Category Archives: the baby business

a year with a princess

A couple of years ago, our life looked like this. Turo was running our farm, and managing two other farms in two different locations. He also held a desk-based job, and had to travel to the city several times a month to attend meetings. I, on the other hand, was homeschooling two kids, and exclusively breastfeeding an infant, all while working full-time for a small consulting group. I spend the day with the kids at home, while Turo is away for work. I spend evenings working at a different time zone, while Turo puts the kids to bed. We cook and clean and garden and do the laundry in between.


Those were tough times. We had no househelp, and we had to do every single thing ourselves. Until one afternoon twenty months ago, while I was scrubbing the floor, I saw my own blood staining the floor. How ironic. I was alone with the kids and had to wait (bleeding and nauseous) for Turo to come home before I could be brought to the emergency room of the hospital.

It was a near miscarriage. I was pregnant and didn’t know it. And we were living our lives like there was no tomorrow. While there was a very weak baby, fighting for life, inside my womb. I had to stop. We had not planned on another baby. But I was not planning on losing this one by continuing to live our life the way we had been.


I quit my job. We hired back our househelp. I took things slower. And I dedicated my entire time to taking care of my children like mothers are created to.

Several months later I gave birth to a baby girl. It was the best surprise and a wonderful blessing. We had three boys, and now we had a princess in our home. For the first time, our life felt complete. And it felt like I knew exactly where our life was headed from this point on.


Exactly a week after our princess was born, we had to take her back again to the hospital. Her laboratory results confirmed a urinary tract infection. It was the first time, in my ten years of being a parent, that any of my children was confined in a hospital. And it had to be our fragile one-week-old princess. My postpartum “baby blues” had never been bluer.


We spent the next few days in the hospital. And when we were finally discharged, we had to keep taking her back to the hospital twice a day for the next four days for her antibiotic shots. Oh my princess, it was so heartbreaking.


After her round of antibiotics was complete, her lab results still showed some signs of infection. And she had to take a second round of antibiotics. And then after this round, her laboratory results still didn’t look like she was completely clear of the infection. We had to take urinary samples every week, and then every month, until her fourth month. I had to eat a low sodium diet and drink plenty of fluids, to better hydrate her when she nurses.


On her six-month pediatric checkup, she was noticeably delayed in her motor skills. She was underweight and underheight. Her head circumference was larger than normal, and her eyes opened wide, as if there was swelling inside her head. We took her to the hospital for a cranial ultrasound. Her pedia was suspecting hydrocephalus, which was no surprise at all, as Uri was diagnosed with it when he was several months old. Thankfully, the results came back and she was normal, no hydrocephalus.


We then went on with our days. She was always a quiet little girl. She slept well through the night. She laughs adorably at her brothers and her brothers adored her. She had a tiny body, and a small appetite. She never got sick, though, but she was also never very active. She’s a princess, that’s why she’s so unlike our other boys, we always say.


On her eleventh month we took her back to her pediatrician. She was not yet sitting up, or even making an effort to try to sit up. Her neck control was weak, and she was wobbly when carried. Her doctor wanted to rule out seizures as the cause of delayed motor skills. She was scheduled for an electroencephalogram (EEG) to monitor brain activity. The results came out after a week, and it was normal. Thank God.


Still she was grossly delayed in terms of motor development. But at least there was nothing more to it than just that, developmental delay. We need to help her catch up and make up for the delayed development. We need to stimulate brain function. We talk to her, sing to her, read to her, play music to her.


We take her to places, let her explore the world around her using her senses. She needs physical therapy to improve muscle function. We let her swim at the tub several times a day. And thanks to summer, we can spend several weekends a month by the beach.


Our little princess will turn one in a couple of days. She is our fourth child, and you might think that we’ll have had all bases covered this time around. But each child is unique and special in his/her own way. Our meek little princess reminded us of just that. She surprises us and warms our hearts all at the same time. We love her. We so cherish the last 365 days of having her in our family. And we see her game face on and ready to confront another wonderful year of life.



cloth diapering (older babies and toddlers)

It’s been awhile since I posted anything about cloth diapers. I am proud to say that our little boy Ira, who is now 19 months old, is still using cloth diapers exclusively both day and night.

