first time mom

Love at First Bite

Saturday, 22 February 2014, was a very special day because my two loves have finally met — my dear little princess and food! Haha!

A week ago, our little one had an unusual fussiness that she kept on sucking her fingers as if something in her mouth is bothering her. I tried to give her my index finger (folded, so she could bite on the mid-joint), and she bit on it real hard with her toothless gums. We concluded right at that moment that she’s teething, and she’s ready for food. But we still waited for her 5th month birthday to make it somehow special.

We gave her rice cereal + milk to start. In the next days, we’ll puree some veggies and fruits for her. Better to start them early to eat the healthy stuff!

Those facial expressions are just so precious! And I can see in her eyes, she also has a big heart for food!


Mommy Thumb: 5 Ways to Ease the Pain

Pre-pregnancy, I sort of developed stiff wrists because of excessive typing on the computer keyboard that I have to do some finger yoga to ease the stiffness.

From about 1-2 months after giving birth until now, I am feeling pain on my left wrist. I do finger yoga like I did before but it does not help much. So I Googled

According to the article, it is called ‘Mommy Thumb’ and it is common in new moms like me. I hope that mommies out there will find this helpful.

I am reblogging the article from by Andrea Dashiell.

De Quervain’s Condition

A month after Stephanie Kanowitz delivered her baby girl, the Fairfax, Virginia, mom noticed a pain in her left wrist. She brushed it off until it became so severe she could no longer pick up her daughter. “The first sign that something was really wrong came when I would put Ellie down or pick her up and I felt a sharp pain and snap in my left wrist, between my thumb and forearm,” Kanowitz says. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, or, as it’s commonly called, mommy thumb.

De Quervain’s is a condition in which the tendons from the thumb to the wrist become inflamed and rub against the “tunnel” that encloses them, causing sensations from mild discomfort to severe pain on the thumb side of the wrist.

Early one morning, Jennifer Chakir picked up her 1-year-old daughter and felt intense pain in her wrist area. “The pain didn’t last long and I realized it was only when I had my hand or wrist in a certain position,” says the Pasadena, California, mom. An appointment with an orthopedic specialist confirmed her diagnosis: de Quervain’s.

Though anyone can develop de Quervain’s, it’s most common in new mothers and usually stems from stress on the wrist resulting from lifting a baby frequently. A 2009 study from the University of Colorado found that women are four times more likely to develop de Quervain’s than men. Michelle G. Carlson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremities at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, estimates that the ratio is even higher. “I’d say it’s about 90 percent new moms,” she says.

Prevention is difficult because, of course, mothers need to lift their children — sometimes 25 to 30 times per day. And according to David M. Auerbach, M.D., a hand surgeon at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, “There’s no way to tell if you will get it until you have it.” Unfortunately, mommy thumb rarely goes away on its own, but doctors agree early recognition and early treatment are key.

Think you’ve got it? Here are five ways to get a grip on the pain.

What to do:

Lift baby differently.
If you’re feeling some discomfort, perhaps the single most important thing you can do to prevent further irritation of the wrist tendons is to modify how you lift your baby, says Dr. Carlson. “Instead of picking your baby up under the arms, try to scoop him up by lifting under his bottom,” she advises. “Keep the palm of your hand up.” This redistributes pressure that can aggravate the tendons when you lift with your hands in an “L” shape (with your fingers on baby’s back and your thumbs on his chest), a position that puts most of the strain on your thumb and wrist.

Check your breastfeeding position.
Various nursing positions could put strain on a mother’s wrist, especially when inflammation is already present. “Many women cite breastfeeding to be irritating, so if you’re nursing, be careful to use a pillow for support so that the full weight of baby’s head isn’t resting in your hand,” Dr. Carlson recommends.

Rest your wrist.
Icing your wrist frequently and taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful, according to Dr. Auerbach. (If you’re breastfeeding, check with your doctor before taking any medication.) If possible, have your partner do the majority of lifting and carrying baby to give your wrist ample time to heal. Additionally, try to limit smartphone use whenever possible. Sliding, scrolling and tapping away on your iPhone isn’t likely to be the cause of the problem, Dr. Carlson says, but any overuse of those already-inflamed tendons is just going to compound the pain and prevent proper healing.

