Screen

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One-Word Prompt 3/6/2016: Screen

In an era driven by high-technology, half of the adult population admit to being hooked on their smartphones. According to Pew Research Center, in 2015, 92% of U.S. adults owns a cellphone, including smartphones. Nielsen reports that the average American adult spends 11 hours per day on gadgets. In the Philippines, we are dubbed as the text-messaging capital of the world due to the volume of SMS (short message service) traffic encountered in the country. With the emergence of China manufactured phones and gadgets, the age of phone owners in the Philippines are getting younger, because of its affordability.

The statistics simply shows that people are keeping up with technology. We are in sync with the world of technological advancement. And with the age of world wide web, we stay connected even miles away from one another. Information is within our grasp with the help of Google and Wikipedia has now become our virtual encyclopedia. We have access to entertainment via our smartphones and tablets, aside from the traditional television. We spend 11 out of 18 waking hours looking at a screen. I for instance, spend around 5-6 hours in front of the computer during the course of my 8-5pm office work. I spend an average of 2 hours per day in my smartphone for blogging, and check my phone from time to time for text messages and Facebook notifications (I am one guilty freak).

Because of these advancement, parenting styles has also evolved and is greatly affected by technology. A toddler’s shape-sorting toy has now been replaced with iPads and smartphones. Reading books become boring to children because they find interactive apps in handheld devices more fun. Children are so much exposed to screens at very young age, and lots of parents are guilty of this. Just like the succeeding scenario I’ve encountered while grocery shopping. There was a toddler who was frantically crying maybe because her mom did not give him the chocolate bar that he wanted from the shelves. The mother tried to calm down her child, but out of desperation, she reached inside her bag, took out a tablet and opened an app, then she handed over to her toddler. Voila! the kid stopped crying. But according to researches, using a smartphone or tablet to pacify our children may impede their ability to learn self-regulation. They tend to become impulsive, hard to please, and may have short attention span. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine found out that use of interactive screen time for children under 30 months of age could impair a child’s development of the skills needed for Math and Science.

As a parent, I am guilty of the convenience of iPad and television in particular, as a media to entertain my young child, especially when I needed time to finish a task in the house. But reading all these reports in the internet regarding the negative impact of screen time to toddlers, I panicked. Worst thing is when you let your kid spend time on screen unsupervised. The web world offers a vast of useful and sometimes dangerous information such as graphic content and violent videos that corrupt our children’s innocent and vulnerable minds.

We are their role models, so be a good influence. Having said all that, I am now more cautious and responsible on the use of mobile phone in front of my kid. I remember one incident when I was replying to an important text message in the middle of playtime. My daughter was telling me something while I was ignoring her unintentionally, because I was so focused on my phone. I was shocked and felt guilty at the same time on what my daughter did next. She suddenly took my phone out of my hand and put it aside, and continue with what she was trying to convey, which was to put the blanket on my head and pretend I was Queen Elsa. From then on, I always remind myself not to use a phone or an iPad whenever Raffy is around. I agree to the article I’ve read somewhere that when we constantly use our phones or gadgets in front of our young children, they would feel unloved and unnoticed. Toddlers or young children are egocentric. They want an undivided attention. They are still in the process of discovering a lot of unknown things, which requires our focused guidance and attention.

Technology is good. Unlimited access to information is even better. It feels good to be entertained and keep updated. But we should always keep in mind that too much of something is bad, so keep things in moderation. Too much screen time is not only harmful to young children but also to grown-ups alike. Too much time wasted on Facebooking or TV series marathon hinders our productivity thus makes us less  effective.

Being responsible in any areas of life helps a lot, so better keep things balanced so there won’t be any trouble.

SuperMom Award

Super-Mom

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Daily Prompt 2/24/16: Pat on the Back

I am surrounded with the best people one could ever ask for – my family, friends, and work colleagues. They all deserve a pat in the back and I’m just being so proud of who they are or what they have become. For instance, my sister deserves a shout out for becoming a Branch Manager and continuously hitting the monthly targets together with her team. She has become a good strategist and team player/leader. Also, my older sister who is a stay-at-home mom doing mommyhood duties 24/7. I will never ever forget to mention my man who never gives up no matter how hard the hurdles are on our way just to give us a decent life.

