It is SIDS Awareness Month once again and we are back with another promo and good reminders!

Here is a guest blog by our friends from HALO Sleepsack!

If you knew that SIDS, suffocation, and sleep-related accidents are the No. 1 causes of infant deaths, how would you put your baby to sleep?

About SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected death of an infant less than 1 year of age.  SIDS is the leading cause of death for otherwise healthy babies, and comes without warning.  It is closely related to other accidents during sleep, like suffocation or strangulation due to loose bedding, and the like.

While the actual causes of SIDS are still unknown, researchers have found a high correlation between an infant’s sleeping environment and the risks of SIDS.  Here are 8 things you should remember to keep your baby safe while sleeping:

1. Back is best. Always place your baby to sleep on his back, regardless if it’s naptime or bedtime.

1.  Back is Best2. Create a safe sleeping area. Use a crib that meets current safety standards.  The crib should have a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet, with nothing inside except your baby.

2. Safe Sleep Area3. Remove all loose bedding. Remove all loose blankets, comforters, soft toys, and crib bumpers.  These items can block the flow of fresh air to your baby and cause carbon dioxide re-breathing, which is a leading risk factor for SIDS.

3. No loose blankets

4. Use a safety-certified wearable blanket or SleepSack. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of wearable blankets because they eliminate the risk of babies accidentally suffocating or strangulating with loose blankets.  Since wearable blankets are safety products, it is important that you choose a brand that has safety certifications and is trusted by the medical community.

4.  Halo - No. 1 Choice of Hospitals

5. Happy babies sleep alone. Co-sleep in the same room, not on the same bed. Experts do not recommend sharing the same sleep surface with your baby in order to avoid accidental death from overlaying, suffocation from adult beddings, and other accidents.

5. Happy Babies Sleep Alone

6. Breastfeed, when possible. Apart from its other known benefits, breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

6. Breastfeed

7. Do not let your baby overheat. Make sure to use clothing made with breathable fabric to prevent overheating.  In warm climates, wearing a SleepSack made in 100% cotton over light clothing is often enough to keep babies cozy warm and sleeping soundly through the night.

7.  No overheating

8. No Smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke while pregnant, and never allow anyone to smoke near your baby.

8. No Smoking

Share these important safe sleep tips to everyone who cares for your baby, or anyone who has a baby! Education is key to keeping our babies safe!  #SafeSleepPh

Get 15% off and Give the Gift of Safe Sleep!

Get 15% discount by typing “PhilipBo” under “Promo Code” when you purchase at www.halophilippines.com from now until Nov 15, 2014.

With sizes for newborns up to 2 years old, Halo makes a unique and practical gift for baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, and the holidays.  You can never go wrong with the gift of safe sleep! 

Follow Halo on www.facebook.com/halophilippines and Instagram @halophilippines to learn more about #TheSaferWayToSleep !

 Rica’s Note About Content:

To fully disclose everything, I personally do not practice “back is best” sleeping and we also co-sleep in one and the same bed.

But I do highly recommend being watchful if your baby sleeps on his tummy (Philip loves this position and sleeps heavenly so), make sure not to leave him for long in that position, especially in his first few weeks of life and also never alone. If baby is still too small, he might not be able to lift himself up right away in case he is feeling suffocated.

About co-sleeping- I am a light sleeper, and for that and some other reasons it seems that co-sleeping in one bed works for us. I do not really agree that this is bad for all families, but perhaps it is best to assess if it will really put your baby in danger. :)

a piece of cake!

Friday, October 17, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a little girl I would dream about being a wife, a mom, teacher, even a cash registrar, but somehow never a chef or a baker. And in all of my 33 years on earth, not once have I cultivated the cook in me. Medyo napilitan lang ako maging creative for my infant at home kasi kawawa naman that I feed him the same thing all the time due to my lack of foodie imagination.

Really, I would rather eat than create dishes. But I also kinda wanna challenge myself these days for the love of my family. (Husband loves different flavors!) So tamang-tama naman when Magnolia sent me boxes of Devil’s Food Cake mix and Fudge Brownie- I thought I might as well awaken the baker in me!

So the first thing I did was call up my sister who has an oven and a Kitchen Aid mixer at home. I also called up my nieces for support since this is unchartered territory for me. No way I am doing this alone! (Haha, OA ba???)

More than anything else, I wanted to secure that my first time EVER to bake will be a fun and memorable event, which is a sure thing when my family as around.

baking

 

Reading instructions and goofing around with my sister…

And since it was my first time, I planned to stick with the simplest instructions on the box. Ingredients only required the cake mix, 3 eggs,1 cup water and ½ cup olive oil. I find it important that the recipe will not be intimidating for me!

DFC-ingredients

taste test

Next up was a series of mixing and then baking in the oven for only 30 minutes. (Preheated though.) Coming from zero experience, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy everything tunred out to be!

nica

 

The toothpick checker! My niece Nica’s little secret for me!

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After we have taken out the cake from the oven, all of us suddenly felt the need to mount an impromptu cake presentation contest, haha! And as we were thinking of ways to make the cake look inviting, I’ve had my share of biting off the edges here and there.

