Have Baby, Will Travel

Baby Bear just turned 1. Hooray to another milestone! 🙂 Her next adventure is a trip to El Nido Lagen Island, Palawan — first airplane ride, first boat ride, first long trip, first beach, first outing, a lot of firsts! 🙂

Here are some tips for taveling with a baby.

1.) Be prepared. Be very prepared. – Call the resort and ask questions about the trip, flight, airport details, etc. For instance, I just learned that all liquid hand-carry must be in increments of 100mL with a maximum of 2 bottles only. I requested for a larger allocation for this because my baby drinks a lot! Plus, you have to be at the airport 1.5 hours before the flight, the flight is 1.5 hours, the boat ride is 1 hour, not counting the travel time to the airport of 1 hour… you do the math! 200mL is not enough to feed a probably-starving and bored infant by then! 🙂

2.) Call the resort and ask them to set up a baby cot in your room.

3.) Call the resort before the trip and request for special meals that your baby eats. i.e. congee, soup, vegetables etc.

4.) Ask if they have microwave ovens, airpots in the room and yes, I was very happy to discover that they had sterilizers at Lagen Island. 2 thumbs up to them for having complete baby equipments.

5.) Make sure they have life jackets for babies. If not, there are small life jackets being sold at Speedo stores but it’s for 2 years old and above though.

6.) Check if the water at the resort is desalinated. This is important especially if your baby has atopic tendencies or skin asthma.

7.) For island hopping, check out the schedule of the boat transfers, how long the transfers are, if their boats have shades from the sun, if there are bathrooms in the islands you will be going to.

8.) Do they sell mineral or distilled water in the resort and how much. El Nido only has Evian and Viva Mineral Water. Evian is being sold at a whopping P570 and Vivia is at P73.25. Yikes, I am lugging around my own Absolute distilled water.

9.) Speaking of which, there’s only a 10kg weight allocation per person – luggage and handcarries. Babies have no allocation!

Now that you are armed with all that information, it’s time to pack. We will be away for 3 days and 2 nights. Sharing with you my list that I based from babycenter.com. Being the OC mom that I am though, I added other items and lots of extras too. Crossing my fingers that we will not exceed our baggage allocation.

1.) Diapers – Calculate how many diapers she will need for the trip and add 10% for buffer in case of emergencies.

2.) Diaper Pad – This is very important especially since I highly doubt that you will be lugging a stroller around the beach.

3.) Diaper Rash Cream

4.) Wipes – 1 big for the luggage and 1 small pack for the diaper bag will do 🙂

5.) Blankets – 4 blankies which will also double as beach mat or blankie when she sleeps on the plane or boat

6.) Plastic Bags – Varied sizes to store soiled clothes, diapers, spit-ups, etc.

7.) Alcohol – 1 medium size, 1 small

8.) Baby wash – 1 medium size for the luggage and 1 small (for when you go island hopping or go to the beach you need to quickly wash her face/hands)

9.) Baby Lotion – 1 medium size in the toiletry bag

10.) Tissues – 1 big for the luggage, 1 small for the diaper bag

11.) Fave toys/books

12.) Don’t forget the beach toys and floater… and the air pump! 🙂 We got the brand Swim Ways for the floater Intex for the air pump 🙂

13.) Clothes, socks, shoes

14.) Bibs

15.) Sun Hat and Shades – both of which my baby doesn’t like to wear, good luck to me! 😦

16.) Bathing suits – I love the brand iPlay because it has UPF and they have swim diapers. Protect the fishes hehe 🙂

17.) Umbrella

18.) Feeding Set (Spoon, Fork, Bowl) – 2 sets

19.) Formula, Water

20.) Bottles, Nipples, Sippy/Straw Cups

21.) Bottle Cleaner and brush – don’t forget the straw brush 🙂

22.) First Aid Kit – The most important item is the ear thermometer and ice pack. (Separate post on the First Aid Kit coming up) 🙂

23.) Inflatable Baby Bath Tub

24.) Toothbrush/Toothpaste – we bring 2 brushes because our baby loves holding one while we are brushing her teeth

25.) Nail Cutter – Do cut the nails before the trip though so that will be one less thing that you will have to worry about.

26.) Cotton buds/Cotton Balls

27.) Laundry Powder – 1 sachet

28.) Socket Protectors – got mine from Saizen

29.) Baby Bed Linen – Bring your own small pillows and bolsters so she doesn’t need to adjust too much to new surroundings.

30.) Hooded Towels – Wrap around after swimming/from the beach

31.)  Baby Towels – We’re bringing 4

32.) Wash Cloths – 5

33.) Burp Pads – 6

34.) Moski Shield/Insect Repellant – We use OFF! Clean Feel because it uses Picardin which is safer for babies

35.) Sunblock – Upon our pedia and derma’s reco, we got Cetaphil SPF50 🙂

36.) Aceite Manzanilla – We always carry 1 small bottle in our diaper bags as precaution to kabag or stomach gas.

