Sunday, January 29, 2012

The cool bath tub


Wouldn't it be cool if baby bath tub didn't take up a ridiculous amount of space when not in use? This question triggered the awesome inventors of FlexiBath to come up with this really amazing bath tub, which now rests in our tiny laundry area.


I first heard about the FlexiBath over there at MommyTopaz's blog. I agreed with her and thought it was really cool  and clever, but it was a little pricey for a bath tub. It sold for P2,495 at Mothercare. 

From the time Zohan was born, he was bathed just above the countertop while he laid down on a reversible blue and pink rubber mat (Mommies, you know what I'm talking about). However, Zohan had grown bigger, and our countertop smaller (brought about by our moving in), it definitely was the right time to be a little profligate and head on over to Mothercare. 

At Mothercare, Greenbelt 5
The husband preferred the blue FlexiBath. I would have wanted the translucent one with blue  on the corners because I think it's more gender-neutral. But the husband said little girls (our future little girls) wouldn't complain if they're being bathed on a blue tub.  Being the submissive wife that I was - at certain times-  I acceded to buying the blue FlexiBath. 

We waited for Zohan to arrive at our place before we used it, so I was really excited this morning to try it.

Here it is, ready for Zohan
After lavishing the baby with oil (by the way, can anyone tell me if this is okay? I just get used to doing it before bath time because that's what the old folks at home advised me), it was time for some splash...

Notice the inquisitive eyes
I had mentioned before that Zohan could not yet sit without support. At first, he was okay just resting his arms on both sides of the tub. But as we went along, he got tired and slid off. So we weren't able to bathed him sitting down.

Nanay trying to support him so he could remain seated
There were no photos of the real action because what happened next was a lot of splashing from Zohan and wet clothes and stressed looks from me. It was a little difficult to bathed him this way so somebody had to stand him up while I did the bathing for him. Maybe when he's older and able to sit without support, it would be a more enjoyable experience for both of us.

Be that as it may, I was just happy with his exquisite bath tub. I had vowed not to introduce him to expensive unnecessary things, and this bath tub was exactly that. But he was given money as gifts for several occasions like when he was born/baptized/first Christmas, so I felt I had no right to be spendthrift with those monetary gifts.

So, this is where your gifts go, people. Thank you very much!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finalmente!

After contending with delayed turn-over, nanny who backed out, space fuming with paint, raising money for the necessary appliances, finally...

Guess who just arrived! 

Nanay, where the hell am I?
You're finally home sweetheart. And Nanay and Tatay are just over the moon!


What? This is the third time you've said I am home.
Yes baby, this is your home, too. And your Nanay and Tatay's homes in the provinces are also your home. But here, we will try as much as possible to be a happy family. Nanay and Tatay are both afraid, but hopeful that we can pull it off.

Afraid? How can you raise me if you're afraid??
 That's alright, sweety. Everybody's always afraid of something. When you grow up, you will have your own demons and your own fears, too. But you have to remember that we will always be by your side. We will not be the perfect parents, but we will always try to give our best.


Look me in the eye and tell me we're going to be fine.
We are going to be fine. There will be tough times ahead, sure. But pinky promise, we are always in this together..

Okay, that sounds fair to me. I can rest now. Please don't forget to turn off the lights.
Welcome home Zohan! 












Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Exhibit "A"


I told you, husband. He is MY son!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time for solids, beybeh!


Yes! This is another milestone and I'm glad to share it with you. Actually, I was a bit hesitant at first to introduce solids to Zohan who just turned five months old. I happened to stumble upon babycenter's guide to the introduction of solid, and it had somehow appeased and convinced me that it was indeed time for solids, baby!

1. Time is right: Babies are usually ready to try solid food between 4 and 6 months, but check with your baby's doctor beforehand.

According to babycenter.com, solids can be introduced any time between 4 and 6 months if the baby is ready. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment the baby needs and can handle. His digestive system simply isn't ready for solids until he nears his half-birthday.

