Brushing Can Be Fun

When it comes to oral hygiene, it is so easy to assume we are doing enough, only to find out later on that the habits we’ve developed are not really the best ones.

I wanted to share with you some of the best oral care tips and facts from our dentist, Dr. Bu Buenazedacruz of Buenazeda Dental Clinic (I personally think he’s one of the best– I even fell asleep when I had a procedure done– and I was nine months pregnant that time!).

TRUTH

[ ] Bacteria and acid start to destroy our teeth 30 minutes after eating or drinking flavored drinks.

[ ] Fluoride treatment twice a year can strengthen your child’s teeth.

[ ] Dental sealants are used to seal the deep grooves found on the pre-molar and molar teeth to prevent dental caries (decay).

[ ] Oral bacteria + acid + sugar = cavity

[ ] Brushing only cleans 70 percent of our teeth, while flossing cleans the remaining 30. Everyone needs to floss– including kids.

TECHNIQUE

[ ] Kids should be trained to brush their teeth in small circles because they lack dexterity to do the adult and best way which is to brush away from the gum line.

[ ] Train kids to brush at least two minutes and make sure they brush all their teeth surfaces.

[ ] Our teeth have five surfaces: front, back, chewing surface and the two sides in between.

[ ] The right amount of toothpaste to be used about the size of a pea.

[ ] Your kid can’t floss by themselves, you have to do it for them until they can do it on their own.

TIPS

[ ] You can clean toddler’s teeth while they are sleeping (with moistened gauze or small amount of fluoride free toothpaste). The goal is for them to get used to brushing so they won’t get bothered by it, but instead would look forward to it as part of their daily routine.

[ ] Train kids to use FB before sleeping (No, not Facebook— floss and brush).

[ ] The best way for kids to have a good oral hygiene is by following parents’ example.

[ ] Train also your house help regarding oral health and disciplines because they might be spending more time with your kids than you do.

[ ] It is best to check your kids teeth after they brush. Parents must learn to identify if their kids have removed the dirt from their teeth. If it still dirty, send them back for another round.

[ ] Kids can start to visit the dentist starting two years old. It is important to get the child familiarized with the clinic first.

TRICKS

[ ] Finding the right flavor of toothpaste can make your child motivated for brushing.

[ ] First dental appointment should never be traumatic. Hopefully your kids’ first dental visit is not due to tooth ache.

[ ] Motivation is key– you don’t have to nag kids into doing things that are FUN for them.

In line with these tips and tricks, I wanted to let you know about Pepsodent’s Brushing Adventure campaign. The goal of the campaign is to encourage more kids to view brushing as a fun experience rather than a chore.

We just started using these stickers with the girls. They love stickers, so this is probably one of the best ways to motivate them to brush their teeth consistently, and without having to be reminded again and again.

pepsodent brushing adventure campaign thammiesy.com

Aside from stickers, Pepsodent has come up with a brushing song. This is a fresh break from the usual “This is the way….” tune we sing!

Oh, and finally, there are fun stuff for you to download for your kids, too! :) Simply visit their Facebook page to find puzzles, games, and activities your kids can enjoy. :)

Happy brushing! :)

 

Building Better Relationships with Your Helpers

Last Saturday, I attended a session on building better relationships with our helpers. I think most of us really do want to have better relationships with our helpers, not only for our convenience or sanity, but also for the peace of the entire household.

I grew up with a nanny. From the time I was born, and up until now, that nanny is still serving our family in the province. One of my greatest wishes is to be able to find a nanny that’s as loyal, competent, and loving as her.

For those of you who have followed this blog since its birth, you would know that I actually found two very good helpers during the early years of our marriage. Those two were with us for a number of years already, and were one with us in looking forward to moving to a smaller, more manageable place to live in back then. Unfortunately, one of them became a single mom and had to leave to take care of her baby, and the other one got sick and passed away.

And so, the wish still remains as such. I do have helpers now that I am happy with, but I have yet to see how it goes with them. :)

I will be sharing with you some of the main points I learned. But before I do that, I would like to share with you some of the practices that I’ve been doing over the years– what have worked for me, at least (If I were to share all the mistakes I’ve done, this post would probably end up too long! hehe).

Be on the same page with them.