37.) Baby Powder (Cornstarch) – We don’t believe in using powders but we always have 1 small cornstarch powder in case her skin gets irritated and itchy from her sweat or the heat.

38.) Baby Oil – Put baby oil before swimming so that baby doesn’t feel too cold in the water. I learned this trick from the nanny.

39.) Snacks and Drinks – Baby Bears’ current fave snacks are Marie Biscuits. This brand is safe for babies because it melts in their mouth. She washes this down with Dutch Mill Yogurt Drink. The only packaged drink that is approved by Mama Bear for babies. We get the Strawberry flavor because it has less sugar contents vs. the others.

Other pointers:

1.) Try to Ziploc all medicines and toiletries.

2.) Mix and match clothes already. Better if you can Ziploc  or place in a plastic per set/per day, so you can just whip it out anytime and you won’t need to look for matching socks, hats, etc.

3.) Pack an extra outfit for you and your husband in case of spit-ups.

4.) Use a diaper bag that is water-resistant and with shoulder straps for convenience.

5.) Bring medicine prescriptions in case of any emergency.

6.) Always remember to charge your battery cameras and other electronic devices such as cellphones and iPads.

7.) Don’t forget to enjoy!!! Show baby the wonders that God has made, build sand castles, bury her feet in the sand up to the ankles to make the legs strong – old wives’ tale, feel the wind and waves and go stargazing at night 🙂

That’s about it, I guess. We leave tomorrow morning. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything. Excited for our first vacation with Baby Bear. Til’ the next post. Happy weekend to all! 🙂

Checking In

Hi there, everyone! Gawd… it’s been the longest 10 days of my life! (yes, that is three exclamation points that you are seeing) 😛

First, Baby Bear got sick, then me, then Papa Bear. My life was literally on a pause button while I took care of the family. As they say, the world stops when a loved one is sick… and to think, this was just your typical cough, colds and fever… and just throw in a little conjunctivitis because the universe must’ve thought it was just an easy problem for me (NOT!) It’s the first time that the whole family was super sick. This was definitely a curve ball that was thrown my way… but as they say, you are never truly a mom until you have nursed a child back to health. Truly a test of your patience and strength as a mother.

While all this was happening, I was also busy preparing for Baby Bears’ 1st birthday party. It is this weekend already, and as the date draws near, I can’t help but be overly excited. The gifts have started coming in already… it definitely feels like Christmas! 🙂

The theme will be Ni Hao Kai Lan. She was introduced to NHK by her maternal granny (guama). She loves all her Kai Lan toys and books and gets super excited when I put Kai Lan on. What I love about the NHK series is that first, it teaches Mandarin by incorporating it into the cartoons. Secondly, it teaches a lot of values. There is always, always a moral lesson to every episode. The only thing that I don’t like about it though is that is shows the negative scenes first before the positive ones. This show had the same pattern of the much-loved Paddington Bear. This was sadly, what caused the demise of that show. This is so because according to studies, the attention span of kids are not that long so if you show the negative scenes first, that might be the one that they remember. There is also the tendency that their brains hit a snooze during the tail-end of the cartoon. What this teaches us as parents is to be vigilant in monitoring what your kids are watching and to make sure that as much as possible, you are there to supervise shows and to be by their side to explain what is happening so that they don’t get the wrong impression or take away the negative messages.

Anyway, I digress… here is the teaser for her birthday party. I’m sharing with you the mood board for her party. As all projects go, I always have a mood board that serves as the basis for all decision-making. Well, not all, but you get my point 🙂 As promised, I will blog about it once I get the pricey pictures I paid the photographer to have the event immortalized 🙂 Let me know what you think. It’s not the usual birthday party theme and I doubt that the kids even know who Kai Lan is… but this party is for my baby… so, whatever makes her happy 🙂

Ni Hao Kai Lan Party (mood board) – c/o Hi5 Parties

We Bought A Zoo — I Mean, We Went To A Zoo!

I am all Barney-ed out! Baby Bears’ current fave is the Old MacDonald Had A Farm episode. She recently spends so much time in front of the TV… I worry she may not be learning and experiencing life that much. So, we decided to change things and went to the zoo… talk about spontaneous! 😉

Surprise, suprise, there is a zoo in the middle of the city. We went to Ark Avilon Zoo, Pasig.  It’s just beside Fun Ranch and Tiendesitas. The entrance fee is at P300 per head, roughly around $6. Baby Bear of course, has free admission. This is just a mini version of the Avilon Zoo in Montalban, but it did not disappoint. We were able to see a lot of animals and surprisingly, the animals looked clean and the zoo wasn’t stinky at all.

