Category: Health

Make brushing more fun with Minions!

If it were not for my parents’ diligence in bringing us to dental appointments and cleaning regularly, my sister and I would probably have a bad set of teeth.

And so we do this now to our daughter, who, not like me, didn’t like brushing as a little girl.

But when the tooth fairy teeth started to take her milk teeth away (a few months after she weaned from breastfeeding), our daughter became more mindful with taking care of her teeth.

It was hard back then to look for toothbrushes that would suit my daughter’s small mouth and teeth, and we’re glad to find Colgate Minions tooth brush and tooth paste!

Let’s say it together: squeeze, brush, rinse!

We used to have sooooo many tactics in order to have our daughter get toothbrushed. Tandem brushing (she brushes my teeth while I brush hers), Daddy and Mommy tag team to brush the squirmy baby, name it, and we did it. Plus, because of her rather small mouth, we had to look for a brush that would fit her mouth.

When she turned five, we started using Colgate Minions toothbrush and we’ve been using it for a couple of years already.

Cute in blue and yellow.

Touringkittyps
Top three tips on how to take care of your teeth:

  1. Drink water after eating. If possible, gargle immediately. So that no dirt will remain in mouth.
  2. Avoid dark-coloured drinks (cola, coffee, tea) that may lead to early discoloration of teeth.
  3. Brush every after a full meal. Do not eat after brushing.

As the new and permanent teeth kicks in, our daughter is very mindful of tooth brush time, and how thoroughly her teeth are being brushed. Glad there’s Colgate Minions tooth brush (that comes in twin packs) to help us maintain her pearly whites.

 

Get yours now!

 

~ Touringkitty

Bert Lozada Swim School: Trusted name in swimming lessons

I love water, but swimming doesn’t love me!

Hmmm, did I say it right?

I love being in a pool, I can be on it especially when it’s summertime (for as long as it’s no more than four feet deep). I had several attempts in learning how to swim, but to no avail. Well, a little perhaps. Back in college, one of my choirmates “tried” to teach me for a whole week, in between rehearsal sessions. At the very least, I learned to float. That was it.

So I promised myself that I’d bring my child to swim lessons as early as possible. And this is the opportune time for my little girl to start. And doing this with no less than the decades-long trusted name in swim lessons, Bert Lozada Swim School.

Before the Holy Week break, mommy bloggers were invited by BLSS in their Summer Classes launch at our favourite pool place, Ace Water Spa in Pasig City.

Aside from the actual launch, we were given a chance (yes, both moms and kids!) to have a lesson with their very competent coaches.

My little mermaid having fun in the water.
My little mermaid having fun in the water.
Underwater!
Underwater!

The moms had no less than the company’s COO, Angelo Lozada, as our coach for the day.

Mommy Bloggers get quality lessons from the company head himself.
Mommy Bloggers get quality lessons from the company head himself.

Coach Angelo was a pedagogue, really. He made sure he knew each mom first before we even got in the water. We had our own personal concerns with the water. Some can swim, most cannot. Some fear submerging, others cannot float. So we got sorted into various groups (a la Harry Potter) and got to work on what we knew and what we wanted to achieve that session.

While we moms were pretty sure our kids were enjoying their lessons, we are dealing with our own swimming issues and concerns. We got through, and personally, I’d like to learn to swim because it is a life skill, as what BLSS has been stressing that whole afternoon. Plus, it might also save another life, who knows!

And everyone, too can have that safe and enjoyable summer because they know how to swim! BLSS offers programs from babies to adults, even for persons with special needs. They also train competitive swimmers and coaches. For whatever age and need, BLSS has that personalized touch to each student.

Visit their website to know the various programs they offer. They are in over 60 locations.

Their promise: At BLSS, everyone can swim!

Third generation Lozada swimmers and owners of BLSS: Angelo and Anthony Lozada, with bloggy babies Anika (of Mommy Fleur www.mommyfleur.com) and Ariadne (of Touringkitty www.touringkitty.com)
Third generation Lozada swimmers and owners of BLSS: Angelo and Anthony Lozada, with bloggy babies Anika (of Mommy Fleur www.mommyfleur.com) and Ariadne (of Touringkitty www.touringkitty.com)

 

Visit www.bertlozadaswimschool.com to learn more about their quality programs and locations.

 

~ Touringkitty

 

Photo credit: All event photos from BLSS.

