Glam Moms by NCCC Mall Buhangin

Restaurants and beach resorts will surely be filled with laughters and love as the world will celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12.

But if you are planning of something else for your mom and yourself, hop in at NCCC Mall Buhangin- Activity Area (10am-5pm) as they offer Glam Mom activities and surprises— glam fairy, glam shopping, glam starter pack, glam camp, plus free zumba and free yoga!

A Glam Fairy will look for three mommies who deserve a free glamorous make-over and photoshoot.

Some 40 mommies, who will register for the event, will also go home with a glam starter pack.

Latest beauty, fashion, and products will be displayed for moms’ glam shopping.

NCCC have also invited Lucky Mae Braza-Pajarillaga and yours truly, Ara Casas-Tumuran, for the Glam Camp. We will share tutorials about make-up and skin care, DIY everyday hairstyle and hair care, and DIY nail art and nail care. Harmonails will give gift certificates to lucky moms.

There will also be a free zumba (10:30am – 12:00nn) with Anytime Fitness and a free yoga (4pm-5pm) with KITE Dance Studio. Special prizes await moms in the raffle.

Mothers deserve a break by celebrating Mother’s Day with beauty and creativity.

Happy Mother’s Day to us!

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

Cloth Diaper 101

It’s 2019 and the advocacy for eco-friendly materials are now on hype. Take for example the campaign against using plastic straws that has drawn so much support even with the younger generation.

So if you are a mom and thinking of how you could actually change the world by protecting the environment, the use of cloth diaper is best for you.

I have always heard about cloth diapers and even tried buying one at the mall when I was still pregnant. But since I had no idea on how to properly use it, it just stayed in the cabinet for years now.

So when the admins of DaWow Moms who are advocates of natural parenting like breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diaper, among others, announced that they are inviting other moms to join them in a small forum about Cloth Diaper 101, I instantly showed interest to it.

They have once again extended their hands to young mothers, like me, who need natural parenting advice as they successfully promoted the Cloth Diaper 101 held at NCCC Mall Buhangin on April 28, 2019.

Did you know that cloth diaper has many types? Yes, they look almost exactly the same but each type has different styles that are strategically designed for a convenient use.

There is flax (traditional lampin), cover type, pocket type, and hybrid fitted which comes in all-in-one and all-in-two. (If you are curious on how to actually use cloth diapers, check out the demo in our vlog uploaded in my Youtube channel.)

Another very important part of a cloth diaper is the insert, which also has two types— the fast absorber and the slow absorber.

Classified under the fast absorber (default insert) are the bamboo charcoal, microfiber, cotton, and cotton terry.

Meanwhile, the slow absorber types are the hemp and the cotton fleece. These are also called as boosters and are advisable for night time.

When washing, use a baby detergent soap or powder that has minimal to no scent at all. Korai Alconga, one of the moderators and is an expert in using cloth diaper, recommended using brands like Perwoll, Cycles, Calla, and Wings Active Guards. Her advocacy for cloth diaper does not stop there. She is also selling cloth diapers in her Facebook page (Mini & Me PH.)

I know it takes so much effort when using cloth diapers because we have to regularly wash them. But have we ever thought of how we can help reduce plastic wastes by eliminating the use of disposable diapers? Indeed, cloth diapers are nature-saver (not to mention, budget-saver!)

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

Unlimited samgyeopsal at Gangnam in Davao

With the recent opening of Gangnam Cafe and Restaurant branch, you can now skip the flight and experience South Korea at the heart of Davao City.

Gangnam in Davao Cafe and Restaurant recently opened a new branch in Pryce Business Park, Pryce Road (at the back of Landco building and D’ Leonor Hotel), JP Laurel Avenue, Davao City.

With only P388 (per head), you can enjoy a Korean experience with their authentic samgyeopsal or the Korean BBQ unli-grill promo. It comes with marinated pork belly, liempo, chicken, six side dishes, rice, lettuce, iced tea, soup, gyeranjim (Korean steamed egg), and ice cream. You can also have beef by just adding P100 on top of your P388-promo.

Gangnam in Davao has more than 10 smoke extractors, each grilling table has one, so the smoke does not stick to your clothes and you still come out smelling fresh.

Aside from that, other Korean dishes like jjampong (Korean style pasta with vegetables and seafood), ramyeon (you can choose seafood, rice cake, and mandoo), osam bulgogi (stir fried squid and pork), among others, are available. They are starting to serve shabu-shabu.

