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Posts in “Motherhood”

Carter’s Big Baby Giveaway!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. #lovecarters

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I’ve been a fan of Carter’s ever since I had my first baby boy, up until now, with my newborn third son! Their baby clothes always have cute designs, so I often end up taking photos of my baby wearing them! Today, I wanted to share an exciting, big giveaway that Carter’s is having this week in celebration of “The Original Bodysuit Day.

The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes

If you are on Instagram and/or Twitter and love to take photos of your little ones, join the Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes on September 14th 10AM-6PM EST. All you have to do is post a photo of your baby wearing a bodysuit, using the hashtag: #bodysuitsweepstakes, on Instagram or Twitter from 10AM – 6PM EST. There will be five (5) winners to be selected to receive a $100 gift card from Carter’s, each hour from 10AM to 6PM EST. AND… (drum roll please…) one lucky winner will be selected to win the grand prize of Carter’s bodysuits for one year, in the form of a $625 gift card!

Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The Original Bodysuit Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S., DC, U.S. territories and PR, 18 yrs. and older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins 9/14/17 on or about 10:00 AM ET and ends on 9/14/17 at 6:00 PM ET. For a copy of Official Rules visit the www.carters.com/originalbodysuitsweepstakes. Sweepstakes is sponsored by The William Carter Company, 3438 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. 1800, Atlanta, GA 30326.

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Double Points on Bodysuits

If you are a Rewarding Moments member, you can earn double points when you purchase Carter’s  baby boy bodysuit and/or baby girl bodysuit  on Sept. 14, open all day, in store and online. * Some exclusions apply. To learn more about Rewarding Moments, please visit here.

Bodysuit Day Twitter Chat Sweepstakes

Love Twitter chat? Follow Carters on Twitter and join Bodysuit Day Twitter chat on Sept. 14th from 1-2PM EST using #cartersbodysuitsweepstakes for more chances to win big! RSVP today!

Which bodysuit/s is your favorite for your little one?

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Mom life with 3 boys under 3

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

mom life 3 boys under 3 mom life with 3 boys under 3

Soothe Shirt from Lalabu

It’s been a month now since my youngest was born and today I wanted to share few things that have helped me survive my days with 3 boys under 3.  Everyday is different: sometimes my kids are easy and they play so well together that I think “Ahh, they are so cute, I want another one!” (kidding Brent!)… but sometimes they are NOT.  I’ve made many mistakes being a mom, but these mistakes allow me to make things right afterward and to learn to forgive and even ask for forgiveness. Being a wife of a child psychologist, I often wish my husband would be around to guide me on what to do/ how to handle the situation, or even just to remind me “Em, take some deep breaths” (kind of like being in labor, right? lol). So here are a few things so far that have helped me to survive so far:

Sit and relax

My boys love for me to read books to them and I find it not only makes them calm,but I feel relaxed as well because we get to sit down and have time together. Since I have a newborn, I simply ask them to turn to pages for me so I can read while I’m feeding the baby.

Clean up

Now I understand why my mom always asked us to clean up and get organized,: it feels relaxing and I love to see everything in place. Although I have lowered my expectations now since I have kids, Brent and I still try to teach our oldest kids to pick up toys before naptime and before they go to bath/bedtime. I also ask them to pick up toys before they get another toy out to play.  This not only helps to lessen the chaotic surroundings around here at home, but also teaches them to learn how to clean up.

Separation

My boys are close in age and that makes them play good together most of the time. Of course, they also argue about simple things sometimes, which can lead to fussiness or fighting. One of the ways to survive getting through this is to give them time to go to separate rooms to calm down.

Snack it out

Food saves a lot of fussiness and even grumpiness. Even just a few crackers will help a lot to give my toddler boys time to sit down and have few minutes of quiet.

Circulate the toys

Right now the kids have their own area to play and I find it helps to keep them occupied when I put out toys that they haven’t seen for few weeks. They get excited and have something to do while I’m busy with the newborn.

Diaper box

I just made a diaper box that I put in the living room so I don’t need to change my baby’s diaper in our room. It’s a big help and saves a lot of time!

Do you have other ways to survive taking care of multiple kids? I would love to hear them in comment box below!

 

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Welcome to Galveston Island

Friday, September 8, 2017

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Last month a lot of things happened, from the birth of my third son, to Hurricane Harvey. The latter urged us to drive down to Dallas and move to our new place in Galveston sooner. If only my eyebags could talk, I think they would ask to take a break! But who am I to complain… My family and I are safe, and I have a handsome newborn. I am also thankful that my husband can spend more time with the boys, since we moved here to be closer to his work. Did I mention we are close by the beach?! It already feels like home. :-)

I’ve been to Galveston a lot, but when we went in the past, we would mostly go to the beach or The Strand. There is also a Filipino store and restaurant here called “El Pinoy.” I will be going back there to grab some Filipino ketchup and Mang Tomas sauce. 😉

Have you ever visited Galveston? What kind of fun things do you and your family love to do here?

