Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bumps and Bruises

     Marion is at that stage where she can move around quite fast, but still needs help to walk and keep steady. She's also at that stage where she's starting to enjoy climbing over everything. She can be quite fearless. Inevitably, she's had some bumps and bruises. Okay, I admit, some of those could have been avoided. (Sorry! ;-p)

     Under my watch, she's:
a) bumped her face on her piano (Ouch!) 
b) fell off the bed and landed on my slippers (Because I turned my back to her to go on FB. Waaah! Bad mommy!), and
c) fell off the bed again (Because I turned my back to her to check email. She didn't cry.)

     I don't think the second time she fell of the bed was really a fall. See, I've been teaching her to go down from the bed the way I saw my mom teach Joseph. Instead of going head first from the edge of the bed, I turn her around so she's feet first and then she creeps backwards. And, tadah!, she's on the floor. (She always has a very proud smile when she gets off the bed/chair that way.) So anyway, that second time, I heard a thump and when I turned to look, she was seated on the floor facing the bed. I think she just creeped backwards too fast or something and wasn't able to nail her landing. ;p

     She's also bumped her cheek on her toys (after she attempts to step and climb over them) and most recently her lip after crawling around in her Lolo's room.

Here's Marion today. Can you see the bruise on her right cheek below her eye?

First aid for bumps and bruises:

     Yaya Me-anne: Warm compress because cold compress makes the bruise darker. (Huh? Is there some truth to this?)

     Dr. Pia texted me, "Ice pack on bump as often as possible for first 6 hours." (Yeah, I texted Dr. Pia over something this minor. ;-p) My text to her was really to ask:
     a) whether it's bad that she keeps bumping herself/her head. She said it's harmless. I just had to ask because when I was younger, every time we bump our heads or if someone touched/hit our head, we'd tap our chins with the back of our hand (to push our brains back up??) so we won't get dull and stupid. ;-p
     b) when I should be concerned: She said, when she'd lost consciousness, vomitted >3times, very sleepy most of the time and not moving an arm or leg. (Okay, I think those are pretty obvious signs of something major. ;p)

     My first aid book: On making a cold compress: 1) Wet & wring a towel, 2) Put ice in a plastic bag, 3) Wrap ice in towel and 4) Apply to injured area.
     "Always seek medical attention for: a) scalp bruises in babies & small children, as there is a possibility of underlying skull fracture, b) bruises with severe pain on movement, suggesting a possible underlying fracture, c) a black eye (bruise around the eye socket), d) straddle injuries, with bruising to the things and genital area (the bruise can become quite large, compressing the bladder outlet and making it difficult for the child to urinate), and d) children who appear to bruise easily or excessively after a minor injury"

Recipes for Homemade Cleaners

     I did my "research" on this a long time ago. And I didn't keep track of my sources (internet, some books). I remember getting a bit obsessed about this and trying to get it right. So when I look at my notes, I trust it. There are tons of "recipes" on the internet. I chose the ones with ingredients that I could easily get.

** For Dusting
          160 drops (or 8 ml) of essential oil (I use orange)
          5-1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
          2 cups vinegar
          1 gallon hot water
          (Shake well!)

** Bathroom Cleaner
          1 cup vinegar
          1 Tbsp borax
          4 to 6 ml of tea tree essential oil
          1 gallon water

     Also Bathroom Cleaner or All-purpose Cleaner
          8 tsp borax
          4 tsp washing soda
          1 cup vinegar
          4 tsp castile soap
          1 gallon water

     Alternative Toilet Bowl Cleaner
          1/4 cup of Messy Bessy Eucalyptus All Purpose Scrub
          1 gallon warm water

** Kitchen Cleaner
          1 cup baking soda
          2 cups vinegar
          3 ml of essential oil (I use orange)
          1 gallon water

** Drain Cleaner
          1 cup borax, down the drain
          2 cups boiling water

          1/4 cup baking soda
          then 1/2 cup vinegar
          cover for 15 minutes
          then boiling water down the drain

** Room Air Freshener or Bed Linen Spray
          1 Liter water (or 1/2 Liter water and 1/2 Liter vodka; to keep scent longer)
          17 to 22 ml of essential oil (Lavender/calm or Peppermint/mental alertness)
     Among the other things I use are a long wooden chopstick for mixing, a funnel. Some plastic syringes and droppers. Spray bottles and clean empty gallons.


