Happy week ahead! - April 30, 2012

Hello mommies! Another week has flown by and I'm closer than ever to my due date. I'm a little bit nervous, but very excited to get to meet my baby boy. But that's for another post. For now, I'd like to look back on all the blessings of the past week.

  • The cost for repairing J's aircon wasn't as bad as we expected. Fortunately, I have a husband who's well-versed in mechanical parts and saved us a bundle.
  • A fruitful session on how to increase your breastmilk supply at the Medela House last Saturday. I also got some advice on how to use a baby sling and I'm looking forward to purchasing my own at Expo Mom 2012. Our SaYa sling has served us well, but I think I'll save that for when Little C is bigger.
  • Little C's latest ultrasound (just yesterday) showed that's he's the right size for his gestational age (approximately 6 lbs. 3 oz.) and he's in a cephalic or head-down position, ready for his grand entrance! He's as healthy as can be, with a strong heartbeat and great fetal movement. 
  • New maid arrived just this morning. Yay! Fingers crossed that this one turns out alright.

That's it for this week, mommies! Looking forward to the week ahead. I've officially started on my "maternity leave" and I'll be keeping myself busy with birth preps. Have a great week!

Another Cloth Diapers 101 Session!

Good news, mommies! For those of you who missed the first Cloth Diapers (CD) 101 session at the Medela House, Mommy Maricel of Medela Moms just let me know that Mommies Jenny, Jen, Clarice and Abie have kindly agreed to conduct another one.

The next Cloth Diapers (CD) 101 seminar will be held on July 7, 2012, from 1:00 - 3:00 pm at the Medela House. Watch out for more details on how to register! I'll be posting them as soon as I get more news.

Have a great day!

P.S. J woke up to dry jammies today! No leaks! :-)

Cloth Diapers 101: Great Learning Session!

Last Saturday (April 21), I attended the Cloth Diapers 101 seminar held at the Medela House. This talk was organized by Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, Jen of Next9, and Clarice and Abie of Tickled Moms.

I brought J to the Medela House with me, and our two yayas so they could learn more about cloth diapers, particularly on how to use them properly and how to wash them. We got there just a few minutes after the session started, because I had to wait for J to wake up from his nap. :-)
Here's J with Mommy Clarice's adorable little girl!
I found the session really informative and I picked up lots of useful tips from Mommies Clarice, Abie and the two Jens on how to properly use my cloth diapers. For mommies who were unable to attend, here are some of the new things I learned about using cloth diapers: (Fair warning, I didn't really pay much attention to the parts about other diapers, and just focused on the tips on using pocket diapers!)
  1. Before using your cloth diapers, you should prepare them first. Which I didn't do. What I did was just wash them once before putting them on J. According to Mommy Abie, that's okay if you're using synthetic fabrics (such as microfibers, which I use). But if you're using natural fabrics like bamboo or hemp, you have to prepare them by washing 4-6 times in hot water or 7-9 times in cold water.
  2. Inserts or soakers have different absorption rates. From fastest to slowest, it's microfiber, bamboo, then hemp. They also have different levels of absorbency. Hemp is the most absorbent, then bamboo, then microfiber.
  3. You shouldn't put microfiber next to baby's skin. Because it's so absorbent, it tends to soak out the moisture from your baby's skin, so it dries out baby's butt. I didn't know that, but I'm glad I found out, because we haven't been putting the soakers inside the pockets. Now we do.
  4. Don't wash natural fabrics with microfibers, because the natural fabrics release oils that may cling to your microfiber soakers and cause them to repel water.
  5. Don't use chlorine bleaches like Zonrox to wash your diapers. If you have to use bleach, use Oxy-bleach. You can get this at S&R.
  6. To avoid stinking up the room during the night, put soiled nappies in a covered trash can or pail. (Which is actually common sense, when you think about it.) We used to have a problem with this because J went through a lot of nappies during the night and by morning, his room really smelled bad. Ew.
  7. Stains can be removed using any of the following: lemon juice, oxy-bleach, hydrogen peroxide (1/2 cup in rinse water), or white vinegar (1/4-1/2 cup in rinse water). Exposure to Mr. Sun is also a good idea.
  8. If you perform an absorbency test and your nappies are no longer soaking up liquids, then it's time to strip! Your diapers, I mean. :-) By stripping, you can either soak your nappies in soapy water (1/2 tsp. of dishwashing liquid such as Axion or Joy with water for 30 minutes will work for a dozen diapers). Pockets may be scrubbed with a soft brush and should be rinsed until no soap suds are left. Soakers may also be stripped by boiling for 15 minutes. Don't boil the pockets! You'll ruin the plastic.
  9. Smells can be due to using too much detergent. In cases like this, it's time to strip again! You can also use 1/2 cup of baking soda dissolved in the rinse water.
  10. The pockets should be dried horizontally to avoid straining the elastic on the legs.
And aside from helpful tips, I also picked up new additions to our cloth diaper stash. While our collection has been made up mostly of Next9 diapers, I decided to try some from Sunbaby, which has a waterproof lining around the waist, for nighttime use.

Our new purchases from Tickled Moms

Apart from the four adorable pockets I picked up, I also bought some cloth wipes to use for Little C and some bamboo inserts or soakers. From what I learned during the talk, the bamboo inserts have the same absorbency as the microfibers, but are way thinner so it's not as thick or bulky when placed inside the pockets. They're actually half the thickness of the microfiber soakers. Like the Sunbaby diapers, these were bought with the intent of trying to go on full-time cloth diaper mode.

As you know, we've been using cloth diapers on J during the daytime, but have run into some problems with night-time diapering, particularly since J doesn't like being moved around at night. But lately, he's been okay with it, so we took advantage and tried some of the tips that we learned on nighttime diapering.

The most important thing I picked up was how to increase the absorbency of the diapers for nighttime use. As I mentioned before, we tried using two microfibers but J either found them too bulky or too warm and didn't really like them. According to the speakers, you can layer one microfiber and one bamboo soaker so it's thinner, with the microfiber soaker on top.

J napping in his new Sunbaby diapers
Like me, Yaya also found the session very helpful and she was encouraged to try nighttime diapering on J again. She's experimenting on her own and putting two microfibers together, with one extra bamboo layer to increase the nappy's absorbency. She changes the nappy every 2 hours or so and J stayed leak free! So far, it's been 4 days of full-time cloth diapering, even during nap time and at night, and we've been largely successful!

The only problem we've encountered so far happens in the morning, near J's wake-up time, because he's usually soaked through the diapers by then. We need to change the nappy around 6am but we can't, because then he'd wake up too early, so the nappy Yaya puts on him at around 4:30 or 5:30 has to last until 7:30 at least.

