Weight Watch 2013, other stuffs, and my daughter’s 4th birthday today


I weighed myself last night.

I still need to lose 6KG before July 1st. I don’t know how I’m gonna lose the excess 6KG in 2 months, just in time for my brother’s wedding in July.

I decided to cancel our June travel to Manila. But I’ll attend my brother’s wedding in Malaysia, along with my parents and two sibs. Hubby will travel with me to the PH but he’ll stay in Manila. Our two kids will be under the care of their new yaya. I’d be very sad to leave them behind for 12 days but my mind wouldn’t be at peace if I’d leave them in Manila. After the MY trip, I’ll go to the province to be with my younger sister.

Today’s my 1st born’s 4th birthday. How time flies! Though she’s not a skilled reader/writer yet, her wisdom is beyond her age. Last night, she asked me a profound question: “Why do we love, Mommy?” I was thinking how on earth would I answer that? But before I could open my mouth, she said, “…because we have a heart”…

I’m one proud momma. I love my 2 daughters so much.

This is a random blogging. My mind is off to researching about my daughter’s homeschool curriculum but I have a lot of things to do at work. This morning, I didn’t go out to work but decided to work from home. I think that from now on, with a new yaya at home, I’d just stay at home to work on my stuffs. It’s better that way. Yesterday, this lady/crew at Espressa didn’t welcome my presence. She removed the cord without asking permission from me. If she had a good attitude, she’d ask me politely before removing the cord.

Well, it’s OK. Lately, I also could not concentrate outside home. I just felt that, in the past, I was just wasting my money when I worked outside because I didn’t seem to finish anything.

This is all for now. I’ll be back soon.


Finding nursery schools in Kuwait and an expat mom’s thoughts on early childhood education


My husband and I decided to look for a preschool for our 1st born. She recently turned three, and some sources said she must be enrolled in a preschool at her age. If not for our friend who told us that 3.5 years old kids should be enrolled in Ministry accredited schools here in Kuwait, we wouldn’t be finding the time to really look into this thing. We thought that she should be enrolled at the age of 5, just like in our home country, for formal and obligatory education.

We looked for some information on the Web. We read some blogs featuring some nursery schools in Kuwait.

Here are the links worth reading/browsing:

Nurseries in Kuwait
Finding nurseries

Regular classes will start on September.

Since we want our 3-yr old daughter to increase her social awareness and her vocabulary, we decided to enroll her at the classes in BrightMinds. Her first day went superb although she couldn’t cope yet with the cutting of paper using scissors. I have to teach her how to. She’s left-handed so I guess she needs more practice. Anyway, at the school, I’m glad that she’s sociable. She can get along well with the kids. She’s not much into following instructions yet, but I hope that she will learn to do so as the classes go along.

This morning, when I told my daughter that we’re going to school, she was so excited. I am sure she didn’t understand yet what school really is, and what she’d be doing there. At first, she was so shy to mingle. When the time came when they were asked to sit on the grass (carpet), she just observed the singing coupled with actions. But I could see in her eyes that she was carefully observing. Towards the end of the class, she started to play with the other kids. She was also hesitant to leave the place, when it was time to go home.

As soon as she woke up from her afternoon nap today, she opened her Dell XPS laptop, and opened her Starfall curriculum. It’s been a week since she first started using her laptop for homeschooling. She’s learning so fast at using the laptop, and doing the exercises at Starfall. After using the laptop, I asked her about what she did in school, and she was singing the alphabet song she learned (Zoo Phonics), with matching actions although she didn’t memorize yet the lyrics because it was her first time to hear such. I’m glad I found BrightMinds. I decided to enlist my daughter in three classes a week: Zoo Phonics; Sea Math; and, Crafty Kids. I am pretty sure her development will increase even more.

As soon as we reached home this afternoon, my husband and I talked about the schooling path for our toddler. September is the start of first term here in Kuwait. Should we enroll her on September in a formal school, one that holds classes from 7:30a.m. to 1:00p.m.? Uggh, isn’t that too tasking for a 3.5yr old? The nursery school that topped our list (for September) is 25min-ride from our house, no traffic; and, 1-hr ride if there’s traffic. Of course, relocating to a flat nearby the school isn’t an option. Other than the distance, the high fees are also taken into consideration — KD1730 to KD1800/yr.

