Friday, June 29, 2012

Violin Hunting

Oh its a milestone! I was all giddy and excited to start the day for my dear As last Tuesday. She is upgrading to a full size violin! We saw one at JB Music in SM for P22,650. The guy said it was on sale so price was down to P15, 855. I was thinking we should buy that and wrap it up an surprise As, but when I sent Teacher Chrissie (violin teacher) a text message , she said she would like to come when we buy and that we should try the violin first before buying. Not knowing anything about violins I decided this was an excellent idea.
We decided to meet up at SM at 10 am so she and As can try out the violin. I had my camera with me. Being homeschoolers we don't have program/ ceremonies that would mark milestones like this, so this violin hunting trip with Teacher Chrissie must be photographed and celebrated. Teacher Chrissie tuned the violin and played a bit and As tried it and played a bit. Then they tried a cheaper one. I heard discriptive words like the sound is sharp, sounds hard (matigas), this one sounds more loose (maluwang). This one breaks (bumibigay).

The main difference between the 15k violin and the 6k violin is the weight. The 15k is lighter and had a little bit more grains in the wood. We left SM without a violin. She wanted to check out another store. While chatting in the car, I learned that we have a violin maker/ luthier here in the Philippines. His name is Amador Tamayo and he is in Bulacan. Imagine that! We can actually visit this guy next time we go to North!!! Also we can get good violins and violin parts online at  The String Department.

Our second stop was Better Components in Juan Luna Street. We saw a 14k violin and a 7k violin. Teacher Chrissie had to assemble one of the violins as it was still "naked" inside its box.

 As was trying on a 3rd violin and by this time my excitement level was hoovering towards the thought "Don't tell me we'll be going home with out a violin?" There seems to be so many considerations: Wood grain, Color, Price,Weight, Sound- which to me isn't something tangible, but was real for Teacher Chrissie and As. I was really missing out on the sound quality as A can relate and was even taking down notes.
I asked teacher Chrissie and As how would they would know its the right violin?
The answer to my question: "Its the right violin when it responds to you."
WHOA! My eyes would have dropped to the floor if they could just bounce out of my eye sockets!
She said it in a matter of fact tone and as if the vagueness was not enough, As said, "like a wand mom ba." Oh there we go!!! Now thats more unclear to me!!! Harry Potter wandlore! My golly!!!

Finally As chooses her violin and was all smiles. I called my husband to tell him to join us since we were near his work place already. I want to remember this day forever! My 2nd baby choosing an instrument she has fallen in love with and wants to master.

I will be forever grateful to Teacher Chrissie for the time she spent with us and for teaching my child something that I know I can not do at all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicken House Construction

If we had a first day of school this was how we spent it! I guess it all starts the night before. Our Ate Chu came home with  a rooster and a hen. All this was L's great idea! The guy in the market said they will be ready to have eggs by September.

We had to make a suitable home for them so they can lay eggs. We decided to use the old dog house. We figured we need to add a screen, a basket- for the coming eggs and a new roof to the old dog house!
As coming up with a list of what we need.

On our way out of the house a few minutes before 9 am to get our materials for the Chicken House.
Back in the house by 9:45. The basket is for the future eggs, got it at Bankerohan Market for Php 65. Wire, green net and tarpaulin (for the roof) are left overs from the bodega of Davao Cathay Parts and Hardware.

And the work begins...

Break time by 10:45. Carrot, Pineapple and Cucumber Juice with lots of ice!!!

We finished around 12:10, totally exhausted and ready for lunch! Later in the afternoon the rooster, Mr Ben flew out of the cage so we need to add a screen which L and ate Gaga did together. The rest of us were too tiered to go back to work and L obviously cared more! Our Mr Ben and Freckles have a home. And we are waiting for the eggs!!! Yes we did not have academics on the first day of the school year 2012 to 2013. We made a chicken house by modifying the old dog house!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Desire to Learn Filipino!

