Buying Baby Shoes

Mila is showing signs of being a shoe-a-holic. At 1 year old, she already knows how to pick her shoes for the day and how to wear them (or at least try to). Who could blame her? Without even realizing it, we've accumulated maybe 2 dozens pairs. Some others had been passed to other little fashionistas. Mila got more shoes than Hubs and mine combined.

She used to hate shoes and would constantly try to kick it off her feet. Her cousin Blythe was the same when he was younger and until now, he needs to be convinced before he wears his school shoes. He even walked the isle for his mother's wedding wearing slippers. At this early, I want Mila to get used to wearing shoes so I bought her her first pair of boots at 2 months old. I have her wear it everytime we go out or play dress up. She still is barefoot most of the time.

Wearing her 1st boots. She was 4months here

I've been reading that babies don't need shoes until they had been walking steadily for a few weeks at least. Even then, they are still best left barefoot. Babies need to be able to explore their whole body, including their toes. Have you seen a baby squeal in delight playing with those wiggly little toes? Yup, it will also eventually end up in their mouth. And that's part of discovering herself.  In addition, the bones on babies feet are not fully developed. If feet are constricted, it may cause developmental delay and baby may have difficulty walking. It can even cause feet to be deformed when bones do not get the chance to align correctly. 

For those reasons, I only have Mila wear shoes for short period, just so she is used to having her feet covered. I also make sure to buy the right shoes. Here's some of my tips in buying baby shoes for pre-walkers:

Recipe: Jolly Fettucine A la Carbonara

When Hubs and I started living together, I can only cook Adobo and Bistek. Those were my favorite and I really made sure I learn them for when I was staying at my own apartment during college. It was Hubs who thought me how to really cook. And I think I can do a good job now. He may not agree but I got a couple of fans already, right friends?

Hubs is a strict teacher and very hard to please when it comes to food. Until now, we fight about how I cook. I love to experiment. I usually pick recipes online and try to make it my own. If I do that to a recipe he thought me, he most likely will have strong comments about it. And I'll always feel bad and defensive What I've learned to do to avoid conflict is to cook food he does not know how to. He loves cooking more savory foods and Bicol Delicacies. That's when I started being the family "expert" for pasta. He knows how to cook them but just don't have the passion.

The most requested recipe is the Basic Tomato Basil Pasta with Longganisa Meatballs. Spicy Shrimp and Spaghetti Aglio Olio is another favorite but we don't cook it much because Yaya is allergic and I don't like having separate meals for one household. My sisters love the Tuna Carbonara. One of these days, I'd sit down and post my recipes.

For now, let me share this simple Carbonara Recipe from Jolly Foods that I will try this week:

Rain Rain Go Away

It's raining cats and dogs again. I used to love the rain. A slight drizzle gives for a cold afternoon and a good night sleep. These days, all I can think of when the heavy rain pours is how flooded it will be across the metro. Would water get inside the house again?

Habagat Maring did this to me a little more than one year ago. August 20th to be exact. Mila was just 5 days old. We had been through dozens of storms and heavy rains and it may flood outside but we've always been safe inside our apartment. It was surprising to wake up at 4am and see water coming out of our bathroom floor. It didn't take too long until it's thigh high. Hubs was still in his parental leave and Mama Grace, my mother-in-law was stayed the night to visit. They were convincing me to go and move somewhere safer. But we had no where to go. We couldn't go to my mom's place because roads are not passable even if we get lucky to get a cab, or jeep or any vehicle. My would was still fresh and the water is high enough to get it wet. Most importantly, how can Mila be safe outside? She's too small and fragile. What if I slip while carrying her? What if she catches a cold or worse?

