30 May 2013

The Fisher Price "The Joy of Learning Workshop" {Events/Give Away Contest}


I was told by my mother just when my firstborn turned three months old that when I was a child, playing has been my way of escaping her and socializing with our neighbors. I was never blessed with a brother or a sister (I'm the only begotten daughter of my parents), that is why having a moment each day to play with my cousins was my comfort zone.

Now that I am already a mother, I do realize that playing is an essential part of kids' learning and development. Through the book "What to Expect the First Year", I knew that the simple peek-a-boos, clapping of hands, jumperoo baby exercises and singing of itsy bitsy spiders with my kids do enhance their socialization skills aside from exercising their motor skills. Of course, being a mother of two also educated me that "playtime" for Echo (22 months old) is different from my little girl Army (4 months old). Echo now loves ball games, dancing games, shape sorting, horseback riding and all arcade kiddie rides.

My son also loves playing with other kids of course. I saw his need of socializing with toddlers like him when he was about 16 months old, just prior his operation (God Heals: Echo's Journey Towards Full Healing). I hate to admit it but before, Echo had a "mine" nuance when it comes to his toys. There was also a point where he became possessive with his stuffs. He loved having kids around him but what he did is that he doesn’t let other kids touch his things. They were just there watching him play. What my husband and I did is that we brought him to some neighbors' house who have babies and just let him play and interact with them and since I do belong to a mommy group (The Mommy Avenue), I make it a point that I bring him from time to time whenever we conduct EB in order for Echo to meet and greet new set of baby friends as well. From then on, we saw progress. Echo learned to share his own toys aside from gaining new friends.
Some of Echo's friends from The Mommy Avenue/Avenue for Mommies Online
Meanwhile, Army loves playing peek-a-boo and giggling games with her kuya (older brother). Surprisingly, at 22 months, Echo knows how to make her little sister chuckle. Army is now using her kuya's lamaze rattles and also loves having talks (as if her words are already straight) with us. I could not even fathom that she is a pre-emie baby.
My kids Army and Echo <3
In my perception, when we define the word "play", the approach should be holistic. It must also hit the important parts in a child's development which include motor skills, social skills, language skills and other intellectual skills such as ingenuity and problem solving skills.  Toys also take part in our child's learning and development. On the other hand, not all toys are good to our kids. So as parents, we should also be heedful then on what toys to cater to our children.

23 May 2013

Fisher Price Joy of Learning Series: Real Moments of Joy{Press Release/Events}

As part of Fisher Price Joy of Learning Series, everyone is invited for another productive event entitled "Real MOMents of Joy" to be held on May 25, 2013 (Saturday) at Rustans Makati.

The heart of the event is a Parenting Talk on  Joys of Being a Mother and Joys of Learning and Playing together with Miss Sigrid Sabarre-Perez. Of course, our Fisher Price Mom Ambassador Miss Audrey Tan-Zubiri will also be there.

To pre-register, just visit the Richwell Club Facebook Fanpage and leave a message to include the subject: Real Moments of Joy; name, companion and email address or just simply click "Join" on their Facebook invitation: Real MOMents of Joy with Fisher Price.

See you there!

For further information on Fisher Price background and their current Joy of Learning Campaign, you may visit this related post: Fisher Price Joy of Learning Campaign.

21 May 2013

An Open Letter for my Mother {Post Mothers Day Give-Away Contest}

"A Mothers Love is like a rose. Each passing day, it grows and grows."


For 18 years, I have been dependent on you until I entered cadetship. I do appreciate all the things you did and are still doing for me mama . I knew how critical it was for your health to conceive but still, you chose to keep me and be tied in that bed for those long months of pregnancy. Boredom may have visited you often but you sacrificed almost all of your life just to give birth to me safely. 

As a child I saw your strength and weaknesses as a mother at the same time. You were always there when I needed a private nurse; a tutor (though you were really strict); a cook (thanks for the recipes I inherited from you); a best friend (the very best friend that will always be there no matter what life throws against me); and being my greatest confidante who never judges but understands the situation then give advice instead.

I also saw you cry for me (though you never knew). I saw you hurting as I got my first heartbreak. I saw you having butterflies in your stomach as I share you my wonderful experiences. You were my alter-ego mama (have you noticed it?). 

When I graduated from the academy, our relationship dwindled a bit maybe because of the distance. I knew you longed for my voice and our long talks. But since I already have a taste of independence, I did learn to keep some of my problems to myself not because I do not to share it with you anymore but because, I know mama that it will not be forever that you will be there for me. Time will come that I will have my own family and that I have to fix my own problems on my own. You kept mum but at the end of the day, I learned how proud you are that I am now all grown up living the way you wanted me to be.