I'm really glad I took the time to attend this session. Our CD-ing experience has greatly improved and hopefully, we can keep J on full-time cloth diaper mode from now on. :-)

To other mommies, especially expectant moms, I really encourage you to attend as many classes, seminars and talks as you can before you give birth. Based on my experience, there really is a lot to learn and we're lucky to have access to other moms who are so generous with their time to share their knowledge.

As for me, I'm really looking forward to attending two more learning sessions before my big belly and I go on hiatus for Little C's due date. For expectant moms who are planning to breastfeed, there will be a talk on how to increase your breastmilk supply (with babywearing tips) on April 28 (9am to 11am) and Breastfeeding 101 on May 5 (9am to 11am). Both sessions will be held at the Medela House, so text Medela Moms through 0917-5614366 to register.

So to end this very long post (you can see how happy I am about all the new stuff I learned), I'd like to say thanks to Mommies Jenny, Jen, Clarice and Abby for being so generous with their time and knowledge and for a wonderful learning session!

On Being a Second-Time Mom

In less than 6 weeks, Little C makes his grand entrance into our lives. Despite my fears at having two kids under the age of 2, I have to say that being a second-time mom does have its advantages. As I told one of my friends who is expecting her first baby, parenting is one of those things that you can only learn about from experience, and the time we've had with J has taught us a lot of things that should make the adjustment to having another baby in the house a bit easier.

For one thing, the shake-up to our daily routine wouldn't be as extreme as it was when J was born. That was one of the things that I had trouble adjusting to. I was so used to having quality time with Big C as the day winds down, and it was a pretty big change for me that we now had to make room for J. Truth is, you know your life will change once you have a baby, but let's face it. No one really thinks about the particulars or the minute details of what the changes will be. They come along and you kind of just learn to roll with the punches.

That's also another good thing about having one kid already. It makes you more flexible when it comes to changes. I've always been a rigid person when it comes to my schedule and plans, but with a baby, scheduling becomes quite trickier. I've learned to adjust daily plans depending on what time my son wakes up, because that pretty much decides his schedule for the rest of the day (what time he'll nap, when he'll need a bottle or to eat, etc.) Leaving on time is also pretty much impossible. I've learned to factor in the delays that come with having a baby when I make plans, especially with other people.

On the flipside, being flexible doesn't mean that I go with the flow all the time. I've learned to accept that my time is no longer my own, but that just means I have to be able to time my activities to consider J's needs. I have to be careful about scheduling outings. For instance, the time I leave mostly depends on what time J wakes up, because I don't like leaving the house without saying good-bye to him. Extensions on the time I spend outside the home are a no-no for me now. When I say that I have to be home at a certain time, I make sure to stick to it, especially now that J is bigger and knows how to miss Mommy. I want my son to know that he can always count on Mommy to keep her word; if I say I'll be home by the time he wakes up from his nap, I make sure that I'm there.

My experience with J has also taught me to sleep like a ninja. Funny as it sounds, I think it's one of the most important skills that you develop as a mom. You wake at the slightest sound because that means your baby needs something and you're instantly alert. While I've always been a pretty light sleeper, it was still an adjustment for me because it would take me a while to fall back asleep. But now, as soon as J's done with his bottle, it's back to dreamland for me to give my body much-needed rest. Otherwise, had my body not adjusted, I would have fallen asleep just in time for J to need another feeding.

I also have a feeling that the fatigue won't take me by surprise anymore. When you're a first-time mom, people tell you to get lots of rest before the baby arrives because you'll need it. And while you know that a newborn comes with sleepless nights, there is no way that you will understand what it's like until you've been there yourself. I knew I'd be tired, but I had no idea it would be like that. I still don't think there is anyone in the world as tired as a first-time mom breastfeeding her child. Since J still pretty much keeps a newborn's schedule when it comes to night feedings, I've gotten used to waking up four or five times during the night. Granted, I don't do it every night, since J doesn't sleep with us, but we did pretty well when Yaya went on a vacation and I feel much more confident about handling the tiredness that comes with caring for a newborn.

The discovery of my maternal instincts was also a welcome surprise. I've always wondered if all women had those and I secretly doubted having them myself, but I'd have to say that there really is an inexplicable bond that exists between a mother and her child. You know instinctively when something's wrong with your child, even though you have zero experience when it comes to kids. At least that's what happened to me. In the beginning, I allowed others to influence the decisions that I made for my children, because I was scared and unsure, but as time passed, I realized that in some cases, Mommy does know best. Now, with Little C, although help and advice will still be welcomed, I know now that I shouldn't second-guess myself.

Best of all, I won't be living under the delusion that things will be easy. As a first-time parent, I saw all of it as a great, exciting adventure, and when things got difficult, I got overwhelmed. Now, with a better idea of what to expect, I am more mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with the challenges as they come along. I've learned that even the worst days will pass and that tomorrow might just be a little bit better.

So here I am, on the verge of second-time motherhood, hoping against hope that I'm right and that my first experience with J has made me more prepared to be a better mom for Little C. But if I'm right, there are even more lessons in store for this young mom. Have a happy day!

Starting the Week Right: April 23, 2012

Another week rolls by and it's Monday again. Let's start our week right by looking back at the good things that happened last week:

  • Real Diaper Week Carnival, for giving me the chance to share my experience with other mommies on cloth diapering and to learn from other mommies as well (I picked up lots of useful tips! For moms interested in cloth diapering, check out the posts for the Real Diaper Week Carnival here)
  • Big C fixed my broken freezer drawer! It looks a bit weird, but at least we don't have to buy a new one. (Do you know how much those things cost?!?)
  • Our 2-day streak with night-time cloth diapering after attending the CD101 seminar at the Medela House (will post on this later this week)
  • A kind bank teller who let me skip the looooooong line out of consideration for me and my big tummy
  • Another dragon baby batchmate for our Little C!
Here's to a great week ahead! And now, my day begins. :-) Good morning, mommies!

J's Shenanigans: Hold-up!

Big C came home to a good, old-fashioned mugging yesterday... by his own little boy!

J was already waiting at the door, with his hand held palm-up, his fingers waggling. (It's his sign for "give me".)

Now, Big C already knew what he wants (the car keys), but he played dumb and gives J the food container that held his breakfast.

J shook his head and kept waggling his fingers, and started patting around Daddy's pockets, which made Big C laugh and finally give J the keys he was looking for.

So J's finally happy! He grabbed the keys and walked away to play. :-)

Happy weekend, mommies!

The Mischievous Adventures of my Little J

The purpose of this blog is to be an album of sorts to keep memories of my sons in, and what mother's memory wouldn't be complete without periodic anecdotes of her little ones' funny/adorable/exasperating antics?

Here are some new ones from J:

  • He loves his shoes. Every morning after his bath, he'll insist on wearing his rubber shoes for his morning walk to his grandparents' house. We've taught him how to take it off by himself, and we're working on teaching him how to put it on. He's getting it pretty quickly. Socks are a bit harder for him, though. 
  • He's obsessed with plugging appliances! Oh. My. God. Because of my nightmares of him getting electrocuted, we've been very firm about not letting him play with electrical outlets. (Those safety socket plugs are useless. They are no match for my son's little fingers.) But I kind of get the feeling that the forbidden-ness of the whole thing is what makes it so alluring for him, so after discussing it with C, I've decided to allow him to plug one electric fan into one particular socket at home, but emphasized strict rules on when he is allowed to do it (or as strict as one can possibly get when discussing rules with a 17-month-old toddler). He knows that he is only allowed to plug the fan into that one socket, and only when Mommy, Daddy, or Yaya is around to help him. So far, I think it's working. It's easier to dissuade him from trying with the other sockets when I remind him that he's only allowed to plug the electric fan into that one place.
  • He can stand by himself in the baby pool and has become really brave about dunking his face into the water (but only for a nanosecond!). 
  • He's started showing interest in feeding himself. I mean, he's been able to feed himself finger foods for quite some time now, but lately, he's learning how to hold a spoon and with guidance from Yaya or Mommy, can eat his porridge or mashed veggies on his own. (Rice and soup are a bit too messy, so I haven't let him try with that yet.)
  • When driving around with Daddy, J stays by himself in the back. He sits in the seat or stands while they go in random circles around the complex, but when it's time to come home, he clings to the seat like it's a lifeline because he doesn't want to leave the car. One time, Yaya came to the car door to take him out and he scampered to the other side to get away from her. He was so surprised when the door opened and she was there!
  • He'll pretend to play with your hands, using his small hands to make your hands clap, then before you know it... CHOMP! He's taken a bite out of your finger!
He really cracks me up sometimes. :-)

On "The Sweetness of the Second Child"

Loved this post by Code Name: Mama on "The Sweetness of the Second Child"! It makes me even more excited for Little C's arrival. I especially loved these two passages within the post that were really meaningful for me:

"Unfortunately, I couldn’t go back and change the early months of tears and anger and desperation that marked my first months as Mama. My second child, though, she offered to me the power of redemption."

I had a similar experience with J. My lack of confidence in my ability to mother my child and my uncertainty of whether I was doing the right thing for J made me really sensitive, so I was crying a lot in the first few months. I felt like this tiny human being was so dependent on me and I had to be able to make it all better for him. When I couldn't, I felt a crushing mountain of guilt, and a sense that I had failed my son. My inability to produce the milk he needed only complicated matters further.

I like how the author expressed it; her second child offered her the power of redemption. Me, I would have put it in blunter terms: Little C is my do-over, my second chance. As I sit here, I look back on all the times that I let my own negative emotions get the best of me with J, and I thank my lucky stars that my son still turned out to be a sunny, sweet little boy whose smile never fails to brighten my day.

I've always believed that there are no such things as mistakes, only learning opportunities. My experience with J is no different. The pitfalls that severely hampered my breastfeeding journey with J will be the ones that I will strive to avoid in nursing Little C. All the things I did wrong with J become lessons on what I should do with Little C. Little C offers me the second chance to become a better mother this time around.

"Those first babies do the hard work of breaking us in and smoothing off the rough edges of who we thought we would be as mothers. The babies that come after owe an enormous gift of gratitude to those first-borns, I think, because they weather our anxieties, worries, and insecurities. With the babies that follow, we know better than to waste time with worry. Once we get a taste of how fleeting the baby days are, we learn the importance of savoring each moment, drinking in the sweetness of the second."

I always thought that Little C was short-changed. When I was pregnant with J, I took such good care of myself, health-wise. I ate all the right foods, watched my diet carefully, and I had all the time in the world to make myself strengthening and nutritious soups and concoctions required for mothers-to-be. I studiously avoided foods that were thought to be bad for my unborn child. I rested often and didn't wear myself out. But with Little C, nutritious meals went straight to big brother J. I was always tired; even though I wasn't the one watching J through the day, I made it a point to play with him and spend time with him, and anyone who's tried to take care of a toddler can tell you how exhausting it is. I didn't get nearly enough rest. With J, I could sleep in until 8 every morning, but while pregnant with Little C, I'm lucky if I make it past 6:30 am.

But after reading this article, I realized that Little C is lucky in his own way. As Code Name: Mama put it, J bore the brunt of my anxieties, worries and insecurities. While I think that moments of panic, indecision and insecurity will still arise, the lessons I learned when J was younger and the confidence I gained in caring for him day to day will be all for Little C's benefit.

Most importantly, I learned that infancy is really a short period in a human being's life. This time, I won't be in such a hurry to see him roll over, crawl, pull up, or reach all the milestones that mark his progression into becoming a toddler, then a child, then a teenager, then before I know it, an adult.

Now that J is almost 18 months old, I wish with all my heart that I could go back to the time when he was a little baby. As first-time parents, Big C and I were so excited by every new thing he did. But when we look at him now, we realize how quickly the days have passed. We think back to the time when we first met him and I know we both wish we had spent more time enjoying his days as an infant, instead of being so impatient for him to reach his milestones.

Without my noticing it, my firstborn has grown up, far too quickly for my liking. While I know the days will be as fleeting for my second child, I've learned enough to savor each moment as it comes, because my babies won't be babies forever.

Searching for Blessings: April 16, 2012

For this past week, I'm thankful for:

  • The chance to stay at home this week (for the most part) and rest
  • Little's C's head-down position in preparation for his grand arrival (I really, really hope he doesn't flip over anymore.)
  • Yaya came home from her day-off on time! Ye-hey! (Haha.. Admit it, mommies! You get why this is a good thing.)
  • New work policies that will allow me to earn more
  • A hearty Sunday lunch with my one and only that made my tummy and Little C very, very happy
  • Family swimming time with Big C and J

It's barely noon, but it's been a hectic, stressful Monday for me which is why this was a late post. I have to admit that it was a challenge to be thankful, but making a deliberate effort to identify the blessings I've received the past week has helped lift the weight. I hope it's the same for you! Have a great week ahead!

Transitioning to Cloth Diapers

This post is written for the Real Diaper Week Carnival with the theme "Real Simple. Real Diapers."  We aim to educate and advocate the use of cloth diapers in the Philippines.  Please scroll below to read the other carnival posts about cloth diaper styles, how to's or must haves. 

While most mommies made the transition to using cloth diapers as a result of wanting to be more eco-friendly, or to create a more natural household, I have to admit that my primary reason for switching to cloth diapers was more selfish and shallow. The costs of keeping my baby's butt under wraps was taking a serious toll on the family budget and I was looking for a more economical solution. Lucky for me, the economical solution also meant the earth-friendly and natural solution.

We started using cloth diapers for J shortly after he turned 1. I was walking in the mall and I saw a display for cloth diapers with the most adorable designs. (Again, I emphasize that the switch to cloth diapers was not entirely altruistic on my part.) Right then and there, I decided to try out cloth diapers and we haven't looked back since.