When we had to turn the power off because water is already coming out of the power outlets, I knew it was time to go. Hubs has a friend 3 blocks away where we could stay. Those 3 blocks I had to walk seem to take forever. I put Mila on our Next9 Carrier and put another layer of blanket and covered us both with a thick jacket. I walked looking down at her making sure she's breathing. I completely forgot about my wound. When we got to the house and lay her on the bed, I couldn't help but cry. I felt sorry and helpless. Then I looked at my 5 day old baby sleeping soundly with a tiny smile on her lips, I just had to smile too. We were safe. And God had sent His Angels to protect my baby. I know Mila is a strong girl. And I need to be stronger for her.

One year since, we're back in the same apartment. Mila is on her playful mood. Her joy is so contagious. I can stop worrying about the rain and the flood that may come with it as we sing "Rain rain go away, come again another day, little Mila wants to play."

#milaOOTD: These boots are made for walking...

Mila is getting more confident walking on her own now. She is tireless. We walked a block this morning when we went outside to buy breakfast. Of course, she had to stop and say hi to all the kids we passed.

Right after she finished her cup of Taho, she couldn't stay still and just had to stretch those legs some more. Same thing after lunch. This is usually the time for our OOTD, when she is less cranky being full and freshly cleaned up.

I wanted her to wear the Zara shorts before she outgrows them. I was looking for her brown fringe shoes to pair it with. Then I noticed the leopard boots that I know are still waaaayyyy too big. Who can resist leopard prints really? I was lucky to get a few good shots before she's off again to explore the whole house.

Just starting to find her groove

She's waving goodbye and blowing kisses. Ready to walk away from the shoot. 

My favorite naughty shot

Mila is finally napping, most likely, to store energy for some more leg practice later. I too am off to sleep to store energy for work later. Sweet dreams!

Mila's First Birthday Party - Supplier Review

It's been more than a week since we celebrated Mila's 1st birthday. Planning started on April and I feel that four months still was not enough. We had to cram on a lot of stuff a few days hours before the big day (I'm a serial crammer). Let me give my excuse here: we got zero experience in party planning. My sisters and I do not celebrate our birthdays with parties. I think the last party my mom organized was for my youngest sister Paola's seventh birthday. It was a pool party at Splash Island in Binan, Laguna. Paola, is now 23.

As a newbie, I started by reading dozens of blogs and forums on kiddie parties. Pinterest became my favorite. It gave me lots of inspiration and DIY projects I want to do for the party. Smart Parenting forum is now my go to source for links to different suppliers. Here, real mommies share their first hand experience and links to their favorite suppliers. And everyone is nice enough to provide tips on organizing a party, small or big. I relied heavily on blog posts, feedback, and supplier reviews. This is when I found most of my favorite mommy bloggers now.

So to help out newbie mommies slash party planners too, I'll share my own supplier review.

#milaOOTD: Military Sunday

I should say I'm lucky to find a job that has fixed weekend offs. It allows me to make plans with Mila. Saturdays, we go to the park. Sundays, church day. At least that's the plan. I think most mothers would agree, having a strict schedule and following it is next to impossible when you have a kid.

This weekend, we're just staying home. My temperature had been spiking to 39°C since Friday. I already missed my little girl the whole Saturday since I was too sick to play with her. But I think Mila is just the medicine I need. No time to feel sick when you've got a sweetie to take care of.

Today, I'm feeling a little better and I can't resist playing dress up even if we got nowhere to go. I must say, it's getting harder to get a good picture since she started walking. Mila just can't stand still anymore. So here's our unedited #milaOOTD

posted from Bloggeroid

Trending Now: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I was at lunch earlier when I overheard a colleague on another table reading out loud a few lines from Wikipedia:
"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig's disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases."
See, this colleague is from accounting and we work in a very technical job. Hearing medical jargon on casual lunchtime conversation is unusual. These days, I really shouldn't be surprised since everyone is talking about this latest Social Media bandwagon: the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The first time I watched a video was of Mike Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (yeah, I follow him in FB). He completed the challenge and passed the ball, among others, to Bill Gates. I still wasn't curious enough until I saw Ashton Kutcher, my ultimate crush, pour a bucket of ice on himself while looking so hot.
I rarely follow trends in social media. I may look into it and if I don't feel like it works for me, then I'm not compelled to do so. The most recent ones I skipped: #100happyday, #makeuptransformation, and #flashbackfriday (I feel that #tbt is enough).

