YOLO

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Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

Reincarnation: do you believe in it?

My answer to this question is simply, No. I don’t believe in reincarnation because I only believe what the Bible tells us that we are a special creation of God, created on His own image, distinct and unique from other creatures- animals and angels alike. That we are created in material body but with immaterial soul and spirit. And according to the scriptures, that at death, while the human body decays and turns to dust, the spirit and soul continues to either the place of torments for those who rejects God, or to the place of paradise, in God’s holy presence, for those who believe and accept Him as Eternal Savior. Nowhere else, not on a certain reptile, an insect, or a dog, not even on a newborn baby.

For me, as a Christian, I do not believe that our soul and spirit after death, comes back in another form, as another person or animal in certain cases. I firmly believe that we are to live only once, and by that, we only have a single lifetime to live accordingly and be judged accordingly. As the Bible says in Hebrew 9:27 “just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (NIV).

Therefore I say, in my own view, that we have to choose wisely on the kind of life we want to live today. There’s the road to eternal loneliness, and another direction is the road to eternal bliss – heaven. YOLO (You Only Live Once) does make sense, so make the most out of it. Do not be fooled into a perception that there’s another chance for cleansing in another lifetime. Why don’t we take the chance right now? Why don’t we live as if we die tomorrow and never live again?

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Blogger Recognition Award

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I am a newbie blogger. I opened my WordPress blog last March 2015 but was not able to update it until just recently. As a newcomer to the blogosphere, I didn’t expect likers, commenters, or even followers. My goal is just to put into words my thoughts and opinions on anything I’d like to share with especially about parenthood with my 2 year old daughter.

Writing could be hard sometimes. There are instances that I couldn’t even think of a topic to write and my thoughts are everywhere. There are photos in my gallery that I’d like to share, but I couldn’t find the right words to begin with. But thank God I discovered dailypost from one of the blogs I follow. Through daily prompts, I am challenged to write random topics everyday. From these daily posts responses, I’ve learned various life lessons from different stories of real people. I began interacting with fellow bloggers too, and I couldn’t believe blogging could be this real fun. I am actively blogging for more than a week only, but the whole experience is overwhelming.

One of the sites that inspired me most is Write Them All by Ms. Ann Santos.  And I’d like to thank her for this Blogger Recognition Award. It is such an honor. I’m glad someone noticed and appreciated my writings.

Write Them All is truly an inspiration. I can feel the heart and sincerity of the author poured out in every words on her posts. There are always lessons implied on every story she shares.  By the way, she’s also a Filipina and I couldn’t be more proud. I am always looking forward to reading more amazing stuff on her blog.

You too can nominate bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award by following below:

  • Give a ‘shout out’ to the blogger who nominated you  and include a link to their blog.
  • Nominate no more than 15 bloggers of your choice. When choosing a  blogger for ‘the Recognition Blogger Award’, look at the content of what the blogger posts, the way the blog looks, anything unusual and unique that makes you think this blog needs to be  shared and needs a bigger platform.
  • Link your nominees and let them know they have been nominated.
  • Reveal seven facts about yourself.

I would like to nominate the following for their sites are amazing and truly inspiring:

1. https://superjangames.wordpress.com
2. https://ricamaerosales.wordpress.com
3. https://rogershipp.wordpress.com
4. https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com
5. https://whatsinmyheadandheartnow.wordpress.com
6. http://yoursuccessinspirer.com
7. https://thecoolredhead.wordpress.com
8. https://xingfumama.wordpress.com
9. https://spilledthoughtsandcoffee.wordpress.com
10. http://sparksandsounds.com
By the way, here are seven facts about me:
  1. I’m proud to be a Filipino.
  2. My favorite fruit is Durian.
  3. I am not sporty.
  4. I love midnight snacking.
  5. I have a soft spot on kittens.
  6. My favorite movie is 50 First Dates.
  7. My greatest achievement is becoming a mother to an adorable baby girl.

Enjoy!

Time Machine

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Daily Prompt: World’s Best Widget

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?

