Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eleven Months

Happy 11 months, my baby Lia! I can't believe we are now down to your last monthly birthday before you hit the BIG ONE! Time flies!!! This line is probably one of the most overused when I talk about you, my love.  Before I know it, baka dalaga ka na agaaaad. Waaaah, I am not ready for that yet!  So for now, let me focus on the moment.  Lia at 11!

Taken this morning on our way to church. :)

One of your recent milestones is your ability to stand on your own for about 5 seconds each time (the very first time you did this was on Feb 16, I took note of it!;)) Yep! You have learned the art of balancing.  I could see how careful you are every time you do it, game face on, arms stretched out on your sides, your butt ready and 'alert' in case you fall. :) There's fear, I can sense it, but you try and try nevertheless. Attagirl! We are very proud of you, young lady. :)

One of your practice sessions with daddy. :)
Please excuse his half-nakedness. =D

I think you are able to understand already, a bit, that is. You already know how to tease! When you see me approaching to get you from your daddy or your nanny, you will face the other side and giggle. Then you'll glance back at me to see if I still want you in my arms, then you'll do the teasing all over again!  Too funny and cute. Hehe.

Speaking of cute, you've got additional cute teeth! Last month you had four, now they're almost six! Two on the upper gum, two below, and two little canine teeth (or cuspids) on the side which aren't very visible yet.  I say almost six because these tiny cuspids haven't really emerged fully yet.  They're a little shy and slow. Hehe.

Presenting your upper incisors that are one seat apart. =P

This phase is the most talkative you have been, so far.  You've invented weird combinations of syllables, and you babble and babble endlessly, and loudly! :) You are a noisy, little nene. I wish one day you'll say mommy or daddy and mean it.  Because right now, they still seem like they're empty words.  Hopefully next month, darling? :)

Speaking of babbling, you've been doing strange things with your mouth, Lia. You love turning yourself into a duck by pouting those yummy lips of yours.  I think it has become a mannerism, you do it not only once in every hour. You even pout more frequently than you smile. Hahaha. Cuuuuuute!  Be careful though, baka mahipan ka ng masamang hangin and that antic becomes permanent!  Halaaaa!

See? I caught you pouting in this month's diaper shot! :))

Last but not the least, you've been doing something sweet but curious lately.  When mommy is lying on the bed, you go to me, lift my shirt, stare at my tummy, and kiss it!  I wonder why. My ugly stretchmarks have not faded, aren't you scared of how my stomach looks? Or do you see it like it's ensaymada? But you haven't seen ensaymada, so that can't be it. Hmm. Perhaps you know that you've caused my tummy zigzags, so kissing them could be your way of saying sorry. Haha. I am obviously over-wondering. Whatever it is, my heart just melts every time you kiss me, lovey. You are very sweet like your daddy.  I love you!

So that's about it!  Next month, it will already be your 1st birthday!  Let the countdown to #LiaLoopsyTurns1 start now! :)

Today's handa: cake, KFC chicken bucket, spaghetti, and ice cream! :)


Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Price Survey of Milk Brands for Babies 1-3 Years

Depending on the baby's age, there are different types of milk.  There are infant formulas from birth, follow-on formulas for babies more than 6 months, and toddler milk drinks for babies 1 to 3 years. Our little girl will be turning one in a month's time, and this means it's time to switch from her current follow-on formula to a toddler milk. Hubby and I were at the supermarket this morning and I was able to squeeze in a quick price survey. Thought of sharing them here. :)

In no particular order:

Disclaimer: Photos from Google Images.
Price Survey done at SM Supermarket, SM Southmall.
Date: Today, February 27, 2016.
Some photos do not match the actual SKU size I surveyed so it's better
to refer to the caption than the picture. ;)

Enfagrow A+ for 1-3 Years
1.2 kg for PhP 1,219.00
Nan Optipro for 12-36 Months
1.3 kg for PhP 1,054.50
(There's also a Nan Optipro HW 1.4kg  for PhP 1,462.50)
Similac Gain Plus for 1-3 Years
1.7 kg for PhP 1,529.50
Progress Gold for 1-3 Years
1.8 kg for PhP 1,609.50
Promil Kid for 1-3 Years
1.8 kg for PhP 1,389.50

Nido Junior for 1-3 Years
1.6 kg for PhP 749.50
Lactum for 1-3 Years
1.6 kg for PhP 794.50
BonaKid for 1-3 Years
1.6 kg for PhP 914.50
Bear Brand Jr. for 1-3 Years
1.2 kg for PhP 474.50
Nestogen for 12-36 Months
1.3 kg for PhP 544.50
Alactagrow for 1-3 Years
1.2 kg for PhP 584.50
Hipp Organic for 1-3 Years
900g for P1,025.00
(Not sold in SM where I did the survey. Got this price today at Mercury
when we dropped by to purchase Hipp 6-12 mos. for Lia.)

As you could see, the SKU sizes mentioned above differ.  To judge the prices easily, below is the apples-to-apples comparison using each brand's cost for every 100g. Arranged from the most to the least expensive:

Waaaah, I just realized now how expensive Hipp Organic is!!! But at present, it's the only milk that agrees with Lia's tummy so that she doesn't get constipated (as shared in this previous post). :( I might need to still cross over to Hipp when she turns one, we'll see.  When her digestive system becomes more mature (when she's 1 and a half, perhaps?) I'll try if she's already good with a different milk. I wish I wish I wish! *fingers crossed*  Again, at the end of the day, it is what's hiyang with our baby that matters. You're one lucky parent if your kid is not as sensitive and you have the luxury of choice. 

Anyway, that's it for my price survey today! :) Hope this helps.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Basic Baby First Aid

These past few days, I have heard a number of terrible news on deaths of children caused by seemingly innocent things.  One was eating a hotdog and choked, another on a bite of pizza. I was and still am very scared for my Lia. I cannot be with her all the time because I'm a working mom, and even at times that I am with her, I know for a fact that I have no idea what to do in case something I can't even bring myself to imagine accidentally happens. :(

It's about time I, and all of us parents, learn about first aid for babies and children. This is something we would never want to need to use (because nobody wants anything bad to happen, right?), but is extremely necessary in case the unexpected comes about.

Photo from Google Images :)


Helping a Choking Baby
This is first on my list because it's the leading cause of death in children ages 14 and below. To help a choking baby, these are the key steps according to
  1. Give up to five back blows. Hold the baby face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
  2. Give up to five chest thrusts. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push inwards and upwards up to five times. If chest thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.
  3. Call an ambulance if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts. (For me, however, calling an ambulance would be part of step 1. I'll have someone call while I give the back blows.  In the Philippines, unfortunately, we are not assured of a speedy response in case of emergencies.)'
Watch the video below that further illustrates the steps.

According to, the top 9 choking foods are hotdogs, carrots, apples, grapes, nuts, peanut butter, marshmallows, gum and hard candy, and popcorn.  I'm adding a number 10: bread, and other starchy food.  To be safe, always chop these up into small, manageable pieces, or better yet, avoid giving these to a very young child, especially the unhealthy ones like candy and gum.

Doing Baby CPR
Still using the British Red Cross as source, this is how you do cardiopulmonary resuscitation on babies.
  1. Check for breathing. Tilt their head back and look and feel for breaths. If they are not breathing, move on to step two.
  2. Tell someone to call an ambulance. But if you are on your own, carry out rescue breaths and chest compressions as described below, for one minute, and then call an ambulance.
  3. Give five rescue breaths. Tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and nose and blow five times into the baby.
  4. Give 30 chest compressions. Push firmly in the middle of their chest with two fingers so that the chest goes inward, then release.
  5. Give two rescue breaths, then continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

If after step 1, you learn that the baby is breathing normally even if s/he is unconscious, the baby has to be placed in what is called the recovery position.  To do this, cradle him/her in your arms, with the head tilted downwards. This will keep the airway open and will prevent the baby from choking on his/her tongue or from breathing in any vomit.  The image below is from the website of St. John Ambulance, UK.
The Recovery Position
Swallowed Poisons
Since babies almost automatically put random things in their mouth, it's important to know what to do in case they swallow something poisonous. The advice below is from
  1. Try to find out what your baby has swallowed, how much of it and when they swallowed it. Look for clues – like plants or containers near where they have been playing.
  2. Call for emergency help and give them as much information you can.
  3. While you wait, check that your baby is breathing normally, and if they respond to you.
  4. If they do not respond, open their airway, check for breathing, and see if they need CPR.
  5. Don’t try to make them be sick, but if your baby is sick try to collect some of their vomit to give to the healthcare professionals – they may be able to identify the poison with this.
  6. If what they have swallowed is burning their mouth or lips, give them sips of water or milk until help arrives.

