Friday, August 31, 2007

Mum Abbrevations

Because of my 'feelings of isolation' from this high need thingeemajigy (why is it that I only know 1 or 2 mums here in Manila with the same situation?), I joined a US-based high need support group in Yahoo. For awhile though I was a bit lost because they would use all these abbreviations I didn't understand. Good thing I found a list and their meanings in a site. Here are some below (for those of you new at these things too!)

AP - attachment parenting
BF - breastfeed or breastfed
BFing - breastfeeding
DH/DW/DD/DS/DP - a reference to members of one's immediately family:
dear husband, dear wife, dear daughter, dear son, dear partner
LLL - La Leche League
MIL/FIL/SIL/BIL - mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law
SAHM/SAHD - stay-at-home mom/dad
WAHM/WAHD - work-at-home mom/dad

I might start using some of these 'mummy abbreviations' (well, I believe I've already used the MIL hehe) so its best you familiarize yourselves as well.

The high need support group is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HNchild

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mummy Burns Out

I give and I give and I give and he takes and takes and takes...more than I can handle.

Mummy is going through a burn out. I believe so because I already have evil scenes of me accidentally hitting his head or him falling out the window. This is scaring me because I think I'm going a little cuckoo. I know I love him and will never do anything to hurt him but why are those bad thoughts entering my head?

I mentioned that it takes at least 30 minutes for Santi to nap/sleep. Last night it took him 3 hours to sleep. From 6:00 to 9:00pm I was slinging and nursing and rocking. He'd fall asleep but if I tried putting him down he'd wake up and I'd have to do 'the works' all over again. Again, it took me the whole day today just to get him to nap. Even when asleep, he will not unlatch.

How can I enjoy his company when I'm dead tired and more concerned about him getting his rest? How much longer can I take? Does it get better? It seems to get harder each day. I am exhausted, sad and mad. Exhaustion from round-the-clock nursing, sleep deprivation, slinging and rocking. I am sad and mad because I sometimes question WHY ME? there are so many less dedicated mums out there with non-high need babies. What did I do to deserve this? I really feel like I'm being punished or tested.

My baby is thriving, I am not.

I know that this shall pass but a day can sure feel like an eternity with a high need baby. :_(

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dessert Couture


Because I wasn't able to go to the Pink Kitchen event, I just HAD to attend this one!

Everyone knows that I am a hardcore chocoholic. A few weeks ago, I tried eliminating chocolates from my diet because I was worried my breast milk was turning Santi into a live wire baby BUT I didn't even last 3 days! Seriously, I get real cranky if I don't get my choco fix. That is a non-negotiable for me. I can live without the salty, but not without my sweets.

Today, I got my dosage for the week. Dessert Couture at the Manansala served a 7-course dessert menu by a highly acclaimed Singaporean pastry chef. (whoops I forget the name)


Here are some photos of what was served to us
Green Lime Eclair, Walnut Cheese Cake, Baked Pear Tart
Crab Salad, Smoked Salmon Profiterolle, Mushroom & Tomato QuicheGateau Chocolate Lollipop, Petit Mont Blanc, Passion Fruit & Banana SherbetLe Royale, Dark Valrhona Chocolate Lollipop, Pralin ProfiteroleChocolate Ice Cream, Creme Brulee, Tiramisu

Not in photos: Fourth Course-Duck Liver on Toasted Brioche & Seventh Course-Macaron Collection (because I completely forgot to take pictures of these!)

My mum and I weren't too happy with the miniature sized servings but M points out "I'm stuffed" mid-way into the cocktail event. He had a point. Everything is for taste only. Good if they were delicious. They look great but we've all tasted better. Gosh, even chocolates from the grocery tastes better. If it wasn't for the free flowing champagne and the gift certificate we won (overnight stay at Diamond Hotel's Hospitality Suite!), it wouldn't be worth the P800 ticket price per person. (Original price is P1,000 but for Rockwell Club members, P800)

Oh, here's a snapshot my little Santi showing early signs of trouble.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Why is My Baby Crying?"

That is the golden question.

The colic inconsolable cries (due to tummy troubles) are over but it has been replaced by Santi's 'I-am-sleepy-but-I-can't-sleep' crying fits. Everyday before he naps and sleeps, I sling him, nurse him, dance/walk and struggle for at least 30 minutes before he konks out. On a good day, he naps once in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon and sleeps 10 hours (with feeding intervals) during the night. On a bad day? No naps during the day and lots of crying and screaming in his sleep at night.

