Thursday, April 24, 2014

In the hunt for..

.....a new camera, that is! :)

As far as gadgets or cameras go, I have very simple and no-frills requirements and am usually very easy to please. In fact, I've been perfectly happy with my Canon PowerShot D10 for the past 5 years or so (Note: They released new versions, the Canon D20 and D30). It's been with me through mountains (Famy, Quezon | Mt. Maculot, Batangas), seas (Real, Quezon | Bulusan, Sorsogon | Calaguas , Camarines, etc.) and even foreign lands (Hong Kong, Singapore, USA). This water-proof, shock-proof and dust-proof point and shoot has served me mighty well through my adventures as a twenty-something single lady -- in fact, I think I've been babied too much by this sturdy machine, which I think is just too happy also to be used, abused, submerged outdoors (never mind that my now-hubby still thinks it looks like a wobbly submarine)! The Canon D10 really likes to play it rough!

I love you forever, I like you for always my Canon Powershot D10!

How about a DSLR? If we're close friends (or even if you just happened to work with me before), you'd know that on any given day, I carry 3 bags and each would weigh at least 5 lbs. -- for my 'formal' bag, a laptop bag, and an extra bag (usually a paperbag or sometimes a 'supot') for all the other stuff that didn't fit in my formal bag! Even if I had delusions of photographic artistry, at this point I cannot commit to invest my money on lenses and don't you think 4 bags would really be over the top ridiculous? Oh, make that 5 since I now carry baby's diaper bag too! :)

Anyway, speaking of baby, she's actually the reason I want to get a new camera :) As a parent, I find that everything my daughter does is so amazing and photo-worthy! Click, click, click...just like that and my iPhone is nearly out of space for more photos!! I use my Canon D10 too but the shutter speed could not keep up with that quick smirk or her many adorable facial contortions! As I review our photos, 9 times out of 10, baby is just a photo blur because she's just so wiggly (cue: If I were, a wiggly worm...hahaha).

Wiggle here, wiggle there

I asked my brother what he would recommend and he told me to check out Nikon COOLPIX L820. At only $249.00 from Amazon, I think it's a great value for money! This also comes in red or plum, if you're going for that one-of-a-kind vibe. Hmmm, I thought to do more research..

Nikon COOLPIX L820 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 30x Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video

Which led me to a 'comparable' (based on most online reviews) Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. Because I've been a Canon user, I thought to check out my Canon Powershot D10's "alta" cousins hahahaha :) I took a liking to this model because of its features such as the hotshoe, viewfinder (for when the sun's glare is too much for the cam's screen) and HELLO 50x zoom!! A close-up shot of the moon might warrant its $399.00 price tag, not bad right? It would also look great taking landscape photos of the metro...but I'm  not a lifestyle photographer and that would deviate from the main reason of getting a new camera.

Uh, Hello Moon! (Photo courtesy of Amazon's canon_in_d)

I almost ordered this just for the ultrazoom capability but held back as there was no "this is it" moment. I needed to be sure that I could maximize my purchase -- and that's if it can take amazing photos of my baby and help me with my real estate listings too! :)

So the search continued...this time, my brother recommended a Fuji.

A Fuji!!?!?! I think I purposely left out all other brands in my search, aside from Nikon and Canon, because I thought they may not be good enough. Silly me, but that's the power of branding! I was curious of course and did my research.

Sure enough, the Fujifilm X20 he recommended is a winner!!! For an amateur enthusiast, this camera produces outstanding picture quality (you might hear your friends say you can have "DSLR-like" photos), has a quick shutter speed (for capturing moments with my loves - hubs, baby and pups), has a great viewfinder (and netizens say Fuji is really outstanding in this regard),  relatively handy and compact compared to DSLR ones, superior built and far from flimsy, and has that great vintage look! I love that it has everything I'm looking for and at $ 499.00 from Amazon, is still well within my budget. I knew I was hooked!

I mean, is it even possible to fall in love with a camera you don't own YET? Oh it is, it is, it is...I think I spent an afternoon adoring this over Youtube reviews and I can't help but swoon many times over! My brother and his girlfriend already went ahead and bought it before the Holy Week...when I got to touch and test it, I was definitely sold!! My still unbelieving hubby tried it too and I guess the Fuji X20 pretty much erased his doubts and apprehensions of getting a new camera. How do I know this? He said if I will get one, he'll only use it if it's in black hahaha. Gotcha! Now the possibility is in his head!! And why not, the black is really sexy..but I wouldn't mind the silver/black combo too and its old world, vintage charm :)

Fujifilm X20 12 MP Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD (Black)

Fujifilm X20 12 MP Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD (Silver)

The only question now is, should I get it in black or silver? :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Zara's Third Month!

I'm 3 months old! :) (Photo by Tito Jonathan Lim)

Wow, 3 months already?? Time really does fly by soooo fast! Just when I thought the newborn woes would never end - yet here we are! We're so thankful for our darling daughter who never fails to amaze us day and night, just look at that curious stare! She is quite the talker, always listening in on our conversations, starting to be interested with her board books, babbling and squealing in delight for the most random things (why hello there shadow, hello lantern, hello laundry pile!) :)

Right now, my favorite would have to be the look on her face whenever her dad and I give a tandem kiss..Zara closes her eyes and then opens them to such amazement and does a soft "O" with her lips -- always a 'first kiss' feeling with this pretty lovey ;)

Look Mom, I can support my head very well now! :)

So what's up with us? I'm happy to report that:

  1. Zara's semi-sleeping through the night!!

    Oh my and I thought we'd never get to this point. Well technically, she's becoming more considerate of her sleep-deprived parents...very good baby! And because she is physiologically capable to do so (the book I'm reading, What to Expect the First Year, says babies CAN when they reach 11 lbs.; although some babies may still prefer to nurse through the night),  mommy is now savoring at least a good stretch of 3 or 4-hour uninterrupted sleep before she has to nurse again (yes, I'm still exclusively breastfeeding Zara!) :)

  2. Breastfeeding's a breeze

    Again, this is something I never thought would be possible. If you only knew and saw for yourself our breastfeeding antics in the first few weeks... This may be funny to some but as a new parent, I think I'm now confident-competent that I can be left alone with my baby..teehee! I know breastfeeding looks easy on the get go but it isn't, at least in the beginning. I'm so glad we have significantly improved in this department, whew!!! We're also getting better at nursing in public.

    Nursing at Dayrit's Magallanes while having my (would you believe it) merienda - Roast beef with Hawaiian rice!

  3. We now have a routine, or a semblance of it :)

    Let's admit it, life with a baby will more or less revolve on the needs of the infant. In our case, since we subscribe to a baby-led routine (i.e., feed on demand, sleep when she sleeps), we drop everything we're doing when she cries and check out on her instantly even with only a slight whimper. Despite what most older people advice us, I don't think I have the heart to let my baby 'cry it out' (CIO) when I am convinced that at this point, we are her major source of comfort. Maybe one day we'll get to teach her how to sleep on her own and be more independent but for now, we will always pick her up when she needs us.

    At least for now I'm happy to receive a huuuuge smile when this little baby wakes, a more or less steady block of time to have my breakfast with dear hubby, a good time for baby's bath and off we go to reading and babbling time! Zara is a really talkative baby (this she takes after her mommy)!! Much thanks to our helper, Jennifer for taking the load off the basic stuff from me.

    There really is no secret, you just have to prioritize what needs to get done in the day, and try to squeeze it into 2-3 hour chunks of free time after every feeding session :)

    Cuddle it out instead! You won't regret it! (Photo source: Pinterest)

  4. Mommy's slowly getting back to workouts and real work

    Hurraaayy for this too!! I'm still longing for the day when I can at least do a 5k run or a few laps or at least a leisurely bike ride -- triathlete lang ang peg?!. Oh how I miss my Mosso bike (and would want a Brompton in the future)!! But I do have to take it slow because I had a CS delivery. Nevertheless, I'm soooo happy I can at least follow some aero and yoga dvd's (for a good 15-20 minutes before I start to sweat and breathe heavily, yikes!) hahaha!

    We haven't really discussed my going back to work but I'm enjoying being a WAHM (work at home mom). Although my job as a real estate broker would entail travel to have my listings viewed, I'm savoring whatever's left of baby's first 6 months by polishing my online site and working with existing clients. This is really a good time to think about and test biz strategies and entrepreneurship! Busier days ahead but it's all good!

    Mommy, baby and Saya carrier

  5. Daddy is sleeping better

    This is something I really want to give Andrew because he deserves it. How he works so hard and takes care of us - that is just pure love! Father's day is nowhere near but I just want to say how awesome you have been to us, daddy A, and how we love you so much! :)

    Anu kaya pinag-uusapan ng mag-ama? :)

  6. We're already planning her baptism!

    Yes we've booked the church and her godparents and the reception venue...yipeee!!! This will be our baby's first event! While some people may prefer to have this together with the baby's first birthday, I personally feel that it is best to have her baptized the soonest possible time -- not just for pasyal-pasyal's sake because she has been to sooo many places and events na, but because as a Catholic, I would want my baby to be rid of original sin, receive God's grace and start her ministry with her parents and godparents guiding her as she does so :)
And a third month celebration deserves 3 cakes no less! We did not plan on it but it happened :) Thank you so much to Lola Medy, Lolo David, Tito Arvin, Tita Vien, Tito Jonathan, Tita Genesis, Tita Bel and Tita Diane for the yummy and pretty cakes!!! :)

After Pacman's fight :: TKO si Zara!
L-R: Uncle Eddie, Daddy A, Uncle Boy, Mommy and Baby Z, Tita Vien, Tito Arvin, Tito Doc Mike

Thank you Tito Arvin and Tita Vien! :)
Zara with Daddy, Amah Medy and Angkong David (hope I got the Chinese terms right!) :)

Probably her only "awake" photo-op with a cake and she doesn't seem happy with her puruntong outfit :)
Thanks for the cake Tito Athan, Tita Gen, Tita Bel, Tita Diane and Tito Kurt! (Photo by Tito Jonathan Lim)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Battle of the Nasal Aspirators

Our BabyComfyNose is finally here!! Hopefully our baby booger-wonderland days will be over! :)

Baby ComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

Ever since that scary time when milk passed through baby's nose together with her spit-up, I noticed that she had difficulty breathing. And it was because of the mucous-now-dried-up-snot that gathered in her nostrils. It's like breathing through buntings and obviously, baby's not happy with all the congestion. My first solution was to 'scoop out' the nasty booger by using the thin PIGEON Baby Cotton Swab. Well what do you know, baby cried and resisted so much!! As her pediatrician said, "Of course it's uncomfortable for them. Would you like to have your nose pried and picked by someone else?" Uhmm...NO! I think I'll pass up on that!

Good for cleaning baby's ears, maybe not for her nose

Well maybe suction would work? I immediately grabbed the bulb aspirator which I received as a baby shower present. It's thick, sturdy and so bulb-y (hahaha), why should it not work? After a few tries and failed attempts, I discovered that it really isn't the best way to take snot out. Besides, I don't feel it's safe to put it inside baby's nostrils when she constantly tries to wriggle out of our nose-cleaning services. So it's time to look for another solution!

Photo credit:

I've been deciding whether to use Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator or BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator (Blue). I've read about the Nosefrida Snotsucker from another mommy blog but since we can't find time to visit Bonifacio Global City (BGC) to buy one, I decided to try Baby Comfy Nose first. Besides, it's slightly less pricey than the Nosefrida.

Nosefrida - I actually like the name, so creative!

The good thing about BabyComfyNose PH is that they deliver nationwide in the Philippines, you just have to pay for the shipping fee - amount depends on where you are located. I decided to get the blue one (despite wanting the pink so much!) because the color seems to evoke health and cleanliness more. Anyway, blue, magenta or crystal..they all work the same :) So after a few messages over Viber, confirming my order and finally making my bank payment, they were able to send our much needed BabyComfyNose..yaaaayyy!!! :)

When we noticed baby breathing heavily, again, I whipped it out and announced to hubby, "try it, try it!!" haha it could be a bit icky if you think about "slurping" goo!! But being the great hubby and dad that he is, he obliged (love you!!). On our first attempt, it didn't get out the gunk so he thought of using it in conjunction with nasal salinase aaaannndddd IT REALLY WORKS!!! :) Buti na lang, another purchase JUSTIFIED! hahahaha :) But more than that, it really is a big relief to see baby breathing easy and sleeping well without boogers in her cute little nose. Makes mommy and daddy soooo happy! :)

Everything happened so fast that's why we don't have a video of us using it, nor would we want to take a photo of the 'successful result' so I hope you enjoy this Youtube video instead. Oh, and don't forget to put a sheet of tissue to act as a 'filter' between your mouth, boogers and whatnot's and definitely clean your BabyComfyNose afterwards!

I bought my BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator through BabyComfyNosePhilippines. You can send them a Viber message through +639155843163. If you live outside the Philippines, you may want to consider ordering from AMAZON hassle-free, by just clicking on the links/images provided.**

**In the spirit of full disclosure, there are affiliate links on this post, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands :)


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