Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nothing like a baby's laughter

Saw the following video on Yahoo! and I must have played it six times, one after the other-- and laughed delightedly each time! It shows a baby and his incessant laughter over the simplest thing: tearing a piece of paper.

This is my first time to put a video on a blog. Hope it works out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Praise, image and hard work


Bright girls whose self-image depends on success and praise are not well equipped for life, says a British education specialist. Professor Guy Claxton told a teachers' conference that girls are always hearing they are smarter than boys, but this makes many of the brighter ones "brittle", afraid to try anything new in case they fail, and unable to cope with failure when it comes. The problem is aggravated by parents who regard praise as essential to a child's self-esteem and who may be tempted, if they are working full-time, to pile on the praise to make up for not spending enough time with their children.

Professor Claxton said research was showing that telling children they are smart may be doing them a disservice; the need to maintain this image becomes a prime concern. This is true of both boys and girls, but it hits girls the hardest, he added. The solution was ensure that praise is specific and relates to the effort the student has put into their work. A girls' school principal agreed: "We have to teach all young people how to lose and how to fail, not just how to succeed. The best girls' school are doing this."

Source: Family Edge (March 13 issue), the weekly newsletter of MercatorNet

Friday, March 14, 2008

Veiled threats

Girls wore traditional mantillas for a school procession in Seville, the Andalusian capital in southern Spain. The mantilla is a lace scarf worn by women covering their head and shoulders. It is often worn during the Holy Week before Easter in Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain ruled for nearly eight centuries by the Moors.

Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Hodgepodge artistry

Sky's the limit when one puts his God-given talents to good use. Take artistic creativity, for instance. Over the years I've had the chance to follow links that lead to websites and blogs of truly brilliant artists. Their art is not what I'd call profound, but art isn't measured solely by depth of meaning. What ultimately matters is the love that goes into its rendering--and only the artist himself (and the One who bestowed that artistic talent on him, of course) would know for sure what kind of and how much love was involved in the making of the artwork.

I've been visiting again some of the websites on the list of links here, and I've discovered some more but haven't added them to the list yet. Karin's Style Blog is wonderful; it's owned by a ceramic artist from Sweden who makes vases, bowls and tealight holders but isn't limited to such. Her products are unconventional...but then isn't convention relative? Let's put it this way: anyone who's accustomed to things American (whether it be decor, cinema or manner of dressing) would find Karin Eriksson's work pleasantly unconventional. Consequently, the photos of sightings and other artists' work she posts in her blog are a refreshing change as well. Her style blog chronicles her day-to-day sightings and goings-on but you can view her products here.

Calling these little things edible art would be misleading, but they sure look good enough to eat! They're from Robin's Jewelry Box. The Bagel and Breads with Cream Cheese necklace is made with polymer clay and food mini's, while the serving dish is of acrylic and measures 2x2 inches in diameter, it says on the etsy page. The Chocolate Truffles necklace is made of Plaster of Paris and is approximately one inch in diameter. I think these are better off kept away from children because it wouldn't be surprising if they reached out and tried to bite the yummy-looking pendants!

Same with these "frozen delights"--which aren't frozen at all though they're delightful to look at. They're soap! Sometimes the bathroom is easy to overlook when it comes to maintenance and decor. But it wouldn't hurt to spruce it up a little; after all, it is part of the home. And germs can accumulate more easily in this part of the house if one isn't careful. Whether the "soapsicles" are going to be used for decorative or practical purposes, they sure will give a bathroom more character! More designs at Soapylove.

Now this flower vase made of magazine pages I saw at Karin's Style Blog but failed to note whose work it is. It is indeed very practical--and imaginative! Not to mention, considerate of the environment.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's all about the baby bump

Baby magazine tackles all things pregnant this month. Besides showcasing fashion for expectant women, the March issue contains lists of must-bring's to the hospital, articles on preventing pregnancy complications, distinguishing “false labor” from the real thing, labor stories as told by husbands, and a month-by-month guide on the baby's growth before birth.

