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Monday, December 26, 2011

Wea/inning From The Bottle Battle

You've probably read in a couple (if not a lot) of my posts here about my failure with breastfeeding. It's probably one failure that I had the hardest time letting go. I nagged myself for a long time. And I guess it was only when Maia started eating healthy portions of her solids and getting less and less sicker that I finally forgave myself.

Bestfriends with her bottle
I aimed to wean my daughter off the bottle at 15 months. I thought by that time she's finally used to eating solid food and I'm probably comfortable with feeding her table food as well. And I thought 15 is a good number (not that I'm superstitious). Three months after the 1st birthday should give me enough time to train her to stop feeding from the bottle. 

I took my timeline seriously. I got the entire household involved. They supported me back. But the first 2 years wasn't very good to us health-wise. We had a lot of hospital confinements - one battle with sepsis, two pneumonia attacks, one dehydration scare, and one fracture incident. Instead of feeling comfortable with motherhood, those hospital trips just made me angry at myself even more. I felt like I wasn't doing a good job with this mothering thing. And yet, I was sure I did everything by the book. What else should I be doing??? Ahhh, the woes of a first-time mom.

To cut the story short those difficulties set me back for a good one year off my timeline. I felt that taking away the milk would just make her even more weaker (ohhh yes, I fell for all those marketing tactics. They worked for me alright) and deprive her of the essential nutrients her body needed then.

But exactly one year ago, I got so tired of chasing the little girl during meal time and struggling with picky eating. So during a visit to the pedia, I mentioned how I wanted her to wean off the bottle already (tried and failed many times over). Doc agreed it was really time to let go of the bottle. I was actually way overdue she said. When I told her I pity the little girl when she cries, she told me back: "Mas lalo kang maawa sa anak mo pag sira na ang ngipin nya at di na makakain ng mabuti" (translation: Pity your child more when all her teeth decays and couldn't eat well anymore because of the rotten teeth). So I asked for her help and she got down with Maia and told her that drinking from the bottle won't do her teeth any good. And that if her teeth rots, she won't be as pretty as Jillian Ward (she was a kid actress that was so popular with kids then) anymore. I don't know if it was because she sees the doc as an authority figure or what but when I reinforced the doc's words after we left the clinic, she nodded her head to say she understood.

When she napped that afternoon, I immediately got to work and hid the bottles from sight. I hid all of them including the pacifiers and the extra silicone nipples and even the bottle brushes. I made sure there wasn't anything in the house that would remind her she once fed using the bottle. 

At 26 months, Maia wasn't consuming a lot of formula milk anyways. She could barely finish a 6-oz bottle in one sitting. 16-20 ounces tops was the best she can do in a day so that afternoon wasn't really tough for us. She didn't look for the bottle and gladly took a glass of fresh milk and drank all of it when I offered it during her afternoon snack.

How can you not give in to this look, Mom?
Nighttime was a different story. She cried (and  boy she cried REALLY hard) for 2 straight nights. We were all sleep-deprived because she'd be up every hour and yell for the bottle. But I kept replaying what the pedia told me earlier. That it will only take her 3 nights the most to forget about the bottle. So each time she asked for her dede (bottle) I closed my eyes and prayed for a lot of strength so I can withstand the crying. Guess what happened on the third night? Maia woke up middle of the night and asked for a GLASS of milk. Yes, she said: Mommy mik please. Sa glass ha? I wanted to jump with joy! But I couldn't or else I'd   end up dealign with a fully awake toddler in the middle of the night so I had to settle for a big, wide smirk instead. All our efforts paid off!!! 

So that was how we finally bid our feeding bottles good-bye. Guess what? After she said goodbye to the formula and the bottle, she started enjoying her solids. She finished her meal servings without so much struggle and would ask for second (even third) helpings most days. 

To summarize, what made this goal achievable for me were 3 things:

(1) consistency. When you say it's a no, MEAN it. I had to close my eyes and suck in the pleading coupled with relentless crying but in the end, really, it's not just you who will reap the benefits.

(2) persistence. If it didn't work today. Try again tomorrow. But don't give up. There's always light at the end of the tunnel (hehe). AND;

(3) support. In our case, the pep talk from the pedia and support from my husband and yaya helped me tremendously. I couldn't have done it on my own. 

It was a battle that I finally won. And I was so proud of myself. And of my little girl who was so understanding and cooperative and so wise beyond her years. 
Oh how I love her dearly!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Arts-N-Crafts: Wiggly Snake

Last weekend, Tibs took the reigns in engaging Maia to do an art project. I didn't force him to. But Maia did. Since he didn't have the heart to make a pass on the little girl's request, all he can do is put up a smile and take the scissors from me.

This is another activity shared in Playhouse Disney. We first made pencil holders. And then this caught the little girl's attention while she was browsing an old issue of the magazine. Good thing we have all the materials on hand.

Here's what they used for this project:

  • a paper plate
  • a pair of googly eyes
  • poster paint (yellow)
  • paintbrush
  • red marker
  • scissors
  • string (optional)

What they did:

1. Tibs painted the wrong side yellow. Maia initially helped but she wanted to paint the sky, the ocean and whatever probably came to mind so we got her another paper plate to play with. He set it aside to dry.

