Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's been a while

Warning: blabbering ahead... Just scroll down at the end of the post and watch a video if you like :) 

Today is Throwback Thursdays

It's been almost three months since I posted anything here. It feels redundant to post here what I've already posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which is mostly about E and how fast she's growing that I'm afraid to blink because I might miss something. Other than that, there's nothing much new to report around here. Also, I didn't feel like doing anything I liked for the past few months. One of which is self-centered writing (haha).

These past few months I've been stressed out and I've come to the conclusion that being stressed out is the reaction to a completely neutral situation. I've been stressed out before because I have lots of tasks to accomplish but I don't have to. Same goes with problems, you can't say that a problem is too shallow or invalid. A problem is merely an obstacle one has to go through in order to reach a desired outcome by coming up with a feasible solution. Take my experience the other day, I ordered from a fast food chain online and waited for almost an hour only to find out that they had to take my order again. I was really upset, got into an argument with the customer service representative (afterwards I found out he didn't follow their correct protocol) and ended up ordering from another fast food chain. Never let a nursing mom get hungry! When C got home, I told him about the highlight of my day (told ya, nothing much new) and he just smiled and told me, "Wow, that was your problem today," in a very polite manner. I know that he had other complicated problems to solve for that day, like how to provide enough food on our table, but my food problem was a valid one and I didn't feel bad about it. After all, it's really important for me to eat so I can in turn, feed my baby.

Anyway, so the stress thing. It's because of a problem that was a bit complicated to solve but now everything's alright. I swear, everything seemed much brighter nowadays and my husband even told me that yesterday was the first time I looked alive (must've looked like a zombie before). Looking back, I shouldn't have to be too stressed out because I've been praying about it and I know that the Lord solves your problems in His own time. I want to be more specific but I'd probably do that a month from now.

Everything's alright now. Not only is the problem solved, but I came to appreciate even more the support I have. I have the best family in the world - my husband, my parents, my in-laws are the greatest blessing I have. Having a great support group who is willing to do the extra mile for you or your family is the best gift one could have. I will do my best to be always there for them as well!

Now I can move on with my life and be more comprehensible next time :p

As promised, here's a video my husband made after our El Nido vacation with some family members. One of the best vacations ever. Palawan is indeed deserving to be called one of the best (group of) islands in the whole world!

The Callantas in El Nido from chappy callanta on Vimeo.

P.S. I will be blogging somewhere else soon. As much as I loved my blithefiles handle, it doesn't sound as nice as I want it to be (plus, it's confusing to pronounce)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beach Essentials for Baby

In anticipation of our first trip to the beach with Essy, I asked on Facebook and Twitter what are the do's and don'ts when going to the beach with baby. Aside from a friend saying that we should surf with the baby, all the advice given by my mommy friends were very practical. Of course I also asked Essy's pediatrician her opinion on bringing babies to the beach. Thanks to them, her first swim was a success! She loved every 30 minutes of it :p Yesterday, we also came home from another beach trip and it's confirmed that she really loves the water!

To pass on the mommy advice, here's a list of suggested things to bring on your next beach/swimming trip:

Rashguard and hat - Cute little swimsuits don't cover much of your baby's delicate skin from the sun or water elements, rashguards do. Your baby shouldn't have a tan line anyway so don't get scared of little "gloved" hands and feet. A hat with ear flaps is also recommended to protect the scalp and ears.

Sunblock - We got SPF 50. Even though your baby is all white from slathering sunblock all over, do not go outdoors between 10am-3pm especially not tp the beach where the sun gets reflected by the sand. We also made sure that she wears sunblock every time we go out of the room and risk sun exposure to go to the restaurant or other places.

Drinking water - Essy is breastfed and having drinking water is a lifesaver for everyone. Aside from keeping you hydrated, you can use it to rinse off sand or chlorine when the shower is far away. We also let Essy drink 1 oz from a cup after swimming for fun and extra hydration.

Beach mat/baby chair - Essy fell asleep while we were hanging out at the beach and having a chair/mat for her to take a nap on saved us from prematurely ending our stay. While we were playing frisbee her lolas took turns watching over her.

Water toys - Nothing fancy. For her, a recycled plastic container was enough for her to play with. If you have bigger children, plastic utensils like spoons and forks can also be used to shovel and rake sand.

Lightweight scarf - Very very versatile. I have a huge scarf and we have used it as a breastfeeding cover and a playmat.

Towel with hood - To keep your baby warm and comfy while moving to and from different pools or places.

Of course this is not a comprehensive list and you should also ask your pediatrician for advice :) And do not even attempt to leave your child without responsible adult supervision near any body of water.

What are your beach/swimming must-haves for your child?

Monday, April 1, 2013

GV Mondays

"When the solution is simple, God is answering." - Albert Einstein

This is my first attempt at making pop-up letters and in my opinion, the message is way better than how it was delivered. Sometimes life can get too overwhelming because it we want to do so much so we can have more and everything becomes too daunting. Therefore, the simplest solution is to live simply: set priorities straight and prioritize what matters most.