Now with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it's wonderful to see how the power of social media is put into good use. Not only is the research being funded by generous donations, it's driving awareness to the disease too. Case in point, that colleague who researched and shared with friends what ALS is. We wouldn't ever have heard of ALS until it started trending.

Having celebrities and well known personalities involved made this campaign successful. With thousands of videos uploaded, there are different versions of the challenge now. Most would complete the challenge then tag someone else. Some skip the cold and would donate instead (like Charlie Sheen and Barrack Obama). Others do both. I'm guessing most are posting their own videos to imitate idols and get trending. I feel like those who just dump the bucket are being lazy and simply using the buzz to get their 15 seconds of fame. That's just my opinion. Yet I guess there's power in numbers. Each one who joined the challenge had actually put this in trending and helped spread the awareness, which is one of it's goals.

For me, I'd do neither. Not because I don't believe the cause. I just don't want making a video if myself.
With that said, here's the screen caps of some of my favorite challengers:

An Open Letter For The Girl Who Stole My Heart (part 3 of 3)

Dear Mila Alessandra,

The past twelve months (and a little more before that) had been a great journey for me. A journey i never knew I will be taking until you came. And there's no looking back.

The years are really too short. And I feel that each day is getting shorter too. I want to spend each moment with you to play, eat, learn. But mom also needs to work and rest and take care of dad and do house chores. It breaks my heart that I only get to spend a few hours with you each day. Yet those time are also the greatest and you always got little new tricks to show me.

You love your crib now, only because you can stand for hours while watching your shows. You also started to use your rocking chair again after hating it for a few months. You can even climb on it on your own. You have mastered words from "Your Baby Can Read" and I think you are getting bored with it. You know how to trick dad into giving you his earphone. The whole house is not enough for you to explore anymore, you want to walk outside now which delights me and bothers me at the same time. Can't blame a worried, weary mom, can you? But how can I resist when you start putting on your shoes by yourself? Who ever though you that, you clever kid!

You are learning and doing new things each day, mommy can hardly keep up. But my most favorite thing you do is when you kiss me. You kiss me when you want to wake me up. You kiss me good morning when you wake up. You kiss me goodbye. And you kiss me too when you see Dad giving me a peck. You just have to join in. Lucky me! Oh, you just love giving me surprise kisses. You are sweet like that. Oh, you can be cranky too and a bit of a snub. I like that about you. You only give your smile to people you adore. I feel more special when I see your 3-toothed smile. Dad keeps saying you are unfair because you only want mom when I'm around. I'll savor these times. Soon, you may hate me just for being mom, and you will be a daddy's girl. At least I got a few years on you already.

I am just so thankful to be your mom. You keep me grounded and you make me soar high too. You are my greatest joy and exactly what I needed in my life.

Please stay smart, happy, and healthy. We both have a lot of growing up to do. Mom and Dad will always be here to guide you. And I am lucky I got you to guide me too.

Happy Birthday Babe, My Little Cupcake Princess. My Mila Alessandra!

An Open Letter For The Girl Who Stole My Heart (part 2 of 3)

Dear Mila Alessandra,

The past twelve months (and a little more before that) had been a great journey for me. A journey i never knew I will be taking until you came. And there's no looking back.

August 15, 2013: We were admitted 3am at the ER of San Juan De Dios. They rolled me in to the delivery room and I didn't have your dad with me. I did not get to kiss your dad, probably for the last time. I decided I had to be strong for the three of us. No crying for mom. At 9am, I was wheeled in to the OR. I was too hungry and tired. After a gazillion push and liters of blood, tears, and sweat, at 9:45am, I saw you, my angel. And you had the cutest, sweetest smile ever. When you start signing slumbooks (if that still exists), remember that i am your first kiss. My first and last thought before I passed out: I will work hard to be deserving if this angel.

