The LIEBSTER Award

Liebster

What is the LIEBSTER Award?
The Liebster award is an award given from one new blogger to another. It is presented to new bloggers who have been around for less than two years and have less than 1,000 followers. How it works is, a blogger who has been nominated receives the opportunity to be recognized by other bloggers and can also nominate bloggers of their own choice. It’s a fun way to support each other in the online blogging realm and be given the chance to be recognized by other bloggers and readers.

I was extremely excited and honoured to have received a nomination from fellow mom blogger, Julie McCook at The Journey of Imperfection.  She is also on Instagram as Perfectly.Julie. She’s beautiful (and got sass), her family is beautiful and her blog is quite uplifting. 

As part of the Liebster Award, Julie has listed the following questions to be answered by her nominees. Here are my answers: 

 1.     Do you have kids (fur babies count)? 

Yes. I have been blessed with a wonderful baby girl who is now 8 months old. 

2.       If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Nowhere specific or perhaps it hasn’t been discovered yet. My husband and I would love to live somewhere tropical, close to Canada , with Canada’s multicultural setting and the kind of benefits and freedom that we have. Maybe it already exists , but we have yet to discover where that is. 

3.       How did you get into blogging?

I have always blogged especially back in the day. My thoughts are better expressed when written. I was on hiatus for a while until I became pregnant with my little girl. My love for writing has been rekindled. The powerful emotions I experience convince me to write – may it be happiness, excitement, anxiety, anger or fear. The stronger the emotion, the more I’m urged to write. 

4.       Favorite music artist?

I’m pretty versatile when it comes to music. I like artists from pop like Coldplay to folk pop like James Taylor to EDM like Dashberlin, Tiesto, Calvin Harris and the likes. 

5.       How would your friends describe you?

I’m a firecracker. And that’s to be left for interpretation. *wink*

6.       If you could live in any era, which would you choose?

During the time of Christ. Religion is such a controversial issue that I wish I could have witnessed it (The Bible’s teachings) myself. 

7.       What was your favorite TV show growing up? 

I loved Family Matters , Home Improvement and Full House because these were the shows my brothers and I always loved watching together. Fun memories. 

8.       Do you have any phobias?

I have diagnosed myself as  “germaphobic”. I’ve always washed my hands a thousand times a day before my daughter. But now, because of fear that I might contaminate her with germs and get her ill, I wash my hands a million times more. Yup, talk about a paranoid mama. 

9.       If a movie were made about your life, what would the title be?

The Woman with a Bikini Addiction – it’s both literal and metaphorical. 

10.   What is your least favorite chore around the house?

Dishes! Because we have to do it so many times a day and there are only two adults in the house. We always wonder how and why we use so many dishes per day. That shall remain a mystery! 

11.   If you could meet anyone (past or present), who would it be?

My young self. So I could tell her that everything my mom told me about being a mother was true. Her constant worries, her care etc were genuinely for the best of her kids. We all know that today, especially now that I am a mother too. I just wish my younger self could have been more appreciative.

Rules for the Liebster Award Nominees

Thank the blog that nominated you on a post and in your blog.

Answer the questions asked by the blog that nominated you.

Nominate 5-11 other new bloggers.

Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.

Notify all nominees via social media.

And my nominees are:

The beautiful Eire Mummy at EireMummy

Miss fashionista mama Karly at Themomtrane

Artsy miss Candice Jones who has so much depth at  Writtenbyaworkaholic

The strongest and bravest mama, Emily at Justplayinghouse

The pretty mom Alyssia at Mamabeardaily

and last but not the least, this sexy hot mama Valerie at Momsterblogs

And here are my questions for my awesome nominees

1. Describe yourself in one word.
2. If you could change anything in your past, what would it be?
3. What has been the biggest accomplishment in your life to date?
4. If you won a million dollars today, what would you immediately spend it on?
5. Who’s your best friend? What makes him/ her so?
6. What are the simplest things in life that make you happy?
7. The best place you’ve ever been?
8. What was your fondest childhood memory?
9. A memory you would like to erase?
10. What do you think of social media?
11. Favourite food in the whole world.

This has been a really fun blog to write. Congratulations to you ladies and I am excited to read your answers! Happy blogging!
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Baby Registry Could-Haves

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For a new mom, listing your baby registry must-haves is fun and exciting but at the same time can be intimidating. Although baby stores give us a guideline when choosing our gift registry items, there are some non-obvious ones that are missed.

I can’t re-do my baby shower but if I was given a chance to, here are a few things that I could have listed based on my little one’s recent necessities and certain new addictions motherhood has brought me, which of course do not necessarily apply to all moms. Some items however, will come handy if you haven’t already thought about it.

