Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For the love of coffee

It's that time of the year again when everybody's going gaga over a red-velvet cup and a gazillion calories in exchange for a planner that usually ends up being used only at the beginning of the year. 

Photo grabbed from google images

I am not really a sticker collector. But a coffee-lover is an understatement. Don't we just love coffee? Whether the signature-fattening type, or the sachets of 3-now up to 7-in 1, or even just the ones we make at home (Ikaw, anong timpla mo?), it's always a delight to have coffee!

Cappuccino at Classic Confections in Greenbelt 5

 So imagine how horrible it must have been for a pregnant-me to stay away from coffee and the endless chika with girlfriends that usually go with it. In fact, of the many things that I needed to get off my system during pregnancy, it was coffee that gave me the hardest time. I quit smoking and drinking right on the very day those ominous two lines appeared. .  (Yes, I was such a wild child back in the days!) In fact, I don't think I ever really let coffee out of my routine.  My pregnancy just took out some pleasure from the coffee-drinking experience and replaced it with guilt.   I settled for decaf and stick (or at least try to stick) to at least one cup a day. But on heavy days in the office, coffee had been my ultimate stress-buster and I consumed more than what I should really have.   Also, when it's coffeedate with the girls and I was craving for a drink with no decaf version, I indulge in my guilty pleasure. And, when I was reaaaaally sleepy, the Nescafe 3-in-1 always did the trick.

So when I finally gave birth, one of the things I really looked forward to doing was drinking coffee (without the guilt feeling and the "in moderation" note to self). But my bubbles burst when my excitement was overheard by my officemate, who remarked that if I ever thought of breastfeeding, I should steer clear from coffee because it's bad for the baby. Of course, being the sore loser that I was, I scoured over my reliable materials and read up on caffeine and its effect on breast milk. I wouldn't give up just like that! 

Most materials would say that it's okay to drink coffee in moderation since very little caffeine pass on to your milk. I also read from the internet that it could decrease your milk production if too much caffeine goes into your system. But kellymom had all the information that you might need regarding coffee-drinking while breastfeeding.

"Most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation. Some babies, particularly those under 6 months, may be more sensitive to mom's caffeine intake. Babies whose mothers avoided caffeine completely during pregnancy seem to react more to caffeine in mom's diet. Even if baby is sensitive to the caffeine now, he may not be when he's a little older -- so if you do have to stop or limit your caffeine intake, you can try again when baby is older."

Apparently, if the baby is particularly wakeful and fussy, chances are the caffeine content of the coffee did its part. Such baby can be categorized as “caffeine-stimulated-baby”, who is described as "a wide-eyed, active, alert baby who doesn't sleep for long." I had been observing my little boy and there were really nights that he kept on giggling and trying his new-found trick of rolling-over until almost midnight! Yes, 12 midnight! I thought, what an active super boy I have! But when I came across this article at kellymom, I realized, with a sigh of guilt, ohh must be the coffee! 

So, how much caffeine is too much? "The amount of caffeine that might affect baby will vary depending upon the specific baby and the baby's age and health. The estimate we often hear is "less than five-oz cups of coffee or 500mg/day. Various sources suggest an upper limit for caffeine ranging from 300-750 mg/day."

Okay, I know that's too scholarly and we want spoonfeeding as much as possible, don't we? So here, I present to you a table of my supposed caffeine intake based on the 500mg/day limit set above:

Equivalent caffeinated products for various daily caffeine intakes
150 mg
300 mg
500 mg
Starbucks Coffee
250 mg/8 oz (short)
375 mg/12 oz (tall)
500 mg/16 oz (grande)
1/2 cup (short)
1 cup (short)
2 cups (short)
1.5 cups (tall)
1 cup (grande)
Coffee, brewed
100 mg/5 oz
160 mg/8 oz
1.5 cups (5-oz)
1 cup (8-oz)
3 cups (5-oz)
2 cups (8-oz)
5 cups (5-oz)
3 cups (8-oz)
Starbucks Frappuccino
98 mg/9.5 oz bottle
1.5 bottles
3 bottles
5 bottles
Diet Coke
46 mg/12 oz can
77 mg/20 oz bottle
3 cans (12-oz)
2 bottles (20-oz)
6.5 cans (12-oz)
4 bottles (20-oz)
11 cans (12-oz)
6.5 bottles (20-oz)
40 mg/12 oz can
67 mg/20 oz bottle
3.5 cans (12-oz)
2 bottles (20-oz)
7.5 cans (12-oz)
4.5 bottles (20-oz)
12.5 cans (12-oz)
7.5 bottles (20-oz)
Tea, leaf or bag
48 mg/8 oz
3 cups (8-oz)
6 cups (8-oz)
10 cups (8-oz)
Häagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream
24 mg/4 oz serving
6 servings (4-oz)
12.5 servings (4-oz)
20 servings (4-oz)
Dannon Coffee Yogurt
36 mg/6 oz serving
4 servings (6-oz)
8 servings (6-oz)
13 servings (6-oz) 