Try a splint.
A spica splint that immobilizes the thumb is extremely effective in helping to reduce swelling of the tendon and therefore easing discomfort, says Dr. Auerbach, “especially if it’s used early.” Because Chakir began treatment with a splint almost immediately, her pain disappeared almost as fast. Generally, patients will see improvement with splint use after just a couple of weeks, but consistency is key (the immobilization does make everyday tasks more difficult, so it takes commitment to stick it out).

See a doctor.
If the pain persists after you’ve tried a variety of self-treatment remedies, make an appointment with a hand specialist, who may suggest either a cortisone (steroid) shot or physical therapy. In rare, very extreme cases, such as Kanowitz’s, surgery is necessary but it is usually a permanent fix.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

What Babies Want

Ever wondered what your newborn baby wants to tell you when he/she cries? My first weeks with Alexa have really been crazy because I have to guess why she’s crying — either she needs milk, change of diapers, or a little dance to put her to sleep. Sometimes, it’s none of those and that really drives me nuts!

If you have the same problem as mine, watch this video:

Isn’t that amazing? Take note though that it applies only to infants 0-3 months old.

Just a quick review of the new “baby words” we just learned:

  • “Neh” – I’m hungry
  • “Owh” – I’m sleepy
  • “Heh” – I’m not comfortable
  • “Eair” – I wanna fart!
  • “Eh” – Burp me!

Try it! Your first 3 months with your baby will somehow be easier because you can already understand what she’s saying, er, crying about.

Happy Friday!

What Kids Really Think of Mom

As a first time mom, I would always ask myself if I’m being a good mom to Alexa, especially since hubby and I are still learning and exploring the world of parenting. So far, I think we’re doing fine. I can say we’re doing our best.

Here’s an inspiring blog/video shared by one of my Facebook friends which I cannot help to share as well with you guys, especially to fellow moms out there. (Grab some tissue and click on photo below)

Isn’t that heart melting?

I hope someday Alexa would also think that her mom is awesome, that she is her hero, and that she’s THE BEST! I look forward to doing girly stuff with her someday and, more than being her mom, I hope to be her best friend…

But hey, let’s not push the ‘fast forward’ button that much. We’re still enjoying kissing her tiny toes!

How to Soothe a Crying Baby

Hey guys! How’s everyone doing?

Things have been crazy at home since Alexa was born. All the crying, changing of stinking diapers, drinking milk and vomiting, and the sleepless nights which I don’t think I will be getting used to. The crying, most especially, makes me go insane sometimes. Mommy here is still learning baby language!

“Me time” (a.k.a. time while baby is asleep which is only about 1-2 hours in between feeds and burps) is getting sooo precious nowadays, and all I can do is eat my meals, do laundry, or sleep. I rarely have time for baking and blogging. *sad* (Note: this post is done in 2 days, which in some parts I have to type with one hand!)

Anyway, while going through Facebook posts, I’m glad to have stumbled upon this post by Mummys Market, Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby. Hope you find this helpful as much as I did.

Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby

Infants: Birth to 6 months
Newborns can’t control their crying any better than you can control your hiccups. In the first few weeks of life, crying is sometimes a reflexive behavior. But it gives us that panicky feeling: “What’s wrong? How do I stop it?”

It’s important to step back, take a deep breath, and remember that infants are supposed to cry. She’s crying because she has no other way to communicate.”

Babies: 6 to 12 months
Around 6 months, your baby starts to figure out that he can cry to get a reaction from you. It’s sort of like when he hurls his squash across the room and coolly watches you clean the mess, or when he extends his arms to be picked up. He’s amassing an internal database of causes and effects.

Your baby is also puzzling out a psychological concept called object permanence. He was fine if you left the room when he was an infant, because he couldn’t really comprehend that you were missing. Now when he sees you leave, he may be confused about where you are and whether you’re coming back. Since he can’t call out for you or ask where you’re going, he uses the only tool he has — crying — to get your attention. After all, his early experiences prove that when he cries, you come running.

::Soothing a Crying Baby::

1. Rock-a-bye baby: Place baby in your arms, stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, and swivel back and forth at the hips. Your movement can be fairly vigorous as long as you’re holding baby close. When you get tired, use the rocking chair.

2. Baby swings offer soothing, rhythmic motion that helps calm baby down. Just make sure the swing is designed for a small baby, as little ones may slump over in a large one.

3. The vibrating motion of a washing machine or dryer has saved the sanity of many a frustrated parent. Place baby in an infant seat, put it on top of the appliance, and hold on to it firmly so the seat stays in place.

4. Swaddle away: Wrapping baby cozily in a thin, lightweight blanket with her arms across her chest has a wonderful calming effect. Swaddled babies often sleep longer and more soundly, too.

5. Try kangaroo care. This technique is especially good for preemies. Undress baby, lie down, place her against your naked skin, and cover both of you with a warm, soft blanket.

6. Strap on a sling: It’s not surprising that the warm, dark, close comfort of a baby sling is a surefire soother. An added bonus: You can breastfeed anywhere undercover.

7. Bring On the Noise: A pregnant belly is not the serene sanctuary you might imagine. Your baby can hear the pounding of your heart, the rush of your blood, and the gurgling of your stomach. For some newborns, silence isn’t golden.

8. Turn on a fan: The soft whirring is music to a fussy baby’s ears.

9. Hush with a “Shush!”: Your “shushing” sound mimics what baby heard in the womb. Say it directly into her ear, over and over again. (For more info, see this video)

10. Try white noise: Any machine with a consistent rushing sound has a soothing effect; recordings of waves on the beach, rainfall, or the sound of a waterfall will work as well.

11. Getting Rid of Gas
If you suspect your baby is crying from gas pain:
– lay him down across your knees and gently rub his back
– bicycle his legs while he lies on his back
– talk to your doctor about using infant gas drops

Or pat her back to burp 🙂

12. Could It Be Colic?
One-fifth of babies develop colic, which means they cry inconsolably for three hours or more a day for three weeks or more; it peaks at six weeks and usually resolves itself by three months.
– Try the colic hold: Lay baby facedown on your forearm, cradle her close to your body, and rock her back and forth.

13. Pacifier Cures?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there’s nothing wrong with giving a newborn a pacifier. Some children have strong sucking needs and are quickly soothed by a binky. Most babies give up the paci on their own around the seventh month. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry. The AAP says it’s unlikely to harm his development.

14. Go Outside for a Stroll
Fresh air and sunshine can help Mom and Baby feel better. A change of scenery can be distracting enough to calm your newborn’s cries.

15. Give baby a massage: Some babies find stroking soothing.

16. Reduce External Stimulation. Babies sometimes cry because there is too much going on for their little minds to process. Try dimming the lights, removing toys, and reducing noise levels.

17. Check the temperature in your house: Baby could be too hot or too cold.

18. Check baby’s clothes: Hot, tight, or confining clothes can cause tears to flow.

19. Sing or Hum. Soft, gentle songs sung by a familiar voice will often calm Baby’s cries. Humming also offers a soothing vibratory sensation. (…and a way to warm up those vocal chords!)

20. Change the Way You Hold Baby. Some little ones like to be held over the shoulder, some prefer the football hold, and still others like to be held facing out. Experiment to learn what your infant likes best.

21. Check Baby’s Diaper. A wet or soiled diaper is one of the most common reasons for a baby’s tears. Even if you have recently changed your baby’s diaper, it’s still a good idea to check again.

22. Feed Baby. Most babies cry when they are hungry. Try offering the breast or bottle to soothe your little one.

23. Distract Baby. It’s surprising how often this method works. Parents who’ve tried this suggest making faces or blowing raspberries as surefire ways to make Baby laugh, and to take her mind off of the reason for her tears.

24. Undress Baby
Sometimes the reason for Baby’s discomfort lies beneath the surface. For this reason, experts suggest undressing your baby and looking to see if you can spot a physical problem. Snaps can pinch little legs and diaper tape can stick to skin.

The best thing parents can do when their infant is crying is to stay calm. An increase in your stress level will increase your baby’s. Remain calm and your baby might follow suit.

