LIFE is a DANCE if you take the STEPS. This is my DANCE. The story of my LIFE.

Dancing is moving to the music without stepping on anyone's toes, pretty much the same as life.

Christmas 2017

Christmas is one of the most looked forward to Holidays in our Family. It’s the time that we get to see all of our loved ones; to spend quality time with them and exchange presents.

Christmas of 2017 was a special one for us because it’s the first Christmas that we are FOUR. 🙂

We spent Christmas Eve at One Pacific Place Serviced Residences in Makati. We first stayed there during Aidan’s 8th Birthday and found the place nice, clean and spacious for a family gathering so we opted to stay there again.

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Our HOME for Christmas

We booked 5 rooms. One room had a living area and a kitchen so we stayed there on Christmas Eve. We brought food and also cooked some in the hotel.

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The Little One was sleeping quietly while we were busy preparing.

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Had to take a photo of them with the presents and the mini Christmas tree. 🙂

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And all gifts being unwrapped. 🙂

The Little One had to wake up to open her gifts! Thank you, everyone, for your presents for Aidan and Micah. They all loved it!

We went back to sleep after Noche Buena.

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1st Family Picture on Christmas Eve. 🙂 Micah was sleeping again. haha

Morning of December 25, we went to their Restaurant for the Breakfast Buffet. The buffet spread was not that big but I liked it. Not overwhelming and it had everything that we wanted.

breakfast buffet

Main Dishes. 🙂

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🙂

They had Bread Station, Fresh Salad Station, Soup Station, Juice, Coffee and Milk Station, Egg Station, Main Dish Section, Fruits Section and Kids Section (Cereals, Oatmeal, etc).

Yes, pretty much everything that you need for breakfast. 🙂

After breakfast, we took a quick rest, then the kids went swimming and then played in the Indoor Playground.

After checking out, we went home to Cavite and spent the rest of Christmas Day there.

I know it’s late but I hope you all had a great Christmas last year! 🙂

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The Little One’s First Flight

We left Manila for Iloilo on December 30. Micah was just 4 months old when she experienced her first plane ride. We spent New Year 2018 with the Family in Iloilo.

We chose a red-eye flight because I wanted her to sleep while onboard.

 

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Pardon the Face. She’s sleepy but we had o take a photo first. haha

 

 

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The Dada was trying to get her to sleep. In less than a minute, she fell asleep. haha

 

 

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With my Babies 🙂 

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Inside the Breastfeeding Station in Naia 3

 

Tips for your infant’s first flight:

  • When traveling with a companion, choose a window seat at the back part of the plane. 2 reasons – when the little one is sleeping, she won’t get disturbed by the people passing by, and, when you need to go to the lavatory, it’s just at the back of your seat. When traveling alone, seating at the back on an aisle seat is more convenient – for you and other passengers. Also, most planes have wider seats at the back. It is also convenient for us because we will be the 1st to board the plane (people won’t pass our side as they board the plane) being at the back; we will be the last to depart the plane. In short – Iwas siksikan.

 

  • Wear comfortable clothes since you will be bringing an infant with you. As much as possible, no accessories that may hurt the baby.

 

  • Have your child wear comfortable clothes too. Remember that it’s cold inside the plane, so make sure that you bring a jacket for you and your baby.

 

  • Once the plane takes off, it will irritate the baby’s ears. Have her suck a pacifier or a bottle. I am breastfeeding my baby so it’s convenient for the both of us.

 

  • Wear your baby. A Baby carrier helped us a lot in all our travels – short or long. It’s so much easier than a stroller. You can move easily and faster, and navigating the stairs won’t be a problem. If you really want to bring a stroller, opt for an umbrella type.

 

  • Take as little baby gear as possible. The lighter you travel, the easier your life is.

 

  • Don’t bring lots of diapers. Bring only enough that you can use when in plane or car. You can always buy wipes and diapers at your destination. Plus, I am sure your baby would love to try other diapers from other countries (If you are going out of the Country). 🙂

 

  • Breastfeed! Isn’t it easier to travel when you are breastfeeding? 🙂 No need to bring bottles, milk, sterilizer, bottle cleaner, and all other things you use in formula feeding.