Coffee is what I look forward to in the morning. It keeps me awake and working in front of a computer at noon. And it caps off a gastronomical night with friends. But, at the expense of a fussy little boy? :( 

So next time I hit the hot water station in the office, I better think of this table and my wide-eyed alert angel. Meanwhile, I leave you with this frappe the husband dropped off at my office one evening I was pulling an all-niter. Ain't he a sweetheart? 

Within my daily limit!

Have a great coffee day, you all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baby Shower and Beyond

I love baby showers. It's not that I've been to too many to love them. Quite the contrary, I've only attended the shower thrown by my friends for my baby. (I should have just said I loved my baby shower, but as the husband always says, I'm verbose like that! haha!)

During baby showers, one can get quite a lot of cute gifts for  the little one. And the concomitant games can be very amusing (games for bridal showers can be fun, but that's a totally different genre). For a group of friends who are not yet parents, you will be surprised about how the games can turn in to. The cluelessness can lead to hilarious answers. And the soon-to-be mommy becomes the repository of all those "mom-information". 

And that's exactly what happened when my friends from lawschool and from the office threw a surprise baby shower for me! Imagine a bunch of single ladies (and a few guys) who absolutely doesn't know a thing about babies throwing a baby shower party! (*Ano ba yung Desitin? Wala namang ganun, nag iimbento sila ng sagot!) 

See there? I'm beaming with happiness for the baby shower thrown by my friends

It was thoughtfully organized by one of Zohan's ninang, Mareng Joyce.

Mareng Joyce with her bongga pose

She searched for a good caterer, and found CCME Homemade Food Stuff (www.homemadefoodstuff.com). We had Fiesta Espesyal, which was a delight of 6 courses, good for 20 pax, for only P3,175. There's chicken relleno, beef caldereta, embotido grande, baked macaroni, and chopped chicken in green peas and quail eggs. For dessert, we had their to-die-for fruit salad. We took home the left-over fruit salad, it's sinfully good!

Of course, Mareng Joyce had the help of the gerls! 

Mareng KQ and Kat, my friends from the office.
My friends from lawschool: Jenny, Fila, Masha, Ting and Boinks
( Some are not in the photo because they arrived late!)
My bestfriend Jona was kind enough to offer her condo unit as venue. (which is now for sale, by the way. For interested buyers, you can leave me a message here.) She recently gave birth, and she had to leave early coz the little boy is running out of expressed milk! -- (also a breastfeeding junkie)

With Bruchie Jona
And, what's a party without the cake?! Thanks to Masha, who was the night's scene-stealer for having found this cake, much to everyone's consternation. With my disgusting appetite at that time, I was so eager to devour on that yummeh-looking cake. But guess what, it's a diaper-cake! It's made of real diapers, which eventually landed to Zohan's cute little butt! Coolness! (You can visit their Facebook Page at The Diaper Bakeshop)

We had fun games, which I can't wait to share with you! And of course, the gifts. The giiiiiffffts! They were all awesome! And I can't wait to share it with you also. But since I've got work to do and I know you can wait, that will have to be on my to-do list.

For now, let me thank my wonderful friends for this baby shower. Ahh! The blessing of being a couple in the same group of friends and winning the race to parenthood! That night before we retired to bed, I couldn't resist opening all the gifts and taking a photo of them.

Thank you!!!

I tweeted, "Thank you Lord for the gift of wonderful friends. We are so overwhelmed." 

Because really, it's not just the gifts, or the games, or the foods. It goes way beyond that. It's knowing that a lot of people are happy for you as you bring someone wonderful into this world. So Lord, thank you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Working Mom Guilt (Episode 1)

It's Monday, 14 November 2011. 7am.

The husband dropped me off at McDonald's two hours before my supposed hearing at a  court in Quezon City, so I had time to have breakfast. But instead of me enjoying my happy food...

I'm sulking in one corner, looking like I'd gambled and lost at a casino, all weary and sad because all I could think of was this cutiepatootie I left at home..

Who wouldn't, right?

They call it working-mom-guilt. And this is just one of the many episodes. For me, it is even more difficult because aside from maintaining a day job, I couldn't even hug and kiss this cute little boy at night =( I have to leave him with my in-laws in Bulacan coz we are still preparing his humble home in Manila. So I get to be with him only four nights in a week.

