Monday, 30 December 2013

Product Review: Three weeks of using the Pigeon Sakura line

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was given these items to test for free. I was actually surprised by the product size, expecting smaller bottles of each. The samples I received are probably worth a month of daily use--very generous of them, I must say.

So last week I posted my initial thoughts on the use of this new line of products from Pigeon:

I haven't started on the powder yet and now that I think of it, by the time it makes sense to use powder, he may be old enough for me to feel more confident about putting powder on his back, at least, to help with sweat management.


The lotion is halfway out. We use that much, yes. Why? Because I personally prefer to use lotion instead of a rash cream. It's lighter, easily absorbed, and let's face it: not all rash creams are compatible with modern cloth diapers and what we are treating is a specific type of allergy, not a rash per se.

I said to myself, when I got started on this review series that I would not compare and contrast. However, I have used three different products on my son's atopic dermatitis and here are the results--no photos, simply my reflections on each:

INDIGO JAR OF HOPE: This healed his large red patches in two to three days, getting rid of the raw and red bits of skin, and preventing him from scratching. It didn't make the patch disappear, but it allowed the skin gradual renewal.

HUMAN NATURE BABY LOTION: A slightly lighter formulation compared to its original, this is what helped maintain the moisture levels already corrected by the Jar of Hope. It worked well for several months until the weather changed and became cooler.

Enter the PIGEON BABY MILKY LOTION: Creamy but easily absorbed, and heavy enough for the cold days when he needs moisture locking the most. I have been using it steadily all over his body and it worked wonderfully as far as preventing further dry patches and the one on his thigh has almost completely vanished. Brilliant.

I've noticed, however, that the scent and his sweat do not mesh well. It doesn't smell bad but it is not quite that milky baby scent I've grown accustomed to, my son being purely breastfed up to now when he's begun taking solids. Aside from the lack of assurance that their products are cruelty-free* this is another point of contention that has come out of our near one month of use.

Is the Sakura infusion effective? I believe it is. I have no personal research done on it at the moment but their claims have been quite accurate from my experience. My son has extremely sensitive skin and their product has risen to the occasion and restored the smoothness of his skin.

Will I use it again? As I said before, perhaps I will if I'm completely out of our regular product. Going cruelty-free is important to me but if I do not find a cruelty-free equivalent, yes, I might consider going back to this product if only to prevent my son's allergies from getting worse.

Will I recommend it to friends? A more resounding yes now more than before. With full disclosure on how I came across the line.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Product Review: Pigeon's new Sakura-infused line

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was given these items to test for free. I was actually surprised by the product size, expecting smaller bottles of each. The samples I received are probably worth a month of daily use--very generous of them, I must say.

Straight off, I will be honest and say I am unlikely to use the powder on my son. I haven't read enough evidence on the amount of talc that is safe for children and just having warnings on talc inhalation is enough to scare me off it. I'll review it separately as I intend to use it on myself.

So out of the remaining three, two have been opened.

First was the lotion.

What I absolutely love is the scent. Lingers for at least two hours after application, and that is with a child who sweats a great deal. It is a huge bonus that, for a creamy lotion, it is light enough to be quickly absorbed whether the child's skin is damp or dry.

My son suffers from atopic dermatitis ( and our cure for that is simply to hydrate inside and out. The lotion helped improve his skin texture by a lot, stopping him from getting the urge to constantly scratch. You can just barely see the redness too.

Second product was the 2-in-1 baby wash. The scent isn't as heavenly as the lotion but the scent is relaxing anyway. The wash is clear--and no colorant means less source of skin irritant. What I love most is that the lather is very light which means it rinses off easily and the formula is no tears too. Bonus points that it comes in the pump bottle that it does. First, because it can be locked, second, I was able to bathe my son by myself and the large base of the packaging plus the pump made it so much easier to get the product out with one hand.