Mama, we are not rich but you and Papa raised me well that though I was your only begotten daughter, I learned that as a person that we just can't have it all and that if you want something, I have to work hard for it. That lesson I did use in the academy and that same lesson I am still adhering to now really helped me. I learned to soar high yet be contented of what the good Lord offers; to work passionately for the profession I have chosen; to be happy for the achievements of others; to not be eaten by the system as I go up to the ladder of success; and to be humble always. 

Now that I already have my own kids, you are still there to assist me. I am not a perfect daughter but you have been a perfect mother for me. Thank you for everything mama. Thank you for always being my guide. Thank you for all the love and understanding. I love you...Happy Mother's Day....


As a tribute to all the mothers, Mommy Glaiza of Moomy Musings and I are hosting this post-Mothers Day Give-Away Contest. To join, just follow the steps that was prepared for you via Rafflecopter. Good luck and a Happy Mothers Day/Month to all mommies!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 May 2013

God Heals: Echo's Journey Towards Full Healing {Inspirational}

For 22 months, I did carry this in my heart. For those 22 long months, my strength as a mother and a woman was first tested. If you remember, this blog was created just after a few months my little Kuya Echo was born (you may check First Time Blogger, First Time Mom post to review). During those times, I was filled with happiness being a first time mother. But behind these smiles, I was also feeling anxious on my son's condition.

The day after my son was born, my OB who happens to be my dear friend and Echo's Godmother at the same time (Dra Adette Binalay of AFPMC) informed me that Echo did have a condition called hypospadia. Though this medical condition is non-life threatening, this may affect his well being when not properly treated. Series of consultations were conducted for Echo. His first two consultations were done in AFP Medical Center. On the other hand, I did seek for second opinion and looked for civilian doctors with such expertise. I was able to find the site of The Filipino Doctor. There I was able to locate a doctor from UST Hospital with years of experience with such kind of condition.

This may be found in The Filipino Doctor website.
Luckily, Dr Carlo Bisnar happens to be the consultant of AFPMC as well. So what happened is that I did hit two birds in one shot, having been able to have my son be seen by AFPMC pedia-urologist consultant and seek for second opinion as well.

We first met Dr Bisnar last December 2011 wherein he first assessed Echo's condition. He then confirmed that Echo has hypospadia. He also did explain that until now, there is still no clear and identified reason why 1 out of about 50 babies does acquire such kind of medical condition. And take note, not only baby boys are attacked by this medical condition. Hypospadia may also be acquired by baby girls and most often, hypospadia on baby girls is more difficult to correct but is still curable. Likewise, Dr Bisnar reassured me that though Echo had hypospadia, the good thing is, it can be corrected.

March 2012, Dr Bisnar once again examined Echo. He then informed us that Echo needs to undergo Surgical Repair. Moreover, he also emphasized that said surgical repair must be done while Echo is between 6 months to 2 years of age. Why? Because at the age of 3 or 4, baby boys are already starting to compare their "P" with other kids and are starting to become aware of different things course. So maybe you would ask, for how much? I was given various options which included the following:

1. AFPMC - The resident doctors will be the one conducting the operation while the consultant is present supervising them. Of course, everything is free since Echo is my dependent. On the other hand, the repercussion of this is that, the monitoring after the operation will not be done by Dr Bisnar.

2. Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center - The cost will be about Php 80,000.00. Dr Bisnar will be the one who will conduct the operation. The after operation monitoring will be conducted by the resident doctors of the said hospital.

3. National Children's Hospital - Same cost with Chinese Medical Center and same condition as well.

4. UST Hospital - The operation will cost at least Php 100,000.00; it is Dr Bisnar who will conduct the operation since he is a resident doctor of the said hospital and the after operation and recovery period will also be handled by him and his team.

For two months, my husband and I thought and discussed the options. Our first option was for Echo to undergo the operation last January 2013, 6 months prior his second birthday. Second, we also did wait for his dedication since we know that it is better for Echo to be spiritually blessed before undergoing those big needles. We also did think on our finances of course since it would affect on which hospital will Echo be operated.

May 2012, surprises come the most unexpected way. I found out that I was pregnant with my youngest, Army. Our decision of having Echo be operated last January 2013 was then moved to an earlier date. The problem is, our savings was not enough to think that my due date with my youngest was on February 2013. But God is good. A lot of people were willing to extend help for my little one (I will acknowledge them later). July 8, 2012, Echo had his Basketball themed birthday at Kenny Rogers Roxas Boulevard with our family, mommy friends, baby friends, officemates etc. It was a blast. August 25, 2012, I got baptized a pre-requisite for Echo's dedication and on October 2012, Echo was then dedicated.