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contest

The Peralejo Devil’s Food Cake was actually good, and could even be better by adding perhaps whipped cream or some really, really sweet frosting. Who knows, I might even try to make recipes online that suggest to turn it into a cheesecake! (Wow, is that me being more courageous and adventurous about baking???)

Seriously speaking, aside from that this experience was able to drive away my fear of baking, it also brought me a place of bravery and pride at what the hands can make. Next time I have a party at home, I’d be more than willing to make this cake for them and proudly announce that I made the dessert myself! :)

How about you? Do you like baking? And if so, have you ever tried making Devil’s Food Cake by yourself? Can you give me recipes that can spike up an awesome cake mix that makes really awesome moist cake in 30 minutes?

 

 

Make Memories

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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On a rainy Sunday afternoon, my friend’s little boy celebrated his first birthday. It is also a tradition in our church that when the child turns one, we offer and dedicate him to the Lord.

pinoy-party

 

The party was small and intimate. We saw only very few and the family’s closest friends. It was surprisingly so fun because everyone saw everyone, and did not get lost in a big crowd.

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The theme was also so simple and yet so cute! Pinoy Birthday party with the celebrant in barong, and his sister in baro’t saya. We were also especially happy that each table had old school Pinoy sweets and snacks. I know it isn’t healthy but it brings so many good memories!

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Pancit definitely filled our tummies. And so did the lumpia. I don’t have a photo but I kept going back for more of the ginataang halo-halo. Then of course, the palitaw. For me, it was a real fiesta!

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Last night, I met with my good friend, who was also my wedding coordinator, Teena Barretto, because she said we already needed to discuss Philip’s upcoming birthday. Coming into this I was actually surprised at how much first birthday parties have changed over the years. They have definitely become grander in every way. And while I do not think this is necessarily bad, I just have to admit to myself that this is not, in any way, my desire. For me, a first birthday party, especially for my son, should remain intimate and quality time spent well with the ones who really have a genuine relationship with our little man.

So to all moms out there, I pray you do not get pressured about mounting a big party for your child’s first. Or even second. Or even seventh! A party is meant to celebrate, and for this specific one, the one year of life and faithfulness brought about by a sovereign God. If you ask me, a few family and friends over a good meal and the Lord’s presence should be more than enough. And take pictures, so you remember this part of your life. Then and now, I stand by my belief that I must make memories and not only events. :)

Have a great Tuesday!

 

busy being joyful

Monday, October 13, 2014

Last week we were in Baguio and my baby Philip really enjoyed playing with our friend’s daughter, Helena. Helena is 4 years old and is such a great Ate. She did so well in entertaining Philip using his little toy chicks that my baby just kept on laughing and laughing with all of his heart! Any mother would know the joy of seeing her child so genuinely tickled to the bones.

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Philip finds Ate Helena so funny!!! Well, with the help of the chicks from ninang @paulatheexplorer also…

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He was actually so busy being joyful that when he slipped, it didn’t affect his mood at all- no fear, no bad temperament, no threat of any cry. What’s more is that it seemed to have increased his laughter and amusement instead! To find your own fall as amusing, what a good sport must my boy be! But is he, really?

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Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you make mistakes, learn, get up, laugh and get over yourself! #philipbo #mamawonders @paulatheexplorer

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But evidence shows me that Philip isn’t like that all the time. I’ve seen him slip many times before this and though the fall doesn’t hurt him, it surely is enough to put him in a bad mood. In those instances I have to repeatedly remind him everything is alright.

So what was different this time?

Well, we must remember that before Philip fell, he was already in a state of joy being amused by Helena’s antics. It put him in such a good mood that when he fell, his instinct told him it wasn’t something to fret and fuss over. He immediately got over it because his joy at the moment was more than enough to overcome any threat of fear or pain. On the other hand, when he falls at a point when his joy or confidence is not sufficient, he is shaken to bits. And honestly, this made me think about myself.

Of how many times I fussed over the littlest of things just because I didn’t start the day by tapping onto the Lord’s grace. Of how easily I would shaken by something so small just because I was not confident enough. But then also of how many times I was able to withstand even the worst of all reports, the worst of all days, just because I began that day by immersing myself in His presence which brings about peace that transcends all understanding and amazing grace.

My prayer today is that we may all begin each and every day of our lives by tapping onto The Lord’s power, Our God the Overcomer. To believe that while the world cannot guarantee happy days, I can consistently find joy and consequently, strength in Him.

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (Acts 16:34)

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, forthe joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemia 8:10)

 

Love in Godly Dimensions

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One night I was staring at my son while he sleeps. And as usual, my hearts fills with so much love that it feels like it could burst from having too much of it!

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Then I look at my husband to the side and tell him, “Not that I love Philip more, but I never knew my capacity to love could become greater than the way I loved you back then. I thought love then was at my greatest, but I was mistaken. When Philip was born, it is like I automatically loved more. Now imagine how much more I’d be able to love when the next baby comes along!”

And at that thought I had to pause and think about God. God loves us all. And if I play it by the exponential nature of love that I have recently discovered, God’s love really is too great to understand by the mere human mind! (Just think: how many billion humans are we in the world right now? And how many have passed away which makes me ask the harder question of how many human beings have there ever been since the beginning of time?)

It began with my husband, and now, for every child I will find myself being able to love more. And wow, God loves us all. Us all!

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19

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