Dear Zeeka,

Mommy is now 33 weeks pregnant with you. I have been feeling sick these past two days. I think it’s my tummy. I have been having an upset stomach for two days now. I hope that you are not bothered by it. Oohh, I hope you are also not bothered by the paracetamol that I took the other day. Mommy will have her check up today with her doctor at Asian Hospital. Don’t worry and of course, i’ll ask her about you.

Despite the fact that mommy has been a little under the weather these pass days, I’m so glad that I still feel you tumble, kick and do that weird waving motion that you do. Your kicks are actually getting stronger, Zeeka. Daddy talked to you last night (or was it the other night) to temper it a bit, since I wasn’t feeling too good. But, it’s okay, Zeeka. I love feeling you kick. I think you’re going to be a good dancer like mommy!

People have been asking about you. They already know your name. Even your new born cousin, Kiel, knows your name. I know that in the future, you will ask mommy and daddy how your name came to be. Well, this is the story of your name.

Mommy had a hard time with her first pregnancy. She lost the baby brother/sister that came ahead of you. Mommy was sick after that and so, Mommy and Daddy prayed so hard through the intercession of Padre Pio. With prayers, God healed Mommy from her sickness.

After a year and a half, Daddy and Mommy wanted to have a child again. This time, they prayed to the Lord God through the intercession of St. Joseph. After just a few months, Mommy and Daddy found out that they were going to have a baby, and that baby was you. Mommy and Daddy promised to name you after St. Joseph and St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Francesco Forgione was his real name).

Before we could find the perfect name, we tried different combinations and variations of these saints’ names in different languages. We took a picture of how many names we came up with before we found a name that was perfect for you.
Looking for Baby Names

photo

Did you see daddy’s suggestions? They are all too funny! He even had icons and characters the he drew for some. Those are for inspiration, he says.

Finally, your Mamu Annie and Tita Kinney suggested two names that were perfect for you. Zefina is an Albanian female variation of the name Joseph and Franceska is also Albanian for St. Pio’s name (although we decided to keep the ‘c’ instead of the ‘k’ in your name). So there you go, we decided to name you Zefina Francesca or Zeeka for short 🙂

I hope you like your name, Zeeka!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

An Interview with Jenny Ong, the owner of Mama.Baby.Love

Jenny with husband Stanley and their 2 kids

Jenny with husband Stanley and their 2 kids

 

Jenny is the wife to a fantastic photographer, Stanley Ong and mom to 2 adorable kids, Naima and Erik. She’s also a government employee and a lawyer licensed in the Philippines and New York State. She loves bargain hunting and online shopping. She also enjoys holding talks and meeting like-minded families, discussing natural parenting topics with them.

 

Jenny with Baby Erik

Jenny with Baby Erik

 

Stan and Jenny have been married for 5 years. They have been together since 1998. Jenny used to work in a big law firm. Now, she’s working for the government. She’s a part-time mompreneur as she has a day job. Through her blog, Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, she promotes and advocates principles of natural/attachment parenting such as breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, baby led weaning and gentle discipline. “My goal is to see a society where these principles become the norm – to see Naima grow up and have her family in a setting where natural birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, etc. will be practiced and established,” says Jenny.

 

Ginger: Hi Jenny! Can you tell us more about your business?
Jenny: My business is Mama.Baby.Love. I carry fab fun finds for moms and babes to support the natural parenting lifestyle. I have been in business since May 2009.

Momtrepreneur Jenny's Mama.Baby.Love

Momtrepreneur Jenny’s Mama.Baby.Love

 

Ginger: Who is your market for Mama.Baby.Love?
Jenny: My market would be primarily women – moms who would like to adhere to a natural parenting lifestyle e.g. babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding. I also carry cloth menstrual pads and menstrual cups to promote a green period.

Nursing bra available at Mama.Baby.Love

Nursing bra available at Mama.Baby.Love

 

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea and what made you decide to start this kind of business?
Jenny: I started this business because of dearth of affordable nursing bras and accessories locally available. My line has expanded and now includes different products that my family uses and enjoys.

Cool Pumping Band available at Mama.Baby.Love

Cool Pumping Band available at Mama.Baby.Love

Breast Milk Storage Bags available at Mama.Baby.Love

Breast Milk Storage Bags available at Mama.Baby.Love

 

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Jenny: Time management. Since I’m juggling so many things, I needed to learn how to delegate. Happily, I was able to find help who understood what I needed and wanted.

