Monday, October 29, 2012

Every parent's worst nightmare

The murder of the Krim kids is all over the news. Till now, I am dumbfounded by the thought some someone can hurt little children. As a parent, I mourn for their loss, because I myself would probably go insane if this tragedy happened to us, God forbid!

I've been following the story, and it's so heartbreaking to read that the elder child, Lulu tried to defend herself but was still stabbed in the stomach and neck. What's worse, both kids died a painfully as they bled to death. I cannot imagine what was going on during that time. Kids don't know that kind of pain. This is just too much. I hope the nanny wakes up, comes to her senses, and talk to the Krim parents to give them some sort of closure.

I don't judge Marina for hiring a nanny. I know how hard it is to raise kids. What is harder is when you don't have extended family who can help out. That's how life is in the US, unlike here in the Philippines where a village can raise a child.

Similar to her though, Sieg & I decided to raise our family away from our relatives. We also hired househelp to look after Rocco because I am a working mom. This tragedy got me thinking again if it's really safe having a yaya on board. Admittedly, I cannot do it all alone, so I have hired help. Though we have yayas, we're very cautious and always observe when red flags are flashing. So far, here's what we're doing:

1. We do not hire yayas from agencies. We hire from referrals. We need to know the person who will live with us, and care for our son. In our case, we know the families of our yayas. They both come from our province.

2. We hired two yayas. Both know how to take care of babies. Both know how to do household chores. Our house is not big, and can actually be managed by one. We hired two so that there is always a reliever. Looking after an active boy is tough and tiring. I don't want my yaya hurting my child just because she's lost her patience. They can always call a timeout.

3. We always observe how Rocco reacts to her yayas. If they treat him badly, we would know. So far, they've been so loving and playful to Rocco, and the little boy positively responds to them.

4. We also observe how the yayas are with Rocco. Do they have the natural protective instinct? Do they always frown or are grumpy? These can be tell-tale signs if something is off.

5. We are very kind and generous to our yayas. We give them dayoff will allowance, and all the possible perks that we can afford, we give to them.

6. However tired I am, I make it a point to be the one to bathe Rocco in the morning, and at night. This way I can check for bruises, pasa, or anything not normal. They know that I check that's why they are very open and immediately tell me if Rocco hit the floor, or got bitten, or what have you.

7. We censor words and actions. We don't allow bad words being spoken in the house. We don't allow words such as "bad ka" when they're addressing Rocco. We do not tolerate spanking.

So far, we've managed to build a household environment where the yayas are open with us, but they also know the rules. Of course we can never tell. No matter how good we are to yayas, sometimes they change, or snap, or do something bad, just like in the case of the Krim kids.

Speaking of which, because of this incident, it got me paranoid again. I think we also need to invest in CCTV cameras around the house. That is for our peace of mind.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thank You, Holiday!

Cheers to holidays! Sieg & I spent lots of quality time with Rocco today. The little boy seemed to enjoy every bit! We had fun chasing and carrying him around. Sana nakakapayat ito kasi hindi biro maghabol, at mas lalong hindi biro ang magkarga ng 10.5kilos na bata. 

Two more days off! And more holidays to come. Exciting!

Walk like an Egyptian

Screenshots from a video we recorded
As I've mentioned in this post, Rocco has been mastering his walking skills for the past 2 weeks, but still he could not find his perfect balance. He would fall, then walk, then fall, then walk all over again. We just kept encouraging him, but didn't force him at all. Sieg & I believe that each child develops at his own pace, no need to rush things.

So it was an awesome surprise to arrive home last night to a walking baby. Rocco was cruising around our living room all on his own! He was able to walk longer without falling down, and very much loving it. His yayas told us that he refused to be carried, or placed in his crib, because all he wanted was to walk.

My gosh! So this is the start of the next phase of parenthood, and that is chasing the little boy around! With his new found independence, he now insists on walking, and walking, and walking around.