Above all, I am dedicating this post to the most amazing, strong, and loving woman on earth – my mom. Words are not enough to express how proud I am of my mother. She is my confidant and bestfriend when I need a shoulder to cry on. She is always ready to listen to my rants and problems and in turn offers me the best kind of advises, as mother knows best. My mom doesn’t have any degree because attaining a higher education was not a trend in the old times especially when you are situated in remote parts of a third world country like Philippines. They live simply through farming. Being the eldest of her siblings, she assumed motherly responsibilities while her parents were working in the farm. But despite all that, she excelled in some other areas of life. She became both our Mom and Dad when our father passed away. We’ve earned our diplomas because of her sacrifices.

Having a mom like her is a blessing. She helped my Dad in our small family business and at the same time do the household chores on her own sans any help of a house help. She was our first teacher. She taught us not just the basic alphabet and numbers, but most especially the values and manners that brought us where we are now. She has sacrificed a lot during those years when my father was battling with cancer. She worked hard in order to keep the family fed and paid hospital expenses like chemotherapy and rehabilitation. She endured all the pain and sacrifices because she don’t want us to see her fall. She kept mum about all the pains and hid her tears, yet we knew it was not easy. I could not fathom where she got the courage, strength, and power to keep moving. I wish I could do the same.

She’s my unsung hero.

My mom never changed. Her love, undying. She understands and handles my frustrations. She was stricter than my Dad but now I understand why.  Some things are clearer now that I become a mom, too. She didn’t want to see us hurt or crying. She would swear to punch the boys who would break our hearts (we are tres marias). She is my security blanket, always ready to calm me down in my desperate moments. I could always feel her enthusiasm whenever I achieve something no matter how small it is. I’ve found in her my cheerleader. If there’s someone who is more proud of my achievements? That would be my mom. She is awesome and she thinks I am, too. Nothing makes me feel more special than her.

If there’s an Academy Awards for the Best Mom in the World, then I’m giving the Oscars to my Mother!

Cheers! FB_IMG_1456902619566                                                          Me and Mom watching a 3D movie

In another life.

Daily Prompt 2/21/2016:The Road Less Traveled

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

One upon a time, I almost moved from Davao to Cebu. That was a decision out of impulse. I jumped into a work opportunity based on my own guts without considering other people’s opinion especially my family and my former boyfriend, now my husband. I was younger then, a fresh college graduate. I thought I was mature enough to make my own decision. I was ready to venture into a new journey. My employment and relocation papers were all set except that I forgot one thing along the way – informing my family about my plans. On my mind, it was not a big deal for them. I wanted to surprise them about what I have achieved actually. Sure, they were really happy about my great news, but they did not agree the part about me leaving. There were series of talks. There were lots of things to consider. I never thought it would be that complicated. Things were complicated which I chose not to discuss them one by one anymore. To cut it short, that time I realized that making a decision should not be done overnight. It takes prayers and consultation with peer or family.

Now, what if I pursued the move? I wonder who would I become. If I relocated to Cebu, life could be a bit unfamiliar. I won’t have a baby as adorable as Raffy. Yes, all babies are blessings from above. So, well, yes, I may have a baby or two as charming as Raffy, but having Raffy and her Dad is a different story. My life would be different I think. In another life, I maybe single as of the moment. Uncommitted and carefree, attending parties every weekend because I don’t have a child to take care of. I don’t have muffin top, stretch marks, and added pounds brought about by pregnancy. I won’t be chasing an uber energetic toddler while trying to finish the laundry. I won’t be changing dirty diapers and bed covers filled with biscuit crumbs and chocolate stains. More so, I think I have a different career aside from being a working mom. I envisioned a slicker me in a six-inch pumps working my a** off to the corporate ladder. I guess I have different set of friends.

