My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

Toddler Play Win!

Often when it comes to entertaining Quackaboy, we’re out of ideas to keep him busy. I stumbled upon a Facebook article on toddler play ideas and thought to give it a try!

One of it was easy as we had the items in our house already.

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CARDBOARD BOX.

A huge one. We gave him markers and colored pencils to draw on it while sitting inside. And Daddy added to make it look like a mini spaceship too.

Well, it was very successful and he was playing in it for over an hour. And the next day, and the next day too…

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From a spaceship, he made it into a car, and then into a house.

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Happy toddler = Happy parents!
(Dad gets to workout, Mom gets to make dinner, and Grandpa gets to rest)

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After the Christmas season, and playing with his Xmas toys, he has forgotten about the box. But we’re okay with that because any toy, over time, will become boring or too common for him. We have been saving an even bigger box for him to play one day when he gets really bored or when he just needs new stimulation.

Maybe by then time QB2 comes, the bigger box will be useful to keep him occupied a few hours! 😀

If you haven’t tried this with your toddler, GIVE IT A GO! 

Let me know how it turned out!

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Baby Moon 2015

They always say you should go for a Baby Moon before the new baby arrives, and before adding another addition to the family, you should enjoy whatever time you have left with just the current family. Because it’s all gonna change forever after that.

We were so blessed by our aunt & uncle who sponsored us a trip to Port Dickson over the weekend. We were supposed to go for this trip since July or August as a short break for me; as I was expressing how tired and exhausted I was over Facebook and my aunt took note of it. I was then still in early pregnancy and was feeling all the hormonal roller coaster and just really needed a getaway. Then, there was the haze that took over 2 months to clear, so we couldn’t really schedule the trip. Finally, we decided to use it as our Baby Moon since I am in the home run now and our finances did not allow us to travel anywhere further.

This trip meant a lot to us because it means that we have ‘us’ time and I don’t have to think about chores and work for a moment. We never really get that because I live with my dad in law. And most of the time, we have dinners together and it is never just ‘us’ at home. There are a lot of challenges a when you’re not living with your ‘own’ family; if you know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not entirely a bad situation, but it challenges me especially after having kids.

The days when we’re alone, I also realized that we behave differently; at least for me. I am more calm, more patient, and more gentle I’d say. Sometimes at trying times, it makes me raise my voice, having to stand up and prove myself, constantly feeling like a lousy mother, and just bringing me down. And it brings out the worst me in, which is not the real me. It’s really, really hard and there are days I only cry because I know that I am not a bad mother and I can handle whatever the situation. I just want to be me. The real me. And I am only able to be that when we’re a family with just ‘us’.

Anyway, those aside (and maybe in another post when I get the courage to share), we really enjoyed ourselves! Little did we know we will enjoy Port Dickson as much as this. I was never a fan of the beaches in West Malaysia, but this time was different. Maybe because we had QB with us and it was his ‘first time’ actually playing on the beach. We did go to Boracay last year when he turned 1, but he was too young to really do anything or remember anything. This trip has stored many memories in me and it is one that I will never forget.

God has been so good to us. Things we never would’ve thought possible came through and He is forever faithful. The weather was great and the whole trip was eventful. Psssssstt – I even recorded a name reveal video! Not sure how we are gonna announce it, but it’s very exciting!

Here’s some photos to share our trip with you guys and I can’t wait for the next family trip; whenever it may be; with QB2.

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Waking up to this silhouette was one of the best feelings ever.

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QB wasn’t so sure about the beach at first. He didn’t wanna touch the water.

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Goofy family photo!!!

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All ready for the beach with his bucket of sand toys!

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A little more brave the next day! And loving the Applecheeks swim diaper.

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He definitely loved the sand and helped us dug a hole to sit in it.

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I love this photo of the boys in my life.

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Beach time is also ice Popsicle time!

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My 30 week belly. With battle scars. And no thigh gap. LOL.

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Real and raw. A photo with my little lion! I love you, son!

