Introducing CrashTestMommies.Com!

As a blogger, I get quite a number of products in the mail to try out, review and maybe feature on my site. Lately, I’ve been holding out on reviews because, frankly, I don’t want the blog to look like a product feature site. I have lots of things to talk about!!

But the stuff doesn’t stop coming and I feel that some of these things are too good not to share. Two other bloggers have the same sentiments as I do. For the past few months, Neva of ManilaMommy.Com, Kris of OCMomInManila.Com and myself have been brewing something new and fun for all you guys. Say hello to our newest baby, CrashTestMommies.Com!!

We have quite a few reviews up already, plus more, more, MORE to come! We’ve got tons of stuff to share, and we hope that our personal views help you guys in making your own choices for yourself, your family and your lifestyle. The site is still very much a work-in-progress and we would love to hear from you! What things are you looking for? Any particular product that needs a Crash Test? Shoot us an email at hello@crashtestmommies.com!

Follow us on Twitter at @CTMommies, subscribe or add us to your feeds and be updated on the latest products, places and events we’ve got to share. Watch out for our launch promos as well. We love giveaways and we’ve got a few lined up for the coming weeks.

See you at CrashTestMommies.Com!

 

Sentimental Me, Thanks to the New Johnson’s TVC

Have you guys seen the new Johnson’s TVC?

Seeing this took me back to a memory of myself flipping through our iPhoto albums, a few weeks before Basti’s first birthday. I was organizing photos, getting ready to archive, and I was bawling my eyes out. We’re not talking plain crying here; I’m talking wads of tissue on the table, some wailing, a lot of sentimentality and a tiny bit of hilarity. Who knew a year could go by so fast, and that a baby could change so rapidly? I was reminded of that day very much when I watched this and it led me to thinking more about what’s to come for me and my little boy.

Basti’s turned into a lean, sometimes-mean, most-of-the-time dirty, climbing, poking and running machine. He’s a Toddler, so much so that I have to type that with a capital T. This same time next year, he’ll be well into nursery school and the next thing I know it’ll be exams, sports competitions, the awkward stage and then gulp, girls.

**I solemnly swear that I will not be a horror momster-in-law.** But I’m sure I’ll manage some mischief anyway. >> Harry Potter fans would know.

Breastfeeding and babywearing put life into this blog. We nurse less and wear rarely these days, as Basti grows more into a kid each day, heck, each MINUTE. That has affected me, even this blog! If you notice I haven’t been writing much lately it’s because sometimes I don’t know what to say. I’m at a crossroads, one of many to come, and I feel ridiculous at times for feeling this way when my son is only 2 years old. And I know it will never end. He may grow up, become a boy, become a man, but Basti will always be my son and my baby first and forever.

There was one part of the commercial that struck me. This phrase flashed on screen: “Kaya habang kaya ko..” and I remember my own parents. My mom and my dad, for me, are the best examples of “habang kaya ko”. I’m not that baby on the bed anymore, but my mom and dad certainly never stopped taking care of me and my siblings, even when there were times I felt they shouldn’t anymore. I’m pushing forty and I turn into my teenage self whenever I step into my parents’ house. There’s the smell of the food I grew up with, the conversations I listened to all my life and familiar banter that hits just right above the belt. Relief washes over me and I know I’m in a safe place. My mom and dad, even at their age, are still our rescuers – always willing to lend us a hand when we’re flailing in the water. We appreciate it, and so do their three grandchildren.

That’s my one takeaway from this commercial – I hope I will become the kind of mom that will give Basti the same feeling of coming home when he’s with me. Even when he’s all grown up with his own family, I want him to always feel that his home, his mom and his dad will always be there to offer refuge, protection and support. Habang at hanggang kaya ko.

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I commend Johnson’s & Johnson’s for coming up with campaigns that always relate to us and our relationships with our family and loved ones. They are one company I’ve always admired, not just for the quality and care that goes into their products, but for their credo to always put their consumer first.

Aside from the new Johnson’s TVC, there are more things coming up for you guys with Johnson’s & Johnson’s. Please do “like” their page on Facebook (facebook.com/JohnsonsBabyPhilippines) to keep up to date on exciting stuff!

Thank you Johnson’s & Johnson’s for supporting PaintersWife.Com.

I Am A Heartsaver! Thoughts on the CPR Workshop

Last September 1, I attended the CPR Workshop organized by my pediatrician’s group, Health Dynamics. I’ve mentioned Dr. Elizza Senseng several times in my blog, and I can’t reiterate enough how blessed I feel to have her as Basti’s doctor. She is a true breastfeeding-friendly doctor, caring, compassionate, accommodating and entirely committed to children’s health and parenting support.

When she told me about this upcoming workshop I was really excited. I had myself certified on first aid and CPR when I got my Rescue Diver certification. When I became a Divemaster I was supposed to get re-certified every 2 years, but I never did! (I stopped diving professionally a long time ago, so please don’t get alarmed) It was very interesting to find out that things have changed since I first had my training.

