Summer Bucketlist

So every year I always want to do a lot of different things during different seasons, but I don’t always get to it all or half, lol. But now I want to start writing them all down and sharing them with you guys, and hopefully that motivates me to do more things and adventure out some more. Gio is also now 2 which  makes it easier to go out on different adventures too. I’ve lived in Maryland for almost 3 years now, right in-between Baltimore and D.C. and many other places, and haven’t explored as much as I should soooo here we go!

  • Go to museums. The main ones I’d like to go to are: National Air and Space Museum,    National Museum of Natural History,  and National Museum of American History
  • Go to the zoo: Smithsonian National Zoo isn’t too far from us, and it would be a fun adventure especially for Gio since it’ll be his first time seeing all kinds of animals
  • Go to a water park: not exactly sure which, but we have found some in NJ, PA, and VA that have grabbed our attention
  • Go to the carnival: in the area there’s always 2 during the summer. There’s one right now and there will be a much bigger one in mid-August if I’m not mistaken
  • Go to the lantern festival! Yessss, please
  • Go on picnics
  • Of course, beach days!
  • Lots of pool time!
  • Go to Scramble: it’s a pretty big indoor play area for children in VA and looks like so much fun!
  • Go to the sunflower field:
  • Make a photo journal: I want to try and make one for each season. We haven’t been ones to take too many pictures and I’m kind of regretful of that because I would love to have pictures of our memories and put albums together that we can look back on
  • Go on a hike: I definitely need tips and tricks for going on a hike with kids!
  • Visit a fire station
  • Go to The Baked Bear!!!
  • Go to a splash park
  • Go to the The Crayola Factory
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Giving My Toddler Chores

Ever since Gio started walking and we noticed that he could follow simple instructions, we started giving him “chores”. To us it was and still is very important to give Gio his jobs around the house to teach him the importance of responsibility and the importance of taking care of your home and things.

Besides teaching the need for cleanliness, order in the household, and teaching him to be responsible, giving Gio chores also helps him develop language-skills. To do his chore he needs to know where certain areas are, where things go, and how his objective is supposed to get done.

When Gio accomplishes his chores we don’t “pay” him. He doesn’t get candy or a sticker or anything. His favorite part of helping out is the sense of pride and accomplishment once he’s done. Every time he knows he did something correctly he claps and says “I did it,” with so much excitement. Once he’s older and does jobs that are more complex then maybe we can offer a reward, but right now I don’t feel the need or see the need to do so.

Gio is only 2 so his chores aren’t washing dishes or doing laundry, which would be nice lol, but he does things like:

  • pushing our laundry basket (it has wheels) to the laundry room down the hall and back to our studio
  • helps me put laundry detergent into the washer, moves the wet clothes into the dryer, and from the dryer into the basket
  • he’s still in a diaper so he throws out his diapers into the trash (this was his very first chore)
  • before every bath he puts his dirty clothes into the dirty hamper
  • pick up and put away his toys

New chores we’re practicing:

  • throwing out trash from a snack or meal into the trash
  • helping throw out the garbage bag down the “chute”

All these chores are simple enough for him to understand and do. He might not understand the full meaning of why we do it all just yet, but continuing to do each of these consistently will teach him.

Obviously Gio didn’t learn to do these on his own. To start doing these we taught them all to him. We showed him how we do each task, then we practiced each one step by step together, and then he did it on his own. Gio is always really proud of himself when he learns something new and remembers, so teaching him chores hasn’t been too hard. At first he didn’t always want to throw out trash or move the laundry, but when we sing a song or cheer in the process, he’s always really happy in the end after doing it.

The next chores we want to teach Gio are:

  • learning to feed his fish
  • cleaning up spills and the windows
  • carrying a light grocery bag or item (he only cares about carrying his toys right now lol)
  • carrying his own backpack
  • putting his plate and cup into the dishwasher (I’m sure he’ll throw it in at first lol, so thankfully his are plastic)

The most important thing to getting toddlers, kids, teens to do a good job is consistency. At first I would forget to give Gio his diaper after I was done changing him so he forgot he even had to do it and where to take it, but once I stayed on top of it he remembered to go to the kitchen, open the cabinet, throw it in the trash, and then close the cabinet. Laundry we do every Friday, he knows he gets to push the cart so he does and he knows to stop in front of the laundry room, and once we’re done in there he knows to head to the elevator so we can go downstairs to put money in the laundry card.

My favorite part out of all this is the excitement to do things and how proud his is once he’s done. Once he’s older he probably won’t be as excited, lol, so I’ll take advantage of it now.

Thank you for reading! -Aura xoxo

Easy Way To Make Money From HOME

Sell. Sell. Sell.

