Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Baby love!

Here's what'll be making its way to bookstore shelves in less than a week!

What's inside? Just scan the cover -- plus staying on top of things when your toddler turns rowdy, first aid for burns, making study fun for kids, high heels and maternity belts, and tips for managing remittances from abroad.

Maxine Sanchez, our cute cover girl, was 8 months old at the time of the shoot (a little over 2 months ago), and breaking into a smile was so easy for her! She did hit her head on the living room floor--twice!--though, but she bounced back quickly. Next week will have us on another shoot involving three adorable babies, and their moms.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shake it up

There's a place in the UP Diliman campus that sells fresh fruit shakes for P20/glass -- it's a home converted into a simple eatery that serves simple dishes. "Lutong Bahay" I think it's called, and it's very near the Shopping Center and the post office. It's been around for many years, I'm told, but only discovered it last year through an old colleague who brought me there with the promise of really cheap and yummy fruit shakes. He wasn't kidding.

Today my mother and I dropped by the place and had our fill. She had mango, I tried the watermelon. Both are yummy! Here's a photo of the nice girl wrapping up our treats. If you care to know the prices and what's available but can't decipher the writing on the white board, here's a closer look.

Everything except for the halo-halo (which costs P25) and the saba con yelo (can't remember, can't read) can be had for P20. Did I mention that the shakes are yummy?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

He who is named

Being child-like... something to be cherished. But I wouldn't want to be any of these children. "Because I want to" seems to be the driving force behind the actions of some parents -- particularly those involved in these incidents. I can't read minds, which is why I have trouble seeing anything noble in the intentions behind what they have done.

Came across these stories at Feminine Genius. The book "Are you my mother?" is a great take-off point so I put my own version of the P.D. Eastman children's book, which a Google search yielded.


Motherless by decree
I don't think P.D. Eastman imagined in her wildest dreams what this question could dredge up legally, ethically, and medically within fifty years of the publication of her classic children's book.

[An] unmarried man, Roberto d.B, had made arrangements with an unmarried woman friend to have her eggs donated to him for the purpose of being fertilized in vitro (outside her womb). (It is unclear whether the eggs were fertilized by his sperm.) And he had made arrangements with a second woman (the "gestational carrier" or "surrogate mother") to have her carry the embryos to term. (Although the decision states she had family responsibilities, it does not state whether she was married or had sexual relations with any man during the relevant time; if she were married, there would have been an issue about whether her husband was the father of the twins.) When the second woman delivered the fraternal twins in 2001, the hospital reported her as the mother. The man sued to have her name removed and his name listed as sole parent, the father. They both argued that she had no genetic link to the children and never intended to be their mother. The trial court agreed to add his name as father, but to retain her name as mother. An appeal was taken.

So legally, now, these are two six-year-olds with no mother, birth certificates with blank spaces, and a psychological nightmare that only God can heal.

It is clear that the court implicitly held that, although the twins were delivered from the womb of this woman, she was not their mother. There can be only two reasons for so holding. One is that she did not intend to be their mother, but the court expressly states that her intent is not a factor in establishing or not establishing parentage -- any more than it is for men. The alternative justification for this implicit holding is that she was not genetically linked to the children and therefore could not be their mother.

Aint this grand. The deconstruction of gender and consequent restructuring of family and rights allow these two children to be hatched at the whim of a man with a mission to use his seed to stick it to the system.

Read the rest of Motherless by decree at Feminine Genius


Sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and discover a better one.

- Proverb

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flea markets, boundaries and the daddy factor

Yesterday after work, I passed by Greenhills Shopping Center, with the goal of snapping up some good buys (read: affordable and of good quality). Shoes needed replacing, and wardrobe in general needed some, "punch." I like going to the Greenhills tiangge ("flea market") as haggling is part of the shopping experience at this place. I wasn't disappointed -- in less than an hour, I headed for home with some pretty neat items within my budget. But that's not really what this post is about. In one of the stalls, as I waited for the saleslady to return with some tops I requested in my size, a couple happened to pass by. The woman perused a bunch of spaghetti-strapped, lace-fringed clothing items on display while her husband watched. She fingered the pieces one by one, apparently deciding on the right colors then he said "Ha? 'yan? They look like undergarments!"

"Well, this is what she likes," she replied.

I casually glanced at the bright-colored items and then at the couple while inwardly cheering "Go, daddy, go!"

It depends on the parents. You are the parents. It's up to you to guide your kids into making wise fashion choices. Do not lose your confidence in bringing up your kids properly... went on in my mind, hoping for mental telepathy to do its thing at that moment.

The saleslady I was waiting for arrived at that moment, my good buys in hand. The husband apparently held his ground because he and his wife walked away without purchasing any of the spaghetti-o innerware-being-marketed-as outerwear pieces. I know he somehow reiterated his protest over his daughter wearing something like that but I was too busy with settling my own purchases to catch the exact words. My thought as I walked off with my shopping bags: sometimes a Daddy really needs to put his foot down, especially when it comes to guiding his daughters, even when it's only about the seemingly insignificant issue of fashion.