Other topics covered in Baby's latest issue include controlling toddlers' tantrums, a step-by-step guide on bathing your baby, preparing young children for the arrival of a new brother or sister, tips on dealing with bullying, tips on taking brilliant baby photos, and long-term financial planning for the family.

In celebration of Women's Month, featured in this issue, too, are unsung heroines who are quietly making life better for others: volunteer firefighter Jennie Joy Dy, professional home manager Libai Censon, Pro-Life volunteer Sally Ruiz, and Project Brave Kids founder Sigrid Perez.

Regular columns are “Baby's Doctor” by Dr. Lourdes Anne Co, “Childbirth 101” by Rome Kanapi, “Pediatric Dentist” by Dr. Fina Lopez, “Family Finance” by Antonette Reyes, “Understanding Your Child” by Tedi Villasor, and “Fatherspeak” by Manuel Escasa.

Baby magazine, published by Marathon Publishing Inc., is available nationwide at National Bookstore, SM Department Store baby section, Baby & Co. in Power Plant Mall and The Podium, Babyland, Big & Small Co. in Shangri-la Plaza mall, and selected Bufini and mag:net plus outlets. Call 728-3655/56 or email for inquiries.


As of today, the magazine is still not out in stores. We expect them at the office from the printers Wednesday, the 5th (I know, too long a wait!) and hopefully in some stores on the same day. I so look forward to this issue (well, actually, every issue, but this one is quite meaty) for several reasons. For one thing, it contains the story on Sally Ruiz, the generous woman who adopted little Nonoy to save him from being aborted (blogged about her here). Also, we're featuring maternity fashion in this issue -- first time since I joined the magazine a year ago. Carol, the lady we asked to model the clothes, remarked that she didn't realize until after the shoot that such things took so long -- and a lot of work! Being a non-professional in the field of modeling and entertainment, she required more coaching for the different scenarios. And, being a non-professional in the field of modeling and entertainment, she was spontaneous, natural, fresh, unaffected. Just what we needed!

Crib warning

Here's an ABC News report I found via News Anchor Mom about crib-related deaths:

Crowded cribs linked to baby deaths
Cribs crowded with pillows and other soft bedding linked to baby deaths
By CHRISTINE SIMMONS Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON Feb 28, 2008 (AP)

Parents are putting their babies at risk when they place pillows and other soft bedding in their cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned Thursday.

From 2002 to 2004, 241 children under age 5 died in incidents involving nursery products. About 40 percent of the deaths involved cribs, with soft bedding cited as the leading contributing factor. Many of the children suffocated when lying face down on pillows or other bedding, the agency said.

"Less is more when you're talking about the crib," CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese said, adding that cribs should be free of adult pillows and blankets, stuffed animals and baby quilts.

Full story

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kids and a playground

Though I can't remember the feeling I used to bask in, I do recall feeling quite exhilarated whenever, as a child, I was out in the playground, running around with friends. It was a feeling that was possibly unmatched in the happiness index -- for a 7-year-old. It's like I was born to play, play, play. Recess and dismissal were my favorite times of the day because these meant time for playing. There's something about wide open spaces that gives a child an unparalleled sense of freedom.

We recently had a photo shoot with two-, three- and four-year-olds. It was held in a public park, and if one stopped long enough to really watch the kids, it would be easily noticeable that they were so gleeful on account of the freedom to run around with all that open space. But I think the photos didn't capture just how fun it was for them. And how exhausting it was for us grown-ups =)

Marco, the 2-year-old boy, looked serious and stared a lot--then broke into disarming expressions at the most unexpected times. Here he is after being photographed with twin girls Dharma and Nirvana, who were still gamely striking poses for their mom's camera toward the end of the pictorial.

"Huli ka!" Hehe. These kids, when caught off-guard, squealed with delight.
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