Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tips and Ideas for Easter Celebration

Aside from Christmas day, Easter Sunday is another exciting holiday that kids and adults alike enjoy to celebrate. The day before Easter, I scatter colorful plastic Easter eggs filled with candies and goodies around the house that my son will excitedly hunt on Easter day. On Easter morning, we start our celebration by going to church wearing our Sunday's best. Then we take our son to a nearby bookstore for Easter Egg Hunting and Easter Story Reading activities. Afterwards, we will have lunch at our fave restaurant. Other than this usual Easter tradition, this year I am introducing Easter craft activities for my son to do. He just loves to paint and color so I'm sure this will be an exciting craft project to tackle especially so that he can appreciate the exercise already. I found a very interesting site called that not only gives great ideas for egg hunting; egg decorations; Easter crafts and more, but it also gives ideas and tips for easy and creative Easter dinner menu; ideas for easter decorations and Easter party games. I might invite some of my son's friends over for a fun craft activity and I will try the recipe on Easter cupcakes at How about you, do you have any family tradition to celebrate Easter?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals

We've been to North and South Carolina in the summer of 2005 to see my best friend and her family and also to visit my sister-in-law and family. We didn't have our son then yet. I would love to go back again so my friends and in-laws will meet our little tot. We are looking at staying in a beach home in one of the Outer Banks rentals for a great view and also to save money. It would be a great vacation experience to just sit and relax in a well-maintained home overlooking the beach.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nose Blowing

I can't count anymore how many times my son has got cold this winter. And right now he's got it again. It started over the weekend then was aggravated when we went to Boston on Monday. It was always colder in Boston, freezing and windy. When we got home he was really congested. My son hates the nose suction. I am always wrestling with him whenever I try to suction his nose. No matter how hard I try to explain to him that it won't hurt, he will still staunchly resist despite feeling uncomfortable with stuffiness.

Anyway, I've been teaching him how to blow his nose, but he's always breathing in instead of out. Here's what I read about teaching toddlers how to blow. Practice when your child is well by having him or her play at blowing over a feather or a light scrap of paper. Then when the nose gets stuffy, have your child blow directly into a tissue.


Payday Loan For Immediate Financial Needs

Despite the recent negative write-ups about payday loans, many people still find them as the last resort that can bail them out of their immediate financial trouble. is a unique site that has a large network of payday loan and cash advance lenders that may be able to help loan applicants. What it does is to find lenders for 99% of applicants and not to lend money based on applicant's current financial situation. Your loan application will be presented in a secure manner to network of payday loan lenders nationwide so you are in best position to get a loan. Payday loan is your best bet to get you through your immediate financial woes.


Wish of Going Back to Work Again

Before I had my son, I was in the middle of reviewing for the US CPA board exams to further my career. But when my son came, everything changed. My dream of a promising career took a backseat to motherhood and everything else. Being a mom is one tough job, maybe even tougher than the corporate undertaking I handled in the past. It is a job that entails 24/7 attention to details. You are on-call anytime of the day. You are not only a mother but also a wife at the same time. And you have to keep the house in order and running for both your child and husband. In the tough economic situation we are in right now, I am seriously considering going back to work again. Although it will break my heart to leave my son in the care of other people while I'm at work, it's a decision I still need to make sooner or later. I'm considering taking on part-time banking jobs for the time being so I wouldn't be away from my son for long. It will help me transition into the work force slowly but surely since I've been away from it for quite a long time. Hopefully my job hunting will produce positive results.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Planning Trips Made Easy

Traveling is one of the things that my hb and I enjoy doing. Every year we really set aside travel budget and we are normally away for at least two weeks. We have been to different places outside and within the United States. We have quite a lot of books about travel guides, and I would say they are good investments for people who love to travel. It makes travel easier to plan when you have one of these books and you can maximize your vacation time. The most recent trip we had as a couple minus our son, was in England and we enjoyed this trip tremendously. We stayed in a hotel at the very busy and exciting downtown London conveniently located across a train station. For a week we combed through different famous tourist spots; ate in well-known restaurants and pampered ourselves with lots of souvenirs. If we're not busy sight-seeing, Border bookstores were our favorite destination. Both hb and I love to read and we enjoyed the extensive selection of books at Borders. We actually took home some souvenir books and hb ordered some text books online. Check out borders jan 2009 at to find great deals not only on books but also on CD's, DVD's, magazine subscriptions and more with free shipping to store.