Notice I didn’t just say “get them on the same page with you”. I wish it were as easy as just laying down all the rules and handing them your policies and all, but it isn’t. I used to get so frustrated at why our helpers never seemed to be able to follow through with my instructions. But after asking about their backgrounds, I realized that most of the time, it wasn’t really about them wanting to disobey as it was about them just having a different orientation, and them growing up with a totally different value system.

One simple example I could think of is when they would always keep the left-overs out of the refrigerator for a long time, even if I’ve told them so many times about “how bacteria multiplies at blah blah temperature and therefore blah blah blah…”  I was getting frustrated at why they never seemed to get it until I asked them about this. I then found out that it was really because one, most of them do NOT have refrigerators at home, and two, most of them have not had to deal with leftovers. A lot of times, they would have nothing left.

Being on the same page with them entails the following:

1. We learn their background.

– This includes family background, values, educational background, aspirations, etc.

2. We share our values.

– This, however, is not a one-time “I get it now” thing. We would have to share this over and over again.

– Before we tell them the tasks we want them to do, we make it a point to emphasize what we value in our family, and how those tasks lead to creating an environment at home for those values to be achieved.

3. We set expectations.

– We set expectations, both theirs and ours.

– Lay down the basic structure and routines we have at home.

– We set the rules we expect them to follow.

4. We set priorities.

– If we can get overwhelmed with all that we have to accomplish, imagine how it is for them…

– We set priorities not only in terms of tasks to be achieved, but here we also clarify whose priority each task/area is.

5. We give feedback.

– They have to know how they are progressing. Now in all honesty, this is where I am weak. I am very proactive when it comes to the first four things. In fact, I think sometimes when I repeat WHY I ask them to do something or explain WHY I want things done a certain way, they might think I sound like a broken record already (but I don’t mind). Okay, back to this weakness of mine. Since I admit I do not like confrontation, we have opted to have regular “staff meetings” at home, wherein we discuss the things that they are doing well, AND the things that need improvement. So far, this has given me an avenue to confront them without them having to feel defensive (well, at least I wish they really do feel that they don’t have to get defensive).

Now on to Coach Pia’s session. Here’s my MAIN take home:

GIVE EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK.

Giving feedback is not enough. Giving effective feedback is what counts.

And here are the main action points for me. Here are some keys to giving effective feedback:

1. Communicate clearly.

– For me, this applies to my tone and facial expression. If something is really important to me, I cannot make it sound like a request.  Our helpers need to be able to tell the difference between what is just something that is nice to have at home (want), versus what we really think is essential for our home (need).

– HOW we say things can make all the difference.

2. Clarify expectations.

– It is best to do this one-on-one, in private.

– Again, communicating clearly comes in here.

3. Work towards competence.

– Since it is almost always a given that they come from different background with different habits and different values, we cannot expect them to get it right away.

– Always DIRECT first…then SUPPORT…then DELEGATE.

 

There you have it! :)

What about you, what are your best practices with your helpers? :)

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Before I end this post, let me share with you some bits of information about our sponsors who made this learning session possible, as our way of saying thank you. :)

 

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Marca Pina! Honestly, I tried buying other local brands of “Queso de Bola” before, but I ended up disappointed. Since then, I always got Marca Pina each time. Did you know that these are imported from Holland? And you can always be assured that you are buying a fresh batch since they are sold out every year! 

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Tonkita cleaning products by Arix Philippines…

Tonkita is a complete range of tools and accessories for cleaning and taking care of all domestic spaces, designed for ease of use. Their materials are 100% recyclable. I was actually surprised that the prices are really reasonable, considering the quality and durability. To know more about their products, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ArixPhilippines.

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Gustare Kitchen 

You have to try their Black Pancit and Crack Pie! The Black Pancit is actually sotanghon soaked in squid ink, then mixed with crushed chicharon…the kamias you see there isn’t just for garnish, it really goes well with the pancit and…..just try it. :) Check out their Facebook page  (and order from them!) .

 ….I realized I was so engrossed in the discussion I wasn’t able to take a single photo of Coach Pia or of the group once we started!

Take Your Child to Work

What I love about homeschooling is that I can take my kids with me anywhere I go, anytime I want to. Whenever I need to go somewhere for work and I am allowed to bring one child with me, I can always do so, and the kids actually consider it a date and a special moment with me.