** For Essential oils:
         1.) Giga-
         2.) Essens- 09164759988

** For borax and washing soda
          Alysons Chemicals
          1425 G. Araneta Avenue
          Quezon City
          (02) 712-2266
     (Call to inquire. They sell by the kilo. They might not know washing soda as washing soda so ask for sodium carbonate.)

** For castile soap
          Healthy Options for Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap
     (I'm sure other local soaps are okay.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cold and Fever


I rarely get sick. But I've not been feeling too good for a week now. Upset about some things. Muscle ache. Not sleeping well. Not taking my regular vitamins. All culminating to this-- really bad sore throat and a cold. Booo. :-(

I'm taking an extra dose of Vitamin C now. Plus Berocca. Drinking lots of water. Will be drinking more tea also. Rocky likes to take Difflam. I had one, but didn't like the way it numbed my tongue. I will try not to take Neozep just yet because I don't want to decrease my breastmilk supply even more. I've never used the nebulizer but maybe I'll use it tonight. I want to shake this off asap. Ever since I was a kid, we'd get massages every time we got sick. I've called for a massage this morning. I think I'll have another one tonight.

What medicines do you take when you get sick?

***** ***** ***** *****

I attended a lecture at the Institute for Steiner's Ideas in Practice (ISIP) last month.

These are some of my notes:

Pathogenesis asks "What makes people ill?". It is disease centered. It treats the disease by removing, repairing, replacing, blocking, killing and dealing with the physical body.

Salutogenesis asks "What makes people healthy?" It is health centered. It works to strengthen the person, detoxify, strengthen weak organs, restore balance and for lifestyle moderation. Among its treatment choice are: chemical/synthetic, herbal, homeopathic, anthroposophic, food based medicine and lifestyle changes.

It is not easy for me to agree with some of Steiner's ideas (on medicine and on education)which I've read up on and which were discussed during the lecture. But I know for sure that the way we are treating illnesses now is not really the best way and that we need to explore other ways on how to be healthy.


Gwyneth Paltrow's healthy lifestyle website ( featured this product- Taste No. 5 Umami Paste:

And my first reaction was to say, This better not be MSG in paste form. I'm a bit wary when I hear the word "umami" because of the way certain groups/shows/celebrity moms like to make it synonymous to MSG, and also MSG as the same as glutamate. I don't believe these are interchangeable.

I don't know what they teach kids these days. But I learned in grade school that the different tastes are sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Later on, I learned that specific areas of our tongue are more receptive to certain tastes. (There's a diagram here.) And now that knowledge has been updated. There is a fifth basic taste-- umami.

Umami or "savoriness" was discovered way back in 1908 by a Japanese scientist. While sugar is to sweet and acid is to sour, glutamate is to umami. Among the umami-rich food are: seaweed, bonito flakes, beef, tomatoes, mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Worcestershire sauce and Marmite (Marmite? really?) are also rich in umami. So is breastmilk! :-)

So is MSG umami and is it healthy? MSG's been used as a flavor enhancer for decades. However, I cannot follow the logic behind discussions of umami (as a taste) and glutamate (as a natural substance) that lead up to the conclusion that MSG is healthy. I don't get it and I am not convinced.

This is why MSG is bad for your health:
"Glutamate is naturally present as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It job is to regulate the nervous system and in proper quantities, it is needed for normal brain and organ function. The great concern among health experts is that the consumption of MSG overstimulates brain cells and glutamate receptors throughout the body. Food manufacturers argue that MSG goes through the same metabolic process as glutamates from food and therefore is harmless. The difference is that the glutamate naturally occurring in foods are bound to proteins which allows for slow digestion. MSG glutamates are unbound and are able to quickly spike blood levels with glutamate. When blood levels of glutamate are high, it can overstimulate brain neurons which eventually lead to psychological and physical problems."