I maybe pursuing a different hobby. I discovered my love for crafting when I became a wife and a mother. I think I am travelling a lot cause it’s always been my dream to go to different places and visit scenic spots. I guess I’m making a lot more money than I’m earning now. I may not be in Cebu anymore by now because working overseas was also one of my options. I would have not married my first love.

At some point, I realized what a good life I have right now. I couldn’t think of a much better lifetime than this. Things are simple and far from extravagant but spending time with my family is beyond extraordinary. Being a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s my best achievement so far and nothing could top that off.

Blogger Recognition Award

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I am a newbie blogger. I opened my WordPress blog last March 2015 but was not able to update it until just recently. As a newcomer to the blogosphere, I didn’t expect likers, commenters, or even followers. My goal is just to put into words my thoughts and opinions on anything I’d like to share with especially about parenthood with my 2 year old daughter.

Writing could be hard sometimes. There are instances that I couldn’t even think of a topic to write and my thoughts are everywhere. There are photos in my gallery that I’d like to share, but I couldn’t find the right words to begin with. But thank God I discovered dailypost from one of the blogs I follow. Through daily prompts, I am challenged to write random topics everyday. From these daily posts responses, I’ve learned various life lessons from different stories of real people. I began interacting with fellow bloggers too, and I couldn’t believe blogging could be this real fun. I am actively blogging for more than a week only, but the whole experience is overwhelming.

One of the sites that inspired me most is Write Them All by Ms. Ann Santos.  And I’d like to thank her for this Blogger Recognition Award. It is such an honor. I’m glad someone noticed and appreciated my writings.

Write Them All is truly an inspiration. I can feel the heart and sincerity of the author poured out in every words on her posts. There are always lessons implied on every story she shares.  By the way, she’s also a Filipina and I couldn’t be more proud. I am always looking forward to reading more amazing stuff on her blog.

You too can nominate bloggers for the Blogger Recognition Award by following below:

  • Give a ‘shout out’ to the blogger who nominated you  and include a link to their blog.
  • Nominate no more than 15 bloggers of your choice. When choosing a  blogger for ‘the Recognition Blogger Award’, look at the content of what the blogger posts, the way the blog looks, anything unusual and unique that makes you think this blog needs to be  shared and needs a bigger platform.
  • Link your nominees and let them know they have been nominated.
  • Reveal seven facts about yourself.

I would like to nominate the following for their sites are amazing and truly inspiring:

1. https://superjangames.wordpress.com
2. https://ricamaerosales.wordpress.com
3. https://rogershipp.wordpress.com
4. https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com
5. https://whatsinmyheadandheartnow.wordpress.com
6. http://yoursuccessinspirer.com
7. https://thecoolredhead.wordpress.com
8. https://xingfumama.wordpress.com
9. https://spilledthoughtsandcoffee.wordpress.com
10. http://sparksandsounds.com
By the way, here are seven facts about me:
  1. I’m proud to be a Filipino.
  2. My favorite fruit is Durian.
  3. I am not sporty.
  4. I love midnight snacking.
  5. I have a soft spot on kittens.
  6. My favorite movie is 50 First Dates.
  7. My greatest achievement is becoming a mother to an adorable baby girl.

Enjoy!

Time Machine

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Daily Prompt: World’s Best Widget

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?

If I become an inventor with super magical engineering skills, then I would built a…

You’ve guessed it right! Time Machine. Yes, it’s overrated and I think many of the respondents of today’s prompt share the same thought with me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to time travel? How amazing it would be to relive the good times then be able to see what the future holds. Particularly, I want to revisit my childhood days when everything was simple and uncomplicated. When I encounter problems, I sometimes imagine being in my grade school days not worrying about handful of bills to pay, making big decisions, and dealing with societal pressure.

My time machine comes in a size of a smartphone with touch-capacitive screen, which allows you to travel to a specific timeline at the tip of your finger. It enables the user to alter his troubled past, or do something to prevent the loss or sickness of a loved one. I know, this sounds too good to be true and defies the law of the universe and even more complicated moral issues. I’m also quite aware of the principle of ‘moving on’.  But isn’t it great to reunite with your family or friends for even just a short period of time and relive precious moments?

