The incredible twos…

You have heard the line — “terrible twos”. They associate this with children at the age of two. It describes how rowdy and difficult it is to care for a two year old. Their energies are just bursting and they are more independent. At two years old, toddlers are more expressive of their feelings, especially when they protest and whine. This is also the age of understanding the word “NO” and use it alot.

As Joshua turned 2 years old his understanding and ability to communicate amazes me. I love this age! He is able to verbalize what he wants and what he does not want; what he enjoys and what he dislikes. Joshua can tell us what hurts and if he experienced something bad. Unlike when he was younger and where we would try to guess how things were. He is learning to reason and to explain things. At this age, he also realizes when he is wrong and sometimes he has difficulty saying sorry.

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Of course, since he is also more independent, he often wants to try things for himself. He wants to put his own milk in his bottle. He wants to get his own snacks. He wants to set the rules on play. Since he also communicates more, there are also lots of negotiation going on. It can be amusing and sometimes annoying. Hahaha!

There are those days where he gets lazy to talk and decides to cry his way to what he wants. Or throws a fit because we said “no”. Then my patience gets tested and I demand from him a different behavior. I have to remind myself, Joshua is just 2 years old. He is just a baby and I forget that at times.

So far, there are more incredible moments than terrible ones. It’s been such a great opportunity to watch this boy grow. I’m learning to also relax and really exercise patience. All thanks to my incredible 2 year old!

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I’m a proud breastfeeding Mom

One of my personal advocacy is breastfeeding. On my firstborn, I breastfed him for a year and 5 months. It would have been longer if I did not get pregnant with my second child.

I got inspired with many of my mommy friends who had the money and capability of buying formula milk but chose to breastfeed their babes instead. I told myself that if I was going to have a child, I would definitely follow their footsteps and breastfeed. When I did get pregnant with my eldest son, I was a 35 year old mother-to-be and clueless on breastfeeding. I asked my twin sister Monique to get me booked on a breastfeeding class. We got the one in New Manila at the Medela house. Boy, it was an awesome eye opener for newbie moms like me!

Colostrum is the first milk that a mother produces. This is a clear syrup-like fluid that is filled with super antibodies and vitamins that protect our babies from diseases caused by bacterias and viruses. I also learned recently that colostrum is now sought after by cancer and auto-immune patients to strengthen their bodies and extend their life. No one can replicate colostrum and only lactating moms can give this to their babies. Isn’t it amazing that God has made women capable of producing this natural protection and food for their own offsprings?

I have seen how strong breastfed babies are. Just with my own son… I have observed how quickly he recovers from the flu. Even with fever he continues to play and run around like he isn’t sick. When Joshua got amoebiasis he continued to be energetic and playful.

I also love bonding with my babies. Breastfeeding is both nourishing and nurturing. Did you know that God has made women release a hormone called “oxytocin” when she experiences a milk let-down? This hormone is a chemical released in the brain that makes the mother and child experience a feeling of relaxation and the feeling of being “in-love”. This makes a mother have lots of love vibes and a natural nurturing behavior.

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Breastfed 1 Day old Anna

When I started to wean Joshua did I realize how much formula milk costs. The grocery shelves published prices from P600-P1200 per can. Wow, its really true that you can save so much money if a mother decides to breastfeed. If you compute for a year (or 52 weeks), a family can spend about P200,000 a year just on milk! Truly God enables a mother to provide what her baby needs without spending so much.

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Stocking breast milk in the fridge

I must admit, the first time I breastfed I was frustrated and discouraged. My milk did not come out till the 3rd-5th day. My sister helped me by providing her breastmilk in those days. My husband was getting worried that our son was not getting enough nourishment. I had to pray, relax, and believe that God will increase my supply. I also continously latched, and pumped after breastfeeding, ate oatmeal for breakfast and ate malunggay soup and took natalac tablets. As sure as the sun rises in the morning, so did the supply of my milk increase and became sufficient for my baby. I made a serious decision to commit to breastfeed.

Also what helped me is the facebook group of Breastfeeding Pinays. Mothers and Lactation Consultants give free advise and encouragement to one’s breastfeeding journey. You can follow this group and learn alot from here. My advise is to get as much support and not give up. This is one of the best gift a mother can give to their child.

Even the bible mentions about breastfeeding. Here is one account on Jesus.

Luke 11:27 GNB “When Jesus had said this, a woman spoke up from the crowd and said to him, “How happy is the woman who bore you and nursed you!”

I encourage moms to try what God designed naturally for us to do.

Getting to know you..

The faithful day of the birth of our second child has arrived. It meant being away from home for 3 days and being confined in the hospital. I requested to enter the hospital on the same day of delivery because I wanted to spend as much time with my 2 year old son. He won’t be allowed to visit the hospital and 3 days is long. My heart goes out to him because he has been feeling the blues and acting very needy and moody. It’s unsaid, but Joshua did feel anxious about the new baby.

