Welcome to the World, Gummy Bear!

Happy New Year, Happy 2015! New Year, New Baby! 🙂

I introduced Baby Bear in this blog 3 years ago, and now it’s Gummy Bear’s turn!

hello world! :)
hello world! 🙂
first time i opened my eyes
first time i opened my eyes
our christmas blessing
our christmas blessing
my first bath at home
my first bath at home – gummy bear was quite surprised but the next pictures will show how much he loves bath time!
all snuggled up
all snuggled up
happy 1st month, gummy bear! :)
happy 1st month, gummy bear! 🙂

Time truly flies! I was just blogging about the pregnancy and now he is a full month old!!!

Feeling so sentimental… so I had to take a trip down memory lane by also looking at Baby Bears’ pics. You can also view her pics here. I thought I was complete before when I met Baby Bear and never thought I could love another little human being. Now, my heart overflows with love for my whole family. It brings a whole new meaning to the line “you complete me!”. I can’t wait to share more milestones and adventures now that we are a family of 4 plus 1 dog! 🙂 I feel so blessed. Thank you Lord for all your blessings! Have a great year y’all! Let’s all have a wonderful 2015! 🙂

 

Happiness, is being a sister… having a brother :)

I first introduced Baby Bear in this blog with this entry, while I was also introducing my alter ego as a StartUp Mom. Now, I’m in the same cycle again in my life as I am happy to announce that Baby Bear will become a big sister soon… as in very soon! 🙂

hello gummi bear
hello gummy bear

We are expecting Gummy Bear this December!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 We purposely held off in announcing anything with everyone even family and friends because of what happened to us last year.  We lost our little tomato that time and we were so heartbroken. It took me awhile to prepare myself to have another baby again. I thought I would actually be a paranoid pregnant woman this time around with what happened but surprisingly I am a bit chillax with this one. Happy to say that this pregnancy has also been smooth sailing. With Baby Bear, I was even hospitalized twice due to excessive all-day morning sickness for the first 4 months. I lost a lot of weight back then and even had subchorionic hemorrhage.

I truly believe that all babies come from God and God didn’t forsake me during my bad year last year. He even gave me a baby boy just to sweeten the deal. 🙂 I am praying for a healthy and happy baby. He has given me a lot of happiness and love with Baby Bear and I can’t wait to experience the joy Gummy Bear will surely bring to our family.

I love Christmases and we can’t wait to meet our December baby. Christmas will surely come early this year and be doubly joyful for our family as we await the arrival of our little Gummy Bear. Thank you God for happy miracles and blessings. For happiness, is anyone, and anything, at all, that’s loved, by you! We love you so much already, Gummy Bear. Can’t wait to meet you! 🙂

Play and Learn Activity 1: Bath and Body

I am a SAHWM – Stay At Home Working Mom. Lately though, I have been morphing into a SAHM. I’ve been so addicted to taking care of the baby and teaching her stuff. She is in this uber cute phase wherein she parrots you – what you say and what you do. Her mind is such an absorbent sponge right now. She is busy taking in everything so I was quite hooked on planning developmental activities. I am enriching her mind with books and developmental toys (Sources are: The Book Depository and Amazon). Thank God for the internet!!! Seriously though, I think I need to get back to work since Christmas is our busiest season and working means more money to buy more stuff for Baby Bear, right? 😉

What I have been busy researching about the past few days were brain-boosting activities that I could do with Baby Bear or that I can teach the nanny to do with Baby Bear. As one of her godmothers told me, it’s not the nanny’s duty to teach her stuff… it is the duty of the parents to do so. It’s just a bonus if the nanny CAN teach her. Heck, it’s already a bonus if you even have a GOOD nanny who can do the basic nanny duties, right? Teaching your kid is above and beyond her call of duty already.

Anyhoo, I digress. I was able compile a list of activities from varied sources like parenting books, journals, websites, twitter, Facebook and other digests. Nerd Alert! 😛 Will share the activities that we were able to do successfully or the ones that were able to illicit a positive response. Note that activities posted focus on language, music and games that are age-appropriate for Baby Bear (around 18-24 months). It is our goal to have a new enrichment activity at least once or twice a month, maybe even more. With babies, the focus is always repetition since they are at the stage wherein repetition fosters memory retention. And hey, as long as you see them having fun, why retire that old trick if it still works, right? 😉 Whatever makes them happy, after all learning should always be fun since they’re just babies! 🙂

Play Activity 1: Bath and Body (Yes, I’m so corny. I couldn’t think of an activity title so this is what I used. No points for creativity here :P)

Objective: Focuses on learning about the parts of the body and other action words.

rubber ducky, you're the one... you make bath time lots of fun!
rubber ducky, you’re the one… you make bath time lots of fun!