This afternoon, hubby and I sat down and really dug deeper into our family’s direction. I realized that when you have kids overseas, a parent, I should say, both parents should have a master plan about child education. Looking through the fees for children aged 3.5 to 5, I could almost collapse. LOL.

There are a lot of questions that came up:

  1. Are we really going to settle in this country?
  2. Until when?
  3. Should we really enroll our toddler comes September at age 3.4 in a nursery school? Which school? Which curriculum? Which area?
  4. Where’s the best country to live in that offers quality education?
  5. and so on..

The questions went on and on, and still I was having a hard time answering the questions.

Since it’s so hard to really decide at this moment, I decided to read more about early childhood education.

Now, I’m brainwashed. LOL. I think I might not enroll my child in a formal school until she’s 5 years old. Period. She will continue joining the classes at Bright Minds, but not enroll yet formally in obligatory education at 3.5yo. She will continue her homeschooling program, online.

This article, Much Too Early by Dr. David Elkind, has, to a large extent, opened my mind as to what early childhood education should be. I need not stress my child. Learning should be fun. I agree with the article that

“early education must start with the child, not with the subject matter to be taught”

I couldn’t agree more with this:

“The guiding principle of early-childhood education is, then, the matching of curriculum and instruction to the child’s developing abilities, needs, and interests.”

And this one is an eye-opener for me:

“The deployment of unsupported, potentially harmful pedagogies is particularly pernicious at the early-childhood level. It is during the early years, ages four to seven, when children’s basic attitudes toward themselves as students and toward learning and school are established. Children who come through this period feeling good about themselves, who enjoy learning and who like school, will have a lasting appetite for the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Children whose academic self-esteem is all but destroyed during these formative years, who develop an antipathy toward learning, and a dislike of school, will never fully realize their latent abilities and talents.”

Really, I do believe in that.

I remember my youngest brother. Among us 5 siblings, he was the only one who enrolled at a young age of 3.5. I guess he was mis-educated. His self-esteem was damaged. When he entered grade school, the more that his self-esteem was damaged by his arrogant teachers. Too bad. Too sad.

Now, I don’t want that to happen to my children. I want them to have a healthy self-esteem about themselves, and about education. I want them to be always eager at going to school, and not already bored because they have been formally going to school since the age of 3.5, and have been sitting around for 6 hours or less, and have been commuting at an early age. I want my kids to enjoy LIFE. From infancy to less than 5 years old, joining a playgroup, and homeschooling them, I guess, would be enough to create happy memories, and happy disposition and outlook about life and education.

Dr. David Elkind is SO RIGHT in saying that:

“If we want all of our children to be the best that they can be, we must recognize that education is about them, not us. If we do what is best for children, we will give them and their parents the developmentally appropriate, high-quality, affordable, and accessible early-childhood education they both need and deserve.”

Mom Dutdot


After an hour of reading articles online, I came up with this information about education in Kuwait (Modified on 20 March 2012 at 13:29):

Nursery and primary education


In Kuwait, schooling usually begins at age six. Pre-school or nursery education is also available to children from four to six years old. Under a new system, primary education will begin at age 5 years.

Now, my worries are set aside.  A few weeks back, we were told by a friend about a certain issue that 4-yr old kids should be formally attending schools here in Kuwait.

Preschooling/nursery education is not a must, but just an option (of course, my kids will learn at home, and at playgroups).

UPDATE April 29, 2013


New year’s resolution: “Formal” Homeschooling 2012


I have been informally homeschooling my two daughters from 3rd trimester on my tummy up to now — my first born at 2.9yo and my youngest at barely seven months. The problem, however, with not having a curriculum to follow is that anything goes, anytime, and anywhere. Although I didn’t call it “homeschooling”, I think the kind of developmental milestones that I am seeing on my daughters (esp. my 1st born) will fall into the category of homeschooling. My toddler sings, dances, watches movies, talks in English, sometimes Spanish, and Arabic, plays with her toys, solves puzzles, plays the piano, and guitar, watches youtube, plays with the iPad, iPhone apps, and now, the laptop (although occasionally).