 

  • Bring 1 small toy and that’s it. You’d be surprised that your baby would prefer to play with a water bottle instead of a real baby toy. He/she won’t see the difference.

 

  • Getting travel insurance is a MUST.

 

  • Always bring extra clothes for babies and kids. Extra plastic bag for the soiled clothes too.

 

Aidan’s first flight was a different story. It was not an easy breezy one.  I think it was easier this time because we traveled at night and I was breastfeeding. Less luggage for us since we don’t need to bring milk bottles and it’s easier for the baby to latch on me.

 

 

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Welcome to the Christian World our Princess

December 19 (Tuesday), when we celebrated Micah’s Christening. It was a weekday because we waited for my sister in law to come home from Singapore. After the Christening Ceremony, we had a simple lunch with close friends, God Parents, Family, and relatives.

Let me share with you our Suppliers and my DIYs:

INVITATION: DIY
PESO POWER: FREE

Everything is electronic now and most people rely on Social Media. So, I didn’t waste time and money to print out invites. I created my own invites and sent it on Facebook. 🙂

 

invitation

My DIY invitation. =) I took the photos too. =)

 

CHURCH: Our Lady of Sorrows Parish
PESO POWER: PhP2100 (Solo / Private Baptism)

Why we chose this church? It’s the Church where Mike’s Parents were married, it’s near to our place and it’s one of my favorite church.

Today, Catholic Churches became strict. If the Church is not your Local Parish, you would need to secure a permit from the Church (please refer to your Church for the Permit Fee) and submit it to your chosen church.

Note: Reserve the Church at least 1 month prior to secure a slot.

The Ceremony was solemn and fast. It took less than an hour. They also provided the candles, missalettes and white robe. I got the candles early so I had enough time to design it based on the motif. 🙂

 

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We are FOUR! =)

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Welcoming ur Little Princess to the Christian World

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So behave. 🙂

 

RECEPTION: Tramway Bayview Buffet in Roxas Blvd.
PESO POWER: Please refer to their Website for the most updated price.

This was the same Reception during Aidan’s christening but in a different Branch. The reason why we decided to book a buffet restaurant again is that we want a simple and intimate lunch. I don’t like parties on Christening. For me, it’s the time where we can chat with close friends, allow the baby to spend more time with the grandparents, GodParents, family, and relatives.

 

 

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Salad 🙂

 

 

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Fish =)

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Salad 🙂

 

 

 

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Buffet Set Up

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Sushi =)

 

CAKE: Sugar Party Custom Cakes
PESO POWER: Php1500

Micah’s Christening Theme is Flowers and Succulents and Motif is Pink and Gold. The cake was perfect!

It’s chocolate flavor with Italian meringue buttercream. Yummy! 🙂

 

 

SOUVENIRS: Ref Magnet (The Magnet Lab)
PESO POWER3×4: P25/pc

I thought I got the best deal online and the owner was friendly and easy to deal with. I find their Ref Magnets cheap but the quality is good.

The only downside was that it would take longer if we requested the items to be delivered (It’s almost Christmas), so my husband had to pick up the items in their office located in Tandang Sora QC.

 

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Soooo Cute 🙂

 

 

Photographer: LM Photography
PESO POWER: Please refer to the complete details below:

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Unfortunately, our favorite Photographer (Our Photographer during Aidan’s 7th Birthday) was not available. I had to look online for a replacement, and unfortunately,  we didn’t have a good experience with them.

A different Photographer arrived. The Photographer I spoke with was Ram. He was not the one I spoke with. He arrived late!  I had no time to brief him and he seems unprepared and no idea of what to do. I didn’t like the photos. 😦 Later, I knew that there is a parallel celebration and I think the person I spoke with went there instead of Micah’s Baptism. Never will I book them again, nor recommend them.

 

Baptismal Dress: White Dress
RATE: FREE

One of Micah’s Ninang sent over dresses from Riyadh. He sent 2 white dresses which I used for Micah’s Christening.

