Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Mascot

If you don't know what or who Jollibee is then it's either you live in another country or under a rock. Jollibee is one of the leading fast food chains in the Philippines and his face is everywhere. There are franchises all over the world but in this country every city has at least one Jollibee restaurant. It's very, very popular because it's marketed especially towards children, teenagers, and family. I even celebrated my 7th birthday in the first ever Jollibee restaurant in this city.

Jollibee is also the name of the main mascot. He's a giant red bee who's always smiling, happy and friendly. Kids love him, including those who are afraid, like hysterically crying when seeing him up close. To a little kid he's like the equivalent of Justin Bieber in the world of teenagers except little children don't have posters of him, draw hearts around his face, dream about being his girlfriend and having Bee as their future last name.

I really think that in this country, there comes a time in every Filipino child's life that he/she learns to love Jollibee. Iaine is soooo at this phase.

She loves the theme song, TV ads, and whenever we're on the road, she points at every Jollibee poster she sees that has Jollibee's face on it. Sometimes she even makes ME point at them just to emphasize how much she loves him.

I'd hate to feed my daughter fast food and kids shouldn't always be having it, but it's amazing how powerful advertising is. Fast food is not the healthiest, but because of the way Jollibee is being marketed even children at the young age of one (babies!) are becoming fans of the brand. To me it's not a bad thing though. As long this Jollibee character is making my daughter happy, he's a good guy.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Final Diagnosis

Surprise! It's another milk+poop update! But before you get tired of it, let me promise you that this is the day that changes everything. This is where it gets interesting and shocking. Remember when I was all happy and shiz? Like in the 2 previous blog entries? Well it turns out I was wrong about something but almost solved the puzzle.

Yesterday Iaine had another diarrhea episode of 2 loose watery stools and 3 sharts (I'll let you figure that out for yourself). Diaper supply almost ran out and another diaper rash appeared, so I knew I couldn't let things get any worse than that. I decided to take Iaine to her pedia this morning to finally, finally get some answers behind her condition.

It's rainy season in this part of the world but my mom and I still braved the almost flooded roads of the city just to take Iaine to her pediatrician, Dr. C. If you read about the previous checkup in one of my other posts, I might have mentioned that the doctor who was in the clinic that day was only a substitute because Dr. C was out. I had no choice but to get a consult from Dr. M.

I'm no expert in medicine but somehow I had a hunch that Iaine might actually be lactose intolerant. I dismissed it of course, because Iaine's not showing any other signs besides diarrhea and it's all so sudden.

But after telling Dr. C all the symptoms, answering a lot questions, and after the physical examination she performed on Iaine, she came up with the answer to all this. Final diagnosis: LACTOSE INTOLERANCE.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

Lactose intolerance happens when the small intestine does not make enough of the enzyme lactase. Enzymes help the body absorb foods. Not having enough lactase is called lactase deficiency.

Babies' bodies make this enzyme so they can digest milk, including breast milk.

Premature babies sometimes have lactose intolerance. Children who were born at full term usually do not show signs of lactose intolerance until they are at least 3 years old.

I have never met anyone who's lactose intolerant. Honestly I'm a little bummed out because this condition is so unfamiliar to me and I never thought in a million years that my own daughter will have it an one point. Dr. C said that the LI eventually developed in Iaine somehow, that's why it didn't matter what milk we gave her. But there's no point in being sad about it. In fact, I'm happy that we finally figured out the cause of all the diaper trouble.

Another thing that I realized is that Dr.M is a nincompoop. She didn't even have the slightest idea it was LI and all she did was unintentionally mock me by telling me all milk brands are the same. I know they're all derived from cow's milk you incompetent twit, I'm not a child. THEY'RE NOT ALL THE SAME. She seemed to really want to correct me but I'm sorry Dr.M, someone should revoke your license and burn it. I can't believe I wasted 300 pesos on a moron like you and I'm never getting a consult from you again.I mean come onnnn, just antihistamine meds? When you know it's diarrhea we're dealing with? Seriously? What the hell. I thought you were the doctor, not me.
So anyway, Dr. C advised that aside from the usual cooked meals, I should feed her yogurt and Yakult (cultured milk with live lactobacilli). She prescribed meds, vitamins, and sure enough, a new milk brand. Goodbye, Enfagrow A+! Iaine is now drinking Pediasure (by Abbot) which is a brand for especially formulated for lactose intolerant children (and it's a bit more expensive than other milk brands, too). All this new stuff is supposed to make her BM better so I'm following every doctor's order. I'm also keeping her away from dairy products as much as possible because that's what's mainly contraindicated with LI. I'm really hoping for the best now that we finally figured out what's going on.