A Dog Is a Toddler's Best Friend

We once had a Boykin Spaniel named Laddie. Laddie was like a son to my hb and I, we referred to him as our furry son. He was a very friendly and smart dog, and everybody loved him especially the kids. My hb had him when he was still a pup and he was the center of his attention. Laddie used to sleep in his bed at night and on the couch at daytime. But when we got married, I changed the rule. I bought Laddie one of those pet beds that we put beside our bed on the floor and it took a while for Laddie to get used to using it. He was whining at night trying to get up on the bed, but we stick to the rule and he did just fine.

I'm glad that when my son came, Laddie was still alive. A dog can not only be a toddler's best friend, it can also be his best learning tool. This is true of pets in general, but especially true of dogs. From a dog, a young child can learn about animals and nature, about responsibility, about empathy, about getting along with others, about unconditional love and loyalty. A toddler can help with the care and feeding of a dog, a welcome role reversal for one who is usually on the receiving end and everyone else's caregiving. He can count on his dog to be there for him when he needs it or wants it; unlike parents, dogs are hardly ever too busy for a cuddle or a romp. And since dogs, especially young ones, like to run, jump, frisk, and frolic just as toddler do, they can join in the toddler games for which parents often lack energy or enthusiasm.

I wish our furry dog was still alive now that my son is old enough to care for him. But my son still remembers him when he looks at his old photos. They had a good time together and I'm pretty sure Laddie taught our son to have compassion for animals.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Preserving Precious Jewelries

When I was still single, I used to have a special fascination for necklaces. Necklaces were my best friends. I've got quite a few pieces of yellow gold and white gold necklaces as well as fashion jewelry ones with matching earrings. I worked in a client-oriented environment, so I really dressed-up and accessorized. Necklaces were part of my regular accessories. I wore them all the time and I felt like something was missing if I didn't have one hanging around my neck. Even when I was not working anymore, I still wore my necklaces until I've got a baby. Having a very curious baby became impossible for me to keep any neck wear in place. My son's attention was always drawn on my necklaces and he would grab them; clasp them real tight and put them in his mouth. They would almost break at most time he did that. And so for practical reason and for my peace of mind, I just stopped wearing them. But my love for necklaces and beautiful pendants still remains.

Now that my son is a little bit older and can comprehend well already, I am beginning to wear my favorite pieces again. My love for jewelry had taught me how to care and preserve them properly. Cleaning jewelries all depends on what kind they are. Diamonds, pearls and gemstones require different cleaning treatment that you usually can just do yourself. But some very precious ones should only be trusted to professional cleaners. I don't use abrasive chemicals to remove grimes on my jewelries as they will certainly damage them. I only use warm water with detergent soap to clean my diamonds to get the natural sparkle and shine back. But with my pearls I use gentle baby soap instead.

I also store my precious pieces in a big jewelry box with separate compartments and very soft lining to avoid scratching. The box also has a lock to secure the jewelries from the prying eyes and curious hands of my little tot. Oh believe me, one second I turned my back one time, he had already scooped out some of my pieces and put them in his cup of milk. One of my earrings' locks popped out and until now I haven't found it yet. So I learned my lesson and always keep my jewelry box locked.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Special Month

February is a very special month for my hb and I. Not only is it the month of love, it is also our anniversary month. We are celebrating our 7th year anniversary on Monday, February 16th. Having an anniversary close to Valentine's Day has a downside and upside to it. The downside is, I only receive one gift. But the upside though is, the gift is usually more special. I'm not sure if I will still push through with the luxury watch that I'm hoping to get this year. I feel guilty having to splurge on anything given the present economic situation. I don't even feel like going out again on an intimate dinner like we always do. I'm thinking of just making a special dinner for the two of us plus our little tot. The previous years, we had our girlfriend baby sat for us so my hb and I could go out on a date again. It's not very often that hb and I go out just the two of us, but I guess we can do without it at the moment.


