Filipino with her small cousins and everyone else in the family everytime we visit Philippines.  We are pretty sure anyways that she'll learn English and will be able to speak it fluently.  But that will have to come later.

So I tried to read about bilingualism for infants/toddlers and found out that this is normal.  Bilingual children may start talking a little behind than monolingual children but they will catch up pretty soon.  Here's a short but good article about language development by bilingual babies.  There's also this article  that talks about red flags that may indicate language development problems for children learning 2 languages at the same time.  I do have to take note of them and be keen if Little Spanish Pinay is experiencing any of those.  A little more comprehensive article about bilingualism for children is this.

The ideal situation is the one parent one language.  But in my case, sometimes I do speak to her in Spanish especially if we are with the rest of the family (i.e. my inlaws) as I don't want them to feel uncomfortable about me talking to LSP without them understanding anything.  So it's quite a challenge for me to be consistent on talking to her in my language ALL the time... and this worries me that I amy be confusing her.  Although it is noticeable now that LSP understands both languages as she can follow orders like "Where is..." or "get ... and bring it to mami" in both languages.

We'll see how LSP develops her language and I really hope we'll not bump into a major hurdle and that she'd naturally be able to cope with both languages.

And that she'd say mami soon for crying out loud!!!

One Lovely Award

I've started blogging a few years back but it wasn't something regular. It was actually hubby who created the account for me and encouraged me to start blogging. It wasn't open to public either, not that it was restricted from public viewing but I just never promoted it or even told my friends and family about it. Then when we got pregnant, I created a new blog and wanted to journal all my thoughts and feelings and journey about pregnancy so I became of a more regular blogger...then Little Spanish Pinay came and it became even more regular and I just felt I want to share to the world the wonderful feeling of being a mom, the great journey on breastfeeding and life in general and then hopefully, be able to help someone who would stumble upon my blog.

And I have been really enjoying blogging. Just being able to have an outlet to spill my thoughts with, and a portal where I can share anytime of the day my experiences and feelings to my family oceans away is already a great trade off.

But receiving an award from fellow bloggers? It's an extra treat for me!

I'd like to thank OHM for giving me this award.

Now with every reward, comes a responsibility - or was that with great power comes a great responsibility? Yeah, sure is. But this award does come with responsibility but a sweet one at that! The awardee has to say 7 things about himself/herself and pass the award to 7 bloggers.

So here I go:

1.  I am still breastfeeding my Little Spanish Pinay for almost 13 months now and I intend to continue as long as she would still want to be breastfed.  I believe in child-led weaning.
2. I co-sleep with our daughter... I should say we i.e., hubby and I, co-sleep with LSP.  Hubby is perfectly fine with that and even enjoys it as much as I do.
3. I wanted to have 5 children! But considering my age and our economic situation, I have lower down my target to 3 max and at least 2.
4. Just like OrangeHeroMom, I suck at gardening... not that we have a garden as we live in a condo type residence, but we do have a few plants at home and I've already killed a couple of them :( .  But unlikeOrangeHeroMom, I stopped from trying... I don't want to kill any more innocent plants.  So I left this task to my loving husband who seems to have a green thumb he got from his mom.  Why didn't I get my mom's green thumb? Why oh, why?
5. Happily married for 4 yrs now going for 5 yrs this year :)
6. I love junk food... :-S I love sweets and salty.  I am addicted to cheetos but cheetos here in Spain is nothing like the ones in US so I've been craving for one for such a long time now.  And I am trying to cut down from junk food as I want to be a good example to our LSP.
7. I am from a big family... 5 girls and 1 boy... we were supposed to be 10 if only my mom didn't have 4 miscarriages.  My mom loves babies! plus my father wanted to have a baby boy so they kept trying until finally our kuya (big brother in Filipino) was given to us.