Just this afternoon, Sieg took Rocco out for a walk while I was tending to our garden. Basang-basa sa pawis ang ama! Akala mo naglaro ng basketball, naghahabol lang pala ng bata. Hahahaha!

Cheers to another milestone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almost 1 :)

Dear Rocco,

Has it been 11 months? You're growing up so fast, and in a month's time, you'll be officially one year old!

I look back at your pics and videos when you were smaller, and you've really grown quite a lot. You're heavy now, and sometimes it gives Mommy a backache. But I'm not complaining though. I love every single moment that I carry you because I get to smell, cuddle and kiss you.

You see, doing these things is hard now. You're quite independent and starting to form a mind of your own. I imagined kissing and cuddling you till you're 7years old, but as early as now, you know how to resist already.

Still, you show me in many ways just how much you love me, and of course your Daddy too. I'm basking in happiness every time you look for me when you wake up, when you say in your cutest voice "Cayi Cayi" because you want me to carry you.

I love our tender moments before going to sleep, when you touch my face, and I kiss your forehead, and then you place you head in my shoulder and hug me while I dance you to sleep.

I love it when you ask for reassurance when you're treading new milestones, like when you look at me just before you take a big step to walking on your own, or when you smile at me when you're able to finish your food. I will forever be your number one supporter in all your milestones, be it small or big.

Sometimes I fight tears when we have moments like these. Tears of joy, for the unexplainable happiness that you bring to our lives, and tears of fear, for so many anxieties and paranoia that motherhood brings.

I pray that you stay healthy and strong. That Mama Mary and Papa Jesus will continue to envelope you in their sphere of protection and will keep you out of harm's way. I pray that you will grow up to be faithful, God-fearing, respectful and obedient to your elders.

We look forward to your first birthday. Everyone is coming to Cebu. That's how much they love you!

Happy 11th Rocco. We love you big time!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Baby Steps

Rocco is now in the crawling-climbing-walking stage. He's started practicing his steps while inside his crib. Now, he can easily traverse from one end to the other without holding on the anything because he's comfortable falling down when he's there. He knows that he will just hit a soft spot. 

When outside his crib, he still gets the jitters. He needs that reassurance that he won't get hurt that's why he has to hold on to something. When we walk with him by hand, he can make big steps, but when we start to let go, he gets stiff! 

But when we encourage him non-stop, he gets the confidence to take his own steps. It still amazes me on how big the impact positive reinforcement can bring to a child's development. This is something that we will definitely continue to incorporate in our parenting strategies :)

I played this video over and over again. And each time, I smile and feel my eyes get misty. Definitely tears of joy! :) I'm one stage momma :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stacking is fun!

Stackers are great developmental toys for babies! We bought Rocco's stackers when he was less than six months old. He was attracted to its colors and shape, but never really played with it properly.

Until recently!

Good job to Daddy Sieg for being so patient in teaching Rocco the concept of stacking & unstacking. Though the stacking part we still have to explain further, the unstacking part Rocco was able to master.

When before he would just pick on the stackers and just throw them away like one big ball, now, he learns that you can remove each circle one by one :)

Yehey little boy! You're doing great!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

When Rocco tasted Frappe for the first time

Sieg & I were goofing around and took a picture of Rocco pretending he was drinking Starbucks frappe.While we were busy checking the pics, I noticed that the frappe was slowly rising in the straw. Rocco was secretly sipping it!!! Quiet lang ang bulilit kasi may secret agenda pala. Nakakaloka! I'm not sure if he was able to drink some of the frappe. Di ba bawal pa sa babies ang cream, chocolate, and anything unhealthy?

Masarap talaga ang bawal anak :)

Bless Our Visitors

So nice because even if our home is a bit far from the city, we still have visitors dropping by :)
Last weekend, we had our Lexmark friends for lunch. It was a delayed housewarming lunch which finally pushed through after our schedules were lighter. I cooked pork sinigang, chopsuey, pansit sotanghon, while Sieg grilled mamsa fish and liempo. We had cake and assorted ice cream for dessert! Talk about calories!