2. When the plate dried up he drew a spiral on it and cut it.

3. Maia stuck the googly eyes on the center of the spiral. 

4. We then (I just had to jump in) drew red triangles on what was to be the snake's body. Maia colored the triangles after. Tibs also stuck in a cut out of a tongue to make it more 'realistic' (lol).

Maia had a blast chasing and scaring us with this snake-y. She opted not to tie a string because she wanted to hold the 'snake' itself. Fearless kid you might say. But that's just for the show. She's actually very scared of snakes and would avoid these when we're in the zoo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I can do this, Mommy!

Tibs and I always try to be hands-on during weekends. We bathe her, feed her, play with her, read, talk, share stories. We feel we owe her that much undivided time so we try our best to free up our weekends for her. On days that we can't and had to leave the house, we bring her with us as much as possible. 

I am happy we still get to be hands on parents even for just 2 days. It is during those times that we get to witness milestones first hand. They may be exhausting most times but the rewards well, they're just really priceless.

Like this weekend for instance, I was helping her into her pajamas when she stopped me and told me to let her do it because she already can. I thought to myself, oh wow, our little girl has indeed graduated to little miss independent.

Moments like this are bittersweet but I'm sure most parents can relate when I say they're also joyfully overwhelming. Milestones like this make you realize how your kids have grown and makes you realize for the nth time how fast time flies. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Art-N-Crafts: Popsicle Flowers

Ain't It Pretty? (Don't mind the elephant, hehe)
I first saw this in Pinterest. I thought this was just perfect since we've already accumulated popsicle sticks and I couldn't think of anything nice to make out of them. 

I first planned on making flowers out of the non-colored ones that we had and have Maia paint them with whatever colors she pleased but then the toddler got overly excited about this project and wanted us to finish fast! (Boy, this little girl really needs to learn how to be patient)

So I grabbed the materials and headed out to the garden so we can start the activity. These are the materials that we used for this project:

  • Colored popsicle sticks (bought our stash from Uncle Bills in Ayala MRT)
  • Buttons (from our holiday project)
  • Foam sheets (bought a set from the SM Office Supplies section for P39.75)
  • Glue
  • Scissors

It was a pretty simple project. I showed the little girl the photo from PInterest and she almost knew what to do already. She only had trouble getting the sticks to set properly because initially she piled them altogether and poured glue on them. I taught her it was better done one at a time so we piled two first. Then added another stick. And then the last one. We waited for the petals to dry up first before attaching the stem and the foam leaf. 

We're hoping to make more of these so we can stick them right on our garden during summer (not really a good idea to do them now since it's been raining on and off). 

I also think this would have been better had we used glue gun instead of the ordinary glue but I didn't want to risk getting the little miss' tiny fingers burned (like I did on mine once).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ballerina Princess

I never imagined you'd be fascinated with princesses and ballet since I never was as a child but you are indeed your own person. Bear in mind that whatever your heart desires we will always be there to support you all the way, baby girl.

Showing me her ballerina moves one morning. She was struggling to keep her balance
but it was really fun watching her make the effort entertain me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Making It Up to Santa

As a follow up to my post yesterday, it turns out it was just a spur of the moment comment from the little girl. I realized that it was just probably brought about by her frustration on not getting her way again and of me actually introducing the thought that Santa might not really exist by asking that question. 

She tried to make up with Santa by doing this:
More drawings to add to our growing collection
I came home last night to pages of drawings that were specially made for Santa to see. 

She took out some of the handmade ornaments from our tree and traced out the shapes and drew the details on them afterwards. I know that if she could write Santa a letter she already would've. 

Good thing she used washable markers.
Poor ornaments had smudges of ink on them. Hahaha.
I was just so happy to see this. My little girl is really still a kid after all. And I hope she will always hold fond memories of all the Christmases we've spent together.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yes Maia, There Is A Santa Claus

I was afraid I was going to have a Virginia moment this morning. But thank God we haven't gone to that point yet.

This morning I was wrapping up stuff for our office Kris-kringle and the little miss saw some nice looking pens inside the paper bag. She attempted to grab it but I stopped her and reminded her it’s not hers. 

“You want these?”
“Yes, Mommy”
“Well, let’s add this to your wishes for Santa. He might just get you some too”
“Ayaw.” (I Don’t Want To)
“Why? You don’t believe in Santa anymore?”
“Oo. Wala. Walang Santa”. (Yes. Santa doesn’t exist!)

Yes Maia, There is a Santa Claus. You just wait and see in 17 days.
And I will just copy paste here the editorial from The Sun from which the title of this post spun from. We also used this for my college pub's editorial page (the year I first sat as the Editor In Chief) for a Christmas edition way back in '99 (i'm not so sure now). 
I just wanted to bookmark it here for Maia to read when she's older. I just feel all kids should get the chance to read this. It exudes so much positivity and hope. That is how I've always looked at Christmas as a child.

Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. 
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York'sSun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.
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