Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jacobs Ladder Immunization Center

"Nakakabutas ng bulsa" That's what I would usually say right after Milly's immunization day. Mommies out there know how expensive vaccinations can get so its a must to allot a monthly budget for your babies vaccine. Good thing, we're almost done with my daughter's monthly immunization.

Milly's vaccine per month ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 depending on the type of "medicine" to be injected; one of the most expensive shot given to her was the Prevenar 13 Pneummococal.  I am thankful because unlike other babies, Milly doesn't get any fever after being immunized. She doesn't cry that much too; perhaps its because of her chunky thighs that help numbs the prick. Are you curious how I define chunky thighs? Look at the picture below. Haha!

Due to budget constraints, I started checking some online forums and asked how much their pedia charges per shot. I am quite shocked because what we pay is way higher as compared to others. I think its because the hospital where Milly gets her monthly shots. (Well, for all I know Perpetual Help Rizal sometimes overcharges their patients. That's why my late mom used to call it "PERAPetual" haha). One mom recommended the Jacobs Ladder immunization center and good thing they have a branch here in Las Pinas. Since their services solely focus on immunization, their rates are lower as compared to others. 

Here are some pictures I took during her immunization last Saturday. 

Curious with the stethoscope? 
Aside from the more affordable rates of shots, what I loved about this center is that the one who administers the shot is also a pedia. So it's not like a typical center wherein they'd just inject your little one. Here in Jacob's ladder the pedia will thoroughly check your baby. 

If you're from South and looking for an affordable immunization center, Jacobs Ladder is highly recommended. This is located along Alabang Zapote road beside Meralco. (Its the orange building)

Here are their rates. 

You have to make an appointment first before going there. I am not 100% sure if they accept walk ins. Don't forget to bring your baby book once you go there so they can double check the right shot they have to give your baby. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Maternal instinct

Have you ever looked at your child, shed a tear and asked how did you manage to raise your baby? I don’t know why and how, but as soon as I gave birth and brought my daughter home, my maternal instinct just kicked in. My very own intuition told me how to do things the right way.

To share you a piece of me, my mom died few months before I gave birth. She was the one who’s supposed to babysit my daughter as soon as I return to work from my 4-month long maternity leave. To tell you honestly, I really don’t know anything about taking care of babies. I don’t know how to bathe them, feed them, pacify them - I was clueless that time. I didn’t even know if I was doing the right thing the moment I came from the hospital.  As painful as it may sound, no blood relatives visited me that is why I am very thankful to my husband, in laws and friends (you know who you are) for supporting me after I gave birth.  I almost went through postpartum depression. I know I am a strong person, but still it’s different if there’s someone you can talk to regarding what you’re going through like the pains and joys of motherhood and experiences in the labor room. Someone who can understand what you went through is the best person you can talk to, and for me that time, it was my mom whom I need to talk to during that phase of my life.

My husband and I were clueless with everything, and we were too anxious how to take care of our daughter. The pain from CS was excruciating but I managed to keep up with it just to take care of her 24/7. We didn’t have a go to person and a guide who can help us teach the basics of baby care that time. Experience really is the best teacher and we'd like to give ourselves credit for that. We know that we are newbie parents and still have a long way to go, but right now, our daughter is our pride and we know deep in our hearts that we are doing a good job nurturing her. I am so grateful to have a husband who is so hands-on in taking care of our baby. Just like me, he was also inexperienced, but right now, I can proudly say that he is becoming more of an expert. Thank you too, to my mommy friends for sharing your pieces of mommy information with me. 

Our daughter is turning 9 months few days from now, and I am so thankful that God gave women the power to nurture a child. Without this gift, I know I wouldn’t be able to raise a very healthy and beautiful baby girl. Maternal instinct is so true, because with it, I am able to nurture and see our daughter grow right in front of our eyes. 

