Today’s post discusses simple ways we encourage our son’s cognitive and physical development through play activities.
Tummy time helps to strengthen many muscles throughout a baby’s body. It helps with other skills such as crawling, rolling, sitting, etc.
Everyday, Baby Zay performs tummy time on his Little Einstein activity mat for as long as he can tolerate it. He started as soon as he came home from the hospital with two to five minute sessions and now he can last up to an hour. While your child is performing tummy time, you want to remain present to monitor your baby and intervene when neccessary.
High Contrast Books
High contrast books supports young eye development. The simple lines and bold patterns are easier for babies to see.
We read to Baby Zay daily and point at the pictures. The goal is to support his eye development as well as attentional focus.
We use the rattle during play time because it helps with eye development and focus as well.
Baby Zay is able to focus on an object and watch its movement.
Wrist + Sock Rattles
Baby Zay loves these! The sound excites him and encourages him to move his arms and legs.
This is the perfect time to allow your body to rest. We will likely never have a period of nothingness again; just relax.
I read on social media that some people feel pressured to start a new business or hobby and that they just want to stay in and chill out. At the end of the day, everyone should just do what’s best for them and tune out everyone else.
Monday was my first day back at work and it went well. I recently accepted a new role that allows me to work from home, which I have never done before. I still have a pier diem clinical role, but I decided to scale back because of the Coronavirus and and possible exposure to my family. If you have been reading our blog, we have a newborn baby at home. Although the studies show that most infants and children do not get very ill with the virus, I’m still not taking any chances right now.
Future plans. Possibly telemedicine?
I am definitely considering work-from-home options after earning my RN BSN; perhaps teaching and telemedicine. I believe alot of remote job positions are going to remain after this Pandemic.
I mean…why not?
There would be less cars on the road which benefits the environment, makes commute less congested, and less stressful for people. Employers can summons remote staff to a physical location twice per week for training, briefing, etc.
What do you think about working from home?
Would you want to keep working from home after this Pandemic subsides?
Happy Easter to everyone! This year we are having a non-traditional Easter Celebration, but that’s the least of our worries. We are happy, healthy, have food in the cupboard and a roof over our heads. Yes, there’s alot going on in the world, but take the time to look at the positives.
In a previous post, I wrote about suggestions for staying positive and productive during self isolation. One suggestion was to find a hobby and I used sewing as one of two examples. I always wanted to pick up sewing, but had other things on my plate.
I ordered the Brother XR3774 Sewing Machine from Amazon. It was moderately priced and rated as excellent for beginners. It came with one set of replacement parts and an instructional DVD.
We don’t own a DVD player and our laptops don’t have a CD-Rom so I turned to YouTube to figure out how to work my new sewing machine. Brother has an official YouTube channel with short easy to follow tutorials about the setup of the machine, troubleshooting, etc. It took me fifteen minutes to string up my machine. Then, I cut up an old t-shirt and practiced a couple of stitch patterns; straight and zig-zag. It was simple enough so I began my first project: Fabric Face Masks.
Fabric Face Masks are recommended for use because of the existing medical supply shortage. Our frontline healthcare workers don’t have what they need to safely treat Covid-19 patients so the medical supply chain has shifted most of their focus to producing what they need in a short amount of time. For those of us who do not work in those critical areas and for non-healthcare workers, this means face masks are even more scarce.
I turned back to YouTube for a tutorial simple enough for newbies to follow. Youtuber HomemadeOnOurHomestead had one of the easiest tutorials with written instructions and a pattern to download.
As a newbie, it took me about an hour to produce each mask because I wanted to make sure I was following the instructions correctly and that all of my seams were secure. Fabric masks are reusable and I don’t want ours to unravel in the wash.
With the exception of the fabric, which I purchased from my local Walmart, all of my materials was shipped from Amazon.
Relationship experts often say that one of the keys to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship is continuing to court your significant other after making it down the aisle. They recommend setting designated time for one another to reconnect and revive feelings of romance and love. Personally, I think the execution is easier said than done, especially with a newborn baby. At home dates are an easy remedy to overcoming the challenge of not having the time and opportunity to go out on the town.
The concept of an at home date is what you make it. You can get creative and come up with fun, one-on-one activities to do with your significant other without having to leave the house. If you have kids, your date starts once they go to bed.
Below are ideas for enjoyable, easy-to-plan, inexpensive at home dates you can try with your significant other.
Netflix + Chill
My husband and I love to watch movies at the theater, especially if they have dinner and drink options. The same can be recreated at home with more privacy and a fraction of the costs.
Wine + Vinyls
We built a vinyl record collection with golden oldies and current artists. If you are into the same, they make a great conversation piece. Add a glass of wine and you have a relaxing music filled evening!
Create a Wanderlust List
Make a list of places you’d like to travel to and plan a vacation together. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of airline and hotel deals to take advantage of after everything settles down.
Have a Tasting Party
You can sample small plates of food, desserts, wines, beers, Etc.
Couple’s Paint Night
Let your creative juices flow with an art project. You can create a new piece of decor for the house or DIY gift for family, friends, etc.
Set up a little tent in the living room. You can make s’mores and roast sausages in the fireplace. The best part is you don’t have to worry about the weather.