Cloth Pads from Mama.Baby.Love

Cloth Pads from Mama.Baby.Love

Piggy Paint from Mama.Baby.Love

Piggy Paint from Mama.Baby.Love

Ginger: Do you have plans of being a full time momtrepreneur?
Jenny: As of this time, I have not decided whether I want to become a full-time mompreneur.  While I enjoy Mama.Baby.Love, the business-side is actually driven by my interest in the natural parenting advocacy.  I also miss being a lawyer and handling cases, especially my intellectual property practice. I am still deciding if I want to go back to a law firm or staying on with my government job or pursuing Mama.Baby.Love full time until the kids enter grade school.   I enjoy the challenges of being a work out of home mom and believe that each mom is different.  Not every mom wants to be a WAHM and being a WAHM is not the end-all or the best decision for every woman.

Each to her own and do whatever works for you and makes you happy

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Jenny: Perseverance, Openness and being ethical.

Ginger: Is there any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Jenny: Time management is crucial.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Jenny: Choose a business that you are interested in and passionate about. Don’t just “go with the flow”. Know your business, know your market – understand their needs and address them. Choose a niche that you will excel in.

Ginger: Thank you Jenny for giving us insights on how it is to be a momtrepreneur while still working. I’m sure a lot of moms out there enjoyed and learned from your story especially those who still have a full time job, but are thinking of going into business.

Mama.Baby.Love Contact Information:
a. Website – www.mamababylove.com. Blog is www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com
b. Multiply site – fabnaima.multiply.com
c. Email address – jenny@mamababylove.com
d. Mobile Number – 09228982713
e. Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/MBLStore
f. Twitter account – @mamababylove
g. Pinterest, etc. – @mamababylove

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Cai Sio, the owner of Paper Chic Studio

Cai is a wife to her BOS (Beacon of Strength) and a mom to two beautiful kids, Yukie (28 months) and Raizo (7 months). She’s a full-time working, breastfeeding/pumping momma and a mompreneur. She’s a programmer by profession but her ultimate dream is to become WAHM someday. She also blogs about her adventures and mishaps as a mom on Apples & Dumplings. She’s also one of the founding moms of Mommy Mundo SoMoms!

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai's Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai's Son Raizo

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Son Raizo

EJ, my husband actually shot the products of Cai in our condo unit. We got to bond there and I got to learn more about Cai’s business.

Ginger: Cai, so how long have you been in business?

Cai: We just launched Paper Chic Studio just last December 2012. Paper Chic Studio basically is a one-stop shop for eco-friendly and chic party supplies.

Paper Chic Studio
Ginger: So Paper Chic Studio is relatively new! Amazing. It seems that you already have numerous clients. Who do you normally get to sell to (your target market)?

Cai: Our target markets are moms and party enthusiasts who love chic party supplies and who like to DIY and who are very attentive to every little party detail.

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Cai: It all started with my daughter Yukie’s 1st birthday. I was looking for a theme for her birthday and I stumbled upon all these party planning and DIY blogs that inspired me to semi-DIY some of the party details. While I had fun planning Yukie’s party and doing the DIYs, I wished the pretty party supplies I saw were available locally and online. A year later, I was yet again planning Yukie’s birthday and with the advent of the being green, I tried looking for environment friendly supplies but to no avail. This is how Paper Chic Studio is born.

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?

Cai: Balancing my day job and Paper Chic Studio is one of them and still is. Since I’m a working mom, there are days when I had to take a leave for meetings for Paper Chic Studio. I’m lucky to have a husband who helps me handle some of the things I couldn’t tend to. Another obstacle was coming up with the capital. I had to think and decide for a very long time on how much I was willing to shell out and risk for the business.

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: You mentioned that you thought long and hard on how much capital to place into your business. What do you think momtrepreneurs should consider when thinking of how much capital to place into a business idea? How did you decide on yours?

Cai: Business is a risk. Shell out money that you can risk without you going broke or without you feeling guilty when the business goes down. With Paper Chic Studio, I computed everything (expenses, investments, etc.) and from there I decided on how much I’m willing to spend as my initial capital.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Cai: A momtrepreneur must be driven, always educating themselves, and most of all, a momtrepreneur has to be passionate about her business, products and must have trust in her products and also passionate about being successful.

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?

Cai: You have to be creative and wise on deciding what line of product/s or business you want to sell and start. Find what you are passionate about. I guess that’s one the reason why it took me so long to start my own business because I was looking for THE ONE. When you have found what you want to do or sell, start small and expand as your business flourish.

Ginger: Thanks so much, Momtrepreneur Cai! We are looking forward to seeing more products from Paper Chic Studio in the future.

Paper Chic Studio Contact Information
a. Website: www.paperchicstudio.com
b. Email address: info@paperchicstudio.com
c. Mobile Number: +63917-8199229
d. Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/PaperChicStudio
e. Twitter account: www.twitter.com/paperchicstudio
f. Pinterest, etc.: www.pinterest.com/paperchicstudio

I went to the doctor last January 19. I forgot to tell you about it, since I have been busy with all the preparations for the It’s a WAHMderful Life workshop. BTW, thank you to all those who went to the WAHMderful Life Workshop! I’ll be posting about it soon. My obstetrician advised me to monitor the fetal heart rate of Zeeka everyday.

