Category: Parenting

We dated as if it was our first

As I stepped inside the taxi on my way home, I realized that it was actually a date.

After singing for a wedding engagement this rainy middle-of-the-week morning, my husband and I craved for burgers. So we went for a quick fix at Wendy’s.

Just the two of us. Yes, baby was left at home with my mom and our helper.

We enjoyed fifteen mintues of eating those sinful burgers and talking about things other than the baby. I ate the Bacon Mushroom Melt as if I’ve not eaten it for years!

I was a happier mom after that “date”. I texted my husband, who was on his way to work, thanking him that finally after nine months, we dated. He said we should do it again next time. A movie date sounds good. We might need a babysitter, though. Or bring the baby, perhaps.

~ Touringkitty

I am rich

From this…

20110524-103445.jpg

To this!

20110524-103527.jpg

And she never fails to bring in the sunshine even when there’s rain.

The past nine months have been filled with joy, tears, laughter, and love. Milestone after milestone, the whole family witnessed and cheered for this small wonder. And we’re just truly blessed.

I can now declare I am rich!

Not with wealth but with good health. Not with late night outs with friends but with evenings of cuddling and laughing with my husband and daughter.

And I shall wake up tomorrow praising God for another day to live this wonderful life He gave me. I hope you’ll be blessed as well with even the littlest things God bestowed upon you.

~ Touringkitty

Aria’s Habits While Breastfeeding

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (May).  This carnival is dedicated to all moms, celebrating Mother’s Day today.  Participants will share various topics covering A Breastfeeding Mother’s Top Ten List.  Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
With all the stresses I’ve been experiencing the past weeks — daily Aria rituals (cooking and preparing her food, bathing her, playing with her, putting her to those precious and hard-to-achieve naps and bedtime), pumping milk thrice a week, part-time work in and out of home, et cetera, I deserve a good laugh trip.

Unfortunately, it had to be Aria, who else.

During the course of my eight-month breastfeeding experience (and we are not stopping anytime soon!), I have curiously taken note of how my daughter nursed. She’s nursed in different positions, occasions, schedules, and places.

I listed Aria’s ten habits while breastfeeding (in no particular order). Let some of the pictures tell the story.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers. Yey, mommies truly rock!

1. She nurses while she’s crying, as if she hasn’t nursed for a really looooong time (even if it was really just five minutes ago!) She talks (or mumbles) while she breastfeeds. This baby is amazingly talkative. And she has been squealing a lot lately. Add to that, she’s teething (she’s got two teeth on her lower gumline already) so imagine how she talks while she feeds. Ouch!

2. She listens to whoever is talking while she nurses. Or to whatever new sound she might hear — a new voice, utensils falling, door banging, car horns, sirens, helicopters. Did I tell you she’s very “chismosa?”

3. She nurses on her tummy, especially when she has a hard time to sleep.

Her newest trick

4. She jumps out of my breast to watch TV, especially when she hears the closing credits music (yes, CLOSING CREDITS MUSIC) of her favorite cartoons – Little Einsteins, Angelina Ballerina, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves and laughs while watching the scrolling text that goes with the music.

5. She loves to scratches whatever is at hand, like my breasts, her other arm, or my underarm.

She loves scratching my underarm

6. She raises her hand like Hitler. I can’t understand why.

7. She would nurse for a few minutes and jump off me onto the bed because she’s about to sleep.

8. Or she would nurse for up to one and a half hour while we’re both napping, and when she senses that I opened my eyes, she would, too.

9. She holds her feet way up high.

10. She looks at me as if she’s saying, “Thank you, Mommy, for the sweet yummy milk.”

And smile after she’s content with the milk she just drank.

Oh, how I love my little Energizer Bunny. Hope you also have a yummy milky breastfeeding experience.

