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Going from this:

To this:

..was way too fast.

I’m looking forward to more of this:

And I will try to be strong because there will surely be more of this too:

Happy birthday to my little crabby boy, Sebastian. I love you so so much.

The Art of Gift-Giving

Today, my neighbor Happy and her baby Monch sent me an Easter Egg for Basti:

(Missing from picture: A Hershey Kiss and a Jellyace. Who’s the culprit? *smacking lips*) It’s so cute! Complete with “Monch’s First Easter” card.

Basti likes playing with the egg on the floor:

Something like this I would never ever think of doing. Newsflash: I am the world’s WORST gift-giver. It’s the reason why I love gift registries; at least I know what I’m getting you is something you want. I am so bad that in my stressing over about what to give, I end up not buying one and give cash instead. I even forget the envelope. Gah.

Thoughtful naman ako. Caring naman ako.  Mahal ko naman kayo. Pero for the life of me, giving gifts is not a talent that was bestowed upon me.

I have friends who are AMAZING in gift-giving. It is never about the cost, but the utter tongue-in-cheek intelligence behind the gift. I am convinced I am missing a part in my brain that specializes in it. I once was ecstatic when a co-worker of mine gave me a folder that was in such a cute color with partitions. She knew I loved office supplies. See? A folder! I would’ve never put two and two together. It’s my hubby’s birthday next month and I’m thinking of giving him a gift certificate. #wifefails

So guys, what are some of the great gifts you’ve ever given and what are some of the best gifts you’ve ever received?

Who Said Mommy Get Togethers Were Boring?

It was a fun, fun, fun afternoon over margaritas (them) and non-alcoholic drinks (the nursing mommies, sigh). Fellow mommies and bloggers, all FABULOUS and AMAZING women. See you ladies soon!

Moms Over Mocktails!

From L-R: Jen of Next9Baby, Michelle of My Mom Friday, Martine of The Dainty Mom, Topaz Mommy‘s Frances (and darling Vito!), Topaz Husband Vince, Paola of Mommy Treats (with Sjofn!), yours truly with Basti, Rone of Mothering Earthlings and Manila Mommy Neva.

Cheers!

12 Months Later. Yes, I’m STILL Breastfeeding.

Well, Basti is still 15 days shy of his first birthday, but anyway…

12 months later and I get this comment all the time now. – “Wow! You’re STILL breastfeeding!”

Again, I would like to clarify that I am by no means a “lactivist”, just an advocate. I will never judge mommies who feed formula, but I will always judge health-care professionals who give mommies wrong information and hospitals who don’t support breastfeeding. I also will never hesitate to correct ignorance about breastfeeding, its dos-and-donts, debunk myths and offer support. DISCLAIMER: I am not a lactation counselor, just a mom who’s been there. (Though I’m thinking about getting trained. I get so many questions about it!)

That being said, I have a few thoughts on breastfeeding from my own 12-month experience and from the number of mommies I’ve interacted with in the past year.

1. Too many mommies have told me “my milk is not enough”. Most of them are basing it on the books and advice that you should feed for 10-15 minutes on each breast, every 2 hours. They think that if the baby wants more after that, it’s because they don’t have enough milk and proceed to do mixed feeding with formula. I’ve told most of them to relax the 15-minute-2-hour rule. Basti and I were feeding every 30 minutes and sometimes he would be latched for more than an hour.

2. Breastfeeding is SO CONVENIENT. No bottles, no sterilizing, no extra stuff in the bag. It’s become second nature to me. Now that Basti doesn’t nurse much in public, it’s so much fun to spend the day out with him tagging along. I don’t wear nursing clothes all the time anymore either.

3. Basti is built like a horse. He is tough, but sweet. He’s a happy happy baby and very secure in his skin. He hasn’t gotten really sick in the last 12 months except for an awful cough he had last year. Orley had the flu a couple of weeks back and he didn’t catch it even if we were all sleeping in one bed.

4. He’s not a picky eater at all and I think it’s the breastmilk, really. He eats everything I give him: ampalaya with sotanghon, mushroom soup, pesang isda, tinola, adobo, orange juice, carrot juice, pineapple juice, whatever.

5. We are definitely going for child-led weaning.

6. Breastfeeding ignorance is not confined to any class, age-group, or any other demographic you can think of. I’ve met moms with 4 children who were still clueless about it.

7. I want more opportunities to share and do something about it, especially among the less privileged. I love it when I get to do a testimonial in Medical City. I truly enjoy public-speaking.

 

I’m moving closer to toddler feeding, which presents a whole new set of challenges (and comments, I’m sure), and who knows, even tandem feeding! (Another child? Yes, no? Maybe? We don’t know yet. Orley and I have to decide if we want another one and when) Meanwhile, it’s fun to see how Basti is growing and how his breastfeeding experience will change as he gets bigger. At almost one, he’s growing up to be an assertive child and picks his own position to nurse. Every once in a while though, he still wants to be cradle-carried; a simple reminder that he still is my little baby boy.

The Guilty Mama

We attended our first birthday party of the season last Sunday. Here’s Basti in his party hat:

The party is the first of a series of birthday parties for the children of our birthing class. Basti is celebrating his birthday at the end of the month. What have I got planned?

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

For a former events planner, I am famously allergic to planning one of my own. Maybe it’s because I did it as a job for so long that I don’t want to do it myself? It’s already April 4th and Orley and I still stare at each other blankly when the matter of Basti’s birthday comes up. Truth is, I don’t want a party. I want to go on a trip, but that is going to be something spontaneous if it happens because Orley is up to his eyeballs in work.

Basti’s birthday party is not the only thing I’m guilty about. His baptism was also last minute, just food on the table and a few friends. Have I told you guys about my wedding? Orley and I signed some stuff at cityhall.

We had lunch at Causeway Bay.

And had a dinner cooked by my lola held at her house for my family and some friends.

No fuss, no hustle-and-bustle. Just get it done. That’s how Orley and I live our lives. We’ve never “celebrated” our anniversary.

Am I awful for applying the same philosophy to my son? I see pictures of these birthday parties that have planners, booths and themes and they make me want to go under the covers and sleep.

Three weeks to go and I have to find the initiative, drive and inspiration to celebrate Basti’s birthday. Somehow. I wish I were more maarte.

Summer!! Post: Trumpets Playshop

I love summer time. When I was a kid, it meant swimming lessons, dance classes, theater workshops, trips to Baguio and the beach and food, food, food!!

When I was a freelancer theater actress/stagehand/events producer, my summers meant only one thing: TRUMPETS PLAYSHOP!!! I used to teach Children’s Musical Theater and Musical Theater for Teens, and I would attend Streetdance classes with the Manoevers (I never know how to spell their name) for myself. I can’t wait till Basti is old enough to attend Children’s Theater. Even if he’s not inclined towards MY art and would rather go for Papa’s visual arts, it’s still a great way to develop confidence and personality for any person of any age. When I took Chari’s Musical Theater for Adults one time, our age range was 13 to 45 years old. Na-lurkey si Chari in figuring out our showcase.

This summer is no different. TRUMPETS PLAYSHOP IS ON! Classes start on April 4 already! Not only do they have theater classes, but they’ve got Modeling, Public Hosting and Speaking and a class called Starpower(does this class make you artistahin?) You may call 631-7252/ 6362842 or 0917-8964034, or visit www.trumpetsplayshop.com.

I’m on the lookout for a dance class. Hiphop but not hardcore, with mommies in the class. Any leads?