Severe Bleeding
When there's a lot of blood flowing from a wound:
  1. Remove any clothes from the area your baby is bleeding from.
  2. If there’s something in the wound, leave it where it is and apply pressure around the wound with a clean non-fluffy cloth, like a clean towel.
  3. If there’s nothing in the wound, apply pressure directly to it with a sterile dressing or clean non-fluffy cloth.
  4. Raise and support the injured area above your baby’s heart if possible and you are still able to maintain the pressure.
  5. Call for emergency help.
  6. Apply a tight bandage around the dressing on top of the wound. It needs to maintain pressure but not restrict circulation.
  7. If the blood soaks through the first dressing, apply a second dressing on top. If it soaks through again remove both dressings and apply a new one.
  8. Keep checking your baby’s breathing, pulse and whether they can respond to you, until medical help arrives.


It's good to know these key how-to's, but it would be ideal if we could actually take formal lessons on first aid so that we can be more confident and precise. If you want to take this knowledge to a higher level, you can check out the following which offer first aid courses:

  • Philippine First Aid:; 0949-4134564
  • Philippine Red Cross:; 790-2366 loc 933/934
  • (It offers free online courses on first aid. I'm gonna go check this out myself!)

Like I said earlier, not one of us would want to have any use for first aid skills, but let's take it to heart.  It just might save a life... it just might save your child's life.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Belo Baby Guarantee

As a first time mom, I worry about A LOOOOOT of things that concern my baby. Is she on track with most babies’ developmental milestones? Am I giving her the right amount of milk and food every day? Are all her toys safe and BPA-free? The list is endless, and so is my research! Since getting pregnant and especially after having Lia, Google has become my best buddy and the internet has been among the few things I can’t live without. Call me paranoid, but it’s just the way it is. I guess that is one thing motherhood does – make one qualify for a post at the CIA. Hehe.

When Lia was still very small, one of the things I spent time on was asking Google what types and brands of products I can use on her which are guaranteed safe and gentle for her very delicate baby skin. Getting a conclusive answer was difficult, because there are just too many brands out there that all promise to be safe for babies. Only one brand stood out because it is made from all natural ingredients, but the thing is, it’s not available in the Philippines. Importing it from the States would cost me an arm and a leg so it was certainly not an option, huhu. :( The ending – I settled for brands available locally. 

But very recently, a fairy godmother flew in and delivered some good news! Finally, there’s a new brand in the Philippines that will grant the desire of every mom’s heart – BELO BABY.

The packaging is too cute! :) I got so kilig the first time I saw it!
SRPs: Soap - P79.75; Wash - P219.75; Lotion - P224.75.

Yes!!!  Belo Baby is 100% natural with 0% harmful ingredients! How cool is that? As what the packaging says, it’s crafted with care for your baby and the whole family. Obviously, meticulous attention was given not only on the ingredients put in, but also on the ingredients left out. Definitely perfect for the most delicate skin and the most meticulous moms (like myself!). :)

Belo Baby has a Hair & Body Wash, a Bar Soap, and a Face & Body Lotion. All of these are absolutely free of SLS, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, sodium chloride, formaldehyde, MEA, DEA, TEA, EDTA, silicones, formaldehyde, sodium tallowate, tetrasodium etidronate, triclosan, synthetic preservatives, paraffin, petrochemicals, and other allergens. If you are as fussy as I am, you would check the label of the products you are now using on your baby and you will be shocked to see several of these dangerous ingredients in the most popular baby brands today. :( I did this, and they all found their way into the trash can in no time. It’s alarming how brands which assure us of our baby’s safety intentionally hide harsh chemicals underneath all their nicely worded commercials and print ads. It’s sad and it’s bad. :(

Anyway, Belo Baby also has cologne products in the range.  The different scents are called Sweet Snuggle, Happy Tickle, and Cool Drizzle.  

This bunch is such an eye candy! :) Sweet Snuggle is my personal favorite. :)
SRP: P79.75

Unlike other colognes which only have a very basic formulation of water, alcohol, and fragrance, Belo Baby is infused with mild moisturizers to ensure gentleness on skin.  It is also absolutely free of parabens, phthalates, and coloring agents. :) Again, two thumbs up for Belo Baby! 

