Thursday, 8 December 2016

Homemade Toys

Let's get crafty!

I'm a student on a budget, so I need to save up as much as possible. Homemade toys are the best. Plus, they are fun to make and can make you think outside the box. So far, I have made rattles for Medina and play-doughs. Check them out!

Instead of throwing that transparent bottles away, you can put all sort of things in them so that they make different sounds. You can put sand, seeds, pebbles, paper clips, beans and etc.

Medina is too young to play with play-doughs. So I put them in snap lock bags. I let her squish and squash the play-doughs in the bags. She can also feel the cold of the dough. It's good for her touch senses.

Here is the recipe for the play-dough:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 table spoon of cooking oil
1 cup of water

Mixed those three ingredients together and maybe split them into three or four doughs if you want. Then you can put a few drops of food colouring on each dough and mixed them up again. Voila! That's all you need to do.

Have fun!

ps: If your child put the dough in his/her mouth, it's okay because they are food product. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

What's in your bag, mummies?

When you become a mother, forget those cute, petite small handbags. What you need now is a tote bag or backpack or the unglamorous name (to me) baby/nappy bag!

So what do you pack in there? Lots and lots of stuff. Even when you have lots, you'll still forget some items. Especially when you really need them. *sigh* Keep in mind that your bag is going to be heavy from now on. At least mine is! It's so heavy I think I'll grow muscles! *grins*

Anyway, These are what I have in my baby bag.

  1. Diapers. The most important thing. Don't ever go out without some diapers packed in your bag. Unless there's a supermarket nearby for you to get some if anything happens.
  2. Wet wipes. Equally important. If you have diapers but don't have wipes, you'll be in trouble. Unless you have tissues and water packed, that's okay too I guess. But I find using wipes is the easiest tool when cleaning my baby on the go.
  3. Spare clothes! Put at least two in your bag. You'll never know when you need to change your baby.
  4. Changing mat or something to put your baby on when changing him/her. My tote bag comes with a changing mat so that's handy!
  5. Some tissues and handkerchief, incase your baby has runny nose or something like that.
  6. Plastic bags. Always shove some plastic bags in your tote bag. It's handy to put dirty diapers in it or dirty clothes or rubbish.
  7. Nursing cover. To all you nursing mothers, cover up when you are nursing your babies in public. We don't want to make people around us uncomfortable do we? You can use a blanket too for this. 
  8. Toys. Small ones will do like rattles, teething toys etc to keep your baby entertained. 
  9. Socks and mittens, incase it gets cold and incase your baby lose a sock. My baby is always missing a sock. It's handy to put on tights rather than socks, I think.
  10. A warm hat, in case it gets cold. Weather is unpredictable. In warmer countries like Malaysia, you might go to an indoor place with a high blast air conditioner on, so a warm hat is handy to pack in your tote bag.
  11. A sun hat! We don't want our babies to burn their cute little heads do we? Better put a hat on them on sunny days. You can also throw in a sunglasses if you want but mind you, I've never seen a baby that didn't pull it off.
  12. Food! If your baby has started solid food, always bring his/her food with you. 
  13. Bib so that he/she doesn't make so much mess on his/her clothes.
  14. A plastic bowl and plastic spoon. You know, incase restaurants don't provide that for your baby.
  15. Ear muff (optional). Photo below.... I find it useful to have an ear muff with you. Once we were in an airport and there were some constructions going on. It was so loud that we had to put this ear muff on Medina. 
This is a baby's ear muff.

It's great for traveling so that she can sleep longer without hearing loud noises around her. My baby is a light sleeper you see. She'll wake up if there's too much noise. So this ear muff helps a lot.

There! I have put up a list. I hope it's useful for you mummies out there. By the way, let me know if I am missing anything from the list. Or let me know if you have something else in your bag. Love to hear about that!

Until next time, see ya! *flying kisses*

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Little helper in the kitchen

My 7 months old wants to be in the kitchen when I'm in the kitchen. Well, she wants to be everywhere that I am... even in the bathroom. *sigh*

Whenever I'm in the kitchen, I try my best to make her concentrate on something else other than me so that she won't bother me much when I'm cleaning the dishes or fixing breakfast / lunch / dinner / snacks. 

She seems to like the magnets on the fridge. You know, magnets from my travels. Some are made from stones, some from metal and etc, so they are not ideal to give to a baby. I paid a visit to one of our local bookstore last weekend and found wooden animal magnets! Perfect! Safe for babies. I stuck those on the bottom of the fridge so that she can peel them off and play with them. I also gave her my baking trays because baking trays are good for sticking magnets too. It's a pretty good activity because keeps her mind off me for a few minutes until she gets bored and wants me again.

 Pretty cool magnets huh?

Magnets on a baking tray.

Apart from magnets, I also gave her some clean and safe cooking utensils like measuring cups. Buy colorful ones! She loves them cups and I love it when her attention is on the objects and not me, at least until my work in the kitchen is done! Haha XD

Happy baby with a measuring cup in her hand.