What I learned:

  • CPR for adults, children and infants.
  • first response for choking for adults, children and infants
  • how to operate an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) – we got to say “CLEAR!!” just like on TV. Hahaha!

What I liked:

  • Clear and concise training process. The video that accompanied the on-hand training was super effective. It really made us understand how to administer effective and proper CPR.
  • Great training materials. We were all given individual face masks to put on our dummy for hygienic purposes.
  • UPDATED information by the American Heart Association. Did you know that some of the first-aid and CPR training available locally have not been updated in the last 10 years? Even some of our medical professionals are not updated, it seems. They are really pushing to spread the current information.
Because I was too lazy to go back and forth from my house, my mom’s house and the venue for the seminar, I took Basti with me. At first he was quite content to just stand by me and watch me and my dummy.

But the organizers thought Basti deserved to participate too, so they gave him his own “patient.” He mimicked everything we did.

My classmate was Yaya Tata, Jenny‘s super-nanny who knows how to cook paella. There were lots of yayas present that day. Some came with the moms, and some, like Tata, were just sent by their employers. Here’s Tata working the AED on the dummy. She commented later that this seminar was so much different from the one Jenny had her take a few years back.

Thank you to Doc Elay for entertaining Basti when he started saying, “go home, ride car”.

And now, I’m a Heart Saver!

Just in time. Basti came up to me with a mouthful of magnetic numbers the other day. He’s definitely in the swallow-anything-and-everything stage.

Thank you Health Dynamics for giving us the opportunity to take the CPR workshop! I hope more seminars will be held soon.

Why The Milk Monster Bill Is A Big Deal

If you are also a reader of Chronicles of A Nursing Mom like me, you would also now be aware that the breastfeeding groups and advocates are campaigning against a pending bill in Congress. The truth behind the bill is hidden under a very pretty name, “An Act Promoting A Comprehensive Program on Breasfeeding Practices and Regulating the Trade, Marketing and Promotions of Certain foods for Infants and Children.” If you haven’t read the bill, you would think this was a great bill. They used the word “promoting” attached to “breastfeeding practices”, and “regulating” for “trade, marketing and promotions” to lead you to believe that this bill was all about improving and strengthening the laws that protect breastfeeding. In fact, all the bill aims for is to promote the interests of formula milk companies and does nothing for breastfeeding.

Jenny Ong drafted a table outlining the provisions in this proposed bill versus the current Milk Code.

The most alarming provisions in this anti-breastfeeding bill are:

  1. lowering the age limit for advertising formula from 36 months to 6 months,
  2. allowing formula milk donations in times of emergencies,
  3. allowing formula companies to have nutritional claims in their advertising; and
  4. allowing formula companies to conduct breastfeeding seminars.
The argument being used for allowing advertising for formula milk for 6 months onwards is giving mothers an “informed choice.” This goes hand-in-hand with the provision for allowing nutritional claims in advertising. You’ve heard the taglines – “panatag”, “batang may laban”, “gifted child”. How about what they don’t tell us? For example, formula milk companies keep spouting claims for smarter children due to the DHA and ARA content in the formula, but what they don’t say is that artifical DHA and ARA are not readily absorbed by the human body. You could eat tons of this artificial DHA and ARA and never gain an IQ point. DHA and ARA are naturally present in breastmilk and absorbed totally by your baby. They never say in their shiny cans that formula milk is just a copy of breastmilk and fails to replicate it by a mile. They don’t say that in the hierarchy of infant feeding choices set by the World Health Organization, formula milk is the last resort.
A lot of people don’t understand why breastfeeding advocates are against the donation of milk formula in times of emergencies. Some people have gone as far to say that we are being close-minded in our views about breastfeeding and formula milk. But here are the facts:
  • Most of the women encountered in evacuation areas during Ondoy, Sendong and the recent Habagat were already breastfeeding mothers. The need for formula milk was not that urgent and the calls for formula milk donations were not necessary.
  • From the experience of my colleagues in relief operations, even breastfeeding mothers would line up for free formula milk handouts because they thought this was the better solution for their babies due to the claims they hear on the radio and TV. Some of them stop breastfeeding and are not able to sustain formula feeding for their children and resort to other things, like coffee creamer, evaporated milk, condensed milk and growing-up milk.
  • To be able to feed their babies the formula in the evacuation centers, mothers took water from anywhere they could get it – gutters, portalets, drainpipes, you name it. Result? Diarrhea and illness.
  • The formula milk companies take emergencies as an opportunity to promote their products.
  • Donated formula is hard to regulate and monitor in times of emergencies, and mothers end up giving the wrong kind of milk to their infants.
The dangers of formula milk donations during emergencies have been extensively studied by UNICEF and the WHO. We are not being close-minded. Formula donation poses a real danger and does more harm than good. The current Milk Code recognizes this and formula milk during emergencies is only handed by a unit that can regulate and monitor the process. To read more about this, read Jenny’s very informative posts here and here.
In a parenting forum that I follow, the issue of unethical marketing by formula milk companies was raised, and one member said something like, “Why are you so affected? In the end, it’s the consumer’s choice.” Ok fine, let’s talk about advertising and choice. Let’s say you were offered two plates of food that seem to be the same.
*Food photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Which one would you choose for yourself? This is why we work on informing people about breastfeeding. The scale of informed choices is tipped in favor of milk companies because they have the money to run ads. Breastmilk is their direct competitor. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of breastmilk (yes that’s us) don’t have the billions of pesos in profit to run an ad on TV about how our milk is much better than theirs. Formula in itself is not evil. It has its uses. But it needs to be put in its place.
Hey if you choose to give formula, and do not want to breastfeed, that’s your choice. You’re lucky you can afford formula and can sustain it for you child. But for some people, it’s not a matter of just choice, but a matter of life and death. 16,000 infants die each year as a direct result of not breastfeeding, and that’s with the current Milk Code in place. Can you imagine what the numbers will be if they succeed in passing this law?
Breastfeeding doesn’t advertise. It’s not run by a conglomerate and is not out to make a profit. We are opposed to the Milk Monster Bill because it only protects the interests of companies who are out to make money inspite of the fact that their practices endanger children’s lives. The documentary “Formula for Disaster” spells out the effects of formula milk advertising very clearly. If you haven’t seen this film, follow these links to watch it:
 The lawmakers behind the Monster Bill say they are just concerned about the plight of those in the milk industry. I ask, what exactly is the plight of these milk companies? And how do they compare to the plight of thousands of children who suffer from illness and malnutrition because of their lack of concern and ethics?