God was with us as we delivered my daughter Anna via cesarean section. All my blood donors failed the conditions required by the hospital’s blood bank. Yet, the Lord in His sufficiency guided my doctors and allowed me to recover without any need of blood transfusion. Also, my gestational diabetes was non-existent as well. I had normal blood sugar and blood pressure. I was very healthy to deliver the baby. God is to be praised. Even my internal organs when my OB saw it during the operation said that they looked much better than 2 years ago. There is healing happening in my body and I give God the glory.

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Anna our daughter is such a blessing. She weighed 7.2 lbs and 51 cm long. She latches really well and breastfeeds a lot. She also sleeps a lot and is a very easy going baby.

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My twin sister was so kind to baby sit Joshua while I was gone. Her kids were a big help in making Joshua busy. However, Joshua still had trouble adjusting to no mommy at night. He had night terrors and would wake more often and cry looking for me. Daddy Steve also doubled his time and effort to keep Joshua bonded with him.

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As I was recovering in the hospital, I kept praying that I’d recover fast and that the adjustment of Joshua will be a breeze. I asked God for grace especially because I’m going to be breastfeeding the little one and still have enough attention for my toddler child. I was getting anxious in the hospital and looked forward to going home.

On the third day, I finally got discharged. Though I had a cesarean operation, God gave me strength to move around. I looked forward for the meeting of Joshua and Anna.

When we got home, Joshua was sleeping. I got all emotional that I had to kiss and hug my baby boy. He went through an emotional roller coaster in the past days.

When he woke up to meet Anna for the first time, he looked at her and kissed her. He was awkward with me, but not with Anna. He played all day in the room where Anna and I was. When I breastfed Anna, he took the other side and tried to do the same. When Anna cried he would be so concerned and he would look and try to kiss her hoping she would be pacified. Joshua is a sweet and loving brother. I feel so blessed!

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I’m enjoying this blessed week of family. Joshua and Anna are getting to know each other more each day. Daddy is really taking the extra mile to be Joshua’s best friend. Anna is such a sweet angel because she is so easy that I get to spend time with Joshua as well… Now the awkwardness is gone! Truly prayer holds the family together.

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Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ GNB)”

He can tell…

The last few days before giving birth to our baby girl, our son Joshua has become so clingy. He has been asking for more time with me. He asks for milk so just he can lie down with me on his bed at his request. He wants me to watch his every move whether he swims, plays, bathes…

On my 9 month of pregnancy, I found it difficult to carry Joshua and this gets him so upset. If I can’t attend to what he wants, he cries wildly. He has been having tantrums every single day for the last 4 days before my due date.

It’s such a time too that I’m getting contractions and having the “Blood Show” (this is a sign that at any time I can get into labor and deliver the baby.) I have to stay put and rest as much as I can because when the baby comes, sleep will be oblivious.

Bottomline is, I think Joshua knows that the time is very near for the birth of his sister. He must be anxious of the unknown… To share his world with another sibling is a whole new thing and he does not know what to expect. He is expressing this out in his current needy behavior. But in all honesty, it’s stripping off my patience.

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We flew in my sister, her husband, and their kids to be with us. Joshua will have some distractions when his cousins arrive. I pray that having them around will soften the situation… I need to let things be and allow my son to process this new reality. I know he will embrace it and will be a loving older brother.

Gestational diabetes inspired cooking

I was so busy with many activities in November that I really became quite laid back on my pregnancy. By the time I took my gestational blood sugar test, I’m one month to go to my planned delivery date. And to my surprise, I failed the test. I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

At first, I was upset. Because December is a feasting month with lots of Christmas parties. I pitied myself and thought of all the sugar-filled food I will miss out on… Brazos de Mercedes, leche flans, puto bumbong, ice creams, chocolates…

I also learned that a healthy diet in a 9″ plate would be half vegetables, a quarter on meat and a quarter on carbs. Also, no cheating can be done because I now have a blood sugar tester and I need to prick my finger either before meals or after. I had to keep my blood sugar level at 95 or below before meals and 130 or below 2 hours after a meal.

Then suddenly encouragement from family and friends poured in with suggestions, recipes, and I started researching dishes for myself. Never would I think, I’d be preparing food for myself everyday. But I have to say, I am so enjoying it… I have been cooking not only for me, but for the rest of the family!

Here are a few of my favorites!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0722.jpgPork Loin salad with yogurt dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0762.jpgPaleo Broccoli with bacon grapes and celery on lemon mayo dressing! Yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0796.jpg okra salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0817.jpgRoasted Vegetable Salad with olive oil balsamic vinaigrette! This is an awesome surprise because it tastes so good!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0799.jpgChicken pita with apple, celery, onions on mayo mustard dressing. What a filling treat!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0805.jpg Vegetable overload with bacon on 3 cheese quiche! Cooked on turbo only and it was yum!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2ca/46462652/files/2015/01/img_0922.jpg Sugarless rolled oat cookies with banana, apple, raisins, and sugar free chocolates!

I don’t know, but what turned out to be bad news, God turned out for good! My hubby has been requesting and asking what healthy dish I’ll be cooking. He rarely requests that from me! But now, he is interested with my cooking and encourages me. I cannot explain what’s stirring in me… But I’m inspired to cook! God is helping me see a different perspective. Lemons can be turned into yummy lemonade, as they say.