And work I did. Motherhood is the most fulfilling job I will ever have. You pay me with love. Your kiss is worth a million. Your smile, priceless. Each milestone you have is a great milestone for my new career. Here's a few favorites:

First Selfie

First Bath:

First Doctor's Visit:

First Real Smile:

First Costume:
First Fever:
First Solid Food: Carrots
You love vegetables and fruits. Your favorite viand is sinigang. 
First Words:Bab/Bam (that's what you call me, never "mom"), Daddy, mamam (milk) at 7 months

First Steps: you had been standing and walking with guidance at 5months. Your first independent steps happened on your 10th month

First Teeth: yeah, they came late but they seem to be making up for lost time. After 10months, your first 2 lower front teeth finally bursted out.

I know this is getting to be a long list. I'm having a hard time choosing what to share to you. I even planned on taking daily pictures for your 1st year but failed. As I was going through thousands of pictures, I realized there's no need to kick myself for missing a few days. As much as each day with you is special, I will not be with you 24/7. I cannot even promise to be with you on your next milestone. But I will be there when you need an arm to hug you, an ear to listen to your worries, a voice to guide you, or just someone to be next to you when you feel that the world is against you.

To be continued...

An Open Letter For The Girl Who Stole My Heart (part 1 of 3)

Dear Mila Alessandra,

The past twelve months (and a little more before that) had been a great journey for me. A journey i never knew I will be taking until you came. And there's no looking back.

December 2012: It's Christmas Season and mom can't help but party. I was out drinking with dad and friends almost every week (i was a fun girl, believe it or not) . I didn't know you were already with us by then so I apologise if I got you drunk a little. Dad felt your presence way before I did. And by Dec 30, we finally confirmed that we will have an angel. Its needless to say the whole family was overjoyed.

Mom all dressed up to party. We didn't know you were already inside mommy's tummy. 

December is mom's birthday month. So we had to party a lot. I guess my glow was from you. 

I was home alone when I had the test. I was crying crazy the moment I saw those two lines

The  announcement we posted on Facebook and Instagram. 

March 2013: You gave me the biggest scare of my life. I thought we will loose you. Then you proved to be the strong baby that you are. That actually kicked me awake and realized that I am not the partying, working girl anymore. I am a mother who needs to focus on her little girl. Oh yeah, this was when we found out we'll be having a princess. I would be honest and will tell you I wished for a boy. I have since realized girls are a lot more fun. Remember all the times we played dress up and rallied against dad? FUN!

Let's not do this again, ever. 

July 2013: Because everyone was so excited to meet you, we decided we have to have a baby shower. That was the first of many parties mom will organize for you. You got tons of gifts. I knew you felt all the love from your Titos and Titas. Everyone wrote you a note that I'd give you when you start reading already. Mom and Dad couldn't be happier.

I bet you'd love reading these 

You were already spoiled even before you came out. 

August 2013: You were such a nice camper inside mom's tummy, you barely gave me trouble. Maybe a couple of months when I hated the smell of Basil so I couldn't cook dad's favorite pasta. A few weeks of morning sickness, but nothing mom can't handle. You were scheduled to come out August 27. Our last visit to the doctor was the 13th. She said it'll be at least one more week. It was our 38th week together.

Look how big mom's tummy was

August 14, 2013: I had been staying home for a week now. Mom had to take her leave from work early because you are getting too heavy and mom was too lazy. The whole day, I was watching a marathon of Breaking Bad (remind me that we'll watch this together when you are 18). My back started to hurt from hours of sitting with bad posture. It lasted for hours, past midnight. I took a bath, lay on the bed, took a dump, went up and down the stairs. The contraction was getting stronger and I didn't want to risk it. I called Dad at work and told him Tita Paullette and I will go to the hospital. No need to worry since I bet I will be sent home after the checkup. I was still calm and thinking twice about going. I didn't think you were ready yet since there was none of the signs I've read that signals I'm in labor: water did not break, no blood, no mind numbing pain. I was a cool potato. You were such a nice girl. Dad was too worried though and on panic mode. He was home in 5 minutes and insisted it was time to go to the ER.

