A Mother: My definition

A mother is not defined by a blood line, adoption papers, or the court document.

She is someone with warm heart and strength to take actions when a child is in need.

My maternal grandmother raised me, she was around to give me lots of hugs.   I still remember how her hugs felt, how she smell when she hugged me, ( I used to call it grandma smell) and her hugs sill comfort me every time I think about it.

Please, go give a hug to a child in need.


This is an amazing story of a mom and her little girl.  

Just to prove how important a hug or cuddle can be.


When Carolyn Isbister put her 20oz baby on her chest for a cuddle, she thought that it would be the only chance she would ever have to hold her.
Doctors had told the parents that baby Rachel only had only minutes to live because her heart was beating once every ten seconds and she was not breathing.

Isbister remembers:
I didn’t want her to die being cold. So I lifted her out of her blanket and put her against my skin to warm her up. Her feet were so cold.

It was the only cuddle I was going to have with her, so I wanted to remember the moment.” Then something remarkable happened. The warmth of her mother’s skin kick started Rachael’s heart into beating properly, which allowed her to take little breaths of her own.

We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry.

The doctors came in and said there was still no hope – but I wasn’t letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away. But she still hung on.

And then amazingly the pink color began to return to her cheeks. She literally was turning from gray to pink before our eyes, and she began to warm up too.

The sad part is that when the baby was born, doctors took one look at her and said ‘no’.

They didn’t even try to help her with her breathing as they said it would just prolong her dying. Everyone just gave up on her,” her mom remembered.

At 24 weeks a womb infection had led to her premature labor and birth and Isbister (who also has two children Samuel, 10, and Kirsten, 8 ) said, “We were terrified we were going to lose her. I had suffered three miscarriages before, so we didn’t think there was much hope.” When Rachael was born she was grey and lifeless.

Ian Laing, a consultant neonatologist at the hospital, said: “All the signs were that the little one was not going to make it and we took the decision to let mum have a cuddle as it was all we could do.

Two hours later the wee thing was crying. This is indeed a miracle baby and I have seen nothing like it in my 27 years of practice. I have not the slightest doubt that mother’s love saved her daughter.”

Rachael was moved onto a ventilator where she continued to make steady progress and was tube and syringe fed her mother’s pumped breastmilk.

Isbister said, “The doctors said that she had proved she was a fighter and that she now deserved some intensive care as there was some hope. She had done it all on her own – without any medical intervention or drugs. She had clung on to life – and it was all because of that cuddle. It had warmed up her body and regulated her heart and breathing enough for her to start fighting.

At 5 weeks she was taken off the ventilator and began breastfeeding on her own. At four months Rachel went home with her parents, weighing 8lbs – the same as any other healthy newborn. Because Rachel had suffered from a lack of oxygen doctors said there was a high risk of damage to her brain. But a scan showed no evidence of any problems and today Rachel is on par with her peers.

Rachel’s mom tells us, “She is doing so well. When we brought her home, the doctors told us that she was a remarkable little girl. And most of all, she just loves her cuddles. She will sleep for hours, just curled into my chest. It was that first cuddle which saved her life – and I’m just so glad I trusted my instinct and picked her up when I did. Otherwise she wouldn’t be here today.”

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How to Blog Like a Pro

My message box is getting flooded with questions about how I set up my blog and how I came to blog like a pro (I don’t feel I am a pro yet, but thank you for thinking of me that way).

Honest Truth!

I don’t know … I just followed the blogs that I thought I liked and started blogging one day.   Recently, I went back and read my earlier blogs…. O. M. G. !  They stink!

Why did I start blogging you say?  Simple!  I wanted to make money.

Here is  where I began my research to gather my information.

blogging-boards My next hard and harsh reality came quicker than I initially expected.

I had so much to learn!  So, am I going to give up?  NOPE!!

I am “Edison”!  REMEMBER?!

I couldn’t do it alone.  That was the smartest discovery I made about myself.

Why?  I was able to seek, find,  and get plugged into the most awesome community!

I’ll leave the next step to you …

How seriously do you want to learn?   Prove it!

I usually hang out at Facebook.  Drop by and leave a message.

I love to connect and share ideas.

There are so many opportunities out there… if you know where to look and get connected with people who cares about your success!

Spammers!  QUIT IT!   I have a vegan blog!


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How to Set Up a Purpose for Your Action and Success

e0bf2e6784567b3f4bb01c6aa78607feI have been getting lots of messages asking how I grew my blog and what suggestions I can give for starting bloggers.  The strategies that I am going to share has  always motivated me to move forward.  It can become a powerful tool for you if you believe in yourself and take actions.   You can produce results only if you take actions and  be confident enough to accept failures in the process.

