Get your Toddler Busy with Sensory Play using DIY Moon Sand

Toddlers are comparable to gadgets in the sense that sleeping is equal to charging and when they sleep for long good hours they woke up fully charged 100% energized to their full potential. That’s why I always research on activities that he can do when he’s up.

From our past trips on the beach and indoor playgrounds I observed that Seb enjoys playing with sand. It keeps him occupied for a very long time just scooping… and so my wish of having one of those sand boxes in our home is realized but space and maintenance is an issue and so I dropped the idea and settled into those occassional visits.

But then comes the solution (thank you, Pinterest) and its oh so easy to DIY that I did it a few hours after reading the pinned post. Let me share with you the process, experience and outcome of – Sensory play using Moon Sand.

First, let me highlight the benefits of the activity because its always a parent’s aim for their kids to learn while playing. Sand play is open-ended and the child leads the path of his own play and since there’s no right way to play with sand he can maximize the use of his imagination. It also expose the child to texture familiarization. Then there’s the eye-hand coordination, cause and effect and thinking skills. The benefits to reap are huge and its a simple mix of ingredients, so yey! and another good thing, no worries if he got curious and put it in his mouth as its all natural.

What you will need: Flour and Vegetable Oil

The thing is there’s no need for exact measurements as it depends on the texture you are aiming for and since I have little flour left on our pantry I didn’t actually get to fill a deep tub as I want to and so enter the little basin😑

Whenever I have an activity planned for Seb I am excited for him to wake up because whenever he sees the set up his face lights up!

 

Here are the photos of our Sensory play using Moon Sand:

 

 

It was mess all over and at some point he threw the sand as if its confetti, tipped the basin, sat on it and the best of them all, lay on it as if to nap so comes the hair dandruff effect. In that Pinterest post they don’t have that, but I am a toddler’s mom and should have known better.

It was a fun activity and the mess is manageable since its flour and easy to clean with water. It took him almost close to 2 hours before he’s done and wants a different environment.

Indeed it was a success and we will definitely be redoing it, this time with a tub full quantity I hope😊 Go ahead Momma, try this for your next bonding time.

 

Love,

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The Pros & Cons of Extended Breastfeeding to a Toddler

 

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First of, we define toddler age as 1-3 years old

We all know that breastfeeding is good for your baby but what if that baby becomes a toddler and has decided to pinch and pull your nipples? Ouch! right? you may think of stopping but please hold your horses first and let me convince you to push a little longer and do an extended breastfeeding for these reasons:

PROS
1. Health benefits to your baby. 

From his newborn feedings up until now during his toddler years, the quality and health effects of your breast milk continues to provide your baby the nutrients he needs.

Boosting the immune system – I observed that Seb rarely gets the sick. For common colds, if he does get it a week tops and he’s okay. As for fever, he had 4 days on and off and I blame it on his teething (some would disagree that fever is related to teething but I stand firm that it happens based from experience).

Brain development – imagine all the vitamins the milk supplies to help those neurons get in their right places and since I am not that consistent in the “Tamang Kain” as I want to be, I rely on my good milk to compensate for that. I am a vegetable eater so Seb’s been getting the liquid version.

2. Keep Mommy fit. 

I think this is a big factor to why I am back to my pre-baby weight aside from chasing after an active toddler. We all know that breastfeeding gives you the appetite of a hippopotamus – after every breast feeding is a food for you too and I eat a lot and I am thankful that those meals burn fast.

3. Instantly calms the baby.

Why instant? The moment Seb gets fuzzy I just lift my shirt up and he’s running toward the boob – his crying and  meltdown forgotten. Whenever he is about to sleep, he will cry a few minutes, feed and he’s off to dream land. I am wondering what I will do comes the day that he is no longer breast feeding. Oh well, for now this works and I am using it to my advantage.

4. Convenience and portability. 

You will never forget this wherever you go and the clean up is easy.

I tried giving Seb breast milk in a bottle when he was around 6 to 8 months as I do freelance work before and gone for a couple of days and the chore of pumping, washing and sterilizing those bottles is not something I look forward to. We are together 24/7 now and so direct feeding is the way to go.

