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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Battling Stress, especially while pregnant

10 High-Stress Personality CharacteristicsRecognize Chronic Stress...Then Do Something About It! -- By Mike Kramer, Staff Writer
Stress has been so ingrained in our days and in our culture, that we probably don’t even recognize it any more. We may believe that the general underlying sense of uneasiness we feel is normal and acceptable. Or we might blame the tension and stress we experience—in traffic, at work or at home—more on what’s happening “to” us than what’s happening “within” us.

The problem with this attitude is that it brings on a sense of helplessness, that there’s nothing we can do about stress other than cope. This thought alone is a source of stress, isn’t it?

When you realize that the stress you experience may have something to do with you, it helps you take control and start to solve the problem. Here are 10 personality traits that are symptoms of being highly stressed. Some are characteristics that, by their nature, add even more stress to your life. This list will help you recognize if you are highly stressed and give you ideas for doing something about it.

How many of these qualities do you exhibit?

Over-planning each day. Do you feel the need to stick to a strict schedule? Do you live in fear of falling behind or overlooking a task?
Doing several things at once. With too much to do and not enough time, it’s easy to think that “efficient” means doing everything at once. He who chases two rabbits catches neither.
Extreme need to win. Do you feel like a failure if you don’t come out on top—even when the only competition is your own expectations?
Excessive desire for advancement. Highly stressed people need confirmation from outside sources that they’re doing okay and performing well.
Inability to relax without feeling guilty. Do your weekends become opportunities for “accomplishment” and “getting something done.”
Impatience with delays. When you’re under pressure, everything in life takes on urgency and the additional burdens to get everything done as fast as possible.
Overcommittment. Are your chronically late or forgetful of commitments? Does your schedule cause problems in personal or professional relationships?
Chronic urgency. See #6. Now!
Highly competitive drive. Have you forgotten what it’s like to have fun for fun’s sake? Have you “grown up” so much that playtime actually causes you anxiety?
Compulsion to overwork. Is your office more familiar to you than your backyard? Do you find yourself missing out on what you might otherwise deem “meaningful”?

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's in a name?

Tips on baby naming from

Choosing your baby's name can be a very emotional experience. Sometimes it's easy. Usually, it's not. There's so much to consider, but the most important thing to remember is to love the name. Here are five tips to help you make the right decision:
Don't rush! - It's a good idea to have one or more baby names in mind, but don't decide until you hold your baby in your arms. When you look into those beautiful eyes, you'll know.
Talk about it - Other than, "Is it a boy or a girl?" the question you'll be asked most is "What will you name your baby?" You've probably already heard that one a hundred times. Talking with your spouse, family and friends makes it at team effort and it's fun, too. You might even have a baby naming party. Check out your family tree. Call relatives, especially those you haven't talked with in a while. Of course, don't expect a unanimous decision, but everyone will feel like they helped play a role in an important family decision.
Say it out loud - How does it sound? Whisper is softly and then loudly. How about when it's said with a middle name or your last name? Does it rhyme? If it does, does it sound good? Think about associated nicknames and say them out loud too. Does the name pass the "playground test?" Kids can be pretty tough. Would you say it loudly at a mall? If not, don't give it to your child. Do you have another child with the same sounding name or even the same first letter? Sometimes, that can be confusing when said aloud.
Spell it out - It's amazing how creative parents can be. Unfortunately, that's not always best for their child. Creative spellings or pronunciations of popular baby names will have your child constantly correcting those who mistake it with its more popular version. You can't forget the initials, either. What do they spell or represent? And, if you plan to call you child by a pet name, it's probably best to register the full version at birth, so your child has the option to later use a more formal version.
Make it meaningful - Your baby's name should evoke happiness and pleasant feelings. It should reflect qualities and traits that you hope your child will possess. Family names are great and give your baby a rich heritage, but if you don't like the baby name, it probably won't feel right, even if it pleases relatives. A unique baby name may make your child stand our and feel extra special. But, if it's too unusual, it could cause problems. It's also very important that your child has a name with clear gender identification And finally, it's always tempting to pick today's most popular baby names, but will it be popular 10 or 20 years from now? And, do you really want your first-grader with the same name as four others in the same class?
We know this is not a easy decision, so we've developed a few "baby names" tools to help. You can review lists of popular baby names or search our baby names databases for the origins and meanings of baby names and search by the name's first letter. These databases are updated every day and we are always looking for more handy tools to help you make the best decision.

So why Maia Isobel?

I've always been fascinated with names like Tala, Diwata, Musika. They're just very Filipino and the first impression that comes to my mind when I meet people with these names is that they were raised as well-rounded, artistic people.

When Tibs and I were choosing a name for our baby, I had these names in mind. My only issue is that I've personally known people with exactly the same names and I would not want to make it sound like I named by baby after them. Not that they did not turn out to be great people.I'm  pretty sure that in their own little way,  they've become achievers by now. Despite that, however, I still want our baby to adopt a name that's unique.

So I kept searching...mixing and matching names of characters and people that had great influence on me. At the same time, pressing the hubby to come up with his own list as well.

While I was on bed rest, Maya birds never fail to visit me. Hearing them chirp outside of our bedroom was kind of therapeutic. Then I thought Maya is a really nice name. Plus it still has a Filipino touch to it. But then I remember a girl named Maya who was a close friend of my sister's in grade school and that brought me back to my earlier predicament.

But I was unnerved, i kept searching for variations and I stumbled upon Maia. It's not really Filipino but still sounded like it and I thought it fit our baby's history really well. Maia in Hebrew means close to God. And that was how this pregnancy made us as a couple. We became close to God. Now we just need to come up with the second name because Maia's dad found Maia so plain. At first, I came up with Maia Isabella. It fit well. Especially with the family name. It sounded like she's 'tisay' or something. (hehehehe...) But then, I thought Isabella is not really a significant name to us. So Tibs decided to change it to Isobel, after Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian - his favorite band. So there...that's how we came up with Maia Isobel.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

28 wks old and counting....

Good morning Maia!

Today you're already at 28 weeks. Just 12 more weeks of anxiety filled waiting for Mommy and Daddy. But we are patient. Fact is, we are only starting to prepare for your d-day. This weekend we will already prepare the hospital bag for you. Mommy's giddy just thinking about it.

Here's how far you've developed in Mommy's belly:

Your Baby
The eyes are partially open and can perceive light. Your baby's eye lashes and eye brows continue to grow and subcutaneous fat is deposited. If you have a baby boy, his testes will probably begin descending. About 9 out of 10 babies born now will survive with intensive care services and the help of medical technology. Your baby is almost 15 inches and weighs over two pounds.
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