Times have really changed. Everyone in the group is married now, and conversations circled around houses, work, future plans, children, and pregnancy. I hope weekend get togethers like this happen often.

We also had the Yanuario family for dinner a few days ago. They were here in Cebu to process some medical papers. Genevieve and I go a long way back. We became friends since we were in Grade Six, and though we rarely see each other these days, the friendship is still there. It's really true that distance will never break true friends. The moment you see each other again, you just pick up on lost time, and it always feels like you just saw each other yesterday.

To prove that Gen and I have our lives interwined now, I'm ninang to Yzzie her eldest, she & Yasser (her husband) are godparents to Rocco. Gen was also one of the principal sponsors for our civil wedding two years ago.

Their family is migrating to Australia and I wish them ALL THE BEST!!!! Hopefully we can visit you guys and see some real kangaroos!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Someone loves Disney Junior!

I know, babies aren't supposed to watch TV until they're 3years old. But is it really a fact, or some myth? Can we ever avoid TV? I seriously cannot, because I love TV too! Keeping a curious baby preoccupied is also tough, mind you! So if nothing else works, Disney Junior to the rescue! :) 

When Disney Junior fails, I turn to the ever reliable Youtube and download cute cartoons! Most of the time, I even find myself singing to the tunes. LSS kung LSS :)

The key there is to limit TV time. We only allow Rocco 30min a day during weekdays, and that is in the morning. During weekends, we let him watch a little longer because we watch too (bad parents! haha). I think letting babies watch limited TV also has its benefits. For one, my nieces speak really good English just by watching Disney Junior.

Rocco's current faves are Tayo the Little Bus, Pororo the Little Penguin, Agent OSO, and the ever dependable Old McDonald!
Sitting pretty while watching Old McDonald :)
 He's very interested, and even imitates some of the sounds!
Watching IMAX, anak? Relax eh!

Beautiful Mess

This is what happens to your living room when you have a baby in the house...

Toys are scattered everywhere!
Spic and span? Naah! Maybe in ten years time :) 
 Throw pillows are put to good use!
But I wouldn't have it any other way, especially when you have a handsome boy making all the mess :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My thoughts: What not to buy for babies

When I found out I was pregnant, all things cute and babyish where like fancy to my eyes. I wanted to hoard and buy them all! I remember we frequented the baby section of SM, Rustans, Ayala, and if there was Mothercare in Cebu, I bet that would have been my new tambayan too! I guess it's the pregnancy hormones and the excitement of it all.

But I also remember Ate Dynah profusely telling me to not waste my money buying this and that. Of course, I didn't listen. Haha! But as Rocco grew in the past months, I realize now that he really just used the essentials, and the rest were either minimally used, or totally useless.

Here's my rundown so far:

1. Playgyms & playmats
We didn't buy this but received it as a gift, and it's quite expensive. It is a large playgym from Tiny Love, complete with kickpads. Unfortunately, Rocco didn't really care where he was placed. Heck! He even loves being placed in the "banig"! The playgym is rarely used. To maximize it, I just removed the hanging toys and used it as inidividual toys for Rocco.

2. Wipes
Before Rocco was born, I hoarded on wipes. But later on, I realized that cotton with water, or the faucet itself is the best way to clean Rocco's bum. Wipes are only used when we're out.

3. A wooden crib
Thank God I thought twice before buying this. It would not have served its purpose at all! First, Rocco co-sleeps with us, and second, he's so active now that placing him in a wooden crib would just result to injury. I highly suggest getting a movable playard instead. We got one, and it's used all the time!

4. A baby sling
Maybe it will work for others, but sadly, it didn't work for me. Rocco just doesn't want to be placed in a sling. He feels restricted, it's way too hot, and I always fear that he will have displaced hips. I'm selling my unused sling, any takers? :)

5. Walker
It served its purpose...for a few times only. We didn't anticipate that Rocco would be really taller than the prescribed height of his walker. After a few uses, his feet would get stuck in the walker.

6. Baby Rocker
I must say, we used it quite frequently when Rocco was 0-3months, but when Rocco started to gain his strength and mobility, he just didn't like being strapped in the rocker. Buti nalang it was given as a gift because it's so expensive! 

7. Too many toys!
Who doesn't like toys? They're so cute I always want to buy them all! But after a few plays, Rocco gets bored and looks for other things. He prefers remote controls, cellphones, lotion cases, bottle covers, heck, he even likes playing with his comb! His toys are now on display.

8. Expensive stroller
Rocco doesn't want to be strapped down. Period. We bring his stroller when we go out but we always end up carrying him. Thank God his stroller is only mid-priced or else, it would be another wasted purchase.

9. Too many baby clothes
This one I could not resist! I just had to buy him overalls, onesies, and cute pajamas, shirts, and what say you. In reality, Rocco prefers wearing only his cloth diapers and sandos. Sobrang pawisin na baby so walang silbi ang mga overalls at pajamas. He also quickly outgrew most of his clothes because he's a big boy. By now, he's wearing 2T-4T clothes.

10. Too many baby shoes
They're just cute! But in reality, babies are babies, and they cannot walk yet. When in the house, Rocco's just barefoot. We only put socks when he's asleep at night. I suggest to invest in good walking shoes instead, one that is sturdy and durable, and comfortable enough while the baby is just learning how to walk.

11. Fancy feeding tools
I admit, I overboarded on this. Haha! I bought Rocco sippy cups, catch bibs, boon squirts and colorful baby spoons. Just couldn't resist their cuteness. In reality, Rocco eats more when we use the regular silver metal spoon. We don't use the catch bib anymore because he still makes a mess even when he has it on him. The boon squirt? Not used because Rocco prefers mashed over liquified food. For the sippy cup, he just doesn't like it. I guess it's too thick for him, and he still prefers the Avent spout.

Next post: The baby essentials frequently used by Rocco! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

From Zubuchon to S&R

Weekends are love! As a working mom, I always anticipate weekends because it means quality time with my family. But before everyone thinks that I have the luxury of spending undivided quality time with my son and husband, well, to tell you honestly, it's not as easy as that.

Weekends also mean grocery shopping, stocking up on wet goods, drinking water, gas, general cleaning, planning the weekly menu, etc etc etc. I could go on forever. 

Oh yes, isa na akong dakilang asawa at nanay, and I want to be as hands-on as I can be! :)

Then how do I make sure I still spend quality time with my family? Easy peasy! We make our weekend errands as part of our family activities. Now that Rocco is bigger (and more malikot!), we bring him along almost to wherever we go, except to the wet market.

Last Sunday, after hearing mass, we tagged along Rocco to go S&R shopping! Haaay! It feels like heaven in S&R! If only I have 50,000 in excess cash, I would go wild picking my perfect finds without even checking the hefty price tags! For now, stick to budget lang muna kami :( Rocco was still hyper here even if he missed his afternoon nap. Look at the droopy eyes! Kahit antok na sya, he was fighting it off because he enjoyed being outdoors.
Before going to S&R, we had lunch at Zubochon. It's my first time there, to think na ang tagal ko na sa Cebu :) We ate at their Mango branch expecting lesser customers because it's outside the mall. But wait!!! Puno pa din sya! Siguro nadala sila sa tagline ni Anthony Bourdain na "The tastiest pig ever!" We ordered lechon belly, dinuguan and kalabasa soup for Rocco. The little boy found it to be delicious because he kept asking for more. I think nakaubos sya ng 2 small bowls. Not bad baby boy! :)
For me, OK lang. I still like Tanauan lechon, the one ordered by Mama and Papa for our family gatherings. I also prefer the Boneless Lechon Belly because there are more herbs and spices. For the dinuguan, winner ang Zubuchon kasi malasa and walang malansang smell. But the takeaway winner is their Iba Shake! Panalo!! Especially if you just ate nakakaumay food, pang-neutralize sya sa taste buds :)

All in all, I would say OK naman ang Zubuchon. We shall return :)


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