Finally! The desire to learn Filipino has happened! Or should I say occurred! I seriously thought it would never happen!  I have felt a bit sad about my children being so poor in Filipino and I am a bit mixed up myself. When I speak in Tagalog its always injected with Bisaya words/ phrases/ expressions.  Filipino and Math were (maybe still are) my waterloo in school. With Math I found good materials to help us but I can't say the same for Filipino. My lack of confidence/ ability also did not help! I did attempt to teach my children Filipino while worrying that I might push it unnecessarily and make mistakes that will result in them disliking it all together.

Last week, while in a shop next to National Bookstore A and As heard someone complain about Filipino as a subject and somehow this got them into the willingness to learn Filipino. Of course L goes along with this! So I got this book right away for Php 125.00.

I have a 3 phase Plan.
We are now in Phase 1. We read 1 or 2 stories every night. I read, then they will each interpret/ translate it in English. The interpreter/ translator must not be interrupted until she's done. They can also do silent reading and every Tuesday will be "Speak in Filipino Day" here in the house. I can here the yayas laughing with As and L outside as the two struggle to speak in Filipino.
Phase 2 will be them reading to me.
Phase 3 will be buying a Filipino work book with a teachers guide or answer key. And answering the whole book. I will be getting 3 different books for A, As and L. Nh will just join us for reading no workbook for him.

Goal: To finish the workbook and appreciate the language! I am looking for Filipino Books with an answer key/ teachers guide. Any suggestions that will help us will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, June 22, 2012

6 Months After the Diagnosis

I felt that she was getting worse everyday. Turns out I am right! The last x ray we took of As was in February and was dismissed by 2 doctors as "could be human error." Tsk! Turns out its not!. From 21 degrees she now has a 28 degree curve when at ease and 26 degree curve while doing the breathing we read in the book The Schroth Method.
The book says to do the exercises in order. I still can not get this. We averaged about 2 exercise sessions per week (just as much as we would get had we gone to a PT/ Rehab center)
A lot of self blaming going on here. I should not have bought into the "its okay your being too intense" thinking. Tsk Tsk Tsk!!!
When As was diagnosed in January, it was explained to us that for curves
less than 20 degrees - we just have to wait and see. x ray every quarter
21 to 30 degrees we will start therapy, maybe bracing
31 to 40 - degrees definitely Bracing
41 and up- that's when we will/ should consider Surgery

Since we are not willing to do surgery, we could not take it easy. We went to Physical Therapy- we were told to go for 6 sessions, went for adjustment with a chiropractor (this was the most satisfying experience), had another x ray. I went as far as enrolling myself in a Yoga Course in the hope that I will find help for my child there! Here I am again being indecisive and buying into "Yoga is good for scoliosis!"
I am still so reluctant to start Physical Therapy for my daughter again. I now think the first therapy was useless and we were only prescribe to have it for 6 sessions once or twice a week for an hour every session. I can go on a litany on why I think the Physical Therapy As had was useless  but as it turns out our sporadic schroth exercises did nothing to hold the curve in place which was my original plan.

I talked to the doctor (Radiologist) reading the x ray  results and we came up with a plan on how to take As's x rays in the future.

Her next x ray will be end of September. Here's the plan now:
1. Goal: must exercise 6 days with As for 90 minutes 6 days a week and 30 minutes on rest day.
2. Research, Read and/ or blog. Get information.
3. I must cope beautifully.  Don't whine about the situation. Take it one day at a time.
4. Keep a diary for me and As to share and write down what we are up to- exercises, how we feel etc.
5. We will reduce the curve! (Gush I feel overwhelmed!!)

I wish we have this here:

But we don't so I will focus on the good stuff that is available now:
1. As is not in pain
2. Her curve is still less than 30 degrees.
3. We both have the space and time to do this.
4. We have doctor(s). Though they are not focused on scoliosis we can go to them and refer what we are doing.