Now, how about a peek into the future? This sounds both exciting and disturbing because I’m sure it would be more complicated than one could ever imagine. There would be unimaginable things you do not want to see nor experience. Life is unfair, so just be prepared to face the future. But on a positive note, the good thing about having a time machine is for the person to be aware of what to avoid and what to take chances in order to devoid the unpleasant aspects of his future self. This, my friends, is a “play safe” life apparatus that everyone is looking for. Life would be far more simple I guess if we have our own “options” to hover over and click, buttons like forward and rewind, and edit and proceed.

Raising a Bookworm, plus My Bargain and Surplus Book Finds

Studies show that children who are frequently read to as early as on their few months of life have higher IQs compared to those who are not read often. Reading aloud to our children using age-appropriate reading materials is very beneficial to them according to research. Babies/toddlers learn to communicate more easily, they acquire language skills early, become more imaginative, and they easily recognize colors and shapes.

When my little one was still few months old, I used to read to her simple baby books like ‘My First’ books (words, colors, shapes etc.), story books that come with fun finger puppet animals made out of felt cloth, squeaky books, and pop up books. I remember the excitement of my child every time I or her Dad read to her.

My little daughter is now two years and a month old, and the reading activities continue. I become more enthusiastic because she’s now able to recognize  a lot of things in the books, like animals (and their sounds), common stuff that can be found in the house, cartoon characters, things in our surroundings, and more. She’s starting to familiarize also the basic shapes and colors. And she become more participative during our reading sessions. I don’t push her too much to memorize every letter of the alphabet or the numbers one through twenty perhaps, because I found it unhealthy for my tot. I just let her explore her world her own way, but of course, with our guidance and support.

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Every time I go to malls, I frequently check bookstores for bargain items. One time, I found books at National bookstore which were up to 70% off. One of my good buys is an Eric Carle book, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?. Eric Carle is an acclaimed children’s book author, known for his brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books. His books are quite expensive, but I was able to get the tiny book at P100 from its original price of P885.

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Another book I got on sale is the Happy Birthday, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff. She’s also a known author and illustrator of bestselling books for children. The book is originally priced at P199.75, but I got it for only P50.
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One time, I went to American surplus  shop to score branded toys. I came across their book section and got these Disney Princesses and Dora the Explorer Busy Books. The tiny figurines are missing though,  but the pages are still intact and look fun, so I grabbed both. I can see Raffy’s gleeful face whenever she switches its colorful pages. Paying P10 each didn’t hurt at all.
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I believe on the importance of early reading intervention, so as early as now, I make sure to include reading to her in our daily activities. I know she could benefit from it in the future. I’m dreaming of putting up a small library at home soon. According to studies, once they are accustomed to reading at very young age, reading would become a pleasure to them instead of a chore. Since doing it often helps in enhancing ones comprehension, logic, and creative imagination, raising Raffy to become a future bookworm is one of the keys in preparing her to become successful in the future.
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Enjoy reading!

XoXo
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Go for Organic

A baby’s skin is ten times sensitive than adult’s. They are susceptible to allergic reactions especially when you give them skin care products with harsh chemical ingredients. There are also products in the market which we think are good for our babies, and yet, contain hidden strong ingredients that are harmful for our babies’ delicate skin.

Being a new mom, I am so pessimistic with baby products. I would read tons of reviews before trying or buying a baby gear or a bottle of shampoo. I am just so plain paranoid. I also tried to read blogs about baby products, motherhood, developmental milestones, just to prepare myself for the big arrival. I’ve read somewhere that parenting or motherhood is a bit different from the paper and the actual thing. Well, it is so true. Every mother and every baby has a different story. We have different style of pacifying a crying baby, and the way we bathe our little one somehow differs. Our product choices also varies because one baby is allergic to a certain product while the other is not.

