Sunday, May 22, 2016

Lia's First Dental Visit

I am in love with my baby's smile. :)  That is why as early as now that she's only a little over one year old with just six tiny teeth, we already made it a point that she sees a pediatric dentist.  My husband and I want to make sure we're caring for her pearly whites the right way.  If Lia has healthy baby teeth now, she will have healthy adult teeth in the future! :)  Also, we want her to get used to sitting on a dental chair.  Other kids are scared of dentists, and we don't want her to have that kind of fear.

Lia's pedia recommended Abesamis Dental Clinic when we asked her where we could go for our baby's dental checkup.  Abesamis has pediatric dental services so it's perfect! :)  Our appointment was this morning.

Abesamis Dental is located at the 4th level of Festival Mall, Alabang. :)
I had to sit on the dental chair too because Lia's still so small. :)
In the photo is her dentist, Dr, Jamie Albudin.  She's good! Like a baby whisperer! :)

Here's a better look inside the pediatric dental room.  All the walls are decorated with colorful cartoon characters to entertain the kiddie patients. :)

Attached to the dental chair is a monitor where kids can watch movies for kids.
Frozen was supposed to be playing while we were there, I barely noticed. though coz I was busy talking to the dentist.

Blue's Clues on the wall! :)

These were the dentist's tips in taking care of Lia's teeth:

  • She noticed some faint stains on Lia's tiny teeth and she said that's because of her vitamins. Her advice was, every time she takes her meds or vitamins, water has to be given immediately afterwards.
  • Currently, we clean Lia's teeth and tongue using a wet washcloth.  She said we could already use a silicone finger toothbrush so that she gets used to it as early as now.  We could also put a teeny weeny bit of kiddie toothpaste already (no more than a smear or the size of a rice grain). However, since she doesn't know how to spit out stuff yet, we should still use a wet washcloth or gauze pad to clean up the mouth after brushing.
  • Brush twice a day.
  • Never let her sleep with the bottle (or milk) in her mouth. Doing that will lead to tooth decay.

And that's it! Lia went home happy! :) Hihi.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Scarlet Snow Secret

These days, there’s one trending topic that’s very close to my heart – SCARLET SNOW! Last Sunday, Dr. Vicki Belo finally made the big reveal about her Scarlet Snow ‘secret’ on CNN Philippines. She finally announced that she and Dr. Hayden Kho have a beautiful baby together. The announcement was quickly followed by their posts on social media, which were immediately re-posted by a lot of people, and featured by big news networks and lifestyle pages such as GMA, ABS-CBN, Rappler, PhilStar, Cosmo, Pep, and Smart Parenting, to name a few.

When the Belo Baby TV commercials began airing, only very few people knew who that adorable baby talent was. We got a lot of unsuspecting comments about her cuteness, little did they know that’s already the couple’s baby girl! 

Take a peek behind the scenes of the TVC’s shoot. See Doc Hayden, Dr. Belo, and Ms. Cristalle goofing around just to elicit Scarlet’s happy expressions so we could get good shots. It was fun watching their genuinely sweet family.

This other video below was taken during the shoot for the Belo Baby billboard. Doc Hayden had to lie on the floor so Scarlet could ride his tummy. That was how badly we needed photos of her laughing! Hehe.  And in fairness to Doc Hayden, he is the epitome of a truly doting daddy.  He goes everywhere Scarlet goes! You could see it in his eyes how much he adores Scarlet Snow. 

Anyway, this is me and Scarlet when I first met her at their house. She’s less than one year old that time, but she’s much bigger than babies her age. She’s happy and noisy and heavy! :)

We can’t wait to see Scarlet grow. I’m sure she’s going to be a sweet young lady years from now. She’s very blessed because she’s well loved by her family, and even by people she doesn’t know. :) God bless you, Scarlet Snow!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

#SPMomWorkshops: All About Toddlers

Yesterday, hubby and I attended a workshop organized by Smart Parenting at Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas.  I was actually there for work, but I tagged him along because the topic was toddlers.  Lia has just begun her toddler years, so I thought the workshop would be of great help to us as parents. 

First, let's define what a toddler is.  According to trusty Wiki, a toddler is a child between the ages of one and three. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a child of this age.