While this is the general statement found mostly on articles discussing introduction of solid food, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfeed exclusively for at least six months. This is also what health experts and breastfeeding experts had to say, according to kellymom. She further discussed that even the World Health Organization and many other health organization recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Solid readiness depends on both the maturity of baby's digestive tract and the baby's developmental readiness for solids. Most babies are developmentally ready for solid somewhere between 6 and 8 months. This is where kellymom differed from the position of babycenter, which discussed that solids can be introduced any time between 4 and 6 months.

I was prepared to wait another month, even though I had been prepping up his bibs and plates and spoon and everything else for the big solid day. So last Saturday, when we went to see his pedia for the monthly vaccination and routine check up, I was shocked (and a little bothered, I must admit) when she told us he was ready for solid food. Fears notwithstanding, what I really wanted was just to get home, put him down and run to the nearest grocery store to buy Cerelac and start feeding him. So that's exactly what we did!

Analyzing it now, I was a little afraid that it might had been too soon. It might be just another case of my chronic impatience. But then again, it's his pedia who gave us the green light. And she knew better than me;  while I may fancy myself reading all these geeky articles, she might have had other considerations in mind, like patient history and all that doctor stuff I didn't know anything about. And besides, babycenter said it's anytime between 4 and 6 months. And, What To Expect The First Year discussed the introduction of solid on the 5th month. Mama said the husband was introduced to solids way earlier than his 5th month.  I guess these should be enough to assuage me that it was going to be alright, and that the timing was just right.


2. Watch for signs: Good head control, a growing appetite, and interest in what you're eating are all indications that your baby is ready to try solids.

As early as three months, Zohan already learned how to roll over and since then, he had developed good head control.

Now at his fifth month, he can sit up pretty steady, albeit still with support. He has also become increasingly hungry every time. On weekends when we're together, I feel like all I ever did was to whip out my boobey for constant breastfeeding action! If you offer him what you're eating, he would look very eager to taste the food. In fact, his titos and titas always tease him by pretending to give him food, but he just couldn't take it just yet. Well, not anymore!


3.  Get the gear: A soft-tipped spoon, a bib, a nonbreakable dish, and a highchair are all helpful.

All geared up! I had been waiting for so long for this day to arrive (I couldn't imagine first day of school or first stage performance. Ack. Budding stage mudra) and I had everything ready, except for the high chair (which will be the subject of another post soon, because mommies, I need help in deciding!) His spoon and dish were gifts from my friends from the office, while his PreNatal bib was a gift from Nanay.

Thank you Ninang KQ, Tita Kat and Tito Teoff for Zohan's Avent  spoon and dish

4. Start simple: Try baby cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. Or begin with purees like pear, sweet potato, or peas.


Zohan's pedia prescribed only plain Cerelac twice a day, in moderate amounts. I asked if I could make mashed potatoes with breastmilk, but I was advised against it as his stomach might not be ready yet for complex concoctions. (But isn't Cerelac a little complicated, and unnatural, too?) Well.. She didn't study medicine and passed the boards for nothing, so I'm leaving it up to her. So, Cerelac it is. 




5. Expect a mess: Babies aren't known for their table manners, so be prepared for food to land on the floor, highchair, your baby, and you.


Zohan did make a mess of his face. And the bad thing was, his skin turned red from below his nose down to his chin. I tested if the facial wipes was the culprit, but they appeared just the same during his second meal minus the wipes. So it must be the Cerelac. Anyway, the rashes rapidly disappeared after a few minutes, so no worries. I guess his skin would get used to it as we go along.


6. Keep on trying: Don't be surprised if your baby doesn't seem crazy about solids right away. Keep offering them and your baby will catch on.

Not applicable. At. All. Zohan eagerly devoured that tiny slimy half-spoonful of solid food as if he had been doing it for quite some time. And he finished everything up! It definitely looked like Zohan would be a big eater.