November 5, 2012, Echo did have his blood test and X-ray. November 7, 2012, Echo was then admitted at the UST Hospital. The very next day was exactly Echo's 16th month birthday and the same day was his operation.
From the Left: Echo while having his blood test (I was teary-eyed while the medical technologists were getting blood
samples); the admission area of the hospital; Echo soundly sleeping while waiting for our call for room vacancy;
admission paraphernalia.
Seeing my only son crying for "Momma" and looking at me as if he was begging for me to tell the medical technologists to stop what they were doing broke my heart. But do I have a choice? I have to stay strong for him. He needed that badly. He needed to undergo such excruciating pain for him to be healed. Good thing was that, his tatay and I were there for him to include his grandmother (my mother) to support him and to take good care of him.

Prior the operation, Dr Bisnar informed me of the possible outcome and some untoward complications that may occur during or after the operation, which depends on Echo's reaction to the anesthesia and other medication.  His recovery will also be dependent on his body's reaction to the operation.

Echo at the recovery room right after his operation. His attending doctors
and the nurses were so proud of him. According to them, Echo is a strong baby.
Most of the babies who have undergone operation often cry out loud while
being monitored at the recovery room. But Echo was a lot different. He was calm.
Dr Bisnar said that Echo seems to be a happy and contented child. Our presence
right after his operation was a big factor according to him.
Dr Bisnar assessed Echo's operation as a success. We were then discharged last November 12, 2012 and advised to just go back after a week for his first follow up check up. We then went back to Dr Bisnar's clinic after a week. Praise God because his assessment was still consistent. Echo responded well.

God is really good! We were even able to attend the very first AMO Christmas Party last November 24, 2012! Just last May 18 (Saturday), 2013, my husband and I brought Echo to Dr Bisnar's clinic at UST, 6 months after his operation. Dr Bisnar gave his final words, "Oh, Echo, maayos na birdie ha? Pero hindi pa pwede mag-girlfriend ha? Baby ka pa rin!" (while laughing). My husband and I were both teary-eyed. We were so happy to hear such words from Echo's pedia-urologist. Surprisingly, Echo also responded to Dr Bisnar's statement and answered with, "Wow! Tenchu!" (Tenchu is actually Thank you) and "Bye-iiii" since Echo prolongs the word bye with I. Echo clearly understood that he was already healed.

14 May 2013

Expo Mom 2013: #Momtuition

Attending Mommy and Baby events have been my passion since I got impregnated. I saw the importance of being educated and being in a community of supportive mommy friends and organizations. Just last April 6-7, 2013, I was able to attend the Mommy Mundo Expo Mom 2013 with the theme: "Expo Mom 2013: #Momtuition." 
Though I love attending bazaars, expo events and other mommy, baby and family related bazaara/events, I also see to it that I only buy stuffs that my FAMILY and I NEED. So here are the things I purchased during the Expo Mom 2013:

1. Cycles Mild Laundry Detergent for Babies (Php 270.00). Though Echo is 22 months now while Army is 4 months old, I still use detergent which I am 100 percent sure that will not harm their delicate skin. I often buy the powder.

2. Mommy Treats Cupcake Bites (Php 749.00). There are times that I do not like the smell of the malunggay capsule I am taking so I have to find some alternative. That is where my lactation cupcake bites and cookies comes in.
3. Kiddie Tunes Customized/Personalized CD/DVD (Php750.00).  I first bought a product from Kiddie Tunes last Mommy Mundo Bazaar 2011 wherein I was able to purchase a personalized CD of lullaby songs for Echo. This year, I bought a personalized CD for my little girl with Worship songs in it. Thank you to the lovely owner, mommy Cheryl Yap for the discount!

4. Fancy Ava Clips and Softband (Php 190.00). These were the very first clips and softband I bought for Army. It was really cute and yes, NOT PRICEY right? I love fashion at a minimal price. Wais na nanay that is!
Of course being a member of  Mommy Mundo equates to some exclusive perks when attending any of their events to include this Expo Mom 2013. So here is what I got last Expo Mom 2013:

Plus, since I did go to the event early, I was also given a free cupcake from  Sonja.

When I was pregnant, they say that I was so lucky in raffles, online contests, etc. But I think my lucky wasn't gone even after giving birth. Why? Because that day, I was able to win a 350ml Water Bobble. Thank you for the informative mini-interview with Mr Lynch, I got to answer their question right and was able to win a Bobble Mini.
 Congratulations to Mommy Mundo for another successful Expo Mom Event! Getting more excited each time I attend such!

09 May 2013

Fisher-Price Joy of Learning Campaign Launches Mom Ambassador Audrey Tan-Zubiri (Press Release)

Just last 26 April 2013, Fisher-Price who has been aiding childhood development through play for about 80 years now launched its newest campaign, "Joy of Learning" with Miss Audrey Tan-Zubiri as their newest Mom Ambassador at Sapphire B Function Room, Crowne Plaza Hotel.
An expert in the science of play, Fisher-Price believes that part of good parenting is choosing the right toys for kids.  And with the right toys, the full potential in every child is realized. 