Today, J is on full cloth-diaper mode during the daytime, which cut our diaper costs in half. We only use disposable diapers at night and when we go out. I have to say, I am not yet that confident about using cloth diapers on outings with J, but I'm looking forward to learning more about how other mommies do it so that we can try it out. We did make a serious attempt at completely using cloth diapers, but J pees a lot more during the night than he does during the day, which meant that he needed to be changed every hour. That's not so much the problem, since Yaya was very diligent when it came to changes. The problem was, my little man didn't like being disturbed while he slept, so it was back to disposables at night for us.

Anyway, for other moms who are thinking of making the switch, but are a little daunted by the thought, here are some of the things I learned when we started using cloth diapers with J:

1. Cloth diapers are not scary. Most moms are probably intimidated at the thought of using cloth diapers, since we came from a generation where cloth diapers mean gauze diapers that needed to be changed after the baby pees once and leak all over the floor. I even imagined a whole scary mountain-load of laundry everyday, given the way my son pees. But as with the evolution of mankind, cloth diapers have come a long way from the old-fashioned lampin. They now come with an inner pad (similar to the ones we use for our periods, only reusable) and a waterproof outer shell that keeps moisture in, so it doesn't leak right away.

Generally, you just have to change the inner pad and you can reuse the outer shell so long as it hasn't leaked through yet, so it's good for at least an hour and a half or two hours. In J's case, he pees less before lunch, so one set lasts us from his morning bath (about 7 a.m.) until it's time for lunch (about 10:30 a.m.) But for the rest of the day, it's an hour and a half between changes so the pad doesn't leak.

Even washing poop off it isn't as bad as you imagine. I can attest to this, since I've tried washing the diapers myself. Unless the poop is the watery kind, it generally washes right off. When the poop is stickier, I try to brush off as much of it as I can into the toilet using tissue and just flush it down, then wash the pad. If it's the solid kind of poop, lucky you! It will just plop right down into the toilet, with a minimum of staining on the pad itself, making washing easier.

2. Start out with one or two diapers first. Don't go nuts and buy a whole stash. Try out one or two first from one brand and see how that works out. Then try another brand and see if that works better. While cloth diapers come in a basic format, there are a lot of options. Some use buttons, some use velcro fasteners. Some are one-sized to fit babies from birth to 3 years of age, while some come in sizes of small, medium and large. Just as you would with disposables, find the one that your child is the most comfortable with. When you find one that you and baby are satisfied with, stick with that.

I started with one outer shell and two inner pads, just to give us a feel for what it would be like. When my son expressed no complaints about the change, I bought a set of 3 outer shells and 3 extra inserts (the outer shells usually come with one insert each, depending on which brand you purchase). This gave us enough to get through the days. Yaya would wash each diaper as soon as it was soiled and hang it out to dry. We only ran into problems during a week of constant rains. The diapers didn't dry in time, so I bought an extra set in case of rainy weather. Moms who only do laundry only once or twice a week should stock up on more diapers. I've been told that in cases like this, you can just rinse out the soiled diaper with water, then soak in soapy water until it's laundry day. I've never tried that though.

3. There's a lot of trial and error involved. Peeing habits and comfort levels differ from one child to another. My son drinks a lot of water and milk, so understandably, he also pees a lot. Since we were used to disposables, we'd forget to change his diaper until it finally leaked through his clothes. But with some observation and experimentation, we found that the maximum time that the inner pad would last without leaking through the shell is an hour and half. By following this basic time frame, the waterproof outer shell stays dry, and the only thing we need to wash is the inner pad. However, this may not be the case with your child. The first few days are really about observation and you really have to find out what works best for your baby. For instance, I read somewhere that during the night, you can put two inner pads instead of one to increase absorbency, so we tried that, but J didn't like it very much. Since he tends to get warm really easily, I'm guessing the two pads was too hot for him.

4. Arm yourself with information. As with anything, information is power. We're lucky to be moms at a time when the internet allows us to tap into the knowledge of other mommies who have gone through the same experiences. Moms are by nature generous and there's always help to be found when you need it, in the form of blogs and forums where moms share handy tips and tricks. Before you shop for cloth diapers, search for reviews: what brands got the best reviews, what were the problems encountered by moms when using this or that diaper. Compare prices. Determine the pros and cons of each. Troubleshoot by haunting forums to see what other moms did in similar

While my foray into cloth diapering didn't start because of selfless reasons, I'm glad that we made the transition already. I haven't given up on going on full cloth diaper mode, and with my new little bundle of joy making his appearance in less than two months, we hope to have him on cloth diapers as soon as humanly possible. The main goal is still removing disposables from our household altogether, but our part-time cloth diapering status has given us a lot of food for thought, which will be greatly helpful when the next little butt comes around for a change. In the meantime, I hope you'll join me in reading through the other great entries sent by other cloth diapering mommies and picking up some useful tips and tricks. (Click on the links!)

Other entries for Real Diaper Week:

Going Out of Town with Cloth Diapers by Chronicles of a Nursing Mom
Real Diapers by Miriam Ticsay
Matteo's Diaper Story by Happy Tots Studio
Our CD Journey by Hoo Goes Where
We Choose Cloth by Misisagun
Z Loves: Next9 Cloth Diapers by Young.Mom.Love
The CD Revolution by Jen CC Tan of Next9 Diapers
Cloth Diapers? Where? by Ms. Masungit
Nurturing Rafael: The Cloth Diaper Chronicles by Dinna
Stuff You Need for an Easier CD-ing Life by Tickled Moms' Clarice
Making the Switch to Cloth Diapers by The Articulate Pen
What We Love About Cloth Diapers by Swept Away
Surviving the Holidays with Cloth Diapers by The Common Mom
Out and About with Cloth Diapers by Organized Junk
Cloth Diapers: A Review of the Different Systems by Tickled Moms' Abie

The Slowdown Begins

I have been relatively active through all my pregnancies. Even through the ninth month, I would still drive myself to the supermarket or to run errands. I figured, as long as I stayed relatively close to home, it was okay, since Big C was close by and could come get me if an emergency came up.

This pregnancy is different though. With working, managing the house and caring for J, I have been more active than normal. Add to that my sudden, strange impulses to fix/clean/organize everything in the house, and I am one busy pregnant woman. The timing also didn't help. In addition to all the wonderful sales (that I just had to go to!) and the start of summer vacation, which meant that old friends suddenly had a lot of time to catch up, I've been out of the house a lot.

Now, with just a little over 6 weeks to go until my due date, Big C has started gently reminding me to cut back on my activities. He specifically requested that I avoid going out by myself unless it was absolutely necessary and to not wander too far from home. My Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions have started earlier and stronger than before, and since this is my third birth in four years, we're worried that wearing myself out will result in pre-term labor. So as I promised Big C, I imposed a moratorium on myself for the next six weeks to cut back on unnecessary outings, especially if I'll be driving myself.

