If Books Were Money, My Son Would Be Rich By Now

Here’s a post that I have drafted on paper a couple of months ago. Finally, I was able to publish it on the blog today!

We started reading to our son when he was still in my womb – from tiny board books given to his Dad as part of their office Kris Kringle to the downloaded nursery rhymes and story books on our iPad. Those tiny board books are still with us today and my son would still read them on his own, that is, pointing to pictures and identifying objects that he knows and mimicking the tone that I use during our read aloud sessions. He would be blabbing on some parts of the story.

His Dad, who commutes to and from work daily, would occasionally drop by BookSale, the bookstore adjacent to the bus terminal and would buy books that he knows our little boy would love. It was a good thing that the shop has a wide selection of books that they sell on bargain. My husband would usually buy three books from that store each month. But one time, he splurged on four books to cultivate our son’s growing love for reading and it was such a blessing that all of them were from our little one’s favorite series namely Curious George and Dr. Seuss.

Book Haul

When we began having weekly mother-and-son dates at the neighborhood mall, a trip to National Bookstore and BookSale is a must for my child. We would linger close to an hour at his favorite Children’s Books section as he would scan the pages of the books that piqued his interest. He loves books that involved animals and keeps going back to read them. Whenever I would notice that he likes a particular book, I would offer to buy it for him so we could enjoy it at home. He would decline most of the time. I’m so blessed to have a son who gets contented with browsing and window shopping :) At times when we would chance upon a book that he really liked or finally found an elusive title, I would purchase it right away and take him to Country Style where we would read our recent find while having doughnuts and coffee (for me).

My Little Reader
My Little Reader

At home on most mornings, he prefers having milk in bed and asks me to read a couple of books to him before we go downstairs for his breakfast. Recently, I adapted a fill-in-the-blanks strategy in where I would either let him finish a sentence or identify an object in the story. This makes our sessions more interactive and very lively. Doing this also encouraged him to read books on his own, even though he can’t read everything written in the pages yet. He would read before bedtime while waiting for Mommy and Daddy to finish the chores downstairs. When we’re all settled in bed, he would request that we read at least three books to him, which includes his activity books and his favorite dinosaur books, before finally going to sleep. He would also read Ate and Kuya’s old books at Granny’s after playing with the stuff inside their toy box. He would gladly peruse on his new book while we are waiting for our turn at the grocery’s check out counter, to pass the time at the doctor’s clinic and extended his patience as he waited for his parents’ passports to be renewed.

I’ve been praying that my son will carry on with the habit of reading books as he grows up and have children and grandchildren of his own and ultimately, pass on the habit to them. There’s so much that we can learn from reading. My husband and I have been discovering a lot from the books that we buy for our son. I never imagined that I could memorize a ton of dinosaur names just because my boy is so fascinated in them!

I have decluttered a few weeks ago and finally let go of my boy’s first batch of books. We have passed them on to his younger cousins hoping that they will also get hooked on reading. We still have plenty in the bookcase upstairs and in the shelf downstairs. We will be getting new ones, anyway. If books were money, my son would be rich by now.

 

Switching to Nutri10 Plus Syrup

This post was made in collaboration with Nutri10 Plus Syrup. All opinions stated were mine.

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My husband once told me this about our son, “Di na siya baby. Bata na siya.” While I refuse to acknowledge that hard truth (how can my baby grow up so fast!), my husband is so right. At 3 years and 7 months, our little boy has become more physically active, has a ravenous appetite, and has become more enthusiastic in learning and trying out new things. In order to keep up with his changing needs, I must find a better food supplement that will replace his usual Vitamin C and Zinc syrup. When I learned about Nutri10 Plus Syrup, I checked out its nutritional information online.

Nutri10 Plus - Nutritional Info
Taken from the Wert website

To know more about Taurine, Lysine, Chlorella and Zinc, which are the distinguishing components of Nutri10 Plus Syrup, I have looked them up at WebMD.

    • Taurine – According to WebMD, Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid, a chemical that is an essential building block of protein. Taurine is present in large amounts in our brain, retina, heart and platelets. Meat and fish are great sources of Taurine. 
    • Lysine –   Lysine is also an amino acid that is used to prevent and treat cold sores. Lysine is also known to enhance athletic performance.
    • Chlorella – Chlorella is a fresh water algae that produces extracts called chlorella growth factor. Chlorella has a variety of uses. It stimulates the immune system, improves response to flu vaccine, prevents colds, and improves digestion, among others.
    • Zinc – Zinc is referred to as an “essential trace element.” It plays a vital role in wound healing, boosts the immune system, treats common cold and prevents lower respiratory infections.

Having read all about the benefits of these components, in addition to Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D3 and E, I am more than sold in giving Nutri10 Plus syrup for my growing boy.

Nutri10 Plus Syrup

My husband and I have been using Babycenter.com as our trusted reference even before our son was born. It has a league of experts who write and review the articles that they publish in their website. I have checked on it to find out my son’s nutritional requirement for his age. I have found out that his daily diet must include the five major food groups, namely grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein.

I am proud that my son eats a wide variety of foods. I’m so glad that my little boy ate brown rice the first time he tasted it and has been eating it ever since. But, there are still some foods that he refuses to eat, for example, a Caesar Salad, no matter how much I entice him to eat at least a spoonful of it. Given this circumstance, I need to find a way for him to meet the nutritional requirement for his age without forcing him to eat something that does not look appetizing to him. I do my best to make mealtimes enjoyable and avoid tears as much as possible. Giving Nutri10 Plus syrup definitely helped me in this aspect.

I started giving 2.5ml of Nutri10 Plus Syrup to my son on August 7. I was so glad that the syrup is ponkan-flavored making it appealing to my kid. Since then, I have noticed an increase in his appetite. He began asking for second and even third helpings during mealtimes. Snacks on cookies and cereals, sometimes sandwiches and burgers, have become more frequent.

I have also noticed an improvement in his stamina. He became a fast runner and would dash without panting. I seriously think that my son is ready to compete on a 3K!

At the Playdium
At the Playdium

He is also now stronger in that whenever he wants to turn our dining area into a pretend train station, he would lift his box of milk (containing 2 400-gram pouches) and move it on top of our microwave, push heavy chairs and line them up, and pick up his loaded toy box and place them in one of the chairs. When I’m not looking, he would get on top of the chairs and dance. He has also turned the bottom part of our stair’s railing into some sort of monkey bars and he would climb countless of times and sometimes dangle with one hand. The things that little boys do! I really need to keep an eye on him. And because I can’t do that all the time, I told my son to be careful and watch his step whenever he climbs. It’s a good thing that he keeps that in mind.I cannot stop my boy from running, climbing, and doing all sorts of acrobatic stunts, as much as I want to, so I just tell him to be careful or let him do it somewhere safer.

Our boy is noticeably taller. A few days ago, my husband measured our preschooler’s height and discovered that it matches his growth timeline. Soon he will be able to enjoy more rides at the theme parks!

I’m glad that I got to know about Nutri10 Plus syrup and that my child was blessed to have tried them. From what I have observed, it’s definitely good for him and at the same time, he enjoys having a dose each day. Nutri10 Plus syrup has made my son “aktibo’t malakas“!

 

Potty Talk

Okay. This might be a little TMI but I can’t help but be proud of my three-year-old’s recent milestone – having poopsie on the big potty!

It just happened last night at my parents’ house. L was walking awkward with his knees together toward the bathroom and he was repeatedly saying, “Poopsie, poopsie, poopsie.” I immediately ushered him to the bath, took off his pants and undies, and positioned him on the bowl. He didn’t hesitate to sit on it but just did what he had to do. I kept marveling at how he was able to do it on the big potty! I was sitting beside him the whole time rubbing his back for he was having a bit of a hard time getting it all out. Being the proud mom that I am, I was telling everyone at the house of how awesome my boy was for sitting on the toilet bowl. (I hope you’re not eating while reading this.)

I’m so happy at how our journey to potty training had turned out. It was a long process with hits and misses in between. We did not forced our son into it even if others told us kids his age were trained already. We went through the training gradually, letting our son took the reins. We even postponed it at some point when we felt that he wasn’t ready. We resumed with the training by asking him to sit on the potty – sometimes he would, other times he refused. I downloaded a potty training chart to document his progress. I let him put stickers or washi tape on the chart whenever he would pee and poop on the potty and tell us when he needed to go. Through time, he got accustomed to doing his business in our bathroom, and lately, in public restrooms. However, he would never pee on a restroom that doesn’t look and smell clean to him. I haven’t taught him about it but my kid was already able to discern whether a public toilet is worth a peak or not. He did that twice already.

Now that my child is potty trained, I have excluded diapers from my grocery list. We saved a lot on wipes, too.

I hope I didn’t grossed you out with this post.

I’m just one proud momma of an awesome little (big)  one!

A baby caterpillar is called …

I make it a point to read books to my son before bedtime.

One night, he asked that we read his little books. Those were the books that were given to my husband as part of their Kris Kringle in the office. They are condensed versions of well-loved children’s tales. I’ve been reading those to him even before he was born.

We were reading Alice in Wonderland. My son loves animals and everything about them! He knows the mother-and-young pairs and can identify them even without a picture. We got to the pages when Alice encountered the rabbit and the caterpillar.

L: A baby rabbit is called … bunny!

Me: (Smiling proudly) Very good!

L: A baby caterpillar is called …

Me: (Wondering if he already know because we haven’t taught him about it yet.)

L: (Happily announced) Lizard!

Ooopppsss!!!!

We both laughed so hard after that! I told him that caterpillars and lizards are different from each other. I taught him that a caterpillar will become a butterfly and that lizards give birth to eggs.

I was really amused at my little boy and admired his creative thinking :) He actually learns quickly when animals are involved. Also, it was his love for animals that encouraged him to speak more words :)

Our First Halloween Party at Sky Ranch Tagaytay

Disclaimer: We don’t join the Halloween festivities to glorify horrifying stuff. Each year during this season, we take advantage of this time to think and make creative costumes for our toddler from our favorite characters and movies. We also make it as an excuse to eat sweet treats. Now, that that thing is settled, let’s talk about the recent Halloween party that we attended at Sky Ranch Tagaytay :)

It was on rainy and foggy Saturday when some of the mommies and their families drove to Tagaytay to party with our fellow bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines (MBP) and spend some time with our families at the same time. It was a small gathering but a happy one. Most of the kids and some of the babies came in their best costume dressed up as their most loved super heroes, fairy tale and movie characters.  Three of them were awarded as the most creative and crowd favorite. There were games for the children and adults as facilitated by our host and magician, Mr Potch Albiso also known as the Magic Meister. It was fun because almost every one participated in the activities. Raffles were also drawn in between the games. Some of the mommies won the most coveted Disney on Ice tickets courtesy of the Aranatea Group! After the games, we were entertained by the amazing magic tricks and amusing performance of Potch and his puppet, Piolo. My son especially loved the part where Potch made animals from twisted balloons. After the show and the announcement of winners for the best in costume, the kids lined up to get sweet treats from the loving and generous moms of MBP. Some of the mommies even made an effort to make candy packs with gift tags attached. After the program and the group photo op, we then spent time with our respective families to enjoy the ride-all-you-can (RAYC) passes that were given to us by Sky Ranch Tagaytay. I’m sure that all of us had great fun that day! Take a look at our photos below.

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Above is our simple registration table setup.

MBP Halloween Party - Registration Team

Our busy registration area where mommy bloggers dropped by to get their loot bags, food, RAYC stamps, and sign up their kids for the costume contest.

MBP Halloween Party - Prizes from our generous sponsors

We were very thankful to all the brands who sponsored our games and raffle prizes. Mommies and their families were happy to take home goodies from Nido 3+ (except for moms like me who have children ages 2 and below), Krispy Kreme, and Jardine Home Solutions.

MBP Halloween Party - Mommy Sheen of Yeah Shoot Photobooth

Mommy Sheen (in fuschia blouse) of Yeah! Shoot Photobooth and our fellow blogger, gladly helped out party goers don props for the shoot.

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Our little boy was happy with what he got in his pumpkin!

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Our sweet little one began munching on one of his candies soon after. He had a great time riding the carousel that he and Daddy did it thrice! I enjoyed the fourth ride with him. (That’s Mommy Joy, MBP’s workshop manager, in the background)

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I was so happy to take home this precious Lock and Lock glass water bottle!

