The One About Separation Anxiety

Can I make a prediction? In 5 days’ time I will be crying my eyes out. Forget the prediction. This is a fact. You guys want to know why?

The Painter and I are leaving. I will be gone for two whole weeks. WITHOUT BASTI.

So when I’m talking about separation anxiety, I mean me. Basti and I have never been away from each other overnight. And now, I’m suddenly leaving him for two whole weeks. The excitement of the trip is being overshadowed by my feelings. We go to sleep in a hug and we wake up in a hug. Basti is my alarm clock. He wakes me up wanting to cuddle and nurse and that gently eases us into the curse called morning.

But no. I owe this trip to The Painter. The last three years have been focused on Basti and this time, I will devote my full attention to being his wife. But that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t breaking.

Let’s refocus. I am going to the greatest city in the universe with my husband, with no kid. Just him and me. I’ll just think about that. I’m going to focus on where I want to go, what I want to do and the things I’m going to see (and buy).

Of course there’s the MoMA.

Photo c/o The Guardian.

And Orley will probably spend like a whole month in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Not leaving till I get this. I’ve wanted one for so long.

I hope to watch at least one show here.

And then there’s the mothership.

Sephora Times Square

I’m not leaving till I visit this store.

Inglot on Broadway

So much makeup madness.

But most of all I’m excited to be in New York with Orley. I’m more excited for him than me, actually! This is a huge step for him as an artist, for both his personal growth and his career. Oh wow, all the art he will see, feel, hear and experience. It gives me goosebumps!

I don’t know what to pack. I have been discussing this with friends over the past week. It really all boils down to life’s most important question: style or substance? I can’t even decide what shoes to wear. Even though it’s supposed to be fall, my friend Cheryl says it’s still hot and humid, but gets cold at night.

So Basti, I’ll really miss you. I’ll have super loads of fun, but I’ll miss you. I promise next time, you’ll come. We’ll go see the penguins in Central Park.

 

I Wonder. Can Fun Birthday Ideas Cure My Birthday Party Phobia?

This is no secret. I have birthday-party-planning-phobia. I attribute it to laziness, sometimes nonchalance, but really it’s plain old fear of failing. I sometimes hope that Basti will never, ever, ever, EVER ask me for a birthday party, but I know that’s close to impossible. I know Basti will ask for a party, even just once. And even then, I’m still dreading it.

To think there are so many cute things, ideas and themes for parties these days. I mean they are all over the place. There are so many things you can do to spruce up an intimate party and make it special. I read this article on Babble and liked these ideas:

They’re totally doable and I could make good use of the washi tape I have been hoarding from Paper Chic Studio.

Speaking of washi tape, I saw some cute ideas over at another website for party ideas, and the theme was entirely washi. If you’re my age (ehem), you remember what it was like to drink chocolate milk from glass bottles. Well, these just brought me back to that memory.

I’ve been seeing wooden disposable utensils in the supermarket. Here’s a fun way to spruce them up.

You can even go full-blown on the washi-crafty theme and use washi tape, baker’s twine, paper cups, and other crafting supplies as a birthday party activity.

More birthday party browsing led me to the Marks & Spencer website. Custom cakes are all the rage, but Marks & Spencer brought it to the e-commerce level and took it online. You pick your cake, choose the options, type in your message, pay up then collect from an M&S store in seven days. Cool huh?

This sudden interest may be stemming from how Basti has changed and grown in the past few weeks. School has been good for him. He’s conversing, interacting, reacting, and becoming more cheeky and mischievous. Birthday parties have been held in his class, and we’ve attended a few recently as well. I see the recognition and expectation in his eyes. I already know I’m doomed to plan a party for his next birthday.

I’ve got a few months. I can do this!

New Stuff: K-Palette Mega Cute Eyelid Glue

First off, who else but the Japanese would think of a name called “Mega Cute” for eyelid glue? It’s like we can’t expect it to be any other way. So distinctly cutesy, strange, and appealing at the same time.

