Category: Parenting

Say my name!

“Me, Ah–nee!”

In baby talk, it means “My name is Ariadne!”

And that little girl who only says “ungeee” and eeewww” and “owww” when she was barely two months now says a mouthful and more!

Yes. Our baby is now a toddler. 18 months. And we’re oh so happy and proud!

We’re still breastfeeding (yay!) and I’ve been juggling mommy duties and full-time work for almost two months already.

I have the kindest boss and workmates. I can go home for lunch and still pump milk and cuddle with the little one if she’s awake. And I work for four days a week only, so I got three days of weekend (except when concerts and projects are on weekends, though).

Just this week, two articles from Yahoo came out with a checklist on words a toddler should know. I tried listing down what Aria already knows at 18 months and here’s what we’ve got:

FAMILY

1. Mommy/Mama

2. Daddy/Papa

3. Nonna (for her Lola, my mom)

4. Tita (my sister)

5. Ate (our helper, and any other older girl she sees)

6. Ya/Kuya (any older boy she sees; before she can say this, she calls everyone Ate)

7. Lolo/Lola (my husband’s parents)

PARTS OF THE BODY

8. Eyes

9. Nose (she says it “Nos!”)

10. Ear

11. Hair

12. Chin

13. Lips

14. Teeth

15. Fingers

16. Hands

17. Toes

18. Bi-bu (belly button)

19. Dede (Mommy’s! When she wants milk she just pulls my shirt!)

20. Dodo (yes, that of Daddy’s!)

21. Feet

22. Knee (but she says Me!)

23. Elbow (and she says Elmo!)

FOOD

24. Apple (all fruits are apple to her eyes! I’m amazed because she knows the difference between fruits and vegetables)

25. Puffs (her favorite snack – Happy Baby Puffs! Get yours from Ygo’s Organics–they’re cheaper than the ones in Healthy Options)

26. Mamam (water)

27. Milk

28. Eat (or namnam)

29. Elmo (the character of when she wants the cookies)

OTHER WORDS

30. Kitty (Hello Kitty)

31. Jollibee

32. Hello (hawo!)

33. Babay!

34. Elmo

35. Bi-bo (Big Bird)

36. Baby Einstein

37. Car

38. Boat

38. Dog (she says Dug!)

39. Shoes

40. Socks

41. TV

42. Coming

43. Down/Sit down

44. Up

45. Sleep (with handsign)

46. More (with handsign)

47. Done (with handsign)

48. Watch

49. Ball

50. Inside

51. Jump

52. Slide (yes, Temple Run!)

53. Amen! (yes we pray, she tries to recite Angel of God and our morning prayer)

54. Play

55. You

56. Me

57. How

58. Sun

59. Star

60. Now

61. House

62. Toothbrush

63. Open

64. Close

She surprised us recently by reciting 1-10 and the alphabet! Complete with “Now I know my ABCs!” She sings the Do-Re-Mi and sings almost everything and on the right pitch. She memorized TV commercials, much like I did when I was four. And she anticipates, so much! She even mimics us, her parents, when we sing opera. She also sang Happy Birthday Aria last night as it was her 18th month birthday.

Warning: this is not a guide to measure your own children’s verbal ability. Unlike the Yahoo articles I mentioned which they say toddlers MUST know, these words are what my daughter knows, without sticking on the standards that they say. I saw JUICE in both articles, and since Aria hasn’t had juice yet, she doesn’t know the word. She’s eating the real fruit anyway!

I was also stressed when at one point I felt Aria was way behind her peers her age. Especially in walking. She’s quite delayed actually because we can’t still let go of her hand knowing how likot she is!

Different children have different learning curves and styles. It really depends on your child how he or she absorbs what you teach.

What I noticed is by repetition, Aria easily remembers things, even if she heard it long ago and maybe only once or twice. She retains information long-term that way. Her attention span is that of a goldfish and since she’s the explorative one, she wants to discover so much at one time, like playing her xylophone while driving her car. Pretty preoccupied I know. But that’s how she learns and that’s how we teach her.

And now that she officially turned into a toddler, more challenges await her. And us. We can’t wait.

How about you, moms, what are the challenges in teaching your toddler?