Will I use these again? Perhaps if I ran out of our regular product. While I do not condemn those who don't go the cruelty-free route, it is my personal choice to go cruelty-free for certain items. These product types are among the ones I prefer to be cruelty-free.

Will I recommend this to friends? Oh definitely. We have and have used other Pigeon products and I find them to be of excellent quality. One particular item needs an upgrade though. I think I'll keep up the reviews to cover that one.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

No photos but...

Okay, admittedly this is probably not the best time to post anything of the sort but I need to think of something that makes me feel good and this did the trick.

To help support my ginormous belly, I wore loads of "granny undies" during pregnancy. They didn't wear out easily so I continued wearing them well past pregnancy.

They weren't kidding when they said underwear does a lot for a person's confidence.

No, this will not be a TMI post. It will graze the surface of it though.

I don't know about you out there but I like to feel good. Sometimes, feeling good comes in the guise of pretty underthings. No one else ever sees them--except on the line, usually--but knowing what's under my clothes is just as cute as my outer wear makes me feel good.

With my son almost a year old, I decided it's time for pretty undies. So I got them. And I feel hotter than Heidi Klum. Just...shorter and with more fat. ;)

Monday, 11 November 2013

In the wake of Haiyan in the Philippines

A friend compiled this list on his blog. Those who wish to help can do so via these channels.

I honestly believe more in these individual organizations than routing through government bodies.

Thank you, Mikael, for making this entry.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Making it all work

Today we made a rather impulsive but we believe soundly-judged decision to purchase a condominium. To rent out, not for us to live in.

I confessed to the husband that its not quite up to par with what I like in terms of workmanship but the income is necessary at this point and that would give us what we need. We've been guided throughout all our choices; we have every faith that this is the direction we need to go to get to our goals for our family.

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Paradox of Time

I cannot express enough admiration for the mothers who maintain sites and blogs while caring for their little ones. I simply have no idea how they manage their time, especially with chores to do on the side.

Hello blogosphere. It's nice to see you again. Today is my Peturday so I will share something about what I have learned so far, raising pets and now my son alongside them.

 I admit that I hid from my in-laws, during the early days and months of my son, the fact that cats have indeed been sleeping by his feet and elsewhere nearby. (And if any of them know about my blog, well, now you know my secret.) My husband's family isn't as big on pets as family as we are, or at least I figured that one out based on my father-in-law's casual question while I was pregnant: "What are you going to do about your pets?"

Sorry, Dad, I formed a minor judgment about you then. I'd been receiving calls and Facebook messages about the same issue long before my pregnancy. Which allowed me to take your comment in stride, but also made me take note that there are things I cannot as readily share with you as well as things you and I are likely to disagree on.

My cats and dogs are my first children. I've posted on Facebook before that readers and followers are free to disagree and/or be insulted, but the way I see it, many things I am doing raising my son I learned from raising my pets. Though I must also confess that my pets are hardly the most behaved bunch--something we must improve on with our son.

This early my son interacts and seems to have bonded with our cats and dogs, particularly those we have declared to be his guardians. Yuki and Kuro are our regular bedmates at night and provide him excellent foot warming services. And finally, finally, finally, my eldest cat seems to have forgiven us for bringing home this little human.

It's been difficult to explain to friends and family how beneficial his early exposure is. In truth only one person of my generation has fully backed me up, knowing now important forming animal empathy is to his psychological growth and maturity.

That said, I am very happy that my son has finally been accepted by our pets. He is now as much their human as we are. They are now as much his teachers as we are and I cannot be more pleased about it.

It's a challenge though. I have repeatedly turned down/ignored calls for foster parents to rescued animals. That's the first lesson my pets have taught me: the need for balance. Cheque books and bank accounts have nothing on learning to balance on that fine line between focusing on the human baby's needs while providing the canine and feline babies with the attention they'd grown accustomed to. Something to remember for later when we have another child. Sure they understand that this noisy, needy creature is utterly helpless without me. But they need to get at least a pat on the head every day. They need personal play time. They need to know they are still special.

The second lesson, one I have not yet mastered, is the art of keen observation. See I can do this for writing purposes, but the subtleties of behavior and attitude has continued to elude me. I honestly still feel guilty for missing the signs that one old cat was declining rapidly. And I have two dogs climbing their way to an overweight pronouncement from the vet. Time management is an advanced skill that has yet to make itself known to me. Multi-tasking yes. Time management, no.

Perhaps the most important lesson so far is that bonds are strong between parent and child, whether human or animal. As I said, our cats have taken it upon themselves to watch over my son. Our dogs are his bodyguards. No one comes near our son without the dogs' okay.

I see now how it happened that my cousin's sons were so closely bonded with their parents' cats.

And someday our cats and dogs will be his first heartbreak.

Nail Party

Today is my self-imposed "Fab Friday" and I want to share my new nail candy!

This is one of the three combinations I've seen for Etude House's collection of ombre nail polishes. I chose it because it has the smallest glitter bits but to be honest, I would have wanted the pink or brown one. But children chew on parents' finger nails--or at least mine does--and large glitter particles is not part of a healthy diet.

The instructions are very simple. So simple that even a n00b like me can follow it. Note that I only discovered the English instructions after painstakingly trying to understand the drawing and bits and pieces of Korean. (I've learned their alphabet and can read the words though my vocabulary is lacking by A LOT.)

Look at that pretty nail cocktail!

I actually already have it on but failed to take step by step photos and several laundry cycles have passed. I'm giving myself another manicure over the weekend though, so I'll be sure to do a mini shoot then!

PS I bought a mattifying top coat. It's so pretty with ombre nails!

Monday, 12 August 2013

July. Really?

I'm honestly a little upset that my last post was in July. Another month of not blogging after I swore I would do so at least once a week.

Well today is Mommy Day and the topic of the day is Mommy Dressing and De-stressing.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Last Love

This post ( by Chantelle, a.k.a. Fat Mum Slim, made me think of the boys--yes, boys--I thought would be my last.

For the record, my husband was not my first love. I had three boyfriends before I met him and the one before him was the one I thought I'd be spending forever with.

I'm not knocking the romance of marrying one's first love off its pedestal, but I have since come to the conclusion that the important thing is to commit to the one who will be the last. Romantic love, that is. And that is what my husband is to me.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

My cheap thrills

I have been remiss in posting, I apologise.

Tonight, well, it's no longer Friday but I shall post my Fab Friday kikay thing anyway.

First, today I looked like this:

This is my usual no fuss, no frills, unedited photo. And that look is my basic powder, blush, eyebrow, mascara, and shimmer combo. I had lippy but didn't bother reapplying for the pic.

For the record, the products were:

1. The Face Shop Aqua Tint BB Cream #1
2. MAC Studio Fix Powder + Foundation NC42
3. The Face Shop Baked Shimmer in Apricot Nuance
4. Nichido powder blush in Sunkissed
5. Nichido eyebrow pencil in brown (actual name has rubbed off)
6. Etude House Proof 10 Mascara in black

My makeup and I, we are getting to know each other again.

And now, the cheap thrill. 

My source, as shown above,is Etude House, a current favourite despite the lack of confirmation regarding its animal testing status. Mainly because it's cheap and fabulous and we like that.

The purchase:

Meet the Soft Touch Auto Lipliner in 1 Soft Rouge (roughly direct translates from the Korean text).

I haven't taken it for a spin yet but I will soon.

Feels so good to blog again!

Friday, 5 July 2013

So apparently this is it

I now firmly believe that mothers really ought to have support groups. Really.

I shared some thoughts I've been having to a group of ladies, nearly all complete strangers, in my mommy group on Facebook. And it seems my suspicions were correct--this is indeed me fighting hard to stop myself from falling into postpartum depression (PPD).

My thoughts are too disorganized at the moment to share any further thoughts on the matter. Not to mention the research a post such as this would require.

This is just to say, at least for now, that mothers out there who feel they may be overreacting to things, find themselves randomly bursting in tears, feeling they want to just tell the world to sod off and then curl up in bed...speak up! Talk to someone.

Remember you are not crazy. You're simply being a mom, and mothers are human too.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mid-year Celebration

We have survived six months. My son has reached a milestone--the first half of his first year of life has gone by in what feels like an instant and at the same time, millennia.

This tiny human. He was born in December and with two mighty totems in his name, he literally set the household in an uproar, especially since his arrival was technically two weeks early.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Feed anywhere versus finding the breastfeeding station

Just a quick one and no, no photos because I have no memory left for photos!

I am a feed anywhere breastfeeding mom. My baby gets hungry, I cover up with my nursing cover, bring out the boob and let him latch. Wherever I might be.

Oh but today I had to make the effort. Why? Noisy mall weekend and there were so many people at the food court, the air conditioning barely made a dent in heat reduction. My little dragon was so sweaty he left a wet spot on the carrier's head rest.

So we went in search of the family lounge where, I was told, a very comfortable breastfeeding station could be found.

They were not kidding! A swivel, winged armchair, a footstool, and best of all, both were in a roomy private cubicle. Very posh, in my opinion. And the lights are set off by motion sensors--hands-free, ladies!

So if you are ever in the neck of the woods known as TriNoMa, give yourself and your little one a treat. Breastfeed in the Breastfeeding Station. It's quiet, private, and COLD. Very, very comfy.

The Breastfeeding Station is located inside the Family Lounge on the 3rd level of TriNoMa, beside Sony.

This post was brought to you by Tegwyn, my beloved iPhone.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Six days of daily photos

#11: A down the drain culture starts and ends with this way of thinking. "It's okay to be lazy, one avoids being tired." I have nothing against laziness--some of the best ideas come from being lazy--but this is ridiculous.

#12: Our little Miss Yuki enjoying her time alone in bed.

#13: Our only long-haired kitty, Mao Tien Lien, wishing a friend a belated happy birthday.

#14: Baby wearing--more fun when baby has head control.

#15: Infant chacha! Someone give the boy castanets! XD

#16: Sunday morning kisses. <3 data-blogger-escaped-br="">

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Photo a day

I've started again. This time there is no list, simply a photo showing what I'd done or seen for the day.

I just realized that Instagram only cross posts to my Tumblr account (just replace "blogspot" with "tumblr"!) so I'll be reposting the past eleven days of photos now.

If I'm lucky it will post on the correct sequence. Alternatively, just look me up (MrsLesterYong) on Instagram.

#1: Our 9am habit--feeding and snuggles
#2: "I skinned a zebra to make my nappy," says the little lion.
#3: The cuddle cat, Kazuhiko!
#4: Milk coma.
#5: Self-promoting that ought to be banned
#6: The tea finger must be observed when nursing
#7: Little two-month-old mall rat
#8: Baby dragon approves of this sleep position
#9: Pancake breakfast
#10: Smile!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Balancing Act (There is no "one or the other" Part II)

Some of our pets are misbehaving and I claim full responsibility for their atrocious behavior.

When I told them they were about to have a two-legged new sibling, I did not count on how much of my time and energy would go into caring for a tiny human being. Well, not so tiny now that he's approaching his third month. Nor did I anticipate that my four-legged children expected things would be the same, just as though another four-legged sibling had arrived.

The ones I reared from their first/second month of kitten-/puppy-hood were the hardest hit. Thankfully, all four who are most attached to me have decided to take it upon themselves to be my sons co-caregivers. I can't say this has always been helpful with the exception of Kuro's penchant for infant foot warming. Baxter's tongue has been warned to stay away from the baby's feet and Yuki tersely informed that the new brother is not a toy. As for Kaito, I am only too glad he finds it sufficient to be allowed to sleep two feet from where we rest during the day. The others I reared or co-reared with the dogs can't care less as long as they are given their daily dose of stroking.

When dealing with perpetual toddlers one must employ a great deal of patience and understanding. I did realize that the method employed by local actor, Ryan Agoncillo with his wife's adopted child works well with cats and dogs too.

So in case it might work for others out there, struggling to parent cats, dogs, an humans, here are the things we have learned so far:

1. Give them "titles". No need to get fancy: simply calling them babysitters usually works well. In our case, we have the upstairs sitters (the cats) and downstairs sitters (the dogs). They automatically set their own boundaries. All you need think of is to remind them that, because their role is so important, they MUST behave properly.

2. The parent whose attention is not on the human child should spend quality time with the non-human ones. Give them the hugs and cuddles they are accustomed to receiving. And then give them extra hugs and cuddles. A food treat or two helps a lot too.

3. Allow them (heavily guarded) time with the human child. Let them sniff the feet--the safest end of a defenseless infant for them to inspect. Then gently remind them the baby is too small or young for them to do more than just that. A tap on the nose is enough to ward off attempts to sniff higher.

4. Give them privileges. Yuki, for example, always has time alone with me when I am about to bathe. I call her to join me I the bathroom and we spend five minutes just tossing around her empty toilet paper roll.

These pets ask for so little that I would not feel any ounce of remorse should I shame a parent to two- and four-legged children for neglecting one for the other. As it is, I already feel guilt for my inability to give them as much time as I'd like. But they seem to understand and are coping because they have a very important secret weapon:

They know they are loved and wanted. No matter what.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Month Two: For better and worse

The frantic cries are now accompanied by salty little waterfalls and when that happens it feels like we can't respond fast enough.

But most times he is content, regarding his surroundings with what seems a contemplative silence. Other times we are rewarded with cheery gurgles, his goat-like laughter, and a toothless grin.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Unexpected

Perhaps this ought to be linked with my "not in the books" posts but you know what, it feels good enough to let it stand alone.

And so, this is the way it is. My personal list of things I never would have believed of I didn't go through it myself.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Month One: We survived!

I officially firmly believe that this is the reason why there are parents who constantly post photos commemorating every single little thing their children do: it's a sign of survival.

Believe me, if I didn't think it would be crazy, I would do the same thing.

To speak of every little detail and take commemorative images of my son's first everything is like telling the world: I'm here! I was able to survive what I thought to be impossible to get out of alive!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The most demanding boss

I've honestly never had a boss, so this is new to me, completely new.

My work hours are so erratic I can't say definitively when I can take my meals. And when I do, I have to eat like a turkey: gobble gobble gobble. Sometimes I don't remember chewing or breathing between bites.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

His fair share

I feel it must be said, too, that my husband has also grown and changed by leaps and bounds these past weeks.

He is no longer just a husband but is coming into his own as a father the same way I am becoming a mother.

Wife to Wife and Mother

Thursdays, I said, are about journeys and I am three weeks into my journey towards motherhood.

I say "towards" because although I am already a mother by virtue of having given birth to offspring, I have much to learn still about being a parent. I've presented my ideals and ideas how I do and don't want to go about things. Nothing is fixed though and theory shan't always be effective in practice. I'm prepared to accept that too.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My son

He is almost three weeks old.

He continues to make me paranoid over whether or not I'm doing the right things.

I constantly wonder what he's thinking and how he's feeling.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

There is no "one or the other"

...and I find it deeply offensive to be told I must--take note, MUST--choose between my son and fur babies. That may be the way in other families and I will not condemn you for that. Much*. But to tell me to do the same is unacceptable.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

This Mother's Job

No, I am not throwing jabs at mothers who work outside the home. Let's get that thought out of the way now. My own mother worked outside the home. I know what it was like for her and what it was like for me as a child.

This is purely and solely about me and my experience thus far.


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