Speaking as a mother, I can't help but say again how glad I am that a product line like Belo Baby is now available. Now Filipino mommies do not have to settle for less, because now we have an excellent option available to us. Because when it's about our baby and our family, we know in our hearts that there should be no compromise. :)



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lia's First Ash Wednesday

10 February 2016.

It's the season of Lent once again, and it's our baby's first time to have a cross of ashes on her forehead (though hers doesn't look like a cross at all =P). As she grows up, we will teach her to repent and believe in the Gospel, as what was said when she received the ash.  

Can't wait for Easter! :)


Saturday, February 13, 2016

To The Baby That Didn't Come This Month

Several weeks ago, I received a message from my husband with a link to an article. His message said, "An accurate description of what we went through while waiting for Lia."  It got me curious, so I clicked on the link that led me to and the article I am pasting below.


To The Baby That Didn't Come This Month
by Chaunie Brusie

It’s funny isn’t it, how I imagined the morning sickness, my stomach turning as I sautéed garlic and peppers and carrots in the tarnished pan I can never get quite clean, no matter how much I scrub?

It’s funny isn’t it, how I was so sure those weird side twinges were the beginnings of you, my body’s signal as you burrowed life into me?

It’s funny isn’t it, how I felt exhaustion taking hold, longing for a nap that never came, already hoping you were here?

It’s funny isn’t it, how even when I told myself this time would be different, and this time I wouldn’t be silly and take the test early, I did it anyways?

It’s funny isn’t it, how even as I watched the fluid move across the screen and even as I held my breath, I could have sworn there were two lines when there was only one?

And it’s funny isn’t it, how I sat there on the toilet, the test still in my hand, and didn’t know if I should laugh or cry?

Because already in my head, baby, I had made room for you.

Already, I had plugged our dates into the online due date calculator, thrilled with the timing of what would have been a late-June birth. Not too hot and not too cold, I thought to myself, smiling a little. A perfect time of year for a baby. 

Already, I had pictured you in our car, mentally adjusting and readjusting our seating arrangements to make way for you — a you that didn’t even really exist.

Already, I had imagined labor, once again, wondering if I could be one of those women I admired, the kind who looked beautiful even while giving birth, roaring with the power of womanhood as you came rushing into the world.

Already, I had listed what gear we would need and what we had, ticking off checkboxes in my head, pleased I had not thrown away the bouncy seat after all.

I wanted you, baby, and I didn’t know how much until you weren’t here.

And when I texted your father, who had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a period that stubbornly persisted in being a week late, despite our most cautious behavior, I watched as the dots of his pending text filled my screen.

No baby, I sent him. We r good. 

His text bubble seemed to pause, looking at the weight of the words I didn’t say. Not a “My period came,” or “I started” or “Bring home tampons,” but a loss of what was not there.

“R u OK?” he replied. “With no baby?”

And what could I say, oh baby, that wasn’t meant to be? What could I say, but yes, yes of course. I am OK, because it was bad timing, right? I am OK because we have been planning and dreaming for the honeymoon we never had, right? I am OK because we weren’t trying to get pregnant, not right now, not this month, right? I am OK because we have so much already, right?

I am OK because really, what other choice do I have?

Month after month, I know I will do this to myself, wondering and waiting and hoping for a baby or hoping to not have a baby. It’s funny, isn’t it, how I have been the same woman all along, some months praying for an empty womb and others, disappointed when that same womb remains empty, swept out of what could have been?

I feel the loss of something I never had, like I’m almost embarrassed of it; my cheeks burning a little as I text my husband back, “Yes, of course. Hawaii here we come!!” hurriedly burying my phone back in my lap before the tears sting my eyes.

Because you were never here, baby. Not really, anyways.

Not this month.


My husband's right, this is indeed what we went through.  Our TTC (trying-to-conceive) journey was about a year and a half. You might think that's actually not very long compared to others, that's right. But to us, it felt like forever.  Month after month, we would wait. If I missed my period for a couple of days, I would silently rejoice and hope it's "the month." There were even times when secretly, I took a pregnancy test that early.  At night outs, I would not take even a sip of alcohol, thinking I could be pregnant that month and it might hurt the baby.  This list could go on and on, and the heartache when Aunt Flo arrived was always the same. :(  Whenever my husband and I would ask each other if we're okay, we always said we're okay.  But deep inside, I died each time. And I knew he felt the same.