Galveton island home

Baby wrap from Solly Baby Wrap. (It’s sold out but you can try these other pretty colors.) #partner

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Road trip with toddlers and newborn

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Here he comes… (Birth Story)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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We finally came home with our new blessing! All of us have fallen in love with him, especially his older brothers. I’m excited to share today’s post about our newborn son’s birth, and a few helpful ways on how to get through the pain of labor and delivery. So let me begin before my baby wakes up. 😉

An appointment

Earlier this month, my doctor told me that she wanted to schedule an induction for me because I was expecting to have a big baby (much bigger than my two older sons). I had a bad experience with induction from my first pregnancy. I was given Pitocin, an induction medication, which caused me a lot of pain and discomfort. I also felt the staff were in a hurry when I was given it. That is why I asked about stripping membranes or membrane sweeping. This is what I had done with my second son. I’m thankful that my doctor was cool and respected my decision. On the morning of my child’s birth, around 9am, I had the membrane sweeping done. It caused me to have more Braxton Hicks contractions and spotting afterwards. I heard that sometimes this method doesn’t work too. That’s why I kept praying that the membrane stripping would lead to a strong contraction and I’d start going into labor.

The plan

I had been telling my husband for the past few months that I wanted to stay at home for most of my labor. In the afternoon, I felt such strong Braxton Hicks contractions that I needed to do some breathing to ease the discomfort. I was still hesitant if they were real or not, since I had experienced false labor over the weekend. I began timing the contractions, but felt I’d rather do something to distract myself, like laundry or chasing my kids. 😉 Around 4:30 pm, I texted my husband who was at work, about my strong Braxton Hicks contractions. He told me to tell him whenever I wanted him home, so I decided to time how many minutes apart my contractions were. At 5pm, I counted 7-8 minutes apart. Thirty minutes later, it became 3-4 minutes apart… This was when I felt I was getting sick, so Brent decided to leave work. I tried distracting myself between contractions by making dinner for my two toddlers. At 6pm, the contractions were 3 minutes apart. In my head, I was like, “Where are you Brent!?” lol I felt a little worried, but having the kids around distracted me from the pain. When Brent finally got home, I headed straight to a warm shower, which helped a lot during contractions. Around 7pm, we started prepping to head to the hospital. We contacted our good friend who picked up our kids to take care of them. She and her husband are amazing!

My contractions became stronger, so my breathing made me sound like a cow! Haha! Brent said, “We need to go. That’s how you sounded like before.” However, I said to Brent that I could still handle it, and that I bet the contractions were only 4 cm. I started to lay down on my side on the bed, and grabbed Wilson, my tennis ball. I also grabbed one of the Bible verses I wrote on a piece of paper. When our friend arrived, it was time to say goodbye to my boys. I wanted to be emotional, but with so much pain, I didn’t have time to cry. lol

The drive-thru

Brent had been supportive of my decision to stay a little longer at home during labor, but I decided to go to the hospital since I felt he was getting worried seeing me in pain. It was dinner time and I knew it would be a long night for both of us, so I told  Brent we needed to get food as we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. It’s a good thing there was a Whataburger close to the hospital. We went into the drive thru, and ordered burgers and chocolate malts (malts are like shakes). When Brent was picking up the food at the window, I remember him telling the girl working there, “My wife is having a baby. She’s in labor.” I heard the girl was like, “And why are you picking up food?!” My husband answered, “Well, she wants to!” Yes, I totally did want to! Oh, boy! Drinking a cold, sweet chocolate malt powered up my body between contractions! That was the best decision we made that day! Sweets sometimes do good for the body, right? 😉

At last, we made it to the hospital and parked far from the entrance, so I needed to stop while walking a few times during my contractions. I was like, “Where’s the wheelchair??” Brent wanted to make sure the door was open so he left me for a few seconds to check. The strong contractions cams again… I wanted to lay down on the sidewalk, but there were a few people around and I didn’t want them to call 9-1-1 thinking I needed emergency care. Haha! Thankfully, Brent came back quickly.