~ Touringkitty

The “Breast” Gift

The Blog Carnival's Logo by Mec (www.mecasmom.blogspot.com

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (December). For this month, we want to honor breastfeeding for having enriched our lives and blessed us, maybe even empowered us, in a way that only breastfeeding can. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

Being able to sustain breastfeeding for almost sixteen months is the greatest gift I have ever received and given. I credit my success to the Lord Almighty, my newfound devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, my family and friends who supported me from day one up until now. And with the looks of it, both my daughter and I are not ready to stop anytime soon. Not just yet.

Along with the gift of breastfeeding, I have also received other “gifts” that naturally came with it, which I now have realized. Allow me to share some with you:

1. The Gift of Commitment

I chose to breastfeed. And I prepared myself for it. I did my homework — research, attend La Leche League meets, talk with moms who had similar experience or at least can share some of their knowledge. Commitment is also a choice. I know I was willing to commit to be with my daughter especially in the first few months, when no one else at home knew what breastfeeding was all about. The same commitment I have used even when I have to work. Thankfully, I can work part-time so I pump occasionally. Never had and never will result to formula.

2. The Gift of Confidence

I and my daughter are notorious public breastfeeders. I stopped using breastfeeding stations after a snooty nurse from the mall clinic didn’t allow me to get in because I had a stroller. So we nurse anytime, anywhere. I am confident to breastfeed in public also because I’ve learned the tricks of it (though at times it’s a challenge with my cute squirmy daughter!). So far, no nasty or malicious looks, no guards preventing us to do so, thankfully. My husband is ready to protect me and fight for me if anyone does so.

3. The Gift of Communication

Breastfeeding is my advocacy. God allowed me to use social media, such as this blog, joining blog carnivals, posting tweets, status messages, to encourage more moms and families to breastfeed. Though I didn’t push through with my LATCH training as lactation counselor, God still allowed me to sort of act like one by visiting a new mom in a nearby hospital and giving tips to her new breastfeeding experience. Likewise, my husband supports and promotes breastfeeding through his blog and joining blog carnivals — so far he’s joined two Milk Mama Diaries carnivals and he doesn’t mind if he’s the only dad who joins! I’m one proud wife and mom here!

4. The Gift of Camaraderie

Breastfeeding gave me even more new friends! The La Leche League meets, Babywearing meets (another advocacy as well), blog carnival, tweeting, fb-ing, the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, opened doors and windows to more like-minded moms. Camaraderie even if some of them I haven’t met in person, but the empowerment, inspiration, and prayers they’ve given is more than enough.

On top of all these, what’s the best gift?

Courage.

Not to confuse it with confidence, Merriam-Webster defines courage as a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Let me share a passage from this web article: http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Courage-the-Same-As-Self-Confidence?&id=4216525

“Most of our choices require confidence and courage. It takes a lot of courage to choose to speak up and to let someone know how you feel, especially if that person has authority over you. It takes confidence, on the other hand, to try new things. It takes confidence and courage to put yourself first.”

I conquered breastfeeding problems in the early days like sore nipples, almost no sleep because baby feeds sometimes every 30 minutes, oversupply, reflux. I didn’t follow our pediatrician’s and other people’s recommendation to give formula because they say I have a small baby. I know they may mean well, but I didn’t give up on breastfeeding, simply because I want to tell them that breastfeeding is normal. I resist, but I persist.

It will surely take some more time to make people realize that the female breasts really are meant for feeding the baby. It’s the “breast” gift we can give to our children.

And before I forget, Merry Christmas from our breastfeeding family!

During our recent Iloilo trip. We breastfed in the plane, at church, at any empty chair when our baby wants it!

~ Touringkitty

Do take the time to check out all the posts in this month’s carnival:
Shaps http://bouncingbear.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/beyond-being-thin/
Gretchen http://www.eleora113.com/2011/12/12-useful-breastfeeding-gifts-for.html#!/2011/12/12-useful-breastfeeding-gifts-for.html
Carol http://thelazymama.net/2011/12/13/the-gift-of-miracle/
Jenny O. http://www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com/2011/12/gifts-of-breastfeeding.html
Anne http://diapersandstethoscope.blogspot.com/2011/12/gift-of-breastfeeding.html
Nats http://mymommykuwentos.blogspot.com/2011/12/we-wish-you-merry-nursing.html
Jenny R. http://mymommyology.com/2011/12/12/if-the-magi-were-queens/
Em http://www.touringkitty.com/2011/12/13/the-breast-gift/
Isis http://thenewadventuresofanoldmommy.blogspot.com/2011/12/got-milk.html
Armi http://thenewadventuresofanoldmommy.blogspot.com/2011/12/got-milk.html
Liv http://tinkerputt.lcoreph.com/2011/12/my-breastfeeding-journey.html
Laya http://www.mommyluscious.com/2011/12/time-in-a-drop-of-milk.html
Mec http://www.mecasmom.com/2011/12/gift-of-changed-man.html

I (only) Have Two Hands

…and both of them are quite full right now.

