17 Home Activities for Babies & Toddlers 

When I got pregnant, Erwin and I knew we wanted to be Gio’s main care takers. Of course Erwin works, 6 days out of the week right now, but I’m with Gio everyday. When I’m not with him, meaning I’m most likely in school for 1 to 3 hours than Erwin is with him.

Sometimes being home all day with a baby/toddler can be challenging. Yeah, we go to the park, library, and I used to take him to his gym class but all those activities aren’t necessarily all day kind of things. And honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to go out.

Gio is very active. He’s constantly on the move, which explains how he’s getting so strong, and always wants to be doing something. So, staying home can be a little bit of a challenge sometimes. Babies/toddlers get bored, so now what? They eat and sleep, but what about when all that is over and done with? What do you do with such a little person who still might not even know how to cruise around yet?

1. Practice new skills 

Can be tummy time, rolling over, touching their feet, crawling, clapping, standing, and where I’m with Gio right now, walking. I would practice for as long as he was up to doing so, and I don’t force too much out of him either.

For example, right now he can take a few steps but then just falls. He’s really scared to walk, so I don’t force him to because he will eventually get really upset. I’m going at his pace.
2. Sit and play 

Recently Gio notices the difference when he plays alone and when he plays with someone. He puts the biggest smile one when you sit and play with him. He’s into cars and balls, so we’re usually passing those around

3. Dance, dance, dance 

It seems to be Gio’s new hobby. He’s ready to get up once he hears the song  Despacito by Luis Fonsi. He’ll hold onto my hands facing me and start to “dance”. He’ll walk around, bounce, even sway but he’ll dance until he’s tired and then crawls away. If your little one isn’t standing yet, hold them or dance sitting down. Babies love music and movement. I would dance bachata around the room when Gio was so tiny and he seemed to love it.

4. Teach them something new 

New words, new letters, new numbers, how to pick up their head, how to find their toes or mouth, how to use a sippy cup or bottle on their own. Right now I’m teaching Gio three letters (ABC) and threee numbers (123). Don’t overwhelm them with too much information either. It can get confusing

5. Color 

Coloring not only stimulates their creativity but also helps with their motor skills, prepares them for school (’cause they’ll definitely be doing A LOT of it there), it helps teach them colors, it can help with their handwriting, and it helps with your hand and eye coordination. And like it can be for adults, it helps them express themselves and maybe even release stress too. 

For Gio I have the jumbo crayons by Crayola. They’re bigger and supposedly harder to break, so I think they’re perfect for him. I introduced them to him when he was 9 months- yes, they were headed straight for his mouth but we kept practicing. Now, he puts them right on the paper and will scribble for a little. It’s not the biggest distraction for him yet but it does seem to interest him a lot.

6. Build something 

Small or big, doesn’t matter. Use blocks, legos, cups, blankets and pillows, just build something together. A fort maybe? Help them find the door into their imagination and be amazed by how big a kids imagination can be! Right now I have blocks that on one side have numbers, on another is letters, the other is pictures, and the last side is actually a piece of a puzzle. Gio likes it when we stack them up and he laughs each time he knocks it down.

7. Play with bubbles! 

Either inside or outside. Bubbles amaze kids so much, and gets them moving! Gio follows them around like crazy.

8. Sit with them to watch their favorite show/movie 

Something so simple makes them so happy, and you can probably answer a lot of questions they might about their show/movie. If they answer wrong to a question that a character asked, help teach them the correct one. It’s a good chance to steal some snuggles too.

9. Read

I started reading to Gio when he was a newborn and he still lets me read 2-3 books to him daily. Reading is both entertaining and educational. It may be silly to read to such a tiny baby, but it’s a great habit to install in them from early on. It teaches them about communication and listening skills. Reading also helps build their vocabulary and helps them memorize things. Also, you keep teaching them new concepts like letters, numbers, animals, or bigger things like sharing and importance of family!

10. Let them explore 

If your baby is tiny, sit them by a window and let them look outside or let them watch you while you clean- if they let you! If your little one is cruising around on their own, crawling or walking, let them explore around and you supervise. Gio likes exploring the house, crawling under the table, through chairs, from the room to the bathroom, etc.! It’s helped him remember where specific things are and helps him be aware of his surroundings as well. While he explore I explain to him where he is and the importance of each room.

11. Arts & Crafts 

Put paint on their tiny feet and let them stomp on a piece of paper or you can stamp their little feet onto something like a bear or frame. Grab a few items and put together a master piece! It’ll be a piece of art that you’ll treasure more than any other.

If your little one is tiny that’s ok! Create something for your boyfriend, parents, in-laws, siblings, friends using their little hands and feet- there’s safe paint to use and so many cute ideas! If your child is older, teach them how to use glue, let them cover the paper with stickers, and put glitter everywhere! Making arts and crafts has so many benefits like coloring, and they’re always excited to share their masterpiece that they become so proud of!

