Louiji Turns One

Louiji's 1st Birthday Cake Smash
Louiji’s 1st Birthday Cake Smash

Up to now, I still can’t believe that the baby who is sitting on my lap right now is a year old already. How time flies! I am really blessed to have been chosen by God to bring one of His most wonderful and precious creations into life. Louiji, here’s a love letter that I lovingly dedicate to you. Talk about love overload!

Dearest baby Louiji,

I could have written this letter on the exact day of your birthday, January 14, but I was busy making preparations for your biggest milestone. I wanted to make sure that that day will be really special for you and for our whole family. I also think that the greatest gift that I can give you on your birthday is to be present and to savor every moment of that day with you. We had a very intimate celebration that day because it was just you, Mommy and Daddy. I hope you had fun during our late lunch at Contis Nuvali eating your bowl of arroz caldo. Well, for me, it looked like you did. We were so amused when you kept on looking at the waitress and following her around with your gaze! It was the first time that you did that. There are people who are really charming to kids and she is one of them.

I hope that you will also remember when your cousin Zeia, Tita Julian, Tito Homer, Granny and Lolo came in early in the morning to personally greet you. They were just in time because you just woke up. Tita Julian even made a birthday greeting photo of you and Zeia on Facebook. Kuya Dionne made a greeting card for you on paper with drawings of Mickey Mouse. Anak, these are all priceless birthday presents that I pray that you will value and cherish as you grow up.

At this day too, you’ve had your first birthday cake smash. I just got the idea on Pinterest and I thought that we can also do the same for you. It’s a fun experience that I want you to have on your first birthday. We have set up a corner of our living room for that. I finished your birthday banner which will serve as your backdrop and decorated the small but yummy cake that Daddy bought the night before with washi tape, paper straws and your Mickey Mouse and Pluto plastic figures. We sang you the birthday song as I place the cake in front of you. I was relieved that you did not attempt to touch the lighted candle. I blew it for you when the song ended because you don’t know how to do it yet. After that, instead of smashing the cake, you just poked on its sides and played with it a little without messing on your bib or tray. I smiled as I watched you do it. I thought that you didn’t whack the cake because you don’t want to ruin the toppers that Mommy made for you that morning. I love you (more) for that, baby! You’re showing signs of appreciating Mommy’s craft! 

Looking back at the past 11 months, I can’t help but be amazed and grateful of how God has blessed and saw us through the entire period of your infancy. Daddy and I are first time parents and though we read a lot and asked for parenting tips from older parents, we still had hits and misses. God made sure that you, one of His most beautiful creations, is always safe, protected and lack nothing. Through all those months, you have never been seriously sick. Mommy still has breast milk to give you up until now. Your appetite for solid food is something that we are really proud of. You’re not a picky eater. Your growth and development milestones continue to surprise us. You’re beginning to be more and more mobile and so I want to make an extra effort to keep the whole house spic and span (Help me, God!) so it will be safer for you to roam around.

To close this love letter, I’d like to say a prayer for you. I pray that the Lord will always bless you and keep you. The Lord makes His face shine upon you. May you grow up to be a God-fearing person, a man of good character, integrity, godly wisdom. I pray that you always be healthy and happy. I pray for all the good things in your life.

I love you forever my dear baby Louiji!!!!

Hugs and kisses,

Mommy 

 

Happy 11th Month, Louiji!

Louiji's 11th Monthsary

Hello there, baby!

We just celebrated your 11th monthsary last December 14. I hope you liked our Captain America theme. You looked good in the Captain America bonnet that we bought at Greenhills. It goes well with your red shirt and the shield that I made for you. You have seen how Mommy did that because you were almost always with me whenever I resumed working on it. It’s not perfect but the way I saw you smile when you looked at it made all the effort so worth it!

This is also the day that you ate your first spaghetti noodles. Yay! You can now eat a wider variety of foods! I didn’t add sauce to your pasta, though. I worry that the creaminess of the carbonara sauce will be too much for your little tummy. Maybe you can eat that after your birthday. Also, this month, you had a taste of the sinigang cut! No sinigang flavor on it; just boiled. You had it with rice and though you haven’t eaten a lot, you’ve had enough. Despite your growing appetite for solid food, you still like Mommy’s milkmilk. We’re always praying that God will enable me to breastfeed you until you are 2 years old :)

At this month, you were also able to sit on your own without any help from me at all. I was so ecstatic when I saw you did that! Super happy that I had to tell Daddy right away who was equally proud as Mommy! Great job, little one! The day after that, you began clapping while watching the Mickey Mouse gang do their Mouseka dance! You just kept on clapping and smiling at the same time. One time you, after you woke up and I have just removed your diaper,  you propped yourself up on all fours, rocking back and forth. I was so amused to see you do that. Parang nagpapayabang 😀 Then, you smiled and peed on our bed! What a playful baby you are!