They also offer Chinese, Japanese and even Filipino dishes as appetizers.

If you want to chill, Korean drinks are also available like soju, and plum wine, which is believed to rejuvenate skin and help detoxify the body. Plum wine costs P800 per bottle.

But if you are on a food trip and just want to try different kinds of Korean and Japanese streetfood, a big stall is displayed outside the resto. Among my favorites are the fish cake and the chicken feet.

What captures my attention most is the kids play zone where children can enjoy toys and interact with other kids. (This is a good excuse for parents to enjoy their food more! LOL) Don’t worry about your kids’ safety because it is strategically located beside the function room so parents can still supervise and monitor their children.

They also have a function room which can accommodate up to 50 persons. They are also open to customers who would like to book for an exclusive event. The entire place is good for 150-200 guests.

Gangnam in Davao Cafe and Restaurant operates at lunch (11am to 3pm) and dinner (5pm-11pm).

You may also call them at (082) 228-7543 for reservation.

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

Ways to deal with mom-shaming

THE unwanted criticism of parenting choices is called mom-shaming. It usually comes in a form of comparison with other kids, direct and indirect insult, and humiliation.

Among the issues thrown against moms include discipline, child’s late development, and child’s weight.

They would correct you with how you discipline your child like screen-time, eating habit, sleep routine, and etc.

They would criticize your child’s delayed milestones such as teething, walking, and talking. Worse, they would compare your child to other kids.

Relax. I know how heartbreaking it is, but there are ways on how to deal with them.

1. Understand that criticizing and judging make some people feel better. They are naturally tactless and insensitive. If they can’t admit it, just give them the consideration they deserve.

2. Learn to differentiate the concerned (those who want to feel involved), the know-it-all (those who think they are always right), and the ignorant (those who have no idea of anything.)

3. Educate them with facts. For example, if they keep insisting that your child is thin and not gaining weight. Check on your child using the official weight chart from DOH and WHO. If it is just appropriate with his/her age, educate your “bashers” as well. Remember, being fat is not an indication of being healthy. If they would still insist, go back to tip number one.

4. If there’s really something wrong, acknowledge and accept our mistakes. No one is perfect. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. But you can always improve for the better by following their pieces of advice.

5. Your child, your rules. The society is rude, but you don’t have to deal with their prejudice. You know your child better than anyone else.

But as we all know, we can also be the culprit or the mom-shamers especially when confronted with situations that need some advice. Let us also take note of these points:

1. Be tactful, not tactless. Give constructive criticism and avoid the destructive ones.

2. Be mindful. We don’t know everything. To each his own.

3. Train our mind to see the good in everything. Let’s not be judgemental.

Hold on, mommies! Just think that criticisms will help us become more effective parents.

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

Mommy vloggers on Youtube

MOTHERS can vlog, too!

A lot of moms now have shared their parenting tips online. One of their medium is the social media specifically Youtube. Here are some of my favorites:

First on the list is Elizabeth or Liz (her Youtube channel is iLovebeingaMommy), who has over 240,000 subscribers with a collective 35 million views on all of her videos.

What hooked me to stay updated on her channel is her cleaning routine and daily routine as a mom to Ethan James, Emma Juliet, and Ezra Matthias (who are all under 5 years old.)

Her husband, Eric James, is very supportive for filming (and helping) her in their everyday routine.

Another reason why I love watching Liz’ videos because she exclusively breastfeeds her son Ezra. Anyway, most of my favorite Youtubers support exclusive breastfeeding.

Another mommy vlogger that I follow on Youtube is Emily Norris (a mother of three boys.) She has around 370,000 subscribers with a total of 53 million views.

When I was pregnant, I always watch her pregnancy videos like monthly updates, and birth vlogs.

Her videos were like my support system because I was curious about her experiences too.

She also inspired me to create my own Youtube channel (Ara Casas) where I also give weekly updates and tips. You may want to subscribe and watch my pregnancy videos, too (LOL!)

I also get ideas and inspirations like for baby essentials from Pinay mommy vloggers, namely Reese, Kris Lumagui, and Mommy Ruth.

They are also first-time moms to their one-year-old boy. Honestly, watching their videos give me insecurities (SOMETIMES) because I cannot help but compare their child to my child, especially on baby’s milestones. But I realized that it is never good to compare. Each child has her/his own strengths and weaknesses.

