April 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
I grew up in a Chinese Household think Joy Luck Club. My mom is the type who would boil medicinal herbs and drink it with full confidence of its worth, she would regularly force us to drink some and we would device ways and means to get away from it. I also studied in a Chinese school so most of my classmates have kinda the same thing going for them at home. So Ge Lai is a common thing in our house and we grew up believing in its value. For us after giving birth doing Ge Lai is as important.
When I was pregnant with Kite, I had to rely on my mom to take care of my food so everyday the driver brings the food to me sa Balintawak, ang hassle. I wish there was someone, somewhere to order these food na lang. Then 11 years later, when I was about to give birth to Laya, same thing I still had the same wish. I had a friend from Singapore buy me cookbooks for Ge Lai. Hirap but she was able to score me several. I was able to teach our helper to cook the Ge Lai food and ang sarap ha! Basta sesame oil, ginger and wine are staple sa ingredients.
Fast forward to last year, I was told by my friend na her kinakapatid is into Ge Lai food, wah was too excited and was so happy to meet them. Last 2 weeks ago I was finally able to taste their Black Chicken. Ayan na pa blog ako kasi I feel for the moms who’s parents are either too far, too busy or not there anymore to do the Ge Lai for them.
Kaya am introducing Mama Chow by Chef Jonathan Chua, his wife Raquel naman owns Ginquelrus Pastries yummy goodies, she got lactation cookies and cupcakes too that are so yummy. Been ordering her Cheese Cupcake like crazy.
Anyway, here’s how the Black Chicken looks like packed. And uploading some of their literature too.
Yan just order from them if you dont have anybody cooking Ge Lai food for you. I really suggest eating Ge Lai food to help your body recover from birthing. I will try to look for the recipes too that I love from the Ge Lai Cookbooks I got. (Thanks Candy!)
August 17, 2012 § 7 Comments
This post is not just about Breastfeeding but also about NewlywedsAtWork (N@W). Ok backgrounder. N@W is an offshoot of WeddingsAtWork (W@W). We have our W@W Website and our W@W eGroup who live, talk & breathe wedding preps day in and day out. Since it is inevitable for the members who are married to discuss others things after their wedding, we created N@W, in N@W we discuss anything and everything, showbiz, recipes, shopping, travels, investments and whole lot more but of course majorly about being parents. N@W is my magic place, my solace, my refuge, my go to place. Things I cant post in FB as they are too personal I can easily post in N@W. My motherhood journey is made doubly and triply better because I got N@Wies to share and enjoy it with. I was able to successfully and easily breastfeed solely because of N@W. I actually hesitate blogging about N@W because I am not keen on making it a bigger group than it already is… ssshhhh (di ko talaga binigay ang link noh)
Ok now that you understand how much N@W means to me, then you can easily understand why I wanted to organize the N@W Breastfeed Marathon Shoot. Am actually dumbfounded why I didnt think of this last year or the year before. I was tagged by Stan and Jenny on their Breastfeed Shoot Project and it was just then when it hit me why not make one for N@W. On Aug 2 I sent some text message here and there, emailed the N@Wies asking if anybody’s interested and by Aug 4 the shoot was set and we had 16 mommies (with varied ages of babies from 2 months old to 3 years old and we also have a twins in the set, galing!) which grew to 20 and 19 made it 🙂 We didnt have a theme nor a look nor a peg we just wanted a breastfeeding shot so we can join in celebrating Breastfeeding Month and at the same time have the N@Wie moms have a nice portrait of them breastfeeding for posterity. Hopefully it would help make them ambassadors of breastfeeding among their own peers.