Okay, back to work. Hope these tips will benefit some people out there. Until later! xxx

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Baby Sensory Class

Apart from swimming and occasionally going to story telling time at the library, Medina also goes to Baby Sensory Class. At first I thought I didn't want to enroll her just yet because I needed to use the money for something else, but Allah SWT has other plans for me. You see, I won a lucky draw contest and the prize was FREE three sessions of Baby Sensory Class for Medina. We got lucky, Alhamdulillah. There are six sessions altogether in a term. Each session is for one hour per week. So I had to pay for three sessions only since I won the other three. Weeeeee!

What does she do in the Baby Sensory Class? A lot! That's what. She does activities that can stimulate her five senses. The theme is different each week. So babies are always discovering something new. Last week the theme was reflections. Medina explored mirrors, lights, shadows and the like. This week the theme is going to be weather. I can't wait for that.

It's true that a lot of the activities can be done yourself at home, but she won't have friends at home! Not to mention equipment and ideas! You have to be creative to play with your babies at home. Anyway, back to the topic friends, I am currently studying on peer interactions among children under three. So I know the benefits of having peers around you are endless, especially when you start young. For example, she can learn how to take turns or how to enter a play. Sometimes she might be involved in conflicts with peers but that's okay because she can learn how to solve the conflicts later.

Anyway... I'll talk more about that in my next post, someday. For now, I'm going to sign off with some photos of Medina at the Baby Sensory Class.

Medina playing balls with her peers. Don't they all look the same from above?

Exploring lights. My baby likes to put everything in her mouth. 

Watching the dancing lights.

There's two sessions left to go. I might enroll Medina again next term. She seems to enjoy going to the classes. And I'm thinking, maybe I should open one in Malaysia? What do you think friends?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Overnight Chia Seeds Pudding

Did you know that chia seeds are high in fibre and have more calcium than milk? They also have more Omega-3 than salmon and more antioxidants than blueberries. Isn't that cool? I made some chia seeds pudding last night and had them for breakfast this morning. 

Photos of my chia seeds pudding...

Here's the recipe...

- 1/2 cup of chia seeds
- 2 cups of almond milk (you can change to strawberry milk, chocolate milk or coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Mix the three ingredients above in a bowl. Then scoop them in a glass / jar / bowl and cover them. Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, all you have to do is put yogurt and fruits on top! Voila! That's all you need to do! Enjoy!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

I have a new neighbour

A new neighbour just moved in next door. Her house is tiny. It's a studio. It neither has a kitchen nor a bathroom. So the neighbour has to share our kitchen and bathroom. Not that she needs them because she doesn't cook or go to the toilet. Hehehe... I'm actually talking about my daughter. Her house is done! Well done daddy!

Some pictures of the house in the making...

And this is what it looks like now! You are welcome to visit. But please knock first.

It was fun! It didn't take too much time. So if you have a 1 year old, why don't you build her / him a cardboard house or maybe a cardboard car or plane? I'm sure you'll have tons of fun! Good luck!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

We are building a house

I have decided that it's time for us to think about a house. One that isn't so expensive and not so big. One that is just nice. No need for two storeys. One level is good enough. We don't want to get hurt by climbing to the second level. We looked around the market and thought, even a one storey house is expensive. Thus we have decided to build our own, from scratch! 

This morning, while doing some grocery shopping at Pak n Save (I went at 7.15am because the store opened at 6am), I picked up two big cardboards and took them home.

Hahaha... gotcha! 

I'm actually talking about a playhouse for Medina. She might be a wee bit too young for a playhouse but I want my husband to have something to do with Medina. You know, he gets lonely and bored when I'm studying. I hope this art and craft will keep him occupied for a while. Well, I hope it will keep both daddy and baby occupied. 

I searched some images on Google for ideas and these are what I found:

Wow! Those look amazing. Now I'm not sure how Medina's house is going to turn up. I trust my husband will do a good job. I'm sooooooo excited to see the finish product. But I think my husband is more excited to see the words 'chicken' and 'corn chips' on the boxes. Ooopppssss...

I'll show you the finish product in my next post. (If we actually get it done). XD  

Monday, 10 October 2016

Papa Rich is in Welly!

From Malaysia with love. Now that Papa Rich is in Wellington, it has become my favorite Malaysian restaurant here. However, it's not my favourite restaurant in Malaysia. There's so many good restaurants in Malaysia, I can't have one favourite. Hehe... 

Anyway, we've only been at Welly's Papa Rich once, coz you know, we don't have that much $$$. Of course I had to order the comfort food, Nasi Lemak. Ahhhhh it felt like home. Well, almost.

Photos of our meals...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The season of tulips

Spring is here and thus, tulips are back at the garden. I love tulips! They are so gorgeous, how can you not have deep love towards them? Tulips don't last very long. Once they bloom, you have to go to the garden quickly and check them out. Depending on the weather, tulips in Wellington probably stay for less than a month. I have so many pictures of tulips in my camera but I can only upload a few here.

Behold, the celebrities of the garden at the moment.... 

Oh yes, Amira Medina is also my favorite kind of flower. One that has my deepest love.