I have started looking at my schedule and listing the important things I still have to do before giving birth. That includes doing the groceries, doctor's appointments for me and J, banking errands and visits to my mom. But as part of my preparation for Little C's arrival, I've made exceptions for four upcoming mommy activities that I am really, really looking forward to. (Click on the links for more information about each!)

1. Cloth Diapers 101 (April 21, 1:30 to 4:00 pm at the Medela House) - This is organized by Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, targeted especially for expectant moms who are interested in using cloth diapers but are intimidated by the idea. We've already started using cloth diapers here at home, but I'll be bringing the two yayas who are caring for my boys so that they also learn about proper usage and cleaning techniques. Moms who are interested in joining the talk can register using this form.

2. How to Increase Milk Supply: Breastfeeding Tips (April 28, 9:00 am at the Medela House) - Every expectant mom worries about the possibility of not having enough milk for their little ones, so I'm definitely attending this session. This session will also include tips on babywearing and since I missed the last babywearing meet, I'm looking forward to clarifying some of my concerns. This talk is organized by The Breastfeeding Club (TBC) of Medela Moms. Registration is needed for this activity, so if you're interested you can text Medela Moms at 0917-5614366 or email Snacks will be provided by Ella Eats and Mommy Treats.

3. Breastfeeding 101 (May 5, 9am at the Medela House) - I missed this talk the first time around and the timing is perfect, since it's just a few weeks before my due date. I'll be able to refresh myself on the important points of breastfeeding and pick up some helpful tips and tricks. I'm also really psyched because I've just about convinced my mom to attend the talk with me.

4. Expo Mom 2012 (May 5-6, Rockwell Tent) - Described as the "premier lifestyle event for moms in Manila, it's a trade expo, all-day workshop, shopping destination, mommy party, family occasion and mompreneur lab all rolled into one", Expo Mom is one of the activities I look forward to yearly, along with the SM Grand Baby Sale and Mommy Diaries. It's a good place to check out the items from Multiply sellers  and my favorite mompreneurs, so there's all kinds of goodies for mommies and kids. (And actually, this doesn't really count since Big C will be going with me.)

So that's it for me! After these 4 activities, it's rest time! And since J is still young enough for me to remember what it was like in the first few weeks, believe me when I tell you that I'll be maximizing the slowdown.

Crying at Doctor's Appointments

I love my son, but there are two things that I especially hate doing with him. The first is getting his hair cut (although we're making a bit of progress on that). The second is taking him to the doctor.

See, J hates his doctor. He cries at the sight of her and absolutely refuses to let her touch him. It wasn't always like that, though. He used to be okay with going to the doctor. He'd cry when he got his vaccines, but he pretty much got along with his doctor. I noticed that the fussing and crying started after he was hospitalized when he was 9 months old for pneumonia. Since then, taking him to the doctor has been a real trial of patience. I'm guessing that the experience of being poked and prodded and hooked to a dextrose probably traumatized him. (An alternate theory posed by a relative was that it bothers him now because he is old enough to recognize people and associate the doctor with the vaccines, but I think my theory fits better.)

So, yesterday was his latest doctor's appointment and as usual, he was scheduled to get his vaccine shot. We're pretty much okay so long as we're in the waiting area outside the clinic. He's also calm when we're in the outer office with the secretary. But the minute we step into the actual clinic, my son turns into a banshee.

We were in the outer clinic getting his weight checked. Then I made the mistake of peeking into the inner office to say "hi",  where the doctor was waiting for her first patient (we were second on the list). As soon as J saw the doctor, he started crying and signing "out", meaning he wanted to leave already.

Since we were still supposed to wait, we took him back out into the hallway. His yaya was carrying him then, but he reached out to me, so I carried him, rubbed his back, and explained in calm voice why were were there. Following the advice of another mom, I explained that the doctor is a friend who helps keep him healthy and that Mommy wouldn't take him to a bad place ever. (A few days before the visit, I also tried to hype it up and tried to make the doctor's visit sound like a good thing.) He eventually stopped crying but he just clung to me. Despite my grown-up's understanding of why we were there, my heart broke a little at his distress.

We gave him a bottle of milk and he settled down with his yaya. When it was our turn, we went inside the clinic and he was still fine. Until the doctor touched him to check him lungs (a.k.a. hello-hello with the stethoscope). He forgot about his bottle and started crying again and reached out for me, so I took him into my arms to comfort him. Again, my heart was twisting painfully at J's crying pleas to leave, but we held on until his vaccine was administered.

Over his cries as he buried his face in the crook of my neck and shoulder, I managed to shoot off a couple of quick questions to the doctor about some of my urgent concerns. We left soon after that.

When I told Big C about the latest check-up, we discussed the possibility of switching to another doctor, one that J was more comfortable with. I have to admit that our pediatrician was nice, but she's a bit old and doesn't take the time to ease J's fears. She'd just go through with whatever needs to be done and send us on our way. It would also be nice to have a doctor's appointment where my son comes out smiling instead of wailing and to have a decent conversation with the doctor about any questions I may have. As it is, if it's not really urgent, I just save it for the next visit because my immediate concern is to get J out of there.

On the upside though, Big C and I appreciate the fact that our pedia has years of experience under her belt, which makes her very confident of her decisions when it comes to my son's health. We also appreciated how decisive she was, especially when J got really sick and had to be hospitalized. I know some moms frown at doctors who immediately prescribe medicines or forms of treatment, but when your kid is as sick as J was at that time, you need to see that something is being done to make it better. Also, we considered the fact that J was mostly "hiyang" with this doctor. He's (knock on wood) generally in good health, active and developing as he should.

So, mommies, the question to decide now is whether to switch to another pediatrician. I have some time before Little C is born to meet with other doctors and bring J with me to find someone that we are both comfortable with, but as it is, we're unsure about switching. In the meantime, I'm hoping that in time, he'll grow out of his fear of going to the doctor.

Happy MOM-ents: Wakey-wakey, Mommy!

Taking a break from work to record my precious mommy moment for today. :-)

I was feeling a little tired, so I decided to join J for his mid-day nap. I do this every so often, when I need a little shut-eye to get me through the rest of the day. At most, I get about 30-40 minutes of rest, which recharges me enough to finish working. But the best part isn't the nap. It's when J wakes up.

J takes after me. We both have exceedingly warm body temperatures and even in an air-conditioned room, keeping him snuggled next to me can be a bit uncomfortable for both of us. But today, missing the feel of my little boy, I cuddled him close with my arm around his tummy and Little C thumping away against his big brother's back.

When he rolled over, he woke up and when he saw me there, he smiled the happy, "hey, mommy!" smile he has when he's surprised to find me next to him. He put his little arms around my neck and sneaked his fingers into my ears and started to tickle me. It's a game Big C and I play with him, where we pretend to shriek with laughter when he tickles our ears. He loves it and it always makes him laugh.