How the shoot came about and thank you’s… First to Stan Ong for saying yes he is willing to do it; to Abie & Clarice for saying yes it is a great idea and they will join… those were my first yesses and it fueled me to go on so when schedule with Stan didnt work out, my next yesses came in the form of Lisa and then John Mateos Ong. Aug 3 when the studio we were eyeing still didnt reply I got a yes from Nelwin agreeing to let us use his studio Cocoon then Chichi came in to say she would want to put some quick make up on the moms, all this while the excited mommies kept emailing they wanna join. Then finally I spoke with Jong and Monique everything was easily set, Life by ImagineNation na daw bahala, then ako pa ang choosy I asked sino pipicture haha when he said Arlene of The Boudoir Dolls I knew it will be perfect na, then he said we can shoot in his place where there is daylight, where there is a big space and he can send us photogs (with S) aside from Arlene to shoot us. And just like that the shoot was finalized na. Special shout out to Bea, Olive & Brianna for being so gaan and so accommodating with all of us being such stage moms and dads, sorry walang kain break atat na stage parents andun eh! Special shout out to Chichi who didnt have along line aba minsan sila pa naghihintay ng next! Iba kayo Team Chichi (am proud to say before she became a professional make up artist W@Wie din siya)! And special shout out to Monique who made things happen, a day before she texted me what do we need, I said water and she had a water dispenser and cups ready, I said we will bring snacks na lang and she had tables for snacks ready, I told the group come early then let kids play, she made a play area with mats and provided toys for the kids too. Diba ang smooth!
Day of the Shoot! It was so much fun, no stress, no complain, no I WISH, no WE SHOULD HAVEs during the shoot and I was truly amazed how it all just worked out. We were even able to take advantage of the shoot and not only did we have breastfeeding shots but also kiddie portraits and family portraits as well. Each family got to shot at all the 3 set ups (black background set up; white background set up and the daylight set up) and we even had Jeff & Lisa take behind the scene shots while waiting for our turns. We didnt have diva moms who wanted to hog time, we didnt have bratty kids who ruined the mood of other kids (oh of course we had whiny kids but none that whined the whole time) I was wondering how come this shoot was so smooth and my only conclusion was because it was a family, we didnt care if a mom had to singit and shoot first kasi her kids suddenly went to the sofa na, it didnt matter if I am the next but a baby is suddenly feeding na so siya na una nag fe-feed na eh, it didnt matter if some had a go at the set several times and some once lang. It was a FAMILY and there was so much love in the set. There so so much love that we ended up posting and texting endless thank you’s the whole night via phone and via FB as we all felt the magic. Before I get too sappy… here please enjoy our shoot. Am proud to say N@W has been and will continue to be a big tool, resource, support to breastfeeding mommies.
To the mommies… N@W is happy to be able to give you this portrait. May you find these pictures when your kids are all grown up and be transported back to this wonderful chapter of your journey as a mom. If these photos help convince even just one of your friend to breastfeed then what a great gift we gave back to the world.
And Happy Breastfeeding Month to all.
Read Mommy Tina of TrulyRichMom’s blog on this.
September 22, 2011 § 12 Comments
Clarice posted sa N@W na may group of developmental pedia who wants to conduct free assessment for kids so syempre sign up ako for Laya. Result came out and all are great except for locomotor skills, so lagay pala na ito eh di pa naman masyadong pinapa explore si Laya, so super atat akong mag punta sa kung saang saang park with Laya to let her feel vast space and walk around and do whatever. Ito ang aming UP adventure. Am lining up parks for her to go to…
My list (got these from my FB friends)
Nuvali (super wanna go here kasi may Koi pond eh Laya is so cute when she says fish with action pa, actually 2 actions niya for fish one is from Ninang Michelle and she calls the action nnn-nang)
Eco Park (but malayo daw eh so hmm bahala na)
UP sa likod ng Oblation (sabi Tisha)
Eton Centris (ito nakita ko as in super nasa plan ko na ito maski kami lang)
TechnoHub (this came as a suggestion so maybe para sa Kanin Club!)
I want Laya to be able to touch leaves, dirt sa ground, run, madapa, and all that. Si Kite kasi halos hindi nakaka outdoor, so rare na rare and sugat so maliit na sugat may takot na agad siya, eh ako nga nung bata eh mala mapa sa laki ang sugat na nagiging langib eh. Hope Laya will be more outdoorsy. Pero saksakan ng tamad maglakad itong si Laya! Hay diyos mio. Need to force her talaga to walk.