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White Dress Micah wore in the Church

 

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The dress Micah wore in the Reception.

 

 

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She’s so Cutee Patoootie on this dress. 🙂 

 

Shoes, Socks, and Headband:
RATES: Shoes: PhP70, Socks: PhP50, Headband: PhP100

headband

Sooo happy I was able to find a headband that matches the dress she wore in the Reception.

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Socks 🙂 I chose this because this is my favorite socks when I was a little girl.

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White Shoes. 🙂

 

PERSONALIZED CANDLES: DIY
PESO POWER: Candles (Included in the Church Fee), Gold Ribbon (From my DIY Stuff at home), and White Plastic Flowers (30 per pack X 2 = PhP60)

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We would like to thank everyone for celebrating this Special Day with us. Aside from the gifts, we truly appreciate your presence and love to our Little One. =) =) =)

 

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Lots of Presents! 

 

More Photos =)

 

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My Family =) 

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GodParents, Family, and Relatives

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Solis Family.

 

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My Breastfeeding Journey

I am not a breastfeeding expert. I wasn’t even able to breastfeed my eldest child longer than I would have wanted. I only breastfed him for 2 months, had to go back to work and during that time, I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge, gadgets and support groups about Breastfeeding; so I stopped. I felt guilty but am still thankful that he got my colostrum and was able to drink my liquid gold for 2 months. Better than none I guess.

For my second child, I made sure that I had the knowledge about breastfeeding. I attended workshops when I was still pregnant, read blogs of other moms, joined support groups and asked for friends advice. Yes – if you want to be successful in this journey, you have to listen to other people – whether you like it or not.

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Breastfeeding Workshop from St. Luke’s

 

 

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The Workshop was FREE. And with FREE Lunch and Snacks. 🙂 

 

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and… LOTS of Freebies! 🙂

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Gift bag from StemCord Philippines

THE START OF MY JOURNEY

Micah had Beginning Pneumonia when she was born. She had to stay in the NICU until she was well and when she had finished all of her antibiotics. It was unexpected; but during admission, I handed my Medical Notes to the doctor and made sure that they will follow. Whatever happens, i will breastfeed my baby. They should not and should never offer her formula or water after birth. I also did not bring formula milk in my Hospital bag; because I was determined to breastfeed – whatever it took.

I gave birth via Cesarean section and it took 24hours before I could move. But I had to feed my colostrum to Micah. It was painful, but I still managed to go to the NICU to advise the nurse in charge that I will feed my baby. I asked her to call me every time she sees hunger cues. It was not easy. Other Moms, are not able to stand for 3 days after the operation but I did it in hours. Because of the antibiotics and pain killer I took, I didn’t produce milk on the 1st day. Not even a drop. Still, I insisted that she latch on me because I believe that soon, my colostrum would come out. I also talked to a friend who was also breastfeeding and she offered to breastfeed Micah the following days in case I still find it really hard to travel from our room to NICU every 2 hours. I was touched and felt grateful that other Moms were willing to help me.

WE ARE FINALLY HOME

After 4 days, we were finally out of the hospital. My milk became stable, I continuously fed her and she was already gaining weight. Few days after breastfeeding, my nipples became extremely painful. I had to latch from one breast for a day to have the other breast rest and heal. It came to a point that my milk was full-blown in. I was painfully engorged, my nipples were torn apart-chapped and scabbed. But I still continued to breastfeed.

GOING BACK TO WORK

After 75 days, I had to go back to work. I pumped and stored  1 month and 2 weeks worth of milk to make sure that I had enough supply. A week before I had to go back to work, I tried giving her my expressed milk from a bottle but she wouldn’t take it. She was having nipple confusion because she was used to direct latching. It was hard for us especially for me as she kept on crying and refused to drink milk unless it was direct latch.

