Friday, August 30, 2013

Terrified yet still walking

Have you ever had those days (and nights) when you feel so terrified that you cannot do what you want/need to do?
Well, I have.
Today/tonight, is one of those days/nights.
So, I chose to do something that I had been doing for many years now whenever I feel this way... I wrote a poem to express what I'm thinking and feeling at the moment.
I will not share the entire poem because I'm not ready. But I will share parts of it. I hope that somehow these lines would bless you and make you less terrified.
Terrified yet still walking
Growing in courage at every step
Growing in faith as I move forward
Holding on tightly and not losing hope.
Another line that I want to share with you is this:
I heard His familiar voice whisper,
I am here, right beside you in the storm.
I don't know what storms you're going through right now, which cause you to be terrified. I don't know where you're desired destination is. I just know that though we sometimes feel alone in the storm, that is not the truth. For as He said to me earlier while writing my poem, He is right beside me in the storm. I believe that He is also beside you now. Reach out for His hand and hold on to Him tight.

*Added this to the Catholic Bloogers Network Monthly Link Up Blitz.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thank you for more than 100,000 pageviews

Hi, dear readers!
I just want to take time to express my thanks to all of you for enabling me to reach this milestone in my blog - MORE THAN 100,000 PAGEVIEWS! Wow!

I did not imagine or expected this to happen when I first started this blog. I was already content to write my thoughts in my little journal/notebook before. Sometimes, I would encode my thoughts and insights and share them with friends.
Then, one day, my husband encouraged me to start a blog.
I was so new and so technically-challenged. I'm not so new anymore to blogging but I'm still technically-challenged! hehe
I have learned a lot through the years... I learned more about myself, about motherhood and family life, about God... I learned more about blogging.
Thank you for choosing to be with me as I learned all these things by reading my posts and leaving comments on some of them. This blog has paved the way for me to receive surprises from God and you, dear readers, are among them.
I initial thought that blogging is my way of documenting my lessons as I journey to motherhood. God eventually showed me that I need not journey alone. That there are people whose lives I can touch and bless by sharing the lessons I have learned.
I praise and thank God for this opportunity and for this wonderful surprise today. Truly, God is gracious!
I pray that as you continue to read my posts and follow my blog, you would find yourself following Jesus more closely and knowing Him more.
It is my joy and privilege to be used by God to reach out to you through this little blog of mine.
God bless you!
To God be the glory!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Reading Milestones: Mateo Reads a Few Sight Words

I wrote in my blog post yesterday that though we may be in the midst of trials or challenges, there are still many reasons why we should remain joyful.
Today, I choose to celebrate and highlight two blessings from God!
Our first blessing this morning is the improvement in Mateo's platelet and white blood cell count. Praise God! He had another blood extraction early this morning at 6 AM. Deep inside I was fervently praying and wishing that it would be the last blood test for my 21 month old son. I feel sad that almost his fingers on one hand has already been pricked since we brought him to the ER last Monday night. I know that these blood tests are necessary for us to find out if he is getting better but it still hurts to see my little boy hurt every time his finger is pricked and his blood is extracted. Sometimes, I just can't bear to witness it anymore that I choose not to look at him. Earlier, I chose not to look anymore. But I can still hear his cries and it breaks my heart that he has to go through this pain. Although God did not grant my request that it would be the last blood extraction for Mateo and that his platelet and white blood cell count would already be normal, I still thank God that these indicators have improved. They are ALMOST back to normal! I'm still asking (trying to convince his pediatrician) to let us go home already. I asked if we can be discharged today and just bring Mateo back tomorrow for another blood test. I hope she would grant our request.
Anyway, whether we are discharged from the hospital today or not, I'm still happy and thankful because there is an upward trend in Mateo's platelet and white blood cell count. I just wish he would be allowed to go home so we can look for herbs that we can give him and speed up his healing and the going back of his platelet count to normal. I plan to buy talbos ng camote leaves for him and give him the juice. I learned that these help strengthen the body's immune system.
The second blessing I want to thank God for today is the confirmation I got from the sites I visited that Mateo can now read a few SIGHT WORDS. We've been reading a lot and reading one board book repeatedly since we arrived here in the hospital. We brought Yanthy and Mateo's board book Go, Train, Go! with us. Mateo loves reading this book. It has become one of his seasonal favorites in the past couple of weeks.

Yesterday, Mateo surprised me when he started completing some lines of the book. At first I thought that he is on his way to memorizing the book since we had been reading it repeatedly. So I randomly pointed at some words without reading from the beginning of the story. To my amazement, Mateo still read the words that I pointed on! These are some of the words that he read: GO, NO, HAT, COW, MOO.

I excitedly shared this with my husband. He initially thought that Mateo has memorized some parts of the book (just like me). It's possible. But I have a strong feeling that it's not the reason why he was able to identify these words. I checked again by turning to different pages of the book at random and asked Mateo to read the words again not necessarily in the same sentence where he first read them. I was delighted to hear him read the words AGAIN as they appeared in other sentences in the story. Hurray!
But I didn't want to conclude right away so I paused for a while and started thinking. Then, I remembered what I learned about sight words. I blogged about SIGHT WORDS here before. But I do not claim to have mastered everything about them. So I googled them again to check if the words Mateo read are indeed sight words. Lo and behold, they are! Now, I can safely conclude that Mateo has achieved another reading milestone. Mateo can now READ a few SIGHT WORDS. Praise God again! I'm one proud and happy mom today! :)

By the way, after Mateo and I watched the GO video that I found this morning, he suddenly pointed on the my laptop screen and said UP. I looked at the screen and saw another video with the same title - UP. Could it be that he read the word UP, too? :) I gamely clicked on the video and watched it with him.

I was also very happy to discover new sites and materials that can be used to teach kids sight/Dolch words and to help kids master them. Below are some of the sites and materials I visited and found helpful.
I'm excited to use them in the future both for Mateo and Yanthy. I have yet to find Grade 5 and Grade 6 tests to check if Yanthy has already reached or surpassed that level. Last year, I tested him from primer to Grade 4 and he passed all of them. I ran out of tests to give him but I hope I can find new ones so I can assess his reading skills again this year.
I am amazed at how God has increased my capacity for this kind of joy and sense of wonder for my second child's milestone. I never thought that I could be this happy and proud again. The last time I felt this way was when Mateo's older brother (Yanthy) started reading sight words also at age two (2). I didn't expect Mateo to do the same because we eventually discovered that Yanthy is a gifted child. I didn't want to pressure Mateo to be like his older brother because they are uniquely different. It's possible that they would hit their milestones at very different ages. Thus, I just did most of the activities I did with Yanthy with Mateo without any expectation.

Today, I thank God for this wonderful surprise! Mateo just turned 21 months old last Monday. He's not even two years old. He surpassed my expectations! Actually, there are days when I feel guilty because I haven't been able to spend as much time exposing him to educational materials. I'm more busy now than when I had his older brother years ago. I have not even introduced flash cards to him yet. We simply do a lot of reading, singing, dancing and pretend plays. I also feel that I have not been talking to him as often as I used to talk to his older brother before. I seldom let him watch videos also unlike with his older brother in the past. Well, since the American Pediatric Society does not recommend that kids younger than two years old watch tv or videos, I decided not to expose him to tv or videos as much as possible. But since Yanthy has already been exposed and likes to watch tv or videos every now and then, Mateo had some exposure but not often. Moreover, I noticed that even when Yanthy is watching tv or a video, Mateo doesn't seem to enjoy or pay attention to it as much as Yanthy does or did when he was Mateo's age. Mateo would rather talk to me or play with me.
Could it be that Mateo is also wired just like his older brother? Possible. Yanthy's developmental pediatrician said that it's possible because he noticed Mateo's attentiveness and keen observation on the things happening around him the last time we visited his clinic. Yanthy's occupational therapist also noticed that Mateo has very good cognitive skills as manifested in his ability to carry out not just one but two-step commands during their OT sessions where Mateo joined. Dr. Ho of the Center for Giftedness said in the seminar I attended last year that it's possible to bear more than one gifted child in a family. She even said that in some families, the younger kids are more gifted than the older kids. Hmmmm... These are just possibilities. It's too early to conclude. In the meantime, I want to savor my blessings for today and celebrate God's goodness to our family especially to Mateo. 

Around a couple of hours after I published this post, Mateo's pediatrician gave us the go signal to go home. Yehey! God is so good! We'll just bring him back next week for blood test again and for follow up check up.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Favored to Give Birth Again

I write this post today as I sit in front of my youngest son's hospital room window. Rain clouds, grey skies, and rain are what I see as I look outside.
He has been confined since Monday night due to on and off fever and below normal platelet and white blood cell count. Since that night when we brought him to the ER, hospital staff had been extracting blood from him every day to test if his platelet and white blood cell count have improved and within normal limits. Sadly, the past two blood tests showed that they are still not within normal limits; though the latest result showed signs of improvement.
My husband and I together with our eldest son are all here with him... watching over him, playing with him, reading to him, feeding him.
It's so tempting to give in to worry again and despair over work tasks that we need to do but can't while we are here.
I choose to focus on the good and the blessings that each rainy day brings instead.
Like today, I realized, while looking at the raindrops on the window, that our blessings each day are so much more compared to our cares. Yes, there are things that happen each day that make our lives far from perfect. But there are many more that we can be thankful for and we can praise God for.
I count my blessings today, big and small, and slowly my heart fills so full of love and joy.
If God can grant me my trivial food cravings today (avocado shake and macaroni salad), surely He can and will grant my more important prayers (healing my son and making a way for all the things that need to be done for my upcoming book).
The 3-Minute Retreat at Loyola Press today affirms this insight.
God spoke these words to my heart as I meditated on the reflection:
"The Lord favors you and is with you!"
I thank God for the grace to focus my eyes on my blessings and on the truth. If not for His grace, I would be easily disappointed and I could give in to despair. I could question the truth that He has just spoken that I am favored by Him.
When we go through challenges, it's sometimes difficult to see that God favors us. We could easily question this truth because challenges can block our vision.
Thus, amidst the rain and grey skies today, I praise and thank God that His favor rests in me. I praise and thank Him for being with me -- wherever I am. And yes, I believe that He is with me now as I care for my sick child in the hospital.
I thank Him for this big favor of giving me another child to care for and nourish through my breasts. I thank Him that He chose to bless me not with only one but two miracles, two children from my own womb!

Let me quote from Genesis 49:25 what Jacob said about our God.

 "the Almighty... blesses [us] with...the blessings of the breasts and of the womb."
I thank Him also for choosing me to give birth again to a new "baby." Like Mary, I didn't know at first how I can I give birth to this new baby but God granted me grace to believe. He gave me the strength to say YES to His invitation and now I'm about to give birth again. 
I'm giving birth soon not to a baby boy or girl but to a new book -- BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking. I praise and thank God for sustaining me this far. I believe and I claim that He will continue to walk with me and will even go before me in this path.
My upcoming book's front cover.
On this far from perfect rainy day in my life, I thank God for the just enough grace He has given me to remain positive and hopeful and to rejoice even in the imperfect life I have.
Is it raining now outside your window, too? Can you see countless raindrops there? Do you also see those raindrops to be symbolic of the blessings in your life? I hope so.
You can already order a copy/copies of my upcoming book to me. Just email me at

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flowers for me from my baby

I received six (6) flowers from my youngest son, Mateo, yesterday. He did not pick them from our garden or bought them from a flower shop. He picked them from the board book we were reading before his nap. He picked them one by one and offered each one with a smile.

His loving gesture certainly warmed my heart and put a big smile on my face.

I believe that it's still a long way to the day when he will give flowers to another girl. So I will hold on to these memories as long as I can and enjoy them while I am the only special woman in his heart/life.

I know that it's his way of saying "I love you" to me. 
I love you, too, baby! Thank you for the flowers you gave me. I love them!

Our Brainy Baby board book 
I praise and thank God for giving me this opportunity to work from home most of the time. This kind of work set up provides me with many heartwarming moments like this one. Because of the kind of lifestyle that I have, I get to spend more quality time with my kids.
Even my eldest son does this to me. Sometimes, he gives me real flowers. Other times, he would ask his Dad to buy flowers for me. One time, he saw some flowers on the center island while we were inside our vehicle on our way to an appointment, he said, "Those flowers are for you, Mommy!" Then, he pretended to pick them for me. How sweet!
I once read that investing time with our kids while they are babies or while they are young is one of the best investments we will make in life. I believe that this is true whether you are a Dad or a Mom. Kids grow very fast! So fast that even when you stay home all the time or most of the time, you would still agree with that statement. I had been a full time stay-at-home mom when we only had our eldest but I still felt that time went by so fast.
Thus, I plan to work from home at least until my youngest son is seven years old. That's still a little more than five years from now. I pray that God would continue to let me enjoy this kind of lifestyle.
UPDATE (August 15, 2013)

Mateo gave me flowers again this morning while we were reading The Three Little Pigs. He saw a big purple flower on the last page of the storybook then gave it to me. When he noticed the smaller white flowers, he gave them to me, too.

After that, I asked him if he wanted to play with our keyboards. He said yes. He played with it for a few minutes then pressed the demo key so there was music playing while he played with his stuffed toys. Then he went to me and asked me to dance with him.

So we danced cheek to cheek while swirling around our living room.

*Added this to the Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Link Up Blitz.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Boses": A Movie on Giftedness and Healing

I took a break from manuscript writing and working on my book project this month by writing a couple of articles. This was once of them. It was published yesterday at Smart Parenting Online.
I first learned about the movie Boses through a friend’s post on his Facebook Page. I got curious right away when I learned that it’s about a boy who is naturally gifted in music and his reclusive violin teacher. I didn’t read much about the movie before watching it; the little that I read from the post was enough for me to convince my husband to watch it with me. It was worth it! The movie moved me so much that I’m taking a break from finishing my manuscript to write my thoughts about it.

My curiosity stemmed from me having a child who is also gifted in music and who fancies violins and other musical instruments. We have not enrolled him in formal music lessons though since he is only 4 years old, and we’re simply exposing him to different kinds of musical instruments and allowing him to enjoy the experience.

What drew me to the film in the beginning was fast overshadowed by the pains that the child went through, scene by scene. The boy, who is a product of a broken family, has a mother who is an OFW who eventually abandoned him and his father. Further into the film, the boy was shown as being physically abused by his drunkard father. A neighbor reported the abuse which prompted the authorities to grant temporary custody of the child to a shelter for kids.

In the shelter, however, the child meets a bigger and older child who bullies him and provokes him into a fight. Just like when he was still in their home, the child finds himself hiding inside a cabinet because of fear. That’s when he met his future violin teacher.
Read the article in full here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Breastfeeding Flash Mob Experience

It has been more than a week since Mateo and I participated in the first ever breastfeeding flash mob in the Philippines organized by Breastfeeding Pinays and a number of other groups and bloggers which support breastfeeding. I was not able to blog about our experience right away for as usual I had been busy with many things. Whew! I think we moms are always busy with something!

Anyway, it was at first a cloudy day that eventually became one rainy day. The weather did not stop me however from joining the event. I really wanted to bring my eldest son whom I breastfed for two years (although I supplemented him with formula milk as well due to his pediatricians advice) with me but I wasn't sure if I can manage to handle him while at the same time nursing his baby brother. Our maid is relatively new and I felt that I needed my husband to watch over our eldest especially that I expect that there would be many people in the event venue. So, my husband and I decided that our eldest will just go with him to Asian Hospital since he needs to go there for his follow up check up.

My husband was so kind to drive for me and our baby. He brought us to the venue so we could be there just in time for registration and to take part in the activity. Then, he and my son left for the hospital. There were many people as expected (families, breastfeeding supporters and media people). My maid doesn't know how to use our cellphone which had a camera on it. I tried teaching her; unfortunately, she kept on doing the wrong thing even with repeated demonstration on my part. So I resigned to the fact that it's possible that I would not have any picture or video during the event. I thought, at least I was able to participate.

The breastfeeding flash mob started and during the activity I had some chat with the moms near me. A couple of moms had been so kind to take a several shots of me and my baby. :)

When the event was finally over, I texted my husband again to inform him that the event is finished. I was surprised to see my eldest run to me in a few minutes. I found out that they missed my husband's appointment because of the traffic caused by the rains. Too bad. I thought they should have stayed with us at the event venue so my son could have held a poster and my husband could have taken pictures or a video of us.

Well, it's never too late I thought. I asked my husband to take some pictures of me and our sons and with the organizers since I'm also writing an article about the event for one of the publications where I contribute.

Me with my breastfed sons.

With Mommy Migz and her baby.

Me, with two new Mommies I met at the event and some of the event organizers.
After that, we left the venue and had some snacks in a nearby restaurant. After our meal, we decided to stroll near the bay and take some more pictures.

By the bay with my boys.
I'm glad we joined this event for it also paved the way for some family bonding that weekend.

At the fountain with the boys.

On top of that, I discovered in the days that followed that Mateo and I were seen in one of the video clips shown in the news. The new video was shown last August 4 at Balitanghali. We did not get to watch the news but I learned about it through our Facebook Group Breastfeeding Pinays.

I also saw another news feature by Yahoo Canada where our picture was part of their photo slideshow of the event. Here is the link to that photo slideshow.

Then, I saw another photo of the event in our Facebook Group again that included me and Mateo. It was a nice panoramic shot that's why I asked for permission to use it in my article for POC. I'm glad that I was granted permission and that my editor liked and used it too.
Photo by Keysi Nunez.
Here's the link to the article I wrote.

I'm grateful to God that though we were met by some challenges on our way to the event venue, we still got there on time; and though I thought I would not have any pictures or videos of the event, God still surprised me with some. He really has His ways!

New Insights and Reflections on Yesterday's Readings

I had a wonderful day yesterday! It was nothing extraordinary. In fact, it was so ordinary but I thank God for the grace to see the extraordinary beauty in it.
My day started with God giving me a new insight to a passage/verse that's very familiar to me. I've read and studied this verse countless times but I was very glad yesterday to discover a different revelation about it.
"Much will be REQUIRED of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be DEMANDED of the person entrusted with more.” Luke 12:48 (Emphasis mine)

I had an AHA experience and I loved it!

I realized upon meditating on this verse that we are not only INVITED to use whatever talents, skills or resources that God has blessed us with. He REQUIRES us to use th
em to serve His purposes and to bless others. He DEMANDS that we put to good use what He has entrusted to us. Thus, if we are to be faithful servants, we should be using our talents, skills and resources to serve Him and His people. It's not just an option. It's a must! At the end of our lives, we will be held accountable for these. 

The Gospel acclamation yesterday affirmed this message as well:

"We should be ready to serve the Lord at all times. This means being willing to go wherever He leads us and not being afraid to follow His will. Yes, there are times when we will be called to do things we think are beyond our capabilities; it is precisely then that we need to remember that God has promised to provide all we need to do His will in our lives."

I could very much relate to not feeling capable! But God always proves that He can use incapable people like me for His purposes. He's doing this again as I work on my next book. I'm blessed to be on this adventure with God! Though I feel incapable and ill-equipped many times as I continue in this road with God, He keeps on encouraging me and giving me strength to go on. He keeps on pouring His grace to me, enabling me to say each day, "Here I am, use me for Your glory!"
Truly, we must be ready to serve the Lord and say Yes to Him at all times; not just when it's convenient or when we think we have extra time. Not even when we think we are capable.

For a servant should not be the one telling his/her Master when he/she will serve. A true servant will be quick and eager to do his/her Master's wishes. Serving his/her Master is his/her joy. Lord, may I always have the good servant's heart!

This is my desire, that at the end of my life, I would hear my Master tell me, "Good and faithful servant!"

I was also struck by this verse from the First Reading which was highlighted in the reflection in Didache yesterday.
"he went out, not knowing where he was to go." Hebrews 11:8

How many times has God asked me to set forth without me knowing exactly where I would end up? Countless times! There were times that I would hesitate to step out because of fear and doubt. There were times when I would move forward excitedly. There were times when it took me a while longer to obey His leading to conquer new land. But all...
these times, I thank God for the invitation to grow in faith and to tap into His grace and power to believe and have the courage to follow His lead and obey His Holy and Perfect Will. 

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance." Hebrew 11:8

I could not help but recall how God has called me and my family out of our comfort zone more than a year ago. We were happy living in our starter home (in our condominium). Looking back, I thank God for calling me and my family out of where we used to live so we can receive our inheritance from Him. I'm still
in awe of how God has led us to where we live now and how He has provided for us so we can get here.

Just like the author of the Didache reflection, it's a mystery for us how we have come to enjoy this new and beautiful house. We are so thankful to God for His miracles! He was surely the One who got us here! As the author of the Didache reflection puts it, "His Mathematics is out of this world!"

Friday, August 2, 2013

Reaching Out to Fellow Moms Through Hakab na!: A Breastfeeding Mob

Yesterday, I wrote a post here about reaching out to fellow breastfeeding moms (and those who are considering to breastfeed) through my upcoming book Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking. Today, I'm writing about the first breastfeeding mob that I will join since I breastfed my kids around four years ago. Incidentally, this will be the first of its kind in the Philippines although there were similar "breastfeeding flash mobs" organized in other parts of the globe.
Photo source: Breastfeeding Pinay FB Page
I'm thus very excited to participate in the Hakab na! A Breastfeeding Mob organized by the Breastfeeding Pinays. This event will happen tomorrow at 3 PM in four key cities: Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod. I will join the flash mob in Manila which will be at the Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate. We were advised though to be at the event venue by 2:30 PM for registration, briefing and some chit-chat with fellow breastfeeding moms. The event seeks to promote the importance of providing support to breastfeeding moms which is consistent with this year's World Breastfeeding Week Theme (Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers).
"Breastfeeding rates have steadily gone up over the years through efforts by different government, non-government organizations and medical communities, there is still so much to be done," says Velvet Escario-Roxas of Breastfeeding Pinays, a stay-at-home mom who does free breastfeeding counseling. She is also the Deputy Executive Director of Arugaan.
Another poster shared at our
Breastfeeding Pinays Facebook Page

I agree with her. That's the same reason why I've decided to write a book on breastfeeding. I want to encourage more Filipino moms (Pinays) to breastfeed their children, to at least give it a try. I want them to know that it's possible to breastfeed whatever is their background, whether they are working or not.
The following are Breastfeeding Pinays' partners in organizing this event: Kaya Women Empowerment and Support Group, LATCH, Arugaan, Newlyweds@Work, Tickled Moms, Davao's Mommy Sense, Cagayan De Oro's Mommy Bright Side, the Bacolod Mom and Baby Club and bloggers, Jenny Ong (Chronicles of a Nursing Mom) and Eliza Ypon (The Painter's Wife).
I'm so happy to have discovered this Facebook Group, Breastfeeding Pinays, recently! I look forward to meeting and bonding with fellow breastfeeding moms and their families tomorrow.

Are you also a breastfeeding mom? It's not yet too late to join us tomorrow. You may click here to go to the official event page and register. I also encourage you to support breastfeeding as an advocacy by sharing this event to your friends and family. Together, let's work towards making the Philippines a breastfeeding nation!

Reaching Out to Fellow Moms Through My Latest Book

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Logo
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS. This is the theme for this year's World Breastfeeding Week. I had mixed emotions when I first found out about this year's theme a couple of months ago. First, I was glad because the theme this year affirms me that I have the right reasons for embarking on my latest book project. That is to provide inspiration and encouragement to fellow moms (first-time to breastfeed or not) through the stories of real moms who triumphed over breastfeeding challenges. Though I was glad that my book concept is aligned with this year's theme, I felt pressured and disappointed as well that I can't launch my book yet this week. Can I launch it within the month? Only God knows!
But I choose to find joy today in my blessings and what I have done so far in pursuing this God-sized dream that God has planted in my heart. So let me enumerate some of them.
1. I'm now working with a graphic artist on my book's cover. Yehey! It's still a lot of work but I'm happy to see very beautiful options. I find it hard to choose because they are all beautiful! So I now have a good problem. I need to choose my book cover and work on fine-tuning it.
2. I was able to edit two more stories today. Yesterday, I think I edited two also. I thank God that I'm able to accomplish this in spite of the noise around me (screaming kids in the background) and the countless interruptions (from my kids of course).
3. I thank God that I'm still able to breastfeed my 20 month old child until now. He just fell asleep actually after nursing from me. That's why I have some time now to update my blog.
4. I received more pictures today from the moms who are featured in the book. I don't think everyone can submit on time but I'm still hoping that majority can send in their photos. It would be better if there's a face to their story.
5. I feel blessed to be reading testimonies of moms who have struggled to overcome breastfeeding difficulties and continue to do so for the sake of their children. Their stories inspire me to keep on breastfeeding my son despite the challenges in my schedule. Their stories also encourage me to keep moving forward in this book project knowing that more moms out there need to know about them and learn from them.
6.  I've been receiving a lot of support from the people around me, family, friends and new acquaintances alike. I know that God sent them my way to affirm me. I believe that every encounter is an encounter that God ordained and that there is purpose for every meeting.
7. I will make this the last blessing I will list here (I can list some more but I need to work again so I can finish this book faster.) though I should list more. I thank God for giving me this opportunity to use whatever gifts and skills I have right now to be of service to others - moms and babies particularly. I was reminded of this blessing today when I read a devotional that used this statement as part of the reflection. "Let us try to do whatever we can to help those who are less fortunate than we are in life." Writing and publishing this book on breastfeeding is my way of helping my fellow Filipinos, the Filipino families who are struggling to make both ends meet and wondering how they can nourish their kids/babies when they can't afford the very expensive milk formula which are widely advertised in different forms of media. I want them to know that they don't need to buy these expensive milks because their babies can benefit more by breastfeeding from their mothers. That they can use the money that they will save from buying milk formula to save and invest for their future needs or for emergencies or they can spend this money on other necessities.
From World Breastfeeding Week Website

I pray that more breastfeeding mothers would find the kind of support they need this week, this month, this year, to achieve their breastfeeding goals. I hope and pray that I could help them get that support through my upcoming book. Breastfeeding moms reaching out to other moms who are either breastfeeding already or still thinking about it. 

Let me end this post with a quote from C.S. Lewis: 

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." 

 And a quote from me through my upcoming book:

We moms also need help from each other. We need to help each other remember that we are strong. That we are already winners. That we are selfless. That we can love unconditionally and tremendously. That we were amazingly and miraculously made by God. We need friends who will remind us of these truths because we can easily forget these truths when trials and challenges come.
Do you moms agree?