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My Mommyology Review: Babies to Toddlers (+ Give-Away!)

It’s funny how Manila is really so small.

I’d been hearing about this online shopping site for quite a while called  I was quite curious, because the site claims to have “hard-to-find items for babies and toddlers”, which to me reads: things that were available to me in Chapel Hill that aren’t available locally.  Online shopping makes me happy.  It’s easy, there’s no traffic and it’s done from wherever I am.  So I am all for it.

Then one morning, I got to my exercise class earlier than usual (I usually make a photo-finish entrance just as the teacher is about to close the door) and sat down with a few of the other women for a quick chat.  We’d see each other before and after class and exchange a few words, but I think our solidarity started when we’d collectively groan about certain positions our instructor would make us do (but we’d do them anyway).  Somehow the conversation went to online shopping and social media and that’s how Teresa and I “formally” met.

Teresa Rufino is the owner of Babies to Toddlers.  She’s actually had the site up since 2009 and has been adding to the variety of items since then.  Teresa  sources the products herself and makes regular trips out of the country to check out the latest things that Filipino parents would want for their kids.  “Each product is pre-selected for innovation, excellence, social consciousness, development appropriateness and styles,” she said.  I do remember her being away from class for about three weeks and when she came back she told me about a recent pregnancy pop she found.

I hadn’t bought anything yet, but I’d been back and forth into the site made mental notes of some things I wanted.  It’s quite tempting since shipping is free over a reasonable amount of P1,200.  With the way I shop for my kids I’m sure to meet this (and hurray for free shipping I say!).

The Temporal Thermometer was the first thing that caught my eye (and the price of this alone meets the minimum requirement!).  I’ve had our current ear thermometer since 2008 and no matter how many times I change the battery, it seems like it’s lived out its useful life and I’ve been meaning to replace it.  I like it that this one is non-intrusive .  The girls don’t mind the ear poke, but when they’re sick and asleep sometimes it also wakes them up, and I’d do anything to keep that from happening, like buying a new thermometer.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

The other cute item I saw was the wrap-around hair towel.  It’s called a hairbib.  I smiled when I saw it because it’s a very relevant need for me.  Sam usually rushes out of the bathroom before I can get her hair dry.  Often times when I catch her, the top back portion of her shirt is wet since her hair is still dripping with water.  It’s the first time I saw this hairbib, but it makes a lot of sense to me.  It’s something I’d definitely buy.

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of


Then there’s the Aqueduck faucet extender for my petite Jamie.  Pre-aqueduck days, Jamie still needed to be carried to wash her hands, negating the need for the step stool I stuck into our luggage on our way back home.  But once installed it, Jamie now happily sticks her hands under the flow of water and washes to her heart’s content.  I’m all for products and gadgets that help make a child a little bit more independent.

She still tiptoes, but she's happier this way too.
She still tiptoes, but she’s happier this way too.

I also love love love – Potty Cover seats!  I tell you with these girls and the public bathrooms around Metro Manila, there is no way I will enter without one.  The ones on are quite nice because they’re big and long.  Sam can actually hold on to the seat comfortably when we use it without her fingers or any part of her body ever ever (EVER!) touching any part of the toilet.  Of course, I still disinfect the whole bloody thing.  It’s also quite handy when we travel.  Trust me, I know!  I can never have enough potty covers.  Jamie will soon make use of them too.

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

And because Teresa is a generous mompreneur, she has asked me to help her giveaway a few of the products on their site!  Rafflecopter here we go! 🙂
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Teresa and Babies to Toddlers for making shopping in Manila much easier for us!

Mommy Discoveries My Mommyology Wants to Help

A My Mommyology Discovery: My SweetARTS

There’s a new parent/caregiver – child activity in town this summer over here in Chapel Hill, and it’s called My SweetARTS.


My Mommyology My SweetARTS
Logo captured from

I first discovered it at the  Touch-a-Truck event last April and learned about the program from co-founder Rosario Vila.  She and her partner Michelle Schoof were putting together a set of age appropriate infant and toddler classes at the University Mall, and Jamie and I were one of the lucky chosen few to get a free trial class.

The My SweetARTS curriculum is a combination of Michelle’s  music, art, and drama education and Rosario’s love for visual arts and crafts.  I actually like the way Michelle sings and Rosario has such a warm personality.  She talks to each child personally and tries to engage them in every activity.

