Category Archives: Blog

Waiting to Miscarry

Standard
Waiting to Miscarry

I still find it hard to squeeze words out of my heart to express the grief and sadness that has kept us silent for almost a month. I guess you can’t take something out of an empty vessel no matter how hard you try. My heart is empty and so are my tears.

 

We thought we’ve lucked out on baby dusts after we had Sophia. It took us 6 years to get pregnant after all. Imagine our surprise and excitement when we saw two lines on a home pregnancy test. Although it was a faint positive (the 2nd line was not very clear), it was a positive nonetheless.

We were ecstatic. We can’t wait to have another baby and I’m certain that Sophia would be a wonderful big sister.

However, there was a dark cloud of doubt hanging over my head. Something didn’t feel right about this pregnancy. I took a total of 8 pregnancy tests in a span of 5 days and the results were the same. It remained to be a faint positive. It made me restless. It should be a big fat positive (bfp) by now. I should be seeing 2 clear lines after 3 days.

My doctor had me take a quantitative blood serum test to confirm my pregnancy and it did come back as positive. The blood test verified that I was pregnant but it did little to quell my fears.  My HCG level was within range but I felt that it was extremely low at 374 mm/IU for 5.5 weeks pregnant me. I tried reaching out to people to share my worries; probably get some reassurance perhaps. But I was either ignored or brushed off. I stopped talking to people after that. I had my husband and Sophia and they were enough to keep me grounded and sane.

This pregnancy was completely different from my first. I know that each pregnancy differs but my gut was telling me that something was amiss. Probably because I didn’t feel pregnant at all. I didn’t have any symptoms other than sore nipples and occasional spells of dizziness and fatigue. I had constant back pain and light to moderate cramps.

I was terrified to lose this baby and I spent my nights browsing the internet for answers until I cried myself to sleep. I had multiple scenarios running in my head and it was difficult to bottle up all my emotions as hope, worry, anxiety, and fear struggled within my heart.

Although it was still too early for an ultrasound, I convinced my husband that we needed one. We were able to see a small gestational sac (4.6 mm) but the yolk sac and the embryo hasn’t developed yet. The sonologist assured us that based on the size of the sac, it was still too early in the pregnancy to detect the embryo. We were advised to get another scan after 2 weeks. And thus began my days in limbo. Are we waiting for a baby or are we just waiting to miscarry?

Is this a blighted ovum? Did we make a mistake with our dates? Or will this be a missed miscarriage?

Will there be an embryo in 2 weeks? Why is the baby’s development delayed? Will the baby have birth defects?

Will I miscarry naturally? Would I need a D&C? God please don’t make me lose this baby.

Probably you’re thinking that I was too pessimistic and my frame of mind affected the end result. I tried to be positive throughout this ordeal. I did my best to cling to hope. I prayed that a miracle would happen and I would carry this baby to term. We even started to choose a name for our little beanie. But I know my body and it broke my heart that it was telling me otherwise.

Everyday, each time I would feel cramps or back pain, I would think to myself; “Is it happening now? Am I miscarrying right now?” I would rush to the bathroom and breathe a sigh of relief each time I don’t see blood. Hope was my worst enemy at that time.

We kept our secret to ourselves and we planned to let everybody know once we get the result of our second scan. We had it scheduled on December 2nd. Just a couple of days to go.

But life has other plans for us. November 29, Sunday morning. I woke up and saw blood when I wiped.

I thought, “Oh hey, it’s probably just a wee bit spotting. It’s not bright red and a bit of spotting during pregnancy is normal, right?”

We pretended that it was nothing but towards noon, I started to bleed with severity. The waves of pain became a constant crescendo and it was heartbreaking to know that my body is trying to let go of my precious beanie.

The cramps and backache grew in intensity until I couldn’t even manage to lie still in bed. The pain level was sharper than my labor induction with Sophia. Beyond the physical distress, the agony of loss made everything more painful.

Around 5:30 pm on a long weekend Sunday, I lost my little beanie. I felt him leave my body. And I felt my heart go empty.

We never got to find out if it was a missed miscarriage or if it was a blighted ovum. We never got the chance for a follow up scan. But with this miscarriage was my closure. I don’t have to lie in bed at night and be tortured about “Are we waiting for a baby? Or are we waiting to miscarry?”

Because now we know.

Despite all this heartache, I am still thankful. I am grateful for my husband who stood by my side and listened and shared my fears.  I feel lucky to have Sophia, my baby, she kept my sanity well anchored and her laughter and smile kept me from falling into depression. I feel deep appreciation for Mayleen, who was there when I sorely needed a friend. My Dad who always checked in on me to ask about my pregnancy.

I am grateful because God still made it easy for me. I was terrified of a D&C and he made me miscarry naturally instead. I thought the pain would overwhelm me but I was able to ride it through without any pain medication. I didn’t hemorrhage and I didn’t need to be rushed to the ER. I “labored” for 8 hours and the pain subsided as soon as I passed the sac.

I am grateful because I know some women went through a more traumatic experience.

My body may have mended quickly but our hearts are still grieving. We have named our little beanie, Edward. We hope that one day we will soon see a rainbow at the end of this storm.

Advertisements

Online Groups for Mommies

Standard
Online Groups for Mommies

When we first found out that I was pregnant with Sophia, I knew that I would have to leave a career I enjoy and become a stay at home mom.  I thought that it would be easy to connect with other mothers with whom I could share cute baby moments and toddler-horror stories.  But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  Stay at home moms rarely have time for themselves because they are busy taking care of EVERYTHING.  Thus, they hardly have time to socialize beyond Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  (You’re lucky if you can even go online!)

I was in need of adult social interaction and the only viable avenue to meet new friends was online.  I searched for Facebook communities and groups that can offer me the support and camaraderie that I was looking for.  Here are some of my online tambayan where I get to share my experiences and meet mommies who share the same interests that I do.  I also asked some of my mommy friends to share their online groups so you can check them out.

Please note that some of these groups are “Closed” and require approval from their respective group administrators for you to become bonafide members.