Daddy and I are so thankful to God for all the growth and development milestones that you have achieved. God is indeed faithful and He has surprised us with all of these.

We are so proud of every achievement that you’ve had. Let’s continue to pray and hope for more. We love you so much!

Lots of love,
Mommy

Louiji’s First Advent Calendar

This year, I want to make our Christmas special because it is Louiji’s first Christmas. For that, I made an advent calendar where he can open a cute, little package each day. It was my first time to make one and it took a while for me to finish and set the whole thing up.
Louiji's first advent calendar captured in poor lighting. This was taken at daytime.
Louiji’s first advent calendar captured in poor lighting. This was taken at daytime.
After searching for inspiration all over the web, I gathered my supplies and collected the stuff that I would like to put in Louiji’s advent calendar. Special thanks to my husband who helped me collate the gifts :) I have also decided to put in letters from me and my husband on some of the pouches. It’s meaningful that way. There are things that money can’t buy.
For Louiji’s advent calendar, here are the materials that I have used:
  • Washi tapes from Hey Kessy, Bee Happy Crafts, small deco tapes from CD-R King (Php3.00/roll) and from the St James Bazaar. I forgot the individual prices of the others. Just click on the links to find out.
  • Kraft cartolina. Bought these from National Bookstore (Php6.25/roll) and SM Makati Stationery Section Php5.95/roll)
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Red and neon green colored paper (SaveMore)
  • Construction paper
  • White yarn
First, I have wrapped each object in the smallest possible way. I have neatly folded and tucked each carefully inside the paper pouches that I have made out of kraft cartolina. I used scotch tape to seal every package.
I used washi tapes to decorate the wrapped packages. I used one design for each gift. I tried to seal some of the packages with washi tape and deco tape but was unsuccessful on binding the cartolina together. I think that these tapes are better on paper.
Washi Tapes
After wrapping our trinkets, I labelled each with a number from 1 to 24 corresponding to the number of days before Christmas. I sticked washi and deco tapes on every package to form a number. That’s when I have realized that washified fonts take patience and thoroughness to be made! It’s art in itself.
Then, I rolled masking tapes and placed them at the back of each gift so I can mount them on the wall.
After that, I cut out letters from red and neon green papers to spell out “Merry Christmas Louiji”. I used alternate colors for every letter. I cut the letters without tracing anything on paper. I find it easier to do the cutting plus it looks clean that way. That’s just me. You can find plenty of letter templates on the web to print out as your guide.
Green and Red Letter Cutouts
Green and red letter cutouts
After I have cut out every letter that I need, I used tiny strips of masking tape to stick them on white yarn. I placed the banner on the wall using small strips of masking tape.
The original and ideal plan is for Louiji to open one gift starting Dec 1. But, since I was only able to finish everything days after, our baby boy opened 5 gifts in one night. Booyeah! But he still enjoyed it :) My ever supportive husband was there behind me, literally, to cheer on me as I mount all the gifts on our wall and he took pictures as I go through it.
Don’t get frustrated when some of the gifts begin to fall off from the wall, like what happened to ours. Just put them back using a more adhesive tape 😉
Merry Christmas!

Happy 9th Month, Louiji!

Louiji's 9th Monthsary
My dear baby Louiji,

You are now on your 9th month! God has blessed you with good health and strong immune system. You’ve had cough and colds but you never had fever. Praise God for that!

You have gained a bigger appetite. Whenever we’re together, you would eat your veggies and apples twice a day. Talk about being magana! Though, potatoes still don’t look appetizing to you. I know where you’re coming from, anak. Boiled potatoes really taste bland. Ewww. But, when you turn a year old, we can add a little spice to it. Ever notice that I say that a lot whenever you want to have a bite of something that is so flavorful? It’s a promise, baby! Mommy will make your diet as diverse but nutritious as possible starting on your birthday 😉

Another milestone of yours that Daddy and I are proud about is that you can now sit for as long as 15 minutes in the crib. You have yet to sit on your own but whenever we prop you up, you remain seated for so long. You were able to finish the Mickey Mouse show in one sitting. I was so happy the first time I saw you do that that I told Daddy about it over the phone right away. We’ll be excited all the more when we see you sit on your own!