In the class that we attended, Michelle played the guitar and led the singing and movement activities (as from what I understand, the songs sung are original), while Rosario helped each child take a turn on the chosen instrument or assisted by featuring pictures related to the topic.  Our class had as its theme “Exploring the 5 senses”, and the lyrics to familiar children songs’ melodies were thus adapted to the theme.  A familiar story was also injected into the activity where animal sounds were played to create a multi-sensory experience.

The best part (at least in my opinion) was the arts and crafts portion.  Towards the end of the class Michelle and Rosario revealed an area in the room which had cold colored noodles, play-doh, some chalk, magnets and little packs of grapefruit, coffee beans and lemons for the kids to explore, taste, and play with.  Jamie absolutely loved the noodles and even took a lick of a piece of lemon and a piece of grapefruit.  I couldn’t tear her away from the play-doh either, even if I knew she was already tired and ready to go.

My Mommyology My SweetARTS kids
Property of My SweetARTS, Chapel Hill.

I felt that this was what made the class unique to the current offerings here in Chapel Hill.  There aren’t that many programs for infants and toddlers which offer art appreciation, craft exploration or a multi-sensory experience using creative materials.  That’s the kind of thing that I find Jamie is into now as we are always drawing and coloring and pulling out the play-doh.  The current activities that we go to (The Traveling Teacher Show Gymboree and Bull City Crafts) are geared more towards the older kids, and we do go because of Sam (Jamie is just shlepped around with no choice on her part) so it’s nice to find something that is specifically for Jamie’s age range.

My SweetARTS has four sets of classes: the Sweet Peas for 4-14 month old children, the Sweet Berries for 14 – 24 month old toddlers, the Sweet Potatoes for 2-3 year old children and the Sweet Families for families with multiple children of all ages.  There’s an ongoing promotional rate this summer for eight classes and one make-up class.  You can read more about each of the classes on their website.

Although Michelle and Rosario officially launched their programs about 2 weeks ago, they are open to drop-ins for the classes that still have space.  You just need to contact them at

Mommy Anecdotes Mommyology Current Affairs

My Mommyology’s Mother’s Day 2012

As it is Mother’s Day, I will tell you about the fairly decent Mother’s Day I’ve had thus far.

I thought I’d get to sleep in as I normally do on Mother’s Day, but I didn’t.  The girls were climbing over and on top of me for quite a bit when they got up.  My husband must have slept late with the NBA Lakers-Nuggets Game 7 show on our DV-R, so he didn’t get up until after we did, to take them out and get them breakfast.  But he did prepare my breakfast of toast bread and cheese.

My Mommyology Massage Envy
The flyer at the desk said, "A Relaxed Mom Looks Good." I agree!

After Mass we got a call saying that a slot opened up at the Massage Envy  where my husband had me wait-listed for this afternoon.  The original plan was to have a home service massage (how that would have been relaxing for me with the girls banging on the door, I don’t know…), however a few days ago my husband said that the business owner called him and said that she was closing shop, thereby cancelling all her appointments this weekend.

In the end it worked out well:  I helped him get lunch into the kids and they hung out at the Pet Store and at Target while I got some me-time.  I’d have to say my therapist Lisa was GREAT!  Then the Nail Salon across the street was open and could accommodate me for a much needed manicure-pedicure session, and without hesitation I jumped at the chance.  To cap off the afternoon, I got some frozen yogurt for the girls and myself at Moonberries.  Oh and yes, they got me flowers!  A yellow bouquet, as yellow is currently Sam’s favorite color.  Kids giving you flowers are the sweetest thing, wouldn’t you say?

The girls seem to be quite cooperative today too.  Sam was more behaved than usual at Church today and sat down for a good portion of the homily, and up until the writing of this post, has not had a meltdown of any sort.  Jamie — well… 🙂  Jamie saved her explosive poop for her dad while I was getting all my pampering treatments, and thereby saved me one dirty diaper to change.  Atta girl! 😉  Now the house is quiet as Sam is off playing with her dad and doing her Kumon with him, and Jamie is fast asleep for a late afternoon nap.