Of course something also distinctly Japanese is product quality. Knowing this, and knowing the reputation of the brand holding the launch, I was very, very excited to attend the event, inspite of the thunderstorm that appeared out of nowhere.

The event was called “D.eye.Y.”, a play on words, setting the mood for an afternoon of craft activities.

The opening activity was really cute! We were guided through the process of furoshiki, or the Japanese art of wrapping, using a traditional wrapping cloth. We had to wrap our press kits ourselves, with the help of instructions posted on the walls.

 

I didn’t have the dexterity to pull it off the first time, but Patty’s Sabine and Jackie were practically pros. Here are our furoshiki-ed press kits. So cute! This is something I’d like to do. It’s so cute!

The next activity was a painting and stamp activity, which highlighted why my husband is The Painter and I am really The Painter’s Wife. Hopeless. It’s the saddest cherry blossom painting I’ve ever seen.

The real star of the show really was the K-Palette Mega Cute eyelid glue. It comes in two variants, one called the “tape” and the other “glue.” I have actually been looking for a good one for a number of weeks now, because I have an issue with my droopy eyelids. K-Palette Mega Cute eyelid glue can be perfectly worn under makeup and has moisturizing ingredients that care for the delicate skin around the eyes.

On the table were the K-Palette products – concealers, the eyelid glue, , mascara, eyeliners, and brow liners. If you’re a makeup junkie, you would have heard of the K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo brow liner. Waterproof, smudgeproof, and idiot-proof, this brow liner gives you control, definition, wearability and color all in one easy package. It was fun trying all the stuff out.

Next on my to-buy list:

This concealer looks very very promising.

Japanese makeup artist Rina Ogata flew in from Japan to do a makeup demo.

An Instax photo with Rina and K-Palette’s Sales Manager, Mizuho Hakayama, for a souvenir.

Check out Mizuho’s eyeliner. All the rage in Japan. Trivia: The eye on the packaging of K-Palette is Mizuho’s. ūüėČ

Photo op with Cheryl Chua of Beautybox, the official distributor of K-Palette in the Philippines.

Did you know the “K” in K-Palette stands for “Kinoshita”? This is Mr. Eiji Kinoshita, CEO of K-Palette.

Inside our press kits were the K-Palette Mega Cute eyelid glue, the brow liners and the liquid eyeliner.

Here’s me trying out K-Palette’s products.

  1. My bare eye. Note the eyelid hooding on the outer corner that makes my eye slope down.
  2. With the K-Palette brow liner. It has two ends – a powder and liner. Very easy to use! This is in Chocolate Brown.
  3. My eye after applying the pink variant of K-Palette Mega Cute eyelid glue. Instant eyelift!
  4. This is how it looks when you close your eyes. I have to practice getting that seam as thin as possible. #likemycaesareansectionscar It may look weird, but I assure you it’s quite comfortable. You get used to how it feels after a few minutes.
  5. I added a bit of shadow. So now I don’t have to worry about my corner definition getting lost in the fold.
  6. Used the K-Palette liquid eyeliner. With the eyelid hood out of the way, creating this wing is so much easier.

Thank you for having me Beautybox Corp.! It was a great afternoon.

K-Palette Mega Cute eyelid glue, brow liners, mascara and eyeliners are available in Beauty Bar outlets nationwide.

 

 

On A High from Breastfeeding Uncovered!

The day finally came! It was time to hear Dr. Jack Newman speak!

May I confess that everytime I thought of him coming here I shed tears. Yes, I am very¬†iyakin. It’s quite embarrassing actually. But when I think of how he’s helped over 40,000 babies successfully breastfeed and the hours I spent watching his videos in the middle of the night, I can’t help it. He’s practically Basti’s pediatrician.