My hubby joined the carnival, too! I’m super proud. He’s the only daddy who joined 🙂

http://gohelpyourself.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/10-ways-to-cheer-up-a-breast-feeding-wife

Other posts from fab mommies below.

http://www.mecasmom.com/2011/05/may-blog-carnival-top-10-breastfeeding.html

http://handymommy.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/10-things-handdymommy-can-do-while-breastfeeding
http://penpenespie.multiply.com/journal/item/45/Top_10_Life-Altering_moments_of_a_New_Breastfeeding_Mom
http://dinna-odc.blogspot.com/2011/05/nurturing-rafael-breastfeeding-mothers.html
http://topazmommy.blogspot.com/2011/05/part-1-top-10-things-i-now-know-about.html
http://applesanddumplings.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-ten-tips-for-pumping-and-working.html
http://fabnaima.blogspot.com/2011/05/our-breastfeeding-library.html
http://www.trulyrichmom.com/2011/05/mothers-day-weekend-special-top-10-tips.html
http://mymommykuwentos.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-top-10-favorite-foods-for.html
http://mom.exchange.ph/2011/05/08/10-breastfeeding-nice-to-haves
http://www.ethanmama.com/2011/05/nursing-
must-haves-and-cheaper-alternatives-110
http://diaryofalowmilksupplymama.blogspot.com/2011/05/10-reasons-i-still-breastfeed-even-as.html
http://daintymom.blogspot.com/2011/05/10-things-you-dont-say-to-breastfeeding.html

Wear my baby I shall

It was a Sunny Saturday and we’re off to Starbucks Bonifacio Global City for a Babywearing Meet.

I encouraged my hubby to bring me there because we have a ring sling and we don’t know how to use it. So, even if it’s super out of our way and we don’t have a car, we took a cab and took that road less traveled.

Babywearing is using cloth or a similar material that you wrap around your body so mommies won’t have that hard a time carrying their babies. It’s a lifesaver indeed.

The meeting was organized by some members of the yahoogroup I belong to: Newlyweds At Work. It’s a group wherein “graduates” of wedding planning from the Weddings At Work group exchange newlywed stories, mommy stuff, and other chika.

I have the ring sling from Next 9. Bought this at SM Mall of Asia and this was the only print available:

Aria at three months. The saleslady really didn't know how to thread so we were really nervous. But she slept in there anyway.

 

But because of our lack of knowledge in using (and fear of using it), it ended up like this:

Whose idea? You guessed it right -- Nonna's 🙂

During the Babywear Meet, we were introduced to a bajillion types of slings and carriers and were taught how to use it. The most important with the ring sling is the threading:

We're doing it right this time, baby
Ms. Abbie trying to put the malikot girl in her sling. On the background is Ms. Benz, the brains behind W@W and N@W

Finally, after that hour and a half of demo and talk, I was babywearing Aria as we strolled Bonifacio High Street! She even slept while we’re browsing books at Fully Booked.

The sling is duyan no more!

The sling is a good alternative to strollers. Had I mastered using this, I would not have De Quervain’s anymore.

It was an enjoyable talk with the mommies and their babies. I really hope it would have a part two!

Happy Babywearing, everyone!

~ Touringkitty

Extra (detachable) Boobs, please?

20110326-072439.jpg

The moment I’ve been dreading has come: when Aria wants “nobody, nobody but me.”

In the past few days, she had crying bouts whenever she senses I’m not with her. Tears fall like Niagara, eyes turn as red as an apple, and screams like there is no tomorrow. I pity the little helpless one. But when she sees me, her eyes beam like sunshine, smiles the sweetest, and pulls my shirt to nurse. Pretty smart girl can not be fooled by any tricks.

It was easy during the past months when she can go on four hours without a feeding while I attend a church meeting. They just stay in the mall where she can busy herself with the view, or just sleep away.

But as she turned six months and now that she can eat solids, things changed. She wants to breastfeed more and often, aside from her increasing solid intake. She’s become too clingy, which is both good and bad. I can see she’s a very active girl who never holds still when we change her diapers, give her food and a bath. And she has a ready smile for everyone. Lovely, just lovely.

Yes, it’s heartbreaking. But this April, I shall be working part-time (I’ve calculated it, I’ll be gone for four hours a day – that includes travel time because actual teaching time is two hours only, three times a week for four weeks). We’ve been practicing so I can leave her with my mom and helper while I’m away. I leave her breastmilk and her food good for the time I’ll be away.

To be honest, I’m doing this for my sanity. I’ve been stuck at home for seven months already and I feel like my mind regressed a little. I am afraid to travel alone. Traveling for me is me AND baby.