7. Take pictures! You'll want photos to show off your baby's first foray into eating real food.

Of course I wouldn't want to miss this milestone, so I asked the husband to take photos while I offered the spoon to the little boy. And I said “Take good pictures.”
Be the judge!!!



   
 Do they look good to you?
Mothers often get too tired because they want to do everything by themselves. Had I known this would be Zohan's photo of his first solid intake, I would have turned myself to Zuperwoman to feed him and photograph him all at the same time. But Zohan fared well on his first solid experience. And it's all good. All good. So, never mind the photos. :)


References:
The checklist and the corresponding photos were taken from babycenter. Information on when to start solids were taken from kellymom and babycenter.com. Avent photo was grabbed from cubbees.com, while cerelac photo was grabbed from google images.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Moving in..






The past few days had all been about cleaning, unpacking, and planning what to do next. It had been two weeks since we moved in but it was only yesterday that I had finally seen a semblance of home to an otherwise bare dance studio. There were still empty spaces here and there, patienly waiting for the coming of a furniture that would certainly arrive but indefinite as to when. But I had come to terms with the stress of moving in to a new place. In fact, I had seen a better version of myself with this whole moving-in thing; never had i known that my chronic impatience could still be manageable.

Definitely, moving in to a new space could excite and trigger the interior designer deeply burrowed in the core of one's disorganized self. Yeah, that enkindled part of me sure got me going.  I'd been through a stage of mindlessly purchasing anything home-related. And at last, I wouldn't have to ditch my purchases should they turn out to be unfit in the next dorm/apartment I would move in to - which was practically what I had been doing for the past 12 years of my life. 

Before moving in, I gathered all the home magazines, searched the web for design sites, contacted carpenters and contractors, heck even visited Bangkal (which we now know to be a useless advice)! My trips to the malls had not been about Zara or Mango anymore. Ace, Handyman and SM homeworld had suddenly become what glitz and glamour was all about. But the excitement rapidly waned down with the realization that all nice things  came with a nice price. This contractor was charging me for P250,000 for a kitchen cabinet, a two-tile countertop, closet and bedframe. Are you kidding me? And I learned from my mall-hopping that a mattress must be bought separately from the bedframe and at almost the same price.  Again, are you kidding me? An electric cooking range could cost that much? And that's still without the exhaust hood! You must be fucking kidding me!

Just imagine how much cuss words the husband and I had *unintentionally* uttered as we repeatedly used our calculators. 

So now, my mall trips had recently been about Zara and Mango again, because they didn't break my heart as much as that comfortable couch that I could only just glance from afar. I ditched my Ikea magazine (thank you Joyce, by the way!) because I could not pattern my living room to any design neatly printed on it, probably not in the next 3 years or so. And I stopped howling over daphne osena's blog for her latest UrbanZone features because it choked me up each time.

The husband and I had decided, over 3-in-1 coffee of course, that we should take it one bonus at a time. Looking at it from a practical view, I honestly believed we had all the things we need and some of the many things we want. And I could live with that. 

 I probably don't need an L-shaped countertop because I would only be serving hotdogs and eggs most of the time anyways, and they don't go well with expensive-looking countertops. We probably don't need a home theater system because we only need each other (and Zohan) to be entertained. We could spend an entire night just talking nonsense at the balcony, and we have plastic monoblocs there now, that should be fine. And the comfort room need not be divided with glass because we would like to see each other in flesh when the husband is on his throne and I'm taking the shower. As for the correll plates and high-thread-count linens and color coordinated curtains and carpets, I probably wouldn't die if I don't have them. Get sick, maybe. But not die, so that could wait as well.

Our humble nest is already so many leap better than where we were both raised. A few furnitures and accessories missing shouldn't keep me blinded to recognize what a blessing this really is. I realized that I should not look for the things that I do not have, so that I would not miss the bliss of experiencing those that I have. So I thank my Universe for conspiring all together just so we can have a cozy sleep in this california queen bed. A loving husband and a wonderful kid is all I need to accessorize our home. The rest of the non-essentials can wait.