Type ko lang mag blog ng mag blog 🙂
September 2, 2011 § 9 Comments
This entry was supposed to be up yesterday (the other day na pala kasi lumampas ako ulit) last day ng Breastfeeding month. The idea came to me after I saw Clarice’s breastfeeding picture, kala ko madali lang, just grab the pictures from FB then post isang entry na agad. Nyeks di pala kasi I would remember may iba pa palang picture so hahanapin ko muna sa external disk ko, tapos chineck ko din iPhone album ko if I have more etc, then finding out what date the picture was taken etc. Tapos siningit ko muna yung entry for Didda’s Bday ayun naiwan na ito.
Anyway, I am not naman wanting to have breastfeeding pictures but sometimes we dont have time to wait till Laya finishes feeding and take the picture so if on the go, picture na kung picture keber kung feeding siya o hindi. I guess lucky ako kasi unang breastfeeding picture ko si Stan ang kumuha (am comfy with him kasi asawa yan ni Jenny na breastfeeding advocate so he had seen his share na, besides when I breastfeed for sure walang exposure involved (I am super not comfy seeing exposure while breastfeeding, I super do not like it, please dont impose your boobies to others naman na), also sayang yung 1 hour allotment sa Stork Studio session so maski Laya needs a break to feed ayy picture time pa din yun hahaha) tapos umani pa ng puri yung shot so na flatter naman ako.
Wedding ni CJ & Ira nag gate crash si Laya dito, nasalubong namin si Oly di ko alam paano sasabihin am feeding so nagpose na lang ako 🙂 | Laya at 4 months (photo by Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto | nursing wear by Plume | Santuario San Jose) July 2010
Breastfeeding Month 2010 Latch’s Exhibit in Eastwood Mall | Laya at 5 months (photo by Didda | nursing wear by Plume) August 2010
I love this shot taken by Didda via his iPhone, banca ride back to Club Paradise | Laya at 9 months December 2010
At Bataan | Laya at 10 months (photo by Didda |nursing wear by Mamaway) January 2011
Mae’s Baby Shower at Threelogy Office | Laya at 10 months (photo by Cielo? | nursing wear by Mamaway) January 2011
Circus Act at home | Laya at 11 months (photo by Kite | nursing sleepwear by Mothercare) February 2011
Sydney Harbor Bridge & Opera House at night | Laya at 15 months (photo by John Sudario | nursing wear by Mamaway) May 2011
Bondi Beach, Australia | Laya at 15 months (photo by Didda | nursing wear Mamaway) May 2011
Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall | Laya at 15 months (photo by Leng & Didda | nursing wear Mamaway) May 2011
Sydney’s Darling Harbor | Laya at 15 months (photo by Kite | nursing wear by Blissful Babes sleepwear actually yan) May 2011
Sorry this is just an indulgence post. It’s me patting myself on the back. There’s no more picture of me feeding the past few months kasi Laya feeds mostly at night time now.
Thanks. I doubt if next breastfeeding month am still this active, oh well. Happy Breastfeeding Month to all!
August 11, 2011 § 4 Comments
Our baby Laya turned 1 last March and instead of having a big birthday party we had pocket celebrations and a birthday pictorial. The pocket parties were planned, we started with a family dinner (just people in our house), a family dinner (all of Didda’s side) and another party in Australia where we spent the summer. The pictorial on the other hand wasn’t planned it just fell into place. We had quarterly shoot with The Stork Studio and on her 9th month Sofia suggested an outdoor shoot but we were not ready for it so we had it inside the studio, but on our way home after the 9th month shoot, John said we can do outdoors the next time and just prepare a small table for four and have a small cake so we’d have a birthday themed pictorial since it will be her 12th month. That was my ‘aha’ moment and it turned into one big production number as soon as we got a nod from Teddy Manuel.
Please read more about the party, the suppliers involved and etc at W@W’s Blog or Didda Abet’s Blog or Mommy Manila’s Blog and please watch the video at Threelogy’s Blog shots from shoot of Phoeben Teocson Cinema 🙂
Am here to brag lang that the party is included in Smart Parenting’s Aug 2011 Issue on Party Special
We didn’t really plan this pictorial to be a full blown party pictorial but it turned that way and we are so happy. So happy that I would even recommend this to all, both those who intend to throw a big party and to those who don’t.
Why I like it?
1. We didnt spend a fortune throwing a party for her.
2. She didnt need to endure a party she wont remember yet we have party pictures for her to enjoy when she grow old.
3. We got a LOT of pretty family pictures. We always miss having family pictures during our parties because we are all busy entertaining our own guests and when we do get some snapshot they are hurried.
4. We got to do dream set up we wouldn’t be able to afford for an actual party.
5. It is so damn fun! We were just busy looking good and having fun, no guest to care for and no program to follow!
Oh I super suggest this to other families! Now if I can just convince Kite to not celebrate her debut haha!
August 5, 2011 § 11 Comments
August 5, 1999, St Luke’s Medical Center
1st Birthday Party at Grilla, Libis ‘Up Up & Away Party’
2nd Birthday Party at ‘What’s Your Beef?’
3rd Birthday Party at Zong’s Retiro ‘生日快樂 Theme’
4th Birthday Party at City Center Bldg ‘Barrio Fiesta Theme’
5th Birthday Party McDo ForbesTown
6th Birthday Party at home
7th Birthday Party at C3 Events Place ‘Walk Down the Aisle Theme’
8th Birthday Party at home ‘Simpson’s Theme’
9th Birthday Party at home
10th Birthday/Cory’s Burial/Laya’s ‘It’s Positive’ News Party
11th Birthday Party at Blue Leaf ‘Arts and Crafts Theme’
12th Birthday Party at Cerchio Restaurant
For every party we plan we give most effort on the invitation and the cake. Kaya bigyan natin ng space yung mga career cakes niya.
Cake Topper from Gift Gate, you wouldn’t know where the topper ended & the cake design started sa galing ng paggawa ni Virginia
5th Birthday – Cakes by Virginia
Habang hinahanap ko mga pictures I saw the ‘furniture’ we gave Kite so am posting them na din 🙂
Happy Birthday Kite! We love you so much!
August 2, 2011 § 9 Comments
After sharing my Breastfeeding Story of Kite. Here is Laya’s naman:
We had Laya 11 years after Kite and 11 years din after forming NewlywedsAtWork (N@W) so we were armed with a thriving support group whose members have practically been through everything that could possibly happen, we have all kinds of moms there: breastfeeding moms, formula feeding moms, mixed feeders, those who had a hard time breastfeeding, never attempted breastfeeding, longing to be a mom, wouldn’t want to be a mom ever, being a mom more often than they would want to and what have you. I knew motherhood will be so much more fun this time with so many mommies to run to for any of my most trivial questions. I knew my chances of successfully breastfeeding Laya is high, as I am very good friends with Velvet and Abbie who are experts and studied breastfeeding (their actual title escape me now); am friends too with Jenny who’s blog Chronicles of a Nursing Mom is all about breastfeeding; am friends with a lot of the members of Latch (another breastfeeding group) and there’s so many breastfeeding moms in N@W (that we can even form our own breastfeeding group if needed), need I add more? Ahh I almost forgot, hubby Abet is I think keener than me in making this breastfeeding business a success.
Hubby would bribe me by saying sige breastfeed ka, if you are still breastfeeding mag Cebu na tayo as reward by May. Syempre ako atat sa lakwatcha kaya effective naman his idea. We stayed in a hotel muna for a night to try it out. Successful kami so we went to Tagaytay for a night the week after to see if we can do it again and see how Laya behaves to traveling, aba it was easy! Off we went to Cebu as soon as Laya turned 1 month old 🙂 Hiya ko lang tumigil after Cebu diba? hahaha
Seriously, I think what really clinched it for me was hearing Mimi say I never entertained the thought I wont be able to breastfeed, basta ako mag be-breastfeed, it was so simple, yet so powerful! Whenever I wanted to stop or doubted I would remember how she said it and I remember, of course I am going to continue breastfeeding.
