Our Favorite Lullabies

Our nights are never complete without lullabies.

thecluelessmomph-lullabies

When I was young, my parents always sang me lullabies.. which were usually songs by The Carpenters, I think. Lullabies to me are nostalgic, and having someone sing you a lullaby is, I think, a beautiful way to bond. Whenever I’d hear a nice song on the radio, I’d sometimes think to myself ‘This would make a pretty lullaby” and store it in the back of my head for future reference.

However, if you’re like me and have gone through general anaesthesia thrice in two years, you tend to forget a LOT. So when The Little Troublemaker was born, for some reason I could not think of a song to sing him to sleep. Call me picky or whatever, but I wanted the song to be meaningful and not just some random pop song.The first song that popped into my head was “Skidamarink” because I used to sing it a lot when I was a kid! So I ended up singing him nothing but a slow version of  “Skidamarink” for weeks, and I sang it so much that my husband learned the song, too.

As time passed my list of lullabies grew with songs that The Little Troublemaker enjoys and actually falls asleep to. I’ve tried singing him slow versions of our favorite songs, which are along the lines of rock and alternative, but they never really put him to sleep.

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My Struggle with PCOS

At the beginning of the year, a lot of stressful things occurred. My son was confined on New Year’s Day and a few weeks later I was re-assigned to a new client who had more demands than my previous one. The stress kept piling up over the following months and I noticed how I gained a lot of weight, how my acne increased and how I felt down a lot. I found myself just wanting to stay in bed the entire day and just eat, work and sleep. I lost interest in my usual hobbies including blogging, which explains why you haven’t seen anything new here lately.

Just this summer, I convinced myself to start changing my lifestyle by exercising more often and eating well. It was tough because I continued to feel the pressure from work and I carried the stress with me even after work hours. Exercising helped me feel a bit better but at the end of the day, my mind was always clouded with thoughts of my being a failure at work. A few months into my “lifestyle change”, I decided to weigh myself and realized that I gained more pounds and I also noticed some clothes got tighter. You can imagine my disappointment. I knew I was supposed to lose weight at that point, but for some reason by body was not responding to my weight loss efforts.

Bothered by my inability to lose weight, I decided to see a doctor. I figured it might be hormonal because of my persistent jawline acne and my delayed menstrual cycle. After a few consultations and tests she determined I had PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS and that I was having a hard time losing weight because I was insulin resistant. I was told that being insulin resistant comes with PCOS, like a ‘package deal’, and that it means that my body is not processing insulin properly. Although I felt frustrated upon finding out something was wrong with me, I felt somewhat relieved that I could finally put a “name” to everything I’ve been going through. I wasn’t just “not trying hard enough” or “Stressed lang” like most people around me would say. More importantly, now that I am working with a doctor to manage my condition I don’t feel so alone anymore and I am finally getting proper care.

[Photo Source]
I didn’t realize though that treating my PCOS symptoms would be tougher. You see, my doctor wanted to address my delayed menstrual cycle first above everything else, so we set the acne and weight gain issues aside and worked on regulating my cycles and for this she prescribed me some good ‘ol pills. I’ve never taken birth control pills before for a prolonged period – I lasted about five days and gave up because the side effects were terrible. I raised this concern with my doctor and she told me I had to deal with the side effects and give my body about a month to adjust, plus the pills were supposed to help with my acne. She also wanted me to continue with the diet and exercise and to avoid stress because it can aggravate my condition.

Being on the pill for a month was a roller coaster ride. During the first few weeks I was just a huge mess – I had headaches, I couldn’t sleep, I always felt nauseated especially at night (which covers my work hours), I had mood swings and cried for no reason, and my acne grew WORSE. It affected my productivity at work and I got even more stressed. A week later the side effects seemed to subside, but just when I though things were getting better, I was going down the roller coaster again. It was just horrible. The worst part was that my next cycle was still delayed.

At this point I spoke to my supervisor at work, and explained my situation. She understood how tough it was for me and she agreed to help me find another position if I pay my doctor a visit and get recommendation for less stressful work. It just so happened that I was due for a check-up. When I spoke to my doctor, she said I had to stay on the pill for another month and if it yielded the same results I’d have to switch brands. Seeing that I was indeed under a lot more stress than before, she agreed to write a recommendation for less stressful work. That same day, I got word from my supervisor that my client cancelled his contract with me – an immediate cancellation. Although the cancellation was not due to my performance, I still felt disappointed. However, I couldn’t stop thinking that the timing seemed to be convenient to my situation. As my husband likes to say, it’s as if it were “God’s will”.

