A psychologist says parents should do these 18 things to raise a more confident child

This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career. “The enemies of confidence are discouragement and fear,” he says. So, as a parent, it’s your job to encourage and support your child as they attempt to tackle difficult tasks….

Read full article at the publisher’s site: http://www.businessinsider.com/psychologist-explains-how-to-raise-a-more-confident-child-2016-11

Posted in Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Michigan

One of the things I was most excited about was feeling the baby move.

In movies and TV shows, it always looks like such a joyful moment. The mom’s eyes widen, and she reaches for her partner’s hand. As their hands touch on her bulging belly, his face registers shock and awe, while hers is lit up by a smile.

So many pregnant friends talked about how it felt when the baby moved. They talked about what triggered the movements, when the kicks hurt or distracted them, when they actually saw the movements on the surface of their bellies.

I remember reading about the first kicks, and how they would feel. Like gas, or a light pop. You would just know, my pregnancy app said.

It was in July when I finally felt it. We were at the premiere of Star Trek: Beyond, watching the movie with a ton of friends. During an exciting action sequence, there it was: a little pop in the middle of my bump, like someone had flicked a finger against my stomach, from the inside. I told Oneal, “I think the baby moved!”

Instagram Photo

Oneal suggested I count the kicks, and I found apps for that. Soon we noticed what triggered his movements. Loud noises in action sequences, and music with strong beats made him kick. Cold drinks and sweets too, like most moms said.

Instagram Photo

We wondered how he would react to Mad Max: Fury Road.

neggluehkkaqjl_2_a

In the early days, the movements just felt like light pops around the belly. I told Oneal whenever the baby moved, and he put his hand on my belly. Then kicks got stronger, sometimes startling me. But Oneal still couldn’t feel them, and he started pouting whenever I told him the baby was moving. “I can’t feel it,” he said sadly. “Soon, sweetie,” I promised.

As my bump got bigger, the kicks got stronger. Sometimes they even hurt. I also felt Lil Ass-Kicker kick in specific spots, and I wondered, was that a foot or a hand? Was he moving his head? Though Oneal still couldn’t feel it, I put his hand on my belly every time the Child moved.

It finally happened, one early morning in August. We were still mostly asleep, wishing we could spend the day in bed. Lil Ass-Kicker was often active in the early morning, and whatever position we were lying in, I made sure to put Oneal’s hand on my bump, just in case. The Child kicked, hard, and Oneal’s eyes widened. “Was that baby?” he asked, surprised.

Instagram Photo

From then on, I put Oneal’s hand on my bump when the baby started moving. “Bump,” Oneal said, every time he felt it. Sometimes we’d be lying in bed, my bump against Oneal’s arm or side, and he would feel the Child move. Even if he were sleepy, his eyes would suddenly open, and he’d say, “Hi baby!”

Sometimes, Child started moving, and as soon as Oneal’s hand was on my belly, he stopped! I said, “He’s like the operatic frog from Looney Tunes.”

Whenever that happens, we call it a Michigan. Apparently the frog is named Michigan J. Frog! Sometimes I’m tempted to name him Michigan. Then other times he decides, okay, Daddy can feel me kick.

Lately though, Child doesn’t just let Oneal feel his kicks. He’s started kicking so hard and moving so much that we can see the movement on the surface!

I’m growing a xenomorph, I tell you.

And he’ll still be Michigan.


Source: Geeky Cat Lady

Posted in Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, pregnancy, pregnant | Tagged | Comments Off on Michigan

The pregnancy (not really) diet

There’s a crap ton of advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat while you’re pregnant. Watch out for that fish. Don’t eat that cheese. Eat more of this vegetable. NO SUSHI.

Instagram Photo

 

Instagram Photo

Because of our diet back in 2012, I try to be pretty vigilant about what I eat. I try to have pork, chicken and fish in equal portions throughout the week. I try to have vegetables and fruits regularly. I have milk almost every day, and do my best to avoid soda and junk food. I drink, but not a lot. Oh, and coffee daily, sometimes twice a day!

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Then I got pregnant!

Instagram Photo

Fortunately, those habits stuck. My OB didn’t really give me a lot of diet restrictions. She said I could have one cup of coffee each day. She said if I had eaten sushi in a particular restaurant before, and it was okay, then I could have it. Of course, no alcohol, and no street food. It probably helped that she’s been our friend for quite a few years, so she knew all about the diet we went through!

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

It was actually Oneal who was strict about what I ate. “No cold cuts” and “no soft cheeses.” He knew I had cold cuts and cheeses at breakfast buffets whenever I traveled, so while I was in India, he was Googling every little thing I told him I had eaten. Every time I longed for isaw (grilled chicken intestines), he said sternly, “Bawal!” (That’s not allowed!). Each time our friends had drinks, I looked wistfully at each glass and bottle that passed me by, and Oneal said, “In two years!”

