Happy New Year

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I welcomed 2017 breastfeeding a sleeping Squish while holding Mikey’s hand who was sitting next to me on his old bed at Lola’s house. We barely noticed the grand fireworks display that everyone else was watching on the balcony behind us. It was perfect.

2016 changed us forever. Hello, 2017! I am full of hope.

The Squishy Holiday Fashion Show

We were too out of it to take out and dress up our bigger tree this Christmas, so all of my Christmas spirit went into dressing up Squishy for the Holidays. 😅 Here are some of Squishy’s Christmas-themed outfits:

  1. Set of three Christmas PJs from Mother Care. The footsies are kind of tight already because we settled for the 3-month sized PJs because they ran out of the 6-month sized ones. 😅 I was excited.

2. Team Rudolph onsie and reindeer shirt and pants from Cotton On Baby.

3. Holiday Bear onesie with matching pants and hat from Gerber. (Thank you Tita Erika and Tito Steve!)

4. Personalised onesies from My Little Monkey Ph. (There’s another one that he has for New Year’s that we don’t have a photo of yet).

5. A Santa onsie (Thank you Tita Camille and Tito Stephen!) and Penguine Onsie (with matching pants not in photo, Thank you Lola!) from Carter’s.

6. Christmas socks from Rustan’s!

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Dressing up a baby in holiday outfits is 100 times more fun than dressing up a Christmas tree! Hopefully though, next year, my head will be screwed on well enough to dress them both. 😅

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I love Christmas. My tree is usually up by September 1. I love hearing Jose Mari Chan‘s Christmas in our Hearts playing in our malls. I love shopping for gifts and deciding on my gift wrapper theme. I love peppermint mochas and taking at least one quick trip over the holidays. Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of the year.

I always thought that once I had a kid, I would totally Martha Stewart my way through Christmas. Well, this was my first Christmas as a mom and my Christmas game has never been weaker. 😔 Here are some things that I didn’t get to do this year:

  • Find meaningful, personalized gifts for everyone—I had to settle for some really generic gifts for some of the most un-generic people in my life.
  • Put up out Christmas tree. All we have is our Charlie Brown Christmas tree because we didn’t have the time to put ours up and constantly clean to make sure that it doesn’t aggravate Squishy’s allergies.
  • Go to any bazaar. I love shopping in bazaars. I try to look for one-of-a-kind, locally made gifts. This year, most of our presents came from S&R or the mall.
  • Have my annual marathon gift wrapping day where I play Christmas music and wrap all the presents I bought. This year, we just gave our gifts away in the paper bags we bought them in and just added Christmas sticker tags.
  • Have regular, caffeinated peppermint mocha. I was still paranoid about my breast milk, so I only allowed myself to have a short decaf peppermint mocha.
  • Take a trip. We’re still getting the hang of taking Squishy out for a couple of hours at a time. A long road trip was still too daunting for us.
  • Take a decent holiday photo because I’m still carrying about 20 lbs of pregnancy weight that I can’t seem to get rid off. I’m a fatty fat Mooma. Plus, it takes us forever to get ready now, so I usually don’t have time to put any make up on.
  • Watch Rogue One. 😢

Siiiiiiiigh! Because of the choices that we made (no Yaya + breastfeeding), I had to make peace with the fact that we really couldn’t sustain the pace of life we had before Squish was around (back-to-back social gatherings, all day shopping sessions, and spontaneous anythings). At least not yet. And I’m generally okay with this slower pace and I totally respect the learning curve (aka learning mountain), but the holidays (and social media) kind of magnified everything that I was missing so there were times when I would feel sorry for myself.

Strangely, despite the slower pace of life, the beauty of this season is that there isn’t much time to wallow. This is kind of a 24/7 gig and Squishy’s literally different everyday. As soon as I’m about to feel *too* bad about something as mundane as a friend’s Instagram post about a trip to the mall, Squish would do something distracting (like startle himself with his own fart 😅). And all of our little traditions that Mikey and I made sure we made time for this year are a million times more meaningful now that we get to share it with Squish.

Here are some things we got to do for Squishy’s first holiday season:

  • Write out Christmas cards signed with all three of our names. ❤
  • Dress Squish in the happiest Christmas PJs and some cute holiday themed onsies.
  • Checked out the caroling stuffed animals and Christmas decor in Rockwell.
  • Spend a lovely evening at the lobby of the Manila Peninsula, listening to Christmas songs, surrounded by twinkle lights, and sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • Buy Christmas gifts for our son (!!! I still can’t believe we have son!!)
  • Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas as a family.
  • Go on a few shopping sessions while experimenting with different ways of bringing Squishy around
  • Attend our yearly Christmas party with our friends as a family of three

It’s Christmas Eve and we’ll be spending most of the day with family. But we should be home before midnight and hopefully, Squishy will be up long enough to at least “open” the gift we got for him and watch us open the gifts Mikey and I got for each other. I think all the other presents will have to wait until Christmas morning. 😁
img_9156A few more days left in 2016 and I can’t believe the year we had—most of my plans were derailed and I think the first month with Squishy was the hardest month of my life. But right now, as I type up this post on my phone with my three month old baby sleeping next to me and my husband recording covers of Hamilton songs outside, I am in amazed at the grace, joy, and peace we’ve been gifted with throughout this year.