My supervisors decided to give me two weeks off before taking on a new position at work. If anything, they want me to feel better before I take on a new client again. I think that’s just what I need – time to deal with the stress and “reset”. I’m really glad that my supervisors accommodated my request and understood my situation. So here I am now, typing away on my blog and trying to bring it back to life (Ugh, that sounded cheesy!). I can’t believe that I didn’t get the chance to blog about my birthday last May, or my Little Troublemaker’s birthday last June, and our latest stories and milestones.

If you’re one of my readers, I’m sorry if I’ve been away for so long. There’s just been so much to deal with but I’m working on getting back on my feet. I have this crazy list of things I want to blog about, and I will be sure to scratch them all off my list.

I’m curious to know though if are other moms out there with PCOS. How are you dealing with these crazy symptoms? Please feel free to share in the comments below, I really want to hear from you because I’m new to this. Thank you!

 

 

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How To Deal With Mouthing: Uh oh, Is Baby Putting Stuff In His Mouth?

A few months after your baby is born, his curiosity will have him exploring the world around him. He will start reaching out for objects that catch his attention. However, since babies’ hand movements are not developed enough until about seven months, they can only manage to grasp objects but not fully explore them with their hands. To satisfy their curiosity, they put objects in their mouths as they are able to control their lips and tongues better than their hands. This is referred to as “mouthing”.

Claire Lerner, an LCSW with American Baby, elaborates this further in an article on www.parents.com:

“While your baby is learning to master his hand movements — reaching, grabbing, and swatting — he’s not yet so adept at using his fingers. So when a baby grasps what he desires and wants to investigate further (“Is it soft or hard? Can I eat it? Does it make a sound?”), this often means putting it in his mouth. Mouthing helps babies learn all about different shapes and textures. They also learn what feels good and tastes good, and what doesn’t — so your child will only mouth a wool blanket once.”

Besides being a means of exploration, there is another reason behind mouthing in babies, and that its teething. When babies’ teeth start coming in, they like gnawing object to soothe their gums. You can easily distinguish teething from regular mouthing when your baby drools while putting things in his mouth. Rest assured though that whatever the reason may be, mouthing is a completely normal and is a great way for babies to begin sensory development.

In this post I’ll be focusing more on mouthing, but you might find some information applicable to teething, too.

Caught red-handed.
Caught red-handed.
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How I Kept My Sanity During My Last Pregnancy

Pregnancy – for some it’s such a breeze while it drives others insane. Hormones are to blame, I tell yah. One minute you’re a peace-loving puppy-hugging hippie, and the next thing you know you’re channeling Linda Blair’s character in The Exorcist. You might be here because you’re a soon-to-be mom (congratulations!) looking for helpful tips. If you are, I hope you find my experience useful and informative. But if you’re already a mom, join me as I recall my hormone crazy preggy days and how I kept my sanity, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate in one way or another.

Remember this movie? Two characters with completely opposite pregnancies! Image from Google
1. I gave in to my cravings. Seriously, ladies. If you don’t then you’re gonna have a bad time. You’ll get cranky – extremely cranky – and it’s going to ruin your day. Some women have the most outrageous cravings though, take my mother for instance. When she was pregnant with me, she craved for apples. Not just any ordinary apple, though. She craved for apples that we’re almost rotten. So whenever she’d tell others about it, she’d say, “Pinaglihi ko siya na bulok na mansanas!”. Bizarre, right?! My cravings with Ethan were reasonable though – pancakes. I was lucky because my office back then was surrounded by fast food stores that sold pancakes for breakfast, and I always ordered some before coming in to work. It may be difficult at first, but food cravings normally end during the 2nd trimester. Hang in there!

My favorite fast food pancakes!

 

2. I always carried snacks with me. This is a must. You have to realize that you’re eating for two and your body will increase it’s demand for food, which means more frequent hunger pangs. When I was pregnant with Ethan, I swear my stomach was like a bottomless pit. No cracker could keep it from rumbling. I remember coming across a tip about eating small frequent meals, so I decided to try it and it worked well for me. Keep your snacks as healthy as possible and choose those that are more filling. I loved snacking on wheat bread sandwiches, Century Tuna Lite and hard boiled eggs, trail mix and apples. Always bring snacks with you whenever you go out, you’ll never know when you might need to munch on something.

image from Google
3. I drank a lot of water. I was always thirsty especially in my third trimester,  so thirsty that I could finish a liter of water in one go. Water also helped me with hunger pangs, kept me refreshed and made me feel energized. Having a small water bottle in your everyday bag is an idea you might want to consider, that way you can take a sip anytime, anywhere.