For over a year now, I’ve been looking for the pre-school or nursery to enroll my 1st born. She’s now 2.9, and has been “pretending” to read. She recognizes the letters, the alphabets, and knows some phonics, but when it comes to teaching her how to read, she does it on her own. She doesn’t want to be taught! She’s so independent (a trait that I can also see in my 6months old), you know, almost in all aspects of her life. The only thing that she doesn’t know at this stage of her life is to bath herself, but she knows how to brush her teeth, wash her hands and face, change her clothes, remove her soiled diaper (she still uses diaper especially when she sleeps), prepare her milk (I saw that when she prepared her milk, and I got too excited and maybe she got too nervous that she threw the milk from the bottle). She also knows the word “exercise”, and what it means, and she does find time to exercise by following Leslie Sansone’s DVDs. Recently, I bought her a VCD containing Jazz steps for kids. She’s not much into it yet, but I think she’ll love it, too, soon.

I thought that by enrolling my 1st born to a nursery or playschool will make her learn more. But I think that I’ll just continue and upgrade what she’s learning at home (from me, if her mood is right), and mostly from herself, and other DVDs/VCDs. Why? I don’t think it would be a good idea to let her start formal education outside home. We’re living overseas, and majority of the playgroups, nurseries that I found (online) were far from where we are residing. I really don’t want to stress out my child in commuting everyday or every other day.

So for 2012, I resolve to “really” focus on her “homeschooling”. I’ll create a curriculum (Overseas Homeschooling Curriculum) for her that we’ll follow for a year, and let’s see about the developments. I’ll also check if there’s an online homeschooling curriculum that my toddler can follow.

Why the sudden focus on formally homeschooling my toddler and baby (not much formal homeschooling though since the youngest is just 6months old)?

I’m a firm believer of lifelong learning, and early learning. But this quote has enlightened me more than ever.

Now is the only early childhood you will ever be able to share with your child.  These are golden years. It might be worthwhile to once again thoughtfully consider how you really want to spend your time.  What could you put off until later in order to maximize and preserve these few precious years with your child?  Your sacrifice today will mean a stronger academic and emotional future tomorrow.  Your love, time and attention mean so much.  In a child’s world, there is simply no substitute for you!

~ Jane Claire Lambert

After all, it’s just a matter of proper allocation of time. Now, it’s time to put into good use the 8 triple rule I read long ago but haven’t practiced yet: 8-8-8 (8 hours for my work & personal development); 8 hours for my sleep and home obligations); 8 hours for my family (recreation, bonding, homeschooling, catching up).

How about you moms? How do you divide your time? What’s your take about homeschooling?

Urinary tract infection in kids


My barely 3-year old got urinary tract infection (UTI) two weeks ago. My husband and I were so devastated.

I recalled as to the cause of her UTI and three factors could have accounted for it:

  1. Sometimes she controlled peeing because she’s being potty-trained.
  2. The turkey sausage she ate at the resto
  3. Her dirty/soiled diaper at night
  4. Less intake of water

Of the three possible causes, I think the no. 1 factor was the turkey sausage that she ate at a resto inside the Avenues Mall, plus less intake of water.

I still vividly remember the day I brought my toddler to the mall. She ate a lot during that day. She even vomited because she was overfeeding. She was so hungry that she was almost able to consume a lot of the turkey sausage and the mashed potato. The next morning, she ate at home – hotdog – because she asked for it. She could not forget the turkey sausage (which she called hotdog) so she asked for it at home for two more meals. The next morning, there was nothing unusual with her. But towards the end of the night, my youngest baby was grumpy; she was crying for no reason at all. That’s when my 1st born was awakened by her little sister. My husband then carried our first born, and asked her if she wanted to stay in the living room as daddy finished his work in his laptop. That night, our toddler was running a fever of 38.5 degrees Celsius. I panicked. Before we got her temperature, she was crying because she was having a hard time passing urine. That was the time we decided to bring her to the Emergency Room.  Before bringing her to the hospital, I gave her 60ml dosage of green barley.

