The One-Bite Practice: Teach Kids to Eat Veggies

Impossible? Not anymore!
From the hundreds of articles on parenting I have read, probably one of the most useful bits of information that I found most handy is the One Bite practice, which gradually teaches kids to be, well, more well-rounded eaters (thank you Reader's Digest).

7 Tips to Help You Through Your Kid's First Hospitalization

August 20, 2011 – Holly's first hospitalization.

I stood there, in the pediatrics section of the ER, waiting for the staff to prepare our room. Holly's fever is at 38° already and her cough just wouldn't stop.

As I stood by our station, holding the sick baby as she wouldn't stay in bed, I listened with sadness at the outbursts and screams of the sick children around me. Never did I expect this to be emotionally draining, stressful, and just downright depressing. I went into this battlefield unarmed, thinking that this won't be any different than a regular check-up. It was a good thing I took a quick shower.

Kids Health: Healthy Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Also Love

As a mother, I know that I must make sure that my child gets proper nutrition - what with the demands of school and my daughter being in that stage where growth is at its peak. (I realize that I sound like a formula milk commercial, but we moms very well know that these concerns are valid!) Kids need to be healthier to develop immunity against diseases, more so now that it is the rainy season. Here are some practical and helpful suggestions on serving healthy snacks for kids:

The MyLac XL Prep Promo: Get a Free Gift Pack Today!

If there's one thing I hated back when I was a little girl, it's going to school sleepy, tired, and disinterested with school. And I'm sure there are plenty of kids who felt the same way.

It's a known fact that one of the reasons why most kids don't enjoy going to school is because their bodies don't have the energy to concentrate and function. This is due to a lack of proper nutrition and a good night's rest — a common issue in today's society. In my case, being the chocoholic and junk-food lover that I was, I only ate what I wanted to eat and didn't even consider what my body truly needed. I guess that explains everything.

My Daughter's First Ever Visit to the Dentist


We thought we had everything ready for the new school year but some things just happen unexpectedly. It was the second day of school and my almost-seven-year-old daughter Nini had to skip attendance because she was complaining of a terrible toothache. So my husband and I took her to a small clinic at the Fairview Center Mall after office hours for her first ever dental checkup.

College Kid and the Empty Nest Syndrome

I feel stirrings of the empty nest syndrome. I can’t even do the things that are normally advised to ease the mild depression and loneliness that comes with an empty nest: like get a new job, start a hobby, go out with friends, or go on a trip with your spouse. I still have two kiddos in the house that need caring after.

This is the start of his sophomore year. My “semi-syndrome” is kicking in a year late...

A Review of ProActive Parenting's Gentle No's for Toddlers

Being a first-time mom with no background experience in child discipline, I’m the perfect example of what you shouldn’t be doing to your kid. Whenever Holly shows signs of bad behavior in the house (spanking or biting), I’d scold her, call out her name, and look at her in the eye. I’d try to talk to her like how a mom would talk to a 7-year old, but if she didn’t stop her bad behavior, I’d punish her by slapping her hand and raising my voice.

What frustrates me is that this method of discipline wasn’t working at all. I couldn’t get her to stop slapping her nanny on the face, biting her aunt’s shoulder, or pulling my hair. She is a feisty 1-year old who didn’t seem to want to listen to anyone.

What Do You Love Most About Being a Mom?

I used to feel sorry for classmates who, when it's time to share about your parents' occupations, say that their mom is "just a plain housewife." It surely doesn't sound as pompous as when you say "My mom is a lawyer" ...or a doctor ...or a businesswoman. I usually imagine a frazzled woman wearing that floral daster doing nothing but cook and clean the house all day. What a boring place to be in, I used to think. Now that I'm a mother myself however, I realize how wrong I had been to judge housewives like that!

Interesting Facts About Mother’s Day

My own mother will be in Guam to attend the wedding of a niece on the second Sunday of May this year. I myself am not too keen on celebrating the day, except maybe for daydreams of sleeping in and having Rodic’s tapsilog served to me in bed (a logistic impossibility).

However, the concept of officially celebrating motherhood with a special day is an interesting one.  The facts behind the celebration make it even more interesting.

  • The founder of Mother’s Day in the United States, Anna Jarvis, never became a mother
  • She died in poverty after spending her life fighting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day

5 Simple Budget-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

I'm sure you're excited for Mother's day. It's that one special day where mothers are remembered, loved a hundred times over, and of course pampered twice as usual (think a day at David's Salon).

We especially love this day because it's an opportunity to make our own moms feel special. We want to let them know just how loving, selfless, and beautiful they are, so we do our best to make them twice as happy on Mother's Day.

But wait, do you have the budget for your planned surprise? Are you quite tight on cash right now that you can't celebrate Mother's day the way you wanted to?

Got My Rustan's Fresh Card!

Okay, I just gotta share this: I finally managed to claim my very own Rustan's Fresh Card after collecting PHP 5000 worth of grocery receipts at Rustan's (Fairview Center Mall). It's funny but it felt such an accomplishment for me haha! (I even felt giddy when they asked for my birthday in the application form.) If you are a frequent shopper at Rustan's, you can also get a Fresh Card from any outlet for only PHP 200. Since we are loyal patrons of Rustan's, I chose the option to get a free card (by collecting the mentioned amount of receipts over a three-month period) and today, I succeeded. Yay!

Healthy Recipe: Pinakbet

For moms and dads who are looking for healthy food for their family meals, here is a popular Filipino dish from the north to add to your dinner recipe collection.

7 Tips When Traveling with Your Baby

The idea of traveling sounds like a dream, doesn't it? You get to visit beautiful places, meet interesting people, experience the beauty of the local culture, and (of course) take home some rare souvenirs. Well, at least that's what the ads always portray.
Now let's put a baby in this picture. Aside from tending to all of your traveling needs, you have to consider the baby's needs as well. Birth certificate, travel documents, his own suitcase filled with clothes and diapers, his baby bottles, his large can of milk (if he's bottle fed), toys, etc.

Stressful, isn't it? Well, traveling with a baby isn't a joke even if you're only taking flights within the country. You have to consider the best times to travel, the things you need to bring, the health of your baby, and who you're flying with. I've had to fly to and fro several times back when my daughter was only a couple of months old, and the stress and work that came with the task was fun yet demanding.

10 Practical and Affordable Things To Do This Summer

Ever the Azkals fan, Naomi wrote about soccer camp or football for kids this summer. Her blogpost inspired me to make my own version of things for the kids to do during this 2 month long vacation. Here are a few more suggestions for fun and educational activities that you could do with your kids.

Coming from a practical and thrifty stay-at-home hands-on parent, it kind of requires more time & planning than usual. But then again you won’t be spending a fortune on fees and lessons.

Mom Notes Partners with MomCenter

Dear Moms,
We are happy to announce that Mom Notes has joined hands with Mom Center, the largest parenting online resource and community in the Philippines, in bringing you more valuable articles, the latest events, parenting news and tips, and the chance to join contests and win cool prizes from Mom Center sponsors.

We encourage you to sign up at, where you could interact with thousands of other Filipina moms (and dads maybe?) in this extensive online parenting community.

Life Is What Happens

I was going to post a series of comic strips based on humorous events around my house with two wild kiddos and their harried homebased writer/artist of a mom. Dad and college kid home-for-the-summer will be playing best supporting actors for a cast of five. I even asked the hubby to do the sketches for me. However, both our artistic mojos have all but been lost in the day-to-day of mother/fatherhood, so that he was able to do only one very lifelike cartoon character sketch of the youngest, and nothing else.

To save the day (or at least the blog post for my scheduled day of posting) I attempted, with my lesser drawing skills, to do ‘em sketches myself. I did make passable drawings there on the sketchpad, I am proud to say. Why are they not here then? Oh, it’s because I lost the drawings in the clutter of my household. I missed a week of posting because of this. Told ya I was harried.

How to Raise Well-Rounded Achievers

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For the past couple of weeks, I've been seeing a lot of Facebook friends posting graduation and recognition photos of their children/nephews/nieces/grandchildren.

I posted one myself of me and my daughter Nini, who was awarded second honorable mention and was named Most Cheerful/Most Gentle in her first-grade class (so proud of her!). One of my Facebook friends, whose daughter took home tons of academic and extra-curricular awards after her high school graduation (and is an incoming freshman at the University of the Philippines to boot), caught my attention. I wondered, "How do you raise an achiever?"

