Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Video: Genesis by Ramos David

A friend posted this video about conception to birth on my fb wall. It's an animated video by Ramos David for Evil Cat Production.  While the choice of background music may not appeal to everyone, the animation is truly astounding! I only wish it were in HD. For a 6-minute clip, it speaks so much about the intricacies of how human life comes to be. Life is such a beautiful miracle. Here's the video: 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Baby Shower!

A billion thanks to my family and friends who hosted a baby shower for us last Sunday--love you all!

It was simple but very sweet of them, and we enjoyed it a lot! The theme was Dr. Seuss so my sisters asked the guests to show up in stripes and put some tiny diy cat-in-the-hat table centerpieces as decor. Can you find the table centerpiece? Haha.

They also put up some clever Seussical signs around the party hall...








Some games we played including Guess the Waistline for the ladies...(The good thing about pregnancy is that it gives you an excuse to have huge measurements!)

...and Milk-Me-Momma for the boys. (First one to finish got chocolates!)


(Here's a photo of my husband carrying a rather blurry bottle of milk to practice his bottle shaking skills.)

And who could forget the very useful gifts we got! 




Since it was a semi-surprise, they didn't show me the invitation! I'll get a copy of it and post it some other time. Meanwhile, 4 weeks to go til my EDD! Here's a photo of my best bump buddy these days. She's expecting a boy, and I'm expecting a girl. Future prom date maybe? Our due dates are just a few days apart.



Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Possible Preeclampsia

For my prenatal consultation on my 34th week, I was expecting the usual...regular baby heartbeat, good fetal growth, okay weight gain. I wasn't expecting my blood pressure to be 140/90. The doc's assistant checked it twice an hour or so, apart.  Reaching the 140/90 threshold I heard my doctor's voice pitch go up a notch, and a tiny involuntary gulp from my own throat, as she explained to me with urgency the word "preeclampsia."

Preeclempsia, from what I gathered from her explanation and previous book reading, has to do with rising blood pressure due to pregnancy changes and the presence of protein in the urine. There have only been theories as to why some pregnant women develop this condition. The danger here is that it could lead to eclampsia, a more complicated case which involves the mother having seizures or convulsions, and in which the only resolution is a pre-terminated pregnancy. Meaning, the mother would have to be induced or would have to have an emergency c-section to prevent the baby from harm or death.

With just a few more weeks till my due date, I wasn't expecting this news at all. The doctor looked down at my feet.The edema could be another sign of possible preeclampsia, she said. Sure, my feet and ankles had obvious swelling, but I thought that was somewhat expected and normal for pregnant women. Crap.

She then gave me my new responsibilities:

1. Have a urinalysis to check protein content
2. Fetal movement monitoring:  I have to feel for the baby's movements (any type of movement) 30 minutes to an hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. She has to move at least 10 times within an hour. If not, I'd have to call the doctor. (Reason: Before a fetus' heart stops because of the condition, the movements decrease first.)
3. Check my blood pressure three times a day, left arm, heart level
4. Bed rest making sure to lie on my left side most of the time (with bathroom and trips to the dining room rights) to help keep the blood pressure down
5. Low-sodium diet - no salty condiments: toyo, patis, bagoong, ketchup, etc.
6. Report to her at 8pm everyday via text.

So far, I've had my urinalysis but I'd have to hear the doctor's interpretations next week since I got the results after the her clinic hours. Our helper has been informed of my new diet and I've started gathering and eating tasteless recipes. I've checked the baby's fetal movements three times and I'm more than glad that she's still very active. My husband's been checking my bp and it's been normal, usually 120/80. He's also taught me how to check my blood pressure myself in case he can't because of his work schedule.

I don't know how long I'll be monitoring for possible preeclampsia and be tied to the bed, but I don't have to elaborate on how these little sacrifices are worth it. Hang in there baby, it's time for teamwork.



    


 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Staff Standards


I haven't been able to blog lately. Some little domestic drama alighted on our roof, as our first and one and only helper decided to go home due to personal reasons. With just a few more weeks till my due date (November 10th), she couldn't have picked worse timing. It just seemed stressful to have to train a new helper with my thoughts already on the baby's arrival.

 A few months after our wedding last year,  marriage felt like a long date that never seemed to end, but as my husband and I went through the transition of changing helpers, this made us feel like we are now really, well, husband and wife. Domestic duties suddenly feel more real. Am I making sense? Haha.

Luckily, we found a replacement through my husband's aunt. I have some apprehensions because of her age (she's 47 while the previous was 22). She's small and moves a bit slowly, plus she speaks and writes with the same energy. Though she knows Tagalog, I'm not 100% sure she understands me all the time because she's a bit mahinhin and it takes her a few seconds to answer. Perhaps she translates from Ilocano to Tagalog in her head first?