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You got this far

It was around 8:30 pm when we reached the labor/delivery room. I was already on the bed having contractions continuously saying to Brent that I thought I was only at 5 cm, and that we were too early. Then, one of the nurses checked my cervix and saw how far along I was; 8 cm! The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural, but before I answered, one of the other nurses (her name is Dyana and she took care of me all through night) suddenly said “You already got this far!” That made me feel confident and so I said “No, thank you” to the epidural. During the strong contraction, I knew that at anytime I could be pushing so I asked my husband to get a few things for me inside my hospital bag. I asked him to pick a Bible verse that says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and a couple pictures of my family. They really helped me mentally.

Here he comes

After just a few minutes, I could feel that I was ready to push… It was so painful and so I screamed, “Aray ko po!!!” I realized no one could understand the words I said because it was in Tagalog. I screamed again, “Ouch! It hurts!! I’m ready to push!” The doctor came in and the nurses became busier, preparing for me to deliver the baby. Brent was so helpful, staying beside me and guiding by breathing pattern. In the 5th contraction, I did the last push and finally, out came our precious son. All the pain was worth it when I held him!

birth story third baby 3 It is the best and most unforgettable feeling to experience giving birth to a baby. Even though this was my third time giving birth, it felt like it was my first. This was the first time that I didn’t ask for an epidural when I reached 8-9 cm. I often asked them in the end from my previous deliveries, but with the help of God, my supportive husband, and people who inspired me to do a natural birth (sister-in-laws and my Houston friends), I finally made it. I’m actually surprised how it was less painful than I thought it’d be. Maybe it’s because this was my third time, but I’m pretty sure it was less painful than taking Pitocin. I was also surprised how the recovery after delivery was not as hard as I thought. If you are an expecting mom or planning to give birth one day, here are the things that helped me get through the pain:

  1. Breathing – Brent was really good at teaching me how to breath the right way when I was in labor. He told me to take a deep breath, hold it for 4 seconds, and breathe out for a few seconds.
  2. Wilson – He wasn’t another man! Haha! Wilson is a tennis ball! I’ve been using it since I had my first son. I liked squeezing it as much as I could when my contractions came.
  3. Bible verses (find them here) – I have a good friend from church who lent me this book that talks about Bible verses for labor and delivery. She gave me the idea to write them down and bring them me to the hospital. I stuck the paper beside my bed and would read a Bible verse when a contraction came. I closed my eyes and kept saying the verses inside my mind. It really amazed me how God’s words are so powerful. Praying and reading Bible verses for this kind of situation really works! You can totally feel His power through these scriptures.
  4. Visualization – On the way to the hospital when I was having contractions, Brent told me to picture that I was by the ocean and seeing big waves. There were many times in the delivery room as well that I visualized that Christ was standing beside me wearing white clothing… I know it might sound weird to others,but it is truly effective to think about Jesus during painful times. There was a point when I thought about how Christ sacrificed himself and the pain to he went through for us. I also thought of someone I know who is in need and imagined that all the pain I experienced during labor was an offering to God, so that he would help that person repent, and change his heart.
  5. Labor at home – It’s good thing that we live only a few minutes away from the hospital so I could do most of my labor at home. There are a lot of things I could still do there, rather than staying in a hospital room. If I had been in Manila during labor, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stay at home longer or I’d end up giving birth in the middle of a traffic jam. 😉

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(Delivery/Nursing Robe from Pink Blush)

Thank you again to those who helped us out from the beginning of my pregnancy; family members, church friends, Brent’s co-workers, our Houston friends, Filipino friends, and mom bloggers I have met on social media. You all are blessings to us! Have a great weekend ahead! I’m now off to take a nap…

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The waiting begins..featuring JORD Watches + GIVEAWAY

Sunday, August 6, 2017

This post is sponsored by JORD Watches

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (3)

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (4)

I always thought that I would be in labor for this pregnancy early in my third trimester since this is my third child. Yet here I am, still waiting and wondering when he’s coming out. I just turned 39 weeks pregnant and I’ve been anxious lately about being in labor, especially when I found out that the baby is around 10 lbs! Yes! 1-0. I don’t know why I was surprised because all my boys were big babies when I delivered them, but if the technician was right, my third baby will be the biggest of them all! To keep calm while waiting, I’ve continued to read Bible verses, which my good friend shared with me, for labor and delivery. Here are a few of them that I wrote on a piece of paper, and I’ll bring them with me to the hospital.

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh, is anything too difficult for me?Jeremiah 32:27

“I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things to me” Psalm 57:2

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee” Isaiah 41:13

“So do not fear, I am with you; do not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will upload you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10

“I can do all things through HIM who strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation come from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Do not be afraid, Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” Exodus 14:13

 

Do you have other favorite Bible verses that make you feel strong, both mentally and physically, during painful times like labor?

