1st Birthday Ni Hao Kai Lan Party

I initially blogged about why I chose Ni Hao Kai Lan for Baby Bear‘s 1st birthday party and attached the mood board that I used for her party preps in this post. Here are some pictures from the party that reflected the mood and feel of the event. It was definitely a happy 1st for my Baby Bear. Looking forward to many more birthdays and celebrations. C’est La Vie! 🙂

ni hao kai lan invite
ni hao kai lan invite
ni hao kai lan invite back -- labor of love by yours truly :)
ni hao kai lan invite back — labor of love by yours truly 🙂
ni hao kai lan happy birthday banner
ni hao kai lan happy birthday banner
ni hao kai lan party set-up
ni hao kai lan party set-up – comfy bean bags for the kids to sit on 🙂
ni hao kai lan table set-up
ni hao kai lan adult table
ni hao kai lan kiddie table
ni hao kai lan kiddie table
ni hao kai lan hair salon
ni hao kai lan hair salon
ni hao kai lan sweet station
ni hao kai lan sweet station
ni hao kai lan lanterns
ni hao kai lan lanterns
super yummy! :)
super yummy! 🙂
delish strawberry panna cotta by K. by Cunanan
delish strawberry panna cotta by K. by Cunanan
ni hao kai lan cupcake tower
ni hao kai lan cupcake tower made by a fairy godmother 🙂
ni hao kai lan water bottles with dragon bling
ni hao kai lan water bottles with dragon bling
ni hao kai lan cookies
ni hao kai lan cookies
ni hao kai lan loot bags
what’s a party without a loot bag? 😉
ending the party with a confetti burst bang! - 'til the next celebration :)
ending the party with a confetti burst bang! – ’til the next celebration 🙂

*All fab photos posted above were taken by our creative photographer – Ging Lorenzo

 

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 1 Hands on Play Challenge: Mission Statement

I joined the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge as I mentioned on my previous post here. Day 1 Challenge was emailed to me a bit shortly after I subscribed. Today’s task is a bit simple but needs a lot of thought put into it. The challenge is simply to write a mission statement of how I would like to be more hands on with Baby Bear and to jot down her current interests. I was excited when the challenge was posted. I love mission statements!!! As I blogged about before here, I believe that all goals can be well executed if it is guided by a general purpose statement.

Here’s my Hands on Play Mission Statement:

I hope to introduce Baby Bear to fun and educational activities in order to effectively play and learn, spend quality time and foster an environment wherein she can grow in love and happiness.

Baby Bears’ Interests:

– Stickers!!!

– Music

– Pretend Play (Feeding her toys)

– Walking, walking, walking

That’s it! Easy peasy! I am excited to get my Day 2 Challenge. What is your Hands on Play Mission Statement? Do share! 🙂

Personalities and Quirks

Do you believe that the personality of babies are made and not born with or born and not made? I think at the start, they were born with their own set of personalities but it is up to us, as parents, to try NOT to shape but to HONE these personalities. My husband and I both have more or less the same personality type. Suffice it to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Baby Bear has our personalities. This is a double-edged sword for us. This can be good because at least we know how we like and don’t like things so it is easier to adapt to her. This is also bad because, hey it’s hard enough to change ourselves as it is, let alone get someone else to change too.

Baby Bear is a bit of an introvert like us. I scoured around the internet looking for the best description of what an introvert is. It’s hard to do so because there is a lot of misconception surrounding this specific stereotype. Here’s the best definition I was able to get that was a bit close to home of what an introvert for me is.

So what makes Baby Bear an introvert?

1.) She tends to think things through before doing – If I ask her to look for things in the room, she really looks first before pointing. Just recently, I asked her where the wall clock is in the office of her pedia. She looked around first then pointed to where it was hung. When I ask her to grab me toys from her room, she doesn’t just go and randomly throw around things looking for the object that I asked for. She will survey the room first, and when she finds it with her eyes, then she goes for the object.

2.) She observes first before diving head on – She is enrolled in Gymboree Play & Learn 3 and Music  1 class. She doesn’t participate at once because she studies the teacher intently.. and by intently, I mean if looks-can-kill type of stare. After she gets the hang of it, she practices at home, preferably when she is alone. We see her doing the stuff she learned in school via our baby monitor.