Let me start on the day I gave birth. I was induced March 29 and had Laya that afternoon. Wasn’t able to see Laya again til 12 hours after, by then I was told she was given glucose water already. Am old na, I dont sweat the small stuff anymore. Fine, I just told the nurse nothing anymore after that kasi I will purely breastfeed. I tried to make Laya latch and was so happy she took it in so naturally but she wasn’t hungry and was more interested to sleep. Me too, I wanted to sleep too so I went back to my room na but I requested rooming in of Laya as soon as possible. Well she was roomed afternoon na. And Velvet, my one and only visitor (we didn’t let friends visit kasi we intend to breastfeed so we dont know the schedule when Laya would want to feed, ayaw ko naman mag feed with visitors around; she dont do personalvisits anymore ha, she did it for me lang kasi love niya ako heheh) was able to visit me that day to help make sure I will be off to a good start. She watched and taught me how to latch, taught us to look at the jaw to watch and listen to her swallow, to feed and feed and feed by demand, to not even look at the clock and worry just let baby lead, to put as much of the areola in and make sure it is not just the nipple (it is the nerves in the areola that signals the mind to produce milk) most common mistake is the latching, if you latch right I think there’s 80% success. Velvet also taught us how to massage Laya. We had a smooth breastfeeding routine with Laya at the hospital that night.
As we were about to discharge from the hospital the next day I felt pain in my nape, it felt exactly what they said high blood pressure would feel like, had my BP taken yes it was getting high. I was still discharged but what I was feeling was scary na. Got home and immediately texted Nay Lita Nery (lactating masseuse) to help relax me and at the same time make sure latching is correct. She came and taught me how to feed lying down and I think 2 more positions. My BP remained high and went higher pa. The fact it was Maundy Thursday made things worse for me as I didnt want to go to the hospital on Good Friday all my doctors are away! To make things worst I was also instructed by my OB not to take care of Laya and I am not allowed to breastfeed at night! Huwat? I didnt want to feed formula and I didnt have extra milk. Worst I didnt have a yaya as the yaya who will take care of Laya is our helper whom I haven’t trained yet. And hubby the only other possible person to take care is sniffing and looks like he is going to get sick! Oh that was one super stressful Thursday for me. Lucky I have friends! First Dee came to the rescue she not only gave me milk, she delivered it pa! I had no way of getting the milk at this point (this is also why whenever I donate and I feel that the mom or dad asking for the milk have no way of getting I do personal deliver of the milk as much as I can, aside from not knowing how to handle the milk it is a really a very busy time for new parents). Milk problem solved! Now I needed someone to care for Laya, one whom I can safely leave Laya with, lucky for me Medical City’s nurse station helped me secure one. Sigh! All my immediate problems are solved. The midwife stayed with us that night and cup fed Laya. I wasnt able to sleep a wink. It was hard having somebody else in our bedroom and I missed Laya too. Oh added to the already stressful situation was my dilemna, all the ge-lai food I should eat are also the same food a high blood patient shouldn’t be eating ayayyay! Good think my childhood friend Nancy (my friend since I was 1 year old) took me under her wing, she’d cook a big pot of whatever food I am to eat that day, she’d bring it to me before lunch and then I would reheat the remaining portion for dinner (inaagawan pa ako ni Abet! kasi yummy) she’d carefully choose and ask what are the food allowed sa ge-lai and allowed sa high blood, yes fish nga with lotsa soup! She’d bring it to our place while I am asleep and would teach my helper what to do with it. Am so blessed with so many friends talaga those days! We got over the high blood episode on Easter Sunday (so apt no?), and the midwifes trained Laya’s yaya on how to care for a baby too, she can do everything except she is not comfortable giving Laya a bath. Fair enough, I am also not comfortable entrusting Laya’s bath to her yet.
Breastfeeding Laya was smooth but it was hard. There’s pain, lack of sleep, doubts and a whole lot of other things. Major was the feeling na I cant function, cant do anything kasi a needy child is relying on me and would need me anytime. I remember it was Mother’s Day and I was awake middle of the night so I took that time to greet my mommy friends and hopefully disrupt their sleep. I was at this point wanting to stop breastfeeding na kasi am tired and aching and was really finding a valid reason to stop. Eh yun nga wala akong nahanap na reason so I went on. Every step of the way when the going got tough I would do mass texting, (my regular text victims were Velvet, Abbie, Jenny, Rica, JenCC, Dee, Mimi… either some or all of them hmm forgot who else) always may 2 or 3 na sasagot hehe. I also started going to Abbie’s La Leche Meet and also Breastfriend at Mary the Queen. I started going with so many hang ups, questions and I got my groove there. So my BF Support Group friends saw me turn into a swan. They were with me through all my issues and now am with them egging the newer ones to go on. Now am paying it forward na.