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I was so honored to have helped these moms organize and launch the party for our community. It was a bit of hard work but seeing how our fellow members and their loved ones had a great time at the party made all our efforts very worthwhile. ‘Til our next gathering! :)

Mommy Bloggers Philippines Spooky Circus Halloween event was made possible by generous sponsors and a team of mommies who love this blogging community.

Thank you to Sky Ranch Tagaytay who not only provided us with a venue but also made sure we had a great time by providing ride all you can tickets and delicious food from Kenny Rogers!

Special thanks to Mr. Poch Albiso, the Magic Meister who made it the most enjoyable day with his magic show and games.

Our generous sponsors, Nido 3+, Krispy Kreme , Araneta Center, Summit Media, URC, Yeah! Shoot Photobooth, Lock and Lock, First Vita, Jardine Distribution, and Jollibee for their support, giving us giveaways and prizes.

The Baby Company Re-opens Store at Rockwell

Baby Company, the Baby Specialist, has recently re-opened its store at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. This baby boutique was conceptualized by SM and it has everything that a Mom like me would ever need for her little one. Baby Company offers a wide selection of fashion apparels, personal care, toys, nursery furniture, home safety, and travel accessories. The Baby Company did a good job in curating brands for every product category. Brands include Philips Avent, Graco, Disney, Maclaren, Pigeon, Chicco, Dr. Brown’s, Tommee Tipee, Safety 1st, Lamaze and Fisher Price. They also have in-house brands like Lulu, Baby Clean, BabyCo, Picolo, Ollin, and PlaySmart. If only my husband was with us at that time to look after our very active little boy, I would have leisurely shopped for Louiji’s necessities and plenty of cute stuff!

Baby Company at Power Plant

The Baby Company is located at the third level of Power Plant Mall. It is on the right end, where Toys ‘R Us and Powerville are located.  I like the layout of this baby store for its spacious and modern style. It has a number of aisles containing a variety of mom and baby products but the layout makes it convenient for shoppers to move around and find what they are looking for. Every section is labelled with either the product category or the brand name.

Baby Company - Adorable Displays from the Window

The store at Rockwell has a visually appealing display window which gives shoppers a good glimpse of what’s inside the boutique. Look, they even have installment plans for some of the items!

Baby Company - Wooden Crib and Accessories

Cribs of different types are also available at Baby Company. Parents can buy everything that they need for their baby’s first bed at the store.

Baby Company - Mom Card

The Mom Card is a must-have for all the loyal shoppers of the Baby Company. It is available for only Php100 and moms can get rebates, exclusive offers, take part in special events and other privileges.

Baby Company - Purple Walker

Walkers of varying designs and colors are also available at the Baby Company. The cute purple walker that Louiji was pushing in the photo above is perfect for baby girls. It also has a simple set of toys in front which the little ones may play with.

The following are multi-function walkers which has more toys attached and are equipped with stoppers that parents can take advantage of for when they are feeding their baby or want the little one to stay in place.

Baby Company - Walkers and Strollers

Baby Company - Fish Walker

Baby Company - Blue and White Walker

Baby Company - Little Cars

Diapers and mini-toy cars are available at the Baby Company, too. My Louiji and Jho’s Enzo have a great time riding on those cars!

Below are strollers from MacLaren and Peg-Perego that are fit for toddlers. These are the pack-and-go type that parents can conveniently bring for their kiddies without the hassle of using and folding it up.

Baby Company - Red Blue and Gray Strollers

Baby Company - Strollers for Toddlers

Baby Company - Red Blue and Gray Strollers

Below are Graco’s jogging strollers which are very comfortable and safe for newborns and babies who are only a few months old. These jogging strollers have trays that can hold two bottles or sippy cups and has a provision for dangling toys.

Baby Company - Graco Stroller

 

Baby Company - Graco Click Stroller

The following are a variety of car seats that parents may buy according to their child’s age. There are a couple of seats that are meant for newborns while the rest are perfect for any age. I hope that car seats will be valued by parents and authorities as much as folks overseas do. Car seats play a vital role in keeping the little ones safer during travel. Car seat accessories are also available at the Baby Company.

