How My Daughter Stopped to Thumbsuck

Dawn practically came out of the womb with her thumb in her mouth.  She loved to thumbsuck!  When she was less than a year old, most of our friends who see her thumbsuck would always tell me that babies who thumbsuck are 'good babies'. While it may be an old folklore, I guess it also stemmed from the fact that they are easily soothed and therefore cry less.

When Dawn turned two and the habit continued, I started to get a little concerned. I read some articles and got tips from friends whose children overcame this habit. From putting vinegar or chili on her thumb (both of which i did not dare try) to putting a band-aid around her finger. The latter, of course, did not work because she can easily remove it.

Three years later and we were still thumbsucking. I got more concerned because her thumb was developing marks and her teeth were already being pushed forward. I tried negotiating with her and even offering to give her prizes if she can go overnight without thumbsucking (i know it's not the best parenting trick but i was desperate). All of which did not work.

When January 2015 rolled in, I made a list of my faith goals for this year. Similar to when i prayed for Troy's leg healing in 2013.  Among other goals was for Dawn to stop this bad habit.  I knew it was impossible to curb this habit without the Lord's help. 

When Dawn was about to turn four in February, she went to visit her dentist, who also happens to be my sister-in-law.  When she came home, she told me that her aunt explained what will happen to her teeth when she thumbsucked.  So I explained that her aunt was right and how she might get crooked teeth if she does not stop. Then she asked how crooked teeth looked like. So i pulled up some google images of crooked teeth to show her and she was horrified! And you know what, she stopped thumbsucking that very night! I could not believe it. God answered my faith goal in just one month!

Four years of my own efforts proved useless compared to one powerful prayer lifted in faith. The Lord does amazing things. It's been three months now and we're 99% thumbsuck-free. I say 99% because Dawn sometimes forget so we need to constantly remind her. She would usually quickly remove her thumb and say sorry.

What is your parenting struggle now? I still have a long list but I can rest in the assurance that my God is bigger than my struggles. What a great comfort for us parents that we can lean on a mighty Father who loves our kids even more than we do. Whatever it is that you're struggling with, lift it up to the Lord. He is just a prayer away.


My Top 5 Running Gears

Running, generally, is pretty cheap. All you need is a pair of running shoes and you're set. You don't even need any gym membership. But sometimes we need a few things that can help us sustain the race. Here are my top 5 essential running gears:
  • Running Shoes - I currently use Inov-8 barefoot running shoes but have been eyeing the Nike Free too. I prefer less bulk when I run so barefoot shoes are the best choice for me. They are lighter and more flexible. If you are looking to buy your first pair, I suggest you go to any RUNNR store to do a Gait Analysis.  The analysis is free of charge and can determine the best shoe type for your feet.  
  • iPhone - I use my trusty iPhone to listen to music and podcast during my run. It's also a good tool to monitor your distance and time. I use the Runkeeper app for GPS and stats. Maybe next time i can upgrade to the Apple watch but we'll see.
  • Running Belt or Armband - You can choose between an armband or Running Belt to put your phone in. I personally prefer a running belt because I have an iPhone6 and I find it too bulky for my arms. My favorite brand so far is Fitletic since it fits well and does not budge when I run.
  • Good earphones - I personally like Jabra Wave because it's wireless and the fit is very comfortable for long-wearing. I recently saw Jabra Rox Wireless Earbuds which I really like so maybe that's going to be my next target. 
    Jabra Wave (
  • Hydration Bottle - Some people do away with water bottles and just rely on hydration stations prepared by the organizer. I do this for shorter runs like 3k or 5k. But for my recent 10k, i brought my hydration bottle with me. I like it because when I start running, I don't want to keep stopping for water as it breaks my momentum. The hydration bottle allows me to continue running while keeping myself well hydrated. I am currently using Fuel Belt single bottle. It's small enough to easily hold but holds a good 10oz of water.
Of course you can also just do away with everything that I mentioned above and just run free. It's all a matter of personal preference and whatever works best for you. The most important thing is just to take that first step. Now, get started and keep moving.


ExpoMom 2015 #MomManifesto

Barely two months after I gave birth to Troy, I remember driving excitedly to Rockwell to attend my first ExpoMom back in 2008. That visit opened my eyes to the many unique baby products - both local and international - that are available to us these days. I remember staying there by myself for practically the entire day. It was my first day out after giving birth.

This year's ExpoMom focuses on a very important aspect of motherhood that is often neglected. The mom! We usually find ourselves too busy with the kids, our work/businesses, or errands that we forget to take care of ourselves in the process.