At this time, you are also beginning to learn how to express yourself. Aside from crying, you have found ways to tell Daddy and me what you feel and what you want. We can tell right away when you’re hungry, sleepy, tired, want more food, need to be picked up and cuddled or you simply want to play with us.

I thank God that you still want Mommy’s milk milk. Everyday, we would ask God to give us an abundant supply of breastmilk. He is so faithful that at 9 months, I still have milk milk to give you each time we are together. I am also able to express milk at work and bring home two bottles for you that you can consume the following day. By third week next month, you wouldn’t need formula milk to augment your supply anymore. I will be staying at home with you and you will be exclusively breastfed again :)

Exciting times ahead! With the many milestones that you have achieved in the previous month, Daddy and I know that there are more to come. I pray that you will enjoy each stage that you will go through. Daddy and I will always be here motivate you and cheer on you as you go along.

We love you soooo much, our dear baby Louiji!!! May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.

Hugs, kisses and overflowing love,
Mommy

Happy 8th Monthsary, Louiji!

Happy 8th Monthsary, Louiji!
Happy 8th Monthsary, Louiji!

To my dearest baby boy,

Praise God! You are now 8 months old. You are getting heavier and taller. Some say that you look payat. I say you’re not because you’ve been gaining weight over the months. You’re beginning to look  like me which I think is a big factor which makes you more guwapo 😉

Daddy and I are excited for the growth and development milestones that you will soon achieve. We can’t wait to see you sit on your own and crawl. Or maybe you might skip crawling. Whatever. We won’t pressure you to do things that you are not capable of doing yet. We know that you’ll get there. If anyone dares to do or say otherwise, your Mommy will put her foot down and tell them off. Your Daddy and I know you better than they do.

Daddy and I would like to tell you again how much we are proud of your recent developments. You now enjoy being with Lolo. You’re having fun playing with Daddy. You don’t cry when you wake up from your morning nap. You are eating more solids. You like seating in your booster seat. You enjoy flipping through the pages of your Bible.

Louiji, we enjoy every moment that we spend with you. You might be fussy at times, pee and poop on our shirt, we love you just the same. We hope that you will keep on smiling and laughing whenever Daddy and I take your pictures. We just want to have more baon. That’s our way of taking you with us to work. You don’t know how much we like looking at your photos and videos whenever you’re not with us. We miss you terribly when we’re not together.

Anak, please remember that you are God’s next best gift to us. Second to your Daddy and Mommy’s marriage. We love you sooo much! We pray for all the good things in your life. Daddy and I are praying that God will continue to bless us with good health and longer life so we can watch you grow, enjoy life and have a family of your own.

A million hugs and kisses,
Mommy

Bonding with Louiji

I was on an unscheduled leave last Friday. My Dad has to go to the province and my Mom couldn’t handle 2 kids and a baby. I have an instant long weekend! My husband had to go to work so it’s just me and my adorable baby.

That Friday was a lot different from all the days that I spent alone with my baby. I had a great time and I could tell that he did, too. I was able to fulfill my mommy duties and the chores on time. I have bathe Louiji earlier than we do on weekends. He had more milk milk (what we call our breastfeeding sessions) and enjoyed longer naps. I was able to cook a decent meal for myself and marinate pork for dinner. I managed to squeeze in a little time for crafting. I was able to take a bath minus the rush. My biggest achievement that day was eating lunch together with my baby boy on time. He had the biggest smile while eating carrots from his own bowl on his booster seat. When he was finished with his bowl, I just gave him a toy so he won’t get bored in his seat while waiting for me to finish my food. After that, we went upstairs to have milk milk and take a nap. Actually, it was less than forty winks for me because I want to get more things done.

When my Mr Pogi was off to dreamland, I carefully got up from our bed and did more chores. I was able to tick a lot on my imaginary to-do list! I slowly crept back to the bedroom and saw that Louiji is already awake but, he didn’t cry. I clapped, clapped and commended my baby for being good and brave and for waiting for mommy to come back. After which, he whimpered to ask for milk.