To be continued...

Homework Before Toys

Hubs' cousin Jay posted a picture of her daughter doing her homework with the caption: Homework Before Toys. I couldn't help but think Boys instead of Toys. Oh, Panic Attack NOW! And to think Mila is just one. I wonder how I will react when she comes home from kinder school and tells me she has a boyfriend. It's good that I got at least 2 more years before to prepare. Yey?! Oh well.

I gotta go back and finish my own homework (more project rainBOW for m1La). But for me it's Toy(s) Before Homework. Guess what who my toy is:

Mila Doll. Wish I could dress her up crazy like this all the time. 
posted from Bloggeroid

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Meet hubby and his Junior.

Couldn't help but post this. Hubs is looking for a scarf to use later and emptied the bag of unused cold weather stuff - hats, scarves, bonnets. So Mila couldn't resist and wants to help out. Turned out, she just found something for daddy twinning. Still can't stop laughing.


posted from Bloggeroid

Things Not On Baby Books

My sisters said that parenting seem easier now. There are a lot of resources to help out any new mom. From books, websites, support groups, workshops, and pretty much Google anything. I agree to some extent. I helped took care of much younger cousins. I can compare how it is with Mila now and I thing I have it - - easy-- less hard.

Within the first week, I found out that all I thought I knew is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons I just learned as I go. For one, I never knew babies there are at least a dozen lullabies to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. And that all moms are song writers. Ha. Here's another 20 Things They Forgot to Put In The Baby Books

I can't help but laugh reading this specially #15. I never buy new clothes for myself unless Hubs or my sisters force me to. I still don't. But I find a P700 Baby Zara pants a good buy. I even have H&M and Zara apps installed on my phone. Not good.

There will still be tons more Mom needs to know. I'm just happy grow and learn from my little one.


posted from Bloggeroid

Orange Sunday

Hubs had been sick for a few days now so we decided we'll skip church this week. That means no Sunday Dress Up for Mila. Then Dad woke us up from our afternoon nap. He said he needed to finish something at work and we could wait up for him at Starbucks. So up we go for 3 reasons: 1. Mila gets to wear one of her outfits, 2. We get to practice walking, and 3. I can have Mila try her first Starbucks drink, the banana raspberry frap.

Almost all stores i Hub's building were closed including Starbucks so item 3 was a fail. McDonald's was our only option where we can sit down and wait for Dad. And what else would we do for the next 60 minutes? Take pictures!

Hope you too had enough fun this weekend to last you through the week.

Mom: Who wants to go out?  Mila: ME! ME! 

I'm ready to go mom! 
Holding her first ever Happy Meal Toy: Doraemon Stamper 
Hi everybody! 
It's an Orange Sunday for us both


posted from Bloggeroid

Calm Before The.. RainBOW

Lazy day for us today. We have a big week next week. I think this is the best time to recharge before all the hustle and bustle of our first big party.

It's actually too hard for me to just sit tight and relax. The stress and anxiety is creeping up on me. So I'm here, lying next to Mila and Hubs, typing away on my phone. I'm thinking, I need to do this and that, contact Mr. Photographer, get an update on the Photo Layout. Oh, the list goes on.

Then I happen to look up and here's my view:

They are too much alike. Dad busy watching NBA on his phone, Mila watching her nursery rhymes. She holds 'her own' phone like a pro. I didn't want Mila to be hooked on tech too early. Yet she sees us with our phone all the time, how can she not imitate us. I guess, everything should come in moderation. So it's time for me to put my phone down and go play with this princess. Forget about the party. I will enjoy this last week that I can really call her a baby.


posted from Bloggeroid