Very 1st Dentist Appointment 

A very clean and healthy smile is what we were told Gio has! 🙂 

Thursday was Gio’s very first dentist visit! If you’re from the Montgomery County area in Maryland, I HIGHLY recommend MVP Smiles! It’s a pediatrics dentist and orthodontics office. From the moment I walked in everyone from their staff was incredibly polite, friendly, patient, and professional. I am so happy my pediatrician referred us over ’cause I definitely do not plan on taking Gio anywhere else. 

So, Gio did a whole better than I thought he would do. We got to the office early, so we sat in the kids area and he was very patient today. He sat in front of me and had me read this one baby book over and over until his name was called. 

When we started to head back, I was very impressed with how nice and clean the facility was. Anyway, they took us to our area and I was given some information about what to do and not to. For example: avoid lots of sugar, brush twice a day (for a minute for 1 year olds), avoid the bottle, and avoid falling asleep with a milk sippy. That last one is tough for us because Gio’s main thing at night to sleep is his sippy with milk- I’m going to work on it, though! As for sugar, Gio doesn’t drink any juice at all and we do our best to avoid sweets unless we’re at a birthday or after a haircut, lol. Also, Gio loves brushing his teeth so there’s no issue with that one! I always take him to brush his teeth when we’re both ready to get up from bed and ready to sleep. 

After we were done going over the little booklet, the assistant had us sit face-to-face while she had a pillow on her nap where Gio’s head can lay- from there she brushed through his teeth, counted them, saw some almost ready to pop out, and gave me instructions on how to brush his tiny teeth. There was some crying, of course, but no meltdown which is a plus! Since he is so little, he got nervous and scared that someone unfamiliar was in his face checking his mouth. 

Once the dentist came to check him out, he read through the assistants notes first and then we sat down the same way and he checked Gio’s teeth and gums. His gums are a perfect color and his teeth are very nice in clean, we’ve been doing a good job 🙂 The only thing was that the space between his bottom teeth is tight, so we actually need to start flossing his teeth (with the little tooth floss picks for kids!). 

As per usual, I explained to Gio where we were going and what to expect- yes, I know he doesn’t understand me BUT I just find it important to get myself into the habit of always letting him know where we’re going, what to expect, what will be expected of him, and that everything will be ok! 

Anyway, I was so happy and pleased with our experience at MVP Smiles, and scheduled our follow up for January! 🙂 

Days Away From Gio

This past Saturday, Erwin and I went to New Jersey to drop off Gio at my parents house. Gio did extremely well on the drive- he slept more than half the way, and after he woke up, he was really calm in his seat. Originally we were going to come back Sunday night, but we decided to come back Monday morning so that way Gio could warm up easily to my family and their home.

It was been a little harder than I thought it would be to have him away from me, but at the same time it makes me so happy that he’s spending time with my parents and my family in New Jersey. I know for a fact that he’s being spoiled with so much attention and so much love.

I’m actually very proud of how well he’s doing. When we were in New Jersey with him, he warmed up quickly with everyone and he stayed playful with everyone once we left. We had some minor issues when I would drop him off my sister-in-laws house, like nonstop crying, so I was concerned but there hasn’t been any problems at all. He sleeps really well, he’s been eating extremely well. I’m really proud of how he’s done, and I might just do this annually so he gets to spend that time with my parents which to me is really important.

Now, as for me, it’s just been really strange not having him with me. I miss him a lot. Having him away from me and him not being under my care has opened my eyes up to things. It’s made me realize how I care way too much about little things, while all he wants and needs is me to be there sitting on the floor just playing or running around with him. I can put cleaning aside, cooking aside, even my studies aside for a little to fulfill his wish of just having me there next to him.

Today is my first day on my own. Erwin went back to work, so I decided to jump on here and write before I start studying for me final Biology exam. He gets out a little earlier today so I’m excited to just hangout with him and watch a movie.

Kids Suncreen + Summer Tips!

We’ve had plenty of hot days already this year, but the hottest days are yet to come! That means a really strong sun and keeping our babies protected! Besides keeping them cool, protecting their skin is extremely important.

Lately I’ve come across some really scary articles about sunscreen brands that instead of protecting a child’s skin caused 2nd degree burns!