Aside from the booths that are selling mom-tested and mom-approved items, there will be ongoing activites onstage during the event as we journey together towards being happy and fulfilled moms.

Save the date, Moms! Invite your mom friends and join the fun next weekend from May 22 to 24 at the New Glorietta Center for the 2015 ExpoMom.



Five Tips for Your First Run #NikeWeRunManila

Last Saturday I finally did my first 10k! Read about my journey towards this milestone first if you haven't. Running a 10k was part of my faith goals this year and I can't believe I was able to accomplish it before the half of the year. Praise God for the strength and determination He has given me. 

I finished the race in 1 hour and 19 minutes. I'm very happy with my time considering it's my first 10k. I will definitely join more 10k runs this year and improve my time before moving to longer races.

We got to the race area in Filinvest around 6:30pm and had dinner at the nearby McDonald's. Our goal was to stop eating two hours before the race to avoid running on a full stomach. While I am no expert, I'd like to share a few things that I learned throughout my personal training for this 10k.
10,000 Women

1. Hydration is Key
Remember what happened to me when I ran my first 5k in the gym? I almost fainted because of heat and dehydration. I realized later on that I need to drink as much as I can before the run. We usually only remember to drink after exercising when we're already exhausted. On race day, I always stop drinking an hour to an hour and a half before gun start. This way i can avoid toilet breaks during the run that will just add to my time. 

2. Be Consistent in your Training
When I started running I could barely run 1k continuously. I persevered by consistently running two to three times a week in the gym. I increased my distance every two weeks to avoid injuries. Strength training, they say, is also very important. I stopped doing yoga last January but intend to practice again next month to build up on my strength.

Fireworks before gun start
3. Entertain Yourself

Fatigue aside, a lot of times i stop running because I get bored. Especially when you're training on the treadmill or running the same route regularly, there will be no new sights to see and after a while it will get boring. Personally, I enjoy listening to podcast and music when I run. I know a lot of professional runners say it's better not to listen to anything and be aware of your surroundings. I admire people who can do that but it's really not for me. I need to be entertained and forget the time while I am running. Of course you need to make sure you are running on a safe path and not have your music too loud that you do not hear incoming cars.

I always ensure I download the songs and podcast prior to my run to avoid internet connection problems during the race. When i run on the treadmill, I also enjoy watching light movies or fun TV show like Ellen DeGeneres or Friends to while away the time. 

4. Practice with your Gears

I will share about the gears that I use for running in my succeeding posts. From running shoes to hydration bottles. It is important for you to use them during your practice to get comfortable with it. Don't attempt to change running shoes prior to the race. Run with the shoes that you trained with. 

5. Set a Goal

This is going to be your motivation. My goal this year was to run a 10k in less than 1 hour and 30minutes. I was able to beat my time but next run I am aiming for less than an hour. That's going to be my new target. As they say, you do not necessarily have to race against other runners. You always race against your own personal best.

And that's it. Have fun and maybe i'll see you in the next race!


My Daughter's New Best Friend

So last Sunday we concluded our week-long Vacation Bible School (VBS) in church. I have been volunteering as a Bible and Dance teacher since I was in college.  Teaching kids everyday is not an easy job, I tell you. I have so much respect for teachers who love what they are doing and give their all for the children. 

Last Thursday evening, I was talking with my 7-year old son about his best friends when my 4-year old daughter suddenly mentioned, out of the blue, that she also has a best friend. When I asked who, i was pleasantly surprised to hear her say "God".  She went on to say "Because I asked God to come inside my heart and my tummy already so that He can be my best friend". I don't know where the 'tummy' part came from but I embraced her and told her I am very happy for her. I wasn't certain if it was a wish or if she prayed it already so I decided to pray with her anyway. Similar to when Troy received the Lord into his heart, I prayed the same prayer with Dawn. Looks like four is the magic number for my children.

I shared the story with Dens as soon as he got home. Then Dens told me that they actually talked about it in the classroom during one of the nights of VBS (Dens was also a volunteer teacher in church). I thought back about the many times I wasn't sure if being a Bible/Sunday School teacher truly had any impact on the kids and realized the amazing things God can do out of our service and obedience for Him.

So to all teachers (volunteer or by profession), never give up your passion for teaching. Our children are who they are now because of all your patience and hard work.

To my daughter's bible teachers, thank you for sharing the gospel to her. You may not have realized it then, but you have given my daughter the best gift she will ever receive in her life.  


Drink to Good Health Like the French

Have you heard of the French Paradox?