If I become an inventor with super magical engineering skills, then I would built a…

You’ve guessed it right! Time Machine. Yes, it’s overrated and I think many of the respondents of today’s prompt share the same thought with me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to time travel? How amazing it would be to relive the good times then be able to see what the future holds. Particularly, I want to revisit my childhood days when everything was simple and uncomplicated. When I encounter problems, I sometimes imagine being in my grade school days not worrying about handful of bills to pay, making big decisions, and dealing with societal pressure.

My time machine comes in a size of a smartphone with touch-capacitive screen, which allows you to travel to a specific timeline at the tip of your finger. It enables the user to alter his troubled past, or do something to prevent the loss or sickness of a loved one. I know, this sounds too good to be true and defies the law of the universe and even more complicated moral issues. I’m also quite aware of the principle of ‘moving on’.  But isn’t it great to reunite with your family or friends for even just a short period of time and relive precious moments?

Now, how about a peek into the future? This sounds both exciting and disturbing because I’m sure it would be more complicated than one could ever imagine. There would be unimaginable things you do not want to see nor experience. Life is unfair, so just be prepared to face the future. But on a positive note, the good thing about having a time machine is for the person to be aware of what to avoid and what to take chances in order to devoid the unpleasant aspects of his future self. This, my friends, is a “play safe” life apparatus that everyone is looking for. Life would be far more simple I guess if we have our own “options” to hover over and click, buttons like forward and rewind, and edit and proceed.

When I grow up, I want to be..

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing

If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

I’m proud to be a working mother. I have an 8-5 pm job while I take care of my 2 year old daughter when I get home, and on weekends and holidays. It feels rewarding being able to balance career and motherhood duties.

I have been working as a Training Associate in one of the private training hospitals in the city. I’m blessed to be working in a hospital because we are given access to health services at a discount to free of charge. Consultation with a specialist is free. I didn’t spent a penny for my regular 9-month maternity check-ups, except of course for the transportation, laboratories (discounted rates), and supplements. I was lucky to be working as a training associate because I gained a lot of doctor friends. I delivered via cesarean section, and thankful to my Obstetrician, Anesthesiologist, and Pediatrician, for waiving their professional fees. I only paid for my discounted hospital fees and medicines.  Monthly immunization shots and well baby check-ups costs a lot, but we are able to save thousands of pesos through the special privileges the employees are entitled.  Healthcare services i.e. hospitalizations, laboratory procedures, and even out-patient services are indeed very expensive and constitute a certain percentage of a household’s budget.

My current job is not actually my sort of dream job, but I found fulfillment and satisfaction, benefits wise. Sometimes I feel bored, sometimes I’m revved up. The most important thing is, I feel happy  every time I successfully finish a project or an event. A pat in the back from my boss for a job well executed always makes me feel inspired. On the other hand, criticisms in a constructive manner remains a challenging battle to conquer and win, a constant reminder that there is always a lesson to learn in every mistakes committed.  As simple as it is, I love my current job, and I couldn’t ask for more.

What if someone will ask me today, the same question we were asked back in Grade School: What do you want to be when you grow up? Then I would say, I want to be an Event Stylist.

Yes, I want to run my own Events Planning and Management business. I love to organize parties, planning important life events like birthdays, wedding, and bridal and baby showers. I love to put on my creative heart and hands into a design. It maybe a sweets station styled with a specific theme, a fancy stage set up, an eye catching center piece, or an eccentric photo shoot styling. I want to play with flowers, paints, a piece of wood, and even with pieces of scratch papers to make every detail truly amazing. I discovered this interest when I planned and organized my baby’s first birthday. I did all the decorations, loot bags, invitations and all sorts of organizing stuff for my daughter’s momentous event. The whole process was exhausting yet fulfilling. This is the ideal job that I’m dreaming of, the kind of thing that could make me say at the end of the day, that it’s all worth it. I want to do the thing that I love, and the thing that I am more passionate of.

Let me share some snap shots of what I did for my baby’s birthday:

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Time is Life

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Daily Prompt: Thanks, Hindsight

How is the year shaping up for you so far? Have your predictions come true, or did you have to face a curve ball or two?