Gio does have semi sensitive skin, but regardless I am still VERY picky with what I put on his skin. I wouldn’t put something on him that I wouldn’t put on myself.

The SPF for babies, toddlers, kids should be AT LEAST 30 SPF and I personally don’t go over 50 SPF. For a baby under 6 months it’s ok to use sunscreen but a minimal amount. I apply it on Gio 15 – 20 minutes before we head out to the pool, beach or long park days so his skin absorbs it, and I reapply every two hours if we’re still out and if necessary. Long outdoor day trips require sunscreen too.

If you’re just going to the store or a short walk, there isn’t a need to put sunscreen on them, a hat is a good alternative. Just always be cautious and always carry sunscreen in their bag in case you’re going to be out longer than anticipated.

Below are my favorite 2 sunscreen brands, one lower priced and another higher priced, and their website links where you can purchase (and where I got the images from, lol):

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 4.53.55 PM

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50

  • contains 100% naturally sourced zinc oxide
  • good for sensitive skin
  • has a nourishing formula
  • water resistant for 80 minutes
  • fragrance-free
  • paraben-free
  • 3oz
  • I also have the stick form for the face
  • price $9.99 (may vary depending where it’s purchased)
  • link to site: http://www.aveeno.com/product/aveeno-+baby+continuous+protection-+sensitive+skin+zinc+oxide+sunscreen+spf+50.do

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 4.54.58 PM

Coola Baby SPF 50 Unscented Moisturizer 

  • good for sensitive skin
  • organic
  • has avocado and coconut oil (does say fragrance free be has a slight scent because of the coconut, but I don’t mind it and neither does Gio and his skin!)
  • water resistant for 80 minutes
  • paraben and preservatieve free
  • 3oz
  • I use stick for the face
  • price $36 (may vary depending where purchased)
  • link to site: http://shop.coolasuncare.com/mineral-baby-natural-sunscreen-spf-50-unscented

 

I love both of these for Gio, but my favorite has been Aveeno. I use Aveeno’s body lotion, body wash, and conditioning shampoo. Aveeno helped improve his skin from dry and irritated to super soft and healthy.

The reason I put Coola is because it’s my favorite brand for myself! When I worked at a salon that was the sunscreen we sold so I tried it out and never switched back. We sold the baby line too, but at that moment there was no Gio. I tried it out a couple times last year and loved it!

Now here are some tips on keeping your kids safe and cool during the hot times! 

  • Water! Water! Water! – it is so important to always be very well hydrated wherever you are and/or go. I make sure to always carry cold water for Gio, especially if we go to the park, beach, and/ or do any outdoor activity!
  • Hats – perfect to keep their little faces and heads from getting burnt, besides using sunscreen
  • If it’s too humid and too hot try to avoid outdoor activity. If they have to be out for an activity, start hydrating an hour beforehand and constantly give water and/or sport drink (depending on age, of course).
  • Try to find indoor activities or a cooling activity to do!
  • Be careful at parks. Most parks are usually right under the sun meaning the swings, slides, chains, etc., are directly under the sun and get extremely hot. Contact can cause up to 3rd degree burns (correct me if wrong on that!)
  • Dress them in looser, lighter-weight, lighter-colored clothing
  • Use an effective insect repellent and check for ticks
  • Cooler showers and baths- sometimes I give Gio two baths a day. If we go to the park or pool (or do any type of outdoor activity) I will give him a bath right after and a nighttime bath so his body can relax, and so he can rest better
  • Cool your car before driving off! If this isn’t really an option have a cold cup of water for your child so it can help them stay cool the first few minutes the car is hot. Also, be careful with the hot buckles! I always leave those hidden or covered so they don’t get hot.

 

Here is a link to explain to you guys why I don’t use a SPF higher than 50: http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/

 

More foods on the list!

Gio has grown into more new foods lately, which makes it so much easier to feed him! I mean, honestly, it’s never been difficult to feed him unless he’s just really not hungry or sick. Now that he’s getting older he’s more welcoming to different textures and a wide variety of flavors. Below is a list of new things Gio is into and hopefully can give you ideas!

 

Prepared meals by Gerber and Chef Boyardee- So far he likes the chicken or turkey mixed with vegetables and rice (usually lean for these if its been a long day or if someone has to watch him during a meal time)

Mac n’ Cheese- either the ones already prepared or homemade, he also loves it mixed with carrots and chicken

Peaches!