I must accept and assert that its up to me although I can not do everything! Also maybe I should accept that the people I will ask help from will be reluctant to go along, might find me odd and this will take a lot of my time!
Like what happened in the x ray yesterday. I wanted to see if what was said in the book is true. So I had to explain it to the rad tech. Showed him the book and all. I also paid for the extra x ray "shot". I think the rad tech guy got curious too. But he said that we do not have a doctor's order. So I had to explain to him again that the doctor can not put the extra x ray request since the last 3 doctors we saw has not heard of The Schroth Method. But since we are already getting a x ray we might as well take a look at the method. After the films were developed, I got all excited and started asking the rad tech if I am right that the spine did look straighter in the first x ray (with As doing rotational breathing as we understood it) than the second (while at ease). And though he was smiling and sort of nodding, he would not confirm nor give his opinion despite the fact that I was asking for it- they have protocol according to him! Our pediatrician entered the room and said something like "yeah it looks like there's a difference but we should wait for the doc who will read the result" fair enough! But the doc who will read the result wasn't there yet! So I decided to wait for the him and tell him what we need and that we will be doing this again and I want it done exactly the same way every time! The radiologist who came highly recommended by our pediatrician was very agreeable and was reassuring, but failed to write down the hip risser score of As. Which I also forgot to mention to him. He seemed annoyed, that I was sort of instructing him on what I want!  I know he has like 10 thousand things to do and he's not focus on scoliosis only (here's acceptance and patience)! I wish I could post the x ray pictures but the doctor who is reading the x ray and I agreed that we were going to go for film rather than cd. As was very cooperative despite her being hungry.
I will focus on the positive!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Huh!?! What is this about?

While preparing for Mommy Sense Meet Up last Saturday, my daughter A, who's about to turn 15 in a few weeks picked up a leaflet and started reading it then asks, "What's this about?"

The leaflet to me, is obviously Formula (Infant/ Follow On Milk) Advertising, despite the fact that:
1. It did not have a logo, (I am not sure if the owl is counted as a logo?)
2. There was NO name of the formula/ brand/ company
3. Not even the word formula appeared on the glossy leaflet!

I could tell it was formula because, well what else could it be, check out the gold ribbon + the way the words "ask your doctor" was written!

It dawned on me that I had product recall, while my daughter did not!!! My daughter grew up with very minimal TV and at a time when follow on milk is being advertised but not infant formula! And the baby in the picture though not a new born can very well be less than a year old! Not exactly the ones you see in Follow On Milk Ads.
Leaflet A

My daughter wanted to know who wrote it and what it was all about! To her there was no information on how to handle the matter. In her opinion the baby in the leaflet should go to the hospital/ emergency room and be admitted with his/her mother and not to the doctors clinic after all as you can read the baby has the following symptoms:
Leaflet A                                                                  Leaflet B
Are Warning Signs of Lactose Intolerance               Are Warning Signs of Cows Milk Protein Allergy
Diarrhea                                                                    Rashes
Tummy Pain                                                              Bloody Stool
Gassiness or kabag                                                    Colic
Nausea                                                                       Diarrhea/ Constipation
Bloated Tummy                                                         Spitting Out Food or Milk
                                                                                   Pale Complexion
                                                                                   Persistent Distress

Leaflet B
 My daughter wanted to know if all of the symptoms appeared at once? But then again how could diarreah and constipation happen simultaneously? "I can't be over reacting right? What's this leaflet about really?"
I asked my daughter what could be the product behind the leaflet?
"It does not say that's why I am asking you. It should be some medicine." - that is available at the doctor's clinic - but not the hospital? Hmmmm or shall I say TOINK!?

Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Circumnavigating The Milk Code/ EO 51 just makes it more misleading! The symptoms mentioned above do merit immediate attention, specially the one in leaflet B, not a visit to the doctors clinic as suggested "ask your doctor". I will really ask my doctor this time!

Is the owl counted as a logo?

Here's Information on Milk Allergy. Take Note that Lactose Intolerance is not the same as Galactosemia.
Obviously the Milk Code is making it hard for companies like this to sell their product! They are in desperation! Still they manage to get this printed and distributed!

This is severely annoying at the least and definitely an out right crime! There is intent to reach a market group and the company behind this should not be doing this! What the leaflet says is they have an understanding with the doctor!?! What? This Milk Formula company has an understanding with all the doctors where you can find this leaflet?!? The Milk Code says NO to this!!!