THE STRUGGLE NEVER STOPS

She eventually drank expressed milk from a bottle but we had another problem. Expressed milk stored in a Freezer Compartment can only stay for up to 2 weeks. But Micah didn’t like the smell and taste. I tasted it and it smelled soapy and rancid. I realized that my milk has a higher-than-average levels of enzyme lipase which overtime breaks down fat in expressed milk. And that causes cold milk to develop a soapy smell and taste. It is completely safe for babies but there are babies that are sensitive to the milk’s smell and taste – and Micah is one of them unfortunately. There is a way to avoid this but it will take so much of my time. I have to heat the milk until small bubbles form. I still have another child so I have to divide my attention to both of them. What did I do? I had to taste my expressed milk every day to determine how many days will it’s smell and taste to remain the same. I had to store it for a maximum of 3 days only.

A BREASTFEEDING MOM IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP OTHER MOMS IN NEED

Expressing milk takes time and effort and no mother wants her liquid gold to be wasted. So what did I do with the bunch of expressed milk in the freezer? I donated them. It was indeed a right time when a stranger asked for my help. Their daughter is a preemie and was in NICU and she needed breast milk. So, I gave everything to them.

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Some of the Expressed Milk i have donated. 🙂

THE DAY I RETURNED TO WORK

Two weeks after returning to work was really a struggle for us. But we are grateful that our Company offers Work from Home arrangement. I had to go to office everyday for 2 weeks to attend a training. So, it’s my husband’s turn to work from home. It’s a big help as well if your husband is supportive and hands on.

After the training, I went back to working from home for a couple of days a week. It’s a big help as I get to continue to breastfeed Micah. I also get to work in the comforts of our home and at the same time, make sure that I am able to take care our children. It’s hard to juggle tasks, but at the end of the day, it feels so rewarding to see that you are able to do everything. I want to be a full time mom (who doesn’t?). But I also need to earn money and contribute to our daily expenses. =)

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Expressing milk at work every 3 hours. 🙂

BUMPS ON THE ROAD

Breastfeeding is never easy. I have Plugged Milk Ducts every now and then. I am aware what it is, but I never thought that it could happen to me. I felt a big, hard lump that’s sore. It’s painful when I touch it and most especially when Micah’s latching on. I wasn’t able to sleep until my Ob-Gyne advised that I should take pain killer. I took Ponstan 500 and I was able to sleep. But when I woke up, the pain was still there. Even If I pump milk or had Micah latch (despite how painful it is), it won’t disappear. Also, I had a fever the following day. It’s always a struggle when you are sick because you cannot take any medication that you used to take. I am limited to Paracetamol and water therapy. But, again, it’s ok.

THE VERDICT

I’m glad I chose to breastfeed Micah. My plan is to exclusively breastfeed her until she is 2 years old. It’s always rewarding to know that I am able to provide my kids the best nutrition. It’s also a crazy feeling that my body is able to provide liquid gold that’s giving them a good immune system. Another rewarding feeling of breastfeeding is the bonding time that we have – plus I get to sleep better and longer at night.

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Glad to know that breastfeeding at the malls is so comfortable. 🙂

 

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My 2nd Trimester Journey

2nd Trimester

Just last month, I posted about my 1st Trimester Journey. I’m down to my last stretch now and I am ready to post my 2nd Trimester Journey.

At 20 weeks I was scheduled for CAS (Congenital Anomaly Scan) to check if the baby is developing normally and to check the gender as well. I am not a fan of 3d/4d and I am more keen to know that my baby is healthy and normal. CAS is a  very detailed scan that takes about 30-40 minutes. All of the baby’s organs are examined and measured too. CAS costs much than the normal 2D Ultrasound.  Good thing my OB only charged me PhP2500 for the CAS with Gender Determination. We checked the gender but she was on a breech position so the Sonologist cannot give me 100% assurance for the gender.

At  24 weeks, I had my blood tests done. It was an exhausting one because I had to undergo 8 hours of fasting and had to endure another 3-4 hours at the Laboratory for the OGGT test. It was also a bad decision to do it in the Laboratory near the house. Didn’t know that it was much expensive compared to Hi-Precision in Powerplant. And the result went out that I have high sugar level.