Two original backers of the bill, Cong. Lani Mercado-Revilla and Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez, have already retracted their support. However, more help is needed in order to inform our lawmakers that this Milk Monster bill will not improve our country’s health situation, only endanger it. The backer behind the bill, IPNAP (an association composed of formula milk companies) have a lot of money to throw around and are throwing a lot of it in the direction of getting this bill passed.

If you think about it, the real people that the formula milk companies are fighting are you and me. We are the sources of breastmilk, and they are trying very hard to make us believe we are not adequate for our own children.

You can help. Write a letter to your congress representative. You can find their email addresses in the directory on the HOR website. COANM has a draft you can start with, and you can add your own thoughts there.

We have no agenda, no vested interests, and nothing to gain for ourselves. If you believe in the cause, please help. We need all the voices who believe in breastfeeding to speak up.

Lock and Lock Love!

I’ve always been a fan of Lock and Lock. Ever since I saw their stuff on department store shelves, I loved them already. In our house, Lock and Lock is all over the place.

In our ref.

On the pantry shelf.

In Basti’s lunchbox.

Michelle of My Mom Friday couldn’t get me more excited when she invited bloggers for a Lock and Lock event at their Araneta Ave. showroom. She really knows what tickles my shopping fancies. It was a nice intimate gathering of parenting, lifestyle and food bloggers. My seatmates were Jenny of COANM and cutie E.

Top: Michelle, Jenny, too-happy-me, Tina; Jenny and E.
Bottom: Jane, Noemi, Rochelle; Kris, Rochelle; the Lock & Lock store on Araneta Ave.

We were treated to a Korean food cooking demo using Lock and Lock’s ceramic coated cookware. (Insert my drooling face here) I want the entire Ceramica cookware line!

And then, we were treated to a shopping spree! I was in heaven, because I have been wanting these glass containers FOREVER.

I hate it when you put food to store in plastic containers and you end up with smelly and stained boxes. I am so tired of the scrubbing, citrus rinsing, baking soda and vinegar treating… aaargh!! #housewifeproblems With these I will now store my extra spaghetti sauce without fear. I will cook with achuete with less hesitation. If The Painter wants a stock of paksiw na isda in the refrigerator, then by jove, he shall have it! Not only that, the Borosilicate technology makes it super safe to take the containers from oven to table without fear of the container shattering into a million pieces or chemicals leaking into your food.

I also chose this baking dish.

It’s perfect for just-me-and-Basti baked macaroni.

I love my Lock and Lock Boroseal containers!! I want more!! I’m making the gradual move to an all-glass container house, but it won’t be for a loooong time. Not while Basti still has small hands.

Thanks My Mom Friday for the invite (and the photos), and Lock and Lock for the wonderful afternoon. Check out the pictures on My Mom Friday’s Facebook page.

Lock & Lock Stores:

Shangri-la Mall
Eastwood City
Glorietta 4
Lucky Chinatown Mall
Alabang Town Center
Banilad Town Center, Cebu City