This is the start of a long process and I'm gonna do everything I can to help my daughter get through this. It's only lactose intolerance after all, and my daughter is one tough cookie. =)

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Is It Now

A few days ago Iaine had another diarrhea episode and the worst diaper rash ever. It was hell for both me and her. I had to wash her and change her diaper every time she peed and pooped and while that happened she kicked and screamed. She was in so much pain. I had to handle the situation alone because nobody else could handle her.

That incident made me a bit depressed. I was running out of answers! What could it be this time? Was that the definitive sign of her being allergic to her milk? But why so late and why so sudden?

So we guessed it was the water. From purified water we switched her back to Wilkins distilled water and now her bowel movement is better. I think all this frequent heavy rainfall is affecting the water supply in some way.

I'm still wondering though if we should give Nido Jr. or Pediasure a try. But for now I'm hoping that Enfagrow A+ won't fail us. I'm also forcing Iaine to eat more solids.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet 16 Months

I guess mothers are just naturally proud of their children as much as they are concerned about them. Lately I've been flooding my facebook page more than usual, with status updates about Iaine's developmental milestones, funny quirks, photos, and videos. Sometimes I may come off as a braggart but I think other moms would understand. Every mother thinks no one's better than her kid. That's like engraved in our DNA or something. So I will never be sorry for being proud of my daughter. Now, I hope you don't mind my rubbing it in LOL...
Iaine turned 16 months old on June 6th (which makes this another long overdue post)! Actually, she doesn't look like she's only 16 months. She's a tall girl with 8 white deciduous teeth (and more cutting through!) and most strangers mistake her for being 3 years old. Some people talk to her expecting an equally understandable statement for a response and it they're always surprised when I tell them Iaine's only a year and 4 months. Even Jai and I can't believe it sometimes as well. Our wonder child is growing up at such a fast pace.

Iaine says a lot of names and words already and each day she learns more antics to show off whenever she's in the mood. She knows how to ask for whatever she likes and playtime is always so fun.

Sometimes she can be a handful just like any other toddler, but she's not like other kids who throw a fit like there's a revolution happening right inside the house. Because she's a very curious child, most of the time I find it hard to keep her away from stuff she shouldn't be touching, but I understand it's only normal.

At this very young age, Jai and I are noticing Iaine's inclination and interest in music and dance. She sings, dances (even interpretatively), and just loooooves to listen to all kinds of music (especially piano and cello)!

Sometimes I also let her make art out of paper and crayons. Coloring outside the lines is okay but I don't think I'll ever be a fan of coloring on the floor, tables, and walls! Thank goodness that hasn't happened yet.
As I've said earlier, my Facebook account is chalkful of Iaine's photos. She loves the camera and being the beautiful girl that she is, the camera also loves her. I'm always reaping sweet comments and likes for her photos and that always makes me happy and proud of being her mom.

It will always be impossible to tell you everything about Iaine's recent developments on this blog. I can write about it on here forever but even that won't be enough. Living with her every single day and seeing everything she does on a daily basis makes me a living diary of her life but I can only tell you so much. As a good mother and wife, I try to always be here to guide her, and watch over her, and seeing her do all these incredible things is enough to make me proud of her. Sharing stuff with the world is actually just a bonus. =)
Like I always say, words will never be enough. No big words will ever be enough. Guess I'll just leave this here: Iaine is too amazing for words. =)

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Shaken Up

Iaine and I stayed at my parents' house for 4 days and on the 4th day (today) we decided to try this newly opened restaurant in the city, Shakey's. It's been years since the first Shakey's restaurant in the same city closed down so we were really curious about this new one. We, particularly my husband and I, have been waiting months for it to open.

After running some errands we arrived to the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn't well lit although the air conditioning was ok. It wasn't packed with customers but I was sure we were outnumbered by crew members (they were all over the place). No arcade was in sight and the only entertainment were two flat screen TVs mounted on the wall. A fat Michael Buble was singing and the TV was on mute. Well, unless he was. Imagine that.

We chose a booth in the corner of the restaurant and I noticed how one of the two-sided benches were slightly farther away from the table than the other one. Turns out the customer on the adjacent booth pulled the bench closer to their table, leaving a huge space between our side of the bench and our table. The table, by the way was a huge mess, and not one of the crew members was paying attention to it until we made them clean it up.

Once they finished cleaning it up (except the floor which had food crumbs and other stuff), we settled down and I immediately asked for a high chair. Iaine obediently sat in it and played with a menu book while the rest of us decided what to order. The lady, who introduced herself as our personal waitress, handed us the menu and promised to get back to us at once. Well she didn't, and we had to ask someone else to take our orders.

It wasn't long before our meals were served. The taste was great. Not excellent, but great.

We were done with our main course and dessert was served. Side story: The waiter had a chance to make some small talk and found out that Iaine isn't not my mom's youngest like he thought, but my eldest. He was surprised and I was flattered.