Happy holidays from our awkwardly imperfect but seriously happy and grateful family. 🎄Thank you for reading about us and our misadventures. ❤ 2017 should be interesting! 😀

Copyright Infringement

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They just added a body. 😑

I knew I should have trade marked my logo. Here I am in Din Tai Fung next to a statue of their mascot which looks strikingly similar to my Squishy Days logo. 😑

In other news, I have clearly not lost all of my baby weight. But my Squishy is cute and chubby, so it’s worth my poochy tummy. 😅 Also, we’re a bit braver now! We can take Squishy out every now and then. He tolerates his stroller, but after a while he’ll want to be carried. We’re trying out the k’tan! So far, he’s okay with it if he’s asleep, but he’all fidget when he’s awake. 😅

Our two month old Squishy

On an impromptu visit to the paediatrician, we found out that Squishy was 13 lbs. Our Doctor told us that what he gained in 3 weeks was what he was supposed to gain in 2 months. 😅

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Wee! 13 pounds of love!

He’s generally a happy baby! He smiles all the time (it’s the best) and he coos at anyone who talks to him. He’s most daldal when he just wakes up and after he poops. 😅

When he wakes up in the morning, he cries a little when Mikey changes his diaper, but when he finally opens his eyes and sees us, he gives us a huge smile! It’s like he’s saying: “oh! It’s you guys again! Hello!”

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My Squishylove!

He’s getting used to sleeping on his co-sleeper crib! He sleeps there most of the night. But I still let him sleep on my chest after his first feeding in the morning. But morning cuddle time is more for me than him. ❤️

When he sleeps on my chest now, his feet touch the bed. 😅 he’s getting so long!

Squishy is a noisy sleeper. 😅 I have to wait a few moments before I tend to him because a lot of the times, he’s still dreaming. He’ll talk/coo in his sleep, sometimes he’ll wail for a second, or he’ll sigh multiple times. Hehe.

He uses his hands more now! He bats at our faces when we have him in a cradle hold. He’ll grip my fingers when we’re playing. When he’s feeding, one of his hands is clamped on to my shirt. I can’t wait for him to start playing with toys!

He seems to tolerate tummy time for much longer now! He’s not wobbly and he can move his head from left to right while it’s up. He usually ends up rolling over after a while. I think he thinks the goal of tummy time is to turn over.

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He loves hanging out on his left side. I feel like it’s only a matter of days until he can roll over from his back.

We have succumbed to the magic of the pacifier. But it only works when we give it to him when he’s about to wake up from deep sleep (like if he’s accidentally startled by *someone’s* farts). If you give it to him when he’s awake, he will spit it out and give you a “what the heck was that” look.

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I’ve also started pumping! The first time I pumped, I got 2.5 ozs in 15 minutes. Squishy drank it in 3 minutes and then cried for more (we direct-fed for about 20 minutes after 😅). The second time I pumped, I got a little over 4 ozs. Squishy drank that in about 5 minutes but seemed satisfied! He fell asleep after Lola burped him! So now, we think that 4 ozs. is the perfect amount per feed.

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Papa feeding Squish.

One of his favorite things is his rocker from his Gwama and Gwakong. It comes with a turtle and owl mobile. He loves the turtle! We often find him smiling and talking to it. But it seems like he loathes the owl. He’ll stare at it for a while with his brows furrowed. It’s the funniest thing. We love it too because it gives us some time to eat.

He’s grown out of all his new born clothes. He’s using mostly 0-3 and 3 month old clothes (although he stretches them out already). As a joke, we put on PJs for 6 month old babies and we were so shocked when it fit him.

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I’m a big boy!

Moo!

Yesterday marked my sixth week in my breastfeeding journey!

I’m so glad that we decided to breastfeed because Squishy seems to be on track weight wise and he seems to have hit every milestone so far! I’m glad, but it is not always easy.

When we prepared for breastfeeding, all the workshops we attended focused on two main problems: (1) seemingly low/insufficient milk supply and (2) latching difficulties.

The workshops bombard you with truths about how every mother has enough supply (for as long as the baby keeps sucking). And they teach you different techniques to help the baby latch. I prepared for these possible challenges by making sure I had enough breastfeeding supplements ready and I watched all the “proper” latching videos available.