I included the short description from the groups to help you decide which community you would like to join. Enjoy!

For Babywearing Support

1.Babywearing Philippines – A place where we can discuss everything about babywearing. This group welcomes all types of baby carriers. Both local and international brands, DIY and inexpensive to highly sought after baby carriers

12030534_10153292764267800_2751757471811914156_o

2. Spin Happy Babywearers Club – A happy place to talk about babywearing and share tips and best practices.

12112116_10156092675845702_7033062158378971849_n

3. Filipino Association of Babywearers – A space for babywearing support in between babywearing meets.

4. Babywearing Testers PH – A group for babywearing parents who are interested to try-out test wraps/carriers, in exchange for reviews and photos of the said wraps/carrier.

For Breastfeeding Support

  1. Breastfeeding Pinay – Ang “online community” na ito ay binubuo ng mga ina, ama, trained breastfeeding peer counselors, breastfeeding experts, at mga espesyalista sa pangangalaga ng kalusugan ng sanggol, bata at buntis. Naglalayon ang Breastfeeding Pinays na makapagbigay ng wastong kaalaman, suporta at lakas ng loob para sa mga inang gusto magpasuso (breastfeeding), bumalik sa pagpapasuso (relactation) at matuto ng tamang impormasyon tungkol sa pagpapasuso. Inaasam din ng grupong ito na maitaguyod ang pagpapasuso bilang pamantayan ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino – Protect, Promote and Support Breastfeeding,

1000969_10151867258017038_1327934782_n

For Cloth Diaper Support

  1. Cloth Diaper Addicts Ph – This group was created to be a haven for everyone who would like to learn more about cloth diapering in an environment full of fun, camaraderie and mutual respect. Members of this group are bound together by the love for cloth diapers.
  2. Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays – Sharing the of Modern Cloth Nappies / Diapers among Pinays!
    This is a page to discuss, review, buy / sell / swap new or second-hand nappies, upload pics of your stash or pics of your babies in your favorite MCNs.

923347_10200981556842583_335513109_n

3. Cloth Diaper Sewing Pinays – A space dedicated for sewing cloth diapers. Members can discuss sewing, share tips & how-to’s, trade materials & show off their finished works of art.

For Food Lovers

  1. iFoodala Foodies – We love good food. It may be homecooked or fabulous meals out. Let’s share food pics, recipes and tips on where to eat and what to eat. Foodies unite!
  2. Bakehappy Manila – This is one of the happiest and helpful baking groups you will see on FB. Please refer to the “About” write up to learn more about the group and also get to know the basic group rules. We also urge you to please sign up in the following link to be included in the group directory.
  3. Joyful Cuisine Club – A baking and cooking group for newbies and experts where you can get the best advice and tips from professional chefs, bakers, cake decorators and cooks.
  4. kAwAli  aT  pAlAyOK.. – Luto mo, pagkain nating lahat kaya…share your foods and recipes!!!
  5. BentoPH – BentoPH is the country’s first bento community and the official community page of the BENTOMOMMAS where bento enthusiasts can share recipes and tips and get inspiration from each other.

Mommy Support Groups

  1. MOMs Inc – This is a venue for moms and moms to be. A place to chat and mingle; talk about mommy stuff and anything under the sun; get advice and provide encouragement and support to fellow.Being loving and kind are just some of a mom-characteristic, let us practice them and avoid situations such as arguments, negative judgments. Insulting, bashing, being rude and alike are not allowed here. Kindly contact the administrators for any Moms Inc. related concerns. We will try to keep track of every post and make sure concerns are well addressed. Selling/transacting on the wall is not allowed. Let us stick to our common denominator, being a mom. Invite your friends, lets be involved in this mom-community. Let us help each other and make ourselves more productive.
  2. GirlTalk – MommyTalk Phils. is an online community of Pinay moms supporting each other through the journey of motherhood.

556950_4044555389232_2001266682_n

3.  South PiNanays – Moms and moms-to-be who help and support each other as we journey through motherhood. Dads, grandparents, sisters, brothers, doctors, nurses, and anybody who believes in natural parenting or wants to learn or needs support or are willing to give support are welcome as well.Mainly a Breastfeeding Support group for those living in Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas and Quezon but other parenting related topics such as pregnancy related, babywearing, cloth diapering, complementary feeding, education and more are welcome.

12115940_680386992097117_8827453583720666282_n

4.  East Mommas Philippines – Support group for mommies from Rizal, Marikina, Pasig

5.  Modern Moms – Laguna –  This group is formed mainly for the purpose of supporting our main advocacies : Breastfeeding, Babywearing. Cloth Diapering, Baby Led Weaning & Traditional Feeding, Co-Sleepin

6.  Open-minded women – This group is created to promote a stressfree, friendly environment to women of all ages. Huge sense of humor, broad understanding, calm heart are highly recommended.

7.  Pinay Mommies/Pregnancy Corner – A support grouToolsp for Filipina moms, moms and moms to be (pregnants). This group is breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and baby wearing advocate.

8.  TTC Pinays (Trying to Conceive Support Group Philippines) – A support group made for Filipina women who are trying to conceive and battling natural conception for quite some time. This group is open to those who have suffered loss or miscarriage as well as couples who are still starting to build a family of their own.

9.  Gentle Birth in the Philippines – This group was originally started to address the actions of the Department of Health to make home birthing illegal. The original purpose of this group is to keep home birthing in the Philippines legal and to educate families about homebirthing in the Philippines.The group has since evolved and we now focus on gentle birth options. We seek to provide every woman giving birth in the Philippines information, research and experience to allow them to make an informed decision when making their birth option.

10.  Attachment Parenting Philippines – This is a group where Pinoy parents can discuss and share their experiences about attachment parenting.

11.  Tambayan Ni Nanay Atbp – Mabuhay sa Tambayan ni Nanay Atbp. Layunin ng ating grupo ang magkaroon ng isang masaya at mapayapang tambayan. Pwede dito ang kahit na anong kwentuhan na iyong maiisipan. Maari rin tayong magbenta, bumili, sumali sa raffle at magparaffle!😉
Samahang magkakaibigan na “pamilya” ang turingan.

