My Sister's Birthday

Last friday, April 26th, we celebrated Jovel's (my kids call her Tatug, please don't ask why because my sister asked my daughters to do so with no reason at all hehehe) 25th birthday. Unfortunately, I was not able to eat much because my stomach still gets upset every time I eat more (sigh) or should I say my regular appetite. 

I would like to thank my cousin, Len-len, to make this celebration possible, and of course, to my Mom, who cooked our all-time fave Spaghetti (sweet-style). 

My sister and her birthday cake.
Tatug with Cedie (cousin Len's son) and my Rosels: Bong, Bang, and Jaja
Anyway, I just want to wish her a very happy birthday (even if it's late), and I hope that her wishes do come true (parang fairy-tale lang ang peg). "Have a great year ahead, sis!"

Acute Peptic Ulcer Disease

Hi mumies! I was not able to come to work from Tuesday until Friday because I was diagnosed with "acute peptic ulcer disease." I only came to work, yesterday, with our summer haircut ;) that makes my officemates say "whoa!" I will post how me and my daughters look some other day. 

In the meantime, I would like to share some info about the said disease so you will be aware. Remember, knowledge is power, and prevention is always better than cure. :)

What is a Peptic Ulcer?
A peptic ulcer is an open sore or erosion of the inner layer of the stomach wall, the esophagus or the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. There are various causes of peptic ulcers and once diagnosis is established, it is important to identify the cause when possible in order to optimize treatment.

According to the National Institutes of Health the most frequent cause of peptic ulcer is a bacterial known as Helicobacter pylori. It is unclear how the bacteria is transmitted, but it may stem from mouth to mouth transmission as in kissing or from unclean food or water. The majority of the people with H. pylori do not get ulcers, however.

The next most frequent cause of peptic ulcers is the use of medications known as NSAIDs, which includes such drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen. (Guilty! Every time I have body aches like after doing laundry, I always drink it up with ibuprofen! tsk tsk) These drugs degrade the protective barrier of the stomach so it is more exposed to stomach acid. 

Other causes are more rare and include radiation treatment, excessive alcohol or tobacco, (another one here! Nope, I don't drink a lot, but, yes, I smoke) being on a ventilator in an intensive care unit, and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, in which a pancreatic tumor signals the stomach to make too much acid.

Diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease starts with a careful history of the symptoms by a heath-care provider. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain that may be worse with meals or several hours afterward, feeling of fullness, nausea, bloating, vomiting or weight loss. The health-care provider will also want to know about NSAID use, alcohol consumption and other potential contributing factors. Tests for Helicobactor pylori can be done on the blood, stool or urine. Diagnosis is usually established with certainty by endoscopy, which is the insertion of a small flexible scope into the stomach through the mouth.

In my case, the doctor just asked me how am I feeling, and describe the degree of pain. She also asked my lifestyle and eating habits. 

Treatment involves eliminating the cause of the ulcers and giving medications to help the stomach heal. Medications such as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs and histamine receptor blockers, or H2 blockers, help suppress acid so the lining of the stomach can heal. If H. pylori has been detected, antibiotics will be given to eradicate the infection. Bismuth, the primary ingredient in Pepto-bismol, may also be given. If bleeding occurs because of the ulcers, endoscopy or surgery may be needed to stop it.

Well, my doctor just asked me to take Rebeprazole Sodium once a day for ten (10) days. The medicine is kinda pricey, it's cost is around Php 65.00, but reasonable, because after three (3 days), the pain is gone. :) However, I need to continue taking this para daw maghilum ang gasgas, according to my doctor, and I'm on my 5th day. 

--Live Strong

Happy Earth Day: Five green actions we can all take

The beauty of Earth Day is that it allows me to stop and reflect on what I can do in my own life to make the planet a better place. More importantly, it causes me to pause and ask myself two questions: What am I teaching my kids about being more eco-friendly? What stops us as individuals from believing that we can make a difference?

One of the hurdles are that we tend to think that being ‘green’ as the expensive alternative, however it is a wonderful way to rediscover what our (grand) parents have always known — simple changes in our daily living don’t involve the unnecessary consumption of new materials, waste energy or add to landfills.

Here are five easy, green alternatives that save you time and/or money while keeping your family looking great.