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Picnic breakfast at the beach!

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Daddy dug a hole to sit inside to watch the waves. Pure bliss ~

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One of our favorite photos of QB! He loves the Trunki and is looking forward for our next family trip too!

We all came back slightly sunburned, but Daddy got it worse. I came back with a bruise on my left arm. No idea how I got it. And I had 2 sand fly bites on my face! Not exactly the best place but it’s been a week, and getting better. Beware of sand flies though, if you’re travelling to PD 🙂

 

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Toys that should NEVER be given to a toddler!

I LOL-ed at myself in my head when I saw Quackaboy receiving a whistle in a party pack. The first thing that came into my mind was how I gave whistles away during a Sunday School lesson in church (this was before I had kids myself). I remember what one mom said to me. She said “These should never be given to kids! Imagine how noisy the house would be!”She was saying it jokingly but half serious as well. And then I realized what I had done. She was a good friend of mine so she was just ‘letting me know’ in that conversation. I have never forgotten that incident. Then, I learned about toys and what kids are like with them.

Fast forward to now, QB is 2. When I saw that whistle in that party pack, I never took it out, let alone show him what it was. I didn’t want to make that mistake and then regret later on. Sure, he will play with it one day and sure, he will know what it is and how to use it. But I decided that THAT one day will not be now. Maybe when he’s 4 or 5. When he can understand better instructions and have better control of his emotions.

Today however, he got hold of a whistle. Being 30 weeks pregnant, I freaked out and panicked for a few seconds; reminded of that incident in church. But thankfully,  it was right before dinner time so he only blew it for about 15 minutes. I told Daddy to please hide it, and hope he doesn’t remember it!

Here’s some of the toys/things that I personally think should NEVER be given to a toddler:-

  1. Xylophones

Daddy said he didn’t mind the xylophone and thought it was good for QB to learn tones/music. But I said no. Mama is not ready for this.

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2. Mouth Instruments

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Thank goodness we haven’t had any of that plastic trumpet toy, but we did have these paper trumpets from a party pack. QB was too young to use it anyway and he didn’t know how to blow it. They got all yucky from saliva so we threw it away.

3. Tambourine

QB got hold of one in church one day and didn’t wanna let go. It was a challenge taking it away and some tears were shed. Never again.

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4. Bell

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These are just 4 of the toys/things that I find annoying, based on my personal experience. Some may love it and that is fine. QB does have other noisy toys like a gun a makes crazy sounds each time you press the ‘fire’ button or a drum that beats when he taps it, or even a toy piano. But those toys are bearable because they at least have an ON/OFF switch. Or sometimes, we just leave the battery out.

Now why do I fuss about these things? I have my reasons and sometimes I wish that those around me would understand and support my decision. And hopefully see my point and think a little further. I am not a fan of noisy toys. There are so many toys out there in the market, but there are some in particular, I really would avoid in my house as much as possible. My reason is this – the unnecessary noise.

  1. With a toddler in the house, it is already noisy, don’t you agree? QB talks all day and sometimes he just cannot stop. I don’t mind him talking. I fact, I love hearing him speak and getting his way around words and learning new words (LOL, I may regret saying this 1-2 years from now). So with the noise he’s making, and the noise we make while playing with him, who needs a noisy toy to add on to more noise?
  2. Quackababy 2 is due in 10 weeks. Now that’s in about 2 months time (ONLY!!!). I can’t imagine one evening when she’s sleeping, and QB would blow the whistle, along with the usual noise from playing with toys and it may wake her up? I know babies sleep better with white noise and some sorta background sounds, but these toys/things are just out of the question. Knowing QB himself was a terrible sleeper as a newborn and baby, I just want to prepare that QB2 may be the same. A sleeping baby is a bliss.
  3. Sleep. We co sleep in the same room with QB and on weekends, he usually wakes up earlier than us. Imagine if he had taken that noisy toy and start playing? I think my head would be aching and I don’t wanna start the day nagging at him to stop playing with it. Mama needs her sanity and peace too. Especially when QB2 arrives.