Aneeeewaaay, I have been reading a lot of momblogs lately in the hope of assuaging myself that really, I am a good mother even if I arrive home with the baby asleep and leave home with him still in deep slumber. But there are days, like today, when depression gets the best of you, and all you can think of is just to leave the corporate world and cuddle with your little one.

Times are difficult but who am I to complain? 

1. I have been blessed with a good job. I imagine other mothers who couldn't even give their kids a decent milk or diaper for lack of financial resources. 

2. Besides, I get to practice what I love doing (lying for a living haha!).

3. I can prepare better for my son's future (this is so cliche it's giving me the cringe writing it, but really, I need to concoct all possible reasons why I am a good mother, so forgive me.)

4. Most mothers are now working, so if it's of any consolation, I'm not in here alone.

5. I stopped at number five, because I couldn't think of any. 

So, of the thousand reasons why a mother should be there beside his child at every milestone, doing what she should really be doing in the first place, I am here in a fast food early in the morning, browsing up my case files and preparing to argue for a frivolous motion. And I can only come up with five measly reasons why I'm here instead of home.

Going back, it's a little past eight when I gathered my case files. I had to head to the court lest I be cited for contempt.

Walk. Cab. Walk. Check the court calendar. 

Where was my case title? Apparently, somebody's not doing her homework. My case was scheduled for hearing at 1:30PM, not 8:00 AM. Well, hello Monday. I should  have just stayed at home a little longer. :(

How do you manage your working-mom-guilt? I'd be delighted to know, so I wouldn't stop at number five =) Drop me a line. I'd be glad to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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A Dose of Family Law

Hi there! This is a mock post I'm doing for the dry-run of my new web design. But I promise to write family-related laws and issues soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Dream Basketball Team

I imagined them rowdy and funny, starting the days with mirthful bashings and taunts and ending the nights with eruptions of boisterous laughter. I imagined them using each other's stuff, sometimes with permission, oftentimes with none. I imagined us walking along mall corridors with a day's worth of energized conversations. And at meal times, oh! I imagined them surreptitiously sneaking their hands into each other's plates when they have apparently devoured their share of the loot in the hope of saving for the last bite that tiny morsel of meat secretly burrowed deep in their mountains of rice.

I imagined them to be around six, or seven – but not to go fewer than five. And that’s supposed to be non-negotiable.

(I want to be able to put a sticker like this in our carumba!)

I didn’t know what it was with large families that fascinated me.  Perhaps, I just loved the fun riot and all the banters that usually characterized a large family.  Or to sound a bit melodramatic, such fascination may have been brought about by the sadness I felt growing up as an only child having nobody to share my toys with (not that I grew up with too many), to tell teenage stories and adventures to, to provide me with the comfort of knowing that no matter how bumpy the road was someone would stick it out with me.

And so, I was constantly enamored by the thought of having a big family. I met a few friends with big families, and I never get tired of hearing their sibling-stories.

THE Rivera Siblings: Chaps, Nina, Anais, Chanel, Paco, Ate Fidji and Chloe
(Photo Credits to Chanel Rivera's Facebook Page)
The RIVERA Family - photo taken during my friend Nina's wedding
(I realized the earlier photo didn't do justice to Chanel, but it captured them best, giddy and all that! So here's a formal version)

Some of my pamangkins from my uncle who had nine (Yes NINE!) children

I also met the husband, who came from a big family as well.

The husband's siblings: Imee, Ersa, Erwin, Irish and Panje
(Photo taken during our wedding)
The husband's Family during a vacation in Baguio (with Tita Emmie in the middle)

I was hoping that he’d pass on the torch to our household.

On the 18th of August 2011, I was blessed to have started with what I thought would be a frequent delivery. Our precious little angel was born via C-section and my dream of having a big family petered out.

And so now I ask,  is there a limit to having deliveries via C-section? I was told that it should be around three to four, with at least two years interval. In that case, I’d still be popping babies in my late thirties, which  would also be risky. So, I just don't know.... Perhaps, I need to find a miraculous OB-Gynecologist, or I have to be healthy or physically fit, or whatever, to have at least four to five kids.

Until now, I am saddened by the thought of not having an entire basketball team.

However, every time I feel sad thinking about how things panned out, I go back to that moment when the husband was driving me to the hospital after we were told by my OB that I should be opened up via CS: he held my hand and told me that fate has meticulously and carefully weaved such situation for us and we should gladly embrace it. Likewise, I joke myself that with the increasing prices of diapers and wet wipes (and soon, tuition fees and allowance) having few kids may prove to be a blessing. And more importantly, I know God has better plans than my plans.   Perhaps, He thinks that we don’t have the genes to produce tall kids anyway, so maybe, a basketball team isn’t really a good idea. J

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