Three Things I Learned One Rainy Saturday Morning

It was flooded in Buendia and the rain was pouring non-stop. But I was determined to join the other moms in a parenting talk lead by Coach Pia Acevedo. I knew it will be worth it.  And I was right.

As with all of our New Beginnings talks, I learned a number of practical things that will guide me to become a better parent to my children. Today, I’d like to share with you a few main points that I took away from our last session.

1.  Fill Your Child with Unconditional Love

This is such a cliché but a very important concept that a lot of parents forget. We get so involved in implementing our house rules that sometimes that we forget to show our child how much we love them.  If the child is filled with love, then he will understand that you discipline because you want to make him a better person. The rules are not there to punish him. When implementing house rules, Coach Pia gave a very important reminder: Never let your child feel that the rules are more important than them.

2.  Respect Natural Consequences

‘I Told You So’ is something that we often hear ourselves saying.  You know that thought bubble in our heads when our husbands make that left turn when you said he should turn right…Yep, that’s the one.  I learned from Coach Pia that saying ‘I Told You So’ is a form of humiliation. It’s like rubbing salt to an open wound. The person already knows he made a mistake – why do you need to reiterate it to him?

It’s the same with our kids. When we already told our child not to climb up the chair because it’s painful when he falls, don’t we often instinctively say ‘See, I told you not to climb!’ when he does fall? When they fall and hurt themselves, they are already reminded of your instruction to them. I am pretty sure they learned their lesson already. They don’t need us to reiterate it to them when they’re already hurting. 

When they feel bad about losing a favorite toy, our kids do not need us to make them feel worse. The natural consequence for them is that the toy is gone. It’s already a moment of learning for them. I love what Coach Pia did when her son lost his favorite DS. She went out and helped her son looked for the toy. No ‘sermon’ was necessary. He already learned his lesson.

3. Give Your Child Their Time in the Sun

What I love most about being a progressive parent is realizing that there is no ‘one size fits all’ method of parenting. Parenting books are there as our guide but ultimately, we need to be sensitive to our child’s needs and encourage them to be unique.  This is also very important for families with kids of the same gender. Don’t force the same activities that the elder one wants to the younger sibling. If anything, it will even be beneficial to encourage different activities. Coach Pia shared with us how her eldest loved to play the guitar. So when her second child started showing interest in playing musical instruments, they encouraged him to try anything BUT the guitar. Why? So that they will have their own strengths.  I thought this was a very smart move and would greatly avoid sibling rivalry.

Let your child shine! Don’t force them to shine under the shadows of someone else.

Join our discussion at the New Beginnings Community on Facebook and Twitter (@NBMums). It's great learning we're not alone in this adventure we call Motherhood.



Mums of New Beginnings

It's very hard being a first time mom.

They always say that the first child is often a product of [discipline] trial and error. Learning how to be a good parent is never easy.  I have bought countless parenting books and have interviewed veteran moms on several occassions.  There is always something new to learn.  This is why I was more than happy to say YES when i was invited to be part of a new community for progressive moms last June.      

New Beginnings is a community where moms grow together. Watch the video below and learn more about New Beginnings.
Meet the Mums of New Beginnings

Like us on Facebook [] and chat with other moms about the joys and pains of motherhood.


12 Years of Firsts

It was the year of the new millennium.  If you know what the centennial bug is, then it means you were old enough to experience the excitement and technological anxieties approaching year 2000.  Will our microwave oven and office computers still work after 1999?  Everyone thought the entry of new millennium was going to be a game changer. Well, it turned out that it least for me.

Year 2000 was the year i met the man i was going to spend the rest of my life with.
Fast forward to year 2012.

Last week i was reviewing old episodes of FRIENDS (as i always do) and i came across an episode where Monica was having wedding jitters. Here are snippets of their conversation (edited version).

Monica: Doesn’t it ever just freak you out that-that you’re never gonna be with anybody new again?

Chandler: What?

Monica: It’s just that sometimes it bothers me that I’m never gonna have that feeling. Y’know when you meet someone for the first time and it’s new and exciting? Y’know that rush?

That got me thinking. Don't we also have similar thoughts once in a while? The thrill of going on that first date again, meeting someone new, getting anxious and excited at the same time.  It's not like we don't love the one we're with, it's just that sometimes we miss the rush.

But i like the conversation that followed after that.

Chandler: Look,  for me the rush is knowing that we are gonna be together for the rest of our lives.

Monica: y’know what? I’m gonna have a lot of new things with you. The first time we buy a house. Our first kid. Our first grandkid…

And it's true. Being married does not mean an end to the excitement.  Remember how you felt the first time you realized you're having a baby? How about the first time you brought your child to school? Or your first successful business venture?  Now that you're married, you simply have someone to celebrate all these milestones with for the rest of your life. Isn't that even more exciting?
First Boracay trip together, 2002
First time to ride a camel, Great Wall of China 2002
First badminton tournament, 2003
First time to meet a baby elephant, Thailand 2004

First Europe trip together, Paris 2005
First pregnancy, Las Vegas 2006
First cruise together, Alaska 2007
First night with a baby at home, 2008 
First trip with a baby, Japan 2009

First baby girl
To the man i will continue to celebrate all my firsts with,

Happy Anniversary, Love! 