Having said all these, I am so grateful that QB is an easy toddler. When we take something away from him, he doesn’t throw a huge fit. In fact, often, we are successful at it and he will understand and cooperate. We haven’t had to deal with any serious tears or meltdown from him. With him being such a great kid, sometimes he will still manage to get hold of these items. I only hope that when QB2 arrives, the situation will get better. And we will make better choices.

Have you experienced the same or have other toy/thing that you feel should never be in a toddler’s hands? Please share it with me!

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CLOTH DIAPER UPDATE!

Hi guys!

Finally, I have an opportunity to make an update on our current cloth diapering routine. This time, I’m talking about cloth diapering a toddler. It’s all a different story from the last update I did which was in July 2014. I would say that it has been a drastic change and my views has changed a lot. Some diapers that I loved then, I no longer love now. Those which I though would be great, turns out not great at all!

There are many types of modern cloth diapers out there, and we love pockets. They are easy to use and easy to clean. Less problems with washing and drying and very versatile. You can stuff them with anything that absorbs! (yes, even old cut up t-shirts!). I like diapers that are waterproof. To me, it defeats the purpose of wearing a diaper if is gonna leak and get wet, yes? So fitteds are out for me. I love how cute fitteds are, but not for a toddler. For a smaller baby, yes. Because you change them so often anyway. Pockets may be troublesome to stuff, but I don’t mind the process. My pros weighs more than my cons. I love that they stain less (comparing to AIOs which mostly are cotton or bamboo inners which will stain unless using a liner) and very trim too.

So after cloth diapering for almost 2 years now, we have found a diaper (or two) that we love. And “we” meaning my husband and I. And I am gonna share why we love them.

Our NUMBER 1 choice is APPLECHEEKS! This brand is 100% made in canada and can only be bought in the West. No retailers in Asia has got them (yet) and I bought them in the U.S and Canada and ship them back here to me.

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Why Applecheeks?

1. They are easy to stuff.
You will know partly why people dislike pocket diapers is because they need to be stuffed before using. Applecheeks diapers has a wide opening at the center and makes stuffing very easy, even for big daddy hands! This is a plus for me because I don’t like it when my hand gets stuck inside a diaper with sticky PUL. On another note, you can also use Applecheeks as an AI2. Just lay the soaker/insert on top without stuffing.

2. They are easy to wash and dry.
Washing and drying is very important for every cloth diapering family. It is only with easy/good wash routines that you will be able to reuse your diapers. Applecheeks covers are really easy to spray (poop!) bearing in mind that toddler poop is so different from an infant’s. The inner micro fleece does not make poop stick on it as bad and they can easily be rinsed off (unlike cotton or bamboo or other natural material). This way, your covers will be very clean and doesn’t stain so much. I’ve had some stains on and off but they clearly go away after sunning. I do not use any liners inside my Applecheeks. These covers dry very fast and can be reused quickly.

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3. They are easy to put on an fit awesome.
Be it a newborn, infant or toddler. Applecheeks diapers are very easy to wear. You do not need to follow wing snap and hop snap like other brands. You can snap it however you like depending on the size of your baby and how it fits best. These are some of the examples.

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AppleCheeks

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As you can see, you don’t have to vertically match the snaps on either side, and you wont have a weird lop sided fit. The wings snap on perfectly and will not restrict baby’s movement.

4. They contain all messes.
This could be kinda subjective but in general, if you had a proper fit of this diaper, they contain all messes and does not leak. I’ve almost NEVER had a blow out on Applecheeks and even if it leaked, it was because I didn’t change Leo as often as I should. The insert you use will affect your leaky problems too. We had compression leak with microfiber and we never used it again. It is known that microfiber doesn’t work so well with toddlers because they move around a lot and compression leak is common with that material. The ruffles on Applecheeks must be turned out and on the underwear line for the best fit. it shouldn’t leak at all.