We went downstairs to watch movies on our TV while I have my merienda. We finished Up then I started on Olympus. Found it boring so I just switched to Date Night (which I have already watched a million times with my husband). We were not that glued to the TV because we played with each other while I sang nursery rhymes for him. We also had milk milk sessions in between.

It was getting late and hubby would be home in a while. I needed to put my baby down so I can cook. He wouldn’t last that long in the crib even though he was sound asleep before I leave him. I think he knew that it’s night time and he doesn’t want to be left alone. He could really sense when I was several steps away from him. And when he did, he wailed. I came rushing to pick him up. I saw tears from corners of his eyes. He really cried. Hindi iyak-iyakan lang. Kawawa :( I stopped Date Night and played Despicable Me instead. It’s my son’s favorite! He kind of calmed down while we watched it.

That day, I had my son all to myself for several hours. It’s just me and him and our household chores. I really enjoyed that day. If only I can stay at home to take care of my little one while having a fab work-from-home job and/or a thriving business! That way, I wouldn’t miss him and I’d be there for each and every milestone that he will make. I pray that someday, I hope soon, we will get to that.

My Breastfeeding Journey

August is not yet over and the campaign for Breastfeeding Awareness is still on. I am one of its many advocates because I am still breastfeeding my baby who is almost eight months old already. Just so it’s clear: I mix feed my baby.

From the moment that I gave birth, up until I was about to go back to work, I direct feed my baby with my precious breastmilk. We only asked our pediatrician to prescribe a milk formula just in case I don’t get to produce enough supply for our baby boy to consume while I am at work. That’s why, days before my maternity leave ended, we trained our little one to drink my milk and the prescribed formula through the bottle. It was a bit of a struggle at first because my baby was not used to silicone nipple. But, he got the hang of it before I began working again. Swakto!

Because we have a baby boy, we know that he has a big appetite. My parents couldn’t believe at how frequent he feeds. Almost every hour! He can consume seven bottles of either 120ml or 80ml each when I am not with him. On the contrary, the most that I can express while in the office and in the car going home is a total of 8 ounces. That is only enough for two feedings. That’s the reason we use formula milk to augment his supply. If not, our poor baby will starve!

Formula milk is just a small portion of our baby’s nourishment. I breastfeed him in the morning and in the evening. There are times when he would ask for milk between 3AM and 6AM. As soon as I get home from work (after I have washed up), I take him to my breast to feed. We are the happiest on weekends and holidays. I can give him my milk anytime and anywhere he wants. I have my nursing cover for feeding outdoors. Sometimes, all I have is just his lampin, his blanket, or my shawl. As long as I keep hidden what must not be exposed, we’re fine. There was one time when I tried breastfeeding my baby without any cover in a restaurant. I was confident because I was wearing a button down blouse and an inner tube top. My husband got worried even though I assured him that I would be careful. He felt better when I finally draped the lampin over my shoulder and across my chest because our baby started to move a lot.

There were days when my supply is really low. I must admit that I feel sad when it happens. Glad that two of my teammates were able to help me (somehow). Blessed to have these men on our team! One brings malunggay leaves from their garden while the other one grinds the leaves and adds fruits to make smoothies and shakes for everyone in our group. Buti na lang health conscious sila! I get to benefit from their healthy lifestyle. Those malunggay concoctions really help increase my milk supply! Also, I have a secret and mysterious lactation aid: the pearl milk tea from Cha Time. I don’t know how it does it but I can really attest to its powers. Yesterday, my initial output was so low. It was less than an ounce! I had rice, drank milk and even had pan de sal for breakfast so I can tell you that I was not hungry when I expressed milk. After lunch, I bought my favorite drink and pumped milk after 30 minutes. My milk flow increased to 2.5 ounces. Amazing, right? I am looking for other ways to produce more milk for my growing baby boy. My goal is to breastfeed him until he is a year old. I am considering on buying Moringga (malunggay pills). The speaker from the Avent event that we attended earlier this month said that it would help, too. I’ll tell you more about that event in my next post.

 

Baby Dedication for Louiji

In an earlier post, I mentioned that the month of June made me a busy bee. It was exhausting alright, but the milestone and changes that came with it are all so worth it.

We’ve spent our time and effort on two major events last month. The first one is the dedication of our little one and the last one is moving into a new house. In this post, I will write about the former.

My whole month of June was packed with planning and preparations for our baby Louiji’s dedication. We call it dedication and not binyag or christening. I will create a separate post that will distinguish one from the other.

