Posted by Thammie Sy on Oct 14, 2013 in Child Development, Child Training, Decorating and Entertaining, Discipline, Holidays, Homemaking, Homeschooling, Household Help and Nannies, Household Tips, Organizing and Decluttering, Parenting, Tips and Principles | 1 comment
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??
Sanity. Stability. Predictability.
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??
Isn’t it so easy to lose focus?
Remember: The goal is to create culture.
Joy. Love. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Patience. Kindness. Graciousness.
The structure is just a tool to create the culture we want for our homes.
It’s not the other way around.
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
- 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).
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.
Iron-rich sources include red meat, egg yolks, legumes, lentils, and green leafy vegetables.
For more information on Sangobion, visit www.sangobion.ph.
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:
- Be sure to check the labels of your products! Are they hypoallergenic? Non-comedogenic? Fragrance-free?
- Find a foundation that has few chemicals and preservatives in them. Hint: The shorter the ingredient list, the better.
- Find foundation and moisturizers that have an SPF between 15 to 30 for added skin protection.
- Foundations that are silicone-based and in powder form are best because they don’t irritate skin and don’t clog pores.
- If your skin tends to turn red and flaky, or often stings, go for mineral makeup.
- Check to see that your makeup is free from fragrances and dyes.
- 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.)
- Use a brush to apply your makeup— not your hands!
- 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!)
- Always. Remove. Your. Makeup.
Finally, don’t fret.
You are beautiful— sensitive skin and all.
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
Posted by Thammie Sy on Oct 3, 2013 in Breastfeeding, Child Development, Child Training, Discipline, Events, Family Health, Fitness, Mothers, Parenting, Reviews, Tips and Principles, Wellness | 0 comments
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Mealtimes can be one of the best bonding experiences for you and your child. It is up to you to make it as such.
I love these feeding products from Philips Avent!
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!
We had our session at the newly-reinvented Spaces at Babyland (along Shaw Blvd.).
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.
Hello mom-friends! Take a look at Corelle’s newest collection coming out this month!
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.
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*….
Posted by Thammie Sy on Sep 17, 2013 in Child Development, Child Training, Discipline, Everyday Life, Faith, Family, Fathers, Homemaking, Homeschooling, Marriage, Mentoring Women, Mothers, Parenting, Personals, Random Inspirations, Relationships, Tips and Principles | 2 comments
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.”
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— today— are 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.