TGIF! Have a great day!

P.S. Today is All Souls’ Day, We are lighting a candle and saying our prayers for the souls of my beloved Mom, my parents in law, and all our loved ones who had departed the world but somehow had been a part of our lives. And before I forget, a late greeting of “Happy Halloween” to all the kids and the kids-at-heart!

She’s Here, Finally!

It’s 4:20 in the morning and I just finished one of the early morning breastfeedings for my little angel. Yes, finally she’s here! My Emilia Alexa (a.k.a. Baby Max)…

Isn’t she the cutest?

She arrived on the 22nd of September 2013 at 0818 hrs (SG time) via emergency C-section.

My birth plan is to go for normal delivery WITHOUT epidural, but as they say, a plan is just a plan! Baby wants to come out the easy way, so I have no choice but to go with it.

We’ll be sharing with you more stories of our adventure as parents to Baby Alexa in the next posts.

For the meantime, let Mommy catch up on some sleep ‘coz the little one will be back for her next feeding in 3 hours.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Maternity Shots: The Final Cut?

After weeks of wanting to do trial #2 of our DIY maternity photoshoot, and yet postposing due to our recent busy schedule, finally we had the time and energy to do it last Saturday. And it seems like this will be my final preggy photoshoot for baby #1.

Again, it was NOT a formal photoshoot with me in a dress but rather a relaxed weekend-at-home get up, just having fun posing with hubby for the camera. My tummy has gotten A LOT bigger than our last photoshoot, and I wanted that captured in print ‘coz I know that time will come that I would want to show these to Alexa in the future.

If you remember my previous post of Maternity Shots Ideas, there is a photo of the daddy holding the basketball which I found really interesting ‘coz it’s hubby’s fave sport. It’s a MUST to take this shot!

Parents having fun! Don’t you love the view behind us?

One of my favorites, a photo of Daddy with Baby Alexa. Soon, we will be taking lots of pictures of her outside Mommy’s tummy. Counting down continues…

Thanks for visiting my page. Good night!


Cloth Diapers

It’s my third favourite day of the week again.. Friday! Of course, Saturday and Sunday are the first two. Also, this probably would be my last Friday at work before I go on maternity leave. Yay!

Getting ready for Baby Alexa’s arrival which is in exactly two weeks, I am now looking around for baby stuff, both online and in the malls, that I will ask hubby to buy when the need arises. I want to make sure that if we buy it, we will surely use it.

Today, I received the Alva cloth diapers which I ordered the other day from an online store based in Singapore. They have cute designs and are very affordable. I was actually comparing them with those sold in Manila (Babyland brand), but after finding out online that they have the same quality and here is even cheaper (local delivery included), I opted to buy here in Singapore.

I became aware of cloth diapers when one of my good friends gave me some as gift during the baby shower. Then, giving it some thought and after reading about them online, I PLAN to go 100% cloth diapering for the following reasons:

  1. Eco-friendly. Seeing the floods in Manila caused by waste pollution (and being aware of the piles of garbage around the world, in general) has discouraged me to use disposable diapers. Just imagine, a baby can use, let’s say 10 diapers on average daily for the first year, times 365 days… that’s 3,650 disposable diapers added to the pile of garbage! No way, man!
  2. Cost-saving. With 3,650 disposable diapers for the first year from the calculation earlier, times S$0.45/diaper (average price of mid to premium range), it will cost about S$1,642.50! Comparing to cloth diapers (pocket-type and usable from newborn to 3 years) which I bought for S$7.50/pc, times 20 pcs (average daily usage), total investment of S$150.00. Even if adding the use of water and soap for washing, we can still save money in the long run, plus we can use them on our second child (..and third, and fourth… haha, stop right there!).
  3. No harmful chemicals. Baby’s bum will not be exposed to harmful chemicals which they say causes rashes. Prevention is better than cure!
  4. Cute designs. My current favorites are those with “safari” prints. But the pink polka dots design below is so cute!

Both disposables and cloth diapers has its pros and cons, but for us, we think that cloth diapers will be better for our baby, and for the environment as well.