So there! It was tougher than I thought but here ya go 7 things about me.  And now the next task is to pass this one to other bloggers.  It wasn't clear to how many bloggers should I pass it on so I am choosing 7 of them!  7 is lucky so let's follow that number and be lucky ;-)

1. Ana of Creciendo con David
2. Chris of The Mommy Journey
3. Jinoe of Daddy And The City
4. Hope of Peanut Butter and Hopey
5. Cecille of Ces Little Corner
6. Jared-s mom of Jared's Little Corner
7. Ria of Beautiful Life
8. Kaye of Wahmaholic
9. Mrs. H of My Happily Ever After
10. Lea of Iska's Lessons From Working at Home

Ok, ok. I know these are not 7... I ended up awarding this to 10! Then again 10 is still a good numbe and I also consider it lucky :)  I can't help it there are just so many lovely blogs around there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breastfeeding and Medicines

I've always wanted to breastfeed ever since we started to get pregnant.  I just know it is the best for my baby.  When I gave birth to our Little Spanish Pinay, I experienced deep pain due to the CS operation and I just had to ask for medications to lessen the pain.  I made sure I told the doctor that I am breastfeeding and so I want a pain reliever that is compatible to breastfeeding, i.e. medicine that wouldn't harm the baby that will receive the mother's milk.  It's not a secret that I had a slight case of post-partum depression after giving birth and for the first time in my life, I asked to be prescribed with anything that may help me with this depression.  I wanted help for my own sanity and to function better for our Little Spanish Pinay.  But our family doctor told me that he can't prescribe me anything anti-depressant as I am breastfeeding - so I'd have to choose my sanity or what's best for LSP.  I suck up my depression.  I can't choose myself over our LSP so I just dealt with long crying moments and all those down-moments.  Hubby had to suck it all up too as seeing me cry all the time is not something easy for him either.  I believe breastfeeding also helped me deal with the depression.  There had been study about this certain hormone that is being produced by breastfeeding moms that helps fight depression.

Later on I found out that there are anti-depressants that are actually compatible to breastfeeding.  There's a whole bunch of 'em.   http://www.e-lactancia.org/  - has a good list of all the medicines that are compatible to breastfeeding.  This web page is in Spanish though.  I just realize that not all doctors are well informed about breastfeeding and that's sad.  There are moms who would experience deep post-partum depression and not knowing that there are medicines that are compatible to breastfeeding, may lead them to giving up breastfeeding.  I could have printed a copy of the anti-depressant from this site and present it to my doctor back then.  Anyways things weren't too bad and obviously, I was able to overcome that depression.  And I guess, better for me... lesser medicine for my liver to deal with.

Then again, I wish that doctors would be more aware and informed about breastfeeding to help avoid cases of premature weaning.

Totally Tuesday Blog Hop

As I've said from my previous post Thrilled!, I was chosen to be the featured blog for Totally Tuesday Blog Hop by Busy Mom's Tips.  This is awesomeness!

So here goes the mechanics.

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

1. Add your blog title and URL.
2. Follow your hostesses Busy Mom's TipsThe Work at Home Helper and Spanish Pinay. 
3. Follow any blogs you wish.
4. Make sure you leave a comment so that you'll get a follow back.
5. Grab our Totally Tuesday Blog Hop button if you'd like so that followers will know where to leave a comment.

Click the button above so you can go directly to the host blog and leave your linkies there.

Happy hopping!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Feeding and Fiddling

Little Spanish Pinay has developed this habit of fiddling or twiddling with the one bobbie while she's feeding from the other boobie.  I don't remember exactly when did this start but perhaps a couple of months ago.  I've learned that this is a common/normal behavior of older babies during extended breastfeeding period.  I also learned that babies naturally learn to fiddle or twiddle the other breast as this helps faster letdown.  Babies are really downright smart, aren't they?  While I am not bothered about it while we nurse at home (though sometimes it hurts when she pinches me), it does make me uncomfortable if we are breastfeeding in public for obvious reasons.  There are also times that she would pinch me while she twiddles.  Such a handful.

When she does this, I'd try to distract her by playing with her hand, biting, tickling, singing to her but sometimes she's just way to persistent and is determine to continue her twiddling.  That's when I'd hold her hand firmly but gently clasping it on my chest and tell her no she should not do it and that it hurst mami.  Sometimes she would cry - a slow soft cry that is too cute.  But I'd explain her mami is not angry but doesn't like to be pinched or that she should not twiddle because we are in public.  Then I'll offer her to nurse again. 

I've read that on extended period of breastfeeding, older babies naturally develop their different manners of breastfeeding they are all normal but we can always "redirect" them if a particular manner bothers us, mommies especially when we are in public.  Babies are naturally smart and understanding so with the right tone and patience, they'll learn what we want them to learn.

See, twiddling is an ancient phenomenon!

