My Favorite Newborn Advice.

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1.5 weeks old

The six to eight week symbiotic period following birth is so precious. With all the changes involved, this period can feel so overwhelming. For me, I found a few insights that have kept me grounded and peaceful letting me experiencing these invaluable days to their fullest (most days anyway!)

“Delegate and don’t look” The midwife who assisted my birth, sagely offered these words as I prepared to go home. The time and patience necessary to bond with a new baby, to care for self and other children leave the concerns of household and work at the wayside. Have extra hands, be specific about needs, and let them work as they will.

Understanding the Human Being The Importance of the First Three Years of Life by Dr Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro. This book is packed full of physical and psychological insight toward newborns and up to age three. The ideas that have most impacted how I feel toward my child:

  • The child has a need for another human to develop. We can be responsive without hyper- or hypo-responding. “Developing the right type of attachment during the symbiotic period paves the way for a natural detachment and the psychological birth happens.” “Only when a need is completely fulfilled is it overcome.”
  • Movement is one of the most important aspects of development in the first years of life.” “In prenatal life, the fetus is always active, using its body and limbs at will.” At birth, instead to swaddle and confine to small spaces, we can dress and provide spaces sufficient for movement. “The child tries to continue to move as it used to, but finds it impossible. All his motor skills vanish.” “A tragic aspect of the development of movement is that, generally, the more children are able to do, the more they are restricted in their freedom of activity. They go from crib to infant seat to baby carriage, high chair and play pen.” “The child is surrounded by an organized effort to restrain his development!”

“Onesies have crisscrossed shoulders for a reason” Did you know the shoulders of most infant clothing have folded flaps to make sliding down off the body easy rather than over the head? How did I never realize this! Thank you for sharing my friend, Keeley.

Thalasso Bain Bebe Watch this bathing technique by nurse Sonia Rochel as it speaks for itself. I can say, having approached the bath in this manner, doing with the child rather than to the child, has been pleasurable for baby and for myself.

Hand-me-downs are progressive. I am not sure I would have accepted this for my first-born, but practicality has taken over with my second-born. I am grateful for the infant seat and baby clothes from cousins, a like-new baby carrier from a friend and a stroller from another. It feels good to consume less and to give good use to perfectly good stuff.

DIY Valentine Origami Pins

The Japanese teacher at ev’s kindergarten taught the children how to make origami hearts this week.

And we thought they would make the perfect Valentines to share with friends.

We decided to glue pins to the back of ours, but a piece of ribbon makes for a lovely Valentine necklace

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gold is a special color for special people

I found this origami heart tutorial to be the same as the folding ev learned. We used 3″x3″ paper and glued the small folds on the back side to keep from pulling.

This origami heart bookmark would be sweet as well.

Happy San Valentine!

Snack Markers: A Snack Time Idea.

I am a sucker for neat utensils,as long as they actually work and make sense to use anyway.

These bright snack markers from Vacu Vin, for example. I found them on a sale rack in my favorite tea shop and picked them up with ev’s snack and tea times in mind.

We use them whenever we have children over. I love them for toddlers as they must take care with the semi-sharp prongs and practice fine motor control with those sweet little hands.

This little friend has that down pat!

our little friend using a snack marker

our little friend using a snack marker

DIY Halloween With Children

decor 100% by children, save my eyeball

decor 100% by children, save my eyeball

 

Pumpkin Monster. Ev goes for creepy every time!

DIY suits me more than ever come Halloween.What a night for creepy decorations and outlandish costumes, driven by the child’s creativity and imagination.

Admittedly, I am the mom who avoids store-ready Halloween costumes. There’s something about the creativity and satisfaction of children when left, mostly to themselves, to come up with trick-or-treat night’s merriment.

After a rummage together through ev’s trunk and a compilation of costumes, she was smiling and proud to put together her costume telling me to close my eyes as she tied up the details.

p.s. If you must, do the pinterest perfect decor yourself. I did! Especially these spider webs

Summer Activity Ideas: Buddha Board

Summer rhythm has replaced the year’s routine! We are enjoying the outdoors and time with friends and family, so I haven’t planned much by way of activities and things to do.

But how fun is this art concept? Strokes of water that disappear magically.

I picked up a Buddha Board MINI while browsing a bookshop. I thought it would be a great activity for traveling with children, as we had an upcoming flight at the time.

The MINI is a convenient size, comes with cute stickers, and has the option to pour water in the tray of the board or separately.

Presently, I have the board set up at its own workspace. It’s quite inviting, and I find myself sitting down to stroke. Ev sits down to stroke during those in between moments and seems to find it relaxing.

Buddha Board MINI

Buddha Board MINI

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As much as Ev is enjoying the board, I just might upgrade to this bigger Buddha Board complete with a Japanese sumi brush!

 

 

 

 

Child-friendly Nail Polish

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I can’t decide if my dislike for nail polish on children stems from my own au naturel personality or from a love for typical childhood hallmarks like mary janes, heart-shaped buttons and pigtails. Some things are sweeter when anticipated and when identified as a passage, don’t you think?

But, as it seems, the majority of ev’s little peers don the stuff; so, with my cousin’s sage advice in mind, “choose your battles”, I have decided non-toxic, light-colored, washable polish is acceptable. If that sounds like too many stipulations, you were not here when the flood of joy was released from the silly dam battle I had chosen.

Ev received a lovely bottle of polish on her birthday from her friend Sasha in Dubai. When the polish washed off in the bath, I think my dam began to crumble.

So thank you, my friend, for sharing Snails.

I have since purchased the lovely brand in another color, much to ev’s delight.

And is the packaging not special?

 

Handmade Birthday Present.

ev's birthday pinata

ev’s birthday pinata

How do you feel about handmade and DIY birthday gifts?

There’s something sweet and genuine about the awkwardly tied bow, the quirky illustrations, and the novice scrawl of child-wrapped gifts.

But what about the gift itself? In our life of easy consumerism and excessive stuff, spending time on a gift holds a value that cannot be purchased. Let’s face it, time is priceless.

I realized that when we took on my recent idea to make this moon piñata for a special birthday girl.  As I cut and glued, I thought, more than once, how easy it would be to run up the street to the mega bookstore and choose a wonderful book or art project like I normally do. Then I saw ev threading the bracelet from the neat jewelry kit her uncle and auntie had gifted for Christmas. Then I watched as she collected little treasures that she had not used and thought her friend might like. I appreciated the time we had together in meaningful work.  As I stuffed seven dollars into a little wallet for the seven-year-old to be, I thought about how much I had loved the piñata as a girl.

For the little boy turning five we started with a pouch of five dollar bills.  Then we added a super ball and wrapped that on top of the cash. We ended up with five layers of little trinkets just right for a boy’s pocket. I imagined how fun it would be to unwrap a gift only to find another and another and another and another!

We’ve only done this twice. I hope the children are as enchanted as I am. I hope the parents don’t mistake me for cheap!

I suppose if we ever book out our weekends to birthday parties, as so often seems to happen, we will make that run to the bookstore.

Would you make a birthday gift for another? Would your child like to receive gifts such as these?