Indeed, it's only God who knows when, and why.  Cliche as this may sound, but you will understand it when you get to that perfect time He has prepared for you all along.  Now that our dream number one, our precious Lia, is here, we have realized more and more that His timing is always ideal, always the best.

If you are on a TTC mission too like we were, hang in there, and pray. Do what you can, but know that it is not up to you, it is up to Him. Trust, trust, trust while you try, try, try. God knows best. ;)


Monday, February 8, 2016

Conquering Constipation

During Lia's first seven months of life, we never had any issues in her bowel habits.  She would poop without difficulty even if sometimes, she would skip a day or two without soiling her nappy with #2. However, after I stopped expressing breast milk and we started giving her 100% formula every day, we started encountering challenges in her bowel movement. :(  Our battle against constipation has begun.

How does one know a baby is constipated?  According to Baby Center, these are some of the usual signs:
  1. Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo.
  2. Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that she has trouble passing.
  3. Fewer than three bowel movements a week.
  4. Foul-smelling wind and poo.
  5. Loss of appetite.
  6. A hard belly.
In Lia's case, signs #1, #2, #3, and #6 are spot on. She would grimace and grunt and sometimes, there's even blood. :( It's always very difficult for me seeing her strain to poop, she would even cry. We tried a lot of things with the guidance of her pedia: we encouraged her to drink more water, we gave her laxatives and even suppositories (which she hated a lot), and we tried a number of milk brands to find out which would be hiyang with her tummy.  I researched and researched and researched and nothing worked. This went on for several months and it bothered us greatly. :(  Even our choice of solid food for her became very limited, as any wrong type of food may aggravate her constipation. 

Two weeks ago, we went back to her pedia to discuss the issue once again, and this time, a new milk brand came up, one we haven't heard before. It's Hipp Organic. Doc Nik said she heard it's good with constipation because the formulation is closer to that of breast milk.  The brand isn't popular but we went for it.  Anything that may help our baby.

You know what I think about it? It's heaven sent!!! Lia has been taking it for a week and since she started, she would poop 'beautifully' everyday. (I never imagined myself describing poop as beautiful, ever!!! Hehe.) She also seems to like the taste.  With Promil Gold, she would only consume 30 ounces everyday on the average, but with Hipp, she's drinking up to 44! So far, I'm really loving Hipp! 

Let me tell you more about Hipp based on what I've researched so far:

HiPP Organic, as the name suggests, is an organic milk brand from Germany. According to its USA website, HiPP "contains important prebiotics and omegas, but doesn’t contain any of the questionable additives of other brands, and no brown rice syrup like the US Organic formulas. HiPP uses the finest organic ingredients in milk, which means no chemical pesticides and no GM ingredients. The company has been researching breastmilk for over 50 years, so you can rely on their formula including the ingredients your baby needs to grow strong and healthy (like iron, vitamins A, C and D and PRÆBIOTIK® oligosaccharides (GOS)."

HiPP is not yet popular in the Philippines because it was only introduced here towards the end of 2013 (if not early 2014), and it's far from being the top-of-mind brand among pediatricians yet. But to moms who struggle against constipation in their babies, I super swear by it! Of course, every kid is different, and one thing that works on one baby may not work for the other. But still, it's worth a try, especially if you've tried several other ways to no avail like I did. As for the price, it's a little bit more expensive than other brands. Promil Gold's 1.8kg costs around PhP2,100, while Hipp's 900g is already PhP1,340 which makes it PhP2,680 if only it had a 1.8kg SKU. HiPP is sold in all Mercury Drug outlets but not in SM.

Hooray for HiPP! :) By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I am just overjoyed to conquer Lia's constipation that I couldn't help but share. ;)


Sunday, February 7, 2016


Ever since I carried a baby in my womb, I think I have become a hundred times more emotional.  I guess that's one thing about being a mommy, you get in touch with your feelings more. Just recently, I saw a video that made me cry.  It's a film by Anmum called "Mama." 

I love how it mirrors what many Filipino mothers go through during pregnancy.  And the song! I am in love with the song and the voice of the baby! Super duper cute! :)

During the time when I was pregnant with Lia, I watched other Anmum films which made me shed very emo tears, the English ones.  Naka-relate ako nang sobra!

Haaay, motherhood.  The things it can do to your heart. Ang sarap sarap sarap maging nanay talaga. :)  Good job, Anmum Philippines! :)


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