1) Go easy on the detergent. Even without high-efficiency washers, you don’t need a lot of detergent. Using too much detergent clogs up the fabric and, ironically, the residue left on your clothes attracts and holds onto dirt. I recommend a detergent that is free of phosphates and other unnecessary

2) Love the color of that new blouse? Wash in cold water and cut your energy usage. Hot water makes color fade more quickly. Many women know this rule because it’s true for hair color, too. Unless you’ve got serious contamination on your hands (read: bodily fluids or the like), it’s not
necessary and causes your clothes to show wear quicker.

3) Don’t use the dryer unless you have to. And when you do, use the Low or Delicate setting. Heat causes clothes to fade, and also shrink. And when you do put things in the dryer, don’t overstuff it. It causes more wear and tear on your dryer but also more friction and rubbing/wear on your clothes.

4) Get creative with outgrown clothes. 

5) Rediscover resale. Whether you shop online, your local consignment shop or trade with your friends, kids outgrow their clothes so quickly. Passing them along to another family is one of the best things you can do to save money and save the planet.

These simple changes are easy and just take a little bit of awareness to implement. And you’ll save time, save money and save the planet—which is perfect for Earth Day and every day.

--Baby Center

No Need to Worry About Baby's First Steps, Says New Study

Jaja is now 9 months and 4 days to be exact. As of today, what she can do is to sit, crawl (habang hila-hila ang isang paa, hihi tamad lang), and standing while holding her cribs' bar or yung nakahawak sya, basically, she cant still stand alone. 

After reading this article, I got more relaxed. At least, I won't be pressured to teach my Bunso to walk.

Read the full article below: 

Researchers say that whether a child learns to walk earlier or later than others doesn't have any bearing on his development. 

Many parents think that a child who is able to walk earlier than others is more "advanced" with regard to the development of motor skills, but a recent study featured on the Daily Mail debunks this belief, saying that it doesn't really matter when a child starts walking as long as he does so by approximately 18 months.

Whether a child develops control of his limbs at four or at nine months doesn't make any difference, researchers from the Zurich Children's Hospital say after working with 222 babies born between 1978 and 1993. Parents of the participants were asked to record movement milestones such as crawling, sitting up, and walking independently. The children were given check-ups seven times between ages one and two and were also regularly tested for "balance, coordination, and intelligence up to the age of 18."

Results showed that children began sitting up at the average age of six and a half months, and started walking at approximately 12 months.

Professor Mitch Blair of the Royal Collage of Paediatrics and Child Health says, "I regularly see parents who are concerned that their child is not yet walking, or learning to do so more slowly that their peers, and are worried about what that might mean for their development. The reassuring message is that the age at which children walk varies and there is no proven link between walking later and lower intelligence or poor coordination later in life." He also recommends asking for medical advice only if the child has not started walking by 18 months.

The People You Need In Your Life


photo by Mommy Fleur

A Protein-Packed Breakfast May Lessen Cravings Throughout the Day

Before leaving for work, try to eat a high-protein breakfast!

You’ve probably heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day meal of the day. Many a doctor, parent, and friend may have reminded you not to skip it, too, but sometimes, there’s just no time to eat a decent meal in the morning. However,  a recent study proves that you should make the time, as having a high-protein morning meal can make you feel more full throughout the day, as well as reduce your cravings for unhealthy snacks later on.  

Featured on the Huffington Post, the study split 20 overweight or obese women from ages 18 to 20 into three groups: those who had a high protein breakfast of eggs and lean beef, those who had low-protein breakfast of cereal, and those who skipped the meal altogether. The participants were monitored for six consecutive days. On the seventh day, the women were surveyed about their appetites and eating behaviors. Weight was checked, blood samples were taken, and brain activity was scanned via fMRI.

Results showed that the women who had breakfast reported feeling fuller during the day. Brain scans also noted that the chemicals responsible for food cravings were lowest in the women who had their morning meal. For women who had high-protein plates, the tendency to snack on unhealthy food was the lowest overall.

Researcher Heather Leidy of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri says, "Eating a protein-rich breakfast impacts the drive to eat later in the day, when people are more likely to consume high-fat or high-sugar snacks. These data suggest that eating a protein-rich breakfast is one potential strategy to prevent overeating and improve diet quality by replacing unhealthy snacks with high quality breakfast foods.”