I actually feel proud when that happens. People often say I don't look like I've given birth already. Well I do try to keep myself from looking like an old hag cos being a mom is hard work. The least I can do for myself (and my husband) is try to look good.

So anyway while we were having dessert, Iaine took a huge bite out of the pizza and it looked like she was about to throw up. My sister and I took her to the ladies room and I was surprised to find a crew member (#1) gussying up in front of the mirror, crew member (#2) was just about done using one of the two cubicles and another crew member (#3) , A MAN, was cleaning up the other cubicle. Iaine, my sister and I squeezed ourselves in the center of the tiny room and none of the crew members were budging. The door burst open too, because another crew member peeked in to talk to the employee in front of the mirror, and because it was a very small space the door hit my arm. She said she was sorry, but STILL.

Weren't they suppsed to be somewhere else? Say, a comfort room for employees only?

CW #2 AND #3 finally left, giving us, the costumers, a chance to use the cubicles for chrissakes, but #1 was still standing in front of the mirror trying to make herself look better (although impossible). I was carrying Iaine becase there was no space for her to walk so I told my sister to go do her business before I do. When she was done she took Iaine and I told them to go back to the booth cos I figured Iaine wasn't gonna throw up after all. I sent them away and finally had my chance to use the toilet.

CW #1 was still there. God, she was irritating.

When I was done she had already left. I hurried back to our booth because I thought my mom would have paid the bill already. But when I got there everyone was still seated. Still no bill.

It took us around 30-45 minutes before the bill was handed to us, giving my mom time to talk to a waiter she knew and giving dark clouds plenty of time to hover and make it drizzle outside. And I was sure that if it wasn't for our constant "bill please" reminders we would have stayed for like an hour more and we would leave the restaurant mid-rainfall. The crew made some excuse about a technical problem with their computer but whatever, that kind of service is still bad for business! I guess calculators don't exist anymore?

I just really wanted to get out of there.

We exited the building and the security guard had the decency to escort us with an umbrella. That was nice, but it will never compensate for our first dining experience in Shakey's Pallocan.

I don't know if it was because employees were new at their jobs and they're still getting used to it, but hell, customers don't care about that. Customers go to a restaurant of their choice because they expect something GOOD to come out of a dining experience. Whatever that is it's up to them, but it all boils down to one thing: customer satisfaction.

I'm thankful that my mom was kind enough to take us to a popular restaurant and pay for everything but I just wish the money she spent was money WELL spent.

TLDR; Loved the food, hated the service. I guess you can count this post as a restaurant review so I'm giving Shakey's - Pallocan a 4 out of 10. I'm not nitpicky about restaurants and I don't write about them at all really, but this one, I just had to.

The service was average and I'm still being nice. I hope to have a better dine-in experience next time.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

It's the weekend! That means, Jai is home and it's family time. Today the three of us woke up late, did our usual start-of-the-day routines and by the time it was noon we were tired and sleepy again. Jai and Iaine took a nap and I was left awake doing more stuff but when they woke up it was like everybody was energized for playtime and a stroll.

We decided to drop by this convenience store nearby called Mini Stop, kinda like 7-11, to have our merienda (afternoon meal). We tagged Iaine along and the cheerful child was was so excited to go out.

We got to the store and Iaine was screaming in delight. We let her run, walk around and pick up some items from the bottom shelves for the sake of exploration. We paid for or meals and sat down but Iaine was still walking around observing people around her and absorbing the new environment. I'm sure the lights, smell, and colors amused her, and it was fun to watch her take it all in. A simple dine-in experience to two adults could mean so much more to a growing little girl.

I let her take a few bites out of my sandwich and a few sips out of my iced tea, but she was more interested in playing than eating. When we were done, we left the store and I could tell Iaine felt cut short and a bit bummed out, so before heading home we dropped by another place to buy more stuff to take home.

It was a grocery store and Iaine loved being there. But I have to say, the cutest thing she did was grab a pair of rubber yellow slippers from a shelf and put it in my grocery basket. Little boss knows how to shop!

When that was over we finally went home and I could feel the Iaine's fulfillment that afternoon. Sunday is family day and to me, it doesn't matter how we spend it, as long as the family is together.

Iaine stepped inside the house, smiling.

I love how the simplest things still make her feel our biggest love.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Got Shot v.2

It's the 2nd day of June and I got my 2nd dose of HP vaccine today! This one doesn't hurt as much as the first but there's still this heavy feeling in my arm. The first was on May 2 and the last dose is scheduled on November 2. I'm happy that it's several months away from now. Being stuck with a needle is never fun, no matter how important!

Say NO to cervical cancer! Ask your OB-GYN how to get protected. Today. :)

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