I didn’t realize how big of an impact these “take your kid to work” pseudo-dates made until recently, when I took Mika with me to an event by Electrolux. I went there to support of our friend Janice Villanueva, founder of Mommy Mundo, and one of the digital brand ambassadors of Electrolux.

The event was all about celebrating our passions. They named the campaign “Wear Your Passion,” with the premise that a woman’s wardrobe actually reflects her many passions and roles in life. (Side note: At the time of the launch of this campaign, Electrolux was already busy receiving, washing, and distributing clean clothes to the survivors of the earthquake in Bohol and the more recent Typhoon Yolanda.)

I didn’t really explain all this to Mika. She was actually just there, taking photos (and eating a lot of marble potatoes!). I don’t even remember mentioning the title of the campaign to her, nor do I remember even telling her about Electrolux.

Up to this day, however, each time– and I say this with no exaggeration– each time we see a billboard, a print ad, or an appliance with “Electrolux” written on it, Mika’s face starts to beam, and she always says with excitement “Look, mom! OUR event! It’s Electrolux Wear Your Passion! It’s our event! It’s our event!”

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Here are some of the photos that Mika took (some were really blurred, because her hands were sticky and she touched the camera lens!)….and here’s Mika eating her potatoes. :)

 

“OUR event” — I really like the sound of this. It reminds me that what can seem so ordinary for us can actually be so special for our kids. It reminds me that the small things we do to involve our kids really do leave an imprint in their hearts. It reminds me that the what or where doesn’t really matter to our kids as much as the who they do things with.

“Look, mom! It’s OUR event!”

….May it be, mom-friends, that our children will always be able to say this about the activities we do. :)

When in Need…

For the past several months, our family has been praying for a printer with a scanner.

When our last printer finally conked out after we moved houses, Dennis bought a new one, but without a scanner. I was thankful, of course, and it has served us well, but being a homeschooling family, a printer that doubled as a scanner would be very useful, especially since I have two students, and a lot of the books that I want to use for both of them are colored.

If I had all the budget in the world, the ideal way is to get two copies of all the books I use– one for each of them. But I’m just being realistic, and the sustainable thing for me has been to just get one copy, then demand that they use pencils in answering their books. This way, I can erase their answers before the start of the next school year, and the younger child can re-use the books.

This was a perfect plan, until I realized that my second daughter is pretty madiskarte. I was so impressed by how quickly she understood all the language lessons and how quickly she was able to answer all the math problems…. until one day, when she finally told me her “technique”. Apparently, there was an “invisible answer” that she just had to trace– and she got the right answers, without even having to think!

There goes my perfect tipid plan.

So yeah, this is why we have been praying for a printer with a scanner. Now when I say that we have been praying for it, I don’t mean to say that we’ve been seriously praying for it. I mean, if we didn’t get one, we’re still happy. Our homeschooling life still goes on (though getting one would be really nice). But it was one of those “Oh, Lord, it would really be nice if you gave us the budget for a printer with a scanner. Please– can we have one?”  kinds of prayers— very simple and casual, yet still, filled with faith.

In fact, because we had no budget for another printer, and because we were in faith that God would provide us with one, we began to pray another prayer: “Lord, if you want us to give away this new printer we have, just let us know who you want us to give this to.”  By doing this, we wanted to exercise our faith, at the same time teach the kids that whenever we are in need, we should choose to sow a seed (I love how this rhymes!).

We know that there would always be a need– major needs, as well as trivial ones. Even in this small matter as believing God for a printer with a scanner, we wanted to teach the kids to wait on the Lord with the right heart and right mindset.

I am sharing all this because a few weeks ago, God actually surprised us with a brand new HP printer…. WITH A SCANNER. :)

I attended one of the BetterMe sessions that the Mommy Mundo SoMoms had over brunch at Cafe 1771 (good food, by the way, as always!). Coach Pia Acevedo of the OneCore group gave a talk on building our children’s self-esteem, and the “culminating” activity to apply what we learned was to make some sort of a scrapbook page of our take-home lesson from the session (the pictures and the scrapbook pages were all printed from HP printers of course!).