For those who know me well, I love being a busy bee. Literally everywhere, singing or teaching or singing still, catching a flight to wherever, watching movies, having frap in a nearby cafe with my hubby and friends, at church every Sunday and on special occasions and meetings, ad infinitum.

Back then, I seemed to have time for everything.

But when I became pregnant, I chose what I only want to do. I dropped everything for the baby in my womb. And it was the best decision I made.

Now my hands are quite full.

I thought it was easy. I quit my job, gave birth, breastfed (because it was SO MUCH EASIER than formula feeding!), we had a daytime helper who cooks, cleans the house and does almost all household chores so I can concentrate on the newborn.

Or so I thought.

When Aria was a few days old, I was even working! One arm holding her, the other typing away script guides. I’ll ask food from our helper (thank God for them!) and voila, food and drink in front of me! Aria gets hungry, no problem! She breastfeeds and goes back to sleep in my arms, waiting for another three hours when she gets hungry again.

Months passed and things got even harder for the mom with only two hands and that little ball of energy! She’s got so much that I can’t cope up. I got back to part-time teaching and singing which I so missed, was reinstalled as music ministry coordinator (being a church volunteer takes dedication, I know, but being in the music ministry is even harder because of rehearsals almost every week! I do hope others would come to understand that), plus the helper all of a sudden disappeared (note to self: DON’T treat a helper again with Chicken-all-you-can, else it’ll be her silent despedida haha).

Add to that, the more my baby became mobile, the more it’s hard for us to change her diaper, give her no-squirm baths, make her sit for more than five seconds in one place. You can’t leave her inside her crib because she knows how to climb over it. She’ll jump up and down her walker and scream on top of her lungs if she’s hungry, bored, sleepy, or if she wanted to walk.

It’s hard. And I only have two hands.

There are days which I wish I’d have another pair hands, or even two more, so I can do everything I have to do.

I do as much work as I can when baby is asleep. But most of the time, I end up sleeping, too. There was even a time I was lying on my side and holding my laptop (it’s quite small — a Sony Vaio Pocket Style PC, and I’m selling it, PM me!) while I was checking emails when suddenly, I fell asleep. Next thing I know, I was awake and beside a half-awake Aria who was thirsting for milk.

The past months I was forced to learn how to cook. Hence, the recipes I’ve been posting. I am having fun, though, and I want to learn a lot more, so that I will not have to serve nilaga or tinola or adobo almost everyday!

And thank God for family who babysits when parents have work! My mom and sister happily (but tired afterwards) babysits when they can.

But on a much lighter note, I’m proud that my daughter learned to sing “I Have Two Hands,” following the last syllables of each line, raising both her arms mightily and clapping them on cue. She’s achieved so much in the past two months alone and I’m one proud mama.

I look forward to more busy days spent with this little girl, that’s why my heart always breaks when I leave her for work. Much more when I come home to her, smiling happily, and shouting: Mama, mama, dede, dede!

It pays to have two full hands, after all.

~ Touringkitty

Watch your words, Daddy

This is the side kwento of the Breastfeeding Dad post:

Dads, oh, dads. If you only knew what sacrifice it is for us moms to breastfeed.

Daddy, Baby, and I were happily eating lunch at a Japanese restaurant (my baby had Sukiyaki!). A family of three (Mom, Dad, Baby Girl) and another man (maybe he’s a brother of either of the couple) sat on the table beside us. The mom took out a nursing cover and I silently said, brava for breastfeeding!

But here’s the glitch. The bad, insensitive dad was raising his voice to her wife, telling her not to put too much spice on her food. Understandable, because probably they have a baby who’s sensitive to different tastes of breastmilk because of what the mom eats or had reflux. But to raise voice, nah!

Here’s another incident: the dad was rushing her wife to eat because he’s hungry! Why, isn’t her wife supposed to be fed because she’s feeding someone else? He kept on yakking while playing with the baby: “ay, kawawa naman si Daddy, gutom na gutom na, ang sarap pa naman ng pagkain, o?” Then to his wife: “bilisan mo na, gutom na ako!

I was able to talk with the poor girl who was now holding her baby when she stepped out of the restaurant after she ate. She really ate quick. Aria and I finished eating as well and were waiting for Daddy to settle the bill. I really would like to tell her how insensitive her husband was! But I held my tongue. I then found out the baby was exclusively breastfed for six months already and the baby has started solids and drinks water. She isn’t working and takes care full time of the baby. Another brava for you, mommy!

Her insensitive husband doesn’t know the word appreciate.

Man, it’s all hard work for the mom! I know you dads also work hard for the money. But you should also consider how hard work it is for us moms to take care of the baby. It IS a job, a career. Daddy-ing is ALSO a career!

So, to that Dad we saw, watch your words, especially when you’re in public. Save your nastiness when you’re at home.

 

~ Touringkitty

Aria’s First Class

When I attended a meeting at church and another church volunteer asked me where I came from, I said I fetched my daughter (who was with my husband) from her class.

Did she hear it right, class?

Yes, indeed! Aria’s “enrolled” in Gymboree’s Music Class!

We got a good deal from Deal Grocer. For about P4,000 we got  one year membership, ten play coupons, and eight play or music classes. Not bad, considering how high fees are in Gymboree.

We signed her up in Greenbelt 5. Supposedly, we’ll sign up on Sofitel, because it’s the nearest. But we opted for a mall branch instead.

She had two music classes so far, and we can say she really enjoyed. The first class she attended she was with Daddy while I was at work teaching a music workshop in a school. Daddy reported that though she enjoyed the whole class, the little one cried when the maraccas was taken away from her after an activity. During day two, no more tears, and she was very active, smiling her newfound grin, tapping (no, make that banging!) the wave drum, and dancing to I’m all shook up by Elvis Presley (as it was the theme of the week).

Too much kwento. Just lookit these pretty pictures!

Listening intently to teacher
Bravo at the wave drum!
She got there first and everyone followed! And she's the youngest and the only one who can't walk alone

After her class, she still had the energy so we let her play a little.

She loves this thing so much
Then she ran...
And ran some more!

Three more music classes and three play classes for you, dearie. We know you enjoy it as much as we do (but we’d really want you to finally learn to walk alone, maybe we’ll get even more tired!).

 

~ Touringkitty

 

The Milky Month of August

The past eleven months had been truly life-changing for me and my family. My husband and I took baby steps, literally, in taking care of a newborn. My mother, on the other hand, had to review how it is to take care of a newborn after a 25-year hiatus (back when my younger sister was the baby then).

But what made these months extra special is that I’ve lasted this long exclusively breastfeeding my firstborn. Yes, exclusive, not a single grain of formula milk. And I am really proud!

Why? Because I wasn’t even breastfed for so long! Read my post here.

And this month, I wish to give credit to whom it’s due.

Family. Especially my husband. Choosing what to give your child must be the decision of both parents. Breastfeeding was both our choice. Luckily, I have a supportive husband hence I was able to give up my work and focus on taking care of our newborn, especially in the first months of life. My mom (who didn’t breastfed my sister at all) was very much supportive. Doubtful, sometimes, but supporting and encouraging me, still. And she gives my daughter my expressed milk when I am working!

Friends. Most especially to those who were also formula-feeding and yet encouraged me to breastfeed. I’d write super long messages to these friends and they’d give me endless tips and encouraging words. Nobody told me to stop and supplement.

Internet. I love technology, especially when it’s put to good and sensible use. The resources online are now limitless. Blogs about breastfeeding helped me a lot, especially this. I was able to share my experiences as well through this blog, which, by the way, celebrated its first year last July 20! Hooray for Touringkitty!

Online friends. Especially La Leche League Manila, Newlywedsatwork Yahoogroup, and Twitter friends. They really are inspirations to me. Some of them I haven’t met in person but they are really accommodating when I have questions.

For fellow mommies who told me I was lucky I was able to successfully breastfeed, well, maybe I really am. But be assured that if you were able to breastfeed even for a day, your children are lucky, too, they have loving parents like you. I just wished you asked me first before you gave up. Or maybe you asked the wrong person that’s why you weren’t successful when you should have been.  *wink wink*

Whoever will read this blog and is nursing/planning to nurse/know someone who nurse, I would like to offer whatever knowledge I can share regarding breastfeeding if you need. And I can help hook you up to the real experts – the breastfeeding counselors – to be able to successfully breastfeed.