This is my formula:

  • Visualize in you mind exactly what you want to happen:  when you set up goals, describe it in present tense.  What kind of evidences will you see, touch, feel, or smell to validate that you’ve reached your goal?
  • Set up a reasonable or reachable time line.
  • Divide the reachable time goal into months, weeks, days, and hours .  This way, you have a clear picture in your mind on what actions to take form the moment you set the goal.
  • when you have a clear and detailed goal, you are less likely to get side tracked or listen to negative talkers bring you down with all the garbage they feed your head to tear you apart.
  • The moment you feel in your gut that you’ve reached your goal, celebrate!  Tell yourself, you did it!  You are proud of yourself  for all the hard work!   When everything is said and done, only things that will  remain true is the celebrations. Don’t cut your self short on celebrating.

I hope this has given some directions for you.  Remember, your dream will not happen  if you don’t take action and take  the first step now.

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DIY Stained Popsicle Sticks with Food Coloring

popsicle cover

My daughter wanted to make something for her friends at school.  We recently found out some of her friends are moving away and will not return to school in the fall.  Also, we wanted to finish this school  year in a cheerful way.

After a brief brainstorming, we came up with  glitter jello playdough, rainbow popsicle sticks and colored pasta for gifts.

Last night, we bought a box of 1,000 popsicles at a crafting store for $6.    We used the Stained Clothespins with Food Coloring recipe and direction to stain the popsicle sticks.

I chose the food coloring stain because I didn’t  want children to get exposed to toxic stains.  My daughter is still putting things in her mouth at age 7.

We mixed the food coloring and vinegar in the plastic cups.  I personally don’t like the strong smell of vinegar but,  my kids didn’t seem to mind the mixing process.  I boiled water in the microwave and added the boiling water.  Kids helped with placing popsicle  sticks in the colored vinegar stain.

Kids were fascinated to see the stains being absorbed by each stick.  I was having fun too and forgot to take pictures of my kids.  We left the sticks in the cups over night.

Next morning, we found these sticks in the cups.

sticks in the cup

I loved how they turned out!  My kids did too… they were clapping with excitement.

drying sticks

I set them out to air dry but the vinegar smell was getting to me  so I decided to bake them in the oven  at 245 degrees for 30 minutes.

cooked stcks

This is how they looked when they came out from the oven.  They  are still damp but the vinegar smell is almost gone.

stained pasta

I used the remaining  colored stain to color pasta.  This is my first time trying out the vinegar water to color pasta.  I  always preferred using alcohol instead.  I love how the colors turned out, they are bolder and more vibrant.

My only regret is that I didn’t wear gloves during this project.  The palm of my hands have turned brown from all the stains.

As I was cleaning up, my son brings one of his wooden train track and dips it into a cup of  colored stain.  He  wanted to stain his wooden train tracks…. can you guess what our next project will be?

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The Weekly Kids Co-Op


The Kid’s Co-Op features the best of the best kids’ ideas of the week. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & visit each of the awesome Bloggers who co-host this link party.  By linking up your post will be viewed on over 15 great blogs. *Also by linking up, you agree to your images being pinned & shared with credit.


(Submissions close in 5d 1h 17m)


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The BIG “S” Word

It happened to our  daughter!

The big “s” word!

Not the kind where you put a soap in your child’s mouth for using it.


My daughter came home asking if I will love her no matter what happens.  I answered, yes but I was wondering what she had done.   She was scheduled to take her end of the year test at school, I  had an opportunity to have a talk with my daughter’s teacher.

I guess her class was chosen for second grade standardized testing.  The test was 90 minutes long.  Kids had to take the test on the computer.  Teacher was expecting my daughter to do well because she is one of her “star” students.

We are down to last three weeks of school when this happened.  I guess all other students were able to cheat the computer but my daughter couldn’t.  It kept voiding her answers and made her start all over.  Finally, teacher had to tell my daughter that she will be in big trouble with mom if she doesn’t do it right.  My daughter had 15 minutes to answer all the questions.  She missed the mark by 23 points.

I came home and explained about keeping focus on the work  but I couldn’t get angry with her for what she had done.   I found this cartoon which I thought explained  this situation very well.


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Fun Ways to Play with Foil

foil play

We began today like any other day… dropped off sister at school  and came home for breakfast.  When he was done, he asked if we could do something fun.

IMG_1307Oh, sure!

I let him color and cut foil.  I thought I can sharpen scissors and let him have fun.

Little did I know, what came next!

IMG_1308“Mommy, it’s too big!”

We decided to tear the foil with our fingers and try cutting again.

“Now, that is much better!”

IMG_1313“Mommy, Can I have a paper?  I want to make a picture.”

“What color would you like?”  “Red  like James.”

“Can I have wheels too?”

I taped the corners  down to stabilize  paper for this activity, placed makers in a cup and laid the cup down on the table, and gave him small bowl full of wheel pasta.

“What are you making?”  ” A roller caster track.”

IMG_1317We started to add foil to our masterpiece.

” Mommy, can we make Thomas?  Help me draw his face.”

“Wait, Mommy… I go get something!”

IMG_1319He found another stash of pasta and decided to make more train tracks.

Then he rolled the foil in the palm of his hands and smashed it down on the paper.

IMG_1321After adding little pasta beads…

“Mommy, I need to go wash my hands!  Glue sticky, they are gross!”

“No, glue is fun sticky.”

” Oh, glue fun sticky… pupu gross sticky?”  “YES!”

I put the scissors and glue away and stepped away from him.  I wanted him to explore the activity on his own.  I thought,  I was limiting his creative ability by staying close to him.

IMG_1323“What happened?”

“Oh, Thomas got on the roller coaster train track and had a crash. “

“Okay, is he going to be alright?”

“Yeah, I think he needs his nap in the roundhouse.”

Yes!  I think we are all due for a good bath and take a nap.  That was so much fun!

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Child Activated Play

Cover Photo In the past, I often got frustrated when my son couldn’t sit down to do his work.  I decided to choose my battles with my son when it comes to learning styles.  Maybe he just need more time to mature.   I came up with different learning activities for child activated play time.

Today, he wanted to play with his box of cars.  These are the games and activities we tried.

(Matching Toy to Picture)matching3

This activity allows the child to look at the details closely before making a decision .

(Counting, Size, Color)


How many wheels do you see?  How many yellow ones? How many red ones?

How many wheels have white tires?  How many black ones?


Different Types of patterning

Patterns are not just shapes, colors , or sizes.

You can use “flip”, “turn”, or ” rotate.”  what wonderful new words your toddlers can learn!

(Memory Game)

what is missing

What is missing?   A great visual processing game.

(Part to Whole Guessing Game)

part to whole3

Can you find the toy with these parts?

(I Spy Game)

play I spy

This is a great game to use “in”, “on”,”under”, “between”, “in front”, “behind” and etc.

(Size Matching)

size matching

Where can the red truck go?  Can you  toss it in ?

(Match the Pair)

Matching & Logical Reasoning

How are they the same?  How are they different?


sorting 3

(Size Comparison)


(What Doesn’t Belong?  Why?)


We don’t have worksheets with shiny  gold star to tape on the wall, but we definitely had a productive and fun day.  Thank you for sharing all these ideas with us.

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Raising Confident Children

Confident child

I have written a blog in the past about building confidence and promoting positive behavior in children.  In the blog,  I’ve bulleted some ideas on how to build confidence.     This blog is an extension of those bulleted ideas.


How to Build Confidence and Promote Positive Behavior

I’ve been a mother for little over seven years.  I am still learning new ideas on parenting my two children.  I don’t have all the answers but I wanted to share my ideas which yield successful results.  I hope my blog can help validate your own believes and ideas on raising confident children.

I  have a daughter who is seven and a son who is three years old.   There are many differences between my two children.  Not just in gender but in personality, character development, and developmental progress.   These are my list of  ideas  which  I value in raising confident children.

Respect Your Child’s Interest


  • My daughter was able to work on 100 pieces puzzle by age 2 so when my son was born, I gave him some puzzles to try, he just threw them around the room and has shown no interest.
  • My son took his first step holding onto a train table.  His older sister has never shown interest in trains.
  • My daughter was introduced to gear toys at age 5.  Her father has shown her how gears worked.  My son on the other hand,  decided to play with gears one day at age 2 and loves to play with them since.

I often catch myself comparing my two children with their strengths and weakness.  I hate  it when I do that!   Yes, they are my babies but, I want to make sure I give them positive feedback for their own strengths and encourage them to grow at their own pace.

Accept Any Fears or Insecurities

horse ride

Fears are real.  Insecurities are real.  It may seem silly to you at times but to children, they are “BIG” deal.   Attentively listen to your child’s needs without any judgmental attitudes.  Celebrate with them when they overcome any fear or insecurity.

This picture collage shows my son’s  experiences with the horses at a local stable.  The bottom picture shows him riding on the tallest horse.  This was his second visit.   Yes,  I was nervous, but he was adamant on riding on this one.  He was fine.

Laugh with Your Children

expressing feelings

Laugh with children.   Cook with them,  throw or kick a ball,  or play games with your children.  This is the best way the young children can learn and recognize different kinds of feelings and emotions.

When children lean how to identify different feelings, they can take care or control their own emotions.   At any given stressful times, children who can control their emotions are much more free-spirited.

Focus on Your Child’s Successes

kids try at their pace

Some of our children are born athletic or some of them are not.

Give them space to try out new activities and praise them for their success.

Encourage Independence

PicMonkey Collage

Often, our own bad experiences or our own fear from the past can  make us limit our children in building their own experiences.   Take a step back and  let them try out new things on their own.

The teddy bear reminded me of  the time when my daughter was in the hospital.  This activity was uncomfortable for me.  It brought back so many bad memories.  I kept those feelings to myself.   As you can see, kids had fun and tried out new things.

Criticize Bad Behavior, Not Your Child


“Time Outs” can be an effective  tool when you follow it immediately with a discussion.  Explain about the bad behavior.  Tell them you have the rules to keep them safe.   Always show affection with hugs or kisses.  Make sure your child understands, you love them but you dislike the bad behavior.

Difference Between Curiosity and Passion


Curiosity is an important trait for any child.  It motivates children to imagine and try new things.  However, when it comes to learning a new skill, it  requires more than curiosity.   You must be passionate about the task.  For example, playing the Violin; a child must practice for hours and hours to master the skill.

My daughter was asking for violin lessons after she watched one of her cousins play.

I let her try it out with an instructor.  Within 10 minutes, she was able to play a song for me.  My son wanted to try it out as well.  He treated the violin like a tinker toy and could not keep his focus.

I hope these ideas gave you some directions in helping your child build confidence.

Additional  Resources

Simple & Easy Tips for Building Toddler Self-Help Skills

self help

Story: A Bad Case of Stripes

Lesson on Being True to Yourself.  An activity to go along with the story.


Being True to Yourself – an activity to go along with the story @ Play DR Mom

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May is Better Speech & Hearing Month

I get excited when I learn new information.  Especially when it relates to Child Development.   This blog is filled with  information and ideas on developing  speech and language for  infant, toddler, and young children.    I want to share this with all of you so we can be better informed.  Knowledge is POWER!


Click on the image to read the articles.




You can click on the image or click here to read the article.

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20 Spring Time Activities for Young Children

This is my collection of activities for Spring.  I always believed Spring is the time for new beginning or a fresh start.  It lifts my sprite when I think about fresh showers, rainbows, butterflies, ladybugs, green meadows, duck pond, spring flowers, or playing outside.

I’ve already tried some activities with my children and we enjoyed putting this together.   Honestly, I think I had more fun.   Please take a moment and check out some of the activities.

If you are interested in searching for more Spring activities, try clicking on some of the icons on my sidebar.  I love what these moms are doing and want to share them with you.

Did you know?  Simple Planner is on Facebook!   Come join me and share your story.



Click on an image to view and read about the activity.  

cloud experiment 7

Cloud Experiment from Reading Confetti



I thought this will be a fun activity to introduce rain clouds to young children.  You can actually see  food color rain falling in the cup.

I didn’t know shaving cream and food coloring can do this!  Did you?  When you are at her website, check out her cloud parfait, cloud painting, and a story.





How to Chalk Hair at Housing a Forest





When my daughter saw this activity, she wanted to do it right away.  We can make rainbow on her hair.




rocks 2

10 Ways for Kids to Use Rocks at Kids CO-OP




I guess my son is not the only one who loves to play with rocks.   I especially like the melting crayon activity.  I am definitely doing that with my kids!   You can go here for more ideas on ways to play with rocks.






Muffin Tin Printing At Artful Parent



We all have muffin tins at home, right?  If not, you can do this activity with egg cartons too.  I just love the bright cheerful colors.


Clothes Pin Butterfly at Indietutes


Frog Pond Sensory Sink at My Nearest and Dearest






I’ve always made coffee filtered butterflies with my kids, I thought it’s time for change.







What a neat little pond!  It’s easy on mom too because it’s an easy clean up after sensory play.







Letter and Spelling Activity Outside Learning for Kids at No Time For Flashcards





It’s warm outside!  Take the kids out to play.  Here is a neat activity to enjoy with kids.





Sticks and Tissue Paper Spring Blossoms at My Nearest and Dearest




This reminded me of cherry blossoms.  This is a wonderful sensory activity for your child and it can brighten up any room.





5 Excellent Plants to Grow with Children at Preschool Powol Packets




I always had this question.  What should I plant in the garden so my kids can enjoy the gardening this year?  This blog is full of useful information and great pictures too.




How to Create Engaging Learning Experiences for Toddlers

How to Create Engaging Learning Experiences for Toddlers




Family time is not always about quantity but quality.  This blog shares  ideas on how we can spend meaningful time with our toddlers.




Have Fun!  Enjoy!

Happy Spring!

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