I forgot to mention that Zeeka is now in a transverse position (lying across my tummy). It seems as if this little girl can’t stay put (hmmm, I wonder if she gets that from me). She keeps on swimming around and around my tummy. Two weeks ago, she was still in ‘footling’ breech. Footling breech is when the legs of the baby are sticking out, instead of having their butt near the cervix. Now, shes is in a transverse position.

The doctor advised me to get a handheld doppler to monitor the fetal heart rate. Monitoring the fetal heart rate (FHR) can be frustrating for a non-medical practitioner like me. It’s so hard to look for the heartbeat of the baby. It’s a good thing that this Sonoline B handheld doppler that I bought is quite efficient. The minute the doctor said that I needed my own handheld doppler, I thought of the review that my friend Rona made for ManilaFitness.com. This is what she wrote: http://manilafitness.com/2012/12/17/my-hand-held-fetal-doppler.html

Sonoline B Hand-held Doppler

Sonoline B Hand-held Doppler

Sonoline B Hand-held doppler parts: comes with 1 tube of gel

Sonoline B Hand-held doppler parts: comes with 1 tube of gel

 

The doctor advised me to monitor the fetal heart rate. In monitoring, the heart rate should be at around 120 – 160 beats per minute. It should not go lower nor should it go higher. This is just to be sure that the baby does not encounter any cord coil, since Baby Zeeka loves to move around.

Also, monitoring fetal heart rate is best done 3o minutes after a meal. This is when the baby is active. I monitor Zeeka thrice a day.

For those looking for a hand-held doppler, check out Sonoline Hand-held Fetal Doppler. I got  it for Php 4,695.00 plus Php 300.00 delivery charge through Entropy Marketing. The number is +63930-4061066.

 

I recently wrote about the Kasambahay Bill. It was already passed and signed into law last Jan. 18, 2013, so the Kasambahay Law is or Republic Act 10361 will already be implemented 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette.

So from the last post that I had, there were some revisions that was made. Again, here are the pertinent things that I got from reading the provisions of the law:

1. Kasambahay means anyone who renders domestic / household services. So yes, even drivers and houseboys (and even valets for those Downton abbey households) are included. Those that do this sporadically though are not included.

2. They are entitled to humane sleeping arrangements and the employer should provide at least three meals a day.

3. Access to Outside communication. The Kasambahay is entitled to use any form of outside communication granted that this is during their free time. Any costs that are incurred by the Employer shall be paid by the Kasambahay, unless the employer waives the charges.

4. Each Kasambahay will have to sign a contract of domestic service, which shall include the following:
a. Duties and Responsibilities
b. Period of employment (which shall not exceed 2 years);
c. Compensations; (note: don’t forget to indicate salary increases, too!)
d. Deductions
e. Hours of work and proportionate additional payment
f. Rest days and allowable leaves
g. Board, lodging and medical attention
h. Aggreements on deployment expenses (if any);
i. Loan agreement
j. Termination of employment and
k. Any other lawful conditio agreed by each party.

*DOLE shall create a template that we can all use!

5. All kasambahay applicants should have this prior to employment:
a. Medical certificate issued by local government health officer;
b. Barangay Clearance and police clearance;
c. NBI clearance; and
d. Duly authenticated Birth certificate from the National Statistics Office or voter’s ID, or passport.

6. The minimum wage for the Kasambahay are the following:
Php 2500 / month for those working in NCR
Php 2000 / month for those employed in other chartered cities and first class municipalities
Php 1500 / month for those working in other municipalities

7. Pay also should be given at least once a month and should not be made in tokens, chits, promissory notes, etc. It should be paid in cash.

8. Pay slips should be given to the employee. Employers should keep a copy for three years.

9. If a Kasambahay leaves without any reason, the employer has the right to forfeit pay of not exceeding 15 days.

10. For Kasambahays who have rendered 1 year of service, a 5 day vacation leave with pay shall be given (cannot be carried over to the next year nor can it be convertible to cash).

11. A Kasambahay who has rendered 1 month of service should apply and is entitled to privileges under the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Pag-ibig Membership. The employers shall pay for the whole amount of contributions without deducting it from the employee’s pay if compensation of the Kasambahay is less then Php 5,000. If compensation is Php 5000 or higher, the kasambahay should pay his / her share and the employer will pay his / her share.

12. Any violation of this law shall be punishable with a fine of Php 10,000 to Php 40,000.

These are the things that I took note of. If you want to read the entire thing, you can download a copy here.
20130118-RA-10361-BSA