French Toast Sticks

Plantains

Yogurt- he’s actually always loved yogurt

Black beans

String cheese- Mozzarella (my favorite brand is Horizon!)

Applesauce!- he loves applesauce

Sandwiches- either one with a soft meat to chew or grilled cheese!

Meatballs!- or turkey

Potatos- seasons them slightly, drizzle a bit of olive oil and bake!

Quesadillas

Some whole meals I give him are:

Breakfast: oatmeal, banana, and small yogurt; scrambled eggs mixed with spinach and tomatoes with a fruit; French toast and a yogurt mixed with fruit pieces; plantains with black beans

Lunch/dinner: Grilled cheese with veggie sticks; rice mixed with veggies and chicken or turkey; salmon with a small salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados with lime juice; penne pasta mixed with tomato sauce and ground beef or turkey; pb&j sandwich with fruit and yogurt

Snacks: any kind of fruit (he likes his banana and apples with peanut butter sometimes); veggie sticks, applesauce, string cheese, crackers, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado slices; small muffins

With his meals Gio only has water. He will only have milk when he wakes up (smallest amount so he eats breakfast) for a nap, a car ride if he’s really fussy, and bedtime! 

It’s a struggle but not impossible

Today started out great until I went to check my school status- I was no longer registered for one out of my two summer courses and I was put on restrictions. For those who follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I mentioned that I didn’t do like I would have liked in one of my courses, and well, here’s the consequence for it. Instead of taking a new class this summer, I will be repeating that class- thankfully everything is fresh in my mind and I have tons of notes that I’ll be reviewing starting tomorrow before class starts next week.

I cried, I’m a cryer lol. Not doing well in school is something I’m not really used to. For the longest time I was always an honors student and/or a top student in school, I was always advanced but I took a huge dip.

My life is different now. My life isn’t just about me now. My first priority isn’t school, it’s my family and I’m not going to change that BUT I am going to school to offer my family a good life, one they deserve. So, with that said, I am going to work 100x harder.

It was difficult for me because in class I would think about Gio, at home I’d push all studies aside and do a ton of other things, even during Gio’s naps I didn’t study. I didn’t really pick up a rhythm until it was unfortunately too late. Now I know, and lesson learned.

Erwin always offered me this and that, but I would always say no that I wanted to do this and that instead (such as give Gio dinner and a bath, take him to the park so I can study, etc.). Erwin is amazing. He helps me so much, and I need to take advantage of the help that I have.

It’s not impossible for me to succeed, for a spare moment today I was just so overwhelmed because it just felt like I failed not only myself but my family as well, and that feeling sucks. It felt like so because I’m trying to finish all my courses in a specific time period so I can officially apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program on a particular date, and for a moment it looked like I couldn’t and that I’d have to wait longer- but it looks like with extra work and study time I might be able to still do so.

BUT, even if I can’t I already came up with a plan. I still plan to finish all my study plans next spring semester, and if it’s too late to apply to the DMS program THATS OK. I can work during my break time, help my household, focus on Gio, and then apply and kick some serious ass in the program because I know that I can do it. I know that I will be great. There’s no doubt about it in my mind.

I’m really tough on myself, I’ve always been, but I’m working hard on teaching myself that things happen. Everyday is a new learning experience for me, for anyone. I finally have my balance. I finally have a peace of mind. I have the best family and every reason to be happy, so now that I’m well focused I’m only going to push forward, work harder, and show myself that it’s not impossible to be greater and better.

1 way to make money at home! 

Sell. Sell. Sell. 

After I had GioVanni, I haven’t worked. Erwin and I decided that the best thing for our son, is to always have me around so all my time is dedicated to my family and school. Not working is something I’m not used to so it’s been an adjusting process for me. I want to help bring money into the household, even if it’s only to pay one bill or gas money but it’s something, you know? 

So I did my usual Google search and looked up various things like ways to make money at home, stay at home mom ideas, etc. I came across surveys, apps, and so many things but something that truly stuck out to me was selling stuff we don’t need anymore.