12015036_10205109660725970_5158526414751619310_o

These are other “Secret” Mommy Groups that are not searchable on Facebook.  You would need to have a member of the group send you an invite to be able to join.

  1. Forevermoms
  2. Mommy hub ph
  3. Sexy beautiful pinay mommies
  4. Mommy’s Secret PH
  5. WHAMmanila/Wahmderful community for work-at-home moms

Other Groups

  1. PARTY PLANS AND IDEAS – We started out as a small support group back in July 2012 for sharing ideas in planning our perfect occasion for our loved ones. Our first members were mostly Moms who love DIY’s. And now we decided to expand our community by creating an online Free Market. We create opportunities for big and small time traders/suppliers to find their market as we continue to accept members nationwide who are planning, or looking for party supplies or awesome talents who will spice up their events
  2. Adult Coloring Book  PH – Adult coloring books for Filipinos.
    Feel free to post your creation and projects here!
    Ads, online selling can post their items FRIDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY.
  3. Phil. Stock Market Discussions, Comments and Forecast – This group is for Global Pinoys who love to talk about stocks/stock market in the Philippines. This is also for beginners or professionals who want to share inputs, forecast, and analysis on the Philippine Stock Market
  4. G6pd Deficiency ph – G6PD Deficiency Philippines (G6PDDPh) is a non-profit group which aims to disseminate awareness about G6PD Deficiency based on substantial studies, data from health care providers, group polls/statistics and electronic reports from G6PDDPh-Awareness group members.
  5. Home Farmers Club (Urban Container Gardening Enthusiasts) – Home Farmers Club – Urban Container Gardening Enthusiasts. A group purposely created to serve as a venue/hub for those who are into UCG or interested to try UCG. This serves as a learning point, discussion arena for exchanges of best practices and sharing of knowledge, meeting UCG enthusiasts and pretty much knowing everything about UCG. Inspired by the encouraging example of the “The Gardener” Mr. Perfecto “Jojo” Rom, Jr. of Davao City, Philippines who is the admin of this group, the Home Farmers Club aims to invite you to try UCG and be a part of our effort to solve hunger and malnutrition, advance food security, reduce and recycle waste and in the long run democratize agriculture.
  6. Forever DADS – Forever DADS is the daddy counterpart of Forever MOMS! Daddies of all kind whether you are a single-dad, married, separated, or living in with your baby-momma, you are welcomed!

For Health and Wellness

  1. Be Fit Pinay – This group will update daily with healthy living news, energizing workout moves, fitness and nutrition.
  2. Natural Beauty & Health Remedies (NBHR) – NBHR is a group where women can freely express themselves. This group is created for the benefits of women looking for place to enjoy being one. We can definitely discuss anything that concerns us, whether it is about cooking, make up, recycling, baby-sitting, hubby-sitting, home decoration, organizing a party, fashion, relationship or you can even vent out during your menstrual period. We can be your online “sumbungan” anytime of the day. We will also discuss about beauty tips that can help improve ourselves for a better looking us. We will make sure to discuss natural tips and affordable ones. Health remedies will be also discussed here.

For BST  and Group Buys (Buy, Sell, Trade)

  1. Tipid Nanay – Tipid Nanay aims to broaden the choices of moms who are looking for good deals on baby and mommy stuff. Happy shopping!
  2. Parent’s Circle Pasa-Buy – The groups aim is to help the members save as much as possible in comparison to mall/retail prices. It’s not really much additional effort at all once you’ve got the prices down, and the savings really add up. At the same time to provide a community of moms and dads that love shopping keeping a harmonious and peaceful settings.
  3. PH Babywearing B/S/T – PH Babywearing B/S/T is a place to buy, sell or trade recommended and safe baby carriers.

Queen of Hearts Tutu Tutorial

Standard

Here it is, friends. My tutorial on how to make Sophia’s Queen of Hearts costume that she wore for Halloween.

IMG_20151102_2

A disclaimer before we proceed, I am not trained in design and dress making. I don’t even know how to make a pattern. I learned how to use a sewing machine when I was in 3rd year high school and now I have forgotten how to change the thread and needle in one. I had a tiny sewing machine from Lazada earlier this year but it broke down in less than a week. (It was the 1k machine. Better invest in a sturdier brand.) I hope the tutorial would help you in making your baby’s tutu dress because my methods are not exact and measurements are mostly approximations. I usually eyeball them. Hahaha! (Diskarte lang talaga!)

Alrighty, let’s begin. 😀

  1. Look for a design on Pinterest, Etsy, or Google.
Pretty tutu dresses!

Pretty tutu dresses!

Pinterest is a good place to get inspiration. Make sure to choose a design that has materials that you can find here in the Philippines or at least have alternatives that you can use instead.

I wanted to make a lace crown for her costume but I couldn’t find mod podge or fabric stiffener and spray lacquer anywhere. So I had to trash that idea.

Glittery lace crowns

Glittery lace crowns

Do choose a design with a difficulty level that you are comfortable with. It’s great to be ambitious but materials can be expensive and it would defeat the purpose of going DIY if you redo and spend more for materials or you just end up buying a ready made dress instead.

2. Buy your materials.

You can go to Divisoria to buy all your tulle and sewing notions needs. They are cheaper too compared to mall-based fabric stores. A yard of tulle costs around php25 to 35 pesos.  However, they do not have soft tulle strips or tulle rolls. (Although, I was able to find hard tulle strips in limited colors.) I went back and forth from Ilaya and Tabora streets to the Tutuban mall but wasn’t able to find tulle strips.

6--confetti-organza-roll--10-yards-

Tulle strips or rolls

Why do you need tulle strips? Because it will save you time in cutting the 60 width tulle fabric into 6 inch strips. It is very time consuming and you have to make sure that your strips are of equal length and width. I was able to find an online shop on Facebook who sells tutu dress materials but I haven’t tried ordering from them yet.