Consummatum est: Weaned from the breast

I really cannot think of any good title for this post. I just had to post this anyway: Aria is FULLY WEANED from the breast. From MY breasts, which nourished her with my own milk from Day One.

No more breastfeeding, no more asking for “dede” to be able to sleep. Not even for comfort. Not even for…nothing. Hugs work. Blankets work. Dolls work. That’s enough for her.

I actually thought she’d wean after that two-week Europe trip I had in the middle of last year. Or even that overnight trip to Balesin last month. But she didn’t.

It has been close to two weeks of no nursing at all, no asking for “dede” to sleep. After our nightly prayers, she would just wrap herself in a blanket to sleep, then mightily proclaim that she will sleep by herself because she is a big girl.

 

She IS big. We have to pay for her train fare already. No more free buffet for her either. Kid's Rates already apply.
She IS big. We have to pay for her train fare already. No more free buffet for her either. Kid’s Rates already apply.

Let’s count this exactly: Five years, five and a half months. From someone who had doubts in the early days, who was almost persuaded to give formula (to which I never gave in), whose original goal was just six months, it was more than what I prayed for.

Breastfeeding is an investment. Aside from not buying formula and bottles anymore, we had lesser hospital trips, and reduced risk for certain types of cancers. Not only my daughter, but for me as well. Plus the countless other positive benefits for the whole family. Even for Daddy, who always had a good sound sleep in the night.

What happens next? Baby number two so I could breastfeed again? That’ll come, Sa Tamang Panahon.

That’s why I am ever so happy to see MORE breastfeeding families nowadays, and actively promoting it through the organisations that I am part of — LATCH and Our Lady of La Leche Movement.

It is true, a mom could be emotional when weaning time comes. For some, they choose to force wean, for some reasons. But I let this one come naturally, on her own. And all I feel is bittersweet.

I am praying and will continue to support all families who choose breastfeeding. Trust me, it’s the BEST and ONLY choice you’d want for your children.

 

~ Touringkitty

Touringkitty Cooks: Dump-it-all Tuna Mushroom Pasta

Cooking at home takes up most of my mornings (or evenings). I usually spend 95% of my kitchen time in preparing the food, then 5% goes to the actual eating.

But with my often busy schedule, I would rather rely on eating out, taking home food, or food delivery. Less effort, but often with more cost.

What to do, then?

Chopped up veggies are my best friend nowadays. No more tedious cutting, just open the pack and voila, your ingredients are ready!

My kitchen buddy, all chopped up!
My kitchen buddy, all chopped up!

And here’s a recipe my daughter and I love the most. No cutting or measuring needed. Just DUMP-IT-ALL!

DUMP-IT-ALL TUNA MUSHROOM PASTA

Ingredients:

1 250g pack Pasta Spirals (you may also use Penne, Macaroni, or Vegeroni for added colour)

1 small can Tuna in Light Oil, drained

1 can Jolly Mushroom Pieces and Stems

Half bar of cheese slices (the more, the cheesier!)

Olive oil

Salt to taste

 

Procedure:

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain.

2. In the same pot, add some olive oil. Then dump all the ingredients together!

3. Mix, mix, mix. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then…

Dump-it-all Tuna Mushroom Pasta. Done in less than 20 minutes!
Voila! Dump-it-all Tuna Mushroom Pasta. Done in less than 20 minutes!

This has proven to be a no-fail recipe for my daughter. She loves this dish and I like it too because it is a complete meal in itself–carbs, veggies, and protein all in one bowl.

 

How about you, how do you #makeitjolly in your kitchen?

 

~ Touringkitty

A snore-free marriage is a happy marriage

So you vowed to honor and cherish him in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, till death do you part.  But have you factored in sleepless nights because he snores like a jumbo jet?

Some wives (and husbands) have not.  So what started out as a fairy tale ended as a nightmare.

In China, a 30-year-old woman divorced her husband because she claimed spending sleepless nights lying next to a heavy snorer.  The judge granted the divorce.

In another part of the world, the Associated Press reports that a newlywed Iranian filed for divorce after his bride admitted drugging him on the sly to keep him from hearing her snore.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/divorce-reasons_n_3763023.html

Snoring can wreck a marriage because sleep deprivation brings out the worst in us.  When a sleepless partner is cranky, tired and irritable, the other responds by being just as difficult. Sex drive takes a nosedive. Work suffers because you can’t think clearly.

http://www.medios.hu/en/snoring-therapy/information/relationships-and-snoring

Snoring can keep away friends and relatives you stay with in an overnight trip to a beach resort because they can’t stand your snoring when theyneed a good night’s sleep after all that running, swimming and playing outdoors. 