Here's how I am taking this:
1. This is the reason why we must keep our Milk Code the way it is now, you can read more about it here! Milk Companies are for profit not for information drive. And the expensive product behind this FORMULA doesn't even come close to the real thing BREAST MILK!
2. I meet mothers who have no access to the Internet and they get hold of impressive materials like this! It is impressive in glossy hard stock paper (they do have the budget to do this).
3.  This material is not educational and merely sending out wrong instructions "ask your doctor". Just imagine:
your baby develops a rash in the early evening hours,
then your baby's stool has blood, and he/she also has diarrhea,
and spits up what he/she takes in (food or milk), becomes pale and is obviously in distress by 10 pm, Will you wait another 12 hours to "ask your doctor" in his clinic?

What is the glossy leaflet all about? I can't seem to decide if it is:
a. A waste of materials (ink, paper, add the carbon footprint for distribution)
b. Pointless mumbo jumbo that will really get the patient to "ask your doctor" about it
c. A violation of the milk code
So maybe its:
d. All of the above

Monday, June 18, 2012

Here are the Winners!!!

Here are the winners of The POD's first ever class pass give away.

I decided to write down the names of the 9 people who joined and wish each of them the best in whatever they are doing today. Thank you for joining. I put it in L's doll tub and called my daughters to pick out 1 rolled paper each.


There are 2 winners (2 couples) who will be joining Batch 6 class and 1 winner (couple) will be joining Batch 7  class. To the winners, kindly drop by The POD between 1:30 to 6 pm (MWF and Saturday. We are close on Tuesdays and Thursdays) to register and get your class pass before your class schedule begins. Uncollected class pass will no longer be given once the batch starts.

Here's our little draw,

Congratulation! I am excited to meet all of you. 

Here are the schedules:
Batch 6 Saturdays
Date: June 23, 30, July 7, 14 and 21                       Time: 4 to 6 pm

Batch 7 Saturdays
Dates: July 14, 21, Aug 4, 11 and 18                       Time: 1:30 to 3:30 pm

I am thinking of doing this again around this time of year next year. Or maybe it would be best to spread out the 3 class pass through out the year?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Getting Ready: POGS Fun Run

I was tagged in a photo some moths ago and I thought, Oh well its so far away! 
How time flies! Its only a month away and POGS Mindanao Chapter came up with singlets already! I am going to convince everybody in the house to register and run! This isn't going to be hard. My husband likes to run and so does A and As

I am getting my running shorts and favorite shirt for this one! Ha ha ha ha I sound as if I am running for 10k. For sure, I will be running with my Nh and L.
July 8 will be a Sunday. How perfect! We shall put our feet up and rest for the whole day. Maybe this would be a good time for some family video in the afternoon...

Unlike the other fun runs in the city this one has a category for pregnant moms!!! 
I wonder if there will be a winner for this category and if it will be timed?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baking = Real Life Math

While A and As started their math this morning, I decide to do baking with L and Nh. This way Nh won't disturb As and both L and Nh can do some real life math.

Lucky me she chose this recipe!!! As the measurements are in grams. It will give us a chance to work on weights. I don't lecture them when baking I just point out what I hope and think they should recall in the future.

Both were excited to get thinks going! It was peacefully messy.  
L and Nh seemed to work well together this morning.

The recipe called for some painting with food coloring! 

 While we were painting the cookies (unbaked), L kept taking about owning an egg and how she wants to watch it hatch etc etc. I seemed really complicated! I figured getting a chicken might be easier. So I suggested it. Turns out our new helper Ate Gaga knows a lot about chickens. So after shaping the cookies, we all looked at Tilly's Nest. Both Ate Gaga and Ate Chu seem to be up to it. We finished painting and cleaning up just in time for lunch. It was L's turn to set the table today for lunch (and dinner).

Finish product...
This gets me thinking about Christmas... When inspiration strikes I must make a note and go back to it soon.
We ended our lunch today with cookies!!!