Happy World Breastfeeding Month!

 

~ Touringkitty

The Doctor is Late

THE DOCTOR IS LATE should be the signage on her clinic door!

Her clinic is 8-10 AM but she arrives at 11! Wow. Happened to me in those two times I made an appointment with my new doctor. I panicked the first time because I didn’t leave pumped milk for my baby because I was first on the appointment list anyway and the clinic was less than a kilometer away from home. Turned out I waited for two hours so imagine how I felt. Baby might cry of hunger, might be looking for me, etc.

The reason for her being late: it was raining. So what?!

I heard a story from another patient. This patient arrived at 10.30 AM because she is so used to the doctor’s late arrival. But the nursing attendant said the doctor left already at 9 AM! The poor patient had to reschedule her doctor’s appointment again.

It’s not only with my doctor, but also of my baby’s pedia. Her clinic is 10 AM-12 PM and she has an afternoon schedule as well, but I always go in the morning after baby’s morning nap, or during naptime when she gets to snooze inside the clinic. Still, I make the earliest appointment but then, with the long waiting time, baby is cranky already while getting the vaccine shot. Ending: loud squealing, squirming, red-eyed baby.

This morning, we arrived a little early and on the waiting area was a young boy who seemed to have high fever. Her grandma carried her and the mother was just seated. They tried to give him milk in a bottle (formula perhaps) and rubbed his head and face with wet towel. A few minutes after, the mother was carrying her son out of the clinic, shouting his name, and rushed to the nearby hospital. Apparently the kid was having convulsions. Or something else. My baby and I stepped outside because I got one bored baby.

Poor kid. They could have brought him directly to the emergency room of the hospital across the street and not wait for the pedia, who arrived at 11 AM. Aria and I were there since 9.45 AM. She slept as soon as we reached home and almost missed lunch.

We all have appointments, right? It’s no fair that these medical professionals are always late for clinic appointments and charge sky high professional fees for two minutes of talking to one patient who waited for hours, who travelled hours to reach the clinic, and who left their babies or bring with them.

How’s your experience with your doctor? Do they come late or early?

The Importance of the First Birthday

Everything seems easy for babies. They cry when they want something — food, diaper change, nap, change of scenery, when they feel hot or cold, among other things.

But really, is it easy to be a baby? I don’t think it is.

And it’s precisely what I have observed with my eleven month old. Life isn’t easy.

Of course, babies have to practice and learn a gazillion skills to be bonafide “persons” in this world. They learn how to stretch their bodies (from being enclosed in a capsule that is the female tummy), roll over, crawl, sit, stand, walk, talk, cry, make funny sounds, make gestures like waving and clapping. Then after six months, solid food is introduced and you choose from a short list of possible first food for baby. They grew body parts, still, like their teeth.

The rest, as they say, is history. But the sweetest achievement for any baby, especially for the parents, is the first 365 days of life.

I didn’t pay much attention to celebrating Aria’s first birthday back then. I thought it’s not important because she won’t remember it anyway. Bur for a motherhood neophyte/drama queen like me, the past year was hard work, sacrifice, and glorious victories that I felt I needed to celebrate, in a frugal but memorable manner.

There’s McDonald’s and their themed parties. We chose Mickey Mouse Clubhouse since the kiddo never missed a beat when she hears the Hotdog Dance. Add a handful of family and friends, party food, some photobooth fun and voila, a sorta kiddie party for our Aria!

Will update you how the party goes, which is about a month from now. I’m super excited and thankful that our family will be celebrating this important event, especially that our little girl is growing more and more beautiful, smart, and cheerful. And we’re proud to be parents of this wonderful creation.

~ Touringkitty

A Breastfeeding Formula-Fed Mother

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (July). For this month, we join the National Nutrition Council – Department of Health in celebrating Nutrition Month with the theme “Isulong ang Breastfeeding – Tama, Sapat at EKsklusibo!” Participants will share their experiences in promoting breastfeeding or their tips on how breastfeeding should be promoted. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

I live in the formula generation. I can’t recall an instance when my family talked about breastfeeding. It was all bottles, different brands of powdered milk, and sterilizers. None of my cousins (on my mom’s side) were breastfed.