My Tot's Routine Before Bedtime

The little guy in the family has dominated most of our rooms with his toys, books and little tot's stuffs. I used to have the bulk of his toys in the family room and then some in his room. But I decided to move all his toys to the family room and just leave the books and educational toys in his bedroom. I even moved his table and chairs and some art supplies to his room. This way he can concentrate on reading and learning and not get distracted with other toys. We have quiet time together and read or browse through all the books he is interested in. His potty is also in his bedroom, so he is always with a book when he's using it. I am planning to buy some lighting fixtures online that I will put close to his table and chairs because he likes doing some artwork too at night. He has this habit of going through all three areas in his room before finally retiring to bed - the book shelf; the table and chairs with all his art supplies and the toy bin with his wooden educational toys. Setting a special time and place for reading without any interruptions will develop your child's interest and love for reading.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Colic Relief on Infants and Newborns

It is common for all babies to have gas, but some babies simply have more gas. than the others. I remember when my niece, the daughter of my only sister was born, she was always crying desperately. And being a first time mom, my sister was so worried and anxious. She had a very difficult pregnancy and was on bed rest her whole term. She thought that after giving birth (by C-section) she could have some sort of relief, but not really. My niece was a colic baby, she was pretty much crying all the time because of gassiness, and it was frustrating for both mommy and daughter.

Where does gas come from and how does it get into the babies' digestive systems? There are many possible reasons for infant gassiness. As soon as a baby has his/her first drink of breast milk or formula, gas is produced in their digestive tract. Baby gas is a natural by-product of digesting lactose, proteins and other nutrients contained in breast milk or formula. Normally, gas in not a problem and causes no pain or discomfort because it is quickly and easily pushed through the digestive system. But a baby's digestive function is literally still learning to function and the muscles supporting the digestion have not developed the proper rhythm yet for moving food efficiently through the digestive tract. Gas pockets can get trapped in the upper and lower intestines that cause painful bloating and swelling in the abdomen. Baby reflux or simply the backward flow of stomach content is also common to babies. It involves regurgitation or spitting up after some feedings whether fed by bottle or breast. Spitting up is prevalent between 1 to 4 months of age and will usually resolve by 6 to 12 months.

Colic is one of the most agonizing experiences imaginable. I've seen how my niece suffered and it was very painful too for my sister to see her baby suffered not knowing what to do to ease the pain. Since I had my own son, I read through many natural remedies for colic at, like listening to soothing music/sound; watching the baby's diet; taking gripe water; having warm aromatherapy bath/massages; swaddling; doing comforting motion like rocking, walking and driving around. Parents should just practice the art of trial and error to see what will work best to help relieve their children from colic.


Asking for Trouble

It's hard to reason out to a tired toddler, you will just waste your time and energy talking without getting through him.

One Sunday we went to the 12 noon mass in our church. I know the timing was not right as it was so close to nap time but we still went anyway. I don't usually do outing close to naptime, but we didn't have a choice at that time. Anyway, my son was behaved for the first part of the celebration just sitting quietly while browsing through his books. And then he got bored, got up and wanted to walk around. Walking around quietly is just fine I guess since we were in the crying room of the church anyway. Crying room is where parishioners with young kids are encouraged to stay so as not to disrupt the celebration. But my son was also making noises stomping his feet or jumping up and down, I guess to entertain himself. The more you tell him to stop the more he'd make the motion faster and louder. Or he would lay on his stomach on a pew and swing his legs up and down, making loud noise as he dropped the tip of his shoes on the pew. Any distractions I tried were completely futile.
And when I scooped him up back to our pew, he'd scream and wiggle out.

Then the time to leave came and he didn't want to put his jacket, hat and gloves on. He was arching his back and crying desperately. So I just did it his way, I carried him and just covered him with his jacket and left. Halfway back to the house, the poor kid dozed off in his car seat, he was really tired.