5. Minus your expenses.

Whenever I passed the milk section on markets, I thank my lucky stars that I am able to breast feed my baby up until now as the prices of formula milk these days are not cheap. This free milk saves me a lot of money which I can allot on other baby needs such as wipes and diapers. I know that when he weans we’ll be buying the formula too but for now let me enjoy those little savings.

 

Not every moment of breast feeding is bliss. From that first 2 weeks of toe curling pain as your newborn sucks and open your duct, to this day that a very active toddler seems to think that your nipple is a chew and squeeze toy. And so to make this post relateably realistic, let me present the cons too.

CONS
1. Fidgety. 

Yes, that is the word that best describes them. Seb for one, cannot stay still. He’s kicking, climbing, pushing and keeps playing. Count those few moments of biting too. Oh the horror of nipple pulling! Remember those days of side lying with just his mouth moving and his cutie little hand on your arm? say good bye to that.

2. SOMETIMES it gets to you. 

When the mood strikes you, this question will surely arise. Am I just a milking prop? because it will feel like that. There will come a moment when it is not relaxing, easy and comforting. Those are the hard moments. It would not last long I assure you but you will feel that one time or another and please don’t feel bad or guilty that you thought of it. It is natural and everyone’s been there and done that. Its just a phase.

Clearly, the pros outweighs the cons because breast feeding is a blessing. Not everyone can do it and commit for a long time and that is okay. Whatever feeding method you chose for your baby is right as long as he is fed.

The secret to a lasting milk supply? Unli latch. It is the law of supply and demand. You may try those breast  massages, milking cookies, soupy foods, moringa vitamins and beverages but based from my journey, tried and tested – plenty of water and unli latch.

When will we wean? I say to let him lead and I will follow as weaning is a child’s decision.

For now, let me enjoy this moments as this will never happen again with him. Let me wear my breast feeding mommy badge a little longer while I still can and until he wants me to.

 

Love,

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8 Things I Do to Save Money on Groceries

Shopping and Sale. I used to associate these words with my clothes, shoes, and bag before but now they’re equivalent to that of Groceries – this is now my retail therapy. Do not feel sad for me because really enjoy it as it serves as my mini ME time aside from the usual series watching, social media surfing and eating I do whenever Seb is down for the night.

And so being at it for a few years now, I think I can claim a little expertise on the subject and since Inflation reach its peak now and can really be felt. This seems to be a negative impact of the TRAIN law but let’s not get to that.

As I was saying, now that all products and services have become pricey I want to share my little ways of saving in one of the biggest factors where the household budget is allocated. GROCERIES.

8 things i do

1. SHOP ALONE. If you want to stay on budget then this is a must to avoid extra items riding on your grocery budget. Also, you can focus and read items more carefully, even to the point of comparing two items side by side leisurely.

2. DO NOT SHOP WHEN HUNGRY. The term “Takaw Tingin” has its basis. You feel the need to have it all because when you’re hungry everything seems so tasty right? Grab a bite first before going in. You’ll see its effect in your receipt afterwards.

3. SET A BUDGET AND BRING A CALCULATOR. If you are the type who shops every payday then most likely you already have a grasp amount of your groceries for the necessities only and know how much it spikes up when you added the luxuries. Bringing a calculator and adding in price of every item may be a tedious task but it serves as your guideline to be aware of your budget limit.

4. VEER AWAY FROM BRANDED ITEMS. I’m sure you have your tried and tested products already and they sure come with the common brands we see on TV commercials. But do you really need a branded one for your iodized salt? baking soda? eggs? And other what nots. There are branded items worth purchasing and there are some that generics will do. It costs less but serves the same purpose. Once its out of that packaging you see no difference.

5. BUY IN BULK AND BIG QUANTITIES. I do this for detergents, shampoo, soaps and other long expiry products because I find sachets too non-earth friendly to the point of just being inconsiderate. I also like those products with the +20% more claims. Wether its true or not, I fall for it hahaha.

