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Sleeping tips for toddlers

Thursday, May 3, 2018
sleeping tips for toddlers (4)

“Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up”… sound familiar? ;)

Sleeping is not just elusive for adults but for kids too. Some have a hard time sleeping and parents are usually up with them. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for good health, mind, and body. It also helps proper brain development for babies and toddlers. My husband, a Child Psychologist, recommends apt sleep hours for kids. Our eldest kids, who are 4 and 2-years-old are already good sleepers. We are in the process of sleep training with our 8-month old baby and my husband helps me with this process. I know not all parents agree with this method but sleep training works for our family ever since our first son. I wanted to share a few things that helped our kids sleep better.

White Noise/Sound Machine

We started using a Sound Machine during our first-born. Babies are used to hearing a lot of noise in the womb and it maybe hard for them to sleep in a too-quiet nursery. This device cancels out unwanted noise from your home or neighborhood but provides calming sounds to help babies sleep better. Our eldest, however, stopped using a Sound Machine when he reached 2-years-old. My husband and I have grown quite fond of it. We don’t mind playing the calming sounds in the background.

Sleep with their favorite item

Remember the term ‘security blankets’? Kids love them and need them. Kids always cling to their favorite toy and most of the time, bringing it to bed helps them sleep better. It gives them a sense of security and calm making them sleep peacefully. As for my kids, they always sleep next to their favorite plush toys. My eldest likes his plush owl, our 2-year-old his frog plush, and our youngest his fox plush. The item varies depending on what your kid’s favorite new toy is. Bringing those to bed is a huge plus in helping them sleep soundly.

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Create a routine

Routines are good for kids because their bodies recognize the pattern reminding them that in a few hours it’s sleeping time. As for us, it’s dinner (eating healthy meal with veggies), playtime, cleaning up the toys, bath time, book reading, singing worship songs, and saying a prayer. I’ve discussed this thoroughly in a previous blog post here. Also, refrain from using gadgets of any sort at least an hour before bedtime.

Reading books

Reading books before bedtime is a good cooling down period. It signals the body that it’s time to sleep and helps calm the mind. I’ve mentioned a few of my baby’s favorite books in a separate entry here. For my two boys, their current favorite books are “You are special” (I highly recommend this book! The author Max Lucado is a Christian writer.), “Horton hatches the egg” , and “the biggest bear”.

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Daytime Routine

Sleeping in the afternoon (no later than 4PM) helps our kids sleep soundly at night. We noticed that putting them to bed tired makes them cranky and agitated. My youngest sleeps twice (morning and afternoon). I love to read books to our two eldest sons before naptime too. My husband reads them a story at night to bond more since he’s always at work during the day. Since we speak two languages at home, I expose them to Tagalog books like “Ako si kaliwa, ako si kanan”, “Filemon Mamon”, “araw sa palengke”.

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Do some activities

Let the kids be active in the afternoon so when they’re about to sleep no unused energy will keep them up. Most of the time kids fidget before sleeping because of the unspent energy they have in their little bodies. The best way to address that is to keep them active during the day.

These are just a few things to help sleeping be a breeze for my family and me. What routines or activities work for you and your kids?

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Family Beach Day in Galveston Island

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackWithCreminelli #DiscoverFood #CollectiveBias

family beach day Galveston Island 2 (10)

family beach day Galveston Island 2 (7)

When Brent and I found out we were moving to Galveston Island last year, we kept thinking how fun it would be to go to the beach often. Living close to the beach, we looked forward to time on the sand and water with the kids. We are beach lovers, as I come from the islands of the Philippines (you can see here how beautiful the beaches are where I was raised), while Brent lived in Thailand for a few years teaching kids. That is why whenever the weather gets warmer, we often hang out as a family at beach in Galveston!