Baby Company - Car Seats

Baby Company - Blue & Gray Car Seat

The Baby Company also offers cute nursery decor. Below are wall decals that may be purchased for as low as Php50.

Baby Company - Wall Decals

Here are an assortment of knap sacks for the kiddies. I’d love to get one for our Louiji as it would fit perfectly into his body. These backpacks have added straps that keep the shoulder straps from falling off. They come in adorable designs.

Baby Company - Toddler Bags

The Baby Company also has a Baby Registry which makes gift-giving easy and hassle-free. People who purchase items from the registry will receive 10% off from all regular items plus they get to have their gifts wrapped for free. The Baby Registry is available in stand alone stores only. For all branches inside the SM Store, customers may avail of The Gift Registry service.

Baby Company - Baby Registry

Go and visit the Baby Company at Rockwell and see for yourself that many stuff that you can buy for your little people!

An Eventful Monday

Hey Friday! The weekend is upon us and I’m excited for it, as always. This has been a great week for us and it started with an eventful Monday.

It was our son’s 32nd month and to celebrate, I cooked Spaghetti with Meat and Mushrooms for us to feast on when we all get home for dinner.

We were on a scheduled well baby checkup and vaccine. It was a very costly vaccine! We paid Php3,00 for the Menactra, a vaccine against meningococcal disease. Based on my research, it is already the cheapest because the regular price for that is Php3,500. It was not actually a required vaccine but then our pediatrician advised us that if we have the means, then we should get it for our son so he would be protected against that rare but serious disease. After administering the vaccine, the pedia happily told us that our son has just “graduated” from having a series of vaccines! He would just have to get the annual flu vaccine next year. After that, the other booster shots will be given to him when he is four years old and we have the chance to complete them until he turns six. It was great news for the whole family! For Louiji, it would mean no needles until the middle of 2016. For me and my husband, less expenses. Also, we wouldn’t have to move mountains on Mondays just to make it to the doctor’s clinic.

The mountain statement was not an exaggeration. Our pedia holds clinic at Tokyo Healthlink in Alabang every Monday. Whenever we have an appointment, my husband had to go to work extra early or take a few hours off just so he could pick us up from and drive all the way to Tokyo. Hubby finds it inconvenient to bring our car to work because he would have to worry about parking and the costly toll fees. We went car-less last Monday. Since the pedia will be leaving a little early than her scheduled hours, I decided that our son and I should commute all the way to the clinic so we can be there on time. My husband would follow us after work. To cut costs, I did not book an Uber. Wrong move! From our village, we had two jeepney rides which was such a hassle. We were cramped in the first jeep and had to chase our next ride. I had to carry our little boy to make our transfers faster and safer. To make it more challenging, it started to rain by the time we got off to our next stop. It’s a good thing that before getting to our stop, I was able to help my tot put on his jacket and secure his cap. A kind lady helped us cross the street leading to the clinic. After a few pit stops on the side of the buildings, we finally reached the doctor’s clinic safe and dry. Hurray! My husband came just in time when the doc was about to administer the vaccine. He would always carry our boy and hug him tight to make vaccination easier and faster.

We were all happy on our way out of Tokyo. No more needles. No more Monday afternoon rush. No more grueling commutes to the clinic. No more costly vaccines. It was still raining outside and we were still figuring out how we can get home. I suggested that we go to the nearest Starbucks for a little celebration.

Happy BabySee how happy our little one is? For a while, he forgot about the painful shot that he got earlier. He got so busy tinkering with Daddy’s phones, sipping on his iced chocolate drink and taking small bites of his honey glazed doughnut. I actually had a few bites of his doughnut because I got hungry but didn’t want to go down to the counter to buy my own pastry.

Having experienced the conveniences of going home via Uber, my husband told me to book us a ride. I then remembered that I can give him a promo code (Php100 on the first ride) if he installs the Uber app on his phone. He had a better idea. Smart offers Php300 off to its subscribers when they install the app for the first time. Long story short, this post is getting long anyway, we had a free Uber ride on our way home! Talk about convenience and cost-effectiveness!

How did your Monday go?