When we reached the hospital, the doctor prescribed a suppository for her fever. Since it wasn’t known yet that it was UTI, she wasn’t given medicine yet for her urine problem. After sometime of waiting at the hospital bed in the ER, my baby peed a lot. It was all because of green barley! It took us several attempts to get urine sample into the pediatric urine container. While waiting for the results of the urine culture, she was given a medicine but was stopped when she was tested for UTI because the medicine was not compatible with the microorganisms. She was having loose stools with her previous medicine for a week! Results of the urine culture showed that she got UTI. She was given a new medication by her fave baby doctor H – suprax. Along with Suprax, we continued on administering high dosage of green barley. After 10 days, my baby was seen by her baby doctor. She was clear of any infection by just looking at her physically. A followup urine culture was made three days ago. I just got the results today. Thank God, she’s now clear of any microorganisms in her urine! Praise God. I shed a tear after waiting for the other doctor to read the lab results.

UTI cannot just be diagnosed easily in just one look at the child even though the child exhibits symptoms like fever, difficulty to pass urine, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Our toddlers wouldn’t even tell us that s/he is undergoing difficulty in urinating. When we are potty training our children, it’s important to let them know that it’s OK to make a mess on the floor, it’s OK to pee there if they couldn’t reach the bathroom or their potty stool just so they wouldn’t control their pee. Oftentimes, controlling urine to pass is one of the causes of the UTI. When my baby’s first lab urine culture was presented to us, we were told that her nitrate content then was so high. That’s when I realized that it must have been due to the hotdog that she ate. Hotdogs are known for containing a high amount of nitrate that’s why pregnant women are prohibited from eating eat. I also remember that my younger brother then (when he was still a kid) got UTI because of too much hotdog in his diet.

What made my husband and I panic about UTI in our 1st born was that should our toddler wasn’t able to pee then, a catheter would be used to aid her in urinating. We could not imagine then the pain, the trauma. If not for the initial aid in the form of green barley, it could have been difficult for my baby to pee. We’re also thankful because here in Kuwait, we have a very skilled baby doctor. Our toddler loves him much, and vice versa.

Our baby’s baby doctor said that UTI is common in kids. In adults, there is a burning pain down there when afflicted with UTI. But with kids, the symptoms are less specific. Sometimes, the only symptom is fever, which may be a symptom of other infection like bacterial or viral in the respiratory tract system. The key here is to note about the color and the odor of the urine of your child. As with the case of our baby’s urine, it had foul-smelling odor, and yellowish, too.

The urinary tract has four components: kidney, urethra, bladder, and ureters. Sometimes, it’s hard to detect about where the bacterial infection is really located in the urinary tract. The commonly affected areas with UTI are the urethra and bladder. When the infection goes up to the kidney, it’s something serious.

What’s important to note is that UTIs are TREATABLE, but if left untreated, UTIs in kids can lead to permanent kidney damage.

How to prevent UTI in Kids:

  1. Frequent diaper change in infants and toddlers
  2. Wash diaper area but be very careful with using soaps as they sometimes are the cause of UTI
  3. When wiping, wipe from front to behind, and not the other way around
  4. Kids should try not to control their urine as bacteria will grow in the urine in the bladder
  5. Don’t overeat hotdogs
  6. Drink lots of water
  7. Monitor the passing of urine of your infants and toddlers
  8. Wear cotton underwear
  9. Follow medication prescribed by doctor to fully eliminate further growth of microorganisms
  10. Drink green barley, highly effective for treating UTI both in kids and adults

Childbirth in Kuwait the second time around


This happened five months ago.

I still have a vivid memory of what took place last June, 2011.


I started my pre-labor at around 2a.m. of June 9. It meant having cramps and contractions. I was sort of panicky that morning. It wasn’t because of the pain. Far from that. It was the fear of giving birth again at night time in a public hospital. That time, my mind was already prepared with giving birth at the public hospital, at the same hospital where I gave birth to my 1st born. For what reason? Simple. I already knew the place. I was hoping that the same nurse who assisted me on my first childbirth in 2009 would be there again to assist me. Unluckily, she wasn’t there.


During the pre-labor at home, I consumed 1 bottle of green barley. It helped me a lot. While on the way to the hospital, I consumed one bottle again. At 11:30a.m. in the morning, I asked my hubby to go to the hospital. Just after 30minutes upon arrival, and a few times of pushing, my 2nd baby came out – normally. How was the process?