Despite all my whining, I didn’t actually feel too deprived. I was lucky, because I didn’t have morning sickness, and I didn’t have weird cravings for hard-to-find food. I also didn’t feel repulsed by flavors and smells–except for once.

We were at Mark and MR’s wedding reception, and the waiter put some spareribs in front of me. I’d never been a picky eater, but the moment I smelled the meat, I wrinkled my nose in disgust! “Maybe it’s just the smell,” I thought. I took a bite–and put the rest of it on Oneal’s plate. Then there were some baked scallops. I’d always loved seafood, so I eagerly put one on my plate. And the same thing happened: I took a bite–and put the rest of it on Oneal’s plate. We were both surprised!

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Aside from that, I haven’t had any problems with food–cravings or otherwise. Any cravings I’ve had have been pretty minor. I think it was in my second trimester when I started looking for chocolate: cake, cookies, milk. I’ve always preferred salt to sugar, so this was a surprise. My cravings for potato chips went down significantly!

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Sugar tends to be a problem for pregnant women, since there’s the threat of gestational diabetes. Women are warned that they’ll gain a lot of weight, or their babies will gain a lot. There’s greater risk, I guess, if diabetes runs in your family, as it does in mine.

My pregnant friends were all ordered to have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) for this. They all warned me about the test: the horribly sweet orange drink you had to take, the fasting, the waiting. Some of them threw up, others got dizzy. It was kind of scary!

My OB ordered my OGTT in my second trimester. Oneal took the day off so he could go with me. We went to a clinic near the house, very early in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have to suffer too long. He also knew I didn’t do too well with hunger and nausea.

Fortunately, I was fine! Perhaps it was because I had psyched myself, and I brought plenty of distractions. It helped too that Oneal was with me, and he kept me distracted. And the best thing: liempo at the nearby Baliwag restaurant for brunch!

Instagram Photo

If there was anything else I was craving, it was meat. Liempo, steak, porkchops, hotdogs–basically, Oneal’s favorite foods! Every time I craved meat, I glared at Oneal and said, “Anak mo!” (Your child!)

Now, in my third trimester, I wake up on weekends with pretty specific cravings for breakfast–or breakfast food. A few weeks ago, I wanted breakfast cereal in the middle of the night. Then one Sunday, I woke up craving dilis for breakfast. The following week, I wanted French toast!

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

And then sometimes my problem is the complete opposite. There’s nothing I want to eat, and nothing I see compels me to eat, so I go hungry because I have no appetite. That’s not good! So I have to eat tiny meals throughout the day, and frankly, that’s tiring!

What are your pregnancy diet stories?


Source: Geeky Cat Lady

Posted in Food, health, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, pregnancy | Tagged | Comments Off on The pregnancy (not really) diet

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016: First baby picture – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the Diet | Oneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

2015 | Look at the numbers | Bad habits

2016 | Surprise!Welcome to this hectic life, baby!

= = = = =

I got back home without incident, and on April 12, we finally went to the OB.

I got an ultrasound, and there we saw the tiny little thing that we had been waiting for. Merely the size of a Gummi bear, but with a heartbeat of over 100 beats per minute, there was Lil Ass-kicker.

 

Slide2.jpg

 

It was finally happening. The odds were in our favor. The Force was with us. We were finally pregnant.

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016: First baby picture – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016: Welcome to this hectic life, baby! – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the Diet | Oneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

2015 | Look at the numbers | Bad habits

2016 | Surprise!

= = = = =

Aside from the five-year journey, all the tests, and the emotional roller-coaster, it was a funny thing that everything happened when it did. It was on April 1 when we confirmed that I was pregnant. On April 2 and 3, we were attending a local convention, where Oneal and I were scheduled for shifts at the 501st booth. And on April 4, I flew to India!

On April 2, I messaged Dr. Jayjay and told her the good news. She was so happy and excited! I also told her that I was flying to India, so over Facebook Messenger, she gave me a prescription, and her schedule so we could make an appointment when I got back. Dutifully, I bought my new meds.

In the meantime, we were a little worried about NexCon on April 2 and 3. I was supposed to wear my armor and perform handler duties at the booth, but with the positive pregnancy test, it seemed like the symptoms suddenly decided to make an appearance! My back hurt so much, and I was tired and thirsty all the time! I wore my armor for less than an hour, and I gave up. Oneal made sure I was well-fed and hydrated all the time, and reminded me to sit down often.

And in the midst of all that, we didn’t tell anyone the good news yet.

You know how, when you’ve been waiting for something for so long, and it finally happens, you don’t want to share it just yet? You just want to keep it to yourself, a happy little secret, because there’s a little fear that if you start celebrating and sharing, the bubble will burst, you’ll wake from your dream, or it will all disappear.

I don’t know if that’s really from Khalil Gibran, but it’s lovely.

We felt like that, though we didn’t talk about it. It seemed terribly premature to announce it when all we had were two pregnancy tests. We hadn’t even seen the doctor, hadn’t gotten an ultrasound.  We wanted to be sure. So we scheduled a visit to Dr. Jayjay for when I got back.

I flew to India, where I covered the launch of a mobile phone. It was a funny trip, because I kept updating Oneal about how I felt. I was worried about morning sickness, about the foods I would eat. I got tired easily, and the heat was draining. And I couldn’t tell anyone! In retrospect, it was a really interesting experience, traveling while pregnant. I wrote about it for 3p Diary, a travel website run by my officemates.

You know how people tell you to take it easy when you’re pregnant? I couldn’t exactly do that, because I had to stay up late to write! And while we were doing some sightseeing, we were given demo units to test, so I was taking notes too.

It was a fun experience, made even more exciting by the fact that I had a little passenger with me.

2016-04-05 21.24.49.jpg

This was the first time I had to indicate on a form that I was pregnant! I had to fill up an info sheet before getting a massage.
Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016: Welcome to this hectic life, baby! – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016 – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the DietOneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

2015 | Look at the numbersBad habits

= = = = =

It was the start of another year, and I still wasn’t pregnant. I was 34, and starting a new job. Oneal was 42. After much thought, I made a decision: it was this year or bust.

We weren’t getting any younger. Each time I got disappointed, we both suffered. We didn’t have the finances for IVF or any other forms of fertility treatment, and frankly, I didn’t think I could survive the emotional trauma either.

I also didn’t want this struggle hanging over us, taking over our lives, and destroying our relationship. I didn’t want this constant struggle to drive us apart, pushing us towards resentment and anger. I wanted a child, yes, so very badly. But if I couldn’t have that child with Oneal, then I didn’t want a child at all. If we didn’t have a child, then our family would be just us, the cats, our parents, our siblings, and their kids. Life would go on.

I talked to Oneal, and I explained how I felt. He agreed, and we said we would work on it, really work on it this year. He pledged to take better care of himself, exercise, and take his pills regularly.

And he did! He started doing push-ups in the morning, and we went walking in the evenings. We both installed exercise apps on our phones, and we both started working out more. And he started the hormone treatment again.

It probably helped that the first quarter of 2016 was less stressful for me. I started working for a new foundation, and although starting a new job can be stressful, I think the excitement of new work outweighed the stress.

Another thing we did: we “retired” from the officer corps of the Philippine Garrison of the 501st Legion! We had both been serving the Empire for over ten years, and it was fun and geeky. Unfortunately, it was also very tiring, time-consuming, and sometimes downright stressful! “We need time for ourselves,” I told Oneal. “We need our weekends, and we need time to rest and sleep. We can’t keep staying up till morning because we’re working on costumes and props.”

In December of 2015, we told the other officers that we were declining any officer positions in the coming year. They were shocked, but supportive and understanding. “Good luck!” they said. In February of 2016, when the new officers were elected, we turned over our duties to the new kids on the block. “Good luck too!” we told them.

Oh, may the odds be ever in our favor.

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2016 – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015: Bad habits – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the DietOneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

2015 | Look at the numbers

= = = = =

We left St. Luke’s that day with renewed–though cautious–hope. Both of our doctors seemed extremely optimistic, so maybe we stood a chance after all?

We bought the pills, but of course we lapsed into old habits. We failed to buy new pills regularly. Oneal forgot to take them. I would forget to remind him. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Other women got pregnant. I got upset. We got depressed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Perhaps the worst was when it was relatives who announced that they were pregnant. It was in November when my brother-in-law and his wife found out they were pregnant. Just after Christmas, my cousin and his wife announced they were pregnant too. We were incredibly happy for them, but we also knew that the close family relationship just meant more people would ask us, “Eh kayo?”

It didn’t help that 2015 was a struggle. Funding for my long-term project, MP-KNN, had finally run out, and I had to deal with a loss of identity. We had a few projects through Puzzled Owl, but I had no regular income. I was writing here and there, but writers in the Philippines don’t really earn much, and when you write, sometimes it feels like money is a paltry reward for the time and effort you put into a story.

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015: Bad habits – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015: Look at the numbers – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the DietOneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

2015
= = = = =

I said, maybe we should go back to the doctor. It had been more than three months since our last visit to Dr. Nikko, so we figured that the first course of action was to get a seminalysis again at St. Luke’s CARMI. We brought all the old tests, and the new test results, when we went to see Dr. Nikko in April.

Even to our untrained eyes, the results were clear. The numbers on Oneal’s tests had drastically improved! We didn’t want to assume anything, so we waited patiently for our turn to see Dr. Nikko.

I remember clearly that we were having lunch in the cafe downstairs, when we saw my OB, Dr. Jayjay, and her husband, Dr. Greg. We waved at them through the window, and they came in to say hello. “We’re here to see Dr. Nikko,” we explained.

“Naku, malapit na yan!” Dr. Jayjay said cheerfully.

I smiled politely. “Sana nga,” I said, trying not to hope.

“Ay, basta. Malapit na rin!” she claimed. “Basta when it happens, I’ll take care of you.” They left us to our lunch, and Oneal and I looked at each other. We shrugged.

Happily, the doctor saw the results and was just as encouraged. He seemed quite excited and happy, and he seemed sure, so sure, that we were on the right path, and that we would conceive soon

He gave us another prescription for the same hormone treatment. “When do we come back?” we asked.

“No need to come back!” he said cheerfully (It was a day for cheerful, optimistic doctors, apparently!). “Just keep taking the hormones!”

 

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015: Look at the numbers – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015 – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the DietOneal’s checkups

2013-2014 | 2014: The new doctor

= = = = =

At the start of 2015, I sat Oneal down, and I asked if we could work on getting pregnant, really work on it. He agreed, and we made plans, and decided to go back to the doctor.

But we’re busy people, and we can get pretty forgetful.

Oneal wasn’t able to take his pills regularly. Sometimes he would run out, and we would forget to buy. Or he would miss a day or two because he was busy at work. Or one of us would go to the pharmacy to buy more pills, but we’d forget the prescription at home. Sometimes other expenses would come up, and we wouldn’t be able to buy the meds.

It was frustrating, and sometimes I worried that he wasn’t taking it seriously, that he didn’t want a child as much as I did. I tried not to say it, but I feared that he only wanted a child because he thought it would make me happy, not because he wanted a child too. It really wasn’t fair, but that’s how anxiety works.

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2015 – The Geeky Cat Lady

REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2014: The new doctor – The Geeky Cat Lady

Read the previous entries:

Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey

2011

2012: The Year of the DietOneal’s checkups

2013-2014
= = = = =

Eventually, I mustered enough willpower to contact my OB. In March 2014, I told Dr. Jayjay that we had gone to the urologist that Dr. Martinez recommended, but we wanted a second opinion, another male fertility specialist. So she referred us to Dr. Nikko Magsanoc.

It was in September 2014 when we made the appointment to visit Dr. Magsanoc. His clinic was in St. Luke’s BGC, already a much more pleasant experience than UST Hospital or Chinese General.

Dr. Nikko himself was a much nicer person than our previous urologist. It was so pleasant to talk to him, and it felt like he was really listening to us. He reviewed all the test results we brought with us, and patiently explained the different numbers and terms that appeared on the tests, and how these things were affecting our ability to conceive.

Of course, we told him our medical history, how long we had been trying, and our consultations with other doctors. As expected, he ordered a seminalysis again, this time recommending that we have it done at St. Luke’s BGC’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility. He said it was important to get a baseline before he recommended any interventions.

Oneal went to CARMI, and we went back to Dr. Nikko with the results. Again he explained to us every number and term on the test. Then he talked about what he was thinking of doing.

The problem was that Oneal’s sperm count was low, and the sperm themselves were not very strong. (I’m sure there was a more detailed explanation, but I really can’t remember.) Dr. Nikko explained that Oneal could use a boost of testosterone to address these issues, so his suggestion was this: he wanted to put Oneal on hormone treatment. He explained that we couldn’t just make Oneal take testosterone, because that wouldn’t increase his testosterone levels. Instead, Oneal would take a different hormone, Clomifene, and his body would respond by increasing testosterone production (or something like that). That strategy would hopefully increase Oneal’s sperm count and improve their other attributes.

It seemed like a less invasive, less stressful solution, compared to the surgery that the other urologist was recommending. Dr. Nikko warned us that Oneal would need to take the hormones for at least three months before we would see any effects.

So we gave it a shot. We got the prescription and went to the drugstore, and we found out that the pills weren’t cheap! So we bought ten pieces, in the hopes of buying it at a lower price elsewhere.

We tried Generika, The Generics Pharmacy, other branches of Mercury, Watson’s. We asked for different brands. Alas, we couldn’t find anything with a significantly lower price. Or if we did, the pharmacy rarely stocked it.

So we bought the pills ten at a time, and every day I would remind Oneal to take his meds. “Have you taken your pill today?” I would joke over SMS or chat. I told him about the years I was on the pill, and how women had to take the pill at approximately the same time every day, and the different ways my friends would remind themselves it was time.

Then we waited.

Posted in Baby, Homestead, Lil Ass-kicker, Rej | Tagged , , | Comments Off on REBLOG: Lil Ass-Kicker’s Long Journey, 2014: The new doctor – The Geeky Cat Lady