Why do people snore?  Mayo Clinic cites the following causes:

• Physical reasons. A low, thick soft palate can limit the airway. So, too, do extra tissues at the back of the throat found in overweight persons.
• Alcohol. This relaxes throat muscles and reduces “natural defenses against airway obstruction.”
• Nasal troubles.  Perennial congestion in the nose or a crooked partition between your nostrils” can cause the problem.
• Sleep apnea.   The condition is serious because “throat tissues partially or completely block your airway,” thus keeping you from breathing.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/snoring/basics/causes/con-20031874

All is not lost. The AntiSnor Acupressure Ring helps reduce or prevent snoring using Western and Eastern medical philosophies.  The ring, worn on the little finger of the left hand, applies pressure on nerve points.  This, in turn, stimulates muscles controlling your upper airway to help reduce or prevent snoring.

  

The AntiSnor ring treats common ailments using finger massage on acupressure points. 

Users report reduced snoring, better sleep quality, less fatigue, improved breathing and others. Allthese, minus the use of invasive procedures like an operation to solve nasal anatomy problems.  

  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gby8wuvk_OA

The ring comes in three sizes – small, medium and large.  Or you may expand the ring to fit your little finger.  

Hypoallergenic and drug-free, it is available at Watsons stores at SM Mall of Asia, SM North, SM Fairview, SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM Makati, Festival  Mall, Robinsons Galleria, Market Market, Greenbelt 1 and Gateway.

Touringkitty Eats: Counting Calories with The Good Box

I have always wondered about food boxes. One, I wondered if their food is delicious and two, I wondered if it really works.

I seriously gained weight when I started eating healthier. If you follow me on Instagram (please follow @touringkitty) you’d notice my posts on #healthyeating and all I’ve been experimenting on my small kitchen. Since I resigned from full-time work exactly a year ago, I have gained about 20 pounds. I looked better, but I have been packing so much pounds already that I feel like I have to diet.

And this food box came my way.

I had the opportunity to try a day’s worth of meals from The Good Box yesterday, and here’s how my meal for the entire day looked like:

My food for the day!
My menu for the day!

I must admit, when I took out all the food from the bag, I was like, so this will be it? Where’s my rice?! =)

Here’s what’s on the menu:

What's on my menu?
What’s on my menu? Let us count the calories!

The delivery guy came with my goodies almost late in the evening the other night, good thing we’re still awake. So, as instructed, I placed everything in the refrigerator and reheat them the following day.

My breakfast was this:

Eggs Italiano, Fruit and Fruit Juice: I steamed the bread and egg, so it got a little soggy. But my breakfast was filling nonetheless. In between my breakfast and lunch, I munched the Popcorn Ball.

Lunch was Couscous with shrimp and salad. Ok, so at this point, I was really feeling I was counting the calories, so I almost ate something else after having this! I was about to go to teach then, so I had the afternoon snack, which was two digestive cookies.

The dinner was yummy! I had Vietnamese Tofu Noodle in Lettuce Wrap, plus a serving of jello.

I also made sure I was properly hydrated (plain water did the trick) after each meal. As I found out from their Calorie Requirement Chart, it was a giant drop from 2,000 calories (estimate for my age) to 1,200 calories that day. I had a busy afternoon that day and since I am also still breastfeeding, I had to take in a little more calories (I cheated, actually, because I ate a little rice meal after I had the digestives, just before I headed to my choir rehearsal!).

If you want to lose weight yet eat healthy and delicious, try The Good Box. They have meals for different caloric requirements. I cannot vouch for its effectiveness as I have only tried a day’s worth of food. They cater to various diet programs and offer at least a week’s worth of food boxes delivered to your doorstep everyday.

Another thing I liked about The Good Box is that they use biodegradable containers. As you’ve seen the photos above, those are not plastic containers, but something made out of sugarcane that is called “Bagasse.” It will turn into compost in 12 weeks. Add to that, they source most of their produce from Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm. Pretty neat, right?

Want to lose weight? Start by eating healthy! Check out their website and Instagram (@thegoodboxph).

~ Touringkitty

On post-pregnancy bodies and shopping

Shopping attempt yesterday: BIG FAIL!