I remember my mom told me that I was part of a formula brand testing and got a year’s supply of formula! The reason why I wasn’t breastfed is that my mom had a lump in one of her breasts that needed to be removed. I was breastfed for about a month. My younger sister, nada. Poor one didn’t even get to taste colostrum.

Not that I regret that I wasn’t breastfed. I grew up well and so did my sister and my cousins. But if I had a choice, I would have wanted to be breastfed.

So for our first daughter, I chose breastfeeding. I have been breastfeeding her for the past eleven months (and counting!). And I’m blessed to have a supportive family. Of course, it meant bringing the baby almost everywhere, choosing to work part-time and watching what I eat as if I’m still pregnant.

And now, this formula-fed mom is encouraging others to breastfeed. How?

1. Share information. Sometimes I do this by posting on my Facebook or Twitter, and friends would send me questions. I’m happy to share what I know and experienced because, really, experience is the best teacher. I just tend to overdo it sometimes, hence the very long replies!

I wonder, though, why some of my friends tell me I’m lucky I still breastfeed, when they didn’t even try for more than a month, saying they had a hard time or they didn’t have milk. They had all the opportunity and time, after all. They could have saved lots of money.

2. Live by example: nurse in public. At times, however, I tend to forget that I’m not in the comfort of my own home and just offer my breast to my daughter, covered or not covered, especially when she starts to be restless. My nursing cover is actually useless now because she just plays with it and removes it anyway.

What I do is wear something accessible for breastfeeding. Often a tube underneath a loose pull-up blouse is fine. I just cover whatever skin is exposed with a piece of cloth.

3. Invite pregnant and new moms to support meetings. Some moms need to hear from other moms to be convinced that they, too, can breastfeed. There are LATCH seminars, Medela classes, and La Leche League meets (where I started attending a year ago this month).

Plug: There will be a La Leche League meeting on July 23, 10:30 AM at Mothercare,Greenbelt5. More info on La Leche League Manila’s Facebook Page.

Not convinced yet? Maybe we could suggest the following to promote breastfeeding better:

1. Have more breastfeeding-friendly hospitals. My hospital had this big sign that theirs is indeed a breastfeeding-friendly one. It was from WHO, if I remember right. I did not take prenatal classes but with a little coaching and support from the resident doctors and midwives, I gave birth unmedicated. The baby was immediately latched on to me and she was roomed in a few hours after. The hospital had midwives who taught us about breastfeeding cues, latch, and so much more.

I’m fortunate also to have an OB-GYN who’s highly supportive of natural birth and breastfeeding. She’s vegetarian, too, so she made sure I ate healthy when I was still pregnant.

2. Have more breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians. Some say they’re breastfeeding-friendly, but they’d still resort to formula feeding after some time.

My baby’s own pedia asked if I still had breastmilk for my baby back when she was eight months, and yet she says she’s a breastfeeding advocate. Her secretary gave me a look when I breastfed my baby in the clinic while waiting for the doctor. She asked: “You still breastfeed? You still have milk?” As if it’s a bad thing!

3. Make nursing clothes mainstream, and cheaper. I only see nursing clothes online, and those in the mall are expensive and sad-looking, with zippers that are choking hazards. There’s the nursing cover, alright, but you need easy access to your milk source, right? You see really expensive nursing clothes and then tell yourself: nursing is for the rich.

Try the tube underneath your clothes. It does work, practice makes perfect. I have Undercover Mama from Mama Baby Love which hooks to your nursing bra.

4. Longer maternity leaves! Maybe four or six months is best for both mother and baby to establish breastfeeding and eventually introduce solids. Of course, ample recovery period for the mother, who may or may not suffer postpartum blues, is necessary.

My OB-GYN talked me into quitting my job to focus on my pregnancy, birth of the baby, and newborn care. So I did. And my husband and I didn’t regret making that decision. Slowly, I’m going back on track, teaching part-time and singing for events.

Breastfeeding involves dedication, passion, and determination. Don’t get mad, lactivists, but for beginners, I think a little breastfeeding is better than none. It’s a good start to convince new moms to breastfeed. It’s the most natural thing any mother can do, and it’s the cherry on top of the icing.