Why am I blogging about my breastfeeding story? 1. It is breastfeeding month kasi. and 2. After reading Confessions of a milk machine and Breastfeeding: It’s a Choice I felt the urge to blog or say my piece. But I also do not like to be perceived as puro breastfeeding na lang. The blog by Frances or better known as TopazMommy, I don’t want to be a lactivist, is so so true. So there.
While I am on a roll let me share na din Why I love breastfeeding.
1. It is so convenient. We just bring a small bag with change of diapers and clothes and a small towel to wipe and we are ready to go anywhere.
2. Because I breastfeed, I had a very easy time taking care of Laya, imagine we went on an overnight stay before she turned 1 month and had her riding an airplane by 6 weeks old, went out of the country for 6 weeks when she turned one.
3. Breastfeeding is the solution to everything! She falls? I feed her and she is ok; She is cranky? I feed her and she is ok; She got hurt? I feed her and she is ok; when she wants something she cant have and is about to throw a fit, I show her my booby and she forgets everything. Breastfeeding her solved EVERYTHING!
4. You know whats amazing, you have booby antennas that tells you your kid is hungry, you actually feel it before she cries that it is feeding time! The things you will realizes are simply so amazing.
5. I watch her feed and the muscle movements from her cheek, tongue and jaws am sure help her so much, while bottle feeder just suck and the milk comes out, the breastfeeder work on it so early and get to use na their muscles.
6. A breastfeeding baby can detect boobies even while asleep. This one still amazes me until now. Sometimes at night I just watch her and she knows which direction to face and when to open her mouth! Amazing talaga.
7. Breastmilk cures everything. I was a cynic too at first, OA naman yan ano magic? Have a cut? Rash? Itch? Put breastmilk and it really does cure! Did it and it worked 🙂
Miss U moments:
People who made it possible for me and helped me with this mommy journey!
Velvet – who would be my rah rah girl talaga throughout the journey. Did I also mention I met up with her for a one on one session on what to do with a newborn aside from about breastfeeding? And when I was looking for a midwife to care for Laya and was not getting anywhere she even offered to yaya Laya sa house namin, papahatid siya kay Atan and stay the night in our place, grabe my heart was filled with gratitude for that text she sent. Super duper thank you Velvet! I owe you!
Dee – she sent me milk when I wasn’t able to breastfeed, if I resorted to formula then and had a taste of convenience I am pretty sure I it would be super hard for me and will constantly be tempted. I also learned from her how to pack and freeze the milk, hers was so flat and so pretty to look at!
Mimi – since she is always no nonsense and frills free I go to her when I am stressed and true enough her ways are the simplest.
Rica – she is like me oldie na and habol baby na lang ito so we can relate with each other, her amazing story of being able to pump 16 oz in one sitting helped motivate me to reach that level.
Nancy, Grace & Morning – oh these are my childhood friends who fed me and made sure I dont stop the ge lai thing. Morning and I had a one on one session too on the meds and drinks to take.
Abbie, Jenny, JenCC, Rica – for always receiving my text and for most of the times replying 🙂
Didda – for making it so clear stop breastfeeding is not an option.
Laya is 16 months old now and we are still breastfeeding. She’s been taking solids since she was 6.5 months old and had her first taste of cow’s milk in Australia. Am now trying to let her get used to the taste of cows milk so she have milk to drink when I go out at night in preparation for the time I go out of the country. She is so loving the chocolate milk from MilkMan, yung fresh milk sometimes she likes sometimes she doesn’t, so what we do we milk the choco milk with milk na lang.
Again, if you are breastfeeding or would like to breastfeed, please know you can drop me a line here or thru my email or thru my facebook or text me if you have it. Would be more than happy to be part of your breastfeeding journey.