 We told daddy about owning an egg which is now turning out to be owning a chicken. There was no protest from dad. A says she's neutral! But L is so into it she talked Nh and As to support her cause! Now I wonder, do we still have space for this? Another pet(s)?

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Class Pass Give Away!!!

I have been thinking of  having an online contest for The POD for sometime now. I have been holding it off for the simple reason that I am frightened. Looking for reasons to silence my fears I thought of all the celebrations: Mothers' Day, Independence Day, Fathers' Day and International Breastfeeding Week!!! So there is reason to celebrate and silence my fears!!! Here goes the first ever Class Pass Give Away for Childbirth Preparation Class.

Giveaway is open for the following Classes:

Batch 6- Saturdays: June 23, 30, July 7, 14 and 21    Time: 4 to 6pm 

Batch 7- Saturdays: July 14, 21, Aug 4, 11 and 18    Time: 10 am to 12 noon

Here are the rules:
  1. Open to all Davao City residents only.
  2. Contestant: mom/ couple must like The POD on Facebook.
  3. Leave a comment on the photo on the Facebook Page of The POD (comments on Shared Photo will not be counted). State the batch you wish to join. Example Batch 6. Take note that the last day of your class must end at least 2 weeks before your guess date (also known as due date or EDD- expected date of delivery).
  4. One (1) comment per person will be counted.
  5. The Class Pass is Transferable so couples/ mom can ask her friends and family to join in for them/her. They must like The POD on Facebook and comment on the photo by stating the batch you wish to join.
  6. Three (3) winners will be picked out on June 16, Saturday and will be announced on the Facebook page and on this blog.
  7. If winner has already registered for Childbirth Preparation Class Batch 6 and Batch 7, registration fee will be refunded. Please present your receipt.
  8. The Class Pass is not convertible to cash.
I think the rules are clear enough! Really nervous and excited here!!! Good luck!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Experiment in Pyjamas

We finally did our experiment! And as I said in my previous post, I will share the results. 
And now, we have got some new questions to answer. Its amazing how I saw my children draw out arguments and rationales from previous experiences they had. This is how we started today...
We wrote down our plan and questions etc.
We set up our experiment and made a plan to come to it ever hour until the ice melts.

We decide to do math while waiting for the time. After an hour, As and L were done with Math.

 And this is what we found:

Ice with salt

Ice without salt

As things were becoming confusing, As and I decided to put it in the computer. Now she can practice typing too.
While As was typing, L went to play with Nh. And there was still so much time As went on to play with her violin. I decided to get a video coz As wants to work on this piece with her teacher. She is playing this by ear, figured it out after hearing Valerie Kim on YouTube some months ago.

 After an hour...
This is whats left of the salt water ice.
  Both of them tasted the salt water!!! Why? I did not ask! Good thing they decided not to drink it!!

Here's what we have...
Questions: Is salt water colder that fresh water? Is an iceberg made up of salt water or fresh water?

As is referring to the Titanic Exhibit we saw in Singapore last April.

 And The book "Star in the Storm" was one of the 3 Read Aloud books we read this summer.

And yes we did this while in our pyjamas! If you have any input about salt water, fresh water and how they melt etc. do let me know. We were not able to answer our questions today.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Please Don't Water Down the Milk Code! Not now!!!

Right after reading the title of the blog post "Watering Down the Milk Code" from Chronicles of a Nursing Mom my first reaction was:

What they are watering down the milk code? What on earth! Wait! Who's they?

After reading the blog post I got all my answers! Obviously, I am not for watering down the milk code! Why now? I think there's more awareness now about breastfeeding. There are more products too for the breastfeeding mom and there are people (if I were a new mother) I can talk too.

My first Child was born in 1997 and aside from a Badjao outside my university, I do not know of another new mom with in my immediate circle who was eagerly breastfeeding! I have 2 older cousins who gave birth with in the year and both did not breastfeed. Both of them were literally in awe that my baby was just breast fed. I can not count the number of times my mom and 2 of her sisters suggested to me that my milk might not be enough!