12. Plant something 

A flower, a fruit, a vegetable! Check on it daily to see progress and explain to them how it works. Let them give it water so they feel engaged with the plant. Teach them about what you’re planting- they’ll grasp onto informtation and do their best to rephrase it to you. Keep doing it every year and each year give them more information than from the year before.

Other things I haven’t tried, but will once Gio is just a tiny bit older are the following:

14. Baking

15. Cooking 

16. Cleaning 

17. Put away food, clothes, etc. 

Those things are considered chores, but 1. it’s good to start at an early age to teach your kids the importance of having good habits, being clean, and being productive. 2. It helps them feel good about themselves when they see that they’re actually helping you in something. 3. It teaches them the how to be responsible and the value of work. Of course when they’re so tiny they can’t do much, but maybe they can help you carry some clothing items from the dryer to the basket or help you pour milk into your cookie batter- you’d be surprised how happy and how proud of themselves they become. They’ll be happy when you say come help! Don’t forget to tell them how they did a good job- VERY important.

I hope this helps give some of you ideas on what to do at home with your little ones! If you have any more suggestions, please let me know! I’d like to give them a try 🙂

11 Free/Inexpensive things to do with your kids

So lately I’ve been trying to not spend too much money. With us having to move soon, paying for school stuff, and just stuff, I’ve been cautious with our money. I love doing things with Gio. In the past I would take him to a gym class 3 times a week, but had to cancel that, so now I look for other stuff to do that is free or quite inexpensive. Below are some ideas for everyone!

1. Parks 

Obviously parks are free. I know that with small kids they can be a little tough at times, but they’re worth the struggle. Gio loves the swings, slides, and tunnels! Plus, he’s exhausted in the end so he falls asleep right after- meaning I get to do stuff around the house, homework, shower, etc.! Also, it’s the best to have them outside enjoying fresh air and socializing with other kids

2. Libraries 

I tend to take Gio to the library after a nap or when he’s in a really good mood. Simply because the library is a very quiet place and when he’s fussy it’s not the best place for him. Otherwise, he likes the libary. He usually behaves very well. They have large windows so he likes it when we sit and read by there. For Gio, I pick out simple books about numbers, colors, shapes, or cartoons he likes. He only lets me read about 3 or so books, and usually giggles the entire time. He knows when I’m about to read to him and snuggles into my arms. After we’re done reading he likes to wander around, which I let him do in the kids area. He likes watching what the other kids are doing or just listens to them.

Also the library offers plenty of free programs! We’ve gone to baby story time, toddler story time, family story time, pj story time, movie showings! It’s great because not only does Gio get to socialize, but he’s learning from others and grasping onto new things. Plus, it looks like he’s going to love books!

3. Mall play area

It’s a great excuse for you to make a trip to the mall so maybe it’s not so free or inexpensive, lol. But before we even go to the play area we always go for a walk around the mall, maybe have a snack. Then, I let Gio go play. Mall play areas are usually really simple, but it does the job! Gio likes exploring the little area and usually finds a friend or is usually fine on his own too.

4. Chuck E. Cheese 

If your kid is older this can be a pricier trip, but with Gio (who’s 1) it’s a $5-$10 trip and lasts 1-2 hours. Now that he’s bigger, Gio likes it here. He likes the racing games for the steering wheel, he loves attempting the soccer game, loves the clock ride, and all the other little games. We usually go after lunch time, so around 12 or 1? Also, we go during the week when kids are in school and there isn’t usually much people there so that way the little ones can cruise around with much more ease

5. Home Activities  

Throughout the day I try to keep Gio busy so I can get stuff done, but I always have times where I dedicate all my attention to him. Usually during those times we play together or attempt to practice a new skill like coloring. He’s always so happy when he notices that your full on attention is on him- so no other people, no electronics, no distractions. (I will make a blog post dedicated to home activities :))

6. Go for walks 

There’s this cute town center called Rio close to where I live and Gio enjoys going there for walks during the spring/summer time. There’s always people walking around, people with their dogs, ducks walking around, a big lake right in the center, on the weekends there’s a live band and lights- it’s a fun spot that entertains us both. There’s restaurants, a movie theater, ice cream shops, shops, but we usually go for a walk! He’s still in a stroller but I’m sure once he walks he’ll enjoy it more. It’s a good time for him to observe and for us to bond, too.

7. Pet stores and shelters 

Only if your kids aren’t allergic, of course! I have yet to take Gio to an animal shelter but we have taken a few trips to the pet store. He’s very intrigued by animals and always follows them around or wants to touch them. So, since we don’t have a pet of our own, I take him to see animals that he’ll be able to touch, maybe even follow around. I’m so happy he’s not scared of animals, and I hope he doesn’t get scared either.

8. Have a dance party

Anywhere!  Gio loves it when we dance to we grab him and make him dance with us. It makes him happy and at times throws in his own little moves. It’s cute

Here are some ideas that I still Have yet to try just because I was waiting for him to get older! 🙂

9. Museums

We live in Maryland so museums in D.C. and Baltimore would be great to visit but I’d be a whole day thing so now that Gio is older I’m sure I can definitely try this out!