More or less I see a pattern though. During weekdays when I can control the lights and sounds in our home, it is easier for me to do the 'whole production' to get him to sleep. On weekends, when we dutifully visit our extended families or go to the mall for errands, the difficulty increases. Santi easily gets aroused by bright, colorful surroundings and overstimulated by all the people who love to play with him. How do I say it politely, "Please stop playing peekaboo with my baby, he gets overstimulated. You can't see it now but I will be the one paying for it later on." or "Please don't look him in the eye because he is sleepy and when you make eye contact he gets excited and that adds to another 30 minutes of me walking him in the sling to get him back to that sleepy state." Believe me, weekends always turn sour. I need the whole 5-day week to recuperate.

Other people just don't get it. They have never met a high need baby, I think? Even I did not know these rare breed of babies existed. Not until I had my own. I used to equate cry babies to annoying, sad babies with bad mums. Now I know better.

Why oh why is my Santi a high need baby? Was it because of all the junk food I ate during my pregnancy? Was it because of his double cord coil or the ungentle ceasarian birth? I really want to know.

I cannot imagine how unhappy he would be without my breastfeeding (every hour during the day and every 2-3 hours at night), co-sleeping (since birth) and babywearing (all day long). Because despite all of these things, he still cries a lot. And it breaks my heart into a million little pieces each time. I even worry he senses that I get frazzled by his cries, and cries even more. Aiya, that cycle of stress.

I know I am not a bad mum. I try my best and yet, it seems, it isn't enough. I wish I could do more, do something about all his discomforts.

You see, this is the reason why I do not want to hire a yaya. Because mum's don't give up on their children.

Haaay Santipoop. You truly are made out of my blood, sweat and tears! This is love. It's as real as it can get.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aaaah!


Aren't they the cutest onesies in the whole world?! I soooo want these for Santi!!! If you love me or my baby boy, please order these for me/him/us at the bumkins online shop. Oh, size 6 or 9 months please (he grows really fast). Thanks in advance!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shabby & Clingy Days

This is the reason why I badly need a haircut. Aside from the fact that my last trim was when I was 8 months pregnant, I also realized that I look like Santi's yaya in all the photos taken from the house. Yes, I wear my hair like that on a regular day - the labandera style. There are more shabby shots but i dare not post them. Aiya! No matter how well-dressed you are, the mane makes all the difference.

What's holding me back is that, if I cut my hair real short (I want the Victoria Beckham cut everyone's getting), I might not have my hair grow back in time for my wedding next year. No, I am not exaggerating. I want my hair in nice long tresses on that day.


Well, there's that other reason too....I always end up regretting it whenever I chop my hair :P

In other news ---

Santi has been extra clingy these days. He is a velcro boy as it is but recently he hasn't been unlatching himself from my breasts after a feed. If I lay him down to sleep while nursing with me falling asleep as well (breastfeeding is also like a downer for the mums, you get sleepy as well...one of the perks!), when I wake up 2 hours later he is still sucking!

Obviously, this is called the non-nutritive sucking where you turn into a human pacifier which is fine with me, really. But there are times when I have to run to the bathroom to pee and I can't! There I am patiently waiting for him to unlatch while holding my pee...

Did you just get a visual there? Hehe.

*yaya - babysitter
*labandera - maid who washes clothes

Jeri's Baby Shower

(FYI, this post is behind by 3 weeks)

Hello. Meet Jeri, my good friend and ex-housemate.


She is 7 months pregnant and is due to give birth sometime in October (to a baby girl!!!). Yes, she broke the 'baby boy chain' in the group.

And so, we do what good friends do. We throw her a non-surprise baby shower.



It's amazing how family-oriented we are all of a sudden. My, my, what a growing bunch of first-time parents! Who would ever thought that these three young women would have babies in one year?! Birds of the same feather flock together talaga...


What's even more amazing is...how much weight we've all put on! The photos below were taken during Sab's birthday bash years ago... our pre-pregnant and pre-baby days.


Eep. I sense we're all getting each other gym memberships as birthday presents this year!

*To those of you who think my face doesn't look that fat in the photos. It's because the extra 12 pounds (I have yet to lose) is all located in the tummy area (which I wisely hide with long tops and close up or medium shots). Or maybe because I have mastered the art of 'hide-all-the-fat-pose'.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Same Banana

This is the Amby Baby Motion Bed.

It really is a glorified duyan.

*Duyan is the Visayan word for the native hammock made of handwoven abacca.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reading Up

I have just acquired two new books for lazy, rainy days like today. As long as Santi is asleep or peacefully nursing in the side-lying position, I am able to do some reading for his own good. It's cute that my bookshelves are slowly being filled with all-things-related-to-baby reads.

SIGN with your BABY by Joseph Garcia was a good buy for P189 from Books For Less at SM Sta. Mesa ('the seedy people central' but it's the closest SM branch to my house).