Here’s my shopping list for the dress:

8 yards red soft tulle

3 yards white soft tulle

2 yards black soft tulle

1 yard yellow soft tulle

3 yards black ribbon

1 yard black and white checkered fabric

1 yard white felt cloth

3 black crochet headband

1 pack red glitter

Elmers glue

Fabric glue

Paper cup

Gold spray paint

2 buttons

1 yard elastic with button holes

1 black headband

Note: Please don’t skimp on your tulle fabric. Your dress won’t look poofy if you only have 2 tiers on your tulle skirt. Plus, if you run out of tulle and couldn’t go back to Divisoria you would have to buy from the mall. A yard of tulle at the mall costs 180 pesos.

My divi haul. Some extra stuff included.

My divi haul. Some extra stuff included.

3. Take your baby’s measurement. Again, I am not an expert. I measured the following:

  • circumference of her chest and her waist (above the belly button)
  • Length of the bodice from her armpit to waist
  • Length of the skirt from waist to her ankles

 

4. Cut your tulle into strips. The length is based on your baby’s measurement.

The length of her skirt is 16 inches so I doubled that and added an extra inch for the knot. I cut mine into 6 inches wide and 33 inches long.

Work on a big flat surface like the kitchen table. It will be easier on your back and the fabric will be laid flat.

Jpeg

Tulle manually cut into 6 inch strips

5. Sew together 3 headband crochet to create the bodice or the tube top.  if you are able to find a wider crocheted bodice, you can skip this step.  I scoured Divisoria and wasn’t able to find one that was wider than 4 inches.

Jpeg

Now, you’re ready to create your skirt.

 

To make the skirt:

1.Follow the no-sew tutu tutorial on this YouTube video to create the
skirt.

 

2. Use the red tulle strips and tie 3 tiers leaving 4 slots in front for the white and yellow tulle strips.

Make 3 tiers of red tulle starting from the bottom, working your way up

Make 3 tiers of red tulle starting from the bottom, working your way up. Leave 4 slots in front for the yellow and white tulle

Jpeg

3 tiers of red tulle

 

3. For the front part of the skirt, use the white tulle strip and tie them to the 2nd and 3rd (bottom) tier.

Jpeg

 

4. For the 1st (top) tier, follow this pattern: yellow – white – white – yellow.  (Yup, I only used 2 strips of the yellow tulle)

Jpeg

I chose to attach the black tulle later after I have sewn in the checkered decoration/applique on the bodice.

 

To complete the bodice:

1.Make a square and a pentagon pattern on your felt cloth. I don’t have exact measurements because I only eyeballed it hahaha.

2. Cover the felt  cutouts with your checkered cloth. Use your fabric glue to attach the cloth to the felt.

3. Place the pentagon on top of the square and sew together. Make sure the pentagon tip is midline and pointing downwards.

Jpeg

It would be difficult to accomplish this without a mannequin

 

4. To make the checkered strips at the front of the skirt, cut 1.5 inch x 16 inches strips on your felt cloth.  Wrap it with the checkered cloth and attach to the underside of the square cutout before you sew everything on the crochet bodice.

1445416886845

Jpeg

Tuck the strip under the square applique

5. I used the black tulle by creating a 4th tier on top of the red tulle skirt layer.  I divided the black tulle in 2 and tied it to the side using  a black ribbon.

Jpeg

Jpeg

6. To complete the dress, make heart cut outs of varying sizes on the felt cloth. Total of 5 hearts.  Glitterize the hearts by using glue and red glitter. Let it dry overnight before you attach to the dress.

Jpeg

I  made a total of 5 heart cutouts from large to small

Jpeg

7. Use fabric glue to attach the hearts.  The largest on the bodice and the rest on the skirt. Leave the smallest heart for the crown.

Jpeg

 

 

To make the collar:

I actually don’t know where you can buy elastic with button holes in Divisoria. I got a little creative and used the spare elastic from Sophia’s cloth diaper.

1. Cut the white tulle strips into 6 inches wide and 8 inches long strips.

Jpeg

use an elastic with button holes to make the collar detachable

2. Use the no sew tutu technique to complete the collar

Jpeg

I stretched the elastic using a plastic container

3. Sew buttons on the inside of the bodice where you can attach the collar

Jpeg

 

To make the crown:

1. Use a small paper cup and cut triangles to shape into a crown. Paint with gold spray paint.  Let dry overnight.

2. Attach the small heart on the crown.

3. Use your glue gun to attach the crown to the headband

 

Voila! Your ensemble is complete. 🙂

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

Jpeg

IMG_20151102_3

 

I hope this helps in starting you off your tutu dress project.  It’s so much fun and your baby will be wearing something you made with love.

If you have questions or clarifications, please feel free to reach out to me. I know this tutorial is far from perfect as I really didn’t plan on making one; thus, I wasn’t able to take pictures for each step and get measurements for the components of the dress.

Hope you have fun!

 

xoxo

 

 

Anne

 

 

Off With Their Heads! How the Queen of Hearts hoarded all the candies and stole everyone’s hearts.

Standard

Here at the Fluffinay crib, we take Halloween seriously.  My husband and I would plan for Sophia’s costume months before All Hallow’s Eve.

Last year, she was Little Red Riding Hood. We had to place Sophia in her carrier for trick or treat because she was only 3 months old.  And since we carried her, people were not able to fully appreciate her costume.

FB_IMG_1437585943607

So adorable with the pout.

FB_IMG_1437585939571

I customized her basket to match her dress ❤

I was lucky enough to find a cute checkered and polka dot dress for only 300 pesos at the mall and the red hood was hand sewn from a satin cloth that I had at home.  Although she was asleep while trick or treating, she certainly had a great time because the excitement kept her up till 2AM that evening. 😥

This year, I wanted to make her something poofy and unforgettable since she would be able to fully model the costume. She’s also very good in walking and running away from mommy so it had to be something that she can freely move in. And of course, we were eyeing for her to win the grand prize at daddy’s office Halloween party.(We’re a competitive bunch hahaha!)