Well, except that I can hear the corner table and lamp screaming of extreme urgency. And I might just give in any moment now.


*Photo Credits to google images (streetseed.com)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why 2011 was my year (and what I look forward to 2012)


I was itching to write about this post ever since I started blogging because this was supposed to sum up the shit things that I’d been through in 2011 and the happiness and blessings that came out of it. As 2011 drew to a close, I had qualms writing about it  lest the article might sound too personal: this was supposed to be a motherhood – not a personal-- blog. But then again, I had my personal editor to tweak the details should I go overboard in sharing. And besides, my 2011 mostly revolved around my motherhood, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to write this post. Who’s the judge anyway?

2011 was the year of extremes. It was the worst, but ironically, the best year of my life. It was the worst because all the real-life challenges one could think of  came to me in one fell swoop  this year. The details are gory, I tell you. And I know you have enough drama of your own to be interested in mine, so to spare whoever will take the time to read this from puking, allow me to just dwell on the good.

Early 2011, I got married to one of the most wonderful persons around. Truth be told, it was rushed and unplanned. With barely two months to prepare, I was calling suppliers left and right inside the courtroom while waiting for the judge to arrive. After hearings, I would schedule food tasting at lunchtime so I could still rush to work right after. Looking at it now, I find it amusing that I was able to juggle everything without taking a leave from work.


On 7 March 2011, there were no fireworks, no heavily-beaded gowns and expensive headdresses for the entourage, no sparkling diamond ring or sit-down dinners to boast of. It turned out to be a simple, heartfelt civil wedding, with just families and closest friends around. Instead of a quartet, I opted for Parokya ni Edgar’s Tedd Hanah¸ which was kind of our song. Of course, it wasn’t live. Instead of a long walk on a red carpet, I came out from a mossy stairs that bespoke of a thousand years of existence. Instead of the Rajo-Laurel sort, my dress was a beautiful gift from my Nanay which she got from Rome. Instead of expensive cathedrals that will make you wait for years for a date that is not even significant to the bride and groom, we were wed in a garden sometime before sunset. And instead of the formal stay-put-in-your-seat wedding, our wedding was filled with hilarious laughters and games and so much "bekiness" one could take in a day.  But I was a happy bride. So maybe it wasn’t the grandness that made up a happy wedding.   After all, when all the dust settled, the "wedding day" would not matter as much as the "married days". As for me, I was glad I became even happier as the days went by.

We were able to finally purchase a car (albeit preloved) after months of dreaming and planning and failing and dreaming again. But I would never abandon riding the MRT/LRT/buses entirely. In one of my conversations with the husband, I remarked that riding the trains and buses kept me grounded. Of course, one must struggle for life to be better, but one should never forget the roots of her core. I didn't know about other people, but when I rode public utility vehicles, I would habitually observe other passengers and wonder what’s on their mind or the struggles they had been going through (Am I weird?)   This weird habit of mine, I would like to think, sort of reminded me that even if I rose by a  little notch in the social strata, that didn't make me any better than my co-passengers.


photo credits to flickr.com



We are now proud owners of this key! This key has consumed most of  our energy (and money)  in 2011.  Of all our struggles this year as husband and wife, this  would undeniably rate Number 1.


photo credits to the developer


Looking back, last year had indeed been a good one.

Last year, I witnessed the kindness of mankind. To you, who said she’s always reading my blog entries, thank you for you and your husband’s kindness. To my Nanay, god you're the best!  We offer to all of you our first good night’s sleep in our condo as a token for your  generosity and  your willingness to walk the extra mile for us when all hell was breaking lose.

Last year, I gave up teaching BUT I stayed on in one company for more than seven frigging months, almost two years to be exact. 