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (2)

the waiting begins featuring JORD watches (1)

By the way, I have also partnered with JORD wooden watches to giveaway $100 to use on their website. One lucky winner will win and be able to choose his or her favorite watch style! However, everyone who enters will receive a consolation prize worth $25, once the contest ends. I got a watch that is part of the Frankie series, in Dark Sandalwood & Smoke, and I love it! The contest will close August 27 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 10/31/2017. Enter h e r e to join!


Wooden Wrist Watch

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Comfy pregnancy look + life being a mom of all boys

Friday, July 28, 2017

comfy pregnancy look + life being a mom of all boys (4) comfy pregnancy look + life being a mom of all boys (5)

comfy pregnancy look + life being a mom of all boys (2)

It’s FRIDAY!! Happy mom here! Today, I want to share a glimpse of life being a mom of all boys. I think I’ve heard, “Oh boy! (with pity face..)” a hundred times after I started to share that my third baby is another boy. 😉 When people were asking me about what I’m having, most of them were supportive. Although, a few people were giving me weird comments like, “Why is it not a girl? It should be a girl!” These were coming from strangers in the grocery store. 😉 Being a mom of all boys can sound tiring, crazy, you name it, but I always believe it is how you discipline them. It is important to have a good relationship with your children because in the end, their gender will not matter. What will matter is how you mold them, so that they grow to be good people and followers of Christ.

After my second child was born, I thought my husband and I were done having children. However, after seeing my boys and how much they love to play and laugh together (And yes, arguing with each other, and then playing and laughing again… Oh boy…), I felt that I was not yet done. I told my husband I wanted another child, not just because I wanted to try for a girl, but because I really wanted to have at least 3 kids. Even though I would love to have a girl, I’m very thankful to God that he gave me another chance to get pregnant. It took a long time for me to convince my husband, which I totally understand, since we had a hard time with our son’s reflux before (and I’ve experienced depression which I think it was “D-MER“). However, I realized that I was missing the most important tool in my life. That’s why I stopped telling my husband that I wanted another child, and instead, I began to pray for it. And then it happened! God blessed us with another child!

So what’s the life of being a mom to 2 boys like so far? Let me tell you, they are rough, active, loud, you name it. They can also be the sweetest and greatest helpers as well! Here are a few other things about them!

  • They like heroes and dress-up, wearing capes, putting shirts around their faces to be like ninjas (their Tito Nicoy taught about it)
  • They love to jump everywhere, which is why it’s a good thing we have an indoor trampoline!
  • Creating mess is the most fun thing for them to do, but thankfully my husband and I trained them to clean up their own mess.
  • They are sweet to girls!
  • They like to pretend being a hero or a policeman chasing “bad people.”
  • They love books that show giant bears, heroes, construction trucks, and fire trucks
  • They are fascinated with garbage trucks.
  • They eat A LOT and always say they are hungry. People might think I’m starving them…

 

comfy pregnancy look + life being a mom of all boys (3)

I’m wearing a size XL top for my baby bump (when I was around 35 weeks) Similar top and maternity denim shorts from a good friend of mine. (Similar shorts). SHOP for these comfy sneakers.

Anyone else here the  mom/dad to all boys? What do you love about it?

Don’t forget to check my BLOG ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY!! Read here!

 

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37-week maternity looks featuring Pink Blush

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (7)

37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (4)

37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (11)

(dress and skirt are sponsored by Pink Blush)

This has been a time where I’ve been experiencing lots of braxton hicks, especially at night. The tiring part is when I wake up around 3AM because of it. After waking up, it’s hard to go back to sleep. This is probably a good thing that may be an advantage for me. In a way, it’s helping me get ready for the newborn, and having to wake up to feed him. My doctor told me to drink lots of water whenever I experience frequent braxton hicks. My husband also told me to rest and stop making myself tired by doing things like cleaning… But who doesn’t like to have a clean house right? 😉

Over the weekend, we brought the kids around the neighborhood to let them run around before bedtime. I also got some beautiful baby bump shots, while wearing this pretty dress and fitted maternity floral skirt, from Pink Blush. I love how you can wear their clothes even when you’re not pregnant. They have sizes in maternity plus too. If you check out their site, you can see that there are plenty of selections from tops, to dresses, robes, and even accessories. They have a variety of choices to wear, whether it’s for a baby shower look, maternity shoot, or for your daily outfit. You can wear them outside and they make it easy to nurse your baby. Here’s the link to shop for their great clothes!

37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (8)

37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (10)

Shop for this gorgeous, fitted skirt HERE. My comfy shoes from HERE. 37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (2) 37 week maternity looks featuring pink blush (3)

Have a blessed week!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:13-14

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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