When we reached the hospital, I was told to sit down. My sister who came all the way from the Philippines did the processing of my papers since my husband wasn’t allowed inside the maternity hospital. I told the nurse that I was already bleeding so they prioritized me. I was then brought to the labor room, but I asked first if I could see my husband and sister. I was nervous, mind you. Delivering a second baby doesn’t feel it’s the second time. It’s always like the first time.

When I reached the labor room, I was checked by the nurse. My bottom was inserted with something to make me poop everything that I ate during the night/day. For two times, I went to the bathroom to poop — loosely. It was like my tummy was revolting, not the painful way though that time. It was quite a relief from thinking about the contraction. The nurse checked on me again about my dilation. This was when I told the nurse that I felt like pooping again! She IEd me. I was dilated at 8cm. She told me not to go the bathroom anymore for fear that I might give birth there. Scary. I told her, but I need to poop! She said that pooping might be my baby wanted to come out then because I was already dilated at 8cm. I heeded her advice not to walk towards the bathroom. After a few seconds, the doctor came in. I knew her. She was my attending doctor during my first childbirth in 2009. She was referred to me by a new friend then. This time around, I was quite relieved that she’d be there on my second childbirth. During my first childbirth, she wasn’t around. She just checked on me the following morning.


That doctor IEd me, and I felt that there was something that was inserted down there! I didn’t know what it was. Just after a few seconds that the attending nurse told me I was at 8cm, this doctor (lady doctor) told me I was at 5cm. Who to believe then? I believed my nurse. Why? Because I was dilating too fast. When we reached the hospital at 11:45, I was already at 4c.m. When I reached the labor room, I was at 5c.m. A few minutes after that, I was told I was at 8c.m. How come that the doctor told me I was at 5c.m. just after a few seconds that the attending nurse IEd me?

After a few minutes, I was screaming out loud. I didn’t scream during my first childbirth. During my first childbirth, I was listening at the cries of the mothers giving birth in the other labor rooms. I hummed with praising songs during my first childbirth. It was painful yeah, but the pain was under control by my mind. But this time around, I could hear the loud cries of the mothers, and even my loud cries. It was like the screams of animals. I was screaming like hell, too. I was aware that I was screaming out loud because I could not take the pain! I was OK at home, and before the doctor checked on me, before she inserted something on my vagina. I was not OK after she had checked on me. I could not do mind over matter anymore. It didn’t help. All I could tell the nurse was to have someone hold my other hand. In other words, there was something that was done to me but I wasn’t aware of. How did I know?

After a few times of pushing, my new baby girl came out. (She heeded my plea that she should come out when we’re already at the hospital so Mommy wouldn’t panic. She did come out right after we reached the labor room! But there was a twist at this story. I knew I was dilating too fast. I knew my body then, but I was violated.) I looked at her, and she was such a cute girl with small eyes. I asked that she should be near me after she was cleaned. After sometime, she was with me at the labor/recovery room. I had a vivid memory with her. I cuddled her even though I was still bleeding. I just made sure it was controlled bleeding. My baby was very hungry then. She sucked her thumb! I removed her three fingers from her mouth! Yeah, three fingers fitted her little mouth. She was sucking her fingers heavily. For three times and for around 30 minutes, we played a game sort of tug of war: she sucked, I removed her hands, and it continued until such time that I was already laughing and could not remove her hands anymore from her mouth. I still didn’t have milk that time. After a few minutes, a kabayan went inside my room. We chatted. I asked, “why’s it that everyone was crying like a pig?” Her answer: “because you’re all given an inducer”. What the! So that was why I wasn’t able to control the pain; that was why I was crying out loud even though previously I was taking control of my labor; that was why this time around, no amount of mind over matter could do the trick! SHINOHADA, really!


Don’t get me wrong. Inducing childbirth is something that is helpful to some mothers, especially those who needed the help to let out a baby, a big baby, in that case, and especially if the labor is taking sooooo long. But for others, like me, who was then dilating toooooo fast, I did not need the inducer! It was a Thursday, and the attending doctor was in a hurry, I was told. RUBBISH. After my second childbirth, I vowed not to give birth again.