We mommies, only want the best for our babies. As for my little one, I prefer organic products. Good thing I have found Human Nature. This local Filipino company produces organic skin care products for both mommy and baby to enjoy. They also advocate sustainable community building thru Gawad Kalinga. Part of the profit goes to community projects like housing projects for the victims of calamities. Human Nature is really true to their slogan; pro-poor, pro-Philippines, pro-nature. Go check https://humanheartnature.com for more interesting info.

For my Raffy, I use the Human Nature natural baby skin care product line. Natural baby wash, baby lotion, and baby wonder oil.
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The Human Nature natural baby wash is 99.3% natural and hypoallergenic. It is 100% safe and gentle for our baby’s delicate skin. I also use this to wash my baby’s hair. It is mildly scented with lavender, rosemary, and chamomile extracts. My baby’s skin is so soft, smooth and smells oh, so good! I really love this product because aside from being organic, it is also very affordable. A bottle of 190ml is only 149.75.

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It is important to protect our baby’s sensitive skin from exposure to harmful and harsh environmental conditions. So after bath time, I keep Raffy’s skin moisturized and nourished using Human Nature natural baby lotion. It has 100% natural ingredients like avocado oil, sunflower oil, and aloe vera, that keeps my baby’s skin soft and supple. Same with the baby wash, 190ml bottle is only P149.75 only.
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Since baby’s skin is ten times more sensitive than adult’s, it is just so vital to protect and nurture our little one’s delicate skin. One thing I do to maintain Raffy’s healthy skin is to massage her using Human Nature’s natural wonder oil. It has chemical-free ingredients that keeps my baby’s skin protected from itchiness and boo-boos. It contains non-mineral oils like pure, premium-grade Sunflower oil, so I have peace of mind everytime I use this product. It is also dermatologists tested, so no worries. I just enjoy the special bond between me and baby every time I massage her skin with Human Nature wonder baby oil. There are evidence-based studies that touch therapy is beneficial to our infants and children. It is a form of bonding and communication that surely makes both mommy and baby happy. SRP for the Human Nature natural wonder oil is P149.75 every 190ml bottle.

Human Nature also has a line of organic body and facial care products for adults that I also love and enjoy using. I’ll be writing about them in my next posts.

XoXo

Breastfeeding My Toddler

When I was still pregnant with my baby girl, the decision to breastfeed my child was a no-brainer. Being employed in a hospital has helped me gained a lot of ideas and good thoughts about breastfeeding – the countless health benefits of breastfeeding, the economical effect of breastfeeding on your household budget, precious time and energy you save from breastfeeding, so on and so forth.

My breastfeeding journey began from the day I delivered my child. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health advocates and implements the “Unang Yakap” (First Embrace) protocol during delivery and that includes uninterrupted skin to skin contact of mother and baby through breastfeeding.

My breastfeeding journey was not that easy since I am a working mom. I delivered via Cesarean Section (Can you imagine the post-operative pain?), and I have to return to work after 78 days. I went through all the nips sores and painful engorgement but everything’s worth it. During my 8-5pm daily duty, I pumped ounces of milk and was able to do that for exactly a year.

Lo and behold, my daughter is now 2 years and a month old and I am still breastfeeding her. The whole experience is just so addictive that I’m having trouble quitting. Kidding aside, I chose not to wean my daughter by force because I believe on the benefits of extended breastfeeding. Many studies from the World Health Organization, American Pediatrics Society, and other respected health organizations have proven that breastfeeding your child for more than a year is healthy for both the mother and the baby. It boosts the baby’s immune system and helps a lot in the brain development.

As a working mom, breastfeeding my toddler is our sweetest form of bonding after my 8-hour daily absence. It gives me sense of fulfillment; it gives me peace of mind. I have decided to breastfeed my child as long as I can and as long as she wants. It is my choice, a good one I believe.

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Office break time means milk pumping time. (With my ever reliable Tommee Tippee manual pump.)
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A breastfed baby is a happy and health baby.