I am hoping for an evening of uninterrupted peaceful sleep to cap off such a restful day, but I may be pushing my luck (as would have been a facial treatment). 🙂  I’ve been thinking back to the last time that I’d had a truly restful night’s sleep, and it was before I became a mother.  I realize now that sleep and motherhood aren’t quite complimentary, and you just take what you can get when you can get it (like a 50-minute nap during a massage!).  So this is why moms enjoy pampering sessions so much! 😉

I used to think that Mother’s Day was a day when Mom would spend all day relaxing with her kids and family, but now I feel that there is some kind of irony in that sentence.  How can mom, whose natural tendency is to take care of the family, relax when everyone that she attends to is around?  In my case, while I undoubtedly love my girls to bits and pieces — when we’re together it becomes mostly about them than about me or anyone else.  And so, my husband has now concluded that Mother’s Day in our family is really a Daddy-Daughter day, because it’s Mom’s Day (Afternoon) Off.   If it means 120 minutes of pamper time to re-charge for the next few months of 24-7 constant care, then it’s well worth it, wouldn’t you say?

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms around the World!  I hope you get to spend your special day just the way you want to, no matter how simple it may be.  And if anything else, I hope that you get a decent night’s sleep! 🙂

A Penny for Mommy's Thoughts

Happy New Year from MyMommyology!

My Mommyology Fireworks
And my girls slept through it all...

There is a belief that whatever it is you do on New Year’s you will do for the rest of the year.  If that is the case, then one of the things I would love to do all year round is blog, and so with one hour left into the first day of 2012, I will try to get a post in. 🙂

As typical new year’s traditions go, we make resolutions for the things we want to change or do in the next 364 days (oooh!  365 since this year is a Leap Year!).  I’ve found though over the last few years that after the first week of trying, I get tired of my resolutions and fail miserably (heehee).  So this year instead of making resolutions I know I will only last for the next 14 days at best, my new goal is to take things one day at a time and see, at the end of the year, where things lead.

I am a planner by nature, and I like to know what it is I will be doing or where it is I will be in the months to come.  And yet ironically, everything about the last few years were all unplanned — albeit delightful and beautiful — occurrences.  Unplanned to a certain degree, and also out of my control (For those who know me would know that normally that would drive me nuts!)  I look at my two girls sound asleep (snoring to the highest heavens), and think about how their presence in my life has changed me, and how much I have learned from them already.   One lesson of which is to just go where the winds take us, literally and figuratively speaking.

It isn’t an easy thing to do though, as it is against my very nature, but it is a valuable lesson nonetheless.  A Facebook note by a dear friend and colleague, who is so young and yet already so wise, (and who shall remain anonymous, until I get permission to give her name out) struck me as it felt like a very apt lesson to start the new year with.  She called it, Acceptance Surrender.  And parts of what she wrote is something I’d like to share here:

There is no use in fighting things we cannot change and things that are meant for us. You never know – where you are right now might be your purpose. You just need a new perspective. Open your heart to new possibilities. 

Embrace what you have right now whether you’re perfectly content with it or not. And as you accept the things you cannot change, let go of those who / which you need to set free so you can also set yourself free. Don’t ever let anyone decide for you who you should be. 

More importantly, acceptance is key for any commitment made. Because once you’ve committed to something, you must embrace it as a whole. You must wake up each day knowing that you’re in it for better or worse. 

I’ve come across this line in the book “Before Ever After” by Samantha Sotto – “If we accept time for what it is, how it flows and how we flow with it, I doubt very much that we would continue wasting loads of it by constantly checking our watches. Where we are now is where a lifetime’s worth of steps have taken us. Are we early for this moment? Are we late? Should we hurry back because your watch says so or should we linger as long as we can in the second where we stand……..Life is a strong drink served up in an extremely short and fragile short glass.”

Accept what has been and what is and surrender to what will be.

As another dear friend has said over in time:   To what has been — thank you; and to what will be — Yes!

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, wherever in the world you are at this moment in time!  🙂

Mommy Miscellaneous

Catchin’ Some Z’s

My time, my mind and my body have recently given way, after a series of several hectic and sleep-deprived days and nights.  Yes, the inevitable has happened and after over a year of pushing myself to my physical limits, I have finally gotten sick.  It happened at the most opportune time too; while we were on a family weekend vacation out of Chapel Hill, and during a busy week back at the “virtual office”.  Somehow the “ber” months always come with a flurry of activities on all fronts.  Of course this is all over and above the upkeep of our daily routine schedule amidst the inconsistent weather patterns of hot, cold, nice, wet and/or muggy.  When it rains, it pours.

There will be more stories related to everything that has been mentioned above (and trust me when I say that my drafts list has grown longer by the day);  but in the meantime, I ask you to bear with me as I take a quick — yet much needed — power nap and re-charge.

Sweet dreams y’all!  See you in a few! 😉

My Mommyology naptime
Just a quick one. Then we'll be right as rain. 🙂