To my daughter Milly, you may be too young to understand what I am writing right now, but when you're old enough to read this, I hope you can appreciate all the things your dad and I are doing for you.  Thanks too for bringing out the maternal instinct in me. Because of you, I have learned to love deeper and to appreciate kids even more. We love you and always will. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Feeding your baby the healthier way

Start them young.

I remember my mom used to tell me that instead of eating Cerelac, I’d rather munch on string beans. I am a big fan of vegetables that is why I also want my daughter to savor eating veggies too.

All babies can handle interesting foods before the age of 1 that’s why as early as now, I am teaching my daughter to eat vegetables so by the time she has mastered the art-of-eating, I wouldn’t have a hard time feeding her.

This is also the reason why I decided to make her baby food. I feel more confident and safer if I am the one who prepares her food. (plus its cheaper) As much as possible, I do not want to give her ready-made rice cereals and jarred baby foods. These types of foods are really sweet because of its high sugar content and since diabetes runs in our family, I’d rather be on the safe side.  I am also afraid of its long term effects. Just like Gerber. Most moms I’ve talked to are telling me that babies who grew up eating Gerber tend to be picky eaters. (Is it true that these jarred foods do not have preservatives? If a fresh baby food only lasts 3 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer, how come these jarred baby foods has an expiration date of almost 2 years?) I am not against ready-made and jarred baby foods, and to tell you honestly, I almost resorted to giving her these type of foods because there are times I am already running out of ideas what menu to prepare for her (plus pagod from work). Actually, I have one box of Cerelac readily available just in case I won’t be able to make her own meal. So far, the box is left untouched and has been sitting in the pantry for 2 months already. :D

I go to the market every day to buy fresh vegetables that I can steam, boil or puree. And now that she enjoys munching on vegetables or any food that has more-texture, preparing her meals is now easier because I don't have to puree veggies and fruits all the time. I feel very proud of myself because I've been making her own food for 3 months already and I know that I am doing the right thing. 

The other day, I experimented to check if she'd choose veggies over cookies. I placed 2 Bibibons cookies and sayote sticks on her table and guess what - she chose the vegetables. (Way to go baby).She was able to finish 1 whole of sayote in one sitting while she barely touched the cookies. Actually she just tried to nibble then threw it on the floor. hehe.  I just hope that she will have the same appetite with vegetables as she grows up.

Here's a pic of my baby enjoying her okra for yesterday's breakfast. Aside from Okra, she also ate Pureed Bananacado with brown rice. haha

For recipes, you can check my other blog at: Mommy Katrina Cooks

This is a good guide for parents who are wondering what to feed their babies. This is more of a helpful rule of thumb and not a law, meaning you can give foods earlier or later as long as you make sure your baby can handle what you feed them. Not all babies are created equal and there are some babies who can handle foods better at an earlier age, while others need more time to get the hang of it. Just like Milly, I started giving her Potato & Pasta as early as 6 months.

Again, its just fine to give Cerelac, baby cereals or any commercialized baby food you see in the market. You know what's best for them, and as long as your baby is healthy and doesn't have any allergic reaction to any food you give him/her, then you're on the right track. But if you have the time to prepare their own meals, go ahead. It's fun and fulfilling. Remember, mommies make the best food ever. ;) 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I fell in the top up trap

I did my best to supply her with my milk for more than 8 months.

Since I gave birth, I’ve been religiously pumping my milk every 3 hours which actually eats up the time that I am supposed to spend with my husband and daughter and chores in between. Imagine, 8 months of pumping in and outside the house. It’s like I have an inseparable relationship with my breast pump and I am just not yet ready to let go of it. I’ve been doing my best to re-gain the milk supply I had before but I guess there will really come a time when a mom’s milk will start to dwindle. They say that as long as your baby latches on you, your milk supply won’t dry up but my case is different here. (I am an exclusively pumping mom. I breastfeed my daughter through bottlefeeding) :) 

Sounds weird eh? Some might think that I am over reacting, but I am pro-breastfeeding/breastmilk. I feel sad every time I see the amount of milk that comes out of my breasts, and unlike before where I can pump 10-12 oz of milk per session, I am only able to get 1oz of liquid gold right now.  I am not sure what I did wrong, but I know for sure that I fell in the top up trap. So to all breast feeding moms out there, please trust me, because the top up trap is so true.