Honestly speaking, I am aware that being the safe, conscientious person that I am, my output was not as artistic as I wanted it to be. I am not good with time-pressured activities! We were given 15 minutes to finish the entire task, and on a normal day, it would already take me that much time just to choose pictures and prints!

Why am I being so critical of my work? Because I want to tell you that I believe with all my heart it was really just God who made it possible for me to win in that activity, and to be able to bring home the prize— yes, the much-desired HP printer with scanner (emphasis on the scanner again! hehe).

Allow me to share my work here, anyway, will you? :)

Incidentally, the picture they chose to print out among the choices I gave them was the first picture that Isaiah had with the girls upon his homecoming from the hospital. Using this as inspiration, I chose to make the theme of my scrapbook page “I Am Home”. Here’s what I wrote, in relation to building our children’s self-esteem:

“Home is where I am loved. 

Home is where I am accepted.

Home is where I am forgiven.

Home is where I am significant.

Home is were I am secure.

I am home.”

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That yellow thing on the upper right hand corner was my attempt to make a house origami, by the way. Hehe :)

I really do believe  that the most essential aspect of building up our children is to provide them with a home where they know they are loved, accepted, forgiven, significant, and secure. The key factor of building them up is the home. :)

Okay, back to my printer WITH SCANNER story. I just wanted to encourage you with this these thoughts:

1. Our Heavenly Father knows what you need….and what you want.

2. He can give you what you need…..and even what you want!

3. God is not moved by our need. He is moved by our faith.

4. Even if it seems trivial, ask God anyway. He is concerned with every detail of our lives!

5. When in need, sow a seed.

…On good soil.

…Then wait and see how God would cause it to grow! :)

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If you wish to know more about HP and their line of products and printers, head over to their Facebook page or visit their  website.

Structure vs Culture

Ever since we moved into this house we are now living in, I’ve been trying to get the family back to a predictable, more structured routine. For the past few months, this has been my goal: Structure.

Have a structure for homeschooling.

Have a structure for housekeeping.

Have a structure for scheduling.

Have a structure for menu planning.

Structure, structure, and more structure.

Now, I am not about to say this structure thing is bad, or has been bad for us. It’s really been needed, given the recent changes and major transitions that all of us have gone through.  It’s been needed, and it’s been good for us to try to achieve this.

Structure keeps us sane.

Structure gives us stability.

Structure makes things more predictable for everyone (again, I go back to the issue of our sanity).

Yes, structure is good.

But we must not confuse setting structure with creating culture. We must be careful that in our attempts at setting structure, we do not neglect (or worse, go against) the very reason why we want to achieve structure in the first place– to be able to live out the culture we want at home. Sometimes in our effort to be able to do things right and set things properly, we allow anxiety, stress, and pressure to creep in, thinking that they are necessary ingredients to push everyone and get them involved and on board with our plans.

Then we go back– why do we want to have structure again??

Right.

Sanity. Stability. Predictability.

Why again??

Right.

To have less stress. More joy. More fun.

To be more relaxed.

And we go back again– then why are we STRESSING over having that structure??

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Isn’t it so easy to lose focus?

Remember: The goal is to create culture. 

Joy. Love. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Patience. Kindness. Graciousness. 

Create culture.

The structure is just a tool to create the culture we want for our homes.

It’s not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Check: Are You Suffering from Iron-Deficiency?

As moms, it is almost second-nature for us to look after the health and well-being of the members of our family. I am hoping this is not true for you, but I find that a lot of the moms I talk to (myself included) tend to put their own well-being last on the list.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a talk by UST OB-Gyn department chairman, Dr. Corazon Gamilla. I agree with one of the things she said: “As a woman ages, she also faces greater demands. In order to cope, she needs to pay attention to her health.”

Did you get that, ladies?

We need to pay attention to our health.

As women with so many hats to wear, it is important for us to evaluate the state of our health, and to address our needs accordingly.

One of the more common health issues that concerns us women is iron deficiency. Iron is a vital mineral that carries oxygen throughout the body. It is also a plays a very important part in many bodily functions, being a major component of enzyme reactions in our tissues. When the body lacks iron, the functions of our organs are greatly affected. Basically, if we want to stay healthy and function optimally, we cannot ignore iron deficiency. (I am preaching to myself here since I’ve had a very low hemoglobin count ever since…..forever!)