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family beach day Galveston Island 2 (8)

When we went to the beach over Easter weekend, it was like our mini getaway. Galveston Island has gotten a lot of tourists ever since the weather hit the 70s a few weeks ago, so it made us feel like we were on vacation too. We enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the warm sunshine. Thankfully, our two eldest sons are really close friends. They enjoy the sand, sticks, and running back and forth from the little waves that reach the sand. The boys were also excited about their first kite flying experience with the kite they got as a gift from Grandma.

family beach day Galveston Island 2 (2) family beach day Galveston Island 2 (3)

Our youngest son is now able to sit on his own and entertain himself with baby toys, so Brent and I enjoyed some quiet and relaxation with snacks. Being the parent to three very active boys, can take a lot of energy. Our two oldest boys love to round around on the beach, like to be chased around, play with balls, and play with sticks (aka sword fighting), so we need to keep up. 😉  Even when we’re not at the beach, that is our everyday life with the boys at home..

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 I admire how Brent really puts in the effort to play with our boys, even when he has had stressful days at work. He needs the energy to play and enjoy time with the boys, so having a snack like Creminelli Fine Meats™  helps him refuel and keep the fun going with our three active boys.

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Since I’m still breastfeeding my little man, protein snacks are a convenient source of protein to satisfy my hunger and keep my energy up. My husband and I really enjoyed the taste of the Prosciutto & Aged Mozzarella and Casalingo, Gouda & Dried Cherries snack trays. Our two older sons loved it too! family beach day Galveston Island 2 (11) family beach day Galveston Island 2 (16)

They are available in a variety of trays at Target or Starbucks. They are the perfect quick and easy on-the-go protein snacks for adventures like the beach, hiking, and wherever else life takes you! Take a look and discover other fun adventures of Creminelli’s on their Instagram. family beach day Galveston Island 2 (4)

Speaking of adventures, this was my baby’s first time playing in the sand. It was so cute to look at the curiosity on his face trying to figure out what all the sand around him was. And yes, he wanted to eat it all… 😉

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! How did you spend your Easter weekend? Any fun adventures? I’d love to hear them!

 

 

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Nobunny’s perfect DIY mug

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

nobunnys perfect diy sharpie mug

I was inspired to create this post after reading Anna Dewdney’s book Nobunny’s Perfect for my kids. It’s a story about bunnies discerning good from bad behavior told through rhymes and expressive illustration. As mothers, we always try to be the best example for our children. However, there are days when it can be a little overwhelming and it can feel like we can’t handle everything at once. Sometimes I get tired, impatient, and weary.  When I start to feel all these, I try to take a step back and ask for forgiveness and strength. I take comfort in knowing that Christ is here to help and forgive us through praying and believing in Him.

Going back, the adorable bunnies from the book gave me a DIY Easter idea perfect for kids and mothers. Below are the materials!

What you need:

Oil-based Sharpie Marker

Pencil

Alcohol

Cotton swabs

Free Printable “Nobunny’s Perfect”

Plain mug

Oven

FIRST Make sure to clean the mug and let it dry. 

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SECOND Use a oil-based sharpie marker to draw the bunny image as shown above.

THIRD  For the text, download this FREE printable “No Bunny’s Perfect” typography. It should fit all types of mug sizes. By using a pencil, shade the back of the paper with the design.

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FOURTH Put the design on the face of the mug. Use clear tape to set in place.

FIFTH Using a pencil, start to trace the design over the paper while applying a good amount of pressure. This will help the pencil marks be more visible for you to start using the sharpie.

SIXTH Begin to draw using Sharpie by tracing over the marks left by the pencil.

SEVENTH Put your mug in a tray and bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Make sure to put the mug in the oven before it’s hot to prevent cracks. Turn off the oven after the timer’s done. Let the mug cool for a few minutes.

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Tip: If you need to fix up some mistakes, don’t worry. Just use Q-tips with alcohol to clean the areas you want to fix. Also, this mug is hand wash only.