image from Google
4. I warned people about my mood swings. I set expectations with people around me by explaining how I sometimes preferred to be alone, especially when my “suplada” side was rearing it’s ugly head. This way people will know what to expect and will understand how to deal with you on bad days.
5. I always had a Chinese menthol stick in my bag. They may not be for everyone, but these little white sticks work wonders for headaches and dizziness. I frequently used them during my 1st trimester, not only because of constant dizziness, but because I had a very sensitive sense of smell then. There were places wherein I felt like throwing up just because of the smell, back then I especially hated the smell of deep fried food.

image from Google

 

6. I also kept a handful of candies. I needed these for when I’d throw up due to morning sickness. Only after my pregnancy did I come across tips suggesting ginger as an effective remedy. Try ginger candies and ginger ale!7. I gave our dog Chicken hugs.

 

8. I watched my weight. I kept tabs on my weight during every doctor’s appointment and made sure I was gaining at a normal pace. My OB said I should only gain about 20 lbs, but I ended up gaining 30 lbs. Ten pounds is a big difference but my doctor said it was just fine. I was totally fine with it too because, compared to my 1st pregnancy, I gained 50 lbs. So how did watching my weight keep me sane? During pregnancy, a lot of women are easily alarmed by weight gain. I myself have self-esteem issues because of my weight, even now. When I was pregnant though I realized that I had to make a conscious effort to make sure my weight gain did not go out of control. Keeping track of my weight gain gave me the control I needed, it helped me understand that being pregnant is not an excuse to eat anything and everything to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content. I gave in to my cravings, but still ate everything else in moderation. Because of my efforts, I didn’t blow up so easily like I did with my first pregnancy, and I worried less about becoming ginormous again. No “OMG I’ve become so fat” moments to bring me down! Downloading a pregnancy app on my phone helped me a lot with monitoring my weight. You might want to check out these Google Play Pregnancy Apps if you’re using an Android phone.
image from Google Play
9. I ditched random loose clothing for proper maternity wear. During my first pregnancy, I always wore cheap dreadful denim colored leggings that were trying to pass themselves off as jeans, loose cardigans and P99 tops that looked liked drapes. You can imagine how awful I looked, I always had my head down because I was ashamed of how silly my ensemble was. I was like “It’s okay as long as my tummy fits and my arms don’t show” (I have huge arms. LOL). You couldn’t blame me though, because I wanted to save as much as I could for the baby back then. When I was pregnant with Ethan though, I realized that I should still be able to enjoy wearing nice clothes even with my growing tummy. I was lucky enough to have an awesome friend who lent me some of her old maternity wear, and I also invested in a few pieces for myself. I’m glad I did, because was finally able to say goodbye to my frumpy outfits and I ended up feeling confident about myself. I guess the key to get more bang for your buck is to buy something that you can still use after giving birth, like a nice classy blouse or dress. Take a look at this cute top from Buntis at Zalora!
If you still want to wear jeans but can’t afford to buy a new pair, you can try what I did – go DIY! Pinterest has amazing tutorials for DIY maternity jeans. If you have a pair you’re willing to sacrifice, go ahead and try it out. I tried doing the one with an elastic band in the front, and another with the band on the sides. The one on the sides worked best for me. Seriously, you can’t wear leggings for nine months.
10. I cried when I had to. There were times went I felt sad for no reason during my pregnancy, and there were also instances when I would get extremely upset over little things. They tell you not to cry because it will affect the baby’s well-being, but I think that bottling up such feelings can lead to more stress. I’d cry alone, let it all out and just be done with it. I’d always feel a lot better after.
11. I followed a TV series. It helped keep my mind off stressful things – a distraction. Whenever I’d feel overwhelmed by my pregnancy and my husband wasn’t around to talk about it, I’d load my favorite series on the computer and watch til I was tired.

image from Google

12. I made time for friends and family. I even commuted to Bulacan for a swimming trip with my in-laws while I was eight months pregnant! Chatting and catching up with people you love will never fail to make you feel awesome.

13. I spent quality time with my husband. We always went out on dates – we love movies and trying out restaurants. Just being with him, knowing he was there for me, kept me sane on most days.

14. I prayed. Prayers always got me through the worst days. It never mattered if my prayers were short or long, as long as I spent a few minutes to thank Him for the little miracle he blessed me with. I always asked Him for guidance, for patience and for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

How about you, mommies? How did you get through all the crazy during your pregnancy?
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