Daddy Ej went to the States last Sunday to go on a business trip, and he’ll be gone for 1 week. I’m not a sentimental person, but last night (Tuesday), I found myself waiting for him. It was 6:00 pm and I was just sitting on our bed and realizing that he wasn’t coming home tonight. Then I found myself counting the days until Sunday, the day he arrives. As of today, I have to wait four more days.

I think Zeeka also feels that her daddy isn’t home. She usually doesn’t mind Ej, because daddy Ej always bugs her and she gets pissed off, but earlier today, when Ej called via Skype, she opened her eyes and awakened from her deep slumber.

I hate it that my husband is gone. I usually do all of my stuff with him. It’s hard when your partner-in-crime isn’t home. It gets boring, since you don’t have anyone to talk to. It’s a good thing that we had a few visitors today who came by to see Zeeka. Today was better.

During noon, Angelo, Zeeka’s godfather-to-be (since the baptism will still be on May), dropped by. He and his wife Gretchen have such a cutiepie 9-month-old son named Matteo. Our conversation was about Matteo and Zeeka, mostly about their “baby milestones”. I had fun talking about our pregnancy and the sleepless nights that we had to go through, which they too experienced.

In the afternoon, I was excited to meet little Colin, the son of my friends, Candice and Chris. Who wouldn’t be excited to meet this little guy?!

Baby Colin in his Bumble Bee attire

Baby Colin in his Bumble Bee attire

Zeeka's first "baby-date" with Colin

Zeeka’s first “baby-date” with Colin

Aside from seeing this little stunner, I had fun exchanging stories with my friend Candice. Both of us are exclusively breastfeeding our babies. It was so nice to have a ‘kabarkada’ who is also in the same situation as you are. You can easily exchange notes and help each other out.

We, Chris and Candice and I, also talked about baby milestones. Colin is already four months old and can already carry his head without support and hold on to things. He’s really cute, too, when he talks to stickers on the wall and when he attempts to talk to adults. He has a cute laugh, too! Zeeka, who is only 1 month old, also attempts to carry her head, by our yaya and I are scared to have her do whatever she wants since she’s still too young. She sleeps and eats, but has this really endearing smile that I know will break hearts in the future. She’s a strong girl, and loves kicking people and things. She’s really tall, too, and had really long legs. The only sound I hear from her right now are “eeehs”.

Our fun day had to end when both our babies had to sleep already.

Today was really better. It helps to keep yourself busy and preoccupied when you feel a bit down, lonely and restless.

But, I still miss Ej.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Baby Z is still a little jaundiced. During her last check up, her pediatrician suggested that we have her blood tested just to be sure. In that blood test, you will be able to find out if its direct or indirect. If it’s direct, it’s the liver causing it and that’s a problem. If it’s indirect, then, we do not have to worry and we just have to keep on feeding the baby (continue breastfeeding). Thankfully, although her bilirubin levels were still high, it was not caused by any liver problems. All we need to do now is continue breastfeeding and exposing her to sunlight.

I came across this mini aviators for babies. They are called Babiators. I saw this first in the facebook page of a friend and I immediately thought of Zeeka and her sunbathing escapades to the the 5th floor of our condominium building.

Check out these Babiators!
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beach baby blue 3-7

nighthawk navy 3-7

limelight lime 3-7

blue angels blue 3-7

black ops black 3-7

princess pink 3-7

rockstar red 3-7

sneak attack pink black 3-7

superstar silver 3-7

wicked white 3-7

I wanted so much to buy her something to protect her eyes. What our yaya does is she covers Baby Z’s eyes, but I know that this isn’t enough. These Babiators offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. These mini sunglasses are also very durable and are made out of pliable rubber and shatter-resistant lenses. The Babiators do not contain any BPA, phthalates or lead-based paint.

These are perfect for babies in the Philippines, since we are a tropical country and the sun is almost always out. According to Dr. Mark S. Borchert, Pediatric Neuro Ophthalmologist at CHLA, “the lens of a child allows 70% more UV rays to reach the delicate retina than in an adult.” As moms, we need to see that their eyes are protected from UV rays and these shades are great for both protecting their sight and for fashionably dressing our babies up!

The Babiators come in these colors: Black Ops Black, Blue Angels Blue, Rockstar Red and Princess Pink, Limelight Lime, Sneak Attack Pink, Beach Baby Blue, Nighthawk Navy & Wicket White. These are available in size 0-3 and 3+ with a retail price of P950 (0-3 years old) and P995 (3-7 years old).