Here are the most common signs of anemia:

  • Pallor (pale appearance)
  • Lack of concentration
  • Easy fatiguability/tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches/dizziness (vertigo)

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • hair loss
  • twitches
  • brittle/grooved nails
  • impaired immune function
  • restless leg syndrome (characterized by odd, uncomfortable sensations)
  • pagophagia (compulsive consumption of iced drinks)

Looking at all these symptoms, I realized that most of the health problems I’ve had over the years were really due to the lack of iron in my body. I must confess I was never keen on taking anything to supplement my iron since I always associated it with aftertastes that increased my morning sickness during pregnancy and to increased difficulty in bowel movement.

Just recently, I’ve discovered Sangobion– an iron supplement that not only helps restore iron reserves, but also contains vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Copper Sulfate, and Manganese Sulfate. In addition, Sangobion is more easily absorbed by the body and has a less metallic aftertaste (which I was complaining about, remember?). It also contains Sorbitol, a known anti-constipating agent (again, one of my apprehensions with the usual iron supplements).

sangobion iron supplements thammiesy.com

If you suspect that you are suffering from iron deficiency, do consult with your doctor.  Ask about iron supplements and other measures you could take to help with your iron reserves. In any case, it is also good to boost your iron and over-all health with the proper food.

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Iron-rich sources include red meat, egg yolks, legumes, lentils, and green leafy vegetables.

For more information on Sangobion, visit www.sangobion.ph.

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photo: www.femininex.com

 

 

Ten Tips for Sensitive Skin

I never considered my skin to be sensitive. I never had to be particular about brands of makeup and skincare products.

Not until after I gave birth, that is.

I don’t know if it’s hormonal, or if it’s because I’m getting older (I sure hope it’s the former!). For some reason, I am now prone to having rashes all of a sudden. What I thought to be normal hormonal breakouts were actually allergic responses to shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and other skincare and cosmetic products that had hints of fragrances.

Because of this recent realization, I have had to choose brands more carefully. From hair care to facial wash, to moisturizers, and makeup, I now have to make sure they are mild on the skin. My most recent discoveries are as follows:

  • Shampoo- Gugo shampoo! 
  • Conditioner- No problem here are long as I use brand that do not have strong scents, and as long as I don’t apply too much.
  • Facial wash- Physiogel Cleanser
  • Facial Moisturizer- Physiogel Cream
  • Lotion- Physiogel Lotion
  • Makeup remover- Physiogel Cleanser
  • Powder- Estee Lauder Double-Wear Stay-in-place Powder 

Thankfully, my derma-friend said the eye area does not react the way the rest of our facial skin does, so it’s not as sensitive. :)

For those of you who also have sensitive skin, here are some tips:

  1. Be sure to check the labels of your products! Are they hypoallergenic? Non-comedogenic? Fragrance-free?
  2. Find a foundation that has few chemicals and preservatives in them. Hint: The shorter the ingredient list, the better.
  3. Find foundation and moisturizers that have an SPF between 15 to 30 for added skin protection.
  4. Foundations that are silicone-based and in powder form are best because they don’t irritate skin and don’t clog pores.
  5. If your skin tends to turn red and flaky, or often stings, go for mineral makeup.
  6. Check to see that your makeup is free from fragrances and dyes.
  7. Sensitive skin can be rosy. When choosing a blush, pick one that is closest to your natural skin tone. (Powder blush is easiest to use and stays on longer.)
  8. Use a brush to apply your makeup— not your hands!
  9. Make sure your brush is clean! (I am so guilty of this. Laziness often gets in the way of a clean brush and clear skin!)
  10. Always. Remove. Your. Makeup.

 

Finally, don’t fret. :)

You are beautiful— sensitive skin and all. :)

 

physiogel best skincare products thammiesy.com

Physiogel is formulated with the Derma Membrane Structure Technology, which basically means that it moisturizes by mimicking the natural lipid composition of our skin. It resembles the natural building blocks of the skin so it effectively helps repair the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss (Skin is kept hydrated for up to three days, even with washing!).