So it's back to work for me! Enjoy the rest of the day! :-)

Work-At-Home Mom-me: Part 3 - What I Love About Being a WAHM

This is the third in a series of four posts about my experience as a work-at-home mom. The first two posts talked about how I started working from home, while the second described the challenges I faced as a WAHM. This third post will tell you about the things I love about my life as a WAHM.

Even with all the challenges of being a WAHM, I'd say based on my experience, overcoming these challenges is worth it because it comes with these benefits:

1. No external expenses - Working in an office may mean big bucks for a lot of women, but it also means big expenses. This can include transportation, food, clothing/make-up, plus occasional miscellaneous expenses (lunch out or gimmicks with colleagues, donations to birthday funds, etc.) that when added up, can take a serious chunk out of your paycheck. As a WAHM mom, I walk to my desk, eat the lunch that I would have cooked anyway if I had been working outside the house, and wear simple house clothes. The money I earn goes to where it should: savings for my family.

2. Flexi-time -  I mentioned scheduling as a challenge that comes with being a WAHM, but it also has a flip side. I may not have definite work hours, but at the end of the day, so long as I get the job done, no one cares what time I start or what time I end. Depending on how much work I'm assigned, I can schedule times to do the groceries, take care of household related tasks, take my son to doctor's appointments, or have some leisure time of my own to meet up with friends or do some shopping with my sisters.

3. Productivity-based earnings - During my stints as an employee, I've discovered that working on a fixed salary tends to be more advantageous for lazy, unproductive people. But for people like me who tend to maximize their day and get as much work done as possible, it's not so great. We don't get paid more if we're more efficient. But with the job I have right now, if I schedule myself properly and finish up a lot of work, I earn more. While this takes more responsibility on my part when it comes to scheduling my non-work-related activities, I like the discipline that it requires to ensure that I'm able to do everything that I'm supposed to, from being a mom, a wife, a homemaker and an employee.

4. Less obstacles to breastfeeding  -  Moms are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their babies, but I know that it's not that simple for a lot of mommies, especially those who need to sustain an outside job, which can make prolonged breastfeeding a challenge. I am very grateful that being a WAHM makes it a lot more manageable for me to make sure that Little C gets the best nutrition possible, for as long as he wants it.

5. Quality time with my family - I am writing this post after a nice, refreshing dip in the clubhouse pool with my little boy, and I'd have to say, this is the best perk of being a WAHM. I am always around.

I was there for all the milestones and firsts in J's life. I was there the first time he rolled over, sat, crawled, pulled himself up, and took his first steps. I was there the first time he said "mama", signed "thank you" and did all the wonderful things that babies do, and I will be there when Little C will do them all for the first time.

When J and Little C need me, I am always just in the next room to kiss a boo-boo, referee a fight, applaud a new achievement or to simply give them their hugs and kisses. If, god forbid, they should get sick, I am there to take care of them the whole day. When J was hospitalized a few months back for pneumonia, my entire focus was on my son's recovery and I was especially glad that I didn't have to worry about what was going on at work.

And apart from being a mom, I also a wife, and working from home allows me to give time and attention to the biggest of the three men in my life. I am there to make breakfast for my husband and send him off to another day at the office and I am here to prepare dinner for him when he comes home at night. We start and end our days together and talk about everything in between.

So what's a typical day like for this WAHM? Watch out for the last post in this series. Happy day to you all!

To TV or Not To TV?

Our son doesn't know how to watch TV.

Whenever we say this to people, we always get an expression of hilarious incredulity. Case in point, here's a typical conversation between me and/or Big C and a friend or relative who asks us about J:

Friend/Relative (F/R): Does he like (insert cartoon character's name)?
Us: He doesn't know them because he doesn't watch TV. 
F/R: What? (with matching expression of horror/disbelief) Why?
Us: Well, based on research, it's not good for kids.
Variety of responses from F/R: "But there are a lot of educational shows now for kids!" or "You should. You'll get so much done." and my personal favorite, from my dad. "You shouldn't restrict so many things for your son, he won't grow up normal. When you were younger, we let you watch a lot of educational videos and you learned so many things."

But do kids really learn from TV? When you view the videos they're supposed to watch, you think, "Yeah, they'll learn their ABCs and numbers. This looks good." And it really does look good. They have adorable animals who sing and dance and zoom around with letters and numbers floating around and it will make you believe that your kid will learn from this.

But recent research has shown that TV, especially a lot of TV in the early childhood years is actually bad for kids. Among other things, watching TV deprives them of crucial opportunities to learn from interacting with people, lowers the value of communication between parent and child, puts them at greater risk for attention deficit disorders, and sets a pattern of behavior that contributes to obesity in adulthood. And contrary to what we are told, educational videos aren't guaranteed to be educational. I recall a few years back, Disney issued a recall of their Baby Einstein videos, because apparently, these videos can't really make our kids smarter.

So, my son is 17 months old, and he doesn't watch TV. Don't get me wrong, he's not completely ignorant of cartoon characters. He loves Mickey Mouse, because his clothes mostly have Mickey designs. (God help us if we put him in plain whites. He'll look for the Mickeys and insist on changing if he can't find it.) He also knows Pooh, Tigger, and Barney because he has stuffed animals which were given to him. He's familiar with Cars, although he only sees them as regular cars and not as special cartoon characters. He's a regular kid in that sense. And there is some exposure to TV, when the maids watch TV downstairs and he plays with them. He loves the music of the commercials, but that's pretty much it. (Although, secondhand TV is also not good for kids, the maids are kawawa naman if I take away the only entertainment they have. Haha..)

Not letting him watch TV was a decision that Big C and I made together before J was born. We read the studies and discussed the pros and cons and decided on no TV until J turns 2, which is when we'll start letting him watch TV. Even then, what he watches will be closely supervised and only Daddy-and-Mommy-approved videos will make it onto his collection. We stand firm on our decision and opted to not have cable TV at home so he wouldn't have ready access to cartoons, which play all day long on kiddie channels.

I do have to admit, there are days when Big C and I question our decision to not let him watch TV. These are the days when he's being especially naughty and won't sit still and we silently wish for a few minutes of peace at the end of a long day. And now, with J approaching the big 2, we're starting to discuss how to balance letting him watch TV and keeping it away from Little C, who will only be 6 months old when J turns 2. We're still on the fence and we're thinking of keeping TV out of the equation until Little C is old enough for TV, but no firm decisions on that just yet. In making this decision, we had to ask ourselves, do we regret not training our kid to sit in front of the TV?