The workshop had three speakers with a different topic assigned to each, as mentioned here in Smart Parenting's pre-event poster.

The importance of storytelling.  As how Lia's pedia would always tell us, it is very important to read stories to her regularly.  This enhances kids' verbal proficiency, improves their listening skills, and encourages creativity and the power of imagination, and these are just among its many other benefits.  According to speaker Gutch Gutierrez, we should remember 3Es when storytelling: Emphasis, Emotion, and Enjoy.

Feeding your picky eater. Because toddlers are experiencing new foods and flavors for the first time, many of them are picky eaters. Speaker Velvet Escario-Roxas shared tips on how to end, or at least minimize, the struggle.  
  • Be persistent. If this week, your toddler refused eggplant, try once more next week, and the week after that if she pushed it away again.  Don't give up and your kid would give in.
  • Eat together. It releases oxytocin.
  • Involve your child in preparing the food, so that s/he would enjoy eating it, too.
  • Children should not call the shots, and as the parent, do not give in if s/he doesn't want to eat what's on the table.  
  • Do not force-feed.
  • Make your child eat a different color of food each day.  Complete the colors of the rainbow in a week.

Disciplining your toddler.  This is the talk I enjoyed the most as the speaker, Michelle Tambunting, was really good. She mentioned the book "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp as her reference.  Some of the things I learned:
  • Never look at your child in terms of age.  Avoid comparisons at all costs.
  • Understand who your toddler is:  that s/he is not a small person, s/he is more like a caveman in terms of how s/he responds to situations.  Toddlers also cannot switch off tantrums unlike bigger kids.  
  • It's tough being a toddler, everything is bigger, stronger, faster!
  • Our modern world is weird to them.
  • Their brains are out of balance, especially during tantrums.
  • When your child is having a tantrum, acknowledge his/her feelings, do mirroring.  Touch him/her, give options.

I don't think I've given justice to Michelle's talk with my very few notes above, but I promise I will find that book! It might make Lia's life easier and happier if we would just know how to manage her while she's in this terrible terrific toddler stage. :)

Anyway, these are some of the photos from the event.

The Belo Baby booth
Kelly Misa as she shares her Belo Baby experience :)
That's me sharing how unique baby's skin is and why Belo Baby is best for it. :)
Grabbed from Smart Parenting's Instagram page.
Kelly and I with our segment's game winners. :)
With my +1. hubby Rolly. <3

And that's it! Looking forward to more parenting workshops like this! :)


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Progressive Preschools Down South

My baby is only 1 year old, but as early as now, this excited mommy here is already scouting and comparing schools for her when the time comes. Choosing the perfect preschool is never easy, as I am aware how the choice would greatly impact her formative years, and how she would view school and studying moving forward.  Right now, I'm thinking of enrolling her in a progressive school because of its student-centered approach to learning and the fact that subjects are integrated. There's immediate application of lessons learned, and the class size is smaller compared to traditional schools (1:12 teacher-student ratio or less).

I've done my research on progressive preschools down south, and these are the ones that top my list for Lia.

Toddlers Unlimited
Festival Mall, Filinvest, Alabang

Toddlers Unlimited calls itself “the premiere progressive nursery school” in Manila. They believe that children have an unlimited potential to exceed adults’ expectations and society’s imagination.

It offers classes for as young as 3-6 months old up to 5 years old. Schedules depend on the child’s age.  I inquired about the rates for toddlers (1-2yo), and I’m sharing it below. Fees are inclusive of all learning materials. Children will only need to bring their snacks and a set of extra clothes to school.

Toddlers Unlimited also have Saturday classes for 1-3 year olds, but schedules and rates may vary. The fee is P4,000 for 5 Saturdays and P4,800 for 6 Saturdays. Each session is one and a half hours long. 

The Little Apprentice
Aspen Tower, Parkway cor. Corporate Avenue, Filinvest, Alabang

The Little Apprentice Preschool believes that education is not only about reading, writing and math. It is also about creatively nurturing and developing the whole child.  They believe that true learning happens when the curriculum meets their developmental needs and that a strong support system between home and school is important.

These are their rates for a 5x a week schedule.