BIR: Kris Aquino, Smart top taxpayers

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III's celebrity sister, Kris Aquino, is the country's top taxpayer, based on the list of the top 500 individual taxpayers released by the Bureau of Internal Revenue on Monday.

According to the BIR report, the "Queen of All Media" paid a total of P49,871,657.37 during the taxable year 2011.

Tesla Motors executive Gregory Reichow followed Aquino as the second biggest taxpayer, having paid over P38.1 million, while senior diplomat and former Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr. landed in third place with the payment of over P34.2 million taxes.

Broadband and mobile group Smart Communications, Inc., meanwhile, was the top among corporate taxpayers charged with P10.2 billion by the government.

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) paid P8.3 billion in taxes while oil giant Shell Philippine Exploration retained its 2010 third-place ranking with P6.26 billion worth of taxes.

Top 10 taxpayers:
  1. Kris Aquino (media) - P49,871,657.37
  2. Gregory Reichow (Tesla Motors executive) - P38,196,685.00
  3. Lauro Baja, Jr. (senior diplomat) - P34,257,368.88
  4. Manuel V. Pangilinan (mining and telecommunications businessman) - P25,992,131.86
  5. Aurelio Montinola III (Bank of the Philippine Islands president) - P24,472,645.10
  6. Gerardo Ablaza, Jr. (Manila Water, Co. chief) - P22,645,262.00
  7. Philippe Jones Lhuillier (Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshop chain chief) - P21,645,000.00
  8. Victor Manguerra Angeles - P21,202,815.34
  9. Roberto Panlilio (Investment banking company JP Morgan executive) - P19,613,943.97
  10. Felipe Gozon (GMA Network chief) - P19,587,983.60
Top corporate taxpayers
  1. Smart Communications, Inc. - P10.235 billion
  2. Manila Electric, Co. (Meralco) - P8.3 billion
  3. Shell Philippines Exploration BV - P6.386 billion
  4. Chevron Malampaya LLC - P6.31 billion
  5. San Miguel Brewery - P4.886 billion
  6. Globe Telecom, Inc. - P4.775 billion
  7. Philip Morris Fortune Tobbaco, Inc. - P4.522 billion
  8. Petron Corp. - P2.62 billion
  9. Philex Mining Corp. - P1.876 billion
In 2010, Aquino was only the 17th top taxpayer in the country, with construction businessman Vicente Tan Lao topping the list. Splash Corporation exec Rolando Hortaleza and artist Carlo J. Caparas followed in second and third places.

Source: Philstar

Save on School Supplies

Every year, before summer comes to an end, grumblings can be heard from parents about increases in tuition as well as the rising costs of school supplies. Since we are still very much affected by the global economic crisis, it is no longer surprising that more students continue to be transferred to public schools as more families cannot sustain the astronomical payments in private schools anymore.

Ease some of your financial worries by working out a budget that won’t leave you broke before another school year starts. Here are sound school spending tips you can do not only during the summer but also throughout the year.

1. Do an inventory at home
Before heading out to the malls and school supplies stores, gather all your child’s old school items from last year that he wasn’t able to use or are still useful. Rulers, pencil cases, calculators, backpacks, and other durable stuff need not be replaced every year. If they remained in good shape, your child can reuse them this year.

Check too your desk drawer for corporate giveaways that you may have already forgotten such as pens and pencils that you can add to your child’s supplies.

2. Make a list
Find out what your child really needs. As early as possible, ask the school for the list of official requirements for your child’s grade level. Double check this list and tick off those you already have. Make sure you list down everything your child will need for the school year before you hit the stores.

Plan to buy in bulk (that means a reasonable amount, not panic-buying quantities) for items such as notebooks, a box or two of pencils, a ream of bond paper, etc. Stocking up on extras will prevent you from making time-consuming, not to mention more expensive, trips to the store throughout the whole school year just to buy a pad of paper here or five pieces of art paper there. After all, any leftovers at the end of the year can still be used for next year or for your child’s summer activities.

A quick reminder: Just like in grocery shopping tips, remember to stick to your list and your allotted budget! Don’t be pressured with the “Buy me, buy me!” syndrome. Make school supply shopping a learning opportunity to teach an older kid about budgeting and making compromises (e.g. “If you want this backpack so much, we have to buy a less expensive lunchbox.”).