The Milk Code is not new. Yet why is it that the milk code make a lot of people say "Ha?!!!" Jaw drop!
Simple answers could be:
1. "There's a milk code?" We don't know it exist! I learned about the milk code after getting a copy from a Department of Health booth in one of the mommy/baby/ preggy activities and after talking to my friend Lyn after she attended breastfeeding peer councilor training of Latch. I know there's a milk code and I am just so happy about it!

2. "I know there's a milk code but the scope of the milk code covers this and that?" I learned more about the milk code after talking to Jenny Ong. Years after my conversation with Lyn. I have read the milk code text that I got from The Department of Health. But somehow did not get it all in my head. My reaction: "Golly Me its part of the Law and it covers all of this and that!!! Toink!!!" I had to reread and this time highlight some of the stuff that I missed out the first time!

3. Guilt and fear. People who have violated/ violated with out knowing/ violating the milk code are not comfortable talking about it. But its here as it should and now is the time to understand it!

Why am I not in favor of watering down the milk code!
1. First of all not all the right people know about it. Right people means everybody!
2. Not because one can say the words "Milk Code" it means they understand the scope of it. Consider also that there are many types of learners out there and how will we make the milk code understandable to all the different types of learners out there?
3. How can we put the past behind and tackle the challenges in front of us if we water things down now.

1. Just this afternoon I had a visitor at The POD. A new baby from a couple who previously attended Childbirth Preparation Class. I was most delighted to see this new family. Mom was breastfeeding while we were talking. She mentioned how the loving and dotting lolas are excited to give "XYZ brand of vitamins, same maker of XYZ infant formula and are also asking when will baby be given water.
2. I have witness older people in awe and/or feeling sorry for a baby for simply being breastfed. "Yan lang talaga breastfeeding?!Bakit? Eh may pambili naman...!" (That's all! Just breastfeeding?! Why? You can afford to buy...!)
Now where did this thinking stem from? I don't think I am pushing things too far when I say, years of advertisement hailing the superiority of formula and milk for children did this. I have memories of milk and formula advertisements and jingles. I can still sing some of them. Golly its part of my childhood memory!

3. Just yesterday, I met a mom who said she was diagnosed with mastitis and prescribed antibiotics 4 days prior to our meeting. She had fever and was feeling all down and out 4 days before I saw her. Her sister took her to the emergency room in one of the hospitals. The doctor who saw her in the emergency room told her and I quote the mom:
ER Doctor: "Kasi naman nagbrebreastfeed ka pa. masyado na mahaba ang oras na binigay mo sa anak mo. 1 year old na pwede na sya magfresh milk!"  (This happened because you are still breastfeeding. You have given too much time to your child. At 1 year old your child can drink fresh milk.) Since the doctor did not recommend formula, then safe to say she did not violate the milk code but obviously have very little understanding of breastfeeding.

We have a Millennium Development Goal particularly:
MGD 1 Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
MDG 4 Reduce Infant and Child Mortality
MDG 5 Improve Maternal Health
With regard to MDG 4 and breastfeeding the Department of Health along with some very dedicated doctors have been actively promoting Unang Yakap! How can this doctor miss out on this??? Again, this was according to the unhappy mom. I was not there in the emergency room when this happened. Mom was prescribed to take antibiotics which she promptly started, but was not informed if it was safe to latch her baby or not.

I said: "Sayang natanong mo sana sa doctor kung pwede sa breastfeeding ang gamot na binigay nya. (You could have asked the dotor if the medicine she prescribed is safe for breastfeeding)

Mom replied: "Ay ayaw ko na syang kausapin!" (I don't want to talk to her anymore)

I am not trying to blame the young doctor. Maybe the emergency room was crazy busy?! Maybe she simply does not know what to do?! Where did she get her training? Do they cover breastfeeding in medical school?

These are just some of the reasons why now is not the time to relax. Now is not the time to water down the milk code. Now is the time to let everyone: Man, Woman and Child know and understand the Milk Code! I will start with those around me!

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