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I was referred to an Endocrinologist for  2nd opinion by my Ob-Gyne. The next week I went to  Makati Medical Center to see my Endocrinologist. I was told that I have Gestational Diabetes and I need to monitor my Glucose 4x a day for 2 weeks.  I am still blessed because the Diabetes Center of Makati Medical Center that time are giving away Accu-Chek Glucose Monitoring Set for FREE. You just need to buy the strips, present it to them and they will give you the Machine for FREE 🙂

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First time to check my Glucose and it went fine. 🙂

 

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Only .1 and I’m going to reach 140. 😦

I  was also  asked  to get a TSH test (for Thyroid) by my Endocrinologist.

Thyroid Test

It was painful than I expected

My energy levels are great too during my 2nd Trimester, with a bit of achiness from my lower back and legs. I also had an increase appetite but because I was monitoring my sugar 4x a day, I have to strictly follow my new diet.

It was also the first time I felt her kicks. I am always excited whenever I feel her kicks like a ninja.

At 27 weeks, before we bid goodbye to 2nd Trimester, my Sonologist confirmed that we are having a Baby Girl! 🙂  I was in awe when she said it’s 100% Baby Girl.

2nd trimester girl

What’s the Baby’s Name? The husband and I already decided to name her after Dada (Michael) and my name (Anne) as her second name. But because the name is quiet popular here in the Philippines, we changed the spelling to – Maychele Anne – Gift from God.

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A Tale of Surviving my 1st Trimester

1st trimester

Instead of complaining, (like most people do a lot), I always try to put a positive spin on everything.

I’d been wanting to write a blog about my second pregnancy but I didn’t have the time until tonight. 🙂

Pregnancy was never easy for me. Even during my first pregnancy with my eldest (Aidan), I was rushed to the hospital when I was just 32 weeks in (July 7-12, 2009) due to preterm labor; and when i was on my 36th week and 6th day of pregnancy, I was rushed for the second time to the hospital. My OB had to inject something to stop the contractions until I reached 37 weeks. I gave birth via Cesarean delivery, and it’s also one of the major reasons why we had a hard time deciding on having a second baby.

When the husband and I did decide to have a second child, it took us almost a year trying to conceive. At 32, with a regular 8-hour job, managing 2 small businesses on the side, managing my time to make sure I fulfill my duties as a wife and a mother –  were may be few of the reasons why It was hard for us to get pregnant again.

It was Friday morning of January 6, 2017, when I went to church and prayed really hard. God was so good because that same week, he answered my  prayer.

Sunday afternoon, January 8,  I decided to take a Pregnancy Test and it came up POSITIVE! 🙂

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We (Aidan, Dada and I) were so happy and excited with the good news! I was so thrilled to be pregnant again, thinking it would be easier compared to the first one.

There’s so much fun during your first trimester – getting a POSITIVE result on your pregnancy test, the FIRST ULTRASOUND, seeing and hearing your BABY’S FIRST HEARTBEAT, and most of all sharing the GOOD NEWS with your loved ones.

Mine was a MIX OF SORTS though.

I had a lot of discomfort, nausea, dizziness, severe headache everyday, indigestion, and most of all SPOTTING. I visited four (4) OB-Gyne’s (for a second-third opinion about the cause of the spotting), had several ultrasound to make sure the baby is safe, and had to take Duphaston twice a day for 2 months.

All four (4) doctors I went to, advised me to go on bed rest  to make sure that baby will be safe to avoid pre-term labor. I had to elevate my legs all the time for the first 2 months. Weird but It worked.

I was getting emotional everyday; especially due to the fact that I couldn’t take care of my son the way I used to. Mommy has to sit or lie in bed all the time, no energy to move around because I am always dizzy due to nausea. It was so hard to balance your own comfort and your family’s needs.

Yet, I am thankful that I am still blessed. I am on bed rest but I am able to Work From the Comforts of our Home (Thank you so much AMS), I have my in laws to support and help us in our daily needs and most of all, I have a loving husband who will drop anything and make us his first priority.

We are now on our 26th week, 1 more week and we’ll say hello to the final stretch of my pregnancy. We are so excited to see our new munchkin in  3 months. 🙂

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