There were alligators, or was it crocodiles?

see u later, alligator!

Lots of exotic birds, fishes, and snakes, — yikes!I actually felt like we were “going on a jungle adventure” (as the Barney song goes).  Here is the wildest of ’em all…

white jaguar

There’s a little pond where the kids can feed the fishies and just beside them, there are a lot of exotic birds. You can take pictures with them but frankly, I’m a bit afraid of pecking animals… maybe because I got pecked by a chicken when i was little? 😛

this pic reminds me of the movie Rio 🙂

I also took pictures of a lot of farm animals but I will not post them anymore as they are simply too many and might make my blog too picture-heavy. I can’t resist though, but I just simply have to post the very curious signs that I found all around the zoo. Some of them made me laugh, some of them were tidbits that made me go OOOOHHH! 🙂

all this time, i've been using the phrase "eat like a bird" in the wrong way

the frogs are more advanced that we are in terms of the science of death

they may have warts... but they won't get cancer!

i want to be an armadillo... even for just a day

maybe that's why they laugh too much -- come to think of it, are the hyenas laughing or crying?

ok.. no comment!

The best feature of the zoo for me, was the “petting” area where you could touch the animals and feed them.

survivor series - animal version

the easter bunny wins!

Even though Baby Bear probably didn’t understand what was going on, I think it was still a nice experience for her. She may not remember it, but maybe, just maybe, when she watches that portion in Barney, she will smile and recall her own version of a trip to the ‘farm’ 🙂 Never too late to start making real life memories… in Baby Bears’ case — never too early! 😀

Happy Easter Sunday y’all!!! Hope you all have your own wonderful life memories to make this Easter and the days to come! 😀

For more information about the Ark Avilon Zoo, check out their FB page at http://www.facebook.com/arkavilonzoo#!/arkavilonzoo and yes, they are open on Black Saturday and Easter Sunday 🙂

Baby Bears’ favorite Barney clip (Old MacDonald Had A Farm)

Birthday Sentiments

It is the day after my birthday. I’m about to approach the __th marker. I don’t feel old but at the same time I do. There are a lot of things that I want to do with my life and I am rarin’ to get a go at it… but this lifetimes seems too short to finish and do everything that I want to.

Looking back, I don’t know if I’ve achieved a lot already during the first quarter of my life. I sometimes feel as if I’m too lazy to shorten my list of things to do. Some say, I have way too many things that I want to do in my life that’s not humaly possible… but if I don’t do it this lifetime… when do I? We’ll never know if I can do all that I want to… but hey, I have to try right? 🙂

For this year, the following are my birthday vows. I hope to achieve them this year so that I can shorten my life’s to-do list.

HEALTH

1.) Run at least once a week

2.) Take walks after dinner with the hubby everyday

3.) Be in bed before 1AM; wake up by 8AM; wake up by 9AM for weekends

INTELLECT

1.)  Read one magazine per week

2.) Finish a book per month

3.) Learn to read and write Business Mandarin

4.) Learn about SEO for blogging 🙂

MARKETING

1.) Commercial surf every Sunday

2.) Write more often to practice copy writing skills

3.) Read marketing and fiction literary works

PROJECT MOO

1.) Jump start my business agian this year (must get my head out off maternity leave mode)

2.) Look into the following businesses for next year (Project Woodstock, Project Squeaky, Project Twilight, Project Eat)

3.)  Store check at least once a month

4.) Surf about what’s hot around the globe every quarter

EMOTIONAL

1.) Be a good daughter – be more patient and visit mom at least once a month

2.) Be a good wifey – fight less, be more understanding, spice up love live 😉

3.) Be a good mommy – focus on helping Baby Bear with her developmental milestones

4.) Print ’em pictures!

5.) Cook something at least once a month

6.) Take at least one local trip and one trip abroad every year (stop living vicariously through others)

SPIRITUAL

1.) Pray every night before going to bed

2.) Go to mass every Sunday

BEAUTY

1.) Take a more active attitude towards physical look

2.) Brush hair everyday 😛

3.) Throw out clothes that belonged to me when I was still a teenager

4.) Buy at least once clothing article or accessory every month

5.) Start applying lip gloss with color 😛

6.) Apply moisturizer and eye protect every night

If you’ll notice there are a lot of things to do under beauty… this isn’t because I am vain but because this is the area where I don’t pay that much attention to. Maybe next time, I can graduate to wearing light make-up. All part of the grand plan of becoming a zillionnaire with attitude… and beauty to boot! Yebaa! 🙂

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Signing off…

The Birthday Girl 🙂