Here’s a good illustration of the top up trap.

The more you mix feed, the less milk your body will produce. Every ounce of formula you give is one ounce that you told your body not to produce. Do not fall into the Top Up Trap.

When my daughter started taking solids, I've started supplementing her with formula milk to save myself from pumping. There were times that I felt tired and fed up saving milk stash every now and then so it was a relief for me to skip and lessen my pumping session. I was confident that my milk won’t drop because ever since I started pumping, I’ve had a very good milk supply (knowing that I am an exclusively pumping mom).  When I started to mixed fed her, that’s when I noticed that my milk started to dwindle.  I continued my daily routine schedules of pumping milk but I was only netting a total of 4 oz of breast milk per day and I tell you, that amount is very unusual for me. Partly, I'd like to blame myself for losing the supply I had before but I always say to myself that I did my best just to give her the best milk. I had sacrificed a lot of things by pumping milk and I tell you, being an exclusively pumping mom is no-joke and I'd like to commend myself for that.

Take a look at my milk supply before:

Was able to pump this for only 15 minutes; 1 breast only. 

I even donated 90 plus Bags of breastmilk to preemie babies and some baby friends.

and here's how little I get right now. Such a drastic change.

I tried saving my milk by taking lactation drinks and munching on lactation cookies. I’ve increased my water intake and added more pumping sessions. Took some malunggay capsules and eat soupy dishes. But for some reasons, I can not produce more milk.  I've always planned to save milk for my daughter until she turns two years old. I actually look at it as a disappointment because I wasn’t able to reach my goal but what's important is that I was able to give her pure breastmilk until the age of 6 months.

Right now, I am still in the process of re-gaining back my milk supply. I just can't let go and separate ways with my pump.  I still want to give what's best for my daughter. I may not yield enough milk for her, but what's important is I can still give her my precious milk. I tell you, this is not an easy feat for me but I know that I can make it.

 Mother knows best and I know deep in my heart that I gave what’s best for my baby, and will continue giving that to her.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

My typical weekends

Gone were the days when my rest days or weekends held the promise of going out, watching a movie and lazy mornings in bed. The moment my husband and I became parents, our lives had changed as in - TOTALLY. Our weekends are no longer centered about catching enough sleep, dating, late movie nights and so much more.

We now spend our weekends watching Baby Einstein, Furchester Hotel and listening to nursery rhymes. Playing with our daughter and going to the mall less than 2 hours just to buy something important. On a side note, I know deep in my heart that I’d be lying if I tell that I feel really well-rested during my rest days from work.

This is how I spent my rest days last weekend: 

·         Cooked this meal for the family (as if we’re a big number, I just love cooking by batches so I don’t have to cook during lunch and dinner time, hehe)

·         Played with our daughter (Palagi naman :) )

·         Fed and made my daughter's baby food (palagi din :) )

·         Went to the grocery

Took this photo a week ago when we went to the grocery too :D 

·         Spent some quality time with my husband. After several months, we finally got the chance to catch up a late movie. Too bad we weren’t able to finish it, because my daughter kept on waking up so i had to go back and forth the bed to cradle her.

·           Got to read a very good book.

·         Went to Paranaque to meet my stepmom.

·         Did some general cleaning and re-arranged the room.

·         Organized the cabinet :D

I barely get enough rest during rest days, but I know things will get better as soon as my daughter grows up. (or will it become worse?) 