Guess what -- all that is just an intro! I really wanted to share a post I read at Modestly Yours a couple of weeks ago (two posts actually). The first dwells on an incident that's not hogging the headlines anymore yet the lessons that can be drawn from it are timeless. I'm posting it in full. The second, which touches on fashion choices, is quite sensible and thought-provoking (which all entries in Modestly Yours are); it springs from the recent death of designer Liz Claiborne and takes off from an article in The Wall Street Journal. Both posts somehow weave the role of parents into these matters, but the second zeroes in on the crucial role of fathers, plus the sense of propriety in general.


An Open Letter to Paris Hilton

Dear Paris-
Congratulations on being released from jail last week. We don't know each other, but due to the choices you've made in the last few years, I can't so much as log-in to my email without reading the latest headlines about you, so since I know what's going on, I feel compelled to offer my take on your situation.
You and are close in age and I grew up in a privileged family too, although not nearly as wealthy as yours. But there's one thing that my parents were able to give me that your parents' endless money apparently could not buy for you - boundaries.
It seems that up until last month, your life was just one big party after another and there wasn't any form of attention or exposure that was too much for you. Although I read about how during your first few days in jail you would not let yourself eat or drink for fear of being photographed on the toilet by one of the guards as your jail cell had no privacy. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.
About twenty days ago your party ended. Not when you went into jail the first time, but after your wealthy, well-connected family pulled out all the stops to get you on house arrest, and the judge sent you back to the slammer anyway. That was probably the first time in your life that someone enforced boundaries even though you're 26 years old.
I believe that you must have felt completely hopeless and helpless at that point. From riches to rags. (It was "The Simple Life," but there was no make-up and crew. It was just you and that small cell.)
Feeling helpless isn't always a bad thing, though. There's a verse from Psalms that says "From the depths, I have called out to You, God." Sometimes we are only motivated to call out to God when everything we have has been stripped away. Apparently that happened to you in jail.
I know people are debating about whether or not this change in you is real, but for your sake and for the sake of all the kids that look up to you, I hope it is. (I have two small girls who I would shelter from your escapades anyway if they were to resume, although what goes on in the media ends up trickling down to the rest of society no matter how hard you try to stay away from it.)
Paris, fame and wealth are not virtues or vices. They are responsibilities. For whatever reason God decided that you should be born into one of the most wealthy, well-known families out there today. The fact that you were born rich and famous was not your choice, but Paris, what you do you do with that money and fame lies solely on you and might well be the very purpose of your existence. So please, take a look at what you've been given, and make yours a meaningful life.
Best wishes for the future,
Allison Shapiro


[Author Naomi Schaefer Riley] then quotes a woman dear to my heart, Stacy London, the co-host of "What Not To Wear:" "You don't want to show too much skin at work--unless you're a lifeguard." True. Ms. London, whose father is Herb London, president of the Hudson Institute (a conservative policy research organization), attributes to her father the instillation of "a certain sense of propriety and right and wrong in me, which plays into my fashion sensibility."

Read the whole thing here

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baby love!

Okay, so this is what has been keeping me and everyone on our team very busy the past month -- making me feel like one of those dogs in a previous post, tee-hee! The magazine's July issue has finally hit the stores! It was out early this month but then we've been busy with the next issues, so blogging has also taken a back seat.


Baby mag focuses on raising twins

Multiples are the focus of Baby magazine’s July issue, offering articles on coping with the demands of rearing twin infants, encouraging individuality, and the fetal development of twins. There’s also a feature wherein parents of twins offer insights on raising multiples, with doctors sharing their expertise on the matter, and twins themselves revealing how it is to grow up with a twin.

Other topics covered in this latest issue of Baby are easy-to-make food for toddlers, tips on calming a crying baby, first aid for your kids’ bleeding and head trauma, choosing the right baby carrier for your child, and how to make storytelling more fun for you and your kids.

In the pregnancy and post-partum pages, discover solutions to morning sickness, backaches, tiredness and other common pregnancy discomforts, and learn about easier recovery after a C-section. Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Singson discusses breastfeeding for the career woman in her column, while childbirth instructor Rome Kanapi presents a fascinating description of what actually happens during labor and delivery.

Other columns are “Baby’s Doctor” by Dr. Lourraine Dizon Co, “Pediatric Dentist” by Dr. Fina Gupit-Lopez, “Family Finance” by Antonette Reyes and “Fatherspeak” by Manny Escasa.

Baby magazine is available nationwide at National Bookstore, SM Department Store baby section, Baby & Co., Big & Small Co. Shangri-La, Powerbooks, Bufini and selected Mio Magazine Shop branches.
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