Some of our friends have told us that we will not survive without disposables, but I also know some parents who have been 100% cloth diapering their babies and are very happy. So I guess it’s worth trying and see for ourselves which will be better for us.

In a few months, I will share with you our cloth diapering adventure once we get the hang of it. Maybe even with some tips and tricks to help mommies (and daddies) out there who also intend to use cloth diapers and be nice to Mother Earth!

For the meantime, I would like to wish you all a great weekend!

Getting the Hospital Bag Ready

Now that I’m almost in my full term, I think it’s time that I prepare my hospital bag. I’m the type of person who normally prepares things at the last minute, but I don’t think I can afford to do that this time, basically for two reasons:

  1. The hospital (Thomson Medical Centre, Singapore) is an hour and a half from home by MRT/bus or about 30 mins by car/taxi. It would be troublesome for hubby to go back home in case we forget something.
  2. Being a first time mom, I do not know what to expect even after hearing experiences from friends, so better be prepared.

Good thing the hospital has provided a list of what to bring, which mostly are things for myself ‘coz they will be providing stuff for my newborn (baby vests, receiving blanket, mittens, disposable diapers, and toiletries). Plus, after searching the web, I found a post by Miracule about her experience in giving birth at the same hospital where I’m going to deliver. She recommended to pack two bags — one labour bag and one post-delivery bag.

So, I guess these will be the items that have to be in my bags:

Labour bag

  1. Documents (important!) – hospital admission papers, my and hubby’s ID, marriage certificate/passport/re-entry permits (for birth registration at the hospital), and pre-delivery expense receipts (for claiming from Medisave). Not sure if my gyne will give me some more documents to bring, maybe in the next visits.
  2. Mobile phone, earphones, and charger – loaded with soothing music for relaxation during labour. Also necessary for Skyping with family overseas, and for informing family and friends about the baby’s arrival.
  3. Camera and battery charger
  4. Hair bands and clips
  5. Hot/cold gel pad to help relieve pain
  6. Snacks to keep me and hubby energised throughout labour

Post-delivery bag

  1. Disposable panties (she recommended non-maternity cotton panties as they are more comfortable)
  2. Maternity pads (she recommended to use the extra long soft cotton night pads in place of maternity pads as it’s more comfortable)
  3. Nursing bra, breast pads, nipple cream
  4. Button-down dressing gown (for easier breastfeeding) just in case I do not like the robe the hospital provides
  5. Cardigan or sweater to wear when I want to take a stroll
  6. Bedroom slippers
  7. Toiletries (basic toiletries will be provided by the hospital but I would need to bring my own stuff like facial wash, toothbrush, towel, etc.)
  8. Going-home attire for myself

Did I forget anything?

Hubby and I are uber excited for the big day to come! We have started counting down since September stepped in.

Hoping for a safe and easy delivery for myself and for all the mommies-to-be out there!

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts

A sunny Tuesday to all!

Exactly a month from now, Baby Alexa is due to come out! Last night, I took a closer look at my growing belly and I can already see red lines. Stretch marks, oh no!

Anyways, today I want to share with you the recipe of one of the desserts I made for the baby shower… the yummy baked cinnamon sugar mini donuts!


For the donut

  • 5 tbsp (about 1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 165ºC.
  • Lightly oil mini donut pan and set aside (I used mini muffin pans).
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until combined (mixture will look curdled).
  • Mix in the baking powder, then the salt.
  • Mix in the flour just until combined.
  • If using mini donut pan, transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or into a ziplock baggie with the tip cut off. Pipe into the pan only filling 1/2 of the way fill. If using the mini muffin pan, fill each well 1/2 full.
  • Bake at 165ºC for 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before dipping in topping
  • Melt the butter for the topping and combine the cinnamon and sugar
  • Dip each donut lightly in butter then roll in cinnamon and sugar.

I just love cinnamon! Remember the cinnamon scrolls we had a few weeks ago? Click here in case you missed it.

Since I used mini muffin pans for this recipe, I had little munchkin-like donuts which I like because it’s bite-sized. For parties, I feel that having bite-sized desserts is best because the guests can try and taste whatever they find interesting on the table, and just come back for second serving or more of what they want best.

The toppers are free printables, links you can find in my previous post.