Hard, right? If only I have an extra lactating boob that I can lend whoever will take care of my baby – that would be my mom and our helper on weekdays andy husband in the evening and weekends.

So for my mommy friends, what do you suggest that I do? Any opinion might help and would be greatly appreciated. I’ll present it to my mom, helper, and my husband before they give up taking care of Aria.

~ Touringkitty

Breastfeeding and My Career

Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women’s Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.

It took me a good ten seconds to answer this blank in a health care form:

Occupation: ___________

Before I gave birth, I was singer, teacher, conductor, writer, choral arranger. In musician lingo, it’s called “harangista.” I’ve traveled everywhere to sing and perform. But six months ago, I was nowhere to be found.

Occupation: HOUSEWIFE

I can’t believe my hands wrote those letters! I became a housewife without my knowledge!

But I never regretted it. It’s been six months of breastfeeding my little angel who is my new boss. She literally turned my world upside down. Touringkitty is now a Soprano Mom!

From Paris to Pinas: Touring then, nursing now

After my final tour with a world-renowned choral group, half of the batch went different ways. Some went abroad, and the sopranos got married and had kids. I got married a year after the group won a choral competition in Italy. Got pregnant a year after marriage and now…

Her Royal Highness Ariadne, with the proud parents

My new stage is our home, specifically our room. Gowns were traded for dasters or shirt and shorts. Hair is tied in a one-hand pony instead of a neat salon ‘do. Wiegenlied and nursery rhymes were sung instead of Operatic arias to rock baby to sleep. Spotlight is on this beautiful little girl crying for milk. And smiling and sleeping beautifully when she’s full and satiated.

Breastfeeding for us is new. I’m the only one in our family who pursued pure and direct breastfeeding. My sister and I were formula-fed. So were my cousins. No one persevered. I am very fortunate that I made this choice and I know my family is proud of me.

Why breastfeed? It’s economical. Formula milk is very expensive. Why direct breastfeeding? It’s practical. No bottles to wash and sterilize, no effort in preparing, no extra minutes of crying. I’ve nothing against formula feeding, but I encourage all mothers and would-be mothers I meet to try it. They might have different reasons to stop or doubt. At least I did my part to encourage them, and I believe it is the key to kick off breastfeeding.

We breastfeed everywhere — at church, in the cab, in restaurants, while I’m in a meeting or choir rehearsal. With my active baby I don’t use nursing covers anymore because she would fuss inside. I just wear a shirt which I can pull up and a tube top underneath and jacket to cover us. I also cheat naptime and bedtime by breastfeeding instead of rocking baby to sleep. I’m both milk machine and pacifier!

We nurse for all reasons

I know my friends would tell me, “why don’t you just wean so you could go back to singing again?” Not this time, dearies, I’m still enjoying, so does my baby. Pretty soon, she’d walk and talk, and we’ll both treasure this bond we’ve created.

If there’s any consolation, she’s now a healthy six month old girl who goes with me wherever I go. She joins me for rehearsals and meetings, and when we need to nurse, people don’t mind.

My singing career did take a back seat already, until when I don’t know, but who cares? I’ve probably reached the peak of my career — now as Soprano Nursing Mom.

Other entries here:

http://applesanddumplings.blogspot.com/2011/03/breasts-and-me.html

http://www.mecasmom.com/2011/03/choice-to-be-more-than-woman.html

http://www.ethanmama.com/2011/03/breastfeeding-made-me-a-better-and-stronger-mom-and-woman/

http://www.rainydaysandmomdays.com/2011/03/18/the-adventures-of-supercow/

http://lyndelsmom.blogspot.com/2011/03/of-nursing-and-self-awareness.html

http://dinna-odc.blogspot.com/2011/03/nurturing-rafael-same-old-brand-new-me.html

http://www.manilafashionobserver.com/2011/03/my-breastfeeding-story.html

http://www.trulyrichmom.com/2011/03/breastfeeding-has-made-me-better-woman.html

http://fabnaima.blogspot.com/2011/03/please-think-before-you-comment.html

http://misisteapot.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/loving-jaden-changing-me/

http://dothugskelvin2.blogspot.com/2011/03/joining-milkwagon.html

http://misisteapot.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/loving-jaden-changing-me/

http://handymommy.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/juggling-mommy-act/

http://topazmommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/breastfeeding-and-my-self-image.html

http://imperfectlycreated.blogspot.com/2011/03/feeling-fab-at-40.html

Aria’s First attempt on Solid Foods

Very first attempt: she liked it!