6. LOOK FOR DISCOUNTED DEALS. There are usual deals in soy sauce and vinegar combo, toothbrush and toothpaste, napkins and pantyliners, diapers and wipes. Either they are priced less or you get a freebie item, which usually are trial packs.

7. BEFORE CHECKING OUT, RE-SCAN YOUR ITEMS. This does not take too much time, just stop in one corner and look into your basket to check your items and see if you missed anything or some pricey item/luxury had been in (that’s not supposed to be there).

8. USE REWARD CARDS TO EARN POINTS. We know how this works and if you are consistent enough, points accumulation is a breeze as one grocery trip costs more than a thousand now. And if you reach enough points, it can be use to purchase.

There goes my list and I hope this has given you some tips to apply on your next grocery shopping. Remember, sticking on a budget is good but not to the point of sacrificing quality. Smart shopping is key. Knowing your brands and when to settle should be balanced.

Till my next post,

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DIY Activities for your Toddler

I have always been the creative type but never “frugal”. I can justify the need to spend and have more. (Justify mostly to myself as my husband does not buy it). He is my conscience when we’re in the mall. He’s always like”Do you really need it?” Blah, blah, blah… Hindi siya nagger ha. Mas practical at wise lang talaga siya😁

The creativeness in me tripled when I had Seb and discovered Pinterest. If you are not familiar with this app please stop reading my blog and install one NOW! (You’re welcone Pinterest for this promotion hehehe.)

I discovered this app way back 2014 when a friend recommended it and looking back on my boards it summarizes my life’s desires from pugs, to clothes, hair, shoes, to graphic designs, travel goals, wedding pegs, pregnancy tips and now, baby development, milestones and activities to name a few of my searches. It really is all very, very interesting!

My browsing lead to several attempts of Do-It-Yourself which are all successful ahem ahem. And I will share them with you.

Ref Magnets. Good for their stand practice and keeps them occupied for a long time. They can also see themselves in the ref’s surface so its like looking in a mirror. They also reach for the magnet or look for it whenever it drops.

The Ribbon Bar. I created it differently though as we only used a hanger to hold the ribbons making it more portable in my opinion (excuses… the bar seems hard and expensive to replicate)

Dig Out Toys on Jelly. This is easy and cheap. I will be doing this again soon as the baby enjoyed it. Warning: This is messy.

Discovery Basket. This occupies my boy for a long time and whenever he sees a fresh basket with new items he is very excited. I usually prepares this at night so when he wakes up this is my first trick as I am still sleepy to do active plays. The gist is you have this basket/box where you put items from different parts of the house. Example: Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom, Office stuff… Note: his favorite is the baking/kitchen items. He loves the whisk and spatulas.

Newspaper or Aluminum Step. Because of their texture once the baby kicks or placed their feet it produces a sound. Thus, the sense of hearing and touch are stimulated.

Balloon Tied to Foot. Seb did not appreciated it much because he was too young when I introduced this to him. 3 Months. Maybe I will try again soon. I’ll buy one of those charactered balloons they sell in the market.

The Silly Putty. The easiest combination I’ve read so far are flour + oil + water + food color and yogurt + food color. This is yet to be tested. I will post the one most effective and fun for him.

Cut and Paste. Using a double sided tape and cut out art papers, He gets to stick the papers on the cabinet. Its not mucb fun for him though, what we found more fun is the anti mosquito stickers. we stick it in his nose, belly, knees etc. we laughs and does the same to mommy.

The Messy Spaghetti. Cooked pasta with food color. I am hesitant to add food color as he will be eating the pasta for sure. Instead I will add a little beetroot for color but won’t mix too long for it might blend with the taste of the pasta and beetroot tastes like soil😑 so that is a no-no.

Coloring Materials. Colors and Colored Pencils are my go to’s when it comes to entertaining this little kiddo. He “tries” to draw nonsense using colors in an illustration board while I doodle with him. and my favorite is whenever he tries to put the colored pencils on its case. he gets to practice his motor and thinking skills.