According to Garcia, babies are born with abundant intelligence. Signing with them breaks that communication barrier and will save you all the troubles of guessing what your baby needs.

I should be able to start teaching Santi a few basic signs by his 6th month. I can't wait to start! It would be interesting to finally know what is inside that little head of his!

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International is available at Fullybooked Bonifacio High Street for P799. If I had known it was available here, I would have gotten a copy even before giving birth. I suggest every pregnant woman get one (yeah, while you still have all the time in the world to read a full chapter without any interruptions).

This book explains the numerous reasons why you should breastfeed your babies. Mummies, it's their right! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

I've got a new toy!


After months of being digicam-less (making do with my dilapidated 2-megapixel camera phone), I finally got a decent model. Thanks to my mum who sponsored it and to Sab for buying it overseas.

As I write this post, M is testing it already and seems to be going gaga over the 'creative features'. He should be happy with it - he was the one who read several camera reviews online and forced me to order this one over the stylish pink Sony one I was eyeing.


To those of you who think aesthetics is everything - yeah, I know I should have stood my ground with the Sony.

Funny scenario---

M takes two photos of me, one from my new Canon and the other from an Olympus model.

M: Look at these shots (he shows me both cameras)
Me: YUCK, I'm so fat!!!
M: I was showing you the image quality!

That explains the title of this entry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's In a Name?

When I was a baby my dad called me lots of silly names. One I will never forget is "Monixkaling". Don't ask me where he got that. I have yet to ask him myself.

Anyway, back when I was preggers, I sort of promised my future baby that I would not give him any of those funny sounding nicknames. I'd stick to the beautiful name: Santiago Andres with the nickname Santi.

Fast forward to the present---

To my own surprise, I found myself calling Santi a variety of weird names!
  • Santipoop
  • Santywanty
  • Santiago-wago
  • Santipotpourri
  • My little wombat
Others have pitched in as well...
  • Platypus (from my Mum)
  • Santibear (from M)
  • Sanqwagy (from M)
  • Tiago (from his Greatgrandpa)
  • Santipot (from Dee)
People just can't help it. Babies are just too darn cute to be called regular names!

What other crazy names have you given your babies? I'd love to know :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

No To Sleep

Santi has a new thing....he won't nap during the day!

I noticed that he started this new behavior when he turned 3 months last week. It seems like he's rallying, "NO TO SLEEP! NO TO SLEEP!" He is too curious about the world around him. You should see his eyes half closed fighting them open (especially if he sees light or hears any kind of sound).

Of course, everyone has their theories-

M has this ridiculous theory that there are ghosts in my 100+ old house that bother Santi. He insists we try sleeping in his house for a week. I refuse :P

My childbirth teacher, Rome Kanapi called me today after I texted asking for dear help. She asked about my diet and guilty-me admitted I still eat chocolates (so hard to give them up!). After reviewing everything else (dim lights-check, bathe him-check, massage him-check, dance/bounce/rock him - check, etc.) she suggested something very new age - take a bit of rock salt into my room and program it to cleanse negative energies lurking around. Also use rock salt during night baths of Santi and I. This, I will definitely try!

According to my new best friend, Dr. Sears, high need babies sleep differently. One reason why he has difficulty going to sleep is that he has poor stimuli barrier. While other babies can just shut out noise and light when they get tired, my Santi cannot. He simply is stimulated by everything.

The solution? Very flexible, patient parents.

On a regular day, we have the lullaby with heartbeat music playing non-stop. M and I whisper to each other & almost tiptoe, careful not to make a squeak. And I am carrying and dancing Santi to sleep hours on end. My arms, legs and back ache when night falls. M even wants to hire a yaya now "taga karga lang the whole day" because he feels sorry for me. But me with my strong mummy convictions say no each time. "Just give me the salary of a yaya", I jokingly say.

For soon-to-be parents out there: don't underestimate yourselves. Although parenthood sometimes make you feel STRETCHED, there is so much more you can give. There are no bounds when it comes to love.

Rome Kanapi teaches birth class and infant massage class in Ateneo and Sanctuario de San Antonio. You may reach her through her cell phone - 09175415114.

Pho Hoa

When I was still pregnant (not so long ago), I enjoyed eating in Pho Hoa on Wilson St. because it was so close to home. Whenever I ordered for food to be delivered, I was delighted at the fact that:

a. they were always on time, and
b. the soup was always hot

After having Santi, however, I have not revisited my Vietnamese resto of choice. So M and I decided to have lunch at their Greenhills branch after his much needed haircut last Saturday. We noticed that they have such a small space for a popular restaurant. :P We had to wait a few minutes before getting a table in the air-conditioned area.

What do we do while we wait? Take pictures, of course!