The French paradox is the observation of low coronary heart disease (CHD)
death rates despite high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.
Now the study behind why the French has a relatively low incidence rate of heart disease despite their food intake is because they often drink red wine with their meals. The secret ingredient, doctors and researches found, is resveratrol. Drinking a glass of red wine contains only about 2mg of resveratrol which may not be enough for our daily needs. Drinking too much wine to compensate for that, however, is detrimental to our liver. So how do we achieve this balance of having a healthy heart while protecting our liver?
My cousin introduced me to this juice called Reserve that contains 75mg of Resveratrol per serving last December.  Here are the four powerhouse ingredients of the said juice.
On top of the above four main ingredients, the juice also contains a host of other natural ingredients that bring more benefits to our health.
While I cannot really tell whether the resveratrol has been benefiting my heart, there is definitely an improvement wtih my digestion which translates to less bloating and a relatively flatter stomach.  I also recently noticed less hairfall and better skin. I'm not sure if this was the cause but i am sure it's contributory.

This is another step towards my goal this year to be a healthier parent for my children.  C'mon and drink with me to good health. Cheers!     


Things You Need to Know if You're Watching Katy Perry's Prismatic World Tour

With less than 48 hours before the much-awaited Katy Perry Prismatic concert in the Philippines, the anticipation and excitement hits the air.
Here are some tips to make your experience a hassle-free one. If you are too tamad to read the entire thing, just remember not to bring anything that you won't bring inside an airplane. Moreover, no GoPro and other video-recording devices.  No SLR professional cameras either. You can take pictures and videos using your smart phones and compact cameras.
Finally, don't forget to print your tickets and have a great time!  See you at the concert! :)






My Journey to 10k

DC Comics Run 2015
One of my fitness goals this year is to run a 10k. While I cannot claim to be a marathoner or a professional runner, it will be a fitness achievement for me. Baby steps, if you will. Who knows, maybe next year's goal will be half a marathon.

I have been physically active for as long as i can remember. In college, when funds were tighter, going up and down 10 floors in my cousin's condominium building was my workout. During summer vacations, my cousin and i would sometimes swim in Manila Hotel, where my uncle was a member, and hit the gym for a good 5 minutes before breaking a sweat in the Sauna which we felt was the actual work out after all.

As soon as I got a job, I saved up to buy a lifetime membership in the most popular gym at that time (yep, to all of you lifetime members, you know what am talking about).  I tried to maximize my membership by working out twice a day. Am not kidding. I would go to the gym at 6 in the morning and workout for an hour. Go home, take a shower, and report for work. During lunch breaks, I would go to the same gym franchise near our office and workout for another hour.

The year I got married, I started boxing. I worked out every morning before going to work and did not miss a day from Monday to Friday. The heavy workout plus the stress of planning for the wedding resulted in a 94 lbs me (I'm 5'2" so that's generally okay). 
A year later I got pregnant and stopped working out all together. Three babies and five years later, I was starting to feel unfit and generally sluggish. I decided to start slowly and did Pilates almost every day during my lunch breaks. I did it regularly for a while until a Yoga studio opened near our office.  Curiousity got the better of me and so I tried it and have been practicing Yoga for more than 3 years now. 

3k DC Comics Run
Last December I felt that while Yoga was helping me gain strenth and flexibility, I missed the intensity of cardiovascular workouts. So i decided to enroll in a gym and ran the treadmill about 3 times a week. Now here's one thing that is important for you to know about me. While i have been working out regularly, i am not good at running.  Back in college I practically begged our PE teacher to make me the scorer in our Softball class because i couldn't run from one base to the next.  I felt awkward when i run and never had the stamina for it.  So when I started running the treadmill I could not even continously run for 5 minutes. I'd get so tired immediately after. I decided to start with a mix of walk and run intervals for 2km every workout and slowly built it up. I was already running 3km comfortably when my friends invited me to join them in the Nike 10k run. I was starting to love the idea of running and signed up without much thought. Once we've officially joined the race, I started wondering if i can indeed finish a 10km within a reasonable amount of time. "Reasonable" meaning that the organizer is not yet packing up by the time I arrive at the Finish line. :P
5k Color Manila Run
I had a little over a month to up my game from 3km to 10km. The first time i tried to run a 5km in the gym, I almost fainted. Seriously. It was probably the heat and I was severly dehydrated. After that I learned to hydrate prior to my workout and avoid black tea and coffee as well.

I am now actively running 5km to 7km three times a week (or more) and have already joined my first 3k and 5k run last weekend. I will end this post with some pictures from my past two fun runs. I will update you again once I achieve my 10k goal five days. Let's do this!
Color Manila Run 2015


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