Pimp the Walker. Seb’s walker is a hand me down and the toy in front of it is damaged so I just discarded it and created a new one. A very detailed car dashboard. It took quite some time and effort. I used a cardboard and sharpie and voila… ganda diba?

These next items are not DIY anymore… but still very helpful in their development.

  1. Read the Bible. I bought “First Bible Stories” and read it to him whenever we can. From the Creation, Isaac, Abraham, Noah, Jonah of the Old Testament and now we are on Jesus’ time at the New Testament. It is a review to me on the bible stories and It seem that I really am the one enjoying because whenever he tries to grab the book I say “No, this is Mommy’s book”. The book is too pretty.
  2. Read Fairy Tales. Aladdin, Puss in Boots, King Midas to name a few… but I prefer for him to read the Bible stories.
  3. Read pretty much everything. From labels, to signages and any other reading sources. I am a reader myself and I hope for him to develop a liking for it too. As I believe that reading is a solid foundation to having a good grammar. I credit my sister for my interest in reading. I remember the first book that my parents bought for me was Sweet Valley Kids.
  4. Massage. From newborn to infancy up to before he becomes too active and squirmish. Massage is a favorite activity. I have a thing for trying out new oils and watching youtube videos of baby massages. Complete with a lullaby on spotify. It was a bonding moment then but now that he cannot keep still… 😭

If you love who you are doing it for then it will never feel like a chore. This is my resourcefulness at its best. Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration.❤

I hope that this post reaches out to Mothers like me who’s looking for activities that can keep their babies occupied giving them TIME – either to bond or to do something.
Tapping the creative in you,

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Seb Update: The Moving Months

There’s this thing that Mothers always tell me before…

The Days are Long, But the Years are Short. So enjoy your baby while they’re a “baby”.

Ever since I had Seb, my life has become erratic. A feeling that I am always in a hurry, my eye on what is ahead, imagine a blur and craziness… but as Seb reaches his 6th month (I hope that I am not speaking too soon) I feel that I am now more calm, slow, mellow and at peace. A little dramatic it may sound. But that is my current state, not only as a Mom but as Me.

Why? … A little back story.

On my 37th week of pregnancy, My husband arrived from his work and decided to stay until we have the baby and a few more months to experience parenthood. He’d been with me since day one to the point that I’ve become reliant on him. Too reliant If I am being honest. That’s why the thought of him going away again for work got me really worried on how I will handle the baby alone as a parent. So the feeling of “urgency” has never subsided when he left, It actually escalated.

But I guess reality hit me and made me realize that most women, mothers go through this every single day alone. Without help pa nga. Just herself on her own. So why can’t I? From there, I found myself settling on a routine. And one of the best advice that I can give which I am too hard headed to try before is — To sleep when the baby sleeps. (Before, I use my spare time to check in on my social media accounts. But now I realize that by doing so, I am depriving myself a good and rejuvinating moment, which is more rewarding than spending time online).

Enough of my “side-drama” here’s the update on Seb’s 7th Month this May 7, 2017!

  • He can crawl, long strides if he really wants the toy ahead
  • He eats cereals and vegetables and fruits (mashed) and drinks water from a sippy cup. i bypassed the water on a bottle as I don’t see the need for it
  • He is very expressive and loud! you can tell if he wants or hates something
  • Thank God for diaper pants as it saves me the inconvenience of putting taped diapers on him while he toss and turns repeatedly
  • He sleeps straight from 8pm-6am with very few waking moments to nurse.
  • His gums are showing signs of teething. There’s a white trail where you’ll see the tooth about to come out.
  • His poop smells (not cute) 😦

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Since it took me more than a month to compose this post, Seb has reached his 8 months already😂 so here’s his 8th month milestones too.