On the other hand, the good thing about our new staff is that her experience in rearing her 5 children plus 12 grandchildren, and being a house helper (she's worked in Abu Dhabi!) compensate for her lack of speed. There's also this humble and motherly vibe, which I appreciate. During these past few days of her "orientation and training," she has shown glimpses of tough diligence behind her weathered yet gentle exterior. There's probably a lot I can learn from her.

With the new helper, I find myself reassessing my standards and expectations for household staff. I don't want to be too nice, because we'd been tolerant and nice to our first helper and look where it got us? I don't want to be too mean either since I know that happy workers, work better. I hope I can achieve a certain balance in being queen of the castle along the way. There's really a lot to learn, still.  I wish standards were as simple to make as that classic movie, Mary Poppins. Remember Jane and Michael's job ad for the perfect nanny? Hmmm... I suddenly feel like singing. Here are the lyrics (from Allmusicals.com):



THE PERFECT NANNY
JANE
If you want this choice postition,
Have a cheery disposition.
Rosie cheeks, No warts,

MICHAEL
That's the part I put in.

JANE
Play games, all sorts
You must be kind, you must be witty.
Very sweet and fairly pretty

MR BANKS
Of all the ridiculous ideas

MRS BANKS
Oh George, please.

JANE
Take us on outings, give us treats

MICHAEL
Sing songs, bring sweets.
Never be cross or cruel,
Never feed us castor oil, or gruel.

JANE
Love us as a son and daughter,

MICHAEL
And never smell of barley water.
I put that part in too.

JANE
If you won't scold and dominate us,
We will never give you cause to hate us.
We wont hide your spectacles so you can't see.

MICHAEL
Put toads in your bed and pepper in your tea.

JANE
Hurry nanny, many thanks

BOTH
Sincerely,

JANE
Jane...

MICHAEL
and Michael

BOTH
Banks!


Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Change a Diaper (A Video Tutorial)

So I've got newborn disposable diapers, a diaper rash cream, a diaper bag, a diaper changing mat etc. I've watched my  mother change my youngest sister's diaper way back when I was around 10 years old, but as for hands-on experience...well..to be honest, I've only attempted changing a disposable diaper once...and it was quite messy.

Today, I decided to educate myself on changing disposable diapers. I browsed through a lot of videos but this simple demo by Shari Criso, a nurse, midwide and baby expert seems to be the most thorough one I watched. Here's the link on How to Change a Diaper

Next on my learning list ---changing cloth diapers. (The messier stuff!)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Party Inspiration: My Cousin's Debut, 50's theme

I know this is supposed to be a blog about pregnancies and babies, but since I have this party inspiration segment, I just really have to show you this one party I attended. Last Sunday was such a blast...from the past! It was my cousin's 18th birthday, and boy, does her family know how to PAR-TEY! No holds bard on this one. This was so much fun. Her 22 page, magazine-type invitation alone is much inspired (Photographer: Rolando Pascua):


Check out the decked entrance at NBC tent:

(Yes, I was able to find a suitable dress for the occasion though 7 months pregnant, thanks to Gingersnaps)

 And of course, inside the tent itself:


Awesome details...Table Number:

The emcees:




A 50's Cadillac on display :

A Jukebox for a cake...and a very stunning celebrant in a beautiful Ezra Santos gown:

Some very entertaining program numbers by Zian & her entire family (They're the cutest, biggest bunch ever):







Of course I had to grab a party souvenir on the way home. Guests got to choose from a variety of designer perfume scents: 


Thank you Zian, for a rockin' good night!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Car Seat and Stroller Shopping

Last Tuesday we went out with my husband’s sister, her daughter, and fiancĂ©.  My sister-in-law a.k.a. our baby's ninang was more than kind enough to gift her inaanak a stroller, so Benedict and I were thrilled! We all headed to Megamall’s SM Department store which greeted us with a large variety of strollers and travel systems, from economical to high-end brands (DO NOT forget to bring your Baby Company Mom Card for SM baby purchases btw!).


My husband and I had been checking out baby stuff in different malls, but had often found ourselves overwhelmed by the numerous choices on hand. So with my sister-in-law's coaching (and magnanimity) we went home with a well-chosen car seat and stroller combo! 



