Thursday, December 29, 2016

Baby's First Christmas

It has been a wonderful, wonderful holiday weekend. We celebrated many milestones the last couple of days - Mikey's first Christmas as well as hosting the celebration at our first home with my mom and dad. My parents live in the Philippines so I only get to spend time with them every end of the year - they're somewhat like Santa Claus, gifting us with their presence once a year.

I've been preparing for Christmas for months, especially since it will be Mikey's first. The toughest part was probably deciding what to gifts to give him since he is 3.5 months old and there's really nothing in particular that he wants (except for mommy's hugs and kisses - I'd like to believe). Though, on the other hand, I am somewhat thankful he is not old enough to beg Santa for Hatchimal, otherwise, mommy and daddy would have camped out or paid for triple the price just to see our child happy come Christmas morning.

Our smiley, little reindeer!

I usually love giving thoughtful gifts to make the recipient feel special. In Mikey's case, I only know a few things:

1. He likes milk. A lot.
2. He loves bath time.
3. Sleeping is his favorite hobby.
4. He loves staring at lights.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Tried and Tested Digital #Momhacks To Save You Money!

Everyone knows that having a baby is expensive. The diapers, formula, gear, clothes, creams, they all add up. 

Even before Mikey came along, I was already a coupon lady who gets a kick out of buying everything at a discounted price (I actually feel really sad if I have to hit that buy button without adding a code) And now that we have Mikey, I have completed my transformation to a super frugal mom, motivated by mounting bills and our sparkly, new mortgage.

My goal of saving a few dollars led me to discover the fabulous world of buying second hand items and swapping things with other fabulously frugal moms.

I have fallen in love with the following:

1. LetGo App - I first found out about this through Google. I thought that since babies grow so fast, most second hand items must be in great or barely used condition. I have purchased a glider and a 4moms Mamaroo at 50% off using this app and the conditions of those items did not disappoint.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Multiracial Is Beautiful

My husband and I have given birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is a combination of our genetic makeup. His silky skin is fair thanks to his father's Italian-American blood, and his beautiful eyes that slant up are what he got from my Asian genes.

I've always found multiracial people beautiful. The combination of more than one race to make an individual is amazing. They don't fit a cookie cutter mold and most of the time, they are striking. You immediately wonder what their background is.

I never thought I would marry out of my race but, like they say, love knows no boundaries and I ended up with my ideal man who happens to be Italian-American. I've always been curious about how our baby would look like because he is the complete opposite of me.

Genetics is indeed a fascinating thing. We created this perfect, tiny human.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Creative Way of Monitoring Your Baby's Growth

My husband came home from work one day with a gigantic bear - the infamous Costco Bear! I was more delighted to see it than my then 2-month old Mikey to be honest. However, my husband thought he was being pranked by his colleagues when he found it sitting in his office when he got back from his paternity leave.

"I mean, where will we put that?"

Well, it can double as his couch?!

10 Things I Learned in My First 3 Months of Being a Mom

I'm only a 3-month old mom but I've already acquired so much knowledge. Boy, they are right when they said that experience is the best teacher. It's been a wonderful ride so far and I am enjoying every bit of the journey. While I am no expert, I do like keeping it real so, for moms out there who are looking for a non-expert opinion on the realities of having their first kid, here are 10 things that I've learned over the last few months that I can pass on to new moms.

Meet Mikey. This is my favorite photo of him so I am sharing it, hoping it will bring a smile to your face!

1. No matter how careful you are, baby spit will eventually find its way to your jeans. And your top. Hair too. Ok, everything within 1 meter of your child.

2. If you were the kind of person who would look at your own feces after defecating before having a kid, you will find yourself obsessing more about your baby's poops. The color. The texture. The frequency. And, it will make you happy if everything matches as normal on the baby poop chart - yes, that chart exists.

            2.1 Explosive baby poops (plus bonus pee) is a rite of passage for every new mom.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Tummy Time Woes

Mikey hates tummy time and I don't blame him. I mean, if I am unable to control my body and somebody flips me over without my knowledge, I would not be a happy camper. It's much like flipping a turtle on its shell. Not fun.

Then again, my husband and I take development seriously. It breaks my heart to see him cry when he's down on his stomach but we know that it's for his own good.

I do not think anything can help improve his tummy time experience, except of course once his muscles develop and he's able to take full control of his tiny body then he probably will enjoy it but until then, we all need to make the exercise as fun as (im)possible...

My husband and I are his cheerleaders during tummy time. We try to talk to him, encourage him and cheer him on. It doesn't make it any less of a pain for him but at least he can hear his mom and dad being supportive and maybe from a psychological standpoint, that eases the pain a little... Even if he is fully aware that we are the same people who put him in his misery.

His tummy time experience actually got an upgrade when friends of ours gifted us with this ultra adorable elephant play mat from Bloomingdale's. It never changed how he feels about tummy time but, it's so cute and fluffy ---- plus, he likes using it for nap time too.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Toughest Part About Being A Mother

The toughest part about being a new mom is not the sleepless nights, the figuring things out or the explosive poops. The hardest part is the first day after maternity leave. After a year of being together (9 months in the tummy and 3 outside) I am returning to work and will be away from Mikey for hours.