 

 

Raffy Stole My Heart

From the time I conceived our daughter, I have been thinking this whole blogging thing about motherhood. But my journey to being a mom was not an easy breezy since I had to balance work and taking care of the little miracle inside my belly. I remembered taking a complete bed rest plus medications somewhere in my first trimester of conception because of a bleeding episode. I admit, I was too lazy to write then and I just couldn’t find the perfect timing. Well, enough with that part. Why won’t you just allow me to do a rewind?

The moment Raffy came to this world, she instantly stole my heart and everyone else’s. One great year of memories made, lessons learned, challenges faced, and a whole bunch of poop and wee wee stories. So pretty please, let me share to you the wondrous things I’ve learned and about to learn as a rookie mom and as Raffy continues to steal my/our hearts.

From time to time, I will be posting some motherhood stories I have had experienced, survival tricks, parenting 101s, thingamabobs of a supermom, and anything under the sun.

It would be fun if you’ll share your thoughts and stories too.

Going on, I just want to share to you some of the photos of our precious one. Raffy, Rafaelle’s the real name is a day old here weighing 7lbs 13oz. She was born on December 18, 2013 via Cesarean Section due to my not-so-rare condition which is CPD or Cephalo Pelvic Disproportion, which simply means that my baby was too large to fit through my pelvis hence, normal vaginal delivery was literally impossible.

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Raffy here is around 6 months old. She is an active and playful baby. Her first plush toy is Tigger and remains her favorite until now. She loves playing with our mobile phones and she would keep on uttering words as if she is talking to someone on the other line.

Rafaelle is now on her 15th month. She can now say a lot of words, loves music and dancing a lot, and can now walk alone unassisted. She’s turning into an adorable, smart tot everyday, and she never fails to amaze us every time.

I will show you more of her on my next posts. That’s all for now.

See yah!

A Child’s Play (Not Chucky’s)

It’s weekend once again which means more bonding moments with our little one. It’s the time of the week where I get the chance to breastfeed her more often, put her to sleep after each tiring playtime – which also makes me fall asleep most of the time, acting as her playmate, and many more things a working mom do to compensate the hours missed with her baby during weekdays.

My baby is already on her 15th month and she’s literally unstoppable. She never gets tired exploring the unfamiliar things around her, especially now that she can walk on her own. Kids at this age are prone to stumbling and tripping because they are just beginning to refine their balance and confidence. So, parents and caregivers should always keep an eye on their little ones in order to avoid injuries. When Raffy starts playing, she never stays in one place. Instead, she would wander around the house: from the bedroom to living room even up to the kitchen, while we follow her lead, ensuring her safety. It is tedious I tell you, not the mention the mess that you need to pick up later,  but  it’s just so fulfilling to see her developing various skills, such as creativity, socialization and more through play. I’ve read from a parenting magazine that play is the work of the children while cleaning up the mess after seems to be the work of the parents. I definitely agree and I believe the crucial role of play in every developing child.

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I knew it. It’s a telescope, Mommy!

On Raffy’s case, I don’t limit her playtime inside the house. I try to introduce her to the wonders of the outdoors. She gets excited whenever she sees birds and butterflies. Now that Raffy is growing up so fast, she tends to get bored of her plush and plastic toys. Sometimes she would ask us to open the fridge and touch just anything that caught her curious attention; from a bottle of soda to a pack of fresh tomatoes. Raffy also loves to play dressing up (over-sized version) with our clothes, shoes or bags. Her most favorite wardrobe is my office uniform. One afternoon, she kept on pointing on my uniform saying, “mommy mommy” while lifting her other foot up (that’s her way of saying “dress me up with this/that please”).

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Looks so cute on her, though.

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The “kikay” in her.

Play is just one of the countless things in nurturing our child’s brain, motor, and social development. As parents, we are not just our babies’ trusted playmates but we are the first and the best teachers our children could ever have. Practice quality play time with your babies and incorporate different techniques to make every play time even more rewarding.

Next time, we’ll pay a visit to a mini zoo somewhere.

Trivia: Child’s Play –  an idiomatic expression which means something very easy to do.

(source: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/child’s+play)

Forget about Chucky, I’m not a fan.

PS: It is no child’s play to raise a kid, but it’s loaded with fun!