Cambridge Child Development Center
Alabang Town Center, Alabang
Telephone Nos: 659-1387; 659-1406

The philosophy of Cambridge Child Development Center is that each child is a unique individual who has the potential to be the best that he can be.

Below are their class schedules and fees.

Mindbuilders Preschool
BF International, Las Pinas City

Mindbuilders Preschool is all about developing each child's multiple intelligences.  From the way its classes are named, it looks like music is an integral part of the kids' day to day activities! :)

The miscellaneous fees above include two sets of uniforms, a school bag, all art and classroom materials, student's field trip fee, and basic accident insurance. :)

Mindbuilders also offer Kindermusik classes! The classes below are 45 minutes each.

The Little Gym
Madrigal Business Park, Alabang
Telephone Nos: 850-4060, 850-4061

The Little Gym is a franchised children's fitness and development center where motor skills development, recreational gymnastics, sports skills development, martial arts, and dance classes are provided in a safe, non-competitive environment. Their curriculum-based physical, social and cognitive development programs are designed by child development experts in the United States. The Little Gym believes in three-dimensional learning as described below.

The Little Gym has a parent-child motor development class for kids 6 months to 2.11 years old.  The class is only 45 minutes per session, and fees include  the following:

  • Annual Membership Fee - PhP1,960
  • Tuition Full Term (13 sessions) - PhP 13,680

The school also has a program for toddlers 2 to 3 years old called Terrific Tots.  This has a play-based curriculum that meets 2 to 3 times a week.  The first hour is in the gym and the next hour and a half is in the classroom.  Tuition fees are as follows:
  • Registration Fee: PhP6000 (good for one school year; payable upon first payment; non-refundable)
  • Deposit: PhP10,000 (payable upon first payment; refundable upon enrollment in the 3rd trimester; waived if paying full year fee) 
  • FULL YEAR (one payment): 2x/ week - PhP105,000
  • 1st Trimester: PhP41,000
  • 2nd Trimester: PhP43,000
  • 3rd Trimester: PhP31,000

A-Plus International School
Festival Mall, Filinvest, Alabang
Telephone Nos: 772-1662 to 63

A-Plus International School is committed to mold young minds in preparation for academics in the primary school. Bound by its Multiple Intelligences curriculum, A-Plus International School aims to provide a fully integrated and comprehensive preschool program that would cater to the individual needs and “intelligences” of students, and provide them with a safe and nurturing learning environment.  In addition, A-Plus specializes in language, so if you want your kids to learn Mandarin and Spanish aside from English, this school is a good choice.

As for the tuition fees:
  • 5x a week - PhP 81,312 (annual); PhP 42,689 (semi-annual); PhP 22,361 (quarterly)
  • 3x a week - PhP 60,984 (annual); PhP 32,017 (semi-annual); PhP 16,771 (quarterly)
Then add the basic fees below on top of the tuition:
  • Program fee - PhP 1,000 (toddler & pre-nursery, nursery, and kinder)
  • Learning materials - PhP 2,900 (toddler & pre-nursery, nursery, and kinder)
  • Art materials - PhP 4,000 (toddler & pre-nursery); PhP 3,000 (nursery and kinder)
  • Activity workbook/ abacus/ mandarin - PhP 5,100 (toddler & pre-nursery); PhP 8,300 (nursery); and PhP 10,800 (kinder)
A-Plus also offers Saturday playschool, 2 hours per session, and that's PhP 3,900 per month. :)

Kencare Learning Center
BF Resort Village, Las Pinas
Telephone Nos: 875-3683, 403-9723

Kencare does not have a website, but they are frequently mentioned in forums as a progressive school. I gave them a call to confirm, and they said yes, they are progressive. However, they call their teaching style “eclectic,” since it’s a combination of Montessori and traditional. That got me confused, but I listed them here, nonetheless. 

Kencare’s annual tuition fee is P36,875 for a one-time payment. For monthly payments, the amount is P39,875, but a downpayment of P15,875 has to be made upon enrolment. Classes run 5x a week, 2 hours per day. They don’t offer Saturdays-only classes.