3.) She is very shy and reserved. – She shies away from people who shower her with lots of attention. She doesn’t like to “do tricks” in front of other people and literally, burrows herself when people applaud her.

No, I don’t think she is anti-social. Neither is she “gifted” in the negative way. That’s just how she is. Different strokes for different folks. This is how she moves, this is how she learns and plays. I can enroll her in all the classes I can think of or even schedule her all the playdates that she wants but I think this is how she really is. She is super happy to see her room when she comes home from the mall, classes or a trip. She plays with all her toys as if she hasn’t seen them for a week. This is her way of recharging and being herself.

Do I wish that she was more of an extrovert? Yes, I do sometimes wish that but only because I know my Baby Bear has so much talent to share. She knows so many things already and I am just a bursting proud Momma Bear who just wants to show her off. I think though, we just need to take a step back and remember that though our babies are ours, they are still their own person. They are living their own lives and we should let them live it by supporting them and not changing them. We should foster an environment wherein they will feel safe and secure enough to grow and blossom.

Here’s a list of rules for caring for an introvert that a friend of mine emailed me.

how to care for introverts

An introvert or an extrovert will have their own ways of learning and living. At the end of the day, trust that they will arrive at the same answer… just a different road. To the moms out there, who also have introvert babies, let your tiger mom instinct take a step back. You may not be able to show them off the way you would an extrovert child who loves the crowd and knows how to work them, but your baby will know if you are proud of them… and at the end of the day, that is all that will matter! Your child is uniquely yours and only a mother can love and understand their own kids the best way they know how – quirks and all! 🙂

How about you? Is your child an introvert or extrovert? Do share us your stories about your own kids 🙂 Happy weekend!

Have Baby, Will Travel

Baby Bear just turned 1. Hooray to another milestone! 🙂 Her next adventure is a trip to El Nido Lagen Island, Palawan — first airplane ride, first boat ride, first long trip, first beach, first outing, a lot of firsts! 🙂

Here are some tips for taveling with a baby.

1.) Be prepared. Be very prepared. – Call the resort and ask questions about the trip, flight, airport details, etc. For instance, I just learned that all liquid hand-carry must be in increments of 100mL with a maximum of 2 bottles only. I requested for a larger allocation for this because my baby drinks a lot! Plus, you have to be at the airport 1.5 hours before the flight, the flight is 1.5 hours, the boat ride is 1 hour, not counting the travel time to the airport of 1 hour… you do the math! 200mL is not enough to feed a probably-starving and bored infant by then! 🙂

2.) Call the resort and ask them to set up a baby cot in your room.

3.) Call the resort before the trip and request for special meals that your baby eats. i.e. congee, soup, vegetables etc.

4.) Ask if they have microwave ovens, airpots in the room and yes, I was very happy to discover that they had sterilizers at Lagen Island. 2 thumbs up to them for having complete baby equipments.

5.) Make sure they have life jackets for babies. If not, there are small life jackets being sold at Speedo stores but it’s for 2 years old and above though.

6.) Check if the water at the resort is desalinated. This is important especially if your baby has atopic tendencies or skin asthma.

7.) For island hopping, check out the schedule of the boat transfers, how long the transfers are, if their boats have shades from the sun, if there are bathrooms in the islands you will be going to.

8.) Do they sell mineral or distilled water in the resort and how much. El Nido only has Evian and Viva Mineral Water. Evian is being sold at a whopping P570 and Vivia is at P73.25. Yikes, I am lugging around my own Absolute distilled water.

9.) Speaking of which, there’s only a 10kg weight allocation per person – luggage and handcarries. Babies have no allocation!

Now that you are armed with all that information, it’s time to pack. We will be away for 3 days and 2 nights. Sharing with you my list that I based from babycenter.com. Being the OC mom that I am though, I added other items and lots of extras too. Crossing my fingers that we will not exceed our baggage allocation.

1.) Diapers – Calculate how many diapers she will need for the trip and add 10% for buffer in case of emergencies.

2.) Diaper Pad – This is very important especially since I highly doubt that you will be lugging a stroller around the beach.