Baby health aids such as Tylenol, Hydrasense and Vitamin D Drops.Fortunately, my baby girl only had to use Tylenol and Hydrasense once (so far) in the past 7 months (and hopefully wouldn’t have to again, which of course is a wishful mother’s thinking) but buying over-the-counter medications can add up and get costly.

Milkscreen Test Strips Although drinking hasn’t been the same compared to pre-pregnancy days, the Milkscreen test has been a lifesaver the first couple of times I had more than a glass of wine while breastfeeding. I swear by it. For a paranoid mom who wants to make sure I’m feeding my baby with untainted milk, this item is surely a necessity. Including this on my baby registry list would have been great since they don’t come cheap and are rare.

Diapers of all sizes I’ve calculated so far based on frequency of changes, we purchase at least 1 box of diapers per 3 weeks- to 1 month with a 186 to 222 count. Compared to what I hear from other parents, this is very economical. We change her often (at least 6-8 times a day) but I guess it’s good to know that we don’t go through it more often than we should. Regardless of this fact, having a few boxes of all sizes listed on my baby registry would have definitely helped a long way.

Plug Protectors No one tells you how interesting plugs really are to babies. They’re like hawks when spotting them on walls. Plug protectors aren’t expensive however, another one less to worry about should I have included it on my list.

Baby-safe chewable tags (if they even exist) I don’t really know where she got her obsession for chewing tags from but she will find a tag anywhere and chew it until I take it away. Hence, I’ve had to cut every tag possible. I know stores do sell cloth-like teethers but I’ve noticed that to her, they aren’t as exciting and interesting as plain black and white tags.

Batteries From the triple A’s to C’s. Because every toy we have purchased needs them.

1,000 Bibs Prior to being a mom, I thought babies only need them for feeding solids… ha! How oblivious! There aren’t enough bibs to save her freshly washed clothes from getting dirty within seconds of putting them on especially now that she’s teething.

Baby Laundry Detergent How can a tiny little thing use up so much clothes and laundry detergent? You’ll be surprised.

Baby Gates They don’t come cheap and they are rarely found second-hand. Throwing in a couple of these on the list would have been wise.

Gift cards from the Dollar Store I didn’t know I would spend a bunch of money at the dollar store for props and such to celebrate and photograph each “first” event she experiences.

Headbands, bows and hair clips For some reason, I just developed this odd addiction to headbands, bows and now hair clips. Someone should have warned me how cute she’d look once I put them on her. Now I just can’t stop accessorizing her very little and fine hair.

With all the extra items including the items I’ve listed above, which  I’ve had to purchase in the past months, I’ve averaged a substantial dollar amount per month in expenses for my little one. But this of course is just legitimately splurging and not thinking of any budget. Yes, I am a rookie mom and I’m not afraid to admit it. However, despite splurging, I’ve still kept up with our bills and also saved a little for rainy days. I don’t owe it to my financial “expertise”, it’s really all because my husband is smart when it comes to our finances, so most of my spendable cash is just mine and my daughter’s. He’s the money-guy and where I come in is ensuring that my baby has everything she needs and that I am the best mother that I can be to her. 

So if I am to have another baby in the future, I’ll include some of the items I’ve listed above on my baby registry list. But of course, that’s provided I’m having a boy as I’m not really sure if it’s ethical to throw a second baby shower for another baby girl. Is it? Well I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there.

Anyone find this list helpful? Or even outrageous? Please share your sentiments. What’s on your list? What could you have listed?

What I Would and Would Not Change About My Pregnancy

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Every pregnancy is different. I’m sure we new moms and moms-to-be are unique in our own ways and handle/ handled our pregnant lives differently.

With this new Herculean task I brought myself in, that is, being a mom, and focusing on learning all there is to it, my pregnancy is starting to seem like a blur to me. My daughter is now 6 months and she’s growing up way too fast, too soon.

Because everything is happening so quickly and time is flying a thousand miles a minute, I think you will all agree that our journey through pregnancy is worth remembering, so documenting it would be a good idea, may it be through a simple list, a journal, a blog, or even a video blog. We have so many tools at our disposal these days, nothing should hinder us.

So, before old age (sarcasm here, I’m only 33 years old) eats up the memories of my first pregnancy, I’ve decided to list the most important lessons I’ve learned and what I would and wouldn’t change — the good and the bad- so one day I can look back and smile, laugh, or perhaps even cry. After all, I’ve already been plagued with these hormones, (you know, the ones that send us women on roller coaster rides way too often) and they just won’t go away.