There are times that I still miss the old way, but I wouldn’t trade this kind of weekends with our daughter for the world. Weekends are no longer fun as much as before, but what I enjoy the most about my rest days is the time I spend with my husband and my daughter, and that is just priceless.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

First time mommy tales

Yesterday, I got the chance to finish a “mommy” book written by another mom who gave birth few years ago. The book is all about the things she learned being a new mom. Things that she didn’t learn or wasn’t discussed on all parenting books she had read. It was such an entertaining and quick book to read and I found myself always smiling as I reminisce the first few months of my mommyhood journey.

Here are some of the best points she shared on the book:

·         Mommy brain is a very real and true condition - hhhm, ever since I gave birth, I’ve been experiencing some sort of short term memory. I would always jot down things I need to accomplish, buy and what not. I am a fan or scrap paper lately. (I guess I can blame the anesthesia)

·         Showers will no longer be an enjoyment - having a shower or pooping (Too much info, eh?)  is already my escape from reality. Long baths have turned into 10 minutes of freedom.

·         Baby stores are so good in marketing strategy - as soon as you become a mom you will always have this limitless hunger for shopping for baby items. This is so me! I cannot stop buying stuff for my daughter and I’d end up being stingy   for myself so I can buy something for her. Haven’t bought something expensive for myself and where’s the fairness in here? My daughter has H&M, Cotton On, Calvin Klein and other expensive garments but here I am wearing an RTW blouse I bought near the MRT station for only 120Pesos. Haha. Also, my daughter has lots of shoes and there’s this one famous baby shoe brand that I bought 2 months ago for almost 4,000 and she can’t even wear it yet because it’s still big for her. (Patay ako sa asawa ko nito kapag nalaman nyang 4k yun)

·         New mommy fashion doesn’t exist -  well, most of your clothes will be a “thing in the past”. In reality, no mommy would ever go out of the hospital wearing skinny jeans, boots and a sexy crop top. (Just like those famous actresses and models) In reality, if you hated wearing granny panties, baggy pants and loose shirts, you will absolutely appreciate these types of clothes as soon as you become a mom. (most especially if you’re a breastfeeding mom).

·         Emotional - blame it with the hormones, because as soon as you realize that you are pregnant and once you become a mom, you will be more emotional. I gave birth 8 months ago, and I still cry over cheesy commercials. You must remember that your emotions will be on overload during and after pregnancy.  There will be crying. There will be irritability.  There will be unnecessary arguments over stupid crap with your partner. A warning - the tears are going to just start flowing for no reason.  Who knows what will set you off?  The latest celebrity break up. 

·         Obsession - During your pregnancy you will become obsessed with your baby's development and what size he or she is each week.  You are going to see it in a book, on a smart phone app, or on the web and like clockwork every Monday morning be checking on the status.  Every single week the baby will be compared to the size of a fruit or vegetable, and your mouth will instantly be watering for said food. This is so true! I have downloaded a couple of baby apps when I found out I was pregnant and kept on checking my baby’s progress. I even downloaded some tickers for my desktop and mobile too.

·          Care - less - Before I gave birth, I said to myself that I wanted to look good when the time comes that I need to push my baby. Little did I know that I never cared how and what I looked like when I started to have labor pains. I never cared how many nurses, doctors (even the male ones) saw me half naked because all I wanted was for the pain to go away.
and being:

·         Bionic - It's kind of amazing how while you're nine months pregnant all you can do is waddle around the house, plop on the couch like lump, and can't even bend over to pick up your car keys. When the time comes that you have to undergo the labor process, believe me, your body will be flexible just to find the perfect position to lessen the pain. You will be in positions you never knew you could be in.  

The author was right when she said that all those mommy and parenting books are fantastic but it would have been better if these books gave a sense of reality. I read a handful of parenting tips before I gave birth but none of these discussed what I would experience inside the labor room. How I wish I was able to read this before I became a mom. 

Every mom should read this so they can re-live what they went through during pregnancy and early years of motherhood.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

We are all superheroes

8 months ago I vowed myself to stay at home and take care of our daughter 24/7. I've always wanted to be a stay at home wife and when Milly came into our lives, I've always wanted to be a full-time mom. As reality bites and due to unexpected expenses I am left with no choice but to go back to work and temporarily set aside my dream of being a full-time mom. 