For more information on Physiogel and its products, visit www.physiogel.ph or www.facebook.com/PhysiogelPH

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

With the desire to help make feeding a pleasant experience for moms and their babies alike, Philips Avent continues to improve their products by partnering with those who understand a mother and child’s needs best— mommies and their children, of course!

Last week, Philips Avent held a very informative session for its Trusted Moms. I would gladly share my notes with you here, as I know you, too, would appreciate the things that were discussed about developing healthy eating habits in our children.

Most of my notes are from the presentation given by Miss Ruby Frane, a licensed nutritionist.

Before anything else, here’s a tidbit that I hope would encourage you to really go for breastfeeding:

Exclusive breastfeeding decreases the odds of preference for specific food preparation methods by 78%, food neophobia by 75%, and food rejection by 81%.

That was a side note. Okay, now let’s move on.

developing healthy eating habits ruby frane thammiesy.com

Here are parent characteristics that predispose our children to feeding difficulties. As you read through the bullet points, try to assess yourself. Do you have any of the following characteristics?

  • Over-active or too stimulating
  • Under-active or not engaging
  • Chaotic or disorganized
  • Rigid or over-controlling
  • Over-concerned about child’s food selection or weight
  • Has a particular agenda for growth

Let us expound on this.

Here are four parenting styles in the context of feeding. It is important for us to honestly evaluate our feeding style, for it greatly determines our children’s responses and eating behaviors.

1. CONTROLLING

Do you…

  • Try to control your child’s eating?
  • Pressure your child to eat?
  • Bribe your child to eat with rewards?
  • Ignore your child’s hunger signals?

If we try to control our children and their eating habits too much, they would most likely  adjust calories poorly, eat fewer vegetables and fruits, and have more chances of being underweight or overweight.

2. NEGLIGENT

Do you….

  • Give up your feeding responsibilities?
  • Set no limits?
  • Ignore your child’s hunger signals or emotional and physical needs?

Negligence could increase our children’s chances of being overweight.

3. INDULGENT

Do you…

  • Set no limits?
  • Feed your child whatever he wants, whenever he wants, wherever he wants?
  • Make special dishes for your child just because he refuses what is already on the table?
  • Ignore your child’s hunger signals?

Failing to set limits for our children increases their chances of being overweight, and increases the likelihood that our children would eat diets lower in nutritional value except for fat.

4. RESPONSIVE

Do you…

  • Guide your child’s eating?
  • Set limits with the 3 W’s— what, when, and where he eats?
  • Model eating and talk about food in a positive way?
  • Respond to your child’s hunger signals?

As we learn to respond better to our children’s nutritional needs, they are more likely to eat more fruit, vegetable, and dairy products, and eat less junk. In effect, we protect them from becoming overweight or undernourished.

There you have it– the four feeding styles. Honestly now, which one do you practice? :)

Of course, we all want to become more and more responsive to our children– and not just in the area of feeding. For most of us, it is really the lack of proper knowledge that keeps us from practicing the right style. It is never too late to improve (or change) though, so take heart. :)

If you are currently encountering some feeding difficulties with your child, do read on….

Feeding difficulty case number one: “My child is so picky!”

Here are some things that you could do:

  • Offer only foods that your child accepts without protest.
  • Eat new foods in the presence of your child without offering any; provide a taste at your child’s request and stay neutral about his/her reaction to the food.
  • Avoid confict and prevent your child from becoming anxious by making your child’s limited diet a non-issue.

Here are things that you should NOT do:

  • If a food causes your child to spit it out, gag, or vomit, do not offer this food again, but continue with preferred foods.
  • Do not force your child to eat refused foods by keeping him/her at the table until finished, and do not punish him/her for not eating certain foods.

Feeding difficulty case number one: “My child has really poor appetite, often apathetic and/or withdrawn.” 

Please consider the following steps:

  • Investigate and observe the relationship between the child and the caregiver. The child will respond to a warm, caring, and experienced feeder.
  • Identify and address the factors that may be contributing to your child’s behavior.
  • If malnutrition is evident, use oral nutritional supplements as advised by your doctor.

Please do NOT ignore this kind of behavior.

Finally, here are some basic feeding guidelines:

1. Maintain appropriate parent-child boundaries. This means that YOU decide WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE your child eats.Your child determines how much is eaten.