Usually I just got rid of my clothes or threw away items we no longer wanted, but I started listing on apps to sell items and it’s been a good run for for. I’ve been doing it since Gio was born, so about a year. I don’t know exactly how much I’ve made since then but between now and November I made almost $2,000, and I don’t think that’s bad at all from stuff at home! 

Somethings I’ve sold are: 

-Grown out clothes: of course from Gio. He had so much nice stuff just in boxes because it no longer fit him 

-Grown out shoes: same story as the clothes 

-Toys: just items Gio no longer paid attention to or liked 

-Baby Gear: car seats, swings, jumpers, gates, chairs, play yards, 

-Movies: I had duplicates of some 

-My own clothing: stuff that no longer fit or grabbed my attention

-Shoes: same as clothes 

-Maternity items

-Accessories: items that might not be your style anymore, maybe never wore, were gifts and you didn’t like, sell it! Rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, sunglasses, purses! 

There’s so much you can put up, you’d be surprised! 

Another way I’ve made money, is going to a store called Kid to Kid. They buy used items, clothing, and shoes- even maternity items, too! They will give you 15%-20% of what they will sell it for, but it’s very quick and instant cash, unless you want store credit then they will give you an additional 20%, I believe. 

Some apps I’ve used are Mercari, LetGo, and 5miles. 

These apps and store have been very helpful to me. I’ve been able to bring in some money to the house, get Gio thigsC or help pay a bill here and there! It’s worth looking into, I promise 🙂 

Xoxo- Aura 

Chuck E. Cheese fun 

For a few days we didn’t have any power at home, and of course those days decided to be gloomy and rainy. Keeping Gio entertained got hard those days since there was no option to go outside, like a park. We would go to the library so I could do some school work, read to him, and so he could watch his shows but he’d get very bored. So, on Saturday I decided that I would take him to Chuck E. Cheese and it was a success. 


We have taken him previously, but he couldn’t really play ’cause of how small he was, he’d get fussy, and a lot of people overwhelm him. We went at around 11am, and there were a decent amount of people- it definitely wasn’t crowded which was good. Chuck E. Cheese was the only place I could really think of to take him to and play, and I’m happy I did because he had so much fun. 


We were there until almost 1? The best part, I got $10 worth of points and he didn’t even use them all. Maybe a little over half. He went on the clock multiple times- which I’m so happy he loved ’cause I feel like that one can be a miss or hit. He also really liked the submarine, a little motorcycle that they have for toddlers, the Simpsons soccer game, the little bowling like thing (lol, don’t judge me) and funniest of all, he loved the Fast and Furious game. I really wish I could upload the video so you guys could see him ‘driving’ it’s the funniest and cutest thing- he even changed shifts! If you follow me on Twitter, the video is available to see! Go watch! Lol 

It was the best watching him play that day. It really showed me how much he’s grown and how much more he understands now too. 

Let the Chuck E. Cheese fun begin! Lol 

Xoxo 

New Adventures with Gio :)

As he gets bigger, Gio loves new things, doing new things, and gets better at stuff he’s been practicing. 

Something Gio really loves now are slides. He has a pretty strong core and good balance, so he can actually go down on his own. I felt like it was early for him to be able to go down on his own, but maybe I was wrong? He holds himself so well. Although, he also likes tricking me into thinking he’s going down the slide and then crawls away into a tunnel or up some stairs. 


His favorite thing at the park are the swings. He loves being on the swings. He recognizes them now. So each time I point at it he smiles HUGE and asks to be put in- in his own way of course.


He tries to swing himself, at least I think, and he just laughs the whole time. It’s precious, and I love watching him be so happy with something so incredibly simple. He’s actually been at a point of almost falling asleep TWICE! He was so relaxed and tired, lol. 

Another thing that Gio enjoys is Blaze, that show on Nickolodeon. I found it strange how much he’s grown to like it. Blaze is a monster truck, so the show is about him and helping his friends- it teaches kids engineering, math, science, etc. I’ve seen bits of episodes where they teach friction and angles and Gio is just so amused “talking” to Blaze. He has gotten into cars lately so I want to assume that’s why he loves the show?He’s learned to push them around and gets so fascinated by the fact that he can. 


Gio has known how to wave for a while, but gets so shy about it. He’ll only wave to me or Erwin. So, we’re practicing and trying to show him that he should always wave hi and bye.