Chicken Noodle Soup for me - a staple! This is ALWAYS what I end up getting. Not only is it hot and tasty, but also very healthy! (In the recent years however, I have switched to Meatless Pho instead :)


Yeah, so I can have Haagen Dazs ice cream for dessert :P

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tea Time

I like all kinds of tea. Chamomile, Green Tea, Lychee, Peppermint and Jasmine are my favorite blends. Last weekend, I discovered that Healthy Options in Shangri-la had Organic Mother's Milk. I've read about this type of tea in many online articles. According to the kellymom website, drinking this can increase milk supply. Just out of curiosity, I purchased a box. I have no problem with my milk supply since I've been breastfeeding directly and on demand for the past 3 months. What got to me was that anisse and fennel were some of the ingredients listed. These are the exact same ingredients of the gripe water I got for Santi's colic. Let's see if it would decrease Santi's tummy troubles.

My Velcro Baby

Santi is a velcro baby. This is so because he is with me everywhere I go. (Hey, it rhymes!)

As Pinoys say, "parating nakadikit sa mommy"! It is his preference. I did not train him to be that way. When I look back, after his birth - he'd cry and turn red when placed on the bassinet. Even the nurses commented that he cried the loudest among the lot. I remember this clearly because we roomed him in despite my CS operation.

I honestly have no words to describe those first nights in the hospital. M and I were new parents who did not have a clue about pacifying a hysterical baby. They didn't teach that in birth class! (Now that I think about it, maybe they should start offering a course on how to take care of extra challenging babies) To give you an idea though..it was the most exhausting and exasperating nights..I guess this served as a sign of 'what's to come!'

And so it began -> co-sleeping with my baby. Only this and breastfeeding calmed him. It happened so naturally as if these were the only options for me. I really had no idea about attachment parenting until after.

The next best thing is... babywearing!
I have been babywearing since Santi was 10 days old. Why did I wait 10 days? Well, because of my CS operation I could not leave the house right away. But hard headed me left anyway after 10 days (my ob told me to stay at home for 4 weeks) for a personal demo from Jen Tan of next9.org

So here are some photos of mummy me babywearing Santi in various locations: at home, in my favorite Japanese resto, Cibo, Haagen Dazs!, the grocery, at a party, and yes - even at the beach. To other mummies out there...happy slinging! They make happy velcro babies :)































Monday, August 06, 2007

Santi's High Needs

After reading this and this I was finally relieved! *sigh*

Santi meets 12 out of the 12 signs of high need babies by Dr. Sears! Wow! I see early signs of perfectionism here! hehe

I sure felt better about my precious baby and myself! So many of the baby books I've read lowered my maternal self-esteem. They just didn't help me understand Santi. I kept comparing him to other 'angel' babies. Why was he so different from them? Why did he cry so much more? nurse almost all day long? Sleep so lightly? At one point I even questioned God - asking why he gave me such a fussy baby? Eek! Can you imagine I said that?! How awful of me! I take it back! I loooooooove him sooooo much!

I also came to realize that I am not alone! My friend L (who named her lovely daughter after me!) also has a fussy / high need baby. I can just imagine all those other clueless first-time mums feeling so lost (and hurt !).

There just isn't enough information (and research?) out there for mums with high need babies. For instance, the books I've read (I've read tons) did not tackle my baby's unique personality at all.

I keep reading that it's probably my fault why:
  • Santi doesn't nap well during the day or sleep through the night
  • or why he won't ride his stroller
  • or why he fusses during feeds / in between feeds
The books would reason that:
  • The parents (meaning me, my fault!) trained him to expect the rocking, bouncing or shhhshing to sleep.
  • Again, it's probably because I trained him to prefer the sling than the stroller...that babies are creatures of habit and pwede silang masanay with anything. Yes, I can almost hear my mum and MIL in saying "sinanay mo kase siya sa karga" :P If I hear that one more time I will explode! (So, yeah just in case M reads this -- don't you EVER say that to me or I will snap at you.)
  • Colic is always the culprit for extremely fussy babies -- yeah colic with no real definition?! and no real cure?! - ano ba yan!
So, thank you Dr. Sears. I now know that my baby isn't really a 'berat boy' (as my mum would always say). He just has high needs! It's totally normal... coming from a wannabe high maintenance mum! For sure he'll grow up to be fabulous. I just know it ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Safari Shorts

Isn't this the CUTEST?! I just had to window shop online for board shorts because I felt bad about Santi being naked during the 'attempted swim' in the beach last weekend. Found this in the Old Navy website. They have all sorts of cutiepatootee stuff for newborn babies. I wonder why we don't have these things available here?! Isn't the Philippines a tropical country?

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