Saturday, July 20, 2013

Scrumptious Saturday: Slice's Granola Champorado

I love Champorado. I grew up in a home where my dear mom would cook this comforting chocolate rice porridge for merienda.  I am also convinced that it was probably Champorado that Goldilocks ate at the three bears' cottage. Haha.

A few months ago, my friends and I got together for an afternoon out with the kids. We ate at Slice in Bonifacio High Street. It was my third time there. I'm not a big fan of the place - the food is good, but a bit overpriced. The cupcakes look yummy, but I am still a die-hard fan of Cupcakes by Sonja.

I must say though, that their champorado is worth checking out! They call it Belgian Dark Chocolate Champorado. The name itself sounds yummy already. It's an interesting take on my favorite merienda - they serve granola instead of the usual malagkit rice. There's peanut butter and bananas on the side! What I did was dip my spoon in the peanut butter before I dip it in the bowl, and I get a spoonful of peanutbuttery-chocolatey goodness in every bite. The idea is probably to enjoy the peanut butter with the bananas, but they didn't have bananas that day. Boo. I was determined to still order the Champorado, so I requested they substitute watermelon for the bananas instead, which I figured I could eat for dessert (and share with Little Moon). Yes, chocolate for the main meal and fruit for dessert. Am I weird or what?

The Belgian Dark Chocolate Champorado is a bit pricey at Php200, but it's worth trying. My Little Moon likes the carrot soup. I like it too - it doesn't taste like carrots at all! Yummy! Slice is at the new section at the end of High Street, where Uniqlo and Jamba Juice is located.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Elmo likes sweets

Having a toddler in the house means finding funny little surprises everywhere.  I was putting away Little Moon's toys yesterday when I found this.

So now we know Elmo is a sweet-tooth. Even if he doesn't have teeth. Haha. No wonder one of my polymer clay cupcakes went missing.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy shabby chic pendants

I got to play with my polymer clay over the summer. Oh how I missed my clay!

But the super quick time I spent at my crafting table made me realize I'm never gonna be able to get back to work anytime soon. And I don't think I want to anymore! When I was preggy, I imagined doing little projects whenever Little Moon was asleep. Who was I kidding! Raise your hand if you'd rather conk out beside your little one than get back to work! Diba? Haha! I am super duper thankful to my husband for being such a responsible breadwinner. I am able to stay home and care for our baby and not worry about having to get back to work!

Mini Mood Board Pendants

So anyway, this latest collection is called Inchie Winchies. They are so me. The colors, the details. I wanted them to look like mini collages of ribbon, lace, and strips of paper. But they're all made of clay. I was inspired by the lacy details on my daughter's clothes, my fabric stash, and by the mini mood board notebooks created by Holly Becker of Decor8, my blogging mentor. Thank you teacher Holly, for the inspiration!

These pendants look so happy and cheerful, don't you think? I'm happy with how they turned out - all the details are handmade, no molds were used! The colors were custom-blended by me too. I imagine wearing them on a thin chain, with a simple sunny dress. Or they could brighten up a plain t-shirt.

Mini Mood Board Pendants

These inchie winchies are available on Luna Lollipop on Facebook. Luna Lollipop deserves a separate post, and I'll blog about it once the official website is up. For now, I hope you enjoy these photos.  Follow me on Flickr to see more.

Mini Mood Board Pendants

I lost my mojo

I haven't written a decent blog post in months. To be honest, my blogging energy got drained out of me by that post about our MMR scare. After that post, I didn't know how to reboot and be chirpy-cheery again.

Little Moon is okay, thank God! No sign of regression so far, and it's been 5 months. I chatted with my Tita one time, and I was convinced that we did a good thing by getting the vaccine. The result of what could happen without the MMR is much scarier. As they say, the benefits outweigh the risks. So we have proceeded with the recommended vaccination schedule.

I want my blogging mojo back. There are tons to write about. I want to start blogging again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Life lessons from Candy Crush

I don't know about you guys, but I recently got hooked on this drug game called Candy Crush. My goodness, I never knew such a seemingly simple cellphone game can be so addictive! I'm a late comer to the game, with most of my Facebook contacts now in the 100+ levels (Hello Jen Cruz at Level 350)! I have my husband to blame for this addiction - I saw him playing it on his phone one day, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Funny how you realize some pretty deep stuff when playing the game. Here are the Top 5 Life Lessons I learned from Candy Crush. Haha.

1. Don't waste your time/moves on meaningless things.
Like no-brainer 3-candy switches that lead to nothing.

2. Delay gratification.
Forming the 5-candy combo is sweeter than the instant gratification of a striped jelly bean.

3. If you don't learn to let go, you'll never know what good things are in store for you.
Like how sometimes you think you've got no other good moves so you go ahead and dejectedly use up the chocolate bomb you've been saving, and whaddayouknow! The next candies that come crashing form multiple combos on the screen. Coolness!

4. Life is like a box of chocolates, you'll never know what you're gonna get. Or when. Damn that chocolate.

5. No matter how much you plan ahead, shit happens.
Like when you're saving that chocolate bomb for later, then you do a seemingly harmless switch and all the other candies come crashing down on it and it detonates prematurely. Shet.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A summer to remember

Five blissful days in Bacolod, two of them spent at an almost deserted beach. The lovely photo above is of my Dad (left), Marco and little moon, and I. Credits to my brother Troy.

I made this little video to mark this unforgettable trip, come check it out.

Ah, summer. Feels like a dream.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The MMR scare

Today marks one week since our baby got her MMR shot. It's been a crazy week. I wanted to write about it here because it might help other moms looking for information.