Haha I know it was Fathers Day but my hubby wanted to buy me clothes cos my closet’s screaming for a makeover (imagine all my clothes had to be breastfeeding-friendly–e.g. Tank tops, v-necks or deep necks, boleros, shawls and we have not weaned just yet!).

So off I went for 20 minutes of picking and filling up a basket, and much to my dismay upon fitting these clothes, they all did not fit. Leggings only go halfway on my legs, shirts were too tight, shorts won’t close the buttons. And they were medium sized already!

I was so surprised because I underestimated my body three years after I gave birth. All the while I though I was thin, but my hips, chest, and legs are now bigger than before!

The sweet ending though: I left all clothes in a basket outside the fitting room, and filled them with new blouses and shorts for my kid! Oh how fun it is to be a mom!

I better hit the gym now. Join in!

How do you deal with your postpartum bodies? Share your tips in the Comments section.

Of toddlers and (very long) naps

Ever since her waking world began, Aria has sleeping issues.

No, make that, ever since in utero, Aria had sleeping issues — when she used to rock my whole body in the middle of the morning with her strong kicks and punches.

In the past two years, you could only count the times she slept on her own without having to nurse. With much excitement, I tweeted, took pics, and posted on Facebook those few precious times that she slept without the aid of the “dede!” We achieved this by rocking her, singing to her, tapping her thighs. But it’s hit or miss, and always, a miss.

As expected, her schedule is erratic during daytime. Generally she sleeps well in the evening, as long as I’m beside her for easy boob access. Sometimes she takes one morning nap of about 1 hour, then another hour of nap in the afternoon. Last month, her pattern is four to five hour naps. Yes, as long as FIVE HOURS! Imagine what time she sleeps in the evening!

Poor Nonna (my mom), who sacrifices carrying sleepyhead Aria just to make her nap as long as she wants.

The past days, she naps for no more than two hours. The shortest is about 30 minutes. If this is the case, she can sleep early, maybe around 9 or 10 PM. We could notice that she exhausts her energies first by trying to be awake and play with us until she feels really really sleepy. The vampire Aria wakes up as early as we do–at 6 AM! Sleep deprived is she, nevertheless she’s still full of energy all the time.

But this week is a different story. Few days back, my mom called me at work to tell me that Aria napped for 45 minutes. My husband came home earlier and texted Aria slept–with her nightgown already–at 6:30 PM! I came home from grocery at 9PM and she’s still asleep. My arrival was just in time for her to be half awake and look for the “dede.” So I change to my night clothes and laid down beside her to nurse–switching boob every two seconds! I hope she doesn’t wake up way too early!

Should I cut the long naps, then? My only worry is that Aria is so unpredictably cranky when she doesn’t get a good sleep, or if she is disturbed by some tiny sound. Her bionic ears are so bionic that she wakes up when we’re whispering, or when a fork moves. I pity her when she got her deep sleep and when she’s in the REM stage, even a small noise wakes her up. She ends up just crying and crying and waking up already.

One more thing is night nursing. We still aren’t successful with this. But should we really cut the night nursing at this stage? Me and my husband says not yet but some reading materials say otherwise. Surprisingly, there are nights when she asks for fresh milk instead of mommy’s milk, so we give her before sleeping.

How about you, mommies, do you sleep train? How do you do it?

~ Touringkitty

The rain made me sad

Pag-asa finally got it right. So it rained, twas a tropical storm even, making us spoil all our plans to hit the mall and eat with the family today.

The other night, while my officemate and I ran in the rain under a small umbrella just to get home soonest after watching a concert (how we love our job–free concerts to watch! And foreign acts even!), we saw a girl about ten years old sitting down, hands clasped around her body, in the middle of the pouring rain. My officemate told her she should have gone home. My question is, does she really have a home to go to?

And it made me really sad. I told my husband and my daughter about it, and we prayed for that little girl that she may have a dry place to stay for the night.

Blessed. That’s what our families are. For that we should never cease praising Him.

Aria slept early tonight. Good thing because she was awake way early than usual. So while the humming of the aircon was lulling my little rascal to sleep, I fixed our mountainous closet. Two weeks after the helper left and we’re coping with late night cleaning, ironing, fixing whatever we can while we get some peace and quiet with the sleeping toddler. Lately, she’s been quite a handful, two handfuls even, running around, falling, bumping, screaming, throwing things, not listening, what have yous. Terrible twos? Nah, make it REALLY TERRIBLE TWOS!!! And she’s not even two!