Video Game Challenge
Face off with your favorite multiplayer games like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros.
Bake Sweets with your Sweetie
Feast on your favorite sweets together.
Put a Puzzle Together
Challenge each other by completing a large puzzle in one night.
Medical professionals are urging people to practice social distancing in order to slow the transmission of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Social distancing is when you obtain from large crowds and maintain a If you are able to stay home, take advantage of your time away from the normal hustle and bustle.
1. Find a Hobby
Maybe you want to learn to sew or crochet, start a garden, etc., but didn’t have the time before? Take advantage of the extra time on your hands by learning something new. You can upkeep social distancing by scheduling the supplies you need for delivery or store pick up. Right now, Hubby and I are filling in Baby Boy’s scrapbook. It has his ultrasound photos, tidbits about his NICU journey, and current photos. We will continue to update with every . Also, I’m learning to sew and crochet, which I’ve put off for years until now. I am in the research phase and will be ordering the supplies soon.
Now that you have extra time on your hands, you can start or maintain a consistent exercise routine. If your local gym is closed, you can still exercise independently in your home or go for a walk in nature. Pinterest has free exercise content you can refer to via computer, phone, and ipad/tablet. If you prefer to exercise with a coach, you can workout with one via YouTube at no cost. My favorite YouTube fitness channels are: Fitness Blender, Super Hero Fitness TV, and Pop Sugar Fitness. They have routines for every fitness level and various areas of target.
Take advantage of your time by getting a full night’s sleep. Per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” So, good sleep is connected to wellness and I try to get as much as possible.
4. Self Care
Take time to unwind and pamper yourself. Make a mud mask, give yourself a mani pedi; whatever it is that relaxes you, do it. Take breaks from checking in with the news to eliminate stress and anxiety triggers because both are unhealthy and suppresses the immune system. Every weekend for the past two years, I designate time to myself. I turn on my aromatherapy machine, read a book, color in an adult coloring book, watch my favorite movies, visit my local nature trail, soak in the tub, etc. I engage what brings me joy and it helps to keep my grounded.
5. Connect with Family and Friends
Social distancing is only physical. We can still call, text, and video chat with our love ones. Because of modern technology, we will never truly be alone and can connect with others via social media, online groups, blogs, and forums. Everyday, I take time to check in with family to see how they are doing and to just talk about whatever. We have one big text thread where we chat it up throughout the day, send motivational quotes and funny videos. Thanks to technology, social distancing is more tolerable.
Tomorrow will be two months since our Baby Boy was delivered and things have gotten much easier. Hubby and I have a better understanding of our boy’s cues. His appetite has increased significantly so we will consult his Pediatrician about adding cereal to his milk soon. He is eating four to five ounces each feeding and I’m having to pull from our reserves from time to time. We are very happy about his health and growth considering he was born early.
I started working out this week. Everyday, I walk at least two miles and I return home to complete a 60-minute weight lifting routine. My nutrition is pretty standard: plenty of water, no sweets, no junk, large amount of leafy greens, fruits and lean protein. From time to time, I’ll blend up a smoothie. Other than continuing my prenatal vitamins, I am not taking any other supplements right now.
The COVID-19 virus is a new strain of the Coronavirus making it’s way around the world. There has been a lot of panic and chaos, much due to the fear of the unknown. Because this virus is new to us, there are no vaccines available to provide immunity.
My current residency has less than twenty illnesses with no deaths at this time. Officials closed schools until the end of the month and people are making preparations to stay indoors for a while.
Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus, experts recommend we all practice “social distancing” and limit our interactions with others to contain the spread. There is data from past pandemics to support the benefits of social distancing.
The chart above compares two cities during the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. One city experienced higher numbers of fatalities because people continued to interact in large numbers. The other city intervened right away by enacting the “social distancing” method. As you can see, their fatalities were significantly less.
More Local Happenings…
The stores are completely out of hand sanitizers, Lysol disinfectant spray, and Lysol/Clorox wipes. I notice more people are wiping down the carts at the store more than ever before. Also, people seem to be much more aware of public hygiene practices such as covering your cough and sneeze.
Preparation and Mental Health
My family has been following ALL of the recommendations by the CDC and WHO; social distancing, hygiene, our vaccines are up to date, etc. There’s not much left to do, but check for updates, then unplug. Watching the news is depressing right now and will drive you crazy. We are taking this time to catch up on chores, read from our 2020 booklist, and find some other hobby. There is a silver lining to this confusion.
Everyday, I or my husband make sure to thoroughly sanitize and sterilize our son’s bottles before we make his milk. Per the Center for Disease Control, properly cleaning baby bottles helps to prevent microbials from contaminating the milk you feed your baby.
Antibacterial dish soap
Small basin tub
Bottle cleaning brushes
Bottle drying rack
First, fill a large pot with water and place it on the stove.
Turn the stove on to the highest setting because you want the water to boil at an extremely hot temperature. High heat kills bacteria and viruses.
Fill a small basin with warm water and dish soap.
Next, take a bottle brush and thoroughly scrub each bottle piece.
Rinse with warm water.
Next, place the bottles in the large pot and let it boil for at least two minutes.
Use tongs to transfer the bottle pieces from the pot to the drying rack. If you don’t have a drying rack, just use a clean towel or multiple paper towels.