My heart is broken. 

What comforts me is knowing that I am doing this for his future (and that my mom will be taking care of him the next 3 months while I am gone!) Walking away from my smiley ball of sunshine is just soooooo tough. Since I've become a mother, I have a newfound respect for all mothers. It's a tough, yet rewarding gift, and for me, it's tougher than any job I have ever had but I would not exchange it for anything else.

So, here's a shout-out to the brave moms who do what they need to do for the love of their family, whether it's deciding to stay at home, work from home or work away from home - our decisions are born out of necessity.

As a working mom who will be away from my baby longer than I wish, the best advice I've gotten is: "You're going to be more bothered by it than he will be. He is going to be fine." 

So true. I will need to remind myself that the problem is my separation anxiety and this is something that I will have to deal with on my own because Mikey is happy and fine. He is too young to realize what's happening around him and for as long as his needs are being met, he's a-ok. 

Looking back, now I know how my mom felt when all she wanted was for me to text her back what time I will be home when I was drunk and happy at some college party. I should have texted her without hesitating. Now I understand why mothers never stop worrying. It's because a woman's heart is forever going to be outside her body once she gives birth.

Photo taken right before I walked out the door on my first day back at work

Friday, December 2, 2016

An Unusual Makeup Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo Stood The Test of Labor And Delivery

I am an eyebrow freak. I can't be seen in public with unkempt eyebrows. I can go out without a lick of makeup but my eyebrows must be on fleek. If I don't get to groom them, then, I will be wearing oversized shades to protect myself from myself.

I have always been a fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills because out of all the products that I've tried, they gave the best, most natural looking brows. My love affair with the brand grew even stronger after my son was born. Why? How? Keep reading.

Mikey came out 2.5 weeks early. I was not aware that I was going to Home Depot that day and coming home with a brand, spanking new baby. When my water broke. I wasn't sure at first if it was my water or, I accidentally peed my pants. So, I did what any normal person would do and call a mom friend to ask what it was like to have their water break and compare notes.

I wasn't convinced at first. However, when it happened again, I told myself, "C'mon, you're too young to lose control over your bladder" so I called my doctor's office and they immediately told me to go to Labor and Delivery.

Labor and Delivery! This can't be happening the day before my Baby Shower. I guess that goes to show that you really can't plan life (pun intended).

So, my husband, who was on his way to a wake immediately drove back home to pick me up to go to the hospital. Thankfully, we already have our hospital bag semi-packed. I had everything and more, and, when I say more, I mean hair dyer and straightener along with a few of my key makeup items because, my baby needs to meet me at my best self.

Okay, in reality, I did not have the mind space to even think about putting makeup on while having contractions so, whatever I was wearing that day was to be the face that I will present to our firstborn. However, since I was shaking like a leaf in my hospital bed because I did not have time to dry my hair, I was thankful that my friend offered to dry it for me. In my hospital bed. Yaaass.

Nurses at Northwell Health (LIJ) have never seen anything like this. We plugged my hair dryer at my hospital bed, along with the IV fluids.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Oh My Sleeping Child!

... Ok, the Michael Learns To Rock reference really gave away my age.

This is a baby sleep post and I was trying to be witty about it.

Moving forward...

Even before I got pregnant, I knew that the biggest challenge that I had to overcome was giving away my usual 8-hour sleep-a-thon. I love to sleep. I need to sleep. I require at the very least, 5 hours straight of snooze time (and a huge cup of joe) to be a fully functioning, able-bodied, pleasant member of society. Having a baby meant that I would have to give that up completely and, being the self-aware person that I am, I knew I was going to be miserable the first few months.

I was not aware of the extent of how much I sleep I had to give up. The first few days of Michael's life, I was a mess. In fact, the day after I delivered Mikey, I was on Facetime with my father and he told me to wipe off the 2-day old smeared eyeliner off my face. Yes, I was wearing makeup when I delivered Mikey.

Like a lot of babies, Michael's body clock was not mature. Scientifically, it meant that his circadian rhythm has not fully developed. Circadian rhythm is largely influenced by external factors, for example, when we see light, our body tells us that it's day time and, when we see darkness, our body cues in sleep and releases melatonin to aid us to dream time. For babies, living in a dark womb often mess up their body clocks (or lack thereof) and, when they come out to the world, they will need to adjust for the first few months. The result? Sleep-deprived parents and caregivers.

Mikey was no different. He was more asleep in the morning and awake and hungry at night. I was waking up every 2-3 hours to feed him at night but, in the morning, he would sleep so well, probably 4 hours straight without waking up. I kept wishing for him to reverse his schedule because I would take 4 hours straight of sleep versus 2 hours at a time!

At night, since he was so active, it was hard to get him in a calm, sleepy mood. Like a lot of babies, he has little control over his muscles/reflexes that his hands would flail whenever he was awake... Making it extra difficult to put him to bed.

Mikey when awake. via GIPHY

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