Motherhood bites off more than what you can chew. It can be tiring, stressful, demanding and tough on most days, but it is the most rewarding and fulfilling job in the world.

This can be true as shown on the vlogs and videos of my favorite Youtube moms who, without any pretension, show off what does it mean to be a mother.

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

How to boost breastmilk supply

IT’S a common question not only among first-time moms but with experienced moms as well.

The society would tell mothers to breastfeed their baby because breastmilk is free and has all the nutrients.

But, what should mothers do in order to supply the demands of their baby?

1. Unli latch

It’s a language most nursing moms use. It means unlimited or countless times of latching or feeding your baby. Feed the baby when you see hunger cues. Feed the baby when she/he is uncomfortable. Feed the baby whenever she wants. It’s a boob job.

2. Power pumping

For working moms, this is what you need to do. It is pumping more frequently than your regular schedule of expressing milk.

3. Eat some galactagogues.

The most famous galactagogues are moringa, oats, and avocado. Lactation cookies are also available online and in some mommy and baby stores. However, this step might not be effective to others. Anyway, mothers should really increase their appetite more than the usual amount of meal because the baby will surely consume all our calorie intake.

4. Drink plenty of water

Eight to ten glasses of water is not enough for pregnant and lactating moms. At least three liters of water will help. You have to replenish in order to avoid dehydration, which will affect your milk supply.

5. Lactation massage

You can hire a licensed lactation peer counselor or you can DIY. It’s a gentle boob massage in a circular motion. Do this before feeding the baby or even pumping.

6. Pray.

Ask and you will receive. The Lord knows all your hard work and perseverance. Trust a famous line that goes, “Breastfeeding is 10% supply and 90% determination.” It’s only you who can help yourself.

Bottomline: Breastfeeding follows the principle of demand and supply. Regular expression of milk from the breasts will result in more milk.

DISCLAIMER: This is not to humiliate mothers who cannot breastfeed their baby due to several reasons including health conditions. If you’re one of them, don’t worry. There are million ways of expressing our love for our children.

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]

Useful and useless baby essentials

WHEN I was still pregnant, I received pieces of advice from several mothers to refrain from buying a lot of baby items. I heed the warnings and proved them right. There are many pretty things you can buy for your baby, but only a few are very useful.

Based on our experience, the not-so-nice-to-have baby items are cloth bib, crib, and a pacifier. (Oops, wait, I have to explain. LOL!)

We got a dozen of cloth bibs as hand-me-downs from our friends and relatives. But we were not able to use any of them since my daughter, Yanna, is an exclusively breastfed baby, so there’s no spilled milk.

Next is the crib. We have a very durable, wooden crib which my father-in-law designed and built. (Thank you so much, DaddyLo!) But since we have mastered the art of co-sleeping (because of breastfeeding), we failed to use the crib on a daily basis.

Lastly, a pacifier. We had at least three pacifiers which were gifts from our relatives and friends. But none of those worked for Yanna simply because she would refuse from taking it.

Meanwhile, aside from clothes and diapers, a sterilizer and a bathtub are our must-have and recommended baby items. These are the baby essentials that we are still using until now (Yanna is 15 months, as of this writing.)

I also asked some of my mommy friends as to what baby items they find useful and useless. Here’s a tally:

USEFUL:

Baby carrier- 6

Diaper (cloth or disposable)- 7

Lampin- 3

Wet wipes- 3

Swaddle-5

Hammock- 2

Bath essentials- 2

Aceite de Manzanilla- 2

High chair- 1

Alcohol- 1

Swaddle- 1

Nasal aspirator- 1

Bib with teether- 1

Car seat- 1

Baby blanket with hoodie- 1

Virgin coconut oil (massage oil)- 1

Nappy cream- 1

USELESS:

Crib-6

Stroller- 4

Baby bottles- 3

Pacifier- 3

“Bigkis”- 3

Shoes-3

Bottle warmers-2

Babh powder- 1

Milk containers- 1

Swaddle- 1

Walker- 1

Teether- 1

Amulets- 1

Baby laundry detergent- 1

Cap- 1

Pillow- 1

Rocker- 1

Baby nest- 1

Remember, each baby is different. Which worked for us might not work for you, and vice versa. Your child, your rules.

[The writer appreciates comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through ara3casas@yahoo.com, @mommyaracasastumuran on Instagram, and subscribe to her Youtube channel www.youtube.com/c/AraCasasTumuran.]