2. Avoid distractions during mealtime. (A personal guideline for us is no gadgets– TV, phones, tablets/ipads during mealtime)

3. Feed to encourage your child’s appetite. Avoid giving juice, milk, or junk food between meals.

4. Adopt a neutral attitude towards eating.

5. Limit mealtime duration. Feeding should last not longer than 30-35 minutes.

This is a guideline. In our home, I find that a normal duration for us is about an hour. I have two little girls…does that explain anything? :) (In case you still don’t get it, here’s a clue: yakety-yak, blah-blah-blah, chat-chat-chat, talk-talk-talk!)

6. Serve age-appropriate foods. A reasonable serving would be the approximate size of your child’s fist.

7. Systematically introduce novel foods into your child’s diet.

8. Encourage independent feeding.

9. Tolerate age-appropriate mess.

…And because I am one who feels it is easier to remember things if they are in multiples of five (or three’s!), let me add a another one to make it ten.

10. Relax.

Mealtimes can be one of the best bonding experiences for you and your child. It is up to you to make it as such. :)

philips avent feeding products thammiesy.com

I love these feeding products from Philips Avent!

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My favorite features here: This spoon bends–making it easier for our young kids, and this lunch box has a suction underneath (in addition to its air-tight cover and “yehey-it’s-already-included-here spoon”)– making it easier for us!

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We had our session at the newly-reinvented Spaces at Babyland (along Shaw Blvd.).

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Spaces at Babyland has a play area for the kids. :)

Wow….Thank you for staying with me up until this point! :) 

To know more about Philips Avent and their products, go to www.facebook.com/PhilipsAventPH and follow them on Twitter @PhilipsAventPH.

If you are looking for a venue to hold an intimate party or seminar with kids in mind, check out Spaces at Babyland. Their address is 548 Facilities Center, Shaw Blvd., 1500 Mandaluyong City. Check out www.facebook.com/babylandstore.

Corelle’s Newest Baby

Hello mom-friends! :) Take a look at Corelle’s newest collection coming out this month! :)

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Gaaah!!! So cute!! :)

I grew up using Corelle, and I really am a believer of their products! I have not yet tried any brand that equals their quality. In fact, I went to visit my sister-in-law a few weeks back and was very pleased to see her serving us dinner using the Corelle set my mom passed on to me when I came to Manila for college (which we’ve used since I was a kid), and which I later used during the first year of our marriage. (In case you were wondering, I gave them away since I got new Corelle sets as wedding gifts.) That was a senti moment for me. :)

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Imagine…these are more than a decade old. Much, much more! :) Really worth it!

Anyway…..how I wish I could have these new designs— more modern….with really nice colors…..*sigh*…. :)

The Pursuit of Happiness


Here’s a story for you today:

A fisherman lying on the bank of a river was having a great time. He would cast his line into the gently moving water, and every now and then he caught some fish . He had his lunch and drink by his side as he sat in the shade of a tree. His stringer was getting heavy with the weight of the fish. 

He was bringing in another large fish when a well-dressed businessman drove up and came over to him. “Don’t you know that you could catch many more fish if you would put several lines in the water?” he asked. 

The fisherman replied, “Why would I want more fish?”

“Well, look, it’s simple,” the businessman said. “If you had more lines, you’d catch more fish and make more money. And then if you made more money, you could buy a fishing boat. Once you had that, you could open up a store and sell your fish to more people. After you open one store, you could then open more. You’d employ more people, and eventually you could become a fish wholesaler and ship fish all over the country. And then you would become very wealthy.”

The fisherman took a bite of his sandwich but looked skeptically at the businessman. “And then what would I do?” he asked.

“Well, if you’ve become that successful, you’ have all the time you wanted to do what you enjoy most. You could lie back, relax, and go fishing.”

The fisherman smiled and said, “But that’s what I’m doing right now.”

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Right now— today— are we living life the way we know we want life to be, or driven by the pursuit of a life that we wish to live?

Right now— todayare we really living?

As we go about our work, may we always be able to tell the difference between trying to make a living and actually living. As we go about interacting with our spouses and children, may we always be able to tell the difference between trying to make a life and being able to give life.

I pray that we will be wives and mothers who are so full of life, that we cannot help but bring life to all that surround us. :)