Fisher-Price is committed to giving children the avenue to develop their motor and cognitive skills, language and social skills, strength and creativity thereby providing them their first shot at winning in life. With this commitment, Fisher-Price introduces their latest campaign, The Joy of Learning, where parents and children discover together the power of play.

With The Joy of Learning, Fisher-Price helps in a joyful manner – from innovative solutions that make parents’ lives easier to toys that help kids learn and grow through play.  As they experience the new found joys of parenting, Fisher-Price is with them on this journey to provide what they need every step of the way as the little bundles of joy grow up.  And learning together with their kids is the most amazing moments to share!

With eager anticipation, Fisher-Price opens the box of new learning tools this April with the unveiling of the Fisher-Price Mom Ambassador.  Fisher-Price welcomes Mom Ambassador Audrey Tan-Zubiri, wife and mother.  Audrey is a hands-on, full-time mom to Maria Adriana and Juan Miguel.  She finds joy in the smallest things, from playing with her kids to seeing their faces light up when they discover something new.  These are the shared moments that she looks forward to everyday.

Audrey glows as she talks about motherhood.  “I’m really enjoying my role as a mom and my advice to fellow moms out there is to just embrace everything with passion, fun, and excitement. Make the most out of every moment with their kids and discover the world with them.”

She’s the natural choice as the voice of Fisher-Price because of how she values family time and playtime.  “I’ve always believed that learning shouldn’t be imposed on kids hence, allowing them to discover the world on their own and letting them experience the joy of learning. I think Fisher-Price products help the kids hone their skills this way.  I’m so thrilled to be part of the learning process of my children where every playtime is a chance to learn something new.”

As Mom Ambassador of the Fisher-Price campaign, The Joy Of Learning, Audrey is excited to connect with other moms and share the joys of playtime and to discover more fun ways to learn through play, “I’m looking forward to have so much fun learning with kids. Discovering new things with them and inspiring them.”

Photo Courtesy of Moomy Musings
This advocacy of Richwell Club specifically Fisher-Price will be followed by a Parenting Workshop Series to be conducted on June 2013 with their special guest and speaker, another event to look forward to for a mother like me.

I would like to acknowledge Miss Julie Castro, Brand Manager of Richwell Club for inviting me to this exclusive event and for continuously trusting me and supporting my blog as well. 

Photo Courtesy of Moomy Musings
 Fisher-Price is exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc., available at all leading department stores nationwide.  For more information, call Richprime Global at telephone numbers 732-5141 to 47 loc 211. www.richwell.net

06 May 2013

Must Buy: Chicco Sterilizer (Product Review)

Since I got pregnant with my first born Echo, one of the trusted brands I follow and patronize is Chicco Philippines. Army came along and nothing was changed. Just last month, I did buy stuff for Army and Echo: belt for Kuya and dress for little girl. I also did buy something for myself. What? For myself? Yes! I did buy this:

 Thank you very much to my dear friend Mommy Glaiza of Moomy Musings for introducing me this product thru her blog "A Great Mommy Tip: Cold Water Sterilization".

As I have said in my previous posts, I have been a fan of Chicco Electric Steam Sterilizer since the day my little Echo was born. I do not endorse formula milk feeding but then again, for circumstances like having a 24/7 duty like mine and had a problem with breastmilk supply then, formula feeding was the only answer to nourish my firstborn. So what are the tools needed? Of course that would include BPA free feeding bottle, organic feeding bottles and utensil cleanser (for cleaning up), BPA free feeding bottle cleaning brush and a sterilizer...Chicco Sterilizing Solution that is.

As to the steps, refer to Moomy Musings' blog post "A Great Mommy Tip: Cold Water Sterilization". I will talk more on the advantages of using the product and its disadvantages (if there is).

 So what are the benefits in using the product?
Energy Saver. For a soldier mom and an army wife like me, we sometimes do get assigned to some places where electricity is gold.
- Time saver. As I do my tasks in the office, Chicco's Cold Water Sterilization process do the same. No time wasted. 
- Effort saver - I am always in a rush. Just one dose of the solution in a liter of water, my work is done.
- Travel Buddy - Though I am 4-5 hours away from my kids, I still do pump and store my breastmilk stash. I can't afford to buy a new electric sterilizer and bring it from time to time during travel. This is my perfect sterilizing travel buddy.
- Be Fear Free - You won't fear on having your breastpump/feeding bottle accessories melt.

Now what are the disadvantages? Hmmmmm... None so far. I've been using it for two months now and it really effective. So mommies, do you work away from your babies; a traveler perhaps? Try Chicco's Cold Water Sterilization Solution and try its efficiency. Have a happy sterilization!!!!