As of today, I have not been to any of these schools to actually observe classes, but that is my next step.  I do not believe in basing one's choice solely on the tuition fees, because education is NOT a commodity.  Parents have to go to the school itself, scrutinize the curriculum, and observe how classes are done and the teaching methods of the faculty.  The hubby and I are thinking of enrolling Lia when she turns two, so I still have plenty of time left to schedule appointments with each school. I am excited! :)


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Taking the Leap to Lose

2012.  The year I got married. 92 pounds.
2013.  Honeymoon stage. No baby.  104-108 pounds.
2014.  I got pregnant. 113 pounds right before I knew there's a bun in my oven.
2015.  I gave birth. 148 shocking pounds before delivery.
2016.  My baby's already 1. And I'm stuck at 123 pounds.

They say the last few pounds are the hardest to lose, and I know that firsthand.  Even harder if you're not doing anything at all to actually lose them, like myself. =P I am not obsessed with losing weight because I'm okay with how I am, I mean, I still feel good about myself! :) However, convenience-wise, there's a lot to gain if I lose.  I'd get to wear all my old clothes that don't fit anymore, I could carry Lia around without getting tired too easily and give Rolly and the nanny a break, I could go up and down the stairs over and over without getting hingal! Hehe. So yes, I've finally admitted to myself that I need to lose these overstaying post-pregnancy kilos, and maybe some more.

People who know me well would know that I'm not a big eater, I like sweets a lot though. I eat rice in small quantities, and I eat frequently.  They would also know that I hate exercise of any form (Hate is such a strong word, true, but I mean it). I never liked running, doing sports, or even walking!  I do, very rarely, only out of compliance or obligation.  Hehe. Hindi ako maarte, but I don't like the feeling of me perspiring. In this very humid country like ours, the last thing that I want is for me to turn into a sweaty pig, even for just a few minutes!  Sweat, whether good or bad sweat, is all bad to me.  That's why I never considered going to the gym until two weeks ago.

The hubby and I had dinner at Westgate Alabang, and while I was parking (we went there separately), Fitness First caught my eye.  I remembered the chitchat I had with my office mates earlier that day about how exercise makes them feel good as it releases brain chemicals called endorphins, inducing feelings of well-being.  I told Rolly about it, and said I could give exercise a chance (as if it needs me and not the other way around! Hehe).  We inquired, and I was satisfied with how my discussion with the trainer went. The facilities are high-end, the ambiance is nice. I found the rates too high though.  Fitness First at Westgate is a platinum club, not a regular one like the other branches.

The flyer the trainer gave me after our talk. :)

If I'd sign up for a 12-month membership, that's PhP3,750 a month.  Not a come-on for someone who's only pushing herself to at least try to make her fats cry.  Hehe.

There's also a 360 Fitness Club at Westgate, so we checked it out as well.  The front desk officer was all smiles when we entered, and we were entertained right away.

Photos from Google Images. :)

The moment I looked around, however, I knew it wasn't for me.  I saw some club members doing their thing, and they were all super serious!  All of them looked like athletes to me, I instantly felt I didn't belong! It's not that I just want to play and not take working out seriously.  It's just that I feel I'd get motivated more if I see other members who are just like me --- normal people who want to try being fit.  A little bit of small talk with others while exercising would be nice, too. :)  However, for those who want real training without any flare, I think Club 360 is the perfect choice.  These are their rates.

Pardon the photo quality. =P

The last that we checked was Gold's Gym in Molito, Alabang. I talked to an Account Officer and got the fees. I was surprised that membership at Gold's is super affordable!  I was able to speak with a personal trainer, too, and I told him my fitness goals.  He assured me that it can be done, but ultimately, it will all depend on me. Waaah.

From Google Images.

The facilities at Gold's are all really good, too, but not as high-end as those at Fitness First.  This also explains why Gold's rates are relatively lower.

Reasonable rates! :)


So these three were my options.  I slept on it and made sure I was really ready to take this leap to stretch my muscles a little, hehe.  Two days after, I made up my mind and signed up at Gold's. :) Was it divine intervention? Perhaps. :)

On my first session, I was 'assessed' and I learned that 33% of my total body weight is all FAT! Waaaaah!  What a way to motivate a newbie!  Hahaha! Let's see how it goes from here. I hope I could cross from fat to fit! :)


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