You see, J was an observant baby and we saw that from the moment he was born. At barely 2 days old, he was attuned and alert when it comes to his surroundings and at 17 months, he's become very adept at gauging the moods of the people around him. He imitates adult behavior, loves taking things apart and learning how to put them back together. He's always fascinated when you show him how to do something, and he'll sit still for long period of time to try and master a new skill (such as taking the battery cover off on the remote control and putting it back on). He likes watching Daddy tinker away and repair things, especially his broken toys. Although he doesn't really talk yet, he's learned to sign important words, like "yes", "no", "drink", "thank you", "sorry", "open", and "out" to let us know what he needs and he understands most of the things we say to him. My MIL credits it to his being forced to observe people and entertain himself with the things around him instead of being stuck in front of a TV whiling the day away, and while I don't really know how much of this is due to his being restricted from TV, Big C and I both feel that a lot of the things he knows right now, he learned from observing his surroundings, and we're glad he doesn't spend the majority of his day glued to the electronic babysitter.

So, to TV or not to TV? In the end though, the decision is yours. I still think that the issue of TV, just like issues such as breastfeeding, co-sleeping and attachment parenting are very personal and each family will make the decision that works best for them. In the meantime, here are some links to articles about watching TV at an early age that you can go through:

The Real Reason Why TV is Bad for the Kids
AAP on TV Viewing Time
AAP: Babies and Toddler Should Learn From Play, Not Screens
AAP: Some Children's TV Shows are Bad for their Brains
Watching TV is 'Bad for Children'
The Heart Attack Risk Facing Young Couch Potatoes
Too Much TV can be Bad Nanny for our Kids

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend, mommies!

Happy Monday! - April 9, 2012

For most families, I know the long weekend officially ends today. For our little family, the long weekend ended on Easter Sunday, because Big C goes back to work today and it's just a regular Monday for us. To start the week, I look back on the week that has passed and the good things that have happened.
  • The Holy Week break is meant for reflection and religious activities, but for a non-sectarian like me, Holy Week just means a chance to spend some quality time with my husband and son.
  • An enjoyable Black Saturday lunch with old friends who are now expectant parents like Big C and me!
  • My family made it back safely from their epic road trip.
  • An official announcement for ExpoMom 2012!
  • The chance to spend a quiet moment with G.
  • A rare expression of gratitude from a loving husband.
  • Just a little under 50 days until our little family of 3 becomes a little family of 4!
Enjoy the last day of the long weekend, mommies! And here's to a wonderful week ahead. :-)

Upcoming Activities for Expectant Moms

Hello all!

Before we start on the long weekend, I'd like to invite you to the following activities for moms coming up in the next few weeks:

  • Pregnant Pause 3 (sponsored by Urban Mom): April 14, 2012, 1:00-5:00 pm at Stock Market in Bonifacio High Street. Featured speakers include Rome Kanapi (childbirth educator), Jen Tan of Next9 Baby (Babywearing and attachment parenting) and Jeannie Castillo (Kindermusik for expectant parents). You can register by calling 470-0925 or 0917-8162524 during office hours. Limited slots are available so register as soon as you can if you're interested in attending.
The following are activities that will be held at the Medela House:
  • Cloth Diapers 101: April 21, 2012, 1:30 pm. This is organized by Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, together with Next9 Baby and Tickled Moms, for mommies who are interested in using cloth diapers for their babies.
  • Toddler Care: April 21, 2012, 2:00-4:00 pm
  • Breastfeeding Tips on Increasing Milk Supply and Other Parenting Concerns: April 28, 2012, 9:00 - 11:00 am
  • Babywearing and Breastfeeding Tips: April 28, 2012, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
To register for these activities, please text 0917-5614366 for instructions. Headcounts are needed for the activities for snacks. :-) For more information on the Medela House activities, check out this post from Mommy Pages.

Information is power, so mommies, let's make the most of the opportunity to learn more about how to take care of our little ones. In the meantime, I know we're all looking forward to taking a break from our usual grind. Enjoy the long weekend!

Work-At-Home Mom-me: Part II - My WAHM Challenges

This is the second in a series of four articles about my experience as a work-at-home mom (WAHM). I wrote a previous post on how I got started, and this one is about the challenges I faced.

Initially, when I started working at home, it was pretty easy. My first work-at-home job was writing articles and research papers which was child's play. It was pretty much what I did for four years in college, and writing has always been my strong suit. But this job didn't really pay as well as I hoped and when I got married, it became less of a priority compared to my responsibilities here at home. Plus, with my first pregnancy, I was always really tired and sleepy. By this I mean, I would fall asleep sometime after lunch and wake up in time to prepare dinner. This was a bit disconcerting for someone who usually made the most out of the day and would go through a full day on an average of 6 hours of sleep. Online writing eventually fell to the wayside.

Now, when people ask about my home-based job, I usually tell them I'm a statistical data analyst. Sounds intimidating right? In the beginning, it was.

That was the first challenge I faced. Although the job was still considered academic writing, it was writing about something that I had absolutely no background on. So as with any new skill that you have to acquire, I had to deal with the learning curve. It was slow going at first. It would take me more than a day just to read through the instructions for the project and another day to actually conduct the analysis needed. It was so hard that sometimes many times, I considered quitting. But no, I felt that the job paid really well so I stuck with it. With a lot of help from my sisters, D and K, we eventually overcame the learning curve problem and after more than 2 years on the job, it's actually gotten a lot easier and although I have yet to completely master the job, I think I've gotten much better at it.

Fortunately, my pregnancy with J was smooth sailing so it didn't really pose much of a problem work-wise. Although I was always tired, I decided to work throughout the day, to make sure that I was tired enough to fall straight into sleep at night, and that I would have no time to brood. That really worked in my favor productivity-wise. It gave me a lot of time to work and do the research I needed to complete projects and learn more about the work that I was doing. But while the learning curve was a challenge, it was nothing compared to what it would be like when J finally arrived.

Before I gave birth to J, I had already decided to take some "maternity leave". I didn't really give myself a fixed deadline on when I would go back to work, but mostly promised myself that I would go back. Big C also said that it would be a good idea to just see how things went and go back to work only when I felt I was ready for it. About 3 months postpartum, I felt ready enough to take on one or two projects a month to ease back into the routine.

As I expected, scheduling was a nightmare. Whereas before, I had around 8 uninterrupted hours to work, now, I had to make do with pockets of time to finish my projects. I also had to start late, because my mornings now involved nursing J, then overseeing his bath, and watching him while Yaya did the laundry and had some personal time. Usually, I'd take him for a walk to visit his grandmother, who lived a block from us. When I finally get to sit down at my desk, I had to get back up in an hour or so to nurse again. (Eventually, when J self-weaned at about 4 months, nursing turned to expressing milk.) 

There was also the problem of staying away from my son. As a first-time mom, I had to keep myself from constantly hovering and checking on him, making sure he was still breathing and that he was okay. A slight noise from the baby monitor would have me running to the next room to see what he needed. And to be perfectly honest, when you have an adorable little boy in the next room, watching him sleep was infinitely preferable to working on statistical data.

