YouTube & Toddlers

I’ve been sitting on this topic for a while as I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of opinions regarding it, from the title you could guess that I would be talking about YouTube.

Before having children, I was telling myself what kind of a parent I wanted to be whether I can achieve it or not, I still wanted to try. I wanted to be there for my children, I would quit my job and stay with them if I had to, and honestly, I’m planning to. One of the things I noticed that parents do is introducing tablets to children at an early age as some sort of distraction or entertainment which for the most part works in keeping them occupied for a while but it sometimes stretch out to extended hours and the child would just stay sitting watching for hours.

I watch YouTube pretty much daily, I’m aware of the community, space, the changes that keep happening and of course I’m aware of the creepy videos that kept popping up on YouTube that targetted children with its supposedly innocent nature and loveable characters. Sadly, not a lot of parents know this and it ends up badly when their children would stumble upon those said videos. Now I partially would blame the parents for leaving their children unattended to be watching YouTube to the point that they would reach those creepy videos, same goes with video games when they blame games that affect children whether it’s a violent game or scary which can traumatize the child yet as a parent I’m pretty sure it’s our mission or job to raise our children well which means keeping our attention on our children.

YouTube educational videos can help children in preschool age to learn the ABCs, numbers or even colors and those are very helpful and a great aid. But I also think that parents should monitor what children are ingesting from those videos. Which is why I decided to include one of my favorite websites that I mentioned before in a post that offers worksheets for children from an early age till 5th grade.

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For more educational resources, visit Education.com. There’re plenty of printable worksheets to choose from for free, my son enjoys tracing letters and the coloring ones. It helps me bond with him more while I teach him. You can check them out @education_com on Pinterest and Twitter.

 

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Nursery Rhymes Lyrics Are Weird and Creepy

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I remember my mother singing for me when I was a baby “Baa baa black sheep” and “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, those songs resided in me and I found myself as a mother now singing it to my own child. Slowly I started singing those nursery rhymes all the time by myself without no reason and of course it’s contagious so my husband was doing it as well.

The more I listened to those songs, the more I got confused on what the words actually mean, some don’t really make sense such as:

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

I decided to research this song and I found out it’s based in English history. The ‘farmer’s wife’ refers to the daughter of King Henry VIII, Queen Mary I whose also known as Bloody Mary. Mary was a very committed Catholic and she forced her beliefs across the country. The ‘three blind mice’ were three noblemen who didn’t agree on her ways so they were convicted of plotting against the Queen but she did not have them dismembered and blinded as inferred in Three blind mice, instead they were burned at the stake. That was an interesting backstory to a children song ? Same as “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, it also speaks about her and her violent rulings. You could read more about those two nursery rhymes here.

One of my son’s favorite songs is Skip to My Lou and reading about this song was a journey by itself. The song is a popular American partner-stealing dance from the 1840s.

“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners (or swapping partners as in square dancing). It begins with any number of couples skipping hand in hand around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couples sings, “Lost my partner, what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I’ll get another one just like you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, the latter’s partner moves to the center of the ring the game. It is an ice-breaker, providing an opportunity for the participants to get acquainted with one another and to get into a good mood.

The “lou” in the title comes from the word “loo”, a Scottish word for “love”.

I’m confused, how is this a children’s song ?

Fly in the buttermilk, Shoo, fly, shoo

Is it a farming related song ?

There’s a little red wagon, Paint it blue

Uh why ?

Can’t get a red bird, Jay bird’ll do

…. okay ?

Cat’s in the cream jar, Ooh, ooh, ooh

Also animal abuse ?

It doesn’t really make sense to me how’s the lyrics correlate with each other basically. Maybe I’m reading too much in this but I’m sure some parents thought about this while singing to their children those songs.

I asked a fellow blogger Karalee (Tales of Belle) to chime in with her opinion since she’s a mom as well and here’s her opinion about this:

A lot of nursery rhymes seem to have a darker meaning, so I researched two my daughter likes: Brother John and London Bridge Is Falling Down. I grew up hearing Frère Jacques in French from my mother, and my daughter knows the English version Brother John. She likes singing “are you sleeping”, which made me wonder if there was a deeper meaning. The nursery rhyme is about a friar who overslept and he needs to ring the bells for the morning pray. The origin is believed to be about Frère Jacques Beaulie who was a Dominican friar in France. Other theories believe the nursery rhyme is about taunting Jews, Protestants, and Martin Luther and also mocking Dominican monks in France for their sloth and comfortable lifestyles. Even though the origin theories are not the brightest, the nursery rhyme itself does not have a dark meaning, which is a nice relief. Now for London Bridge Is Falling Down. I played the game while singing London Bridge as a kid and now I play the game with my daughter. The nursery rhyme is about rebuilding the London Bridge and how difficult it was bridging the River Thames. However, the theories about the origin are disturbing. One theory believes the nursery rhyme is about the destruