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Make Time

It's a mantra not known to many and would be confused with the saying "Take Time.." but Making Time is rooted on a very different idea.

All our lives we are bound by our responsibilities, obligations, relationships, tasks and ties. We are even bound by our passion and abilities. There is always a point when there never seem to be enough time for it all.

When you are at your career's peek, relationships dwindle and time for yourself withers away. And when you find that solace, your work and responsibilities falter and imbalance occurs. We always find ourselves rushing to save a tipping glass somewhere in the hopes of finding time to relax. What people often forget is that There is a Time for Everything.

We only need make time for it.

If you know how to manage your time well enough, you will soon find yourself abundant with it. It's not about rushing things to get done or squeezing in schedules to fit everything in. It's about prioritizing your goals over your indulgences and keeping a straight line of work. Putting boundaries for working hours and setting aside family time makes everything simple.

Making one day a specific day for something helps:
Tuesdates for my hubby.
Sunday for my family.
Saturday with my friends.
Friday for myself.
And every weekdays' morning to work.

You can make time by allotting time. It's like playing Tetris on your day, rotate the tasks and fit them into your hours where they won't block others that might come. When each task fits in, you eliminate the clutter and gain enough room for other activities.

When things are crushing in on you and you feel like tossing in the towel or bombarding the bedroom for hibernation, reset your clock. Game Over is never really over, you can always restart and do better based on experience. Make your schedule, make your priorities and make time work for you as you make each day easier to live through.

Balancing your day, your week, your month, your year and your life all begins in making time. So stop fighting time or avoiding the pending tasks, fit them where they should and enjoy the excess you receive for a hard day's work.

Teething: Much Ado About Teething

Babies don't grow their teeth until they are about 5 months or more. Some babies will grow their tiny buds at 5 months while others will just start at 9 months or even 11. Babies who start budding after they turned one are called late bloomers. 

           There's usually nothing to worry about when it comes to a baby's teething schedule. Remember, all babies are different, grow differently and learn in their own pacing. Their milestones don't have a specific schedule so teething is no different.

Late Tooth Bloomers

            Either early or late teething is usually hereditary. If you or your partner, as a baby, started teething early there's a high chance your baby will too. If it's common in the family for babies to get their buds at 12 or even 18 months even pediatricians won't jump to conclusions. On some rare occasions, however, late teething could be a sign of a form of malnutrition. Otherwise, it is just all about your the body's pacing so all you have to do is wait and be comforting. Teething can be irritable for some babies. 

The Signs, The Symptoms

         The symptoms for teething differ each baby so it can be difficult to assume or predict when teething starts happening, until you see a pearly edge protruding from the gums. You also can't tell how long it will last since some babies have faster growth than others. But for the sake of helping parents come close to determining whether or not your baby really is teething, here are some of the most common symptoms:
  • Swollen and/or Bulging Gums
  • Drooling (more than you've gotten used to)
  • An Increased Habit of Biting, Sucking and Chewing on stuff
  • Fussiness (it comes and goes, but some babies get fussy up until the buds start showing)
  • Wakefulness (sleepless nights for the both of you)
  • Rashes on the face (but some babies still don't have it)
  • Loss of Appetite (seems moodier than usual, and irritable for baby food)
Since not all babies show the same signs the Diarrhea and Fever thing doesn't apply to everyone. Personally, I do believe that Diarrhea and Fever could be signs of teething. My baby showed them a week and a half before his buds poked through his gums.

Is Diarrhea and/or Fever a Sign of Teething?

          I asked my husband (a licensed nurse and medical technician: yes he wants this mentioned) about this matter and he explained his opinion. He felt that the reason why these are not considered symptoms is because parents might make a habit of dismissing them as just signs of teething and not a possible sign of an illness.

         As common as it is among most moms to claim that Diarrhea, Fever and Rashes (bodily ones) are caused by teething, pediatricians strongly advise parents not to make this assumption It's still advisable to get your baby checked when he gets a fever or diarrhea, an underlying sickness could be the culprit. 

         The only explanation my husband could think of as to why some babies do experience Fever or Diarrhea when teething is because their bodies are unfamiliar with the growing tooth. The immune system then acts up to protect the baby from this foreign object. In addition to that, teething usually happens at a time when the baby starts losing immunity from disease, virus, etc. (courtesy of mum's breast milk).

How to Tell if Fever/Diarrhea is from Teething or Not
         The only way to determine whether or not the fever or diarrhea is caused by teething is to observe. My baby had his fever for two days (1 and a half, technically) and diarrhea for 1 day. If it had continued on beyond that my husband and I would have brought him to the clinic for a check-up. My husband did notice that our baby's gums were red and swollen which led us to believe he is teething; which he really was.

How Long Does Teething Last?

         Around 3 weeks on average. The first few days usually begin with irritability because the gums start swelling up, getting red and bulged. The following weeks focus on the bud rising up to pop out of the gum line. This gum explosion takes a week or so in motion but the period length for the whole tooth to be fully visible varies for each baby.

        When the buds start tearing out of the gum line it starts getting painful for some babies and for others, just really irritating and itchy. The reason why babies drool a lot while teething is because when their gums swell they feel uncomfortable closing their mouths completely. They spend their days jaw-dropped because of the feeling of throbbing gums and therefore cause wet, slippery floors.

Where Does the First Tooth Come Out?

        The central parts. Check the up and down part of your baby's gums. Usually, it's the "rabbit teeth" that comes out first, but some babies show their buds at the bottom center. The side teeth" only come out when the baby is around 9 to 16 months. Here's the usual schedule for teething and their positions:
  1. Central Incisors (bunny teeth)   - between 5 and 12 months
  2. Lateral Incisors (side teeth)      - between 9 and 16 months
  3. First Molars (end teeth)             - between 13 and 19 months
  4. Canine Teeth (vampire teeth)   - between 15 and 23 months (1 and 2 y/o)
  5. Second Molars (next layer)       -  between 22 and 24 months (1 and 2 y/o)
The Third Molar better known as our Wisdom Tooth don't come out until we are a bit older, and they are permanent ones. The teething tooth buds babies grow are Milk Teeth and will fall off during their toddler years and be replaced with permanent ones as they reach 12 year of age, or younger.

When to Start Worrying
           You might want to get your baby checked if he/she hasn't started teething after turning 1 year old. Unless it runs in your family, you shouldn't pass it off as a Late Bloomer syndrome. You baby might not be having enough nutrients or there's an underlying illness causing a delay. Regardless of the reason, you need to act on it to prevent risks.

           You should also ask the pediatrician about missing teeth or your baby skipping growing his central incisors and advancing to his canine or molars without it. Some babies even have teeth or a tooth at birth already. There's no direct known cause for this yet but these usually fall off after a day or two. It might need to get removed if it doesn't grow out and poses a threat for the baby's health. In any case, your baby's pedia should know what to do.

          Now that you know enough about Teething you can learn to expect properly without panicking over the signs of it or being too relaxed. The next step is going to be a little difficult though when baby starts feeling his buds growing.Stay tune for tips on how to handle a fussy little baby with serious teething issues.

How to Save More: Shop and Buy Online

Around two years ago, I would go to a mall to shop to pass the time and spend half a day just browsing at stores. Sometimes I find what I'm looking for but sometimes I end up settling for something good enough, but not exactly what I wanted.

Shopping at the Mall as a Mom

Right now, I am not as confident or as excited about malls as I used to. Ever since I gave birth to my baby boy I haven't found the time or money to spend more than three hours at a mall. The longer I spent my days as a new mom, the more I realize there are more drawbacks to shopping than I expected, before giving birth:
  • Unlike my pre-motherhood shopping bonanza I can only visit up to three stores and only buy one item or none.
  • Having a baby in tow spells distraction, shortened browsing and a possible diaper call. Now that my kid is a toddler, it's not shopping anymore but chasing.
  • It's frustrating because the target item should be affordable or on sale. If anything, discounts are the best part about shopping. Honestly, who wouldn't want to pay a few bucks less than what it's really worth.
  • Getting a drink and some snacks become compulsory. My toddler is always thirsty, always hungry and always wants to ride that car at the activity center. Expenses don't just bloat on a 1-time shopping afternoon, it explodes into an "I-don't-know-where-the-money-went" situation.
  • The commute is punishing, if you're like me who does not own a car. Either way, the chances of a heavy traffic is like tossing a dice and hoping for a double 1. It hardly goes in your favor and honestly, I feel I spend more time waiting in a vehicle than actually strolling at the mall or park I waited to go to.
  • Bought the item or not, when I get home it's thrice as tiring as any normal day with a toddler, and I swear if I ever get an urgent email from work I'd effin' toss the laptop out.
Of course I never do it....though I imagine it a lot. You can't blame a tired mom.

Shopping Online from Home

Having listed out my drawbacks from buying at the mall, let me tell you about online shopping. So there's really only one big difference between the two: the other is physical while the other is virtual. To be fair, here are my personal issues with online shopping:
  • You can see both but you can't touch or asses the other through your 4 other senses. This is a big enough deal for picky shoppers, or if you don't know what you want to buy yet.
  • It takes a while for the items to arrive, especially if you're in the province. Delivery time takes 2 to 3 working days, sometimes up to 5 days if the online store or seller is busy, overworked or just downright stupid.
  • Your product might not look exactly like in the photo or you've absolutely been duped and got a fake.
Then there are the benefits of shopping online, right in the comfort of your oooown bed while your toddler is busy writing on the walls, with a clutter of toys spread on the floor and a pile of work buzzing in your mail....home sweet home.
  • There is no need for you to commute or pay for gas to go to the mall and try your luck on a "possible sale". You can simply check on a promo site or at the online store itself. Try it with Lazada they always have something on sale or promos.
  • You save money by not having to dish out on extra curricular activities like eating, playing arcades with the kids or ending up at the cinema. Miggy is 2.5 years old so his ticket is already full price. It's expensive because he sleeps halfway through the movie almost all the time.
  • When you do find something you like online you can delay buying it to look for a cheaper deal elsewhere or just to save up for it. Since you're not pressured you can drop shopping and check back in whenever you like.
  • Most people would think you could lose it and go all-out when you come face to face with a set of promos. On the contrary, I find myself thinking, rethinking and reconsidering which item to purchase, when and if it is a priority. Because online shopping doesn't provide buyers the chance to hold or experience a certain product, there's hardly any "temptation". If anything, trust issues become your "saving" grace.
  • You can pay online. Sometimes you'll have to go out and pay at the bank if your client is an independent seller. Most of the time, with online shops, you only need to pay using a credit card or your paypal account.
  • Online stores deliver straight to your yeah... serve me beetches! hehe.. The whole "you come to me!" aura of it is kinda nice.
So basically it's all about the freedom to change your mind and the privilege of not having to bear hours of juggling shopping with chasing your kid. Personally, I still love shopping out at the mall, but only when we're going to the movies. Going out for the sake of shopping has become obsolete for me, it's just not practical anymore.

If I'm eyeing something I'll look for it online instead and maybe score a better deal with so many sales and promotions this rainy season.

How Online Stores Can Benefit You

              Moms like me with no jobs don't get to go out very much, nowhere beyond the grocery story and plaza. So every time I earn some money online, I jump at the chance to go on a date with my family. Unfortunately, shopping outside sometimes feels like an inconvenience more than an enjoyment.

             I end up spending more than I intend and sometimes on the wrong, impractical things too! that's why I am eternally grateful for online stores and promo sites. I know some people are pro physical shop and traditional shopping, but honestly; it's not as beneficial for most parents who don't have the luxury for it. Shopping is supposed to be fun and rewarding, if not productive (on the part of getting what you need), so expanding my benefits through information online is really a blessing for me. Let me convince you about shifting to, or finding alternative through online shopping and promotion sites:

     There is excitement in online shopping, you never know what you will find and how useful it will be for you. It's not only convenient for people who don't have money for commuting, it's convenient because there's no way that you'll come home empty-handed. In addition, you can choose over wider varieties and discover cheaper, better finds over time.

  1. Unique Finds - there are many items online that you won't find at your local shopping centres. A lot of stores offer authentic US, Japanese and Korean brands. These things cost way more at malls than at online stores who will only be bothered with shipping fees.
  2. Cheaper Prices - as I have said, the items are 5% to 40% cheaper online that at malls or novelty stores. Even when you include the shipment fee, it won't amount to the same expenses you'll be making when you go out to shop.
  3. Browse Comfortably - no need to spend all that time in a cramped jeepney or poorly airconditioned FX/Bus to get to a place where you may or may not find what you are looking for. Online, all you need to do is sit down, open your PC/Laptop and search. Even if you don't find what you are looking for, at least you didn't spend excessive money, time and effort for it.
  4. Pay Conveniently - buying online is easy, you can pay in more ways than one. You can pay online through leading national banks like BPI and BDO. You can even pay through money remittances, if you feel like going out for a bit. International online stores will ask for payment through Paypal, all it takes is a click and the rest comes down to waiting.
  5. The Wait - for some, waiting for your pro duct is a disadvantage. For me, it's a small thrill and builds up my desire to be face-to-face with my purchase. It adds up to my excitement. It takes, on average, 3 to 5 business working days for a purchase to arrive directly at home (or a branch of the shipping company). During that time you can organize your home or room so you can find a place for your new item or just prepare for it.
      There is no denying it, Scammers are present online and it is difficult to determine who they are. The only advice I can give for online shoppers out there and fellow moms is to do your research. Oftentimes authentic sellers will post their permits where buyers can see them. Some will post evidence of their transactions like shipment receipts, buyer testimonials and obviously authentic product pictures (fresh from the cargo box). Don't, in any way, proceed with a transaction unless you are absolutely sure and confident about the seller.

Earning Income as a Stay-at-Home Parent..(part 2)

           Finally after days of procrastinating and rethinking the subject, here's an update on earning from home; mostly as a parent. Micro business options and ideas were discussed in the first part of this topic. Most of the types of financial sources mentioned there revolved around more physical and actual work. In this post, we'll take a look on the types of work or source of income you can find online.

           You'll be surprised how many opportunities there are online; if you know where to look, how to ask and how to compromise. Online jobs are the most convenient for any stay-at-home parent. In fact, it's convenient for anyone who would risk the absence of, sss contributions and medical cards. The only challenge in working at home are the Temptations, also known as Distractions. There's the temptation of procrastinating, sleeping it off, social networking instead and for parents; keeping the tots away from the computer. They are definitely a lot of distractions. But as it has been said before, there's no profitable work that is effortless and within the online world there is no exception.

            Online, the most useful and profitable skill you can have or ever make use of is being sociable. It's true, being a "people-person" is a skill; either you were born with it or you develop and enhance it. Either way, in the virtual world it's the skill that could make you filthy rich. Online marketing and advertising is apparent nowadays, especially that many micro and macro businesses are taking advantage of the internet and social media. Most opportunities involving this comes from networking businesses where you will have to invest first before you earn. You can think of it as a micro business where you are buying and reselling products; the difference being is that online you will be advertising more and enticing people to join to earn more (which is how networking helps its members earn more). I found an ideal package with 1BRO, which offers a very affordable investment as opposed to most business investments (which cost thousand and hundred thousands). My friend is earning well from this company and I currently saving up to try and join it too, for any interested viewers, you can find more info about 1BRO here or contact my friend via Facebook.

             For those who love to write or are confident with their English grammar and ability to comprehend, writing is a great way to earn. That's how I get my income, but the amount of money to earn as an online writer will depend on the amount of time you can give. If you are a parent though (or soon to be), freelancing instead would be more ideal instead of getting a full-time online writing job. If I may recommend, you can find an ideal freelance writing job at ESSAYS.PH. That's where I work :) the good thing about this company is that you control your work time and salary amount. If you want to earn more you will have to use up more of your time, it's true. However, you also have the liberty to cancel an assignment on emergencies, extend them using grace credits (you are given 3 as a starter) and can even join special teams to earn more. Another company offering writing jobs online is WRITERS.PH; they are a little more strict on the content, grammar, deadline, etc. and just generally have higher standards.

            So here we end up to: blogging. In all honesty, yes there is money in blogging and undeniably it is difficult to achieve that much. If you have the time, the effort, the ideas and the spark in attracting people.. yes, blogging can make you rich enough to pay your bills and spend a day at the spa. Personally, I haven't gotten there but I do believe it's possible; I haven't matched up to the correct formulation yet. Blogging gets you money how? Viewers, readers, audience. People passing by, looking, reading and following you are people that are highly valuable to advertisers. A blog is like a TV series that people get hooked to and the stuff they feature in it or endorse could become popular among the viewers and catch on to others through sharing. Your blog will be the bulletin board in the highway of web surfing. The amount of money you can earn through setting up advertisements depends on the offer of the advertiser, usually you will get paid for each click. Usually, it has to be unique (something that comes from the same country or type of target viewers). For fellow active bloggers with a solid theme or niche, here are some really top sites that can help you gain advertisers and earn through pay per clicks:

Nuffnang - It's a really friendly site and quite easy to understand and move around in. Nuffnang also provides a lot of news and additional income for unique members. They also showcase blog contests where you can actually win a variety of things like Premiere tickets to blockbuster movies or brand new electronics.
GoogleAdsense - It's not very easy to qualify for acquiring Google Adsense banners for your site especially if your blog is new. The payout is significantly higher than most, though which makes it desirable.
BlogsVertise - I only just tried this site, it's basically the same as most sites of its kind. You will need a Paypal account for this, though since the payout is in dollars and not pesos.

There are more similar sites with free registrations and no money investment involved. If you are ever going to enter the world of blogging and hoping to earn for real, you will have to dedicate yourself to it. Here are some of the key aspects that attract advertisers to blogs which you might want to improve:

  • Consistency - advertisers need consistent blogs; ones that actually have active posts. It doesn't have to be a daily basis but if advertisers know and are sure that there will be a new post every week they can be sure that there will be constant visitors who will see their ads.
  • Quality Content - this is all about originality and non-plagiarism. If there's anything worse than a blog with crappy grammar or irrelevant content, it's copying someone else's work and passing it off as yours. You could get sued, it is possible and you are not exempted regardless of where you live.
  • Theme/ Genre/ Niche - this is the core of every blog, the very thing that determines the type of advertisers who will approach your site and convince them to buy a spot. Based on your blog's genre, advertisers can determine whether or not their product or service will be relevant and noticed. It is imperative to have a stable genre or two as long as people know what your  Trade or Topic is.
  • Writing Style - this is easy, just be yourself but you have to be consistent about it too. You can be the witty writer, the informative one or simply a happy go lucky blogger who just wants to share.
  • Appearance - a crowded, cluttered blog hardly draws in readers. Remember, readers like easy to read posts and blogs so don't overdo it and try to make your pages bright and simply attractive.
  • Age - sadly though, the age of a blog matters to advertisers. If it's new or old but not very active it might not be very desirable for them. A blog that has been running for over 6 months with regular posts is most likely to hit it off than a daily updates week-old blog. The chances could improve though once a daily updated blog turns 3 months old or more.
             By this I mean offering to do someone's accounting, tax preparations, payroll processing and bookkeeping. You will have to be trained or experienced enough with this although a diploma on a relevant course isn't necessary. There won't be much needed in jobs like this since there are specialized software for performing these tasks. If you plan to make a micro business out of this you will have to hire other people to hands some of the tasks, but since we are focused on personally earning as a stay-at-home parent, finding a consultant from time to time will have to suffice. You'll have to make sure about being legal on this type of service especially with accounting issues. You might have to research more on licensure if you are not well aware of some things, but this source of income is only really advisable for those who are experienced and have a high knowledge or education on financial services. Otherwise, try not to experiment on these grounds carelessly.

            It is much like posting advertisements on your website or blog, except you post links/information on your social site like Facebook and Twitter. This is a great way to earn and works just like cost per unique click. This is how it works, once you register for an account at a reward club online you are set to share their Specials or ads on your Facebook (and any social account). These things you share has links that will send viewers to a page with more info about the product, promo, contest or service. When a person who is in the same country as you clicks on the post you shared (and its the first one of many ads of the special they clicked) you will earn from 50 cents to 2 pesos; depending on the club or site you joined. Nobody will turn millionaire from this kind of income but it does provide fair payouts all depending on your determination and zest to share specials. Here are two of my trusted sites that you will find easy to join and get the hang of:
(they don't cost anything to register, so feel free to try! Nothing to lose people!)

8Share - It's a spinoff from the website 8Says; a media sharing network but since they earned a lot of members because of their rewards feature they made a separate domain. The specials to share are very interesting and attractive so it's not difficult at all to find friends who could be interested in them. It is easy to share and earn through your social accounts especially Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.
Churp Churp - It's much like 8share but has been present much longer. There's a wide variety of things to share and ways to earn. I haven't gotten the hang of it as easily as 8Share but it is one of the most trusted and recommended sites by my advisers and certain online role models.