I worked on her costume for more than a week. I should have finished sooner but it was extremely challenging to work with sharp objects (needle and scissors) while a clingy toddler was attached to your booby. LOL!

To make her dress, I began by doing extensive research on Pinterest and Google for design ideas.

If you’re a DIY momma like me or if you’re planning to DIY an event like a birthday party or a christening for your little one, I recommend getting a Pinterest account.  It’s awesome! You could create a board and “Pin” or save ideas for your projects.

My Pinterest Boards

My Pinterest Boards

After making a Halloween 2015 board, I searched for “cute Halloween costumes for baby girl”.  I made sure to pin costumes that were not too difficult for me considering that I don’t have a sewing machine and my resources were limited.  Some of the materials needed to complete the costumes were not readily available or difficult to find here in the Philippines. I  made sure that I would be able to buy the recommended materials or at least improvise with what was available here.

I initially planned on making a Glinda the Good Witch ball gown like this.

f3acd49aca694e207bd143566bd53c0a

Or this

Screenshot_2015-11-03-00-28-49

But, I saw this costume for the Queen of Hearts and was immediately smitten.

52f4415570f872615d77119b310e7af9

So cute!

ebe12ed6419d9ca8b10e80eb7212be72

Haha! Did I nail it or was it a Pinterest fail?

Having chosen a final design, I went to Divisoria to look for materials.  Here was my list for the Queen of Hearts tutu gown:

A total of 14 yards of tulle

3 black crochet headband

3 yards black stretchy lace

1 yard black and white checkered cloth

1 yard white felt cloth

red glitters

Elmers Glue

D-3000 (fabric glue)

black and red thread

Paper cups

Gold spray paint

The day I finally got the chance to go to  Divisoria was a rainy Saturday morning.  Typhoon Lando was expected to hit landfall the next day, thus, I thought Divi wouldn’t be as crowded as usual. However, I was wrong.  People seemed to have the same idea as I did because traffic was bad and shoppers and vendors clogged the streets.

I was supposed to take the PNR train but it didn't stop raining and I was... lazy to commute. :-P

I was supposed to take the PNR train but I was worried of a downpour and I was… lazy to commute. Thank God for Uber and skyway. 😛

It was a fortunate thing that all of the materials I needed was in 1 location; the adjacent streets, Ilaya and Tabora.  It took me less than 2 hours to complete my shopping.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to take pictures of my trip because it never stopped raining when I got there, the road was slippery and muddy, and I couldn’t use an umbrella because the place was crowded with shoppers and hawkers.

My divi haul. Some extra stuff included.

My divi haul. Some extra stuff included.

I had a hard time making Sophia’s birthday dress last year because it was my first time to make a tutu dress and I used the lid of Sophia’s plastic toy container to stretch the crochet top.  It upped the difficulty level to 100 because it was difficult to see the dress taking shape.

Pretty in pink!

Pretty in pink!

This time, I decided to make things a little bit easier for myself by making my own mannequin. Yes, I DIY’d my mannequin.

I used an old hotdog pillow, masking tape, retaso cloth, and electric fan stand. 😉

The measurement is a custom fit for Sophia. <3

The measurement is a custom fit for Sophia. ❤

Since the dress tutorial merits a separate post, I will update my blog with the how to guide this week, pramis!

If you’re dying to know now (as in now na) how I made the skirt, you can search videos on YouTube on how to make a no sew tutu like this video below:

I had completed her ensemble and my little monarch loved it. She didn’t want mommy to take it off when we had our dress fitting. She kept running away from me every time I tried to pull the dress over her head.

IMG_20151026_183832

On the day of daddy’s office Halloween party, we left the house early because we didn’t want to be late. We booked our Uber ride early but alas! Such bad luck. Our Uber driver didn’t know how to get to Ortigas without having to pass through the heavily congested C5 road. Waze was no help at all. It took us almost 2 hours to get to our destination. When we arrived, they were already announcing the consolation prizes for the kiddie costumes. 😥

Screenshot_2015-10-29-16-26-06

Sophia received a gift though because she was just so adorable. ❤ She hoarded tons of candies for daddy (no more sweets for this hyperactive tot!) and she had fun exploring the office. She made her own trick or treat route and surprised unsuspecting employees who were still working at their desks. She had a great time and she got to play and share (steal too) treats with other children.

IMG_20151029_3  IMG_20151029_2

Jpeg

We don’t have a good photo of her because she couldn’t sit still

Her next trick or treat event was at the Bonifacio High Street and Central Park. Trick or treating is free but you have to come early because candies run out real fast. If you want to get a loot bag and a ticket to the Halloween show, you can do so with a 1500 peso single receipt. We got her the loot bag last year but it wasn’t worth the 1500 pesos you needed to spend if you’re not actually planning to buy something. Plus we didn’t need more candies for Sophia (it was actually for daddy) since she was able to hoard a bag full of treats from the previous trick or treat.

IMG_20151102_2

IMG_20151102_4

She had a blast visiting the stores. If the store has run out of  candies, she would still go in and check the merch on sale.

IMG_20151102_5

She loves to visit shoe stores. Taking a breather after walking too fast.

IMG_20151102_3

Looking good!

She went here and there and people were so smitten by this tiny spitfire that strangers were asking to take pictures with her. (But they couldn’t since she was moving around too much.) Don’t believe me? Check out her video below.

People LOVED her costume, one momma at the Hamley’s Toy store even asked if she could purchase the dress. Wow!

“Who’s been painting my roses red? Off with their heads!”

It was an amazing Halloween for us and we are now planning for her 2016 costume as early as now. 😀

How about you, my friends? How was your Halloween and what costume did your little tikes wear?

IMG_20151102_1

xoxo

Anne

Baby Foody at the Mandala Weekend Market

Standard

It was a day of celebration for the Fluffinay family because this frazzled momma has reached a milestone last Saturday. Fluffinay turned a month old! Hooray!  (*danced the jig. Baby looked at me and thought I was cray-cray. ) I was able to successfully commit to writing 2 blogs per week despite the challenges of running a household without a maid, caring for a hyperactive toddler, hand* sewing an epic halloween costume,  managing a random act of kindness giveaway, and making sure I get to shower everyday.