 

 

Our Saturdate at the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

We had a stupendous time at the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival last September 5. This is certainly one for the books. A family milestone. Our son is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse! He never gets tired of watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes. Every. Single. Day. He would be mesmerized by all the characters and he would always giggle with glee at his favorite scenes. He has actually memorized what’s going to happen next in that he would either mimic what Mickey or Goofy would do or look me as if to say “Mommy, look at what’s going to happen next.” I find joy in seeing my son giggle, laugh, jump and dance as he watch his favorite episodes of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. That is why when I have learned that the gang will be coming to the Philippines, I prayed incessantly for us to have the opportunity to witness their world-class performance. GOD surprised us big time and our whole family got so excited and we couldn’t wait to watch our son’s favorite Disney characters entertain the Pinoys at the KIA Theatre. Check out our pictures.

Fab Opening

The show was already starting when we got inside the theatre. Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, together with their backup dancers had a fab opening to welcome the audience. I can’t believe that we are seeing these well loved Disney characters again. It made me reminisce our fun memories at the Tokyo Disneyland last year. I missed Daisy Duck, though. She is actually my favorite. I wish that she would get to join the gang next time.

Aladdin

Next up was a performance from the lead characters of Aladdin. My son has not seen that movie yet nor have we read the book about it so we explained to him that the bluish and muscular fellow dancing on stage was Genie. Soon after, Aladdin and Princess Jasmin came out to wow the audience.  At this point, I was a bit nervous because I was expecting that my son, who has never watched a film inside a movie house, would ask us to go out of the theatre. We were so proud of our little boy because he didn’t freak out when the lights went out at the start of the show up until it ended! I actually had to ask him to go outside to check out the sponsors’ booths during the break.I guess that’s how magical the Disney Live it is to him. He got so engrossed at the amazing show even though he was only able to get acquainted with some of the characters during that day.

Mickey and Minnie

Minnie and Mickey went onstage again to give an introduction of the next act. The whole stage was transformed to give way for the performance of the main characters of the Little Mermaid. Too bad we didn’t have a clear picture of them. Sebastian, Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula and the mermaids presented the highlights of the story of The Little Mermaid during their act.

Bullseye Green Army Men Woody
Bullseye, the Green Army Men and Sheriff Woody were getting ready to wow the audience

My favorite part of the show was the last act where the characters of the Toy Story came up and did a skip rope showdown. With the Green Army Men in charge of the ropes, Jessie and Woody did an exhibition and skipped together on two inter-looping ropes.

Jessie and Woody

Afterwards, Jessie and Woody gave way for Bullseye to show everyone his hidden talent. Woody’s trusty horse can skip rope, too!

Jessie and Woody give way for Bullseye

We were so blessed to be at the KIA Theatre that day to watch the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival. It used to be just a dream to watch them perform live here in our country. We hope to see them next year and be entertained with the endearing gang of Mickey Mouse and the Disney characters from our childhood.

A big thanks to the Mommy Bloggers Philippines and the Araneta Center for giving us the opportunity to witness the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival!

Of Breastfeeding and Milk Sharing

My son is 2 years and 7 months old already and I am proud to share that we are still breastfeeding! Breastfeeding a toddler has its challenges but the benefits that we reap far outweigh the difficulties. Being able to breastfeed my son for this long is such a big blessing to our family. It is very beneficial for my growing boy and every feeding is an instant bonding time for us. Also, since I’m a breastfeeding, work-at-home mom, we save a lot of money because we don’t have to buy formula milk, feeding bottles and spend time and effort in washing and sterilising them.

While there is a growing community of breastfeeding mommies and babies, there are mothers who wanted to breastfeed their little ones but are unable to do so. Some cannot produce enough milk for their offspring while others have health conditions that prevent them from giving that precious milk to their babies. This is where the concept of milksharing comes in. If you are a breastfeeding momma who has an overflowing supply of breastmilk, you may want to participate in the upcoming Mommy Milkshare event this coming Saturday, September 5 at New Manila, QC. Read more about it from the press release below.

MommyMilkshare Programme Schedule
MommyMilkshare Programme Schedule

PRESS RELEASE

Mommy Milkshare: A MilkDrive for Moms Who Care

“Breastmilk is the best for babies” — most, if not all, moms have probably heard this at one point in their lives. The statement is 100% true, of course, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) states the following in its report on “Global strategy on infant and young child feeding”:

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. 

Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding

continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.”

Bearing this in mind, two breastfeeding-advocate-minded local enterprises are holding a post-Breastfeeding Awareness Month event to help provide breastmilk to needy babies, namely “Mommy Milkshare: A MilkDrive for Moms Who Care.” This will take place on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 5, 2015, at The Parenting Emporium, 29 1st Street, New Manila, Quezon City.

MommyMilkshare-1

The beginnings of a noteworthy event

“It all started when Jem Perez-Chua and Geraldyn Perez, the owners of Honeysuckle Philippines, approached us with this idea to ‘give back’ by organizing a milkletting activity,” Maricel Cua, co-founder of The Parenting Emporium (TPE) shares.

“We gladly agreed to co-organize because, as part of our advocacy on nutrition, one of our beneficiaries is the TPE Milksharing Hub*. The TPE Milksharing Hub fully supports milkletting activities like this, and responsible milk sharing,” she continues.

“We have participated in several milkletting efforts organized by local governments, hospitals, and even private groups. All collected milk from this particular event will go to the Fabella Milk Bank.”

Jem shares why she and her sister Geraldyn though of holding the MilkShare event. “We’ve been distributing Honeysuckle breastmilk bags for over a year now and given the reception of Filipina moms to our brand, we want to give back as well,” she says.

“We found out that the concept of breastmilk donation is not common knowledge, and some moms actually end up with a lot of ‘old frozen breastmilk’ because their babies simply weren’t able to consume all of their stored milk.

“So we thought — wouldn’t it be wonderful if another baby was able to benefit from that stored breastmilk instead? It could possibly even save lives!”

In addition, Jem and Geraldyn feel that there are “very few brands / organizations that are willing to set up breastmilk drives, because these events are really non-profit.” “So we want to help however way we can in something we feel very strongly about,” she adds.

 

Raising awareness, spreading the word about the advocacy

As self-declared “big supporters of breastfeeding,” Jem and Geraldyn hope they can make the Mommy MilkShare event bigger in succeeding years.

“For this first event, we reached out to The Parenting Emporium for guidance and lots of help,” Jem shares. “We found out that they have so much experience in this type of activity and we have none!

“The Parenting Emporium even took care of looking for speakers exclusively for the mom-donors to listen to,” Jem continues. “So it’s really great that we are both very aligned on this endeavor, because we just really want to help moms in whatever way we can. We hope more brands can join us in this cause in the future.”

 

The Mommy Milkshare MilkDrive: Uniting moms for the “breast cause” ever 

“We know the benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond just the first year of life so we want to raise awareness about the importance of donating excess breastmilk of moms — because there are so many babies who need the milk,” Jem emphasizes.

“We don’t want moms to ever consider feeding their babies with formula milk — especially in the few months, just because they think there is no other solution.”

Jem adds that donating breastmilk is very fulfilling because “you know that you are nurturing the life of another baby in need, on top of your own baby.”

“We hope that we will be able to help a lot of moms and babies with what we can collect and donate, in partnership with The Parenting Emporium,” she concludes.

 

Event details to take note of

The Mommy Milkshare milkletting event is open to all breastfeeding moms who wish to donate their milk. “There is no registration fee, but it is exclusive for breastmilk donors. Mommies should bring frozen milk, expressed within 3 months, and should also be willing to be screened,” Maricel expounds.

Aside from the milkletting activity, participants can expect different activities as well.

“Jem and Geraldyn wanted to help mothers at different levels, so we came up with the idea of free one-on-one consultations for 4 moms (the first 4 to register) with a volunteer International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or IBCLC,” Maricel shares. “There will also be relevant talks and lootbags for donors.” 

Below is the list of talks scheduled for the event:

10a.m.-12nn: Developmental Milestones of Your Infant/Toddler (Speaker: Tanya Velasco of Guru Firm {Early Childhood and Family Life Experts})

1-2p.m.: Time Management Skills for the Busy Mom (Speaker: Candice Cipullo of “The Travelling Maybahay” Blog)

2-3p.m.: Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges (Speaker: Joyce Martinez, RN, MSN, IBCLC)

3-4p.m.: Managing Mommy Guilt (Speaker: MommyProofing Coach Joy Dejos, Certified Professional Coach)

 

It is hoped that through this event for moms by moms, the message of “growing together as parents” will be shared to all, and that parents — especially mothers — will be encouraged to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, and share what they have with others.