He also loves it’s when you say wake up sleepy head ’cause he’ll pat his head and afterwards we’ll say yay Gio! And he’ll clap 🙂 

Ever since he’s learned to go up the stairs, which he’s really fast at and tries to run away from us now, he likes attempting to climb into or onto things. Sometimes he can, sometimes his goal isn’t so realistic lol 

One of Gio’s favorite time of the day is bath time. He loves his baths, which is a huge plus for us! Gio reaches now the knobs that control the water and has known to turn his water on for a while now, too. His new thing is what seems to be him testing out the water temperature in his tub and coming down. It’s pretty funny to watch, actually. 

Hope you guys enjoyed reading these new little Gio adventures! Hopefully soon enough I can update to post videos for you guys, and maybe start a YouTube channel? Maybe! In the mean time, I usually post most videos on my Twitter! 🙂 xoxo- Aura

D.C. Fun! 

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has an amazing Easter weekend, and got to enjoy the nice weather! We definitely enjoyed ours. 

Erwin and I had been wanting to go to D.C. for a while, and we finally did! The main reason why we wanted to was because of the cherry blossoms, but we were too late for them this year :/ but it was still beautiful and the weather was so, so nice- so it was a fun time anyway. 


We had a chance to take pictures too, finally! We’ve been so busy with Erwin working, me going to school, getting stuff packed to move and finding a new place to go- it’s just been crazy! So it was really refreshing to be able to enjoy the day. It brought back some nice memories from last year when I was still pregnant with Gio. 


As some of you may know already, Erwin loves taking pictures so we tried to find spots to take pictures, and he got some really nice shots! 


Gio did really well the whole trip despite it being warm and sunny. I packed him plenty of snacks and a purée, cold water, and milk (we carry a thermostat to keep drinks either warm or cool- comes so in handy! I got it at WalMart). I also took and put on him, his Aveeno sunscreen. Like I’ve mentioned, Gio has mild eczema so we’re picky on what we use for him, but either way, I highly recommend Aveeno for ANYONE. It’s such a great brand. That day Gio also wore a very light blue shirt, also light in material, and denim shorts to keep him comfy and refreshed. 

We walked around D.C. for two hours maybe? We really didn’t feel the time since we were just truly enjoying each other’s company and being out. We went to the Washington Monument, Tidal Basin, World War ll memorial, and the Floral Library. 



After D.C. we head home and stayed there for the rest of the day. We had Jeremy with us and we were able to give him his Easter basket. We collected a bunch a small things that we figured he would like and enjoy. It consisted of: chalk/bean bags, a gumball machine, emoji bubbles, candy, and a few of those little surprise toy bags. He was very happy with it which was great! 

For the rest of the day we all played and simply hung out together! It was a really nice day 🙂 

Bye guys! Xoxo 

Gio’s into new foods 

I recently made a post of food I give Gio and had tried for the first time that worked. Recently Gio has gotten into a few new things which makes us happy. 

We never give up when it comes to him trying new things. Sometimes he doesn’t like the texture or is thrown off by the taste so we try not to force it. We’ll try a few tricks but if he’s determined not to try it at that moment then we’ll try it another time. We don’t want him to hate his meal time- it’s supposed to be a pleasant experience. You know? 

With that being said there’s are the new foods that recently Gio has been liking:

-MANGOS! He really loves mangos. I thought he wouldn’t because of the slimy feeling of it, but he actually gave it a shot and loves it! 

-Green grapes: we had tried these before but he really didn’t want to try it, but he finally gave them a shot this week. I peeled them for him and would either let him eat them on his own or I would mix them in his oatmeal. 

-Kiwi! I was very surprised by this one 

-Raviolis: he likes these a lot. These are beef stuffed raviolis topped with tomatoe sauce. 

-Granola bars: especially the strawberry flavored 

-Goldfish: he had also tried these before and would just take them out of his mouth. Now he enjoys snacking on them. 

-Chicken noodle soup: surprisingly he enjoyed this a lot 

Those are a couple new things in Gio’s diet! The new thing to try on my list is smoothies! Sometimes Gio doesn’t want to eat, if he’s sick or teething pretty bad, so I think healthy smoothies would be a great alternative! 

Have a nice day guys! 🙂