Drama aside, my pregnancy wasn’t difficult nor was it perfect. But I’ve learned a lot about myself and everything else — my strengths and weaknesses, my idiosyncrasies, my marriage, my family.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve learned, and what I would change or wouldn’t. Hopefully it provides some useful insights:

1.Being well prepared (mentally, financially, and emotionally) — and that, I was. Easier said than done, of course. Growing up, my mother consistently reminded me “Do not get pregnant before you’re ready. Be financially, mentally and emotionally ready. Don’t be like me”. And by that she meant, not getting pregnant at 19. But as much as she thinks she did it too early, she’s still become the mother that I want to be for my daughter. I am where I am because of the sacrifices she’s made. But I won’t go into details about that. That’s her story to write about.

Back to being well prepared before deciding to become pregnant.

My husband and I have been married for two years, financially stable (and debt-free), own our house and got all the travelling (ok, maybe a lot of travelling, but not all as yet) and partying in before we finally said “ok, let’s “make” a baby”.

That’s not to say we were 100% ready to be parents, because honestly, no one will ever be a 100% ready for what parenthood has in store for all of us. We just learn. Learn to cope, learn to thrive. Learn to be the best parents we can be. And we are gradually learning.

At 33, we were also both mentally and emotionally ready. Our relationship (married for almost 2 years, together for almost 8) was at the point where we wanted to give all the love we have to a new member of our family. Yes, we are way too sappy in love with each other. So we thought, geez, share the love with someone else! Kidding aside, because we’ve come to a point where our relationship was strong, we knew that we can conquer anything life changing, as long as we do it as a team.

I can truly say that my first pregnancy was perfectly-timed and planned. And I wouldn’t have changed that at all.

2. Exercising and eating well are a MUST during pregnancy. This is where I failed, miserably.

Goodbye hot yoga and pole fitness results. I sat, slept and ate for two every single day. I was lazy, sleepy and craved sweet things.

I’m not going to deny it, I have always loved sleep and people often thought I was narcoleptic but this time, sleepiness didn’t just creep up on me, it was there permanently. I would be driving to and from work and would blast the radio with intense electronic dance music so I wouldn’t sleep on the wheel, until I started to hate it thinking that the genre wouldn’t be good for the life thriving inside of me. It was really, really tough staying awake and staying sane with my long commute. I was beyond stressed on the road.

And if sleepiness wasn’t bad enough, my taste buds decided to screw me over. I hardly ate desserts pre-pregnancy. This time, everything I saw on TV I’ve had to have. From McDonald’s sundaes to Turtles to cheesecakes…I wanted them all. And so I ate them all.

I slept, ate, slept, ate … I wanted to do some physical activity but I didn’t know what was safe and I just didn’t have any energy for it.

Then bad news came on my 26th week of pregnancy. My glucose test results came back positive of gestational diabetes. It could or couldn’t have been directly caused by my unhealthy habits, but I felt guilty.

What would I have changed? Everything. Just because I was pregnant didn’t mean I should have given up self-control. Just because I was pregnant didn’t mean I was the most fragile thing in the world. I should have at least taken daily walks and I should have controlled my intake of sweets.

Lesson learned. I’ll definitely do better next time. I will be active. I will eat well.

3. Getting that one last travel in — the ‘babymoon’  — People who know my husband and me know that we are travel addicts but they probably thought it was a little bit crazy going on a babymoon a few thousand miles away from home on a 15 hour plus flight one way, with my 20 week belly. But because my husband and I knew that having a baby WILL change our carefree lives, we wanted to get one last travel in, pre-baby. I’m glad we did because it has been almost a year since that one last travel. And to think we have always travelled at least three times a year for the past 8 years. Being grounded for 10 months is new to us, but we aren’t really complaining. It’s a good break to focus on our little family, especially our little one.

Would I have changed or done it differently? Yes, I would have. I would probably still go on a trip pregnant (if my doctor ok’s it and my gut-feeling says it’s ok), but will definitely shave the long haul at least half. It’s not unusual and mostly safe for pregnant women to travel by plane but being on a flight for several hours is painful and uncomfortable. And the horror my mind wandered in! Is my baby ok? Is she going to be ok? Imagine my heart and mind racing the entire flight. It wasn’t fun at all. I would have never forgiven myself if something happened to my little one. Thank God all went well. But I know next time I’ll be a little less adventurous for the sake of my sanity and the safety of my baby.

4. Documenting my journey to the day I met our little one  — I started writing to my little one during my pregnancy to document our journey together until her arrival. I could have definitely done a better job. I let my sleepiness and laziness overpower me. I did capture the moments where I was most vulnerable and in love with the life growing inside of me. One day, when she’s all grown up, I will let her read our journey.