What's the History Behind Your Child's Name?

Your child's life on this earth begins with his name. A name is the symbol, the identity which a person carries throughout every chapter of his life. His family, his friends, his enemies, his mentors, and up to the very last stranger he introduces himself to will recognize him by his name.

This is how important choosing a name for my daughter was to me. I wanted her name to be perfect and beautiful as it reflects how beautiful and special she is to me. The problem though is that choosing a name out of the millions of possible ones out there is just too difficult for me.

Keeping Buried Treasure for Your Children

This is a photo of a 1995 playbill of my performance in a major kindergarten play. The title is Daughters of Mohamed and I played the main role as "Kadiga", the handmaid servant of the 3 princesses of Mohamed.
Fast forward to 2011 and this playbill is still around, with the handwriting of my grandmother still intact and readable. She kept this copy in a photo album stored inside her own treasure chest in her room, and thankfully I didn't accidentally lose it or throw it away.

Summer Activities for Kids: Kick Balls at Futbol Funatics!

Futbol Funatics

The month of March is almost over (which reminds me, a very belated Happy International Women's Day to all!). For us moms with schoolchildren under our wing, it offers a slight relief from having to wake up very early in the mornings, preparing baon, and paying for tuition fees and school expenses because finally, summer vacation is at hand! Our bodies and our wallets could rest for a couple of months before a brand new school year starts.

In the meantime, families are starting to plan beach holidays or vacations in the provinces, especially for Holy Week. You might also be thinking of signing your children up for summer activities that would keep them happily busy.

When Freelancing and Motherhood Isn't Always a Good Match

I'm an active freelance copywriter and blogger, and one of the things I realized only recently is that freelancing and motherhood don't always go well together.

You'd here people saying that freelancing has helped them by giving them the opportunity to be with their families while working, but what you haven't heard are the trials, challenges, and even failures that come with the ability to work from your own home.  I've experienced these failures in particular for myself and to be honest, I still haven't come up with a better solution than to hire a yaya or to cut down on your workload.

Doing Both Can Be Just as Stressful

Here's what I think:

Homeschooling Tips: The Lapbook Project

I’m not the best example of a homeschooling parent, but forgive me if I gloat about this one thing. I’m just so proud of these lapbooks that we made. Lapbooking is awesome!
science lapbook

(Still) Tangled Up!

"Tangled," although sure to be enjoyed by all kinds of audiences, also deals with the trappings of mother-daughter relationships. It is about the story of Rapunzel, a character Ninipie knows too well from her bedtime stories. In the original Grimm version, the reason why the witch kept Rapunzel in the tower was because her parents "owed" her after the couple stole her medicinal plants. Disney gives the story more depth by supplying a more feasible, magical, and rather believable reason. (I'm not telling. Watch the movie! J)

A Special Moment with My Daughter

I've experienced one-of-a-kind moments and instances with my 11-month old daughter from time to time, which sometimes gives me an idea just what is in her heart and, hopefully, what type of personality she has as a person.

Today, I saw once again one of her most beautiful qualities that makes her lovable and special: her ability to lift my spirits and make me smile.

A Brave Little Girl

I was crying today because of a fight I had with my husband. I guess my yelling woke the little one up from her morning nap, because she was awake when I stepped out of the bathroom.

She didn't cry a single tear due to the sudden noise. She just lay on her back and looked intently at the moving figure that was sniffling and crying her eyes out on a blue towel. She then sat up and stared, wondering what was wrong with her mother.

How I Breastfed Three Kids Til Toddlerhood

First attempts at breastfeeding
 from a first-time mom
I suppose I was lucky the first time. I gave birth in a small, out-of-the-way, but well-maintained hospital. I believe these kinds of places are friendlier to breastfeeding than the big city hospitals. For one thing, there was only one other in-patient during my stay, so there were no viruses and bacteria to worry about. It was a normal birth. The baby and I were roomed-in at once, and I didn’t have to fight for it, or even insist.

My Plea to All Would-Be and First-Time Moms

It was a Sunday morning when my husband's little sister knocked on the door and relayed heartbreaking news.
A baby girl of about 3 months was found abandoned in her parents' house, alone with her tiny legs full of rat bite marks. Someone had informed my father-in-law, a Kagawad official of the barangay, about it, so he asked for the baby to be brought inside our home.