~ Touringkitty

Posts from other super breastfeeders below:

A Simple Breastfeeding Campaign by The Lazy Mama (@TheLazyMama)
I Am A Breastfeeding Mom by The Painter’s Wife (@PaintersWifePH)

W-u-r-r-w-u-r-r-w-u-r-r by Martha de Lusong (@frannie17) hosted by Jen CC Tan‘s MomExchange (@next9baby)

The Low-Milk-Supply Mommy Did It! by The Odyssey of Dinna
Breastfeeding Promotion Tips from a Formula Feeder (Yes, you read that correctly…) by The Fearless Formula Feeder (@FormulaFeeder)
On Promoting Breastfeeding by ImPerfectly Created (@imperfectlyours)
Milk Mama Diaries 3 by MimmaBenz (@benzcorana)
Breastfeeding Mama by canDIshhh
I *heart* Breastfeeding by The Mum Side (@rachelcrz)
Spreading the Word on Breastfeeding by My Mommy Kuwentos
A Breastfeeding Formula-Fed Mother by Touring Kitty (@touringkitty)
Breastfeeding: Promoting It Even if I Didn’t Get Lucky The First Time Around by Glamma Momma (Mommy Erl’s Online Diary)
I am your breastfeeding friend by Changing Nappies in High Heels (@lilly_pad)
Thoughts of a LactatING Counselor: Breastfeeding is More of Psychology!by HandyMommy
Taking Breastfeeding Further by Mec as Mom (@delisyus)
Breastfeeding Promotion – A View from a UK Doctor by Good Enough Mummy
Celebrating my Magic Milk by Denise Gonzales (@deelirious)
Breastfeeding Sisters by Isis Evasco
More Breastfeeding Promotion Plus a Guest Post by Chronicles of a Nursing Mom (@mamababylove).  Guest post by Shaps Lim (@cromartielove)

Raising a Condo Kid

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This 30 square meter condo unit has been our home for the past three years. We bought this before we got married and decided to build our family here.

But our “seventh heaven,” as we call this home seven storeys high, seems to be just enough for us three. There’s truth in saying that two’s a company, three’s a crowd. What if we become four (either a helper will stay-in or another baby on board)?

Prior to buying this property, this was rented by a family of four – a mother and three boys who were half-Americans, so imagine how tall they were, and they fit! They had a double decked bed, a mattress, and the sofa. That’s where four people sleep. Add to that their dressers and other stuff. Wow!

And now we’re having space issues. See, our little princess has a lot of furnitures of her own – a crib, a walker, stroller, a small chair, two seaters (we’re selling these!), play gym, rubber mats, toy box, among others. Her clothes invaded what was once OUR clothes drawer, and her diaper changing and other paraphernalia is atop our filing cabinet. Her shoes on top of another cabinet. Did I mention she co-sleeps with us? We don’t have a bed frame so we’re sleeping on mattresses only. And the crib? That’s where we put her when we need to move around.

And the challenge remains: how do we keep her entertained in these four corners? It’s hard, really. She easily gets bored so she needs various activities at one time. And since she’s really on the move now, she’s restless so we keep on chasing after her just to avoid bumps and bruises. We usually bring her down to the lobby to be entertained by people passing by. Or to the poolside where other condo kids play and run around. Since she can’t walk alone yet, she’s carried or worn most of the time. Poor arms and backs.

As for sleeptime, this is harder especially with naptime. She is carried most of her naptime because she gets disturbed by car horns, construction noise outside, falling barbels from the gym two floors directly below us. She is sleep deprived during daytime so we want to give her as much sleep as she can, even if it means carrying her and not doing anything else, i.e. no eating, drinking, yes, no toilet visit either.

We’re not spoiling her by carrying her the whole day. Of course we let her crawl and walk but with her restlessness, she easily stumbles or hits her head. What more if she could walk independently? Add the fact that she’s babbling, screaming, and shrieking really loud and high. Her silencer is breastfeeding, nothing else.

We don’t want to go out everyday, either, to the mall or to friends, because it’s always a “grand production” when we’re going out: baby bag filled with diapers, changing stuff, clothes change, lotsa lampin, toys and food (we still bring our own baon maybe until one and a half). Not to mention stroller or sling. Good thing no bottles to pack, except when I’m at work and there’s always an emergency bottle of expressed milk. So we stay home instead, and figure out other ways to make the kid stay. We do go out on weekends though, but for most of the week, the farthest we could go is at the condo lobby.

How about you, condo dwellers, how do you do it? Would appreciate tips from you.

~ Touringkitty

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