5. Thanking my husband for all his love, patience and support throughout our journey together  — I’m pretty sure I lacked in this area. It wasn’t only me going through pregnancy for the first time. He was also a first-timer but he did his best the way he knew how. He understood my feelings and crazy hormones. He tended to my needs. He was patient. He was there from day 1 until day 259, all his heart and soul. I will never forget how he took care of me, encouraged me, cheered me on, fed me, hugged me, kissed me, wiped my tears and held my hand in the delivery room. A moment I will be eternally grateful for.

What would I have done differently? I could have been more thankful along the way. I could have suggested how to do things or how I wanted things done instead of criticizing him. I could have been more understanding that he too was going through the journey for the first time. But we both thrived despite little shortcomings. We finished happy and stronger than ever, like we always do. After all, that’s what marriage is all about, right?

I have so much more to write, but I will leave with this for now as I need to go back to cuddling and playing with my little one.

What were the lessons you have learned in your pregnancy? What would you have and not have changed?

Do’s & Don’ts: Baby Clothing Essentials vs. Baby Fashion Trends


I won’t call this a “fashion” blog. My goal is to narrow down what type of clothing is really necessary for our little ones from newborn up to a year old. Seeing babies in those trendy clothes is cute and fun but how practical is it? I’m not going to lie, my daughter owns all kinds of “fashionista” clothing but realistically, she could do without them. And frankly, it would be easier for us (parents) if we stuck with the “essentials” without the fluff and flair AND it’s probably more comfortable for the little ones as well.

Here’s a list of Do’s & Don’ts to keep in mind. These are just tips based on my experience and not meant as professional advice:

  • DO stock up on zip-up onesies, those with front openings, especially for newborns. Snap-ups work too and are less expensive, but could take double the time and patience to do up. Not to mention, when you’re little one starts moving around, you will likely snap the buttons on the wrong pair and will have to do it all over again. Fleece for colder seasons and cotton for warmer days.
  • DO NOT buy onesies without full front opening for newborns. They are so fragile that putting their heads and necks through a tiny garment hole is daunting. Purchase them when your little ones are about 2 months and older, when they have better head and neck control.
  • DO NOT buy any clothing (or any items for that matter) with glitters. They spread like wildfire and aren’t easy to remove from your little one’s delicate skin. With my experience, I spent lots of time making sure that no glitters went in my little one’s eyes. Call me overprotective but think about it, if it’s uncomfortable in your eye, it’s twice as uncomfortable in a baby’s eye.
  • DO buy socks, lots of them. Buy a size or two bigger than your baby’s size so they can at least wear them for a bit. Their feet grow so fast they’ll outgrow those cute little socks quickly.

Buy socks with designs that make them look like shoes, because frankly, buying shoes pre-walking isn’t practical. This is coming from a mother who has started a shoe collection for her 6-month old, well, because I have this odd distaste for shoe-less babies (when not at home). So yes, she has tons of pairs however, she was only able to wear most pairs once, twice the most, because she has outgrown them faster than the speed of light. Not to mention, these shoes never stay on her feet longer than 15 minutes. Another thing to note, experts recommend to keep babies’ feet uncovered so they can better explore their surroundings.

Should you decide to buy shoes, always buy them a couple of sizes bigger. They’ll at least be able to wear them more than twice. Booties for colder seasons are the most workable ones as they are easy to put on. For warmer climate, you can invest in My Mocs, but again, $40 down the drain in about a month or so. Luckily, hers were a gift.

  • DO buy hooded bunting/ snow suit for winter season instead of layering up. This is safer and more comfortable for your baby. It’s also easier to put them in and out of it when travelling by car because as we‘ve all been told, it’s unsafe to buckle them up in the car seat with bulky clothing.
  • DO buy winter hats that are the right size (not too snug, not too loose) for extra warmth and comfort. Hoodies coupled with hats are perfect since hoods tend to fall off. If you want to add some fashion cuteness to it, there are plenty of snow suits with animal ears/ prints that are sold everywhere. For baby girls, you can customize hats by adding bows or flowers.
  • DO buy night gowns in place of a blanket, because we’ve been told that blankets are a no-no. Again fleece for colder days, and cotton for warmer days. They typically come in one-size but there are some that are sold by size. I recommend the latter for short-sleeved ones because it gets harder to put their arms through the hole when they get bigger.
  • Lastly, DO try to keep it colourful.

The above list is what I came up with based on my recent experience. What’s on your list?