Monday, January 27, 2014

The Most Important Document of Your Baby

After giving birth, you get tired, exhausted, and at the same time you get happy, excited, and may even be so overwhelmed! All your attention is on your baby - you get visitors, you try to squeeze in some rest time, you watch your baby sleep for x number of hours, you nurse, you cuddle with your baby, and the next thing you know, it's already time to go home! It is so easy to get lost in the moment (who wouldn't, right?) that you might forget the most important document you need to file - your baby's birth certificate!

As soon as you give birth, please make sure to file it! They say it may take weeks but really, it varies. The important thing is, you get it done right away! All the other documents (SSS, Philhealth, BIR, etc) depend on it.

You'd think I would be an expert especially after 3 baby boys; I guess, all that epidural has kicked in some memory loss. ;) I only remembered about it when we were getting ready to go home. Since we filed it late, it took around 2 weeks before we received it. That caused a lot of delays in applying for my baby as my dependent. So believe me when I say, get it done right away. :)

Here are instructions from Makati Med's Birth Certificate Form:

For Normal Delivery, the minimum stay in the hospital is 2 days. But your OB may advise otherwise. As soon as you get some rest, ask a companion to help you fill out and submit the form. :)

Oh, and one more thing. In case you are not married, here are the additional requirements that the father has to bring and present:

This is for the back part which is the Acknowledgement of Paternity. You only need 1 from any of the above proofs mentioned. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get this done right away. Again, processing time varies. Sometimes it may even just take a few days. You'll never know. :) So please remember: give birth, rest, submit the birth certificate! ^___^

Let me know how long it took before you got the birth certificate, ok?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mix Feeding

After 7 months of being purely breastfed, Mikolo had his 1st taste of formula this week. *sob* I've been having a hard time supplying his feeding needs. Even after being together the whole time during my 2-week holiday vacation, I still wasn't able to increase my breastmilk supply. Sadly, I really had to give in to formula milk.

Although this is the longest I've done (Uno and Matteo were only purely breastfed around 5 or 6 months), I am still sad. The good thing though is Mikolo's transition wasn't difficult. In fact, the nanny said he enjoyed it! His 2 older brothers didn't like the taste of formula at first and it was a struggle, but Mikolo just drank it in one sitting, or sipping rather.

If you need to mix feed your baby (while you're at work or out of the house), here are a few transition tips:

1- squeeze in the formula milk in between breastmilk feedings
2- formula feeding can also come in after all the breastmilk has been consumed
3- use a feeding cup instead of the regular milk bottle with teat
4- whenever you're together, make sure your baby still feeds from you
5- and last but not the least, if your baby is 6 months old and up, mix his mashed fruits/veggies with milk

I hope these tips help.

If you have other tips, please let me know. :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014


No, this is not about zombies... ;)

Just wanted to share pics from Tuesday, January 7th.

First up, my baby boy who's turning 7 months this Friday has officially started using a walker! 

I was estatic! Well, I still am! And although I wasn't able to capture it in the pictures, believe me when I say, he was happy, too. Very.

Why all the hoopla? His brothers didn't use a walker until they were around 10 months. Not sure if it was just me, but I just didn't think they were ready when they were this age. What is the best time to use a walker anyway?

Coincidentally, I decided to use the S Health app that came pre-installed on my Samsung Galaxy S4 on that very same day.

Although I am too thin for my own good, I still think I need to get some exercise - any valid form of exercise. So whenever I work from our Makati office, I park at the main office because 1- parking is free and 2- I'd be forced to walk. 

First time to try it and I would have to say,  I am happy with the results.

The right half shows my stats from when I walked to the other building. I didn't know that alone was almost 1000 steps! Wow! And yes, you might say that I didn't reach the suggested goal of 10,000 steps, but reaching more than 50% is good enough for me! To think, I didn't even have my phone with me the whole time!

Why 10,000 steps? According to Wikihow, counting steps is a better motivator for people to squeeze in exercise (walking, in this case), in their daily routine compared to having a mindset of "I need to have a 30-minute exercise everyday!" And I absolutely agree! I think it's more fun this way. Plus, having a 30-minute exercise mindset might just hinder you since you may initially think, "Where do I find the time to exercise?" Wouldn't you agree? :) 

As a mom, walking with my kids is good exercise for us and it's bonding time as well. Walking around the village or the park makes them excited and happy! :) Same effect on me... And we all get to squeeze in a little workout. *wink* (I don't make them walk 10,000 steps, of course!)

10,000 steps may sound like a lot but I really think it's doable. Wikihow shares how this can be achieved with tips and tidbits, too! 