My husband made a tulip coffee art. So sweet of him. Very talented I must say because I can't do that.

I might go to the botanic garden again to see these beauties before they are gone. I might post more tulip pictures in the future. Who knows? 

Until then, love and flying kisses! Ta!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Study days

Precious time in between caring for the baby, I get to have some time to study. I NEED to have some time to study. Whenever it's my study time, my husband takes care of the baby. I usually leave EBM to him so that he could feed Medina when she' hungry. So where do I go to study? Sometimes I study at home in the spare room, sometimes I study at the university and some days I study at the neighborhood's library. Although I prefer to go to uni everyday, I can't do that now. So I have to improvise with whatever I have. 

PhD is getting intense. More pressure and hard. I'm coding my data now. I have so much data that it feels endless! Oh my. What a journey.

If God brings you to it, He sure will get you through it right? InsyaaAllah. Amen.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

It's my birthday again

Another year older. Nothing special. Not anymore. When I was younger, I felt like birthdays are so special. We would get cakes, balloons and what nots. Now that things are different, my birthday seems like just any other day. Except that I have to add the number one to my age. We did do something different though on my birthday. We went to a fancy restaurant for lunch and strolled around the harbour. On normal days, we wouldn't do this because parking at the city is so expensive on weekdays. We normally go to the city on Sunday because parking is free then. Want to know how much is the parking fee in Wellington city? Well, it's $4 for an hour! That's a lot of money. In Malaysia, it's just MYR1 for 1 hour. At some malls, you can even get MYR2 for the whole day. Anyway, let's not compare the prices. Of course Malaysia is way cheaper.

So, we went to Portafino (an Italian restaurant and they serves halal food) and ordered a seafood platter with risotto and cheese pizza panes (which was supposed to be starters but we ate that last. Hahaha).

Some photos...

 We have to pack food for Medina too now that she can eat.

 Our seafood platter and Medina's meal.

Yummy cheesy pizza panes.

Happy birthday Me! Until next year! Kalau panjang umur. Ameen.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Me Before You

I don't have time for TV anymore. I've stopped watching the TV series I used to watch before. I don't know what's happening to Mary now or Emma or Mike (referring to Reign, Once Upon a Time and Suits). And that's how it's going to stay. For now.

I don't have time to read novels too even though I crave to read them. So, you see I was agitated when people kept talking about this book and movie 'Me Before You'. Couldn't contain myself anymore, I watched the movie while Medina was asleep. Mind you, I watched it in 3 sittings! Hahaha... 

What can I say about the movie? I love it! It's British, it's funny, it's happy and it's sad. My kind of movie. I crave to read the sequel to the movie / novel 'After You' but I just have to put that wish aside for now. 

Photo from Google.

If you have read it, please don't give any spoilers. Thank you.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

My little mermaid

I enrolled Medina in swimming classes. Well, there was an offer for five free sessions. So I thought, why not? I love doing activities with Medina. Like I said in my previous post, I want her to explore and learn as much as possible in her first year. Playing with water is a good activity for her. They take babies from birth. Some places take babies from 3 months and above. Medina certainly enjoys her swimming classes. She meets other babies and their mums and she has a great teacher, Rachel. I think this is good for her because she gets to see and meet other people other than her parents. 

Every week, she goes to the swimming class once for 30 minutes. Yeah, it's not that long. 30 minutes is enough for babies. The water in the pool is very warm. She gets sleepy and tired after going out of the pool. Which is a plus for me! Yeay! 

After the five free sessions end, I have the option of continuing with her classes or discontinue it. We think it's best to continue with the classes. At least it gives Medina something to do. Something for her to look forward to. The fee is around NZ$150 for 10 classes which I think is not that bad. But we do have to save up. It's for a good cause. So, why not?

Medina and mummy in the pool.

Through reading, I found out some benefits of starting swimming early:

1. Strengthen heart and lungs which can aid the development of the brain.
2. Stimulate the five senses.
3. Boost confidence in babies.
4. Develops their co-ordination and motor skills.
5. Sharpen mental skills.
6. Increase the level of understanding.
7. Bonding with the parent(s).

And many more! May you grow up to be a wise, kind and healthy child! InsyaaAllah. Amen.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Best toys for babies

I'm trying my best to give the best for my baby. I want her to grow up happy, healthy and smart. I want her to learn, explore and discover how things work in this world. One way to do that is by giving her toys to play. Toys are serious business for babies. Toys can provide learning opportunities to babies because toys can spark children's imagination and the five senses. Toys can also help babies build their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Here is a list of some good toys to provide to babies:

Stuffed animals
Play gym
Soft blocks
Stacking rings 
Bath toys

Medina loves her toys. Toys certainly kept her occupied while I get some work done (like typing this up for instance or wash the dishes). Medina especially loves her bath toys (rubber ducky and some other toys she takes in the bath) because she loves the water. She only sees ducky when she is having a bath. Sometimes it's a struggle to get her out of the bath. 

Anyway, if you have children, let them play with toys. Toys are good for their developmental brain. May our children grow up smart and happy. 

Some photos of Medina and her toys.