There is still an opportunity to learn even if you are just giving your baby a bath. Get babies’ bath toys to do actions, tell her what each one is doing and urge her to tell you, too. Example, pick up her rubber ducky and say: the duck is splashing, splashing splashing on your back. Or grab the soap and say: look, the soap is washing, washing, washing your tummy and so on and so forth. Other action words that we use are: shampooing, massaging, tickling, etc.

Rationale: Studies say that repetition of words and phrases accelerates langauge development. It establishes early on that every sound has a meaning and solidifies that every thing that is named or every action has a corresponding word. That’s why in Baby Bear’s school, they post or name all of the objects that you will see inside their classroom. Everything is labeled accordingly. For instance, DOOR, CHAIR, TABLE, WINDOW, etc. You can actually do the same at home. Subliminal message at its best! 🙂

Remember that babies at this stage learn via playing. It is with playing that they are able to grasp the concept of things and events happening around them. Ain’t it fun to be a kid! 😉

Other fun activities:

30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge

Visit A Zoo

How about you? What are some of the activities that you do with your kids? Feel free to share them here! 🙂

Busy As A Bee

I haven’t been playing the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge for the past 3 days as I’ve had a busy week. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy as a bee:

  • I attended my first Parent’s Orientation for Baby Bears’ school. Her first day starts on Monday. I am one excited Momma Bear. She gets her own lunch bag that is so cool… it is insulated to keep the food warm plus her name is embroidered in front — talk about customized! 😉
  • My mom recently had her executive check-up and she needed to have a Gastroscopy and Endoscopy. I went with her this morning and I’m so glad she passed with flying colors!
  • I had a new client this week for my furniture shop. I blogged about this baby business of mine here. She had me customize an armoire for her 3-year-old daughter. She wanted a wardrobe cabinet that would “grow” with her daughter through the years. It’s really so dainty. Will post pics when the project is finished!
  • For my other business, we are close to sealing a deal with a supplier. I am excited to work with them for our Christmas Gift Items. Yes, you read that right, Christmas! We start this early just to prepare for that oh so, busy season.
  • Baby Bear is finishing up her Gymboree classes. She’s enrolled in Music and Play and Learn 3 🙂
  • Looking around for that illusive perfect Fathers’ Day Gift for Papa Bear… I have an idea what to get him but I haven’t squeezed in time to go to the mall to buy his gift. I don’t usually cram when it comes to getting him a present but I’ve really had quite a full week.

No, I am not abandoning the Hands on Play Challenge. I haven’t had time to read on and set up the new challenges. For now, Baby Bear has been repeating the past challenges —  so it’s okay, practice makes perfect, right? 😉 I will definitely pick up on where I left off on the challenges soon. For those who are taking on the challenge, you can subscribe to http://handsonaswegrow.com/ so that you can still get updated with the daily challenge.

Advance Happy Fathers’ Day to you, your fathers, grandfathers and or/your husbands. May you have a special celebration with your families.

Signing off for the weekend now… Ta-ta! 🙂

Day 6 Hands on Play Challenge: Family Time

What a timely play challenge since it’s also a national holiday today (Happy Independence Day) now here in Manila. The challenge is to simply spend some family together time doing whatever you want to do… TOGETHER! Together is the main objective of the challenge. Sometimes we spend time as a family in one room but you see each person doing a different thing. One is watching TV, one is surfing with the iPad and the other one is blogging or twittering. This really doesn’t count as bonding if you think about it.

The activity that we chose to do was to read books. I got a bunch of books for Baby Bear during the last sale at The Book Depository which I blogged about here.

Image representing The Book Depository as depi...

It was delivered last week and we wanted to open them already. We opened them one by one and let her choose a book. She still really likes the Baby Touch series and I’m happy that even though it’s a new book, she is already able to point out words that she learned before like flower, bird, star, and owl, among others. Here is a list of the other books that she currently reads.

Reading books is always a nice bonding activity. It is a learning experience and an avenue to help your baby foster confidence in herself. It teaches a lot and opens up a whole new world for them. Reading is something that can never be replaced with technology. There is a nice experience and memory evoked with every turn of the page, the smell of an old book and the love that you feel when your parents read to you. No technology can ever do that! Agree? 🙂

Day 4 Hands on Play Challenge: Pretend Islands

Sad to say, I failed the challenge today 😦 The irony of this failure is in the fact that the activity involves Baby Bear‘s interest which is walking, walking, walking.