Jpeg

Epic Halloween costume (I’ll tell you more about this badass DIY project soon. ❤ )

Since this foody family wanted to celebrate with good, organic, and healthy food,  we trooped over to Mandaluyong to experience the gastronomic delights of the Mandala Park Weekend Market.

12119185_1693830794183237_1514293662538417109_n

IMG_20151026_3

Mandala Park is a 3.2 hectare eco friendly community where you can unwind with great food and soulful music after a stressful week at work or at home with a mischievous toddler. Formerly known as the Liberty Center it now blooms as the city’s first wellness haven and pioneer of urban sustainable living.

October 24 marked the second installment of this feast and we were greeted with warm smiles, mouthwatering aroma and a relaxing ambiance.  The lineup of merchants curated by chef Yulo and the developer Litton & Co, Inc. were chosen for their involvement with the sustainable movement and their support of local businesses and industries.

12036975_1686004418299208_3448900408498579076_n

What better way to start our food adventure than with dessert! Sophia enjoyed her cheatday with sweets by having a mouthful of creamy Vanilla Malt  ice cream from Fog City Creamery.  This delectable treat gave Sophia brain freeze but she didn’t seem to mind because she kept asking for more.  Their Vanilla Malt ice cream tasted like rich vanilla milkshake with chunks of Malteser chocolate.  It was so delicious! Their organic preservative-free ice cream was perfect for this little miss who only gets to eat sweets twice a month. (Yes, mommy is a meanie.)

They have a long list of ice cream flavors that made me wish I wasn’t on the corset diet so I could eat ’em all. Ferrero Rocher with Nutella Swirl, Salted Caramel, Bourbon Pecan, and Strawberry Shortcake were just some of their offerings.  You can check their website here for more information on Fog City Creamery. But please be warned, it may give you an intense ice cream craving today.

Fog City Creamery Their ice cream contain no preservatives or artificial stabilizers. <3

Fog City Creamery Their ice cream contains no preservatives or artificial stabilizers. ❤

Malt ice cream made of malteasers. Baby likes!

Malt ice cream full of maltesers. Baby likes!

Having satisfied our sweet tooth, it was time to look for something savory. And what luck! Guess who we bumped into at Mandala Park? It’s our favorite neighborhood cevicheria, Po’ke Boy. 🙂

Poke Boy owner

Po’ke Boy’s Patrick Roa (Photo by Pat Roa)

Po’ke Boy served their signature dish Tuna Ahi Po’ke (Hawaiian kinilaw) with cabbage slaw and Kalua Pork Rice on caramelized onions, pineapple chutney, and coconut lime rice. Yum! Yum!  The tuna was so fresh it melts in your mouth.  It was delightful!  I wolfed it down so fast, I wasn’t able to ask my husband if he wanted some. (sorry-not-sorry!)

Poke Boy

Photo credit: Pat Roa

Here’s a trivia for you. When I was pregnant with Sophia (around the 3rd trimester) I had this uncontrollable craving for kilawin or ceviche. I know, I know. They warn pretty preggy mommies not to eat raw fish. But their ceviche was so fresh and delicious that I couldn’t help myself. Plus, I made sure that the fish was “cooked” well in its lemon bath. Po’ke Boy’s (Patricio’s along Bayani Road) ceviche will always be one of my healthy food favorites.

Right next to Po’ke Boy was another sweet treat, Mr. Fluffies. They offer lip smacking fairy floss made from locally sourced organic sugar.  It’s a guilt free indulgence too.  Mr.Fluffies serve gluten free, low fat and low-cal (100 calories only) sweets . Candy enthusiasts would have a hard time choosing their cotton candy flavor because they have 30 unique options to choose from like watermelon, mango, lychee, cheesecake, black forest, and custard.  We sampled their cinnamon cotton candy and it was delightful! You could really taste the cinammon and you end up smelling like Christmas. (No cotton candy for the spritely baby though!)

Fluffinay meets Mr.Fluffy

Fluffinay meets Mr.Fluffies 😀

To wash down the sticky sweetness of sugar, we dropped by the Stanford & Shaw Ginger Ale booth. Ginger ale is brewed from fermented ginger, lemon and sugar. Stanford & Shaw has the best ginger ale ever. Period. It was so refreshing and fizzy, I gulped down a cup like a thirsty fishie.  Plus points to ginger ale because it can help increase milk in lactating mommies. (Hooray! More milk for Sophia)  Instead of drinking beer, padede mommies could drink ginger ale instead. It has less alcohol at 1% and it was so so so delicious! I drank almost 2 bottles.  (Loved their bottle!) When we got home later that evening, I was surprised to be engorged and Sophia seemed to like the taste of ginger ale because she wouldn’t let go of the booby.

However, nursing moms be warned. Ginger or ginger ale in the early postpartum is not recommended if there was significant blood loss during birth. Do not take ginger immediately after birth due to danger of hemorrhaging. Ginger tends to compound and increase the effects of medication being taken. Talk to your doctor if you are taking medication, especially diabetic, blood-thinning, or heart medicine.**

IMG_20151026_6

IMG_20151026_7

More food finds at the Mandala Park include Ribs Manila’s smoked pulled pork, Fruit Magic’s cold pressed juices, B&T Mexican Kitchen, and Pedro Brewcrafters beers.

While Sophia was enjoying her Pork Niku Soba from Ramen Iroha, Jason was busy with his Sausage Bap from IAmKim by Chef Him Uy de Baron and Nutella shake with choco chip cookie from Scouts Honor. And me? I was chilling to the soulful voice of Kat Agarrado of Sinosikat? with my bottle of ginger ale. Ah! Life is good, (sigh!)

Sophia had a great time running around the area with its enclosure of greens. She even tried several times to climb the stage to join Sinosikat?. hahaha! (This little girl has big dreams.)