Since there is no 31st of the month, I now declare Aria is six months today! Therefore, it’s time to start her on foods other than my breast milk.

I decided to start her with rice porridge. We had the rice ground in powder form and cooked a little just for her to taste. She took three teaspoons of it and didn’t want to stop!

She's too excited that she wants to hold the spoon by herself

We also tried giving her water to wash off the porridge. She didn’t like it that much, so I gave her breast milk again. And while we’re having lunch, I tried giving her two drops of sinigang soup with my finger. She liked it as well.

The bare necessities: Soft spoon, bowl with cover, and feeding cup with spout

I also tried giving her milk in the cup. She did not like it. Nothing beats Mommy’s breast, I guess. But she has to learn drinking from it eventually.

Posing for the camera. She only played with the spout and the milk splattered all over her chin

We’ll try the rice porridge twice a day for a month, and increase the servings gradually. We’ll also add other veggies and fruits next week. I will try not to succumb to that cereal box and bottled fruit purees.

Weaning the baby into solids is a challenge. This is a good start to introducing you baby into food other than human milk.

– Touringkitty

Mga natutunan sa nakaraang apat na buwan

Matapos ang siyam na buwang parang nakalunok ako ng pakwan, simula na ng pinakamahalagang yugto sa buhay ng babae: ang maging ina.

Left: Hours old. Right: Four months.

Mga Natutunan:

Manganak.

Inaaral ba yun? Kahit ilang birthing classes pa siguro ang puntahan ko (and for the record, wala akong pinuntahan dahil mahal), iba pa rin kapag nariyan ka na sa delivery room. Kinaya kong manganak ng walang anesthesia (para makatipid), tiniis ko ang labor pains para lang maging normal delivery. At binigay naman yun ng Panginoon at sobra-sobra pa. Pareho kaming malusog na lumabas ng ospital ng anak ko.

Mag-alaga ng bata.

Kasama riyan ang magpaligo, magpalit ng damit at diapers, magbuhat, maghele, makipaglaro. Dati takot ako. As in takot. Pero habang lumilipas ang mga araw, linggo, buwan, dumadali na pala. Malamang, lumalaki siya e. Keri to, ‘teh!

Magtiis.

Jobless. Harang-less. Caffeine-less. Social life-less. Pasyal-less. Kailangang magtiis para sa ikabubuti ng bata. Minsan hindi na ako nakakakain, nakakapagbanyo, nakakatutbras kasi gusto ng batang nakabitbit matapos kumain at para makatulog ng mahaba-haba. Ayaw kasi magpaistorbo.

Magpasensya.

Lalo na pag hirap magpatulog ng bata. At pag umiiyak. Hulaan kung anong gusto niya – gutom ba siya, madumi ang diapers, inaantok, naiinitan, giniginaw, bored, etc.

Manghingi ng tulong.

Noong bata ka, kanino ka nagpapatulong sa homework? Di ba sa nanay mo? Lalo na ngayong may anak na akong sarili, sa nanay ko pa rin ako tumatakbo para tumulong sa pag-aalaga ng bata, at magpaturo sa kanya ng mga dapat gawin.

Mag-adjust.

Hindi na ikaw ang masusunod. Ang baby na na hindi pa naman nakakapgsalita. She’s the boss.

Mag-improvise.

Minsan, gumawa kami ng duyan gamit ang shawl ko at ikinabit sa crib para hindi na mahirapan magbuhat. Gupit dito, tahi doon, tinadtad ng packing tape ang mobile para maikabit sa scrap na tubo, at higit sa lahat, mag-scotch tape ng parol sa may pinto para titigan ng baby pampatulog. Epektib!

Magtanong ng magtanong ng magtanong. At malito.