Kids tell us something from their actions. They can be very sweet and cheerful cherubs one minute and transforms into an unreasonable wailing 'monster' next. Timing is really important. As much as I can avoid it, I won't take my son out to eat in a restaurant, or attend church, or do any outing close to naptime or bedtime, because it would be like calling for trouble. What is your strategy with


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Traveling with a Toddler

I remember the very first time we traveled by plane with an infant, it was not a lot of fun. Imagine an 18 hour plane ride, one-way, not to count the two stop-overs too. It was at that time when airport security was so strict. My son was only 13 months old and still in a stroller. Every time we had to check in, I had to take him out of the stroller and carry him in one arm; fold and put the stroller in the security conveyor using my other arm; remove my belt and shoes; and put them together with my carry-ons on the conveyor. After getting through I had to put everything back again, you get the picture. It was exhausting.

On the plane, my son was behaved for the some part but was very restless and crying at most, and usually during the time when everybody was sleeping. To top it all, he was having diarrhea and we had to go back and forth to the lavatory. And without exaggeration, my husband and I had cold too. We were coughing and sneezing on the plane. We got that from the Philippines due to change of weather
. Anyway, after that eventful plane ride, both my hb and I decided not to travel anytime soon, not until our son is big enough to travel and carry his own Swiss Army luggage. Nah! Actually we're planning another trip to the Philippines this year and I want to make this trip a fun one for everybody. My son is now 2 1/2 years so it wouldn't be so bad, would it? Well, I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed ;-).

Here are 13 useful tips when traveling by plane with an infant or toddler:

  1. Book early - If you can, get your tickets well in advance - this allows you to choose the flight and the seats you want.
  2. Travel at off-peak times - The less crowded a flight is, the more comfortable you will be, the better the service will be, and the less your toddler's behavior will affect other passengers.

  3. Look for non-stops or short trips - The faster you get from here to there, the better for all.
  4. Consider breaking up a long trip - On a daytime flight that is going to last 5 hours or more, a brief stopover may make the trip more tolerable. Look for a direct flight so that the stop-over doesn't require changing planes; you'll be able to leave the bulk of your luggage on board when you deplane with your toddler.
  5. Consider an extra seat - Though kids of certain age can travel for free, parents often choose to purchase a seat for them anyway. Confined to an adult's lap during takeoff, landing, and periods of air turbulence (which can be frequent on some flights), a toddler is likely to twist, turn, and petition loudly for freedom.
  6. Favor the aisle - Children love window seats - but you'll hate not having access to the aisle. So if you're traveling alone with your toddler on your lap, opt for the aisle - otherwise you're going to end up trying the patience of those you'll have to keep scrambling over in order to take your restless toddler to the lav or for a walk.
  7. Don't take meal service for granted - Airline food is getting to be lighter and lighter these days in the interest of economy, so what might have once been a meal may now be only a snack. Call ahead to find out exaclty what will be served and if special children's or toddler's meals are available.
  8. Dress for the occasion - Sunday best is not the apparel of choice for travel; dress in comfortable clothing that can accept spills and still look good when rumpled.
  9. Take advantage of curbside check-in - To avoid having to lug your luggage through a sprawling airport, check everything but valuables and the essentials (your toddler's backpack of toys, your toe bag) through the curb.
  10. Don't pre-board - Passengers with small children are generally give this option but the earlier you board, the longer you have to stay in the plane's cramped quarters. If there are two adults in your party, one can board early with the bags while the other waits with the toddler in the comparatively wide open spaces of the waiting area until the last boarding call is made.
  11. Know what to ask for - Pillows, blankets, playing cards, and often fun packs for junior travelers (make sure they're safe for your toddler's age), are all usually there for the asking.
  12. Fear for the ears - Pressurization of the cabin on takeoff and depressurization on landing is notoriously tough on little ears. If your toddler is still on a bottle or breast, sucking during takeoff and landing can help by encouraging swallowing, which helps release the pressure that builds up in the ears. If not, let your toddler drink from sippy-cup or munch on a snack that require a lot of chew.
  13. Put safety first - If your child is over 2 and/or occupying an FAA approved car seat aboard - it's safer than the seat belt alone.