It has been a month and a half since we counted down for the new year. Sigh! Time flies really fast. How’s the first 45 days of 2016? Honestly, a rough one. The family had to deal with difficult situations at the beginning of the year, but thanks God, we remain strong. Money matters is a common household dilemma in a third world country like Philippines. As a working mom, with a working husband, we’re glad we still able to make ends meet and save for the rainy days. At some point in our lives, couples has to face relationship trials that push our limits, but thanks to our loved ones for their unfailing support and encouragements. We are now more passionate than ever. Yes, 2016 is a year of drama, at least for the first few weeks of it.

Now, how about a reassessment to our New Year’s resolutions. Ouch! This will be painful.

Save, save, save. Lose weight. Exercise. Skip the soda. Read a book a month. And the list continues. You know what? This is such a shameful, spot on, a-slap-on-my-face prompt, because it made me realize how lazy I am so far. The first 45 days has gone with the wind along with my endless list of resolutions. One of the issues I feel so guilty of is my physical health. God, I haven’t lose my  post holiday calories yet, and here I am gaining another pound. I promised to run every morning and eat less at dinner to no avail. I’m still a soda fanatic, sweets advocate, and a stress eater. I always use my poor little girl as an excuse to everything that I am not able to accomplish. I can’t eat less because I’m still breastfeeding. I cannot run early in the morning because my baby girl will cry if I left her in bed that early. I cannot finish a book because all my energies are all used up in the day, caring for my baby and making a living. I’m guilt-ridden now and feel so sorry.

I think it’s time to push the button.

This prompt is a wake up call. I still have 320 more days to make things better. To regain self-worth, to reach health goals, and to be more financially aware and prudent. Gone are the dramas and excuses. This time, I think I have to be more optimistic, focused, and dedicated. There are 320 more precious days to live with in 2016. I have to make the most of it in a time-managed manner, and I will waste not even a second of it in procrastination. Now I realized this Alan Lakein thoughts about time:

“Time=Life, Therefore, waste your time

and waste of your life, or master your time

and master your life.”

Let’s get it on!

 

Head over Heels

Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

“All of these years, I can’t believe you’re still rubbing your feet on those ugly scrap of mosquito net!”, exclaimed my Aunt in disbelief and amusement. I was watching TV when she caught me rubbing off my feet on a piece of nylon net which I own since grade school. Mom purposely cut a square portion from our mosquito net way back then, because I cannot fall asleep without it on my feet. Yeah, it’s weird, childish and annoying, but I can’t contain my happiness whenever I had it on my toes. It feels comfortably good.

I’m the only one in the family who loves this thing. I remembered when we were kids, my sisters would not want to share the bed with me because they really hated the nylon texture. One time, they would hide the mosquito net in one of the boxes in the stock room and I felt upset and cried the whole day. As much as they hated it, our relationship continues and grows deeper every bed time. I think I found my #forever in my mosquito net. 

True enough, we all have our own share of weirdness. While I love rubbing my feet on mosquito net to put me to sleep, some people on the other hand will gnash their teeth when they touch the nylon fabric. We are unique from each other, and no one can please everybody. As simple as that. For me, one that annoys me most is when someone plays with my hair. I have known some friends/acquaintances who love to touch and play somebody’s hair while having a conversation. Sometimes, in my annoyance, I would say, “Oops, hands off please before I punch your face”. I’m just being exaggerated. Seriously, I find it creepy when someone runs his/her fingers on my hair on casual chitchats, unless he/she’s my hairdresser.

Peace yow!

 

 

 

A Killjoy Weather

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Prompt: Sudden Shifts

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky…

It was my second favorite time of the year next to Christmas – summer. Think about walking barefoot on white Isla Reta sand, your favorite pair of Sunnies, teeny weeny bikinis, pretty beach waves (the hairstyle, duh!), and sweet slices of watermelon. Yep, the old fashioned watermelon fruit. Who doesn’t love sweet, juicy watermelons on hot summer days?

My fambam had a planned short vacation sometime in March. In the Philippines, summer time starts in March and ends in May. It was Raffy’s first beach vacation. Can you imagine my excitement? My then one year old child wore her cutest one-piece swimwear, a gift from her Aunt Angel.  The little girl was so happy scooping some sand with her two other cousins, using her plastic, handy shovel from Toy Kingdom. They were trying to make a sand castle, while I was busy taking some decent photos out of my mobile phone, because we left our reliable camera at home. Spell a-m-n-e-s-i-a. Anyway, everything was so perfect. Hubby was enjoying his share of sliced watermelon, when suddenly, the sky turned dark grey, and the kids’ giggles disappeared and were replaced with roaring thunder sound.