Although MSG is classified as a "generally recognized as safe", it's been linked to adverse reactions such as headaches, numbness, heart palpitations, nausea and chest pain. I can tell if I've had too much MSG. Instant headache. Although studies showing a direct link are lacking, I'd rather not have MSG added to my meals.

I already get enough MSG from canned foods, seasonings, junk food and most other stuff I eat. Check the label. It's usually there. And if it's not there, it's probably there under another name like "autolyzed yeast extract," "sodium caseinate," "maltodextrin," "hydrolyzed lecithin,".   

Taste No. 5 is supposed to be made from tomatoes, anchovies, porcini mushrooms, black olives, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt. If it's really just that I'm willing to try it out. I just don't know how to get it yet. (Not yet available on Amazon. ;p) Here's a taste test of Taste No. 5 vs MSG.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mondays for Marion: More videos from Cebu


     Listening to the grandfather clock:

     Walking around


     Playing with Dean and Joseph 

     Watching Mama Mia with Guama, Guakong and Diku Joseph

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mondays for Marion: When I was a younger

Sunday mass was always at the Jesuit Retreat House.
Here's Marion at the JRH yesterday.

Today, I went to Freedom Park, Carbon to look for some supplies. I didn't find what I was looking for but I saw a carang (rattan walker, Php150) and couldn't resist getting her one. Here's Marion road testing it. :-D

Here's a short video (I'll take better ones tomorrow.)

And I remembered my mom used to get us the wings made of feathers (Php180) at the Freedom Park. My sisters, cousin and I used to wear them for Flores de Mayo. I asked around for it and someone had to go deep into the market for me to get one. Here's Marion with her feathery wings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What scares you?

     Thunder makes Marion nervous. She was on the floor playing with her toys. I was keeping an eye on her from a few feet away. *thunder!* She stopped then looked at me with a worried look. I smiled and said, Thunder! She carried on. Another rumbling thunder. She looked at me and whimpered. I smiled again and said, That was thunder! She began to attempt to stand and climb on her toys. I moved closer, hug's length away, to make sure she doesn't fall and bump herself to hard. *Thunder!* She jumped and clung to me while looking out the window. I gave her a quick hug. It's okay, Marion, it's just thunder.

     Do we have an innate fear of thunder? I'm surprised that the sound of thunder bothers Marion. The thunder tonight wasn't really that loud. The noise of the helicopter flying overhead is usually louder and that doesn't scare her.

     According to this website, the top ten phobias are:
1. Dentist-- I know somebody who's afraid of dentists (Hint: His name starts with the letter "R".). I'm not scared of dentists despite all the teeth I've had pulled out, injections and all other contraptions placed to fix my teeth. Although I can't empathize with others' fear of dentists, I acknowledge the fact that many are actually scared of them. I'll do as my mom did with Joseph so Marion won't be afraid of dentists-- regular trips to the dentist even if it was just to play around, spray water in mouth or something.
2. Dog-- I think I don't usually admit it, but I'm scared of dogs. I never turn my back towards dogs because I always imagine them biting me on the shins (for smaller dogs) or butt (for bigger dogs).
3. Frightful Flight-- I haven't had a scary experience on a plane so I don't feel unsafe in one.
4. Thunder & Lightning-- After Ondoy, rain is more scary.
5. The Dark-- Who likes to be in the dark anyway?
6. Harrowing Heights-- Just walking around the top floor of malls make me nervous.
7. Other People (Includes Public Speaking)-- Everyone should trying appearing in court. For the thrill of it. Haha.
8. Scary Spaces-- I know someone who doesn't like elevators (especially elevators in India).
9. Creepy Crawlies (Spider)-- How about lizards? Flying cockroaches?
10. Slithering Snakes-- Hissssss!