After I had Gio, 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 was never used to so it’s still an adjusting process for me. I use to work full-time and go to school. 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 ways to make money from 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, over two years. 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! It’s also a good way to declutter!

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 stores called Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate. 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. You do make less selling to these places rather than selling them on your own like on apps, but if you’re in need these are quick and easy places to go to!

My favorite app to sell on is Mercari, but I’ve also sold on LetGo and PoshMark.

Now another app where I’ve made money is Ibotta. I really enjoy this. This app has a list of items (groceries, magazines, cleaning supplies, baby items, etc.,) that you can purchase from almost any grocery store in your area. It’s basically a cash back. An example is, if you purchase lets say ice cream, you can make $1 back. Once you’ve made up to $20 you can redeem for rewards (old navy, Walmart, etc. giftcards), you can redeem into a PayPal account, or you can keep accumulating money. A lot if the items are items that most people purchase, at least I do, so it hasn’t been difficult for me to reach $20!

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

Xoxo- Aura

Where I shop for my 2 year old?

I have always loved shopping, especially clothing. So ever since I became pregnant I immediately wanted to start buying clothing, shoes, everything for Gio. Baby clothing is so cute and I always wanted it all, buuuut kids grow out of everything SO fast and spending hundreds of dollars on a few items that may last months, if that, isn’t really worth it.

I like good quality clothing, but because Gio grows out of everything so fast I also like to not spend too much either. Right now Gio wears 2T and 3T depending on the brand, and in shoes he’s either a 6 or 7 also depending on the brand. Now that he isn’t a baby, he no longer has many accidents but clothing does become stained from eating or activities. Also, we’ll be potty training this summer and I’m expecting accidents to make their way back so I don’t want him to wear expensive clothes for them to just get dirty in a short period.

I’ve found a good amount of stores that I like with different brands and/or styles that I really like, and the best part is that the clothing is good quality, too. The stores are:

  • TJ Maxx
  • Marshalls
  • Old Navy
  • Target
  • Gap
  • Kohls
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Outlets such as Adidas, Nike (items are always much cheaper, and usually on sale too)

In addition to the stores, I have also bought Gio some items off an app, Mercari. On the app I am always more careful with what I buy. I make sure to check the condition and make sure the price is fair, and so far I’ve really enjoyed my purchases.

Here is a mini TJ Maxx haul from today:

  • Carters swim 2- piece: $14.99
  • Adidas 2- piece outfit: $12.99
  • Adidas grey shirt: $5.99
  • Ralph Lauren shirt: $7.99
  • Nike yellow/grey shorts: $4.99
  • PJ Masks and Thomas the Train pjs: $7.99 each

Gio Nowadays

Hey guys! So sorry for being gone for so long. I didn’t think I’d not post for so long, but it happened, and now I’m back! I don’t have school so now I have some extra free time on my hands for plenty of things, and plan to be on here a lot more.

Since I haven’t written in so long, I figured why not share stuff about Gio today. What he likes to eat, do, and whatnot 🙂

IMG_4466

Gio turned two on April 4th. I took him to his two year check -up a little before his birthday, and he weighed a little more than 27lbs and is almost 3ft.

He is very playful and very active. He loves being outdoors so now that the weather is so much nicer we’ve been going for walks, to the park, small festivals in different towns, and to a turf field with Erwin.

Obviously there’s rainy days or just days when we stay inside so we do things indoors like painting (most recent activity he likes, he used to be scared of the paint), he LOVES reading, we’ll fill up a bucket of water so he can play with sharks (I’m considering getting a kiddie pool), he’s been very interested in puzzles so we’ll do some of those, he really enjoys “playing” with his flashcards, we’ll try and do some arts and crafts, and of course he enjoys playing with his toys and tablet.

Gio loves to learn new things all the time, and once he has things down he likes to go over it again and again. Right now he loves singing the alphabet, not fluently, but he tries really hard. He knows all his color, and his favorite so far seems to be blue because it’s the one he always points out. Also, he’s learned to count up to 13. Everyday his words become a lot more pronounced.

As for eating, it’s always different with him. Here are some examples of things he’ll always eat without hesitation: whole grain rice cakes with almond butter, grapes, yogurt with granola, oatmeal, bananas, sweet potatoes, veggie sticks, jalapeño cheetos, pasta with ground turkey, and fish sticks. A few ways I’ve figured out to make sure he gets in all his nutrients besides supplement vitamins are: fruit smoothies with spinach and kale, and Zone kids protein bars. And yes, he does still drink almond milk, but besides that and water, we have slowly started introducing juice too (we’ll give it to him occasionally).

Gio is such a sweet soul. He will hug me just because and cover with me kisses, but he does still cry and do things he shouldn’t. A lot of times he does it for attention and/or because he’s frustrated that he can’t always fully communicate what he wants. Right now he likes to test our limits and will go through phases. For example right now he throws things when he’s mad or just because, so we are working on that. He had a hitting phase so now when he’s tempted to do so, he has me hold him and sing to calm down- it doesn’t always do the job so other times we run or do some physical activity to get that feeling out of him.

I still can’t believe Gio is two! Yet, I feel like he’s been with us for so much longer. This journey with him has been amazing, sometimes exhausting in all ways, but nonetheless a pure blessing. I will be doing my best to keep you guys updated on our journey. 🙂

Thank you for reading, guys! xoxo

What I do/ give Gio when he’s sick

*disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a professional in this department. I messaged Gio’s doctor to make sure the items I give him, and what I do, are ok.

This past season Gio was sick twice. Luckily, Gio seems to have a pretty strong immune system for his age ( I will go into detail as to why I believe he does at the end of the article), but I always like to be really prepared.

The last two times he was sick he had a cough and lots of mucus. He was also in and out of a mild fever. Below is what I used/did, and why, while he was sick:

  • Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus w/ Dark Honey
    Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 12.52.04 PM
    Image from Target.com.
    • First and foremost, I love this brand. I use to use others, but Zarbee’s seems to work best for Gio, and I strongly believe it’s because of all the natural and wholesome ingredients. The more natural the better in my opinion.
    • It’s safe for children 12 months+
    • Contains vitamin C and zinc to help support their immune system
    • The main ingredient, dark honey, helps coat the throat to calm the cough
    • The only things you can consider cons are:
      • It doesn’t necessarily have the best taste.
      • It’s very, very sticky and can get messy if you’re not careful. I give it to Gio with a syringe which you can purchase at Walmart, Target, Babies R. Us, etc.
  • Zarbee’s Nautrals Children’s Cough Syrup + Mucus Nighttime
    Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 12.51.47 PM
    Image from Target.com
    • Contains the same ingredients as the one above, except this one also consists of melatonin. Melatonin helps promote a good nights sleep in children which is important while sick since at night is when a cough can get worse. Melatonin is drug-free- it is something our pineal glands produce naturally. It isn’t essential for our sleep but we do sleep better once it’s secreted. I ONLY give what’s on the label or instructed by my pediatrician (as with any medicine) and immediately stop giving it once Gio is well or I feel he no longer needs the nighttime medicine.
  • What do I do if Gio has a fever?
    • Most fevers are caused by an infection or illness (other reasons: immunizations and teething). A fever is the body’s natural response to fighting an infection. The higher temperature in the child’s body produces an increased amount of antibodies. It is the most effective way to fight infection. So I don’t give Gio anything immediately to decrease his temperature, especially if he is still calm and playful.
    • I make sure Gio gets lots of rest, so usually we’ll be indoors
    • Lots of fluids! Water, milk, and/or teas to make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated (I do this even with no signs of a fever. It’s important that with any illness for them to be well hydrated, especially if they don’t want to eat much)
    • Now, if Gio is very irritable and it seems like he might have a headache or a body ache I will give him Tylenol to help control his pain, but I try to refrain from that
    • Here is what I’ve learned about fevers and when to go to the doctor from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
      • Under 3 months: 100.4°F or more
      • 3 to 6 months: 101°F or more
      • Over 6 months 103°F  or more
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics, Parenting.com, and BraunHealthcare.come are helpful places to look for help as well.
  • Vicks!
    • Vicks helps relieve a cough and helps open airways for all the mucus to come out
    • Different ways I use Vicks:
      • Rub it on chest, back, and soles of feet
      • Boil it: get a small pot filled 3/4 of way with water, then put a spoonful of Vicks inside
      • In a humidifier- here are the two that we own:
  • Steam, warm baths
    • These help open up the airways and while in the bath a lot of mucus comes out
    • Helps soothe and relax their tense bodies
  • Teas!

Why I believe Gio has a strong immune system:

  • I breastfed Gio for almost 9 months. I wanted to reach the year mark but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. Breastfeeding is known to be crucial for helping babies develop a strong immune system. The breastmilk helps supply the necessary factors to protect against disease, and supplies the necessary nutrients a baby needs which is also keen in having a strong immune system. This is known as a naturally acquired passive immunity. (I know that not everyone can or does breastfeed, which is perfectly ok, so listed are more ways to help with a strong immune system!)
  • Nutrition + Nutritional Supplements! Helping kids have a healthy diet is very important. Meaning lots of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, proteins, etc. I started introducing foods to Gio at 4 months (yes, I know it’s said to start at 6 months, but Gio did very well) and was a very, very good eater. Right now Gio has phases when he doesn’t want to eat much so to fill in those gaps while he’s going through a stage I give him smoothies with a variety of fruits and veggies, and everyday I give him a liquid multi-vitamin.
  • Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.27.10 PM
  • I tend to avoid giving Gio antibiotics unless that’s the only thing that will help improve whatever it is he may have. (He took an antibiotic once only) As you’ve probably noticed, I tend to avoid the doctor’s office unless it becomes truly necessary to go.
  • Lots of exercise! Let them run around, do a sport, join a class that gets them going, go to the park… do anything that gets them up and at it! Gio is very physically active. If he doesn’t get at least an hour a day of just running around, playing, or even going for a walk, he does get irritable- theres a clear change in his behavior when he does or doesn’t get that time. Negative energy and behavior isn’t good for their emotional or mental health which can effect your immunity. Plus, physical activity helps increase the number of killer cells in our bodies

Once again, I am no professional. This is just stuff I’ve acquired throughout my time of being the oldest of all my cousins and being a mom, plus messaging my doctor when I need an extra hand. Also, growing in my Hispanic household has taught me a lot of things.

Just Breathe…

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Eating Disorders Awareness Week was from February 26th to March 4th. Those very close to me know the importance of both to me- those who know me extremely well know of the battle I won against both.

Before the month is completely over I wanted to share some of my story, not for attention, but because of the importance of sharing, because maybe it can help someone, or show someone that they are not alone.

For those who believe that having an eating disorder is a choice, it’s not. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to have an eating disorder. At this moment in my life I was suffering internally. I had let people in my life destroy my soul while I screamed silently, completely frozen. I felt that I had lost every possible control of my body, my life. I felt helpless, hopeless, alone, lost.  I was constantly mad, disappointed, scared, and/or sad. I was desperate to find something that I could control. Right when I felt like I had nothing left my eating disorders made me feel like they were there to help me through the pain, to help me cope, to be my friends, but it that was far from my reality.

People had a tough time understanding what was happening to me physically and internally. I would lash out for the smallest things and then just burst into tears, or suddenly I’d be overly happy trying so hard to be the nicest person. When I had a good day my parents felt a glimpse of relief feeling like they finally did something right, when they never did anything wrong. It was all me. My parents are humans, humans make mistakes, we each keep growing as people and learning from one another- there is nothing I have to forgive my parents. My parents are one of my greatest gifts from life, and I have been truly blessed.

At that moment in my life everything turned dark and scary. I couldn’t control my emotions or my thoughts, my mind was driving me crazy and I couldn’t find a way out. I was trapped. I realize now that those that I believed in whispered lies into my ears. Lies about me, lies about my family, lies about everything.  I realize now that I was surrounded by incredible people that I let slip out of my life. I realize that my family was and is as beautiful as they come. I realize now that my family wanted to help me, but simply didn’t know how but kept pouring all their love my way.

It wasn’t about the food or a desire to be thin. This isn’t something I wish on anyone. Eating disorders are not a joke. Joking about them really hurts and poking fun at someone hurts. Don’t say something like “You need to eat an entire pizza, you’re barely visible,” maybe you don’t mean harm, but that stabs. It’s insensitive and diminishing.

It’s disgusting to me how people don’t take this matter seriously. What’s more appalling to me is the constant jokes made about eating disorder saying things like, “Date a girl with an eating disorder, that will be a cheap date.” People have no idea the suffering that others go through. Someone standing right next to you can be going through an eating disorder and be planning to end their life, yes it can lead to suicide, be careful with what you say and how you act.

Eating disorders can affect absolutely anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, race, and/or age. They’re a mental illness with physical affects meaning it’s not tied to your shape or size- you don’t need to be abnormally over or under weight, someone can be in their “right” size and be suffering just as much.

Be mindful but also become informed. I suffered from anorexia and bulimia, but did you know there’s more than just those two eating disorders? Some others include Atypical anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, purging disorder, night eating syndrome, etc.

This is an issue that needs more light on it, an issue that needs to be taken a whole lot more seriously. We shouldn’t be hearing jokes about it on TV or reading jokes about it anywhere. You shouldn’t judge anyone for going through an eating disorder, you’re just pushing that person more over the ledge, you’re making them feel more trapped.

Eating disorders aren’t a trend or a phase, and they most certainly aren’t a choice.

It’s not impossible to recover- I promise you. We are stronger than we believe we are and more beautiful than we think we are. You aren’t alone in this. Just breathe.

For more information on eating disorders:

Www. Nationaleatingdisorders.org

For their help line call:

1-800-931-2237

Here’s a link to an article I thought was a good read:

http://www.ditchcarb.com/2017/04/26/20-things-that-everyone-needs-to-know-about-eating-disorders/