10. Aquariums 

Baltimore has a great one, but can be pricy! BUT there are occasions when prices are lowered or even better, FREE. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that.

11. Movies 

At home you can set up a little fort, throw pillows on the floor, grab some a snacks and play a movie! You get cuddles out of it which is always the best. Or go to the movies! Movie dates can get pricy but movie theaters usually have specials on weekdays early in the day that can always workout!

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 

Big boy haircut! 

In case you guys haven’t checked out my social medias, which you should ;), Gio finally got his first real haircut. I mean real as in professional. 

I’m not sure if I’ve shared it on here yet, but I am a licensed Cosmetologist so I guess you could consider me a professional, but I was never so successful cutting Gio’s hair, haha. 

I LOVE the end result of his haircut. My baby looks so handsome, I can’t even 🤦🏻‍♀️ I thought the process of getting the haircut done was going to be difficult but he did so well. He definitely surprised me because he never really liked it when I cut his hair,so of course there were some “oops” pretty often. So taking him to get a professionally done cut had me nervous since machines would be involved too, not only scissors, but he was good. He was very curious about what was on his head and would want to look so I kept his face in my hand until he realized he had to stay still. 

Of course I had my tricks to help him stay still. On my phone I have the Nick Jr. app so that helped distract him throughout the cut. I kept switching up the episodes he was watching to keep him distracted. The lady cutting his hair, Lucy, was also so good and so patient- she even had a drawer with little toys to help distract kids as small, probably even smaller, than Gio. 

I’m so proud of how good he did! Hopefully I’ll be taking good pictures soon for you guys 🙂 

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! 🙂 

No more cow milk 

So we recently switched Gio from cows milk to almond milk. Gio didn’t seem to react as well as I though to whole milk. Gio does drink a lot of milk but even when we lessened the amount, he was still constipated and once he did poop, he would cry or force it too much. 

So, I took the initiative to switch him to almond milk. I considered soy milk at first since a couple of my cousins, including my youngest brother, had to be switched over but I don’t like it so much. Then I remembered almond milk and decided on that. 

Before changing him over I did my research. I made sure it was fortified in calcium, and luckily Gio is a very good eater so he gets his other nutrients aside too. 

There is a lot of talk now on cows milk, the lack of care it goes into getting it, the abuse of cows, and so that also went into mind when switching him. With all the claims off the bad stuff in it, I didn’t like the idea of that going into the baby’s stomach. You know? 

So far Gio has been doing very well with almond milk. He drinks his 3 cups a day, and hasn’t had an issue pooping at all. He’s been on it for about 2 weeks now so hopefully we have found our solution! Plus, his doctor was ok with the change too 🙂 for those of you who might want to say something. 

Gio turned 1! 

Gio turned 1 yesterday! 1! I officially have a 1 year old. Honestly, this last year flew by. It’s so crazy how much Gio has grown in front of me. He used to be this tiny 6lb, 20 inch baby and now here’s this 23lb, 33inch 1 year old! 

We took Gio for his 1 year old doctors appointment on Monday and he got weighed, measured, the usual. The hardest part were the shots, of course. He got 4. This was definitely the toughest set so far- for these types of appointments I definitely recommend giving your baby a warm bath after and if needed, Tylenol or Advil! This time Gio needed it, he was in pain which never really happened before. I’m glad I decided having the appointment the day before and not on his birthday, too! 

Anyway, onto happy things, yesterday Erwin and I dedicated the day to Gio. We woke up when he did, let him hang out in the bed with us and then he went off to play with his toys. At around 11ish we went down to eat. Gio loves scrambled eggs, so of course that’s what I made him (mixed in some ham and tomatoes too!). 

For his birthday Erwin bought him a door jumper and a ball pit so while we cleaned up after eating, he played with his new toys. He really loves them both, and they both entertain him for quite a while! Especially the jumper, which we have hanging in the middle of the living room because a doorway is definitely not enough space for him. He goes crazy in the jumper! 

After we were done, we got ready for the day and headed out to get Gio to his gym class. He loves his class so of course there was no way we could miss it! On our drive back home from class he fell asleep for about two hours, so Erwin and I hangout in the meantime. 


Once Gio woke back up, we took a few pictures of him, played with him, and then went to get his cake. Erwin’s mom made us dinner, so we were all together and got to sing happy birthday to him! 🙂 unfortunately my parents live far, so they couldn’t be here, but they are actually coming this Saturday for a visit 😀 


I wish you guys could all know how amazing my little man is! He is so incredibly silly, always making the funniest faces. He has these moments now when he’s also so sweet- he gives us these huge kisses and hugs. He’s so strong, physically and mentally that everyday he really surprises me when I see all he’s capable of doing. Gio, he really has an incredible personality already and he really melts my heart. This past year has been the best year of my life, challenging too, but amazing. 

I’ve been so blessed to find love in 3 guys. Erwin. Jeremy. GioVanni. They’re all my life. 

Happy birthday to my sweet boy, Gio! We all love you