The wind blew furiously and Raffy’s favorite beach hat was flown away. The next thing we saw were drops of hail stones as cold as ice. I know, hail is actually a lump of ice, so this is a pointless metaphor. On a serious note, with the sudden surge of adrenaline, we rushed to the kids and covered them with beach towels. We hurried to our villa and there we took refuge. We spent the rest of the day indoor, watching news updates with our cups of coffee, and a game of Snakes and Ladders. The kids fell asleep early, because they were exhausted from playing in the sand the whole time, when the weather was still cooperative.

It seldom rain hail stones in the Philippines, yet the phenomenon is not impossible. Honestly, that event was really frightening and traumatic because it rarely happens in our country. Blame global warming. On a lighter note, a beautiful sunshine welcomed us the next morning. The weather was fair and wasn’t killjoy anymore. We enjoyed every bit of it and the rest of the day was filled with good summer memories to treasure with.

Now back to mommy duties. Thanks for reading!

Raising a Bookworm, plus My Bargain and Surplus Book Finds

Studies show that children who are frequently read to as early as on their few months of life have higher IQs compared to those who are not read often. Reading aloud to our children using age-appropriate reading materials is very beneficial to them according to research. Babies/toddlers learn to communicate more easily, they acquire language skills early, become more imaginative, and they easily recognize colors and shapes.

When my little one was still few months old, I used to read to her simple baby books like ‘My First’ books (words, colors, shapes etc.), story books that come with fun finger puppet animals made out of felt cloth, squeaky books, and pop up books. I remember the excitement of my child every time I or her Dad read to her.

My little daughter is now two years and a month old, and the reading activities continue. I become more enthusiastic because she’s now able to recognize  a lot of things in the books, like animals (and their sounds), common stuff that can be found in the house, cartoon characters, things in our surroundings, and more. She’s starting to familiarize also the basic shapes and colors. And she become more participative during our reading sessions. I don’t push her too much to memorize every letter of the alphabet or the numbers one through twenty perhaps, because I found it unhealthy for my tot. I just let her explore her world her own way, but of course, with our guidance and support.

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Every time I go to malls, I frequently check bookstores for bargain items. One time, I found books at National bookstore which were up to 70% off. One of my good buys is an Eric Carle book, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?. Eric Carle is an acclaimed children’s book author, known for his brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books. His books are quite expensive, but I was able to get the tiny book at P100 from its original price of P885.

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Another book I got on sale is the Happy Birthday, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff. She’s also a known author and illustrator of bestselling books for children. The book is originally priced at P199.75, but I got it for only P50.
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One time, I went to American surplus  shop to score branded toys. I came across their book section and got these Disney Princesses and Dora the Explorer Busy Books. The tiny figurines are missing though,  but the pages are still intact and look fun, so I grabbed both. I can see Raffy’s gleeful face whenever she switches its colorful pages. Paying P10 each didn’t hurt at all.
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I believe on the importance of early reading intervention, so as early as now, I make sure to include reading to her in our daily activities. I know she could benefit from it in the future. I’m dreaming of putting up a small library at home soon. According to studies, once they are accustomed to reading at very young age, reading would become a pleasure to them instead of a chore. Since doing it often helps in enhancing ones comprehension, logic, and creative imagination, raising Raffy to become a future bookworm is one of the keys in preparing her to become successful in the future.
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Enjoy reading!

XoXo
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Go for Organic

A baby’s skin is ten times sensitive than adult’s. They are susceptible to allergic reactions especially when you give them skin care products with harsh chemical ingredients. There are also products in the market which we think are good for our babies, and yet, contain hidden strong ingredients that are harmful for our babies’ delicate skin.

Being a new mom, I am so pessimistic with baby products. I would read tons of reviews before trying or buying a baby gear or a bottle of shampoo. I am just so plain paranoid. I also tried to read blogs about baby products, motherhood, developmental milestones, just to prepare myself for the big arrival. I’ve read somewhere that parenting or motherhood is a bit different from the paper and the actual thing. Well, it is so true. Every mother and every baby has a different story. We have different style of pacifying a crying baby, and the way we bathe our little one somehow differs. Our product choices also varies because one baby is allergic to a certain product while the other is not.