     And according to R. Schachter & C. McCauley, among the most common fears are: public speaking, making mistakes, rejection, disapproval, open wounds, injections, being alone, etc. And kids will have separation anxiety, stranger anxiety, noises, falling, animals, etc.

     I do not want my child to grow up afraid. I am sure she will experience more fear as she grows older, but Rocky and I will help her outgrow and overcome it.

     Tips on how to deal with children's fears: respect his/her feelings, talk about it, don't be overprotective, don't overreact, support, reassure and comfort. And, Dr. Sears' has 7 ways to help your child handle fear. (He mostly deals with fear of monsters and other fearful characters/persons.)

***** ***** ***** *****
Thunder, thunder, thundercats, ho!

Doing my bit


     I am a most reluctant government employee. But, here I am.

The workhorse bag has been dusted and pulled out of retirement.
(So much for being a retired attorney. ;p)

This is my view.
(From where I stand, there's a lot of clean-up to be done.)

We all have our reasons for doing what we do. This is mine.

(I'm still figuring out a balance because they are the main reason I get out of bed.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mondays for Marion- Marion knows her books and piano (and Dada)


     Marion continues to amaze. It seems like she's learning things faster these days. I love watching her discover and learn new things. She's very receptive, so we're making the most out of it (haha) and trying to teach her new tricks. ;p

     We're trying to get her to do the flying kiss, but she's not picked up on it yet. Sometimes she'll do make a "papapap" sound/motion with her lips (the kiss) while tapping some other part of her body (like her ears). Or she'll watch us do the flying kiss then put her thumb in her mouth. Not quite there yet.

     (My plan: As soon as she masters the flying kiss, I'll teach her the "Hand salute" trick. I think this is a Cebuano thing. I'll teach her "Hand salute (hand to forehead), kuot lubot (hand to butt), pagsimhot (hand to nose), bahu'g utot (make stinky smell face)." Haha.)

     These days, Marion will tap her chest when you ask her "Where's Marion?". And she looks to her bookshelf when you say "books" and to her piano when you say "piano". She also knows a bunch of other stuff like "window" (part of her morning routine is pulling the string to open the blinds), "walker" and "potty".

     If you recall, Rocky's pretty makulit. After nagging (haha) her for two days, Marion's learned to tap him when you ask her "Where's Dada?"

     I'm inggit. I think I'll put in more effort into teaching her to call me "Mama". I've heard her say "Mama" a few times when she's trying to, um, get to her milk. I don't think that really counts. ;p

     Here's another video of Marion swimming. :-) She used to cough once or twice after going underwater, but she doesn't do that anymore.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wooden Toys


     When it comes to wooden toys, Melissa & Doug and Plan Toys come to mind. I think they're the more popular brands and they have lots of toys to choose from. When I'm in Greenbelt, I'm always drawn to the Boikido wooden toys. But yikes, the price tag on wooden toys can be pretty shocking (unless of course you go to Divisoria where I saw lots and lots of wooden toys as well) so I usually just look and not buy.

     However, the big draw of wooden toys is freedom from batteries. Argh, I wasn't prepared for how many batteries Marion's toys need! So I try to pick the cheapest, durable and educational wooden toys for Marion (and her future sibling/s). These are two of the places I've checked out.

1. Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc.
  I go to their stall at the Ground Level, The Alley, Market Market. (It's near Robee Stickers). Their main office is at 175 Aida Street, Marick Subd., Cainta where everything is Php10.00 cheaper. They provide vocational training, employment and other services for Persons with Disabilities. It feels to spend on their products and support their advocacy. :-)

2. Keywest Internationale Sales
     They have an online store on multiply (click on the link above). But you could go to their warehouse also to pick out the stuff you want and get at least a 10% discount (at most around 20% discount). The address is 37D Baler St., San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. Tel. Nos. 3766466 (Irene) and 3518951 (Visi).
     Keywest supplies other stores like Rustans and National Bookstore. They carry brands from China such as Benho  and Hongji. I saw a certificate at the warehouse stating that Benho is the maker of popular brands such as Melissa & Doug (that explains why some are very similar to Melissa&Doug). I actually also emailed the Chinese companies asking about their products and both replied that they pass EN 71 (the European standart of toy safety) and ISO requirements. So, okay. ;-p

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday for Marion: One year ago--

(This post is a week late)

August 30, 2009
In amniotic fluid

August 31, 2010
In chlorinated water

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A whack in the head

I just felt God whacking me in the head.
With this post from Chuvaness.