That's me in black and white print dress. (With some of my officemates during our Firm's anniversary lunch out)


Finally, I learned that there  could never be a  perfect workplace. One must take the good with the bad, and then, compromise.   No retreat, no surrender!  This year, I hope I can go back to teaching aspiring lawyers. This time, without taking a cab! Hooray! 


Last year, the husband and I’s first venture had not been as lucrative as expected. Several months ago, while the rest of our contemporaries were busy deciding on their handsome purchases, we were tightening our belts to save up for a capital of a small business. So it came with a heartache that our first food cart’s sales went down to the extent that we had to have it closed temporarily. We also lost a very trustworthy staff because we couldn’t keep her anymore at our expense. BUT at least we tried! This year, I hope we can have the stall transferred somewhere else and regain our beloved and trusted employee. Or better yet, I hope we can start another small business to augment our income.




And lastly, late last year, I was given the greatest gift (No Joyce, not the gift of life and Human Nature’s Only the Good!).. TADAH!



To my cute little darling bundle of joy, you saved me from my selfish self. You have taught me patience and compassion and unconditional love. These words may seem too heavy, but in almost five months of us being together- you have changed me for the better. Thank you my sweet little angel.

That’s my 2011 for you folks.

So, what do I look forward to this 2012?

Well, a lot!  But topping the charts is finally being able to go home to a place we can call our own, and have our son waiting for us! Just a few more cleaning and furnishing, and our condo is now baby-ready! But the bigger question is, Am I ready? You see, during Zohan’s first two months I was at home with him, relishing my maternity leave. I had the help of Nanay, who went home for a quick vacation in time for my giving birth. His third and fourth (and looks like his fifth) month was spent with Mama (my mother-in-law) taking care of him in their house while the husband and I were here in Makati for our jobs. So it seems like I haven’t been really tending to his needs on my own. And I am so excited (and a little overwhelmed and  intimidated) by the huge responsibility on my shoulders. I’d like to believe I am not really a panicky type of mother. So I hope I can get through with it. And with a very hands-on husband around, I think we’ll do just fine.

I said “a lot” earlier, but the rest of my expectations and plans for 2012 pale in comparison to the thought of snuggling in our bed with Zohan and his Tatay. So let me just share with you our family (meaning the husband and I)’s resolution for 2012, which we shared with each other while having breakfast of siomai, chicken and coffee at Ministop, no less.

Khaye’s Goal

As a wife is to be less emotional. (This is still under discussion because my being emotional is brought about by an insensitive husband)

As a mother is to be more patient with Zohan when he wakes up in the middle of the night and I have just fallen asleep.

As a person is to look and feel more fabulous this 2012 (which I keep on repeating to the husband- because the reality is, looking more fabulous necessitates spending, admit it or not ladies. And spending means less money for the family coffers. So I am laying down the basis.) And, as the movie goes (Our Idiot Brother), to look semi-fuckable every once in a while. ;)

Kristan’s Goal

As a husband is to be more sensitive. (This is still under negotiation because he thinks he is not really sensitive, I am just too emotional.)

As a father is not to wake up Zohan when we get home and the poor baby is asleep. (Please, for Pete’s sake, follow this! Do you know how hard it is to put a baby to bed??)

As a person is to lose weight. (We hope to eat healthy this year, and go back to exercising because we are at our most disgusting, heaviest and flabbiest state! Ugh.)

photo credits to dans.photo


My friend Joyce once said that your worst year is the year before you reach the age that are multiples of seven. When you reach 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49 and so forth, your cycle has come to a full turn and you are in for the best days of your life. I was aged 27 in 2011, and arguably, it was the worst year of my life. Last December 22, a few days before the end of 2011, I turned 28. And I believed Saturn has returned to me, because great things happened since. And they never stop, as of this writing. Great things await my 2012 because I have completed my Saturn cycle. The party hats are ready, let’s get it on!  


*For more blog lovin' this 2012, you can follow me on twitter here, like the blog's page on Facebook here, or we can update you of new blogposts through your email here! :) 
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