What are you waiting for?! Let's walk!

If you have other tips on the 10,000 steps initiative, I would love to know! :D

Monday, January 6, 2014

brushing made easy

are you having a hard time brushing your baby/kid's teeth?
does s/he always "put up a fight?" or cry everytime you brush his/her teeth?
do you wish there was an easier way?

if you answered yes to all 3, then read on!

i brought matteo to a children's dental clinic just after new year coz he had green stains on some of his teeth. as soon as the dentist opened matteo's mouth, she confirmed that some of his teeth were starting to get cavities and a few already had cracks. i was sad. she even told me we would need to put pastas (just on the top part, no drilling necessary) to prevent further decay on 6 of his teeth and so he wouldn't lose them early. i was all for it of course but as soon as i found out that it would cost around 1-2 thousand pesos per tooth, my jaw literally dropped and when i recovered, all i could say was "wow!" i'm still scouting for a more affordable dentist and hopefully i can find one soon. 

we didn't leave the clinic with just a check up, of course. matteo's teeth were cleaned and flouride was used too. oh, and because matteo's teeth are weak and matte-like (not glossy like the healthy ones), this needs to be done every 3 months. that procedure alone costs 1,800 pesos and it didn't even last 5 minutes. good thing i was able to take advantage of their promo and paid 999. but then the next visits would be at the regular price. oh my.

the dentist did tell me that if we didn't do those things she may have to do some drilling and possibly result to using a sedative. or that matteo might grow permanent teeth even before he turns 9. now who would want any of that?!

so going back to my questions earlier, if you said yes to all of them, here are a few  valuable things i learned from the dentist (and from my experience after that visit):

- if they cry, let them cry. after brushing their teeth, they'd be their usual self again. brushing is not painful to them, they just don't want it. so just let them cry.

- for kids aged 2 years and below, it's best to use a toothbrush that has a circular and smaller shape. i believe these are the end-tuft toothbrushes. the clinic carries the tepe brand and they cost 200pesos each. still on the lookout for a more affordable one though.

- milk is the number one cause of cavity. so if you could get them to lessen their milk consumption (to 2 glasses per day), then please do. unless their pedia says otherwise. :)

- brush their teeth at least 2 times a day (seems like 2 is the magic number). ideally, it should be every after their milk consumption but you can start with 2 then 3, etc.

- now how to brush their teeth? there should be 2 of you (that number again, i know) so get someone to assist you. sit on the edge of a bed and get your helper (spouse, partner, mom, or anyone who's willing) to sit in front of you on a chair.    as much as possible, your laps should be on the same level. if you're the one doing the brushing, have your kid sit on your helper's lap facing him/her. then slowly let your kid lie down on your lap so you can have access to his mouth. (his upper body should rest on your lap and his head should just be somewhere near your crotch area.) although this position won't guarantee that your kid will cooperate and just say "ah!" this makes it easier to brush the teeth once you are able to open his mouth. believe me, in this position, it's not difficult to open their mouths even if they're crying. try it! i tried it on uno and matteo, and so far i've had a 100% success rate. ;)

i hope these things help. we often tend to overlook teeth but what we may not realize is their teeth is also essential for their growth and development. and self-esteem too. so let's take care of their teeth early on!

let me know how it goes! :D

Friday, September 20, 2013

updating your tax status

i went to bir the other day to finally get my tax status updated. matteo and mikolo are now my dependents and my tax status is now s3. woot! and guess what, it was such a breeze!!!

here are my tips for you when getting your tax status updated:

1. if you had a previous employer, go to their rdo branch so you can transfer your records to your current employer's rdo. don't make the mistake of having to wait at your current company's rdo only to find out you were supposed to do something else first.

2. make sure to get an authorized person to sign your form 2305 on behalf of your current company (usually someone from hr). and make sure your company's details at the bottom part are filled out and updated. you can download the form online if your company does not provide this.

3. prepare 2 copies...always.

4. get the birth certificate/s photocopied and authenticated. most government offices don't require nso copies or original ones. 

5. come in around 4pm. bir closes at 5 and when they see it's near closing time, that's when they start picking up pace. i got my tax status updated in less than an hour.

6. as per our payroll team, wait for september to get your tax status updated. that way your tax returns are higher. unless of course you give birth past that month, then update it right away.

7. if you can pay someone to do this for you, then do it. let him/her take care of all the other documents like sss and pag-ibig so you can just spend time with your baby. if your hubby can do it, that's better. ;)

i hope these tips are helpful for you. do you have other bir tips? :)