Latest Special Medjugorje Message, September 2, 2010 - Our Lady's apparitions to Mirjana
“Dear children, I am beside you because I desire to help you to overcome trials, which this time of purification puts before you. My children, one of those is not to forgive and not to ask for forgiveness. Every sin offends Love and distances you from it – and Love is my Son. Therefore, my children, if you desire to walk with me towards the peace of God’s love, you must learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Thank you. ” (end quote)

I can't tell you all the stuff I've been going through this past month, only that I am taking this message to heart and will try my best to follow.

"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
—Carrie Fischer in Esquire, January 2002

***** ***** *****
Lots of forgiving and asking for forgiveness to do.
Plus getting rid of resentment.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Trying to focus and be more productive

     I've been flitting, fluttering, forgetting.


My mom called to tell me I needed to fax a copy of Marion's birth certificate to the travel agent and to wait for her text message with the agent's fax number. I said ok. I check on Marion, wash my face, brush my teeth, talk to the cook, get in the car, drive out to attend a party with Marion, get stuck in traffic, check my phone, see my mom's text message with the fax number. 

Put broccoli in the steamer, went up to check Marion's food in the freezer, decided to print some food labels, remembered that I had "buy printer ink" in my to-do list for today, put on shoes, grabbed car keys, went out to buy ink, came home, fed Marion, played with Marion, checked email, remembered the broccoli. 

Boiled some chickpeas, went to check on Marion's food in the freezer, decided to make some food labels, forgot about the chickpeas, worked on some letters, remembered the chickpeas, ran down to the kitchen to find the chickpeas ready to be mashed (our cook watched it for me).

     I am trying to do too many things at the same time. Multi-tasking is making me lose focus and less productive. It is a given that sometimes (most of the time) there are just too many things that need to get done. And, sure, I usually check off enough stuff on my to-do list, but there's got to be a better and less stressful way than how I went about today.

     Instead of multi-tasking, I'm going to chunk better. Rather than do a number of things at the same time, I'll just focus on one task for a certain amount of time before switching or moving on to other things.

     So, if I'm cooking I will not do anything but cook. Another part of the day will be set aside for errands. Time with Marion is not just "down" time from all the other things I'm doing, but time particularly set aside for her so I can focus on being with her.

     Because a woman's work is never done, we need to manage our time really well. Tips from this busy mom on time management include:
     1. Relax
     2. Start your day with a prayer
     3. Set goals, prioritize and tackle one thing at a time
     4. Use a list
     5. Always put people before things and projects.
     6. Be flexible and trust God.
And I agree that a "firm yet realistic schedule" and "planning and following a daily rhythm as well as putting God first" helps us to be more efficient.

     Some things I'd like to add:
          a.) Delegate and learn to say no.
          b.) Breathe.
          c.)  Get enough sleep.
          d.) Eat well, drink enough.


Friday, September 03, 2010




     That's how I feel.

I know I have to breathe. Trouble is, I don't think I'm doing it correctly. 

So I did a bit of googling. And found anxiety breathing techniques here.
          Summary: Inhale for 4 seconds - Hold for 7 seconds - Exhale for 8 seconds - Pause briefly - Repeat.

                    Calms your mind
                    Tones your nervous system
                    Regulates your breathing
                   Balances your emotions

I took some yoga classes before and remember a breathing exercise which I really liked. I don't know what it's called, but it's inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other. I would rather ask my friends who do yoga to teach me how to breathe properly, but in the mean time I found a link to yoga breathing techniques.

Is this something I could do while driving the car?