Maraming nanay, maraming opinyon. Nakakalito kung minsan. Pero natutunan ko rin ang magtiwala sa sarili, sa instinct. So far, wala namang masamang nangyari sa anak ko.
Magpakain gamit ang dibdib (in short, magbreastfeed).

Isa lang ang masasabi ko, WOW! Hindi ko sukat akalaing kaya kong magbreastfeed. Sabi ng iba, masakit, mahirap, matutuyuan ka ng gatas, pero malaki ang pananampalataya kong lahat ng nanganak may gatas. So, go, therefore, and breastfeed.
Magpuri at magpasalamat.

Salamat sa Panginoon at lahat ito’y naranasan ko. Dati, naririnig ko iba’t ibang kwento ng mga nanay – yung mga nakunan, nanakawan ng anak, hindi magkaanak, at namatayan ng anak. Natakot ako, pero naniwala akong ibibigay si Aria ng Diyos dahil may misyon din siya sa mundo. At yan ang dapat niyang madiskubre sa kanyang paglaki. Kaming mga magulang niya aalalay, gagabay, aalagaan siya habang bata. At gusto namin siyang palakihing may takot sa Diyos.

We love you, Ariababy!

– Mommy (and Daddy)

Post-anniversary date

Wow, I can’t believe it. We actually “dated” again after two months!

Except, of course, there’s someone who wanted to join in.

Yup, she will be with Mommy all the time

So off we went to eat buffet at Dad’s Glorietta a day after our wedding anniversary. We heard mass the night before at the church where we got married. Since we don’t have a “yaya,” we need to plan on how to eat buffet while taking care of the little one.

I gave Aria full feeding before leaving home, just to be sure she won’t ask for food while we were eating. My husband and I took turns on getting food and looking after the baby, who was just sitting in her stroller after a nap while in the cab.

This was his only reason for eating here
We can never eat at the same time while at home. Now is our one chance to do so

She did ask for food, however, when we were finished eating (good girl!). Of course, I came prepared.

We nurse everywhere - even in the cab

It was also our first time to use the changing station to change her diaper. My, I never imagined I’d use one!

Then it’s off to the baby section to buy her some clothes. She is getting bigger, so we needed to update her wardrobe. And yes, we nursed again after shopping! The mall’s breastfeeding station is located at the fourth floor, so, the salesladies gladly offered us a small corner and a chair because Aria was crying for food already.

It was a tiring but fun day for the Schatzifamily. And this anniversary is extra special because we have our little angel, Aria, to celebrate it with us. Here’s to more anniversaries!

 

– Touringkitty

Confessions of an Amateur Mom

It has been two months since I became a mother. It all came suddenly, as she came out two weeks ahead of schedule.

I did not want to admit this at first. But yes, I am having postpartum depression.

What I thought was just baby blues at first blew into hours and days of sudden crying, missing the busy life I had before pregnancy, and feeling sad being a captive of the condo unit and of my daughter. I don’t know how to take care of this newborn. Giving her a bath was scary. Breastfeeding my daughter became a 24 hour job. Carrying her tiny body was like carrying a priceless crystal glass you’d never want to break.

My then operatic repertoire was overtaken by endless nursery rhymes, Brahms’ Wiegenlied, and funny silly rhymes I can’t imagine I have composed just to make her calm and sleep. It’s as if I can’t do anything else except attend to her needs. I felt can’t even eat, take a bath, dress up, or pee. I’d just look at the clock and let time pass, only to find out that another day is coming ahead. It even came to a point that I feel my husband is not supporting me at all. Of course, he must work.

If only I could go out and bring my baby along, though it’s a tad too early for the little one. I turned down a lot of work already and it saddens me. I only attended one Mass in two months (thanks to television masses I’ve caught up on other Sundays). I fear that I will not be able to get back to the career I was just trying to build.

Simply put, I don’t know how to become a mother.

But I love Aria. She is a joy to watch. She is like a little girl who seems to want to talk already, very attentive and smart, and she rewards you with a sweet smile. She may cry loud at times and hushing her down seems to be a challenge. But I’m up for it, especially when I’m singing for her. Most of all, she’s the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen. And we’re blessed that she came out normal and healthy.

There. I’ve let it all out. Now, time to smile and become a mom.