It was an evening of great food and beautiful music. We can’t wait to go back to Mandala Park next month.

IMG_20151026_9

Don’t know how to get there?  Check out this map from Mandala Park’s FB page. 🙂

12065895_1694718287427821_7404225486464965484_n

For more information on this awesome organic food haven, please visit their Facebook page Mandala Park and their Instagram account @mandalaparkph.

Hope to bump into you at the next Mandala Weekend Market on November 18, fluffinay friends! 🙂

xoxo

Anne ❤

** Lactogenic Food and Herbs (Based on the Book, Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide by Hilary Jacoson CH.HU.SI) 

The Day We Met Sophia Isabelle

Standard

On the 24th of November 2013, we received the most precious gift of our lives; two distinct lines on a home pregnancy test kit.

The forty-week journey was fraught with joy, excitement, anxiety and drama – both hormonal and medical in nature. Oh, the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy both suffered by mom and dad-to-be! We were finally blessed with a little one and we were happy and content as can be.
We had our first ultrasound scan at 6 weeks and we were beyond happy upon seeing the tiny heart beating. But, I had to take time off work because beside my lil beanie has a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH). The SCH resolved with medication in three days; however, it rebound and grew in size and even became bigger than my little one. 
The days on bed rest were time well spent. I read as many books as I could; I made bed linens for the crib, and I lay still in wonder and amazement at the tiny movements in my belly as she made her presence known.

Loved my preggy belly ❤

 

At 20 weeks, we were able to confirm that we were having a baby girl. ☺ I’ve always wanted a daughter and have always liked the name, Sophia Isabelle. We were able to glimpse at her perfect little hands and feet at her 20-week scan. The SCH had disappeared but her placenta was lying low. By week 24, I was diagnosed with placenta previa; thus, prompting me to resign from work.

 

Sophia’s first photoshoot at In My Womb ❤

Fast forward to week 37. On my weekly doctor’s appointment, I was surprised to find out that my blood pressure went up to 136/80. I chalked it up to the humid weather and anxiety over the upcoming birth. I had tests taken and preeclampsia was ruled out as the protein level in my urine was within normal range. The cervix was still high and closed at the internal exam.
Sophia Isabelle’s expected due date was drawing near and my blood pressure has not returned to its normal values. I had this dusky complexion, which I ascribed to pregnancy hormones. I also observed edema on my feet but was told that it was a normal pregnancy symptom. As long as my protein levels were okay, it was not preeclampsia. 
On the early morning of July 24th, 2 days before her due date; I woke up from sleep with a bad case of migraine. I checked my blood pressure and was alarmed to see that it was at 154/90. I immediately informed my doctor and was advised to come in for an induction.

 

At the doctor’s office, my BP persisted in the high range of 140-170/80-90. I was asked to head straight to the High Risk Pregnancy Unit at the OB-GYNE Complex. I was confined at around 4PM and at exactly 6PM; they started my induction. They administered the meds necessary to ripen the cervix, as it was 0% dilated and effaced. They were also monitoring the baby’s heart rate and the contractions.

 

The OB-Gyne Complex of St. Luke’s Hospital – BGC

After 8 hours and 2 rounds of medication to open the cervix, still no progress. I have also been strapped in bed the entire time. My mom and I had to beg my OB and the nurses to allow me to walk around and stretch my legs. They finally did and what a relief! It was a great feeling to be able to use the bathroom and not the bedpan! 
Another round of medication to open the cervix and after more than 24 hours, finally made progress with 1cm and 70% effacement. At this point, I was already bleeding after numerous internal examinations. 

 

Day 1 of Induction and confinement at the High Risk Pregnancy Unit

 

Contractions were starting to get more intense and frequent and they administered oxytocin to help speed up labor. Although I was having fairly severe contractions, I was not in pain and was actually looking forward to enter active labor. (I have a high tolerance for pain ;-p) 
Sophia Isabelle’s due date arrived and yet I was stalled at 1cm, I walked the halls from 11PM till 12 midnight hoping to progress further. My OB checked me at 2AM and still no change. I was asked to walk again from 3AM to 4AM. Thus, for an hour, with hardly any sleep at all; with blood running down my legs and my symphisis pubis dysfunction making me waddle like a duck and wince with pain with every step; I walked and walked and walked around the OB-GYNE Complex.

Picture taking during my walk. Too bad we were not allowed to explore beyond the OB-Gyne Complex. I would have loved to look at the paintings scattered throughout the hospital.  St. Luke’s is like a museum. 

I felt confident that all that walking made my baby drop further and helped dilate my cervix. The oxytocin also made the contractions stronger and this made me feel like active labor is just around the corner with my doctor declaring, “You’re at 8CM!” on the next cervical check. I decided to sleep while I can to ensure that I had the energy to push my baby out.
At around 5AM, my OB along with a bevy of nurses woke me up and informed me that my baby’s heart rate started to drop. An oxygen mask was strapped to my face and Jason and my mom were informed that they would need to operate. Without any preamble, I was wheeled to the OR. Throughout my pregnancy, it had been my goal to avoid a C-Section most especially when I found out that the placenta moved up allowing me to birth my child vaginally. Then again, things don’t always go as planned and I have learned to roll with the punches and accept the unexpected. Thus, I was oddly calm and was honestly relieved that I would finally get to meet my beautiful child in a short while. However, I couldn’t stop shaking. 
My OB held my hand and prayed for my child and I while the catheter was inserted for the anesthesia. I was mildly surprised that it wasn’t as painful as people described. Once the preparations were done, Jason was asked to enter the operating room.