What they don’t really talk about is what happens when you do have enough milk and your baby learns to latch quickly enough.

They kind of paint this picture of how beautiful and amazing breastfeeding is. And they’re not wrong—it can be pretty amazing. I love that I am able to provide the best alternative for Squishy. And there are moments when it truly is beautiful (there’s something addicting about holding your baby and I often catch Squishy sleep-smiling while he’s latched on ❤️). But they don’t really talk about how relentless, messy, and painful breastfeeding can be.

I remember being so tired one marathon feeding night (Squishy was basically up every 30 minutes to feed) and Mikey was fully willing to help, but it wasn’t like I could hand him my boobs and go to sleep. I remember crying in the morning when Mikey had to leave for work.

I remember trying to establish better sleep habits by feeding Squishy in the dark in the middle of the night. I couldn’t get him to latch right away, so there was milk on my pillows, Squishy’s face, and both our clothes.

I remember soaking through my reusable breast pads and smelling like old milk all day because I only had one nursing top left. This on top of the pregnancy weight I was still carrying and my inability to bathe until Mikey got home. I was not a pretty sight.

I remember my nipples sticking to my cloth breast pads because of the dried up milk. I remember the pain of peeling it off.

I remember cringing at the thought of the next feeding because my nipples were sore and I didn’t have any nipple cream yet. I tried using breast milk and air drying them in the meantime but I just started leaking everywhere.

But at six weeks, I can say that we’ve come to a point where almost all of our feeding sessions are enjoyable. I am grateful that I have the option to stay at home and commit to breastfeeding our baby. I am amazed at all the working moms who continue their breastfeeding journey even as they go back to work full time. But at the same time, I am equally in awe of moms who choose the formula route because I already feel like leaving the house with a breastfed baby is a production number, I can’t imagine all the extra prep you need to make milk on the go.

Here are some things that helped make breastfeeding easier for the first six weeks:

  1. Nursing pillow + extra little pillows – especially useful when Squishy was littler! But I still use it so that my arms don’t hurt from the cradle hold!
  2. VP Pharma’s Mega Malunggay capsules – I started taking this the day after Squishy was born. His pediatrician told me to take it 3 times a day. I still take it to this day! Maybe it’s a placebo, but it helps me feel more secure about my milk supply!
  3. Traditional Medicinals’ Mother’s Milk Tea – I drank this religiously for the first two weeks! Again, it may have been a placebo, but it was nice to have a warm drink on standby.
  4. A mom who would make me malunggay soup and omelettes. I think I may have overdid the malunggay. But I ate all the malunggay infused food my mom sent me.
  5. Gigi Amore’s nursing tank tops. This is my uniform at home. I started with one and asked my mom to get me two more and then my mother-in-law found more and bought me nine! So I now have a dozen! It’s comfortable and so easy to use with the drop down mechanism. And it’s only Php 399.00 for each top! It only comes in grey and pink though. I wish they made it in more colors.
  6. My iPhone SE. The battery is amazing, I can take great photos with it, and I can use it with one hand. Perfect breastfeeding companion.
  7. Mikey’s participation in all the breastfeeding workshops. In the beginning, Mikey really helped me: he would help me position Squishy so that he could get a deeper latch, he would remind me how to hand express when we were checking my colostrum supply, and he understood the role stress played in breastfeeding. It really helps if you and your partner are on the same page about your decision to breastfeed.
  8. Pigeon’s disposable breast pads. I tried using the reusable ones, but I would often soak through them and it would be a mess. It was also really painful when my nipples would stick to the cloth because of the dried up milk. It was also hard to wash them to get the milk smell out. Eventually, I realized that the disposable ones worked better for me because the back of the pad is plastic so it reduced leaks. I use about 1-2 pairs a day.
  9. Tiger water jug and coffee tumbler. Breastfeeding makes me really thirsty. I get hungry sometimes (and it’s a pain because sometimes the baby wakes up because of my grumbly tummy–so I always have a box of snacks next to my bed), but I get thirsty more. I love my tiger water jug and coffee tumbler because it keeps my water icy cold for more than 24 hours and if I have something hot in my tumbler, it stays warm for 8-10 hours. Perfect for the early days when you’re basically glued to your nursing station!
  10. Haakaa Breast Pump. There were times when it was difficult for Squishy to latch because there was too much milk. Or there were times when my boobs were very painful and it was not time to feed yet. During these times, I would use my Haakaa breast pump. It’s made out of silicone and you just suction it on to your boob and voila! The milk comes out! Definitely a must have for stay-at-home moms who direct feed most of the time and for working moms who get stuck in traffic where there’s no outlet for an electric pump!

Again, I don’t regret any of it! But I think we have to be okay to talk about how breastfeeding can be hard sometimes. ❤

Hello from our super expressive baby:

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Six week old Squishy. ❤️