We mommies, only want the best for our babies. As for my little one, I prefer organic products. Good thing I have found Human Nature. This local Filipino company produces organic skin care products for both mommy and baby to enjoy. They also advocate sustainable community building thru Gawad Kalinga. Part of the profit goes to community projects like housing projects for the victims of calamities. Human Nature is really true to their slogan; pro-poor, pro-Philippines, pro-nature. Go check https://humanheartnature.com for more interesting info.

For my Raffy, I use the Human Nature natural baby skin care product line. Natural baby wash, baby lotion, and baby wonder oil.
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The Human Nature natural baby wash is 99.3% natural and hypoallergenic. It is 100% safe and gentle for our baby’s delicate skin. I also use this to wash my baby’s hair. It is mildly scented with lavender, rosemary, and chamomile extracts. My baby’s skin is so soft, smooth and smells oh, so good! I really love this product because aside from being organic, it is also very affordable. A bottle of 190ml is only 149.75.

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It is important to protect our baby’s sensitive skin from exposure to harmful and harsh environmental conditions. So after bath time, I keep Raffy’s skin moisturized and nourished using Human Nature natural baby lotion. It has 100% natural ingredients like avocado oil, sunflower oil, and aloe vera, that keeps my baby’s skin soft and supple. Same with the baby wash, 190ml bottle is only P149.75 only.
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Since baby’s skin is ten times more sensitive than adult’s, it is just so vital to protect and nurture our little one’s delicate skin. One thing I do to maintain Raffy’s healthy skin is to massage her using Human Nature’s natural wonder oil. It has chemical-free ingredients that keeps my baby’s skin protected from itchiness and boo-boos. It contains non-mineral oils like pure, premium-grade Sunflower oil, so I have peace of mind everytime I use this product. It is also dermatologists tested, so no worries. I just enjoy the special bond between me and baby every time I massage her skin with Human Nature wonder baby oil. There are evidence-based studies that touch therapy is beneficial to our infants and children. It is a form of bonding and communication that surely makes both mommy and baby happy. SRP for the Human Nature natural wonder oil is P149.75 every 190ml bottle.

Human Nature also has a line of organic body and facial care products for adults that I also love and enjoy using. I’ll be writing about them in my next posts.

XoXo

Breastfeeding My Toddler

When I was still pregnant with my baby girl, the decision to breastfeed my child was a no-brainer. Being employed in a hospital has helped me gained a lot of ideas and good thoughts about breastfeeding – the countless health benefits of breastfeeding, the economical effect of breastfeeding on your household budget, precious time and energy you save from breastfeeding, so on and so forth.

My breastfeeding journey began from the day I delivered my child. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health advocates and implements the “Unang Yakap” (First Embrace) protocol during delivery and that includes uninterrupted skin to skin contact of mother and baby through breastfeeding.

My breastfeeding journey was not that easy since I am a working mom. I delivered via Cesarean Section (Can you imagine the post-operative pain?), and I have to return to work after 78 days. I went through all the nips sores and painful engorgement but everything’s worth it. During my 8-5pm daily duty, I pumped ounces of milk and was able to do that for exactly a year.

Lo and behold, my daughter is now 2 years and a month old and I am still breastfeeding her. The whole experience is just so addictive that I’m having trouble quitting. Kidding aside, I chose not to wean my daughter by force because I believe on the benefits of extended breastfeeding. Many studies from the World Health Organization, American Pediatrics Society, and other respected health organizations have proven that breastfeeding your child for more than a year is healthy for both the mother and the baby. It boosts the baby’s immune system and helps a lot in the brain development.

As a working mom, breastfeeding my toddler is our sweetest form of bonding after my 8-hour daily absence. It gives me sense of fulfillment; it gives me peace of mind. I have decided to breastfeed my child as long as I can and as long as she wants. It is my choice, a good one I believe.

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Office break time means milk pumping time. (With my ever reliable Tommee Tippee manual pump.)
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A breastfed baby is a happy and health baby.