Brand: Goodbaby
Price: Php 11,999.00
Color: Brown (It also comes in blue)
Features: Sturdy, 8-wheeled stroller with a car seat that also serves as an infant carrier or rocker. 
Details: One-hand fold, front suspensions, rear-wheel breaks, generous canopy, 5-point safety belt, well-padded seat covers 
Accessories: Under-the-seat storage space, a baby tray, 2 covers, a mosquito net, and a diaper bag


Here are a few quick, not-so-pretty photos I shot before my husband's instincts for pack-away-type tidiness took over (excuse the plastic, we'll take them out sometime nearer my due date):

 
car seat

 
stroller

 
diaper bag

Remember, when shopping for a stroller, have a ready criteria. Here's ours:
  • Durable
  • Easy to maneuver, store, and clean 
  • Safe, comfortable, and practical features
  • Grow-with-me capabilities (can accomodate newborns to toddlers)
  • A neutral color...in case God blesses us with more children in the future
  • Within budget 
  • Can fit in the car trunk

For more help on buying a stroller, read this article.  Good luck!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nightlife...nowadays


Entering the third trimester of my pregnancy, I've had a lot of sleepless nights this week. As my tummy continues to grow, so do my eye bags. Here are my "snooze-snaggers:"

1. Finding the right position
I can't lie on my back anymore because it gets harder to breathe.  Now, I either sleep on my right or on my left. I find that tucking a pillow under my belly and between my legs help me.  But then, there's...

2. Moving to find a better position 
So I find the right position, but it gets uncomfy after a while. No option there but to toss and turn. The thing is, it's actually harder to roll around in bed now because of the added weight. Sometimes I end up accidentally waking my husband.

3. The nocturnal call of nature
Every night I wake up to pee despite my attempts not to drink a lot of fluid before bedtime. It's bothersome, then again, so is UTI. 

4. A busy mind
Wishes, worries and weird dreams have crept up on me a few times. I just shrug them off and try to relax as much as I can. 

4. Baby kicks! 
This I don't mind. I've woken up to a kick or two, then linger a bit to feel a few more wiggles. :) 

I know that when the baby comes, sleep will even be more difficult to catch. What makes me go on is knowing that  these sacrifices will reap the sweetest reward in the end. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bonding in Utero


Some studies have concluded that fetuses can actually "learn" inside the womb through music, reading to him or her, etc., but there haven't been any solid evidence on how this "learning" affects the intelligence later on outside. (Source: Your Baby Today, Comic strip source: normaychris.com )

For my part, I don't want to subject my baby to such early social pressures, however I do find myself doing precisely such things because of two reasons. First, I admit that I have slightly yielded to the "what-if" factor of that theory. What do we have to lose? Second, I just find it relaxing and natural to have in utero bonding time. 

Now that our baby is at her 28th week, my husband and I find ourselves talking and singing (my husband's got talent) to her more because by now her ears have developed enough to hear us and her surroundings. So, I've got a "Classical Music for Baby" playlist in Grooveshark, and, though getting a clear signal of it can be quite tricky, my husband has temporarily tuned in our car radio to station 98.7 -- Master's Touch (...Okay, okay, so we cheat...we've plugged in a few of our cds and ipod a few times!)

Then my mother-in-law suggested that I read to our baby. So I find myself doing this everyday now. I read whatever I can out loud, but for extra bonding moments, I read children's literature, which I actually really appreciate. I've had a hand at teaching preschoolers, and children's books are just magically inspiring. (Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to write my own children's book one day.) 

Anyway, I particularly love reading "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney:


I bought this book when I was in high school just because. Then I gave it to my husband later on one day, back when he was still my boyfriend, just because, too. Glad he kept it. Buy your own copy and see why it's so adorable. Check out the price at National Bookstore.  

I also got a hand-me down book written by Tish Rabe (aka Mrs. Seuss), way back before I got married. It's adapted from Dr. Seuss', "Oh the Places You'll Go" book. I read it once and vowed I would read it to my future baby. Unfortunately, I misplaced it through the years! I went to my parents house last weekend, but I couldn't find it. :(

 So if you know where to buy it, please let me know...
 If not, I'll just buy "Oh the Places You'll Go!" 

Hey, that rhymes!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Party Inspiration: Rain Shower Theme

The country has already had a share of typhoons last month, but the skies aren't all clear just yet. It's so gloomy outside. Nevertheless, I refuse to succumb to the sky's mood and instead have decided to take inspiration from it. Today's party theme inspiration is Rain!

First up is a concept by a creative author ironically named Lisa Storms. I'm in love with her pompom and raindrops ceiling decor!

 See her tutorials and other photos here.

Here's another version of pompoms and raindrops, but now with white and blue balloons to liven things up more. Visit My House of Giggles to see the rest of the party and the cute celebrant.


How about a more colorful take on the theme? Look at how Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line adds "bow" to the word "rain":





And what's rain without umbrellas, right?




Finally, how about showering some loot on the guests? See these awesome pinata and giveaway: 




Source? See the rest of those kids have fun at the party by A. Party Style

Hope this entry took away your gray clouds!