To get your Babiators, the are available in Nurture Nook, Quirks, Rustan’s, ROX and Taste Central. I have already included this in our gift registry for Zeeka’s baptism!

An Interview with Helene Marie Sonza, Owner/Proprietor of Baby Chic Boutique

I got to interview miss Helene Marie Sonza. Momtrepreneur Helene is happily married to her loving husband Rogel, and mom of 2 wonderful kids – Mari, her 4-year old son, and Haley, her 15-month old daughter. She used to work as a registered nurse before she decided to quit her job when her part-time earnings as a freelance writer exceeded her salary. She opened Baby Chic Boutique February of last year. She loves to read and write and travel, and she just absolutely loves being a mom to her kids. She is currently a part-time writer, part-time momtrepreneur, and full-time mom. She promotes cloth nappying and breastfeeding to family, friends, and whoever would listen! She has been happily breastfeeding for 15 months and counting!

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Ginger: Hi Helene! Can you tell us more about Baby Chic Boutique?
Helene: My shop is Baby Chic Boutique, and for me, it’s “Where Chic Babies Make Happy Mommies.” Basically it’s about offering adorable, useful and “chic” items in the market for babies. I’ve been in the business for more than a year now – I just celebrated the anniversary of my shop this February.

Ginger: Who is your market?
Helene: My target market is moms with babies and toddlers who are looking for chic, adorable and useful items that they can use in their everyday life.

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Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Helene: Well, after I had my daughter Haley – I had already quit my nursing job and was working part-time as a freelance writer – I started thinking about going into business, since I had some time in my hands. I first wanted to offer pretty and chic items such as ribbons and clips since I thought there was still a lack of these items in the market, and moms like me with baby girls are always on the lookout for cute items to dress up our kids. But then I discovered cloth diapers, and I immediately fell in love. These oh so cute diapers are useful, eco-friendly, and absolutely chic and adorable… And now it’s become the main item that I sell in my shop. It’s because I truly believe in using them – my daughter is exclusively using cloth diapers – and I think they’re truly the better alternative to using disposables. I also offer many other baby items in addition to cloth diapers such as legwarmers, shoes and skidders, healthy baby snacks, Melissa & Doug toys and books, and I’ll soon have more baby and toddler clothing as well.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Helene: Well, money was the first issue – but because of the savings I had from my freelance writing gigs, I was able to put up my online business. There were some other hurdles – I like to think of them as hurdles, and not really obstacles – such as wondering whom should I target, how do I promote my business, should I give up or not… Yes, there were times before when I almost gave up, but the hard work paid off, and slowly I was able to find my niche and now I continue to have a growing number of new and regular customers.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Helene: Being willing to take a risk, being patient, and being able to balance work and life effectively. Business is always a risk – there’s a chance that you fail or succeed. And it’s really important that you be patient and persevere, since it can take a while to become established and build up your consumer base. And add the fact that you have kids to take care of – so you really need to know how to balance everything so that you can give your kids the time and attention they need as well as ensure that your customers are given the attention that they need.
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Ginger: Are there any unforgettable lessons that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Helene: That it’s not easy… that success really takes time, and it’s really important to maintain balance in everything. 

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Helene: Going into business is not for the fainthearted, so make sure that you’re up for the challenge.

Ginger: Thank you, Helene! You’ve shared wonderful insights! I wish you more success in your endeavors.

Baby Chic Boutique Contact information
a. Website: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/
b. Multiply site: http://multiply.com/babychicboutique (still under construction since multiply upgraded their site)
c. Email address: babychicphils@gmail.com
d. Mobile Number: 0932-9787278
e. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/

I fully support Filipino momtrepreneurs. I admire their passion and ingenuity in coming up with different unique products. I also admire those those who sell natural and organic products and those that have their own advocacy, much like my friend Armi from Mayumi & Me.

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Mayumi & Me, chic choices for nurturing parents, is an online store where you can get great products for babywearing, breastfeeding and cloth diapering. They also sell fashion items for kids and mommies. They also have Natural Bath and Body products that you can choose from.