3.) Diaper Rash Cream

4.) Wipes – 1 big for the luggage and 1 small pack for the diaper bag will do 🙂

5.) Blankets – 4 blankies which will also double as beach mat or blankie when she sleeps on the plane or boat

6.) Plastic Bags – Varied sizes to store soiled clothes, diapers, spit-ups, etc.

7.) Alcohol – 1 medium size, 1 small

8.) Baby wash – 1 medium size for the luggage and 1 small (for when you go island hopping or go to the beach you need to quickly wash her face/hands)

9.) Baby Lotion – 1 medium size in the toiletry bag

10.) Tissues – 1 big for the luggage, 1 small for the diaper bag

11.) Fave toys/books

12.) Don’t forget the beach toys and floater… and the air pump! 🙂 We got the brand Swim Ways for the floater Intex for the air pump 🙂

13.) Clothes, socks, shoes

14.) Bibs

15.) Sun Hat and Shades – both of which my baby doesn’t like to wear, good luck to me! 😦

16.) Bathing suits – I love the brand iPlay because it has UPF and they have swim diapers. Protect the fishes hehe 🙂

17.) Umbrella

18.) Feeding Set (Spoon, Fork, Bowl) – 2 sets

19.) Formula, Water

20.) Bottles, Nipples, Sippy/Straw Cups

21.) Bottle Cleaner and brush – don’t forget the straw brush 🙂

22.) First Aid Kit – The most important item is the ear thermometer and ice pack. (Separate post on the First Aid Kit coming up) 🙂

23.) Inflatable Baby Bath Tub

24.) Toothbrush/Toothpaste – we bring 2 brushes because our baby loves holding one while we are brushing her teeth

25.) Nail Cutter – Do cut the nails before the trip though so that will be one less thing that you will have to worry about.

26.) Cotton buds/Cotton Balls

27.) Laundry Powder – 1 sachet

28.) Socket Protectors – got mine from Saizen

29.) Baby Bed Linen – Bring your own small pillows and bolsters so she doesn’t need to adjust too much to new surroundings.

30.) Hooded Towels – Wrap around after swimming/from the beach

31.)  Baby Towels – We’re bringing 4

32.) Wash Cloths – 5

33.) Burp Pads – 6

34.) Moski Shield/Insect Repellant – We use OFF! Clean Feel because it uses Picardin which is safer for babies

35.) Sunblock – Upon our pedia and derma’s reco, we got Cetaphil SPF50 🙂

36.) Aceite Manzanilla – We always carry 1 small bottle in our diaper bags as precaution to kabag or stomach gas.

37.) Baby Powder (Cornstarch) – We don’t believe in using powders but we always have 1 small cornstarch powder in case her skin gets irritated and itchy from her sweat or the heat.

38.) Baby Oil – Put baby oil before swimming so that baby doesn’t feel too cold in the water. I learned this trick from the nanny.

39.) Snacks and Drinks – Baby Bears’ current fave snacks are Marie Biscuits. This brand is safe for babies because it melts in their mouth. She washes this down with Dutch Mill Yogurt Drink. The only packaged drink that is approved by Mama Bear for babies. We get the Strawberry flavor because it has less sugar contents vs. the others.

Other pointers:

1.) Try to Ziploc all medicines and toiletries.

2.) Mix and match clothes already. Better if you can Ziploc  or place in a plastic per set/per day, so you can just whip it out anytime and you won’t need to look for matching socks, hats, etc.

3.) Pack an extra outfit for you and your husband in case of spit-ups.

4.) Use a diaper bag that is water-resistant and with shoulder straps for convenience.

5.) Bring medicine prescriptions in case of any emergency.

6.) Always remember to charge your battery cameras and other electronic devices such as cellphones and iPads.

7.) Don’t forget to enjoy!!! Show baby the wonders that God has made, build sand castles, bury her feet in the sand up to the ankles to make the legs strong – old wives’ tale, feel the wind and waves and go stargazing at night 🙂

That’s about it, I guess. We leave tomorrow morning. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything. Excited for our first vacation with Baby Bear. Til’ the next post. Happy weekend to all! 🙂