I must say that successful cloth diapering is a hit-or-miss, trial and error process. But, if I could give any word of encouragement to a cloth diapering skeptic, it could be done! Continue reading cloth diapering (older babies and toddlers)

bahaySKUL midterm review

we try to pick ourselves up from a vacation in paradise and get back into full swing


We have completed our first term right smack at the end of January. The boys have each taken their midterm evaluation tests at TLP, our homeschool provider – and passed! We had a little ravioli lasagna party to celebrate this success, just the three of us. Continue reading bahaySKUL midterm review

cloth diapering (6 months up)

Cloth diapers to go

My little boy is now 9 months old, and we have been (almost) exclusively cloth diapering for about the same time. Because there are days when deadlines get deadly, and the diaper laundry sits awhile, and I couldn’t get prefolds and covers to dry before the clean ones run out. I confess to having a secret stash of disposable diapers just for these occasions. They get me through very tough times. The rest of the time, though, my baby is on cloth 24/7.

So how does our cloth diaper stash look like right now? Continue reading cloth diapering (6 months up)

the convenience of cloth

2 months, 10 lbs., 3 different wash routines later, we are still cloth diapering exclusively and enjoying fully the convenience of cloth.


Our cloth diaper stash from my previous post has gone pretty much unchanged, save for the addition of some AIOs or all-in-one cloth diapers. We’ve decided to use covers and flats and prefolds (no pocket diapers and no microfiber inserts) this time around, and we’re loving this diapering system more and more as the days go by. When baby was a month old, we were dependent on flats as it was basically pee and poop every hour. But now that he’s going for longer periods without pooping, I find myself reaching for prefolds at almost every diaper change. At 2 months, baby poops about 5-7 times in a day, and we’d have no more than 12 diaper changes within a 24-hour period. That’s a lot less compared to 16+ changes when he was a newborn. Continue reading the convenience of cloth

discovering prefold diapers

Every baby wearing disposable diapers can generate as much as one ton of landfill waste before the age of two.

Readers of this blog probably already know that our family has long been trying to maintain a simple, sustainable and non-consumerist lifestyle. Now that we have a new addition to the family, we attempt to carry on with these principles while raising a newborn.

Why cloth diapers?

The decision to cloth diaper our baby is an obvious one. Disposable diapers may be convenient, but they are also wasteful and expensive. The cost savings are actually secondary. It’s the amount of waste created by using disposables that we can’t live with. Continue reading discovering prefold diapers

packing the hospital bag

packed yet still procrastinating…

I am currently on my 37th week of pregnancy, nearly full-term, and I just might go into labor any moment now. I’ve been procrastinating on so many preparations during this pregnancy, but the other night, I felt I seriously needed to pack for when I go to the hospital for delivery. So I was up until way past midnight packing my hospital bag. Here’s a list of the stuff I’d bring once labor comes a-knocking. Continue reading packing the hospital bag

photo-finishing first grade

if my planning serves me right, we will complete our first year of homeschooling this month!


We are so nearly there. Our first bahaySKUL year completed in 12 crazy months. We are actually quite behind, because the regular school year starts next week, and Ari should be prepping for second grade at this time, but we are still finishing up with the fourth grading period of his first grade. But still. We’re really just counting the days. Doing the final lessons. Taking the last batch of tests. Putting together our first-ever bahaySKUL portfolio. So yeah, we have tons of photos to sort and print and organise, test papers to file, art projects to frame, grades to compute. And this is probably going to take us a couple of weeks more. But seriously, another couple of weeks is zilch compared to the last eleven months of this roller-coaster ride that we call bahaySKUL. Continue reading photo-finishing first grade

diapering decisions

after a week of stressing over cloth diapers..

This week started with a hell of a bad news, at least for me. I am easing into the third trimester of my third pregnancy, and finally starting with much-delayed nursery preparations–doing an inventory of baby clothes, equipment, cloth diapers. As I tried to make arrangements for the pick-up of a crib that was no longer used by Turo’s sister, I found out that my stash of Tushywushy pocket diapers were missing. In addition to an electric breast pump, the Tushywushies are some of my biggest motherhood investments. These set of cloth diapers have been used by at least 2 children, from infancy to toddlerhood, and I took pains laundrying and drying them just so they would last long. They cost me an arm and a leg (note: I bought them 5 years ago) but they also allowed me to save on disposable diapers and a LOT of non-biodegradable waste.

I fumed when I learned that my beloved Tushywushies were gone. I’m the type who take cloth diapering seriously. Aside from avoiding diaper rash on my babies’ bottoms, and being more economical, the unforgettable flood of 2009 was a major motivating factor for us to cloth diaper our children full-time (we only use disposables when travelling). So I was in a not so good mood for a couple of hours. And then the cloth diaper system search began. Continue reading diapering decisions