Day 320: Breast Crawl (Go, Baby!)

The other day, I met a really nice lady named Sarah. Sarah is in town for a couple of days visiting her daughter who is an intern here in Manila. Now, it just so happens that Sarah is a breastfeeding consultant. For a pregnant lady such as myself, this meeting was a date with destiny.

Sarah gave me a lot of literature on breastfeeding, but the most striking one for me was on something called the Breast Crawl. Paraphrasing in all my newbie mom glory, it’s when a newborn is placed on the mother’s chest right after he or she is born and allowed to find the breast without being rushed or assisted. This procedure is recommended by the WHO, UNICEF, and WABA.

My husband and I watched a video on the Breast Crawl last night, and I was left weeping like nothing else. You can’t help but cheer for the baby as she finds her way to the breast, her little legs and arms purposely propelling her forward. It was amazing. Like Chariots of Fire times 10. When the baby finally latches on, you will feel her triumph. The baby from the video was so wide-eyed and precious, I am just beside myself with anticipation for my own baby’s arrival.

After seeing how miraculous the process was, I am utterly convinced that this is something I would like to do when I give birth.


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Day 299: Parents Dealing with Parents


When I was younger, one of the events I looked forward to the most was opening gifts from “Santa” on Christmas Eve. As part of the tradition, my parents always told me that naughty kids received coal in their Christmas stocking instead of a present. It was a story that that was meant to tip the scales towards good behavior for the rest of the year.

I never really took it seriously. When my cousins and I played to together, I was the one who cried; I was not the one who would make others cry. The coal thing was irrelevant, until I was around five,  when I did get a piece of coal from Santa.

There were still presents, but that coal stood out like a mark of shame.  The most vivid part of that memory was the embarrassment of having to pull out my hand from that stocking, gripping a crumbling black lump.

Years later, when the whole Santa thing has been explained, I asked my parents what I did to make them put coal in my stocking. They said that I really didn’t do anything wrong. They just wanted to motivate me to be better.

This story turned out to be one of the funnier stories of my childhood. However, I can’t say I would pass on this tradition to my own kids.


Now that I’m older and expecting my own kid, I find myself disagreeing with a lot of things that my parents say, especially when it comes to advice on parenting and my career.  My parents are the most wonderful parents I know, but the truth is, I want to do things my own way.

It’s a strange thing, this new dynamics. As kids we think of our parents as infallible. As teens, they become strangers then ideally, friends. As an adult, I’m realizing more and more than they are just like me, struggling to do their best. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this realization turns me into a gentler, better child (because no matter how old you are and how different you turn out, your parents are still your parents). Hopefully, my kids will return the favor and forgive me for my own parenting mistakes.


Day 386: Lucas Maasen & Sons

How wonderful is this project by Lucas Maasen? He employed his sons – a nine-year old and seven-year old twins – to paint the furniture built in his factory. They even had a contract stating that the kids will be paid a euro for each furniture they painted.

(Don’t worry, Massen complied with Dutch child labor laws. The kids only worked for three hours a week.)




Day 339: Cool Parent

The probability of me turning out to be the cool parent is non-existent. That realization became pretty clear to me once found myself literally tearing up at the thought of my child going off to his or her first party. Unless my husband intervenes, I foresee that my kid will have a hard time asking for permission to go out.

My parents never had a problem with partying. In fact, they were a teenager’s dream. They let me attend concerts, overnights, and parties during school nights. My dad ordered a rum and coke for me when I was in second year high school. He even got me a VIP card at some club at the same time. They epitomized cool parenting.

In hindsight, they operated under the logic of supervised rebellion. I have to say that it worked. Drugs, alcohol, and the wild lifestyle never appealed to me. I never really got in trouble. Honestly, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who loves rules more than I do.

That being said, I’m not sure if I can muster the same courage my parents exhibited. I can totally see myself as the parent who will be told by my kid that I can head home since the party will end late, but I will insist that it is fine — then I will wait in a parked car, in a dark alley, waiting for my kid to be ready to go home.

My husband is amused whenever I tell him this because he says I have no right to be strict in this aspect since I myself liked to go out. I always retort, “Exactly. I have the right because I went out. I know what goes on.”

What about you, will you let your kids party? How lenient/strict should a parent be?


Day 234: Pregnancy Test FAQ

After several tests, the home pregnancy test and I are now friends. I find that we would have gotten to know each other better a lot  more quickly if the package contained more useful information.

How about a more useful, non-scientific FAQ, for starters?*

The package says I can use a cup for my urine when I take the test. I don’t have paper cups and using an actual cup would be gross. Any alternatives?

Use the the foil packaging that the pregnancy test stick comes in. It’s convenient, disposable, and has the added benefit of being sterile.

What’s the first thing I should do when taking a test?

Check the expiration date of the test. You won’t get accurate results if it’s expired.

What’s the second?

Read the instructions carefully. You would be surprised how different brands have different methods of use.

I don’t feel like peeing. What should I do?

Drink warm water. Juice also works. For some reason, I find that cold water just refreshes me. It doesn’t really make me want to pee.

There’s a super faint line. What does that mean?

It could mean that the test is expired. It could also mean that the pregnancy is too early for the test to detect fully. Take another test one or two days later.

How many tests can I take before I start looking like a crazy person?

Four is a good number.

*Again, this is a non-scientific, non-medical, non-research based list. This is purely based on my personal experience. If you think you’re pregnant, congratulations! Now go see a doctor.