  • He can sit and can stay that way almost steadily
  • He can stand in his crib. He achieves this position by pulling himself up from sitting
  • The boy can cruise in his crib
  • He still loves to put everything in his mouth and his grasping of objects has improved too
  • He keeps saying the word “abu” and sometimes I think I can hear him say Mommy but that’s yet to be proven and be heard by others for confirmation
  • Mommy is thankful for his unchanging sleep schedule of 8pm-6am
  • No teeth yet but a lot of razzing sounds and drooling
  • Now weighs 9.97 kg and lengths 74cm👍🏼

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Time really flies fast. Whoever said this quote totally nailed it! A lot happened during a day. Inbetween his nursing, feeding, morning and noon strolls. To his playtime, daily massages, poop and pee. It may seem routine now but this are all treasured moments…

My favorite part of everyday is when he’s down for the night. I would watch him sleep and cannot resist kissing him causing him too steer a little and make my heart skip a beat that he may wake up hahaha. But really, he is the cutest baby ever especially when asleep.

But not everyday is perfect. His 7-8 month transition had been worrisome to us. the culprit? CONSTIPATION. I would never have thought during my single years that I’ll be waiting and be ecstatic over someone pooping and will never be gross to touch it. (more of this on my next post)

I just regret that I am not able to have a monthly update on his progress. That would have been a very good cheat sheet for the next one. Anyway, this are all for now. See you on my next post.

Back to Mommy duty,

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My Newborn Learnings

Our little Sebastian turns one month old recently and I am still quite crazed that its only been a month when I feel I’d aged a number of years just by taking care of him. My daily routine of sleepless nights may have played a big factor with my aging theory😊

Anyway, here are my thoughts and what I learned for the past month since we had our little man… (in random order).

  • Mommy’s evident breastmilk usually comes a week postpartum but make sure to latch your baby asap for him to suck on the colostrum which is very healthy and beneficial to him as it gives him antibodies to strengthen his immune system. Do not rely on a breast pump to gauge your milk supply as newborns suck way better than that of breast pumps.
  • During the first 2 weeks – breastfeeding hurts. Your nipple will be sore, bleed and have blisters huhuhu. Literally toe curling pain.
  • Sleep, feed, burp and diaper change is what our entire day is about.
  • Hiccups in newborns are normal.
  • They are noisy sleepers! They grunt, wheezes and make all those noises while asleep. It has something to do with their breathing as they are not yet adapted to the outside world.
  • The little white lumps in your baby’s face and body commonly referred to as “milia” will soon fade. No need to put on anything to cure it. Anyway, these lumps came from you during pregnancy. The culprit as always: Your hormones.
  • They do turn beet red either when they cry or strain due to bowel movement because their skin is still thin and adjusting. (Their skintone and eye color is still a mystery too).
  • The umbilical stump falls off sometime during the 3rd week. Just clean it with cotton and alcohol and try to remove the little grayish parts. Don’t worry as your baby doesn’t feel the alcohol’s sting or any pain.
  • If you have a fat baby like mine, make sure to clean his in betweens with cotton and baby oil especially the ones in the neck, nape and underarms as they can smell pretty unbaby-ish / bad.
  • His first month milestone achieved: lifting his head during tummy time.
  • The elders are against it but we should practice tummy time a few minutes a day and increase gradually to strengthen his muscles and prepare him for crawling, standing and other physical activities.
  • For effective releasing of gas, push your baby’s knees towards his stomach for 10 seconds.
  • At 5 weeks, they shed their first tears (teeny tiny tears).
  • At 5 weeks, he’ll notice/stare at his toys especially the one hanging on his crib.
  • The baby’s sleep schedule is still out of whack so a few hours sleep is still what Mom has.
  • By week 6, ready your cash as baby’s vaccine is on schedule. Per our Pedia, it will cost more or less Php 10,000 for these shots.
  • Sometime right after celebrating his first month, he’ll look like a little person with too much cuteness and his clothes will feel snug one by one, also his diapers will change size from newborn to small.

 

The day is pretty much routine. The nights may be longer but be careful of wishing for it to be over as they do grow fast. Once they’re this tiny being then the next day their clothes won’t fit in!

Whenever I look at my baby I wish that he’ll stay that little forever so I can always carry him next to my heart.

 

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with his sleep-deprived parents. Oh little Seb what a blessing you are!

 

Loving this new Mommy role,

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