How do you live simply?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

a staycation at the in-laws

Our family stayed for the past two weeks with my in-laws and it felt like a short vacation or a staycation because a lot of people helped out with taking care of Essy. I'm extremely grateful for auntie Lydia, most especially. She took care of my mother-in-law when she was little and she also took care of C and his siblings. Now, she also takes care of Essy and could make her take a nap in just a few minutes! If we could take home auntie Lydia, we would.

Auntie Lydia and Essy

Having people to help me out meant I had more time for myself, which I loved. I had time to finish my assignments without rushing and I also had time to do a little bit of arts and crafts. I found some nice paper scraps so I decided to do some papercutting. The method is also similar to doing rubber stamps only you have to make sure that your design won't separate from the paper. 

And I must say that the Lord indeed times things perfectly. While we were here, we received some bad news that has made a huge impact for our small family of three. Good thing, we were with my in-laws so we could seek immediate counsel. I want to say that I'm completely blameless for what happened but of course I'm also at fault because I wasn't vigilant and insistent enough to avoid this situation. It all boils down to having discipline in things that really matter. Time and time again, the Lord reminds us of this and I guess something big like this has to happen so that it would finally stick. 

Aside from the presence of loving and wise people, I'm also comforted by the following passages from Psalm 46: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.... He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Now that we're on our way back home and even if it's just me taking care of Essy while helping out with solving our problem, I'm assured that I'm never alone because first, I have a beautiful family which is my source of inspiration and second, the Lord is with me and is the light that will guide me through this darkness. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You Are Your Child's Best Teacher: A Parenting Seminar

"There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding."
- Erik Erikson

Babies are the fastest learners. From the moment a baby is born, she has to quickly learn how to breathe or else she wouldn't survive. I love watching Essy discover new things around her - a few days ago it was her hands and now she likes staring at me and her daddy. 

I thought having a background on developmental psychology would prepare me well with my task as my child's first teacher but there are some days when I'm so tempted to let her watch Disney Junior or Baby Einstein videos because I run out of activities to do with her and we both get bored. That's why I'm always looking for new activities that we could do that are developmentally appropriate.

Good thing I came across this seminar:

About The Talk:

"You Are Your Child's First and Best Teacher" is for parents of children ages 0 to 3. It's perfect for first time parents who may not yet be confident in their parenting skills and who want to connect with other parents.  It aims to help parents support their children's development by exploring the mindset of being the first and best teacher, discussing the basics of child development, and providing examples and ideas of appropriate activities for each developmental level. It would be a good venue to share experiences and connect with other parents.

Registration Fee:

Php 250 but it will be waived if you buy Php 500 or more worth of books or toys from The Learning Basket's booth.

Click here to register

For more information, click here

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tagaytay Weekend

Last weekend, we went to Tagaytay. It was our first time to stay at Discovery Country Suites and eat in Verbena. We were questioning our foodie selves why it was only our first time, everything we ordered were so delicious!

Before going back to Manila, we went to Sonya's Garden to buy greens, cheese hopia, and Spanish bread. We strolled for a bit because Essy likes looking at plants and flowers. 

It was such a perfect weekend :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

GV Mondays :)

Despite having a set bedtime routine, E still refuses to sleep until 2am. Lately, she's been sleeping on our bed because whenever we put her down on her crib after rocking her to sleep, she'd wake up again and we're back from where we started 2 hours ago. So I would lay her down between us, feed her, and cuddle until she falls asleep. My neck and upper back ache all the time because I haven't found a comfortable sleeping position yet. But what I've found is the best view of my family: my daughter and husband sleeping peacefully, their long eyelashes fluttering, their mouths slightly opened, and sometimes they would sigh softly and stir at the same time. Before closing my eyes, I say a little prayer of thanks to Him for giving me such a beautiful family. The best thing that I have in my life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Storytelling Time

story time with papa and mama
Reading books to E has been part of our daily routine and we all love it. We don't do it because we want E to become a genius or read independently by age two, we do it so she'll love books as much as we do. It's also fun to make silly voices and sound effects whenever we read to her. She still doesn't have a favorite book so we read our own favorites for now. C and I both love the Knufflebunny trilogy so much that we bought E a rabbit and named it Knucklebunny!

E @ 1 month with Knucklebunny
Personally, I love singing the lullaby from Robert Munsch's book, "Love You Forever," to E even when she was still in my tummy. It goes: I love you forever/ I like you for always/ As long as I'm living/ My baby you'll be. Here's a video clip of Joey (from Friends) reading the book:

Some helpful resources if you want to build your own collection of children's books:
50 best books for kids (Time Out New York)
67 books every geek should read to their kids before age 10 (Wired)