I thoroughly enjoy doing DIY projects no matter the occasion. It’s always fun to create and customize something according to your liking. Plus it’s a good stress reliever, too! This can also serve as an activity for your kids to home and practice their drawing skills. They can paint or draw their favorite shapes, animals, or letters.

nobunnys perfect diy sharpie mug pink blush top3

nobunnys perfect diy sharpie mug pink blush top

By the way, my pink floral off-shoulder top is from Pink Blush. It’s a maternity top that can be used even after giving birth. It’s lightweight and can be used everyday. I love how the print is perfect for Easter!

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

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Easter GIVEAWAY! + 3 month diaper subscription!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

 

incredibundles gifts giveaway peter rabbit books toys diaper subscription (5)

incredibundles gifts giveaway peter rabbit books toys diaper subscription (1)

This post is sponsored by IncrediBundles, all opinions are my own.

As a mother, I always try to be extra careful when it comes to exposing my kids to different kinds of toys and technology. Lately, video games and apps are the go-to options. One quick swoop and your kids can enjoy a handful of games. While this is easy and practical, I worry it may not be good for their health in the long run. I also don’t want my kids to depend on gadgets all the time. With Easter quickly approaching, it’s the perfect occasion to look for diverse activities to keep the kids occupied creatively.

It’s my youngest’s first Easter and the timing couldn’t be better for my first IncrediBundles bundle. IncrediBundles.com is a website that gives traditional baby gift-giving a new meaning. Gone are the wicker baskets, paper shreds, cellophane, and generic baby care products. Now comes a chic reusable storage container filled with the best award-winning toys, books, and products for babies—selected by child development experts and approved by parents. The result is an innovative line of IncrediBundles, designed to address a specific area of an infant’s development.

 

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My package includes books, a Peter Rabbit plush toy, and an equally adorable reusable storage container. I’m excited to read the books out loud to my children as reading early helps develop language skills, concentration, and curiosity, to name a few. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with my kids. My eldest son particularly loves Peter Rabbit books; he got first dibs on the Peter Rabbit plush toy.

incredibundles gifts giveaway peter rabbit books toys diaper subscription (4) incredibundles gifts giveaway peter rabbit books toys diaper subscription (6)

I’ve always believed in activities that help develop imagination and creativity. With so much technology these days, it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype. However, with my carefully curated package of IncrediBundles, I can flick through the pages of a book and have quality time with my children.

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Together with IncrediBundles, we’re giving away a Peter Rabbit Bundle and 3 month diaper subscription to give mothers and kids the best experience sans technology.

To get a chance to win this Incredibundle, all you have to do is submit an entry via Rafflecopter below. One winner will be randomly chosen. This giveaway runs until April 2, 2018 and is open to U.S. residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m excited to share this new experience of baby gift-giving to all the mothers out there! I hope you enjoy your bundle as much as my family and I do!

 

Happy weekday!

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Fun breakfast bunny pancakes

Monday, March 26, 2018

fun-breakfast-bunny-pancakes fun breakfast bunny pancakes (4)

Easter is fun for kids and, with a little creativity in the kitchen, can be fun for parents as well! I’ve been wanting to do something for my two eldest boys to celebrate Easter early. However, I don’t want to give them too many sweets (because I’d end up eating a lot of them myself!). ). So instead, I made them these fun bunny pancakes and they loved them! It’s a fun Pinterest hack that is perfect for breakfast!

Here are what I used:

Pancake mix

1 Banana

1 Apple

1 Orange

2 Craisins

I Piece of stringcheese

You can use other fruits or food to recreate this look if you want. For example, you can use a strawberry for the nose instead of cutting an apple. I just used what I had at home!