For a nurturing mom like me, I want what’s best for my Baby Zeeka. I choose quality over price. I’m also a sucker for anything natural and organic. While browsing through Mayumi & Me’s site, I find that all of the items in the Natural Bath and Body section of the online store very appealing. These are the products that Mayumi & Me have:

Human Nature Baby Wash
Baby Wash with Lavender, Rosemary & Chamomile, 99.3% Natural
The natural Baby Wash will cleanse your baby’s skin and hair completely harmful chemical-free. Made with mild scents like lavender, rosemary and chamomile, it will calm and soothe your baby during every bath time. So now you can be sure your baby’s sensitive skin is getting only the gentlest of nature’s goodness.
Click here to check out the product

Human Nature Baby Oil
Studies show that massaging your baby with sunflower oil lessens the risk of developing skin infections by 41%*. As nature’s wonder oil, it also helps soothe diaper rash, itchiness, irritation and little boo-boos. It’s dermatologist tested, so you can be sure to keep your little angel’s skin soft and supple with every gentle rub.
(*Source: Dr. Leslie Baumann, Cosmoceutical Critique: Sunflower Oil www.skinandallergynews.com)
Click here to check out the product

Moonshine Baby Bottom Spray (by IndigoBaby)
The only spray perfect for little bums. Lavender soothes, heals, and protects your baby’s delicate skin. Spritz directly onto baby’s bottom and wipe to dry or wash with water. Use at every nappy change to avoid nappy rash. This is a MUST when traveling. Imagine an explosive poop session and nowhere near a clean, baby friendly restroom?! This just saves you all the hassle!
Click here to check out the product

By Nature Baby Salve
Use this salve for most baby concerns – diaper rash, insect bites, eczema, dry patches, and even small cuts and boo-boos. Simply apply on affected area. May also use all over your baby’s body instead of lotion. It is easy to bring along everywhere your baby goes.
Click here to check out the product

By Nature Handmade Soaps Special Bars Baby Blue variant.
100% NATURAL, Unscented. This soap is especially made for kids with sensitive skin. It contains chamomile essential oil, calendula extract, goat’s milk, honey, aloe vera gel, oatmeal, and vitamin E – all wonderful ingredients for babies! A wonderful bar for adults, too!
Click here to check out the product

Great news for all my readers! Mayumi & Me is giving away Natural Bath and Body Goodies.

Natural Bath and Body Goodies from Mayumi & Me

Natural Bath and Body Goodies from Mayumi & Me

This gift pack includes the following:
Human Nature Baby Wash (200mL)
Human Nature Baby Oil (100mL)
Moonshine Baby Bottom Spray (100mL)
By Nature Baby Salve (20g)
By Nature Handmade Soaps (4 sampler half bars of Baby Blue variant)

All you have to do is follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway starts today and ends on May 10, 2013.

Calling all nurturing and caring moms! Join now and win this great gift pack!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

P.S. Here are the contact details of Mayumi & Me
Website: http://www.mayumiandme.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mayumiandme
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mayumiandme

It was a day of learning for me last Saturday. As I mentioned in one of my posts, I was excited to go to the How To Increase your Milk Supply workshop of Medela Moms. That morning also, I received a text from Abbie that there was a La Leche League Meeting on that same afternoon and the topic was baby-led weaning. I was also so excited to learn more about baby-led weaning, since I want to try it out with Zeeka.

How to Increase your Milk Supply

How to Increase your Milk Supply

I got to learn a lot of things from the How To Increase your Milk Supply workshop. Among those that I remember are the following:

–  The pituitary gland signals the body to produce and release prolactin and oxytocin into the mother’s bloodstream.
– All of us are capable of producing breastmilk (even men!)

Ways to increase and maintain breast milk supply:

1. Check your lifestyle
Eat healthy and live healthy. Try to avoid cows milk (if you really want milk, try soy milk). Also, avoid fast food and junk food. Sweets hamper milk production. Try to drink at least 3 liters of water every day. Get as much sleep as you can.

2. Be happy and stress free!

3. AVoid nipple confusion. It is advisable to direct breast feed up to 6 weeks.

How do you know if baby is experiencing nipple confusion?
– Baby pushes the nipple out with tongue
– During cup feeding babys tongue doesnt come out
– Baby cries at the breast even after comtinuous attempt within a 4 hour period
– Baby latches and unlatches breast very intermittently

4. Use Galactagogues
– You can take malunggay capsules, fenugreek, lactation treat and tea
– The side effect though may be constipation, so you have to increase your intake of fiber and water

5. It is possible to relactate. If you need help, there are already tools that can help you do so!

6. It is important that you bond with the baby and touch the baby.

7. There is also no need for a breast massage when you have plugged ducts. What you can do is do clockwork massage and apply hot compress. You can also do the combing massage or do manual expression if you feel breasts are engorged. The best is actually have baby suck on your breasts.

All in all, the best way to maintain breast milk supply is really to continue to breastfeed. Continue creating that demand and you will in turn create ‘supply’.

Good luck in keeping at it! Hurray to breastfeeding!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger