THREE. Treehotels. I love love love unique places to stay when traveling. Just found this site that offers the COOLEST places to stay…IN TREES! There’s a bird’s nest and even a UFO treehotel. They’re all in Sweden so I don’t know if we’ll ever make it over there (I wish!) but wow, this is definitely going on the bucket list.
TWO.Substitute bus driver
Thomas Mitchell from northern Tennessee was filling in as a school bus driver one day and saw that one of the students he was supposed to pick up had difficulty getting out of her house in her wheelchair and onto the bus. So guess what he did. He built her a ramp even though he barely knew her. This warms my heart so much. We need more Thomas Mitchells in this world. So inspired to pay it forward. [Article found here.]
Now that Joey can sit up by herself (and pull herself up to stand!), we’ve been introducing her to some sensory play, inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori‘s methods of encouraging babies/children to use all senses to study, learn and better understand their environment. You might’ve noticed in some of my videos of me feeding Joey that she likes to touch the food she eats and also feed herself. It can get a little messy but it’s definitely worth seeing the smile on her face when she discovers a new texture or when she realizes she’s in control of some of the things around her.
Some of the benefits of sensory play are:
– Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
– Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
– This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
– Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
– This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry)
For this particular sensory activity, we introduced her to pasta. The goal was for Joey to understand what it is to feel something slimy, warm and squishy. It was so fun watching her squeeze the pasta with her hands and bring it up to her mouth to taste. Turns out Moseby also wanted to be part of the action.
Joey’s bow found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Blondesinbows
Next we’ll be introducing another sensory play which will include different fabric textures!
THREE. Parenthood the TV series. I marathoned this TV series while I was pregnant with Joey last year and this week Allen told me that he wanted to start watching it too…which means, we’re watching it together again! I absolutely LOVE this show. It’s been really great watching it again being a parent now. Allen and I are really getting a kick out of some of the parenting drama that’s been happening in the show so far. The show does such a good job at showing parenting for what it really is and also inspires me to be a sensitive understanding mother and supportive friend to OTHER parents. I highly recommend watching this show!
TWO.Love what this company is doing! Click HERE to read more.
I came across this article and it is so worth sharing! Qmarkets, a global software company, spend a significant budget on thanking their contacts every holiday season. This year, they decided to use that budget to partner with a charity called Renewable World to provide renewable energy to the people of Lake Victoria, Kenya. This story was a simple reminder to me that giving, in any form, makes a big difference!
Joey is eating more solids and purees these days and she’s been such a champ! One of her favorites lately is the spinach puree. We love that spinach is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s so simple and easy to prepare!
First, I wash the spinach and place it in the steamer in a pot of boiling water and cover with a lid. Depending on the portion size, I leave it steaming for about 5-7 minutes or when the spinach is tender and still vibrant in color. Once it’s ready, I add the steamed spinach in a cup or jar (Tip: Use a tall jar to avoid splashing), and use my immersion blender to puree the greens.
I’ve mentioned this before on my Instagram Stories, but the immersion blender is awesome for making purees! I know there are awesome products that both steam and puree foods all in one machine but for me, I wanted minimal cleaning and easy storage so the immersion blender worked for us. I don’t always use the blender however when I’m only making a tiny portion. After steaming, the spinach is so easy to chop up with a knife so I do that sometimes when I’m not making a larger batch to freeze.
Once the spinach is cool, it’s time to eat!
We are blessed that Joey is such a good eater and enjoys each meal time. She was all smiles and giggles eating her spinach puree! I hope this post inspires you to try new foods and flavors with your little one!
I thought I’d write a blog post about what I brought in my hospital bag when I was delivering Joey in hopes that it will give some of you expectant mothers a reference on what was very useful at least for me. There are many things your hospital can give you, so you don’t have to pack too much. My hospital gave me everything I needed including diapers, wipes, bed liners, witch hazel pads, and ice packs but here’s a list of things that I brought and was definitely useful.
*A few of these images are not the exact items I brought to the hospital*
– Swaddle Blankets/Miracle Blanket:
I found our hospital blankets to be a little rough on the skin so it was helpful to have our own soft muslin swaddles
– Newborn outfit: For Joey, she came home in a beanie (by Krochet Kids), baby gloves, socks, a long-sleeved onesie and long bottoms. – More onesies: I brought a couple more onesies to have as a backup just in case of accidents – A robe:
I wore this robe the entire time I was in the hospital.
Room slippers and shower slippers (if you’re planning on taking a shower at the hospital): Getting in and out of bed was so much easier having slippers. Bring something that you’re willing to throw out after you leave the hospital. – Comfortable pajama type pants:
Comfort is key! – Nursing top and bra: Whoever invented these, I THANK YOU. – Phone charger WITH A LONG CORD. The long cord really helped as the power outlets were so far from the bed. – Toiletries! – Nipple balm – “Adult diapers:” Don’t laugh but these were awesome. It was so much easier using these rather than changing out pads frequently.
These were the items that helped me survive my stay at the hospital. I hope this list helps as you prepare for the most life-changing moment of your life!
THREE. TWO. ONE. Every Friday I’ll be writing about three random things that has been on my mind that week. It can be anything from what inspires me in music or film to recipes or activities I’m trying at home with the family or highlighting an organization or an article that I read and want to share about. Enjoy!
One of our fans wrote me a beautiful letter this week and included a reference to a song called “Morning Song” by Steffany Gretzinger. I played the song while Joey woke up in the morning and I almost cried listening to the lyrics. I’ve been so blessed in the past by Steffany’s worship songs but I didn’t know she had her own album. It’s been playing throughout the house all week and it reminded me just how gifted songwriters are and how powerful music can be for the soul and spirit. This album absolutely healed me this week from a lot of things that were on my mind. Check out “Cecie’s Lullaby” on the album. It’s a favorite of mine. 😉 Thank you so much Kristie for this recommendation.
TWO. IKEA will be selling textiles and rugs from made by Syrian refugees in 2019.
Isn’t that AMAZING? The limited run production will create jobs for 200 refugees, most of them women, currently living in Jordan. The products will be sold locally and in other Middle Eastern countries with free trade agreements with Jordan. More reasons to love IKEA. Wow, so inspired.
Hooray! We finally launched our Joey and Tot clothing pop-up sale! Thank you so much to all the mamas and papas for offering to have your beautiful children model our clothes. It was so incredibly hard to choose from as we had almost 100 submissions! All your kiddos would’ve totally rocked Joey and Tot wear. Thank you for the bottom of our hearts!
We wanted to have a clothing line for babies that was more whimsical, playful and comfortable and a line for toddlers that were almost like adult styles but miniaturized and most importantly, comfortable and easy to play in! Click the image to be directed to the item.
Wow I really need to get it together with blogging! Thought I’d start out the new year with a blog post about what Joey has been eating. Today’s post will cover all the veggie purees we started trying out with Joey. Thanks Sunny for helping me with this post! We began feeding Joey these purees when she was around 6 months. She had been really interested in eating foods especially when she would watch us eat at the dining table. I read somewhere that eating colorful veggies were very good for you so I looked into what our local grocery had available and came up with these five to start out with!
Hey, you want a peas of me? Joey really liked green peas so we ended up feeding her them quite often. Peas are packed with protein and has Vitamin A and C and a good source of iron and calcium. Vitamin A helps out in vision and bone growth as well as helps the body fight against infections. Vitamin C helps form and repair red blood cells, bones, and tissues. It helps with the gums to stay healthy and strengthens the blood vessels, minimizing bruising from falls and scrapes. In addition, it also helps the body absorb iron from food sources.
They’re orange but I don’t carrot all. Carrots are very high in beta carotene. What’s that? Beta carotene is a Carotenoid. Carotenoid are a set of darkly colored pigments called pro vitamin A carotenoids that can be converted to Vitamin A which is very important in a baby’s developing diet.
I think, therefore I yam. Purple yams! Or what my Filipino friends call Ube. One of my favorite snacks! These are high in Vitamin A and beta carotene as well as potassium. They also contain a good amount of Vitamin E, calcium and folate. Vitamin E is good to fight against toxins and boosts the immune system to fight germs. Folate plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord.
Turn up the beet! Beets are high in Fiber with a good amount of Vitamin A and Calcium. Pediatricians suggest introducing these at 8-10 months. I won’t lie, after we fed Joey some red beets it looks like she had blood all over her mouth because the red color went all over her face…but she loved it! Man, there isn’t anything this kid doesn’t like so far.
For all of these purees, I use an immersion blender just like this one. It’s super easy to clean up and to store unlike the baby steam/puree makers which I heard were also good but not for us as we try to cut down on sink washing as much as possible!
You can click on the photos below to purchase on Amazon.
I store all my purees in these ready to freeze trays. Love these trays! All you need to do is flip them upside down and run some water over the backside of the cube for about 10 seconds and you can push them out so easily!
I’ll be posting more about some of the other foods Joey has been trying lately including home made broth with porridge. Stay tuned!
It’s been a while since I took an interview and today a journalist asked me a round of questions, the same kind of questions I was asked just a few months ago when we first became “viral.” Even though I’ve answered the same questions over and over again, I don’t think I’ll ever be fully prepared to answer questions like, “How will Joey react when she sees all of this as a teenager?” or “What message do you want to tell the parents of the world?” I mean, how do you really answer that? For me, I’m still trying to figure out how to time Joey for feedings and what to dress her up in when it’s cold out, let alone figure out a definitive message to “TELL THE WORLD.” It’s definitely been difficult at times processing all of the attention whilst in the middle of transitioning into motherhood. Joey was only 4 months old when our photos became viral and I had barely any time to sit down and realize what really happened to us. But when I reflect back I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to connect with so many people. The daily DMs and emails I receive from our loving fans (so weird to say we have “fans”) have been like precious gems to me. I feel so honored to be in a place where I can somehow bless strangers (new friends!) from all parts of the world. Hearing personal stories of how our silly photos and videos have touched their lives will never ever get old for us. I’m in no way some kind of “baby-whisperer” like I’ve heard some people mistakenly label me as but I’d like to be someone who is available and open to share my experiences with motherhood.
I’m still very knew at the blogging thing but I have a lot of cool posts coming up so stay tuned. Here are some photos of Joey this afternoon after her nap. Her expressions these days kill me!
I can’t believe Halloween is already over! But I guess it doesn’t mean the end of costumes for Joey haha. At least not yet. It was so fun dressing her up as Nacho Libre this year, thanks to one of our fans @littlenuggetrepublic who contacted me a while back and offered to make Joey a costume! Becci is seriously so talented. Please go check her out!
Treat or Treating was so fun. We started pretty early because Joey’s bedtime is around 7:30. We managed to get a handful of candy before we called it a night. Joey was clearly not understanding what was going on but it was fun using her to score free candy. I mean, that’s the point right parents?? Here’s some highlights of our little trick-or-treating trip with our friend Sunny and her adorable daughter Emma (dressed as a kangaroo with a joey!).
Hi, I'm Laura Izumikawa. I'm a stay-at-home-working-mama to Joey and wife to the funniest guy I know. My photos of my napping daughter dressed up as pop culture icons became viral one day and now I blog about our lives because it turns out, people want to know more about us which is totally crazy to me! Thanks for visiting!
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