My own work personality was also a problem that I had to deal with. I am one of those people who cannot work on a stop-start basis. Once I get into my groove and find a train of thought, I have to see it through until I'm done, otherwise, I lose it and I have to start from scratch again. (Scratch being staring blankly at the monitor wondering how to do it.) 

But as most moms do, I learned to adapt. And thankfully, J settled into a semi-predictable routine I could work around. My production level increased to pre-J levels, which I'm really happy about, because that means more money set aside for my boys. 

Now, one of my biggest challenges is dealing with the guilt. Compared to other moms who work outside the home, I am lucky enough to have more time to spend with my son. But at the same time, I feel guilty for being at home the whole day, but still leaving him with his Yaya for a large portion of the day. I do make it a point to pop into his room every hour or so to spend 10 to 15 minutes just playing with him, to check on him and reassure him of my presence. Before I leave him with Yaya, I also make it a point to always tell him that Mommy is thankful to have work to do for the day because it means I can save more money for him and shoti, and if he needs me, I'm just in the other room and he can come see me anytime.

But even with all these challenges, I LOVE being a work-at-home mom. Why? Well, I'll write some more about that in my next post for this series. For now, Quakermommy needs to check on the munchkin's lunch. Have a good day, mommies!

Pregnancy Guessing Games

Guess the body part is a common game played by expectant parents, especially when you reach that point in your pregnancy when your tummy starts undulating in strange waves because of the movements of the tiny human being inside. But last night, Big C and I took it one step further, speculating on what our newest son would be like.

We often wonder what it would be like to have two boys. Based on Big C's remembrances of what it was like for his nephews, it will most likely be a smaller version of Royal Rumble. While sisters fight as well, apparently brothers tend to do it with a lot more gusto. And force. Yikes.

While talking about it, we also found strange connections between what I was like during my pregnancy with J and how he is now, little idiosyncrasies that we attributed to pregnancy in general, but strangely, may explain why J is the way he is sometimes.

For instance, when I was pregnant with J, I was really into spicy food. This is strange because for most of my life, I usually stayed away from spicy food. When I started loving chili sauce, hot sauce, and wasabi, we thought it was just my taste buds maturing. Now, J as a 17-month-old toddler, can eat wasabi peanuts and loves Mentos mints. He's kinda gross though. He'll eat it until the wasabi wears off, then spit the nuts out. Of course, Mommy has no choice but to eat it. Funny story. He was sitting with my father-in-law, engaging in their favorite activity (munching). I wondered why his Kong-kong kept asking him if he wanted more, because it was obvious that he did, until my FIL told us that the squid flakes they were eating were really spicy. He found it strange that J didn't complain at all. In fact, he loved it.

Also, when I was pregnant with J, I barely used the blanket at night. It was always there, but I never really used it. As for J? Well, he abhors blankets. He'll kick them off no matter what, so we don't bother covering him up when he sleeps. We just put him in long-sleeved jammies and socks and he's good for the night. And his body is always warm. If you sleep with his head close to yours, I swear, you'll feel the heat waves radiating off the top. Big C says it was the same way with me when I was pregnant. According to him, it was like sleeping next to a space heater.

Now with Little C, I'm the exact opposite. I'm into sweets and fruits, not the spicy stuff. Red velvet cupcakes were the first indication of pregnancy cravings, although I didn't know back then that I was already pregnant. And up until now, as in right this minute, I'd kill for a red velvet cupcake. I also love being wrapped up in my blanket while sleeping, although I don't really feel cold.

My obsessive need for order, which is nothing new, has risen to epic levels. I've sorted and organized most of our room, the clothes waiting for Little C, the kids' bedroom, the playroom and now, I have my eye on the kitchen. I can't stop trying to sort and organize. I have made a list of what to take to the hospital which is divided into smaller lists (my stuff, Little C's stuff, kitchen stuff, etc.), a list of tasks for Big C to take care of when D-day (delivery day) comes, the important phone calls he would to make for me (cord blood banking, pediatrician, lactation consultant). Big C jokingly asked me if I have a list of my lists. He was flabbergasted when I said seriously, "Of course, I do!"

So will Little C have a sweet tooth and love being bundled up in blankets while sleeping and have an obsession with order? I don't know. But one thing's for sure though. We're looking forward to finding out and with less than 8 weeks to go until D-day, I'm getting more and more excited by the day.

Hope you had a great day, mommies! Time to take my little munchkin out for our afternoon walk! :-)

Cloth Diapers 101 Talk

Hello all!

Just read the latest post from Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom on Real Diaper Week 2012 and I'm excited to learn that Jenny is organizing a talk to be held at the Medela House, on April 21, 2012, 1:30 pm. Interested mommies can sign up here.

I've written about using cloth diapers in a previous post, and although we have yet to transition to full cloth diapering, we're doing well in terms of using it during the daytime. Our yaya was brave enough to try to use cloth diapers during the night (I say brave because that means she'll have to wake up every hour to change diapers since J pees a lot more during the night.), but it didn't really work because J would object to being moved around in the middle of the night, so to save them both the trouble, I told her to just use the disposables, but only at night. During the day though, we're on full cloth diaper mode.

My primary reason for trying out cloth diapers was the effort to cut back on our diaper expense. It has cut down by a lot. A pack of diapers now lasts us for 10 days instead of the usual 5 or 6, so I'd say we've slashed that expense by half at least. Our bank account is greatly appreciative, and I'm hoping that by a month after birth, we can transition Little C to cloth diapers full time. I'll let you know how that goes.

I know cloth diapering is a scary thing to try for most mommies and I have to admit that I was intimidated at first. There's a lot of trial and error involved, since each kid has different routines and different preferences, but once you get the hang of it, it's actually manageable. And as with any other new endeavor, the more information you have about it, the more empowered you'll be when you start trying it.

I do have a lot of questions about cloth diapering and I'm really glad that we now have a session where we can learn more about it. So mommies, I hope to see you at the Cloth Diapers 101 talk at the Medela House!

What I'm Thankful For - April 2, 2012

Another blessed week!

  • As of my last check-up, Little C is doing well and is in a cephalic, or head-down, position. Here's hoping he stays that way until it's time to come out!
  • My mom very kindly agreed to help me with the plan to encapsulate my placenta! 
  • Two sunny days that gave me and J some mommy-and-baby swimming time. 
  • A chance to catch up with an old friend and chat about our little ones. We've known each other for almost 10 years and she's one of the few friends I have who have kids, so although we go for months without seeing each other, we always have lots to talk about!
  • J added a new sign to his vocabulary! We taught him a sign for "love", so now, when I say "I love you" to him, he makes a hugging motion with his arms to say "I love you" back. He also made up his own sign for blowing bubbles.
  • The rate for one of the projects I worked on this week was a little higher than normal. 
Happy Monday, and have a great week ahead!