I work at Shaw and live in Las Pinas. Can you imagine the traffic that I brave every day? I also work at night so juggling my time whenever I arrive at home is quite a challenge for me. Four hours of total travel time every single day is making me insane and it’s as if I am already getting a butt sore every time I go to the office. But then again, I have no choice. 

So how do I manage my time? To be honest, I actually do not know. I have poor time management skills but needless to say, I feel proud because even if I work full time I still manage to take care of our daughter "full-time". I am the one who feeds her, bathe her, put her to sleep, change her clothes and so much more. I actually feel lucky that I get to do all these things even if I am full-time working mom. I actually do not know where I get all these energy, because even if I feel tired because of work, my stress and need for sleep suddenly fade away the moment I see my daughter. Imagine, a baby trying to wiggle her chunky feet and arms while shouting aaakkk akkkk just to get my attention so I would carry her is just irresistible. That’s our everyday scenario. Who wouldn’t love that? It’s as if all my efforts of taking care of my daughter plus working full-time is starting to pay off little by little. How much more if my daughter can already  hug my knees and shout: “mama, mama, I missed you!”, ahhh, that is so priceless.

There is not a single moment that I do not think of my daughter while at work. (hhm, my husband can actually blame me if my daughter would wake up during the night, hehe). I’d even ask my husband to send me some pictures to keep me updated of what she is doing. 

(as if naman napaka layo ko at nasa ibang bansa ako) haha! Call me OA but we do facetime almost every day so I could take a glimpse of my daughter before I go home.  Tada! 

This is my way of overcoming my "sadness" whenever I'm here at work. For sure first time mommas share the same sentiment with me. 

I am still in the process of adjusting, and every day, I feel like crying the moment I would step outside the room while I see my daughter peacefully sleeping. If only I could sleep beside her every single night and be the first one she sees in the morning.

Good Morning baby girl

 Sigh. My daughter is the reason why I do not want to go to work, but she's also the reason why I need to go to work. That is why I admire all moms. Their sacrifices and willingness is really no joke. I never understood this until I became a mom. I tell you, being a mom turned me in to a different person - way better than before. 

So here's a BIG shout-out to all stay at home moms and full time working moms out there: KUDOS to all of us! We are indeed superheroes. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Homemade Brown Rice Cereal with Apples and Bananas

I feel so proud of myself because I was able to make Milly’s first very own Brown Rice Cereal with Apples and Bananas. It may not seem very much but I just love making homemade food for Milly; it just gives me so much joy. My eyes would totally light up every time I see her enjoy every meal I prepare for her. I just want her to be hale and hearty and this is my way of introducing that to her.

The other day, I tried my luck to prepare her very first homemade cereal. To be honest, I wasn’t really that confident while I started grinding the brown rice. I got really cautious because I didn’t want to waste any ingredients every time I prepare Milly’s meal.  As I started grinding the brown rice and saw them turn into small pieces, I knew right there and then that I was doing the right thing. Remember, brown rice takes a while before it gets cooked.  Boiling water and continuously stirring the rice will do the trick. (Took me about 10-15 minutes before I got the right texture) 

Here’s what you need:
·         A food processor with miller/grinder (not sure if blender can do this though)
·         4-5 tablespoons of brown rice
·         2 medium bananas
·         1 apple
·         1 cup water (or more)
·         ½ cup water (for puree)

What you need to do:

·         Grind the brown rice. Set aside.

·         Pour the water on the pot. Add the brown rice. Let it boil. Continue stirring. You will notice that the texture will get sticky. You will have to add more water because we do not want to “burn” the brown rice. Gradually pour water while checking if the rice is already cooked. (I did 6-8 taste tests to make sure if the rice is already soft). Once cooked, set aside.

·         Now, steam the apple.