10 Important Tasks a First-time Mom's Gotta Do

Just found out you're about to have your very first baby? Congratulations! Those 2 red lines represent the start of a journey that will forever change your life.

Let the feelings of euphoria and nervousness sink in. Allow yourself to bask in the realization that in the next 40 weeks, you will be experiencing a miracle that only we women are blessed with.

But this miracle is a precious one, something that you don't just toss from one hand to the other. And because it is precious, it can break at the slightest sign of carelessness and neglect. Don't ever allow this to happen to you! Start taking good care of yourself and your baby by keeping these 10 important tasks in mind:

Baby Journals: How to Keep Your Baby Books Updated, the Do-it-Yourself Style

I have here with me a stack of three journals. One is a Taschen, the other is a Piccadilly, and the third is an unidentified good quality hardbound.

These are my family’s baby books, one for each son. These are where the memories and keepsakes of each of my babies’ growing-up years are recorded. These keepsake journals are not the usual kind that you can buy in stores. Inside these books, there are no illustrated pages of pink and blue cutesy designs, color coded according to the child’s gender. There are no specified areas to fill up with milestones and growth charts and baby’s first everything.

New Mom Blogger Kelly: Queen of All Trades

Kelly with little Kaaro

Now that you've met Steffi, let me now introduce our next, new mommy blogger. Mommy Kelly is mother to three boys (four, including her adoring husband, Marlon) with whom she's made a home in Cagayan de Oro.

She and her husband are both artists and between mothering and working online, it amazes me that she still finds time to curate museum exhibits, organize artist directories, spearhead conventions, and who knows what else. She even home-schools her younger boys. Lately, she was just in Boracay, where she attended a tattoo convention and learned about the basics of tattooing.

New Mom Blogger Steffi: Young, Tech Savvy, and Hardworking

Mommy blogger Steffi, hubby Jayson, and their little Holly
Mom Notes would like to welcome two new mommy bloggers, Steffi and Kelly, both of whom I also consider good friends, aboard! Work and duties at home make it a little more challenging for me to update and even though I vow to post something whenever I can, two new minds and two extra sets of hands should keep Mom Notes alive and kicking. We aim to inspire other moms by sharing our experiences and hopefully, new knowledge and useful/fun/practical information, too.

Let me first introduce Steffi who, like me and Mommy Kelly, is also a stay-at-home mom. We actually met at a local online community for writers and although we may no longer be active in said community, our friendship remains. The bond of motherhood and the things we go through as online writers also have a lot to do with it. Steffi is mother to Holly, who will turn 1 next month, and happily married to Jayson.  

Sunday afternoons should be spent at the park.

View of the Eco Park from the highest point (near the dam)
The La Mesa Eco Park is a relaxing, natural spot found in the heart of Quezon City. It may not be as big as other parks in the Philippines but there are a handful of activities that family and friends can surely enjoy in say, a lazy Sunday afternoon when you would like to do something with your family other than go to the mall or sit around the house all day, watching movies.

Why You Should Take Your Family to See RPG Metanoia

If you have school age kids, siblings, nieces, or nephews, I highly recommend you take them to watch "RPG Metanoia," one of the entries to the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival. Not only does it make history as the country's first-ever full-length 3D-animated film, it also proves to be a one-of-a-kind and truly-Pinoy experience.

Manage Your Time Better in 2011

The holidays have come and gone and it's only now I was able to return to this blog. Sorry about that readers! I have yet to master the art of time management and yep, I've already made it one of my resolutions this year.

It's been over a year since I decided to quit my job in the corporate office and earn from home through writing, and if there is one thing I have learned this past year is that it is definitely not easy to fulfill the responsibilities of a mother, wife, and (less often now) sister and daughter and friend - while you try to keep your clients happy. But it's worth trying and I believe that it is not entirely impossible.

So to start the year off, I decided to post something about how to effectively manage time, with the help of a little research of course. With that, happy new year to all moms - moms in all shapes and sizes, moms young and old, and moms at heart - and may we all have a fruitful and productive 2011 ahead!