The day after her shot, I noticed red dots on her back. The dots spread to her tummy and legs, and then her whole body. We texted the pediatrician, and he said it was a normal reaction to the vaccine, and the rash would go away in 3 days.

But on Saturday night, our baby developed another reaction to the vaccine. (Please skip this part if you're eating.) She had a loose, watery bowel movement which is a complete opposite of her usual stools. She had another one Sunday morning, and another Sunday night. We are talking about our toddler who only poops once a week (that's her normal cycle believe it or not!), so three loose bowel movements in 24 hours alarmed me.

Amoebiasis was the first thing that I thought of. Maybe she got it from the water? I have horrible memories of bouts of amoeba in my childhood days. So I texted my mom and asked what happened to me when I got amoeba. She said I was vomiting, had fever, and LBM. Since Little Moon didn't have fever and wasn't vomiting, she probably didn't get amoeba.

Then it occured to me - could the LBM be linked to her MMR shot? Since the rashes and the LBM started after we got her vaccinated, and the shot is the only unusual thing that happened this week? So I googled. And I found many links describing how a child can get a rash and yellow watery stools after getting injected with an MMR vaccine.

What I read scared me. Why didn't I know that the MMR could ruin your child's digestive system? And that it was somehow linked to autism? Oh my gosh. I had read about vaccines when Little Moon was a baby, but I didn't see these red flags before. How could I have missed these scary information? I can't freakin believe I didn't come across it before - I used to spend hours reading about autism and child development. Mahilig ako magresearch, tapos eto namiss ko? And most importantly, why didn't our pediatrician inform us about the side effects of the vaccine?

There are a lot of moms of children with autism who said that their toddlers were perfectly normal before they got their MMR. Then their kids got rashes and diarrhea, and then regressed. Their kids stopped talking, forgot the things they've learned so far, and stopped developing mentally. I wanted to cry.

So I called Little Moon's other pediatrician and pleaded with the secretary to get us an appointment for that afternoon (they don't allow walk-ins). This other pedia is a homeopath, and a supporter of breastfeeding, so she gives me good vibes.

I was going to consult with her because there was no way I was going to go back to the pedia who gave Little Moon the MMR shot. The one who didn't even warn us about the possible side effects of the vaccine - at least man lang the part where your child can develop tummy problems! Diba? Ugh. If we went to him, he'd probably brush off my fears and say what doctors usually say - don't worry. But I didn't want that, I wanted an explanation. I wanted someone to tell me why my daughter reacted to the vaccine the way she did. I wanted to know the truth about autism and the vaccine.

So we went to the homeopath pedia, and I told her about Little Moon's loose stools, and my fear about the link to autism. She didn't downplay my fears. She didn't discredit the information I read on the internet. But what she said made my heart sink. She said before she administers the MMR vaccine to her patients, she asks the parents first about the family history of autism. If there is history, she won't do the shot. We should have been asked. I have a cousin who has autism.

This pedia was concerned that Little Moon had two reactions to the vaccine - the rashes and the LBM. She said the chances of autism developing after an MMR shot was so small, but we were treating Little Moon all the same. So she recommended probiotics and Vaucheria. The probiotics is for her tummy. The Vaucheria is for lessening the side effects of the vaccine.

Let me explain the whole brouhaha. I could be wrong here, but here's how I understand it. Vaccines can start trouble because there are heavy metals in the vaccine that can accumulate in the gut. Sometimes the child can't get rid of these, so they stay in her body. When that happens, the heavy metals can pass on to the brain. That's why there is a link to autism. Although the study that introduced this idea was discredited by the medical community many years ago, they are yet to disprove it. And that shadow of a doubt is enough for me to be very afraid for my daughter. That, and the testimonials of mothers who have shared their stories online, and this case.

So what we are trying to do is address Little Moon's tummy problem. The probiotics will help get her gut back to normal. The probiotics come in powder form, and you dissolve this in water, or mix with food. We got the Protexin Restore sachets. There's another brand we tried that come in pellet form (Bio Bita), but our baby doesn't like it. We used to just make a paste out of the Protexin and a few drops of water and feed with a spoon, but she's stopped taking it. So now we try all sorts of tricks. Today we mixed it with her mango juice, and she didn't notice the weird taste. We have to do this for a month.

The Vaucheria comes in liquid form, and you administer it through a dropper. There's no other way to give this to her because it has to be taken every 4 hours. So we toughen up, brace ourselves for some wild crying and heartbreaking pleading (she knows how to say please), and shove the dropper into her mouth. We have to do this for two weeks.

Today is Day 3 of this treatment plan. Her stools are loose and yellow, and it scares us. My readings say yellow could mean her body is not absorbing the nutrients from the food she eats or the milk she drinks. And that's another problem - she hasn't been eating since Sunday. She has even refused her favorite snack (Stick-o, that chocolate wafer stick). At least she still nurses. I just hope she gets the nutrients from my breastmilk. And she's been cranky, and only wants to be held by either her daddy or me. She cries when our househelp G carries her. They used to have fun together. The rash is starting to fade away.

We are desperately praying that this treatment plan is enough to heal her. I have been begging God to help us, to take away whatever it is that is causing havoc in her body. I am praying that she isn't in pain. And most of all, I am praying that she continues to develop normally. Lord, please make all of this scary stuff go away. I hope all this is just paranoia.

Dear moms and dads who might be reading this, I am sharing this with you because I want others to be aware. I am not urging you to say no to vaccinations. I am not saying don't get an MMR. I am not here to cause panic. What I am trying to tell you is be vigilant. We, parents, have to know what we are saying yes to. If we had learned about these things before we gave Little Moon the shot, would we still have gone for it? I don't know. But we should have been armed with information. We should have done our research. That way, we could have made an informed decision.