November 30, 2012

Learning Basketball

I've never really been into sports except the ones I did for physical education classes back in high school and college. I have played softball, volleyball and basketball but there is none among the three that I'm really good in. However, I've always dreamed of becoming a champion swimmer. Too bad because I can't swim!

On a few occasions, I've wished that my parents had the resources to have me and my sisters trained in a sport when we were growing up. I totally understand why they were not able to though. Now that I'm a parent myself, amongst my goal is to do everything I possibly can so that my kids will be able to reach their full potential. If you are a parent, I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about.

On Thursday, my daughter's basketball practice officially started. Jeff was released from work early so we were both present at the practice. The coach for my daughter's team (white team) did not show up. Even her teammates were not around except for one. So I had her join the blue team instead.

Here, she attentively listened to the coach's instructions. I was trying to convince her to move in front but she was too shy.

Doing her dribbling drill. When she made it back to where she started, she screamed "Daddy, I did it!" We're so proud of our girl!

Waiting for her turn during the shooting drill.

And then it was her turn. She didn't get the ball in the basket but she was very determined and excitedly went for her next turn.

Here, listening to the coach and preparing to do her dribbling and shooting drill. Can you tell Jeff (with our baby in one hand) is just as excited as I was? 

And off she threw the ball!

The practice was wrapped up with a huddle. Here, they all screamed "basketball" and did high fives. The smiles in those faces are priceless!

When I signed up my daughter for basketball, I immediately started talking to her about her new activity (she is also doing ballet and acrobatics). This made her look forward to her basketball day. During the practice she had so much fun and is ready for the next practice day.

I personally think that every parent should make an effort to have their children into sports. Yes, even when they don't show an interest. This is normal especially when a child has not been introduced to the activity before. They may happen to be very good in it. If they are, can you imagine the possibilities for them? It could become a career!

Getting our kids into sports will keep them stay active at a young age. This will influence their attitude towards staying fit and healthy when they grow up.

Most importantly, they will learn the value of sportsmanship.

Have you introduced your child into sports yet? I'd like to hear yours and your child's experience.

November 27, 2012

Is my baby getting enough milk?

When I was still pregnant with my second child, I made a promise to exclusively breastfeed for at least 12 months.

Why not? First of all, breast milk is best for babies according to baby health experts. Second, I am not working. Third, formula is very expensive.

So... I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 4-month old baby. However, I have been worried (seriously worried) whether my baby is getting enough milk. I used to be able to pump at least 200ml of milk every day. Abundant supply, do you agree? Lately though, I have not been able to pump. Not because I don't want to. There's just no milk to pump out at all.

Last night I found a product online called Organic Mother's Milk. The tea, which is sold on Amazon as well, has good reviews.

I was very close to hitting the Add to Cart button but turned down the idea. I'm still tempted to do so right now. Has any of you tried this product? Please let me know if it helped in your breast milk production in any way.

On the Tea Land website, which also sells this product, you will read the marketing line below.

Organic Mother’s Milk® promotes healthy lactation*
and is traditionally used to increase breast milk production.*

When you see ads with asterisks, always check what they stand for. In this case, the asterisk means:

These statements have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Now, I'm going to hold off on the idea of using supplements to help boost my milk production.

According to La Leche League International, "The breasts work on the law of supply and demand. The more baby "tells" mother's breasts to make milk, the more milk she will have."

I shouldn't worry about my milk production then. I just have to encourage my 4-month old, who happens to be a sleepy head, to feed as often as possible especially during the day.

Are you a breastfeeding mommy like myself? I'd like to hear your experience!

November 25, 2012

A Visit to Georg Schäfer Museum

It is Monday again! How was your weekend?

To those of you who are wondering where I've been, I'm still here. I just wasn't able to post anything since Wednesday last week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Saturday, the sun was out in our part of the world. It was a beautiful day! I did a photo session for a family at 10 in the morning. In the afternoon, Jeff and I took the girls to the Georg Schäfer Museum in downtown Schweinfurt. For direction, hours of operation, entrance fees and other information, check the museum's official website.

I'm not really an art person but I appreciate beautiful paintings. It always amazes me how some people have so much talent in painting.

Below are some of the photos I took.

The very first exhibit room we went in.

I like the atmosphere of this room.

I wish I understand Deutsch!
A narrative about Heinrich von Zügel, one of the famous German artists.

This was one of the paintings that caught my attention right away. Jeff, Skye and I have been to this part of Prague during a visit to the city in 2010. A month before Jeff's deployment.

Michael Neher.
Munich 1798 - 1876 Ebenda.
Blick auf den Hradschin in Prag, 1869.

Aren't they beautiful?

Beautiful paintings everywhere!

This is the only room, in the entire museum, with red painted walls.
Definitely my favorite!

During our short break. I love the timer on my camera! 

All the paintings in this room are spiritual and religious-themed.

A view, of the street, from the 3rd floor. 

Another painting that caught my attention, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Jeff, Skye and I visited this historic city in 2010.

Eduard Gaertner.
Berlin 1801 - 1877 Zechlin/Mark Brandenburg.
Das Brandenburger Tor, 1846.

Another room full of beautiful art!

Another room full of religious-themed art.
 Lovis Corinth.
Tapiau/Ostpreussen 1858 - 1925 Zandvoort.
Perseus und Andromeda, 1900.

One word to describe this work: AMAZING!

This room is full of beautiful portraits.

I wanted to take a picture of each and every single painting in the museum but we didn't have enough time. Not that our visit was limited though but because we were getting tired and hungry.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos I posted.

Thank you for stopping by!

November 19, 2012

Polka Dot Dress

Hi everyone! How was your weekend?

Mine was not too eventful but I was one busy mommy for the past two days. Oh, make that three!

I made four dresses over the weekend. Yes, you read that right. FOUR.

Friday night, at the last minute, I decided to sew a dress for each of my daughter which they wore the next day for our family photo shoot. I wish I had taken pictures! Blame me not, please. I was too tired by the time I finished the sweater dress for my little one. I promise to post pictures one of these days.

Have I mentioned that I'm a sucker for free clothing items? I haven't gone back to the freecycling center lately but I brought home this large size GAP long sleeves from a while back. I recycled it into a dress for my daughter. Perfect as an overlay in this cold weather. An added bonus is she can wear it in the summertime too.

Can you see the 4 blue lines? Those are the markers for my shirring.

Okay, so that's the third. The fourth one is probably the best I have sewn so far. The fabric I used is from Red Rooster. I bought a yard for $6.50 from our local Arts & Crafts store a couple of months ago.

For a seasoned seamstress, this dress would have been done in an hour (my guess). But for a starter like me, this took over 3 hours to finish. I'm not joking. The hardest was the sleeves. I have not sewn sleeves other than those of the peasant dress.

So without further ado, here is my daughter's new polka dot dress.

I've given myself a pat on the back for successfully whipping this. Are you a sewing enthusiast like me? What have you sewn lately?

November 15, 2012

Photography: "E" Family

I had the opportunity of working with the Evans family last Saturday.

My friend, Wena, and I originally wanted a 50's themed shoot but turned down the idea at the last minute. I'm talking about one day here. We also moved the day and time.

End result: a session in the rain! However, I am very pleased with how all the pictures turned out.

The first four photos were taken in front of St. Johannis Church, one of the main and the oldest church in Schweinfurt.

I'm not good in directing but these two are so natural. I captured the look that I wanted.

Here with their handsome little man.

Beautiful mama!

We walked and ran in the rain (literally) until we got to the city wall where I took the following photos.

This boy doesn't want to sit still. Glad I was able to capture one clear shot.

I tried giving an old look to the photos. I'd say a 60's look. What say you?

I'd love to hear your feedback about my work so please feel free to leave a comment.

What's in your bag?

I have been doing the photo a day challenge using the daily prompt from Fat Mum Slim for half a month now.

Today's prompt is IN YOUR BAG. Most of the things in my bag are those of my 3-month old baby. Diapers. Wet wipes. Burp cloth. Nursing cover. A set of clothes. Baby lotion. Napkins. Mine? Wallet and a book.

I used to carry around two bags when my older daughter was just a baby. My purse, where I put all girly things that I find necessary to carry around, and a diaper bag.

When I gave birth to my second child, I opted to using just one (pictured above}. Actually, it's more of a diaper bag which purpose I doubled into a mommy purse at the same time. I gave up carrying a whole lot of things except for the must-have items like my wallet and cellphone.

I like it a lot this way though.

So what's in your bag?

November 9, 2012

Review: Asian Princess Costume by Rubie's Costume Co.

My daughter will be in a (ballet and acrobatics) recital next month. It's going to be her first recital and I'm very excited about it.

One of the two costumes she will be wearing is the one shown below.

I bought a size Small (fits 4-6 year olds) from Amazon for $23. The dress was $18.12 plus $4.88 shipping and handling. This dress is also available from other online stores. I've been wanting to write a review on this product the very day I got this in the mail but there were more pressing things I attended to.

This is how the dress fit and look on my daughter. She's so happy she got to put it on before bedtime!

How can she possibly do her ballet moves with this on?! Here's my 2 cents on this piece.

PROS: Beautiful print and colors.

CONS: Poor material. Bad design. Terrible fit.

I sew dresses for my daughter. Although I'm not an expert seamstress, I know the difference between good and bad sewing. I don't design clothes either but this dress is designed so badly. I ended up doing a lot of alterations.

First, I took the bodice and the skirt apart as well as the flare portion at the end of the sleeves. The belt, which was sewn on the dress at 3 areas, had to be removed as well. Thanks to my every reliable seam ripper!

Then I cut the skirt short, about 11 inches, and attached it back to the bodice. I made it in a way that the elastic is threaded in between the fabric. I also lift slits on the sides of the skirt (the idea of Skye's ballet instructor) for ease in movement.

Finally, I topstiched where it was necessary.

After 4 hours of seam ripping, cutting, serging, sewing, with a few breaks for feeding my hungry baby, the alteration was done. I took this photo very early in the morning. Can you tell she's still very sleepy?

I thought the ruching on the belt looked odd so I ripped the ruching off and sewed the long ends together and flattened it. I also cut the ends so that it's just the right size for Skye's waist (22 inches) and didn't sew it back to the dress.

Below is the final look.

I even made a cute underwear out of the excess fabric from the skirt.

Another thing, VELCRO and SATIN do not and should not be used together in a clothing piece! If you wonder why, check it for yourself.

Finally, my rating for this dress is 1 out of 5 stars. That single star is for the pretty prints. That's about it. I hope this review helps.

Did you alter a piece of clothing lately? How was the experience?

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