As I was folding clothes, I saw the plastic bag full of rashguards, swimsuits and trunks. We bought it two months ago supposedly for the Boracay trip that never was. Seeing those stuff made me sad. We never got to use it even if we’re disease-free the rest of May. I wonder if those will ever fit Aria next summer. I doubt they will, she grows at lightning speed after she got dextrosed. She eats so much now that she sometimes eats more than I do, though a quarter of the serving usually goes to the floor or table.

I kept blaming myself in my head as I was folding the rashguards. What did I do, what did I feed her? Why did it ever have to happen? I bought her one with a duck hoodie on it, the other a pretty rainbow colored one. She could have looked good on it. She would have loved splashing on the water. We lost a lot of money for this trip because of the cancellation policies of hotels and planes. No mercy for the sick baby indeed. Thinking of it makes me cry inside that I don’t want my husband to see me in tears because he would have told me, it’s so last month.

And yes, this past month has been filled with triumphs, trials, and blessings. We’re all safe, no one is sick at the moment, we’re eating well. We just have to be careful even more now that Aria is in her explorative year. Our little family is very thankful for the love we receive from people who care–my mom, my sister, my aunt, most especially, for making themselves available for Aria when we can’t.

We’re facing June energized, happier, and healthier. The stay-out helper will start next week. Mom will still take care of Aria when we’re out. Aria will not anymore attend toddler school after much praying and deciding. Our toddler is growing and the household should cope up with these changes. She is hungry for learning, so we’re exposing her to more interesting stuff. We’ll enjoy her babyness and naughtiness in the meantime. She won’t forever be like that.

~ Touringkitty

P.S.

But of course I have to use that rashguard, so an indoor pool outing must be on my list this month. Persistence is the key.

Life’s firsts

A TMI post, I know. But please bear with this first-time mommy who didn’t expect this to happen just as when they’re preparing for a family vacation.

20120502-141341.jpg

First word, first tooth, first solid food. As moms we anticipate those. I can’t believe there will be a first hospitalization for my little big girl.

On Labor Day Tuesday, she woke up, rather lazily. She took a few minutes tossing and turning around the bed. We thought it was just one of her new tricks. But when I touched her forehead it was hotter than the usual. True enough, her temp went almost 39 degrees celsius. We gave her paracetamol ad just vomitted it. We held our decision to proceed to the ER until after lunch, when we gave her another dose if medicine and spat them all out. She was uneasy, sweating, cranky, and crying.

We were sent home so we could just monitor. But at 10.30pm, when she’s about to take another dose, she was shivering. That moment, we decided to head back to the hospital, nevermind the pambahay clothes. Her temp went as high as 40. Good thing there was no convulsion, bad thing because depite the meds, hydration, nonstop breastfeeding, and attempts to give her food she’d take, our efforts weren’t enough. We had to check in at the hospital.

It was almost midnight. We weren’t aware of the hospital policy that no guardian is allowed while IVs are put, so imagine our worry leaving Aria to the nurse and doctors. If we were worried, more so my mom, who can’t go an inch behind the door where our poor baby was shouting, crying helplessly. I told my husband that if they weren’t finish in five minutes, I’d bang the door open. Finally, what seemed like forever took less than five minutes, and as the door opened and I was getting Aria, she kept on shouting ‘goodbye!’ to the doctors. My poor little one. We warned them of her kalikutan and yes, it proved to be so according to the nurse.

We were assigned a private room and good thing my daughter has a health card! (thanks, daddy!). We watched Little Einsteins and it’s as if nothing happened; though weak, she imitates Leo the conductor, got ready for blast off and tapped the rhythm from slow to super fast!

Today, Wednesday, Aria pooed, peeed, and vomitted her meds in the morning. I pity her, she’s not the usual happy kulit baby I know. But we prayed, really hard, to take whatever pain out of her little body. Medicines were administered by doctors and nurses and boy did she hate all of them now! Just hearing their voices makes her cry. So hard.

The antibiotics we hope will cure whatever infection she might have gotten. I’m just so exhausted to think of things other than Aria. Schedules were forgotten and people may have been affected but this is out of my hands already. Both Aria and I just want to go home, cuddle, sing songs and play. Please offer a prayer for all the sick little kids all over the world. They don’t deserve to be sick at all.

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No one’s gonna hurt you, not while I’m around.

~ Touringkitty