Day 4 Challenge: Pretend Islands

We got a lot pillows in the bedroom and just threw them on the floor. We were supposed to walk on the pillows only as these are the pretend islands and the floor is water. Baby Bear loves to walk… loves to hop — but no, this was the time she chose to just sit and watch. I did a demonstration of the activity but she didn’t follow suit. She just sat there amazed, watching and giggling. I even got her favorite pet, Bozo the Bulldog to perform the activity (To see a pic of Bozo, click here). Again, she just sat there watching and smiling. I prodded her to join in on the fun and even offered a hand so that I can guide her — to no avail!

This is how fun the activity should have turned out had Baby Bear been a more willing participant — Day 4 Challenge: Pretend Islands. It’s okay though, I think Baby Bear didn’t want to join in probably because this is a new activity. I think she is just silently observing and trying to get how the game works. As I blogged about before here, we probably need to repeat the activity a couple more times… but it’s okay because this is how Baby Bear rolls. We understand that most of the time, she will observe a new situation first before doing anything. She needs to get a hang of it before trying things. Some might call it being overly cautious but at least she is careful, right? 😉 It’s okay to fail a challenge… at least we get to do it again… more bonding time for The Bear Family 🙂

Day 2 Hands on Play Challenge: Build A Fort

Day 2 Challenge is to BUILD A FORT! Yay!!! Baby Bear loves forts so this was a FUN task for us. Here’s what our basic fort looks like.

build a fort

We usually build this fort in bed because Baby Bear still stumbles a lot while walking so we want to make sure she can have cushioned falls. What we do is put Baby Bear inside the fort and play peek-a-boo with her. We go all around the 4 sides and she tries to guess where we will ‘pop’ up next. 🙂 Our latest twist to this game is I get an extra pillow and hide behind the pillow while simultaneously moving. This usually prompts her to try to ‘escape’ from the fort in order to catch me. 🙂

The other version of our fort is this tent that we got her during one of the Toy Kingdom sales here in Manila.

princess tent

We also play peek-a-boo here and we get her to go inside and outside of her tent. This activity is a bit tiring (for both the baby and the parent) but never fails to get her squealing with laughter so that’s all that matters. I see many tea parties and reading sessions with her dollies inside in the near future. I can’t wait to see what will spark her creativity and imagination. Definitely one of the things worth looking forward to.

Good luck with your Day 2 Challenge 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

For more info about the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge, just click on the badge found at the right side of my page or go to their website at Hands On As We Grow

 

 

Counting Candles, Counting Memories

I’ve been busy prepping for Baby Bears’ 1st birthday party. As I’ve mentioned on my previous blog post here, 1st birthday parties in Manila have become so lavish and festive. I don’t know when it started to become like this but I think it’s born from a new breed of parenting. The new generation parents are now more hands-on with regards to their kids and turning 1 for them has become a very much celebrated milestone. Also, I think for our generation, we tend to be more OC about things. Guilty, guilty, guilty! 🙂 I want to share some details about prepping for the party but in a separate blog post maybe. For now, I really AM busy with the party stuff but I just wanted to quickly drop by my blog and share with you the newest toy I got for Baby Bear.

Leap Frog Counting Candles

I bought the Leap Frog Counting Candles upon the recommendation of my mommy friends. They swear that their kids were able to blow out the candle on their 1st birthday party because of this toy. Yeah, I know, I am so OC that I even thought about wanting Baby Bear to blow out the candle on her cake — hey, makes for a good picture y’know! 🙂

Admittedly, I was at first hesitant to buy it but as with all my purchases, I did a lot of research first and was encouraged to find out that the toy had a lot of features that could teach kids a lot of things. Living in a condo with little storage space ensures that all things bought has to have educational value or lots of use! 😉 This toy introduces counting and there are songs to make numbers fun. It also encourages pretend play, teaches the birthday song, and pressing the buttons encourages development of motor skills and other what nots. Teaching them to blow out the candles was just the icing on top of the cake! Pun intended! 🙂

The true test of the value of the toy is always the actual usage. I am happy to report that Baby Bear was happily pressing away at the cake. She kept holding the lights, amazed at the “glow” caused by the flickering movements. It was also funny the way she was imitating our blowing until she finally got the concept. After 30 minutes of blowing, she was finally able to blow one out! Good job baby girl! 🙂 The toy looks durable – let’s hope so!  As a plus, it comes with volume adjustment — another OC habit of mine — my need to be able to control the volume of the toys!  😛

We have but 3 weeks left to practice on the toy… 3 weeks left until the main event… 3 weeks to making sure our party is picture-perfect!

But more importantly, we have 3 weeks left before my baby turns 1… 3 weeks to yet another milestone… yet another celebration… and yet another happy memory among all happy memories! 🙂