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First, make the pancakes. Make one big rounded pancake and two additional small circles  for the whiskers. I used a small measuring cup so it was easy to pour a circle shape for the pancake. You can use pancake mix or make your own pancakes from scratch.

fun breakfast bunny pancakes (1)

Second, while waiting for the pancake,start to cut bananas for the ears and eyes., Cut the string cheese for the whiskers and front teeth, and cut the apples for the nose. Set aside.

fun breakfast bunny pancakes (2) fun breakfast bunny pancakes (7)

Once is everything is ready, arrange all the items as shown the picture show. You may also add a bow using orange and string cheese like I did. Marshmallows are okay for the teeth as alternative to string cheese.

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fun breakfast bunny pancakes (5)

That’s it! Surprise your kids with this on Easter and I’m sure they’ll love it!!

Hope you have a blessed Easter Sunday, my friends!

God bless!

 

CATEGORY DIY, Family, Food
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Little Adventure Dressups and Costumes! (GIVEAWAY!)

Friday, March 23, 2018

little adventure dress ups instagram hello island mamal

My superhero kids are always at your service. 😉 If you watched my Insta Stories a few days ago, I shared how they were surprised and thrilled by these fun costumes from Little Adventures. Really, it was one of the happiest days of their lives! By the way, these costumes are machine washable and comfortable for the kids to wear too. Shipping for the costumes is free in the US.

I teamed up with Little Adventures to give away $30 to one person to spend on their website. Join the giveaway so that your little one can have their own make believe moments. They have princesses costumes too. Sooo cute!!!

TO ENTER:

  1. Follow @helloislandmama and @littleadventuresdressups on Instagram.
  2. Tag a friend (you can tag more friends in separate comments on my Instagram post).

BONUS: Comment on my Instagram post and tell me what costume/props you like most!

Giveaway ends on Tuesday. I will announce the winner on my Insta story Wednesday!  Godspeed!

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Family Weekend at Kemah Boardwalk

Thursday, March 15, 2018

kemah boardwalk family weekend 2

Over the weekend, we went to Kemah Boardwalk for some family time with my mother-in-law, who was visiting. We’ve brought our kids to Kemah a few times before and they love this place. The sights, sounds, and fun activities make them so happy! Weekends are the perfect time for us to spend time with Brent since he works all day during weekdays.

Kemah is a great place to bring your kids and family as there are different rides and attractions for the kids, which even adults can enjoy. They also have waterfront restaurants and a playground area for the kids to run around in.

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My eldest two sons always have fun walking around in Kemah. It was great weather too, after we had chilly weather last week. I had a chance to wear a more lightweight chiffon floral dress from Pink Blush, paired with a thin leather belt and a pair of sandals.

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My mother-in-law wanted our eldest boys ride the carousel and they got excited when we finally got up to the second level of it. I think the second level is the best place to ride since you can see more of the sights around you.

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kemah boardwalk family weekend 3

When you plan to go to Kemah, you might want to check out this 25-minute boat ride on Galveston Bay, which is called Boardwalk Beast. It says to be ready to get wet since it hits speeds up to 40 miles per hour. We haven’t been on it yet, but I always see a lot of people going on and off the ride.

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Kids also love feeding the fish!

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Brent and his mom rode this wooden roller coaster together. I’ve never seen a roller coaster made of wood, so this caught my attention when I first saw it a few years ago. It can reach speeds of up to 51 mph. I’ll pass if you ask me to ride. 😉

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Hope everyone is enjoying the daylight savings time! Happy weekday!

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Handling tantrums (VIDEO Q&A with child psychologist)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

talking about tantrums and more child psychologist cover

I was supposed to share this video on my Instagram story, (that is why it’s in a vertical orientation) but I thought it would be more helpful if it’s on my blog so my readers can also watch and hear. This is a continuation of our Q&A from Valentine’s day activity we did in Instagram story couple weeks ago. My husband rarely participates in my social media photoshoots or campaigns (haha) but when it comes to his field in child psychology, he is happy to share something that can be helpful for both parents and kids. He shares his advice regarding how to handle tantrums, why yelling is not effective, and some thoughts on depression, since that happens in our stage of life. This is a very quick video, but it has lots of great tips!

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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