3. Buy supplies in one go
Save time and gas expenses by choosing the nearest store that offers items at reasonable prices. If you are going to a mall close by, find one or two stores where you can get the best value for your money.

Contrary to what some parents believe, buying from Divisoria is not always a wise move. If you live far from the well-known shopping haven, compute first how much you’ll be spending on gas or fares and how much money you might save from the things you plan to buy. Include travel time in your equation. Then ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?”

4. Learn to canvass prices wisely
Every mall has various stores where you can buy school supplies from. Since you’re already in one location and only need to hop from one store to the other, check out prices between stores especially for big ticket items such as shoes, bags and textbooks. A few pesos’ difference here and there still leaves you with more money in your wallet.

Compare brands. High end notebooks can go as much as P30.00 – P50.00 each as compared to the generic and lesser-known names priced at P10.00 – P15.00 apiece. When you multiply the difference by ten notebooks per child, imagine the savings you can get. Be firm and explain to your child that the sky will not fall if he can’t have the expensive notebooks.

Do some math. Compute per piece costs of items that are also offered in bulk packaging. A pack of three pad papers sold at P32.00 is definitely cheaper than buying individual pieces at P12.00 each.

5. Opt for good quality big-ticket items
In terms of bags and shoes, investing in branded items from reputable companies may be your wisest bet. Without a doubt, it is more cost-effective to buy an expensive but longwearing pair of shoes or a higher-priced backpack that would last your child for the whole year or more than to buy two or more pairs of low-quality and inexpensive shoes or more than one bag during the same time frame.

Ask the bag company you are buying from if they offer warranties or parts replacement. There are some that do like Illustrazio where my husband and I have been buying our kids’ bags for the past three years.

6. Don’t forget to flash those store rewards cards
Use your loyalty card to earn points on school supply purchases. Some stores even give away freebies when you reach a certain minimum purchase price. If you have already accumulated a substantial amount on your card balance, use the rebate to buy some of your child’s needed items.

7. Time your shopping well
Buy school supplies by the middle of summer or earlier. Hasty shopping can sometimes force parents to give up buying suddenly-out-of-stock items or forego the endless lines at the cashier counters, with thoughts of just coming back another day or spending extra time looking for another store.

If you can’t totally avoid buying at the last minute (e.g. a week or several days before school starts), shop early in the day as soon as the malls open. That way, the stores are not yet too crowded and you’ll be able to finish your shopping more quickly before the hordes of after lunch shoppers come in droves later.

8. Store all school supplies in one central location
Eliminate the “Mom, where is it?” questions throughout the school year by designating a big box, a shelf or drawer for all school supplies. This technique also makes it easy for parents to check every now and then which supplies are getting low and need to be replenished.

While it is harder to budget these days than the previous years, we can still cope with the economic changes by being diligent in monitoring our spending. In the end, what matters is that we were able to address our children’s school needs with the resources we have at the time so they can get the best education they can possibly have.

Source: Money Sense

Gabe's Baptismal

Gabe Aiden (I hope I spell it correctly!) is my nephew. And, last Sunday, April 7th, he got baptized.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the ceremony at Sto. Domingo Church because I need to prepare my kids right after work! (whew! SuperMom!)

Me, and my Rosels at home

Game time at Jollibee-Sienna

Delos Reyes Family with the celebrant, Gabe

Eating time!

In-laws with Dad, and of course, my Bunso

with Jollibee

Tita Khaye with "The Perfect Kiss"

with Daddy

The Delos Reyes' Kids

with Gabe who doesn't like me :(

We hate boys! Hihi

with Gabe's Mommy

Chic Moms Club

Hi Mums! Do you want to have 10 points in your club membership, which can be converted to a P10 price-off on Bounty Fresh Chicken?

Just register using the link below (you may also find the link under "Referrals" tab on the left pane):

Register now and enjoy other Chic privileges:

  • E-Recipes from famous chefs to be sent regularly to members’ email addresses
  • Invites to exclusive Bounty Fresh events
  • Monthly raffles and freebies such as spa packages, hotel accommodation, buffet dinners, shopping spree
  • Access to Bounty Fresh online nutritionist and celebrity members’ blogs
  • Newsletters on Health, Wellness, Food innovations.