5. They are worth my money 100%.
Yes, Applecheeks may not be the cheapest diaper available (especially if you factor in shipping and cost of inserts), but they lasted very long for me and still fits great. Applecheeks come in 3 sizes now (1,2 & 3).  I have used my size 2s for more than a year and they are still in excellent condition. Not to mention also that they have been fitting Leo from 7 months until now that he’s almost 23 months. The elastics are great, fleece is bright white, no tears or leaks.

We use our Applecheeks stuffed with their 2 or 3 ply bamboo insert or prefolds. We had just enough of their inserts but because of budget, we use prefolds mostly. Prefolds are way cheaper and they absorb just as good. Of course their bamboo ply is trimmer but unless you want to save money, Grovia prefolds are great. We love the Grovia ones especially because they are made from bamboo and cotton blend too, just like Applecheeks.

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Applecheeks bamboo insert is made of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton where as the Grovia prefolds are made of 55% bamboo and 45% cotton. In case you’re wondering, the Size 1 (newborn) prefolds fit into AC Size 1 covers and Size 1 (infant) prefolds fit into AC Size 2 cover. These were perfect for my stash.

So those are the reasons to LOVE APPLECHEEKS. I only wished I had tried them sooner and used Size 1s for Leo when he was a newborn. I will definitely stock up Size 1s for the nexy baby!

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The second favorite brand that we use in our stash is Grovia! (maybe you realized the hint earlier already?). We exclusively use only these 2 brands now. I particularly like the Grovia hybrid system (shell+soaker). I also have their AIOs but they aren’t fitting as great now that he’s almost 2. The hybrids fit better and still has a lot of room to grow.

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1. They are pretty trim.

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The hybrids fit really well and are very trim at the crotch and bum area. Absorbency wise, I have to change more often because the soaker gets full pretty fast for Leo. But they still hold well for a couple of hours.

2. They are organic cotton.
I started to dislike synthetic material and had lotsa stinks with them (especially microfiber). Grovia was one of my favorites because their organic cotton soaker was absorbent and did lot leave rashes or funny smells on them. Even though the hybrid system encourages people to use the shell twice and just change the soaker, I often change the whole thing and treat them like an AIO. I also love their AIO which is made from organic cotton too.

3. They have superb quality.
Grovia is probably one of the most well made diaper I’ve ever seen. Their prints/colors do not fade and feels very sturdy. I have had new and preloved ones, and their elastics have not worn out on me even after using for almost 2 years. I actually find no flaw in this diaper at all (except of course, pilling from Velcro which is normal). Their TPU material is great and had no leaks at all.

4. Their velcro is the best.

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I do not use any other velcro diaper except Grovia. After trying numerous velcro diapers, I find Grovia the best and doesn’t irritate baby’s skin. Their soft material is very comfortable and gives a great fit for all sizes of babies. I particularly love it for my toddler because he fits very well in the velcro and I can adjust it to fit better. I am thankful though, that my son has never try to undo his diapers, not ever on Grovia, but he has tried to with disposables and other brands. How, why is that?

5. They have very nice prints and colors.
Admit it. Sometimes we only look at prints or colors of each diaper. I have to say that I do like Grovia’s prints and colors too. They don’t look fake, or repeated or used in other brands. Very exclusive and super cute. This is a point for me because I am not a fussy person when it comes to color or prints. In fact, I don’t mind having the same diaper in the same color. But for Grovia, I want very single one of them!

So there you have it, my favorite modern cloth diapers and why I chose them. They work the best for us and I am slightly OCD when it comes to these things. I will only buy what I use and I will rotate them strictly so that each diaper is used equal amount of time. All those that were mentioned in my previous cloth diapering update has been sold or given away. It really depends on your baby which diaper is best. Gender, build, weight and height matters too. I hope this helps for those who are needing a review in these 2 brands. So keep trying… find the best that works for you and does not break your wallet 😉

if you’re a cloth diapering mama, please let me know what is your favorite and share it with me!

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