It's wonderful to wake up beside you every day.



I Heart Mustela

Do you ever wonder why we have more and more cases of infertility, cancer, and all sorts of new diseases these days? 

I do.

After we lost Tyler in 2006, i started hearing about Natural and Organic products. I knew it was almost impossible to go 100% natural but i was determined to keep our family's exposure to toxic chemicals to the barest minimum.  We never truly found out what caused Tyler's problem but hearing the older generation repeatedly say 'Wala naman mga ganung problema dati' [We didn't have that kind of problem before] makes me believe that it has something to do with all the chemicals that we are now frequently exposed to.  So i went on a quest to find the best natural products in the market - from soaps and shampoos to make-up.

When i gave birth to Dawn in 2011, my good friend Tammy Chua-Tancinco of Mustela Philippines gave me a bottle of Mustela baby wash. I wasn't familiar with the product at that time so i went online and did some research. As i learned more about the product, i also got more and more interested. I learned that Mustela is manufactured by Laboratoires Expanscience, which is the 6th largest independent laboratory in France, and ensures its high quality products that are free from paraben, phthalate, phenoxyethanol, alcohol, chlorphenesin and essential oils. Priority is given to ingredients of natural origins ranging form 80% to 98%. Mustela continues to create a legacy of unparalled skin care.

So when Tammy called me up one weekend and invited me to lunch and hear about Mustela Philippines, i said yes in a heartbeat. The talk was held at the Premio Restaurant of the Best Western Premier F1 Hotel at the Bonifacio Global City.

Tammy and Martin Tancinco of Mustela Philippines
Liz Almoro 
The very pregnant but still chic Amanda Griffin-Jacob 
Lexi Schultz hosted the event
Sharleen CuUnjieng, who is co-owner of Mustela Philippines, talked about how the product has helped clear her baby's rashes after trying several creams and ointments in the market to no avail.  I have my own Mustela story with Dawn and you can read about that here.
Lexi interviewing Sharleen of Mustela Philippines
All of us were listening intently
They also invited a pediatrician, Dra Vienne Valentin Saulog, to discuss the benefits of Mustela
Rowena (, myself, Liz Almoro, Tammy Chua-Tancinco
With the Mustela Philippines ladies, Sharleen and Tammy
After Dawn was healed of eczema, i started using different Mustela products and have accumulated my own stash at home.  I will discuss how i use each of the product in a separate post.

Mustela has been an essential part of our family for over a year now. If you're new to the brand, this is the perfect time to check it out. They have just slashed their prices last June. Make the shift. Your family is worth it!

Mustela is available at the following outlets:
    Ayala Trinoma, 1st Level (beside Cafe Mary Grace)
    Robinson's Manila, 1st Level Midtown Wing (beside Topshop)
    Glorietta 4, 3rd Level (in front of Gourdo's and Play & Display)
    Shangri-la Mall, 4th Level (in front of Mothercare)
    Megamall A, 2nd Level (in front of Esprit) 
    The Shops, Greenhills Shopping Center 1st Level (in front of
    Watson’s and Mary Grace)
    Alabang Town Center, Upper Ground Floor, Connector Mall (in          
    front of K & Company) 

Distributed at the following:
    PureBeauty, 2nd Floor Serendra, BGC
    All Landmark Department Stores
    All Rustan's Department Stores
    Numa Echo Baby Store, QC

For more information:
    Facebook: Mustela Philippines


My Faith Chronicles

Troy's footprints on Day 1
I have an observation.  

Once a woman decides to start a family, natural motherhood instincts worries kick in. Just when you thought you're over the worst parenting anxiety, the next one comes up.

Worry #1 - Will i get pregnant? How soon? Will we encounter difficulty conceiving?

Worry #2 - You're pregnant. Yay! Will the baby be okay? Will my baby be healthy and normal?

Worry #3 - Congratulations! You have given birth to a healthy baby! Will I be able to breastfeed? Is she getting enough nutrition? Will she sleep through the night? To vaccine or not to vaccine?

Worry #4 - You're chasing your happy toddler around and you're wondering...why isn't she talking yet??? is there something wrong?

Worry #5 - You now have an inquisitive pre-school. Then you start doing your research. What is the best school for my child? Will she ace the entrance exam?

Worry #6 - Primary School, here we go.  Will my gradeschool kid do well in school? 

Worry #7 - Welcome to teen parenting. You now start to think of the best way to remain 'friends' with your child. How will i ensure the she still confides in me? I hope she doesn't get into a relationship too soon.

Worry #7 - What a milestone! You now have a graduating child! Will she get into a good college? gosh, here we go again with those entrance exams!

Worry #8 - Whew! Done with college. Oh, i hope she gets a good paying job and finds the right lifetime partner.

Worry #9 - Best wishes to my child. I can't believe she's married!

Worry #10 - Will she get pregnant? How soon? Will they encounter difficulty conceiving?

...and the cycle goes on.

Well, i've got good new for us worriers out there.  

God is our creator. He did not only create us but he formed these little beings inside of us. He knew them even before we did.

Psalms 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

God loves our children more than we ever could. Hard to imagine? It's true.

Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

And i leave you with my all-time favorite verse.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Have faith. Our children are safe in the loving arms of our Lord. God knows best.


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