And he came, he spoke and we, as my co-LATCHer Em succinctly put it, were Encouraged, Enlightened and Empowered. My passion for the advocacy was fueled even more hearing about breastfeeding straight from him. I have so many thoughts in my mind, but here are a few that struck me:

    1. ON HYPOGLYCEMIA: Colostrum is the best milk to prevent and treat newborns with hypoglycemia. EDIT: Unlike formula, colostrum does not stimulate the secretion of insulin in the baby.¬†(Thank you Doc Zeka! I must admit some of the technical medical jargon was confusing for me. I must review! I just read the slide that said this. Talk about mush brain!) I’ve heard many people tell me they were not able to breastfeed their children right away because of low blood sugar. He also talked about how mothers whose babies are at risk for hypoglycemia are helped to express colostrum so that this may be added to the colostrum baby gets from birth.
    2. ON JAUNDICE: Jaundice is not a contraindication to breastfeeding. Formula is never the answer to jaundice. There is no reason to stop breastfeeding just to diagnose jaundice.¬†The solution: FIX THE BREASTFEEDING. Encourage effective feedings. From a study, it was discovered that there is no evidence that¬†bilirubin levels of 20 mg% are hazardous to healthy term infants. If the reason is ABO incompatibility, it’s still not a reason to stop breastfeeding since this presupposes the notion that jaundice is caused by breastmilk.
    3. The tyranny of documentation and numbers. We should stop worrying so much about the numbers – weights, ounces of milk, how many ounces to consume, growth charts, etc. Focus on the breastfeeding, focus on the baby. Happy, healthy, thriving babies are always a good sign. Let us not create problems when there are none. So throw that feeding chart away, delete that nursing app, and focus on the actual breastfeeding.
    4. The reasons for a late onset of milk supply decrease. Dr. Jack cited reasons for this, such as the use of hormonal birth control, a new pregnancy, sleep training (I am not a fan of sleep training, so this was good news to me!), and frequent bottle use (teaches a baby a poor latch).

All in all, I learned a lot that can help me become a better breastfeeding counselor and educator. And, even if we knew the importance of this before, I am even more driven now to study techniques for proper latching and feeding. All the problems boil down to one simple solution: FIX THE BREASTFEEDING. I was very happy to see health professionals in the audience. More than the valuable knowledge that Dr. Newman shared, I hope they also saw the passion for breastfeeding that was expressed by the lay people in the audience and their need for our medical professionals to be knowledgeable about breastfeeding. I hate hearing horror stories of how medical professionals had influence on breastfeeding failure. It breaks my heart especially when they are in the front line of maternal and infant care.

I am so proud of my co-LATCHERs. Everyone did such a wonderful job.

Standing from L-R: Jen, Amelia, Maia, Iris, Dr. Jack, me, Paola, Ethel, Joyce, Em. Sitting from L-R: Mec, Bessie, Buding, Jenny, Sylvia, Claire.

The moving force behind Breastfeeding Uncovered, Jenny and Sylvia. Thank you for keeping us on our toes!

Dr. Jack is so warm, humble and easy to approach. Meeting him was a trip. Look at how giddy we all are.

He gamely signed books and shirts, and took pictures with the participants, even with the babies.

At the LATCH dinner, he even tried out tinikling! Hehe!

With the LATCHers.

Nanay Ines. Another breastfeeding superstar!

The ladies of LATCH.

We owe the creation of LATCH to these women, the founding members. (We forgot to bring Zeka’s tarpaulin along. LOL)

Top: Ana, Jen, Sylvia. Bottom: Amelia, Corinne, Buding.

Thank you Dr. Jack for coming to Manila and sharing your knowledge with us. I owe a part of this little boy’s health to you!

This is not the end. The road of the breastfeeding advocacy is long, winding and totally uphill. LATCH is dedicated to being even more passionate in constantly offering opportunities to learn about breastfeeding so that we can all be encouraged, enlightened and empowered.  Breastfeeding is for EVERYBODY. It is a life-saving, country-developing, world-changing act that starts with one mother-baby pair at a time.

My ending thoughts as this wonderful breastfeeding-themed weekend comes to a close: I will not be discouraged. I will not be derailed. I will focus on the people who need help, not the cacophony of negativity and whining that surrounds any advocacy. I will not let voices who complain how things cannot be done dis-empower me. We are the mothers, we are the breastfeeders, and we can do this!!!

Give life. Live life. Breastfeed!