I started with research for the best caterer, suppliers and venue to find those that will suit our needs and fit our budget. I have spent so many days doing this. I’ve seen things that we’d like to have but are way over our budget. There are those that are really cheap but well, you will just get what you paid for. We did ocular inspections, too, just to see which venue would be most convenient for us and our guests.

After so many discussions and computations, we have decided to Queensland Catering and Woodsville Residences as the caterer and venue, respectively, for Louiji’s major event. We have tasted Queensland menu in one of the gatherings that we have attended and we liked their food, service and setup. Woodsville is our best bet for its proximity, clubhouse layout and rental fee.

Having crafting as my hobby, I could not resist but create DIY projects for our baby boy’s momentous occasion. I have scoured Pinterest and countless DIY, crafting and mommy blogs out there to find inspiration for my projects. The hubby also helped out and showed me several images that matches our party theme which is The Little Man :)

Here are my little DIY projects for our Little Man’s Dedication:

I chopped a big eraser to make mustache and LOUIJI stamps.
Chopped a big eraser to make mustache and LOUIJI stamps.

 

DIY money envelopes and cards
DIY money envelopes and cards

 

Used stamps and letter cut outs for my Little Man pennants
Used stamps and letter cut outs for my Little Man pennants

 

For the 4D letters, I recycled the illustration boards that we used in our pregnancy  week-by-week project
Recycled the illustration boards that we used in our pregnancy week-by-week project

 

I wrapped each letter in blue crepe paper
Wrapped each letter in blue crepe paper

I hope to do more DIY projects for all of our occasions in the future :)

 

When the Baby Gets Sick…

…the Mommy begins to panic! He was not sick with fever but he was not feeling well either.

Monday of last week, I took a half day off from work to be with my four-month old. After seeing the pictures which I asked my sister to take and send to me, I knew I had to rush home. The back of my baby’s ears were flaking again, but that time, they were red and itchy. The unbearable heat that day has caused my baby to sweat a lot. That too could have triggered the itch. He was so uncomfortable that he can’t even take a nap. My sister told me that he barely smiled, too. My parents had to turn on the AC so our baby could rest.

BeFunky_Iggy.jpg

What’s a working Mommy got to do? It’s a no-brainer; off to my parents’ house I go! Even if it means commuting with a bulky ice box on a schizo weather. Never mind if I have to hurdle the hassle of the commute that lay ahead.

When I reached my parents’ house, I was not able to get near my baby right away, much less take a peek of him. I need to rest, eat and take a bath so I could spare him from the germs and pollutants that have clung on me on my way home. When I have finally settled in, I went inside the room where he was in and kissed him and stroke his head. I laid my hand on him and prayed for his healing and comfort. Then, I took him to my breast to feed him and after that I let him sleep over me. It’s his most comfortable and favorite sleeping position. I gazed him, hugged him and kissed him some more.

When my husband came home that night, we wiped the back of our baby’s ears with a wet cotton and a bit of Oilatum soap to alleviate the itch. Whenever our baby boy would scratch his ears, we would gently block his hands and rub the area around his ears with utmost care.

My husband left us to stay at my parents’ bedroom so our little one could sleep through the night without scratching his ears. We have poor ventilation from where we currently live and it won’t do any good for our baby at that time. I also asked permission from my boss to take a VL the following day to take my baby to the doctor.

The next day, our baby boy is smiling again! He barely scratches his ears. We still used Oilatum when we gave him a bath. I still took him to the pedia just to have him checked. Too bad, she was still out of the country when we got to her clinic. I was about to look for another doctor but when I checked the back of his ears right after the secretary weighed him in, his skin is already back to normal! My baby is healed! :) To celebrate, we went to the mall to eat lunch with my family and enjoyed the AC minus the electric bill.

Our baby is well and he is happy again :) I’m one relieved and happy Mommy, too! :)

Prelude to Big Beginnings

I’ve been wanting to dedicate a post for my son’s birth story ever since I gave birth. It didn’t happen as soon as I wanted it to be because I needed to concentrate on taking care of my newborn, recuperate from my C-section, and adjust in my new life as WIFE AND MOTHER. I want to write this important post with as many details as possible complete with photos. I can’t do it right now because most of the materials needed were left at home. I will do my best to compose it this weekend and use the title, Big BeginningsWatch out for it :)