·         Combine the bananas and steamed apple in the food processor.

·         Gradually pour ½ cup of water. Puree until you get the right consistency.

·         Mix the brown rice cereal with the banapple puree. Puree for another minute.

·         Serve and let your baby enjoy your homemade baby food!

Taste level: 5 stars J

Happy 8 months, my darling Milly Antonette!

I've been feeling very sentimental lately. I always look at my daughter and feel fulfilled with my life already. It’s pretty amazing how this little person had changed my life. Day by day, she's becoming prettier in my eyes and her features are becoming more prominent! She is growing, learning and changing every day. I've been looking back how she turned from this little baby 

to this: 

Though I miss the days when I would only cradle and watch her sleep, this stage where she’s learning how to stand, walk and discover things on her own is pretty more exciting.

She has started saying Daaadaaaa and shakes her head every time she wants to say “No”. Her diapers are now XL and we can now tie her bangs. She also lost some weight, or perhaps she just grew taller that's why her body looks more "slim" than before. She can also stand (just with support) on her own.

Every day, she’s just full of surprises and killer smiles. She's growing up to be a not-so mahinhin type of baby. Just like me, I think she’s becoming more of a fighter and strong willed baby.

Love the fierce eyes babe!

To my daughter Milly (pronounced as Mi-Li, not Miley :) ), you are now 8 months old and I can hardly believe that time has gone by so fast. It’s so surreal to think that few months from now, you’ll be saying Mommy and Dada I love you. You will always be dada and mommy’s living miracle. We love you. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mommy "KAT-fessions"

Before I became a mom, I always say things that I wouldn't do once I become a mother. Things that I would and would not do and some bunch  stuff. Sometimes, I like to think that becoming a parent makes your brain cells act pretty weird and all the things you've said before are suddenly - Poof, Gone.  You go to the hospital pretty intelligent equipped with all the ideas and advises you've researched prior to giving birth. But as soon as you see your little one right there in your arms looking back at your face, everything would change. Turns out you really aren't smart at all. Being a parent is really not easy. There is no reviewer or a book that you can read that explains much about parenting.

So today, I’d like to share what motherhood did to me :D Most of my realizations are on the positive side, but here are some confessions that I'd like to spill.

·         I never liked ME time way back, but as soon as I had my daughter, I've always wanted some time alone for myself, not with my daughter, not with my husband. Just me. My me time right now is whenever I say I am going to poop while I bring my phone with me in the rest room.

·         Sometimes, but not all the time, I use my daughter to excuse myself from getting out of social obligations.

·         I easily get distracted whenever I have my phone with me. While I lull my daughter to sleep on my right arm, I have my phone with me on my left hand. Facebooking.

·         I hope my boss do not see this, but sometimes I call in sick just to be with my daughter and to recharge my body due to lack of sleep :D

·         I.Do.Not.Save - as in I buy lots of unnecessary stuff for my daughter without my husband even knowing it. I always ask the seller to ship the package here at my office so he wouldn't know that I have new items for my daughter.

·         I am unable to keep up with the mess.

·         Before I had Milly, I’ve always disliked moms who keep on posting pictures of their babies, but I am guilty as charged, I am already part of that club.  

·         I sometimes blame myself for not getting enough sleep because I stay up and stare at my Facebook newsfeed.

·         Yep, I use iPad as her baby sitter.  (Well, but not most of the time) 

·         I always C-H-E-A-T. Not the third party cheat kind of thing. I always get cheat days. I always tell myself that I am on a strict diet, but everyday is like a cheat day for me. (And now I am wondering why I still have  this extra flappy belly)

·         I feel proud of my  our genes. Didn't know that my husband and I have a good combination. In my own world, my daughter is the MOST BEAUTIFUL. :) 

It has only been 8 months and I am pretty sure that my list will be updated every now and then. Wait until Milly becomes a toddler. 

How about you mommas? Do you have any confessions to share? ☻ 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...