To pre-register for the event, kindly contact the TPE Events Hotline: 0917-8110821. For updates from The Parenting Emporium, please send an email to theparentingemporium@gmail.com or follow TPE on Facebook and Instagram @theparentingemporium. To get in touch with Honeysuckle Philippines, contact them on Facebook and on Instagram @honeysucklephils.

 

*Additional information about The TPE Milksharing Hub 

Even before the official launch of The Parenting Emporium last July 2015, its founders Maricel Cua and Beng Feliciano had already been committed to milk sharing, as one of the advocacies under their former business.

“As breastfeeding advocates and peer counselors, we discovered the need to provide expert-backed information to breastfeeding moms and breastmilk to needy babies,” Maricel shares.

“Through the community that they had built at the time, which was composed of mostly nursing moms, that need was soon answered — through the generosity of the moms who gave their precious breastmilk donations,” Beng adds.

Maricel and Beng emphasize that all donations were — and still are — conscientiously screened and pasteurized to make sure that the milk is clean and safe, especially for sick babies.

“Under what is now known as the TPE Milksharing Hub, pasteurized breastmilk is distributed to babies whose mothers may be unable to provide them with sufficient breastmilk for some reason,” Maricel says.

Beng stresses that they make sure that the mothers who receive breastmilk are given breastfeeding counseling and support so that they will eventually be able to provide breastmilk for their own babies’ needs.

“This is just one way by which we hope to ‘give back’ to others,” Maricel shares.

If you are interested in donating your excess milk to the TPE Milk Sharing Hub, you may contact Maricel Cua at 0917-6247246, or Katrina Mitra at (02) 7253723 / (02) 7386272. You can also send an email to theparentingemporium@gmail.com. *Important reminders: Kindly prepare a Hepatitis-HIV profile that is less than six months old. If you have none, testing will be provided for free. Donated breastmilk should be less than three months old from date of expression.

 

Praying Incessantly

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. (Joshua 21:45 NIV)

That’s my memory verse this week.

I pray for a lot of things every day and some of them are things that I have been asking God for quite a while. Well, God gave me and my loved ones a wonderful surprise this week. After a few years, something unpleasant has finally come to an end. We are now free from worrying about what will happen next about it.  I cannot elaborate on it any further because it is something that is very confidential. The reason why I bring that up was because I wanted to share the joy that I now feel after years of praying incessantly for it to be resolved. God is truly faithful. He didn’t let us suffer for too long and He poured His abundant grace on us while we were waiting for that prayer to be answered. I’m not saying that it would always take years before God answers prayers. He has His own timetable and all we have to do is wait and be expectant; which leads me to another answered prayer.

If I had to wait for years for that first prayer to be answered, I only had to sleep on the next one. Yup, God gave the desire of my heart in less than 24 hours! It made me and my husband giddy and excited while we were talking about it on the phone. We have been blessed to watch the upcoming Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival for FREE. Actually, hubby would have to pay for his own ticket because the slots that I got are only meant for me and Louiji. The good thing about it, though, is that he can get it at a great discount at work. We have been to Disneyland in Tokyo and met Mickey face-to-face but we still want to have another Mickey encounter for the sake of our little boy. Louiji is a huge Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan and that he would watch the same episodes every day and would still be amused with the whole gang each time. He would always dance and giggle at his favorite scenes. Seeing how much my son finds joy with the ever famous Disney characters, I kept on praying that we can have the opportunity to watch the show without breaking the bank. It amazed me how God answered a mother’s fervent wish for her child! We may still have to shell out money for one ticket but my husband and I both agree that it is already a big blessing. It is a wonderful treat for our little family and one that we will surely treasure and feel grateful for.

How about you? Is there a prayer that you’ve been waiting for God to answer? I encourage you to take heart and be expectant of the fulfillment of His good promises in your life. I pray that you will also have the grace to wait patiently and be able to discern God’s answer clearly.

Have faith!