After a few hours, at around 4p.m., I was wheeled, together with my new baby, from the labor room to the ward. At the entrance, I saw my sister and husband. I smiled at them. They were amazed at my courage. They said, I didn’t look like I just gave birth. They just told me that they just heard a few moments then someone who was wailing. Yes, not crying, but wailing. Hubby told my sister, “my wife’s strong; she won’t be crying like that.” I proved him wrong. I told him, despite how calm I look now, I wailed like the wailing of the woman that you just heard. Everyone wailed like that. They just couldn’t believe it. Then I told my hubby how this kabayan told me that the attending doctor induced us. He told me, “yeah, I remember how this friend of ours said that this doctor is known for “helping” moms to give birth “easily”. My goodness. I wished I wasn’t induced. I wished I was asked first if I wanted to be induced! I wished I was treated like a person-in-charge-of-her-body.

If the doctor didn’t induced me, this was the scenario. I would know when to push. Push ONLY when there’s PAIN, said my previous attending nurse during my 1st childbirth. Breath properly. Just think positively. These were the advice of my mother, and the online childbirth classes I attended to while pregnant.

I KNOW MY BODY. IT’S MY BODY. I KNOW WHEN TO PUSH, AND WHEN NOT TO PUSH. But the right to push properly at the right time was ROBBED off me because I was induced without my knowing.


I gave birth at 12:15p.m. I could have jumped out of joy because my plea to God that my second childbirth should happen during the day and not at night happened! I thought I would be sent home, with my baby, after some few hours. But contrary to what I was thinking then, we were held at the hospital. The reason? My baby had jaundice! Oh my God. How come my baby had jaundice? I was told she would be put on phototherapy. Glad my sister was with me at the hospital to take good care of my baby. I had green barley then at that time that my baby was diagnosed with green barley. I didn’t administer it right away. I waited for the phototherapy; bad decision. I was almost not sleeping. Why? My baby was too strong at birth. She was trying to remove the mask on her eyes! On the second day, my boredom was heavily growing and taking a toll on me. My baby, too, was chilling because she had no clothes then under the phototherapy. I told the attending baby doctor that I wanted my baby out of medical assistance. My hubby and I were asked to sign a waiver. They checked again my baby’s condition. Her levels of birilubin wasn’t increasing. Why? Because secretly, I administered green barley. We were discharged the next day; my baby had still jaundice. I knew she’d be healed of her jaundice at home with green barley. Thank goodness, after a few drops of green barley, and after a few days, she’s cleared of jaundice. Thanks to green barley.


We were discharged with the condition that we’d bring our baby back to the hospital after two weeks. We brought our baby. She’s clear then of jaundice, but another problem came up. Her hemoglobin level was too low, and she was barely a month old, just 18 days, and it was unusual, we were told. Mild anemia was ruled out. Blood samples were extracted and tested. There was mild anemia. I was told to continue breastfeeding. But shinohada, no matter how much I tried very hard to breastfeed, my breastmilk just dried up for no reason at all. It was PRESSURE that I was feeling all the time and so my breastmilk dried up easily. Anyway, so I wasn’t able to breastfeed my newborn then. We weren’t given any medicine to improve her hemoglobin levels. This time again, I relied on my ever powerful, ever reliable and magical GREEN BARLEY. After a week, my newborn then was tested again for her hemoglobin level. This time around, we didn’t go to the public hospital where she was first checked up (because we were asked to). We went to our baby doctor at Al Salam, Doc H, and series of tests were done to rule out anemia and another test that I forgot the name. And oh, blessings, my baby’s hemoglobin level was normal! Thanks to green barley!

The bottom line of my post: Know your body. Know when to push, and when not to push. When giving birth at a public or private hospital, talk to the attending physician when she’s about to IE you to check if she’d be inserting s0mething or not. I was violated because all I knew then was that it was just an Internal Examination of my dilation. In my 1st childbirth, everything that the attending nurse was inserting on my IV, I was asking her. I was also asked by the attending physician then (different from my attending physician for my second childbirth) if I wanted to have an epidural, etc. I SAID NO. I gave birth then unmedicated. It was painful, yeah, but I was in control. For my second childbirth, I was induced without my knowing, even though I was dilating too fast. I wished it was never like that. I could not erase it from my memory. I could only say thanks to God for the new life, for my life, and for giving me that courage to give birth again.

P.S. If you want to know more about green barley, comment here or send me a mail at dutdot[at]gmail[dot]com or visit this Web site.