The picture above is a mother and child portrait of Luis de Morales, a Spanish painter born in Badajoz, Extremadura.  The period was around 1500.  And based on this portrait, babies during this time were also twiddling.  So it is something natural and doesn't have to be a reason to be embarrassing.  Sadly, with our culture now, being embarrassed by it or feeling uncomfortable when toddlers do this during nursing time in the public is inevitable.  But there are ways to avoid or stop this - in a respectful way to your babies.  Kelly Mom has a great article about it.

As of my Little Spanish Pinay, I do hope she'd outgrow this very soon as there are times I couldn't divert her attention to doing something else other than twiddling. Sigh.

Remembering My Mom

I always remember my mom.  Always.  I always miss her.  More than ever.  I hate distance but life is how it is and we can just make do with what we have.  I think about my mom more than ever.  I long for her presence.  I'd love her to see me as a mom myself now and be proud of the way I am handling motherhood - inspired by the way she is as a mother to us.  Although I don't think I can ever be at par with how she is.

I've recently saw a photo of PLDT's ::telephone company in the Philippines:: advertisement in time for Mother's day period.

It gave me warm feelings but at the same time a little pang in my heart.  Made me miss my mom even more and at the same time, highlighted our physical distance.  The slogan in Tagalog has more impact than the one in English above.  If I were to translate the phrases in Tagalog, it will be:  "You were this close before. May it still be so this Mother's day"  then I would add "... and forever" :)

Happy mother's day to the most wonderful mama in the whole wide world and beyond.  I love you so much!

If God willing, I will see you soon!! :)

On My Bosom

This is us Friday afternoon.  We were supposed to go out for a walk but while I was nursing her, she fell asleep (she got really tired walking and playing around the house) so no more afternoon.  I could have put her down to bed but I kind of felt really good the way she was embracing me and seemed to not want to let go of me.

Every night, every time I'd put her to sleep she's normally fall asleep this way while I nurse her in our bed. Yes, we co-sleep.  And I'd just roll over a bit to let her be in the bed once she's already completely fallen asleep.  She loves to nurse on top of me and sometimes even if I try to put her on the bed, she'd move her butt and crawl her way on top of me.  It's cute.  But I must admit there are times when she doesn't want to let go of me even if she's already asleep and would wake up the moment I try to put her on the bed and then she'd cry and crawl back on top of me, it's exhausting.  Mamitis, I tell you.  Then again, most of the times, I do enjoy this feeling of being the only one she wants and needs and that she'd want to be with me ALL the time.  Just me.  Her mami. The only one.  Mothers are so full of themselves when it comes to their children, right?  

I must take advantage of this while it last as this will not gonna be forever.  There will come a time that I will be pleading her to just stay beside me, embracing me instead of going out and spending time with her friends or just to be with herself doing her own thing.  

So that afternoon, more than an hour sleeping on top of me in the sofa.  House all cluttered,  laundry waiting to be put in the washing machine, etc - but nothing was visible to me except for this precious Little Spanish Pinay snoring and drooling while she sleeps on my bosom.


Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

I got an email yesterday that I was chosen to be the featured blog on this totally tuesday blog hop! 

To a newbie blogger like me, this IS big! I'll get to know even moooorreee bloggers! At the time of this writing, I got another reply telling me that I have to send a paragraph about myself and my blog and I am getting giddy and nervous at the same time! Ok, I have to relax... I'm over using exclamations point as I am ending each of my statement with !. Notice that? LOL

So I'd like to say thank you in advance to Busy Mom's Tips for choosing me.  I can't wait till Tuesday :)

Craving For Street Food

Last night I was craving for popular street foods in the in Philippines - kwek kwek, kikiam, squid balls, isaw, etc.  All I could do to satisfy this cravings is to make some kwek kwek... the rest is kind of impossible to find where we live.  

Ready to be chowed!

There's  no orange food coloring here or atsuete so the batter turned out a little bit yellowish but once kwek kwek was fried, they already resemble the kwek kweks being sold in the streets of my beloved Philippines.  I also fried some meatballs in case kwek kwek wouldn't tickle hubby's fancy.  But I was almost sure he'd like them... hubby loves Philippine food including bagoong! 

These kwek kweks are quail eggs or huevos de codorniz as how they are called here in Spain.  Covered in batter and then deep fried.   So landed in our dinner plate last night and I was happy hubby loved them.

A close up of the kwek kweks - they turned out to be good!

Here they are in our dinner table waiting to be chowed... complete with sauce ::sawsawan::
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