I heard my doctor call, “First cut!” Oh My God! This is it! Breathe in and out. Think about your baby and not the knife. I heard one of the nurses call out from across the room saying that my 24-hour urine catch result was out. Protein level was at 700(?). I didn’t understand what this meant but instinctively I knew that I had preeclampsia. I kept waiting to hear her cry and I was wondering why it was taking so long. I could feel the doctor pulling her out and I felt them tug, tug, tugging on her. I closed my eyes and it seemed like the operating table was moving. And like a miracle, I heard her sweet cry and she was like a banshee. ☺ The fetal distress was due to her cord twisting around like a telephone cord. We are forever grateful that she was delivered on time and despite the drop with her heart rate she scored a perfect 9/9 on her APGAR. While the doctors continued working on me, I heard them say that my blood pressure was back to normal. That was such a relief! They took my perfect little angel to the side and my doctor began to clean her up. She weighed 7.15 pounds at birth! I was bursting with joy but I started to feel pain rising up from my left nape slowly spreading towards the right side. I thought that it was just “ngawit” from lying flat on the table. So I shook it off as well as the nausea that I felt. Throughout the process, I was shaking from the chest up. The doctors were trying to assure me that the operating room was a bit cold to account for my uncontrolled shivering. 

 

She didn’t want to leave mommy’s tummy yet.  It was a forced eviction. She was screaming and bawling on her way out.

 

The nausea started to overwhelm me and I informed the anesthesiologist that I needed to vomit. After which I was advised that they would put me to sleep for the mean time so I could rest for the flurry of activities later. 
While I was sleeping, I found out that my blood pressure started to rise after the baby and the placenta was delivered. Oh Lord! I now have eclampsia.
At the recovery room, the nurse told me that they would be administering 4 shots of magnesium sulfate. At that point, I was not aware that I had progressed to eclampsia. I just said okay and gritted my teeth to the painful injection. (Thank God the anesthesia had not worn off yet.) 
We also had to cancel my room reservation at the 8th floor maternity ward as I had to stay at the High Risk Pregnancy Unit for continued monitoring. I had wires attached to my body for my BP, heart rate, oxygen level, etc. It was uncomfortable and annoying to be literally tethered to your bed. I also had to breastfeed my newborn as well as endure magnesium sulfate shots that are, by the way, the most painful injection that I ever had. The injection left an egg-sized bump on four corners of my buttocks and though the bump had shrank in size, I could still feel tenderness on the injection sites after a month of receiving them.
Despite all these challenges, I was determined to recover as soon as possible. At 1day post partum and after being released from the High Risk Preg Unit, I was sitting up in bed and standing up with assistance. At 2 days post-partum, I could go to the bathroom on my own. At 3 days, I was moving around and caring for my baby. On day 4, I was discharged from the hospital.

It took a month for my blood pressure to go back to normal and I was able to successfully wean my baby from formula milk.  She is exclusively breastfed and is still breastfeeding like a champ at 14 months old. There are certainly more drama and challenges along the way but I know that we would be able to overcome all these because family and friends who love and support us surround us. 

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read about our story. Please feel free to send us your comments and feedback.

 

Have a great day!

 

xoxo

 

Anne

The Origin of the Fluff

Standard
I got married at the age of 28. According to my life plan, I will continue to flourish in my career, get a promotion before 30 and have my first baby at the age of 30 or 31.  But life has other plans because none of that happened.  I moved to another company, left that company after 3 years; and for the next 4 years, sticky baby dust continued to elude us.
 197592_1025592239856_7445_n 198509_1028673636889_8802_n 206968_1025610200305_8164_n

By 2012, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. It affected my hormone levels and made getting pregnant extremely difficult.  I gained tremendous weight. I was moody and cranky at all times. I had a horrible acne.  And I fell into insecurity and depression.

I met with a septuagenarian OB and suffered a very humiliating consultation.  She was asking me about myself and when I told her that I wanted to get pregnant, she admonished me in a VERY loud voice (she was hard of hearing), “Eh ang taba taba mo. Paano ka mabubuntis nyan?” She had a long queue of patients waiting outside with a clear view of the doctor and I. “Magdiet ka muna. Eto, tanungin mo yung secretary ko may binebenta yung kaibigan nya na pampapayat.”  Needless to say, I was embarrassed and felt more insecure with myself.  I never went back to her clinic after that episode but it did push me to lose weight and prove to that prickly doctor that I don’t need the “pampapayat” offered by her secretary’s friend.

I went on a strict diet by completely removing rice and soda. I had 2-hour yoga sessions 5 or 6 times a week. I was also taking metformin to help me lose weight as prescribed by my new OB.  However, more than 6 months has passed and I was still overweight. PCOS was such a b*tch.

Then I took drastic measures and decided to try slimming pills.  After much research and experimentation, I was able to find one that helped me shed the pounds. Finally, I started to lose weight and my period went back on track. As the stress and aches of a heavy body started to melt away, we also loosened our tight determination (and effort!) to make a baby. The hell with it! My hubby and I decided to just enjoy life for 2.  We got ourselves a toy dog and made her our baby.

November 2013. I was skinny and fab! I had a great job and I can go shopping for clothes and shoes anytime I want. It was easy to find clothes because everything fit.  They were cheaper too since I can wear free size clothing.  I forgot about getting pregnant.  I forgot about babies.  Then I got the biggest surprise of my life.  My very first positive test result.

1262807_10202161365135396_1295039866_o 980186_10201219993241687_1879387763_o 945418_10201219985961505_739013533_n 600764_10201302740550318_1168434319_n

Now fast forward to 2015.  My baby is turning 14 months in two days and I am back to where I started in 2012. PCOS made a come back and I’m gaining weight again. I am cranky to my hubby and have horrible acne.  I am insecure with my body but I am not depressed. (You can’t get depressed when you have a cheerful troublemaking toddler).

 

It’s more challenging to go on a diet now because we are exclusively breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding makes you terribly hungry. PCOS makes you crave for sweets.  Drastic measures are not an option because baby kulit might lose weight too or get sick. I’m stuck in a rut and I want to get out.  Sharing my struggles and thoughts will help push me to overcome PCOS because I know there are people reading my blog (I hope there are!) and there are fluffinays just like me who are also working through the challenges of extra fluff and bilbil.

12084998_10207744293265110_1733714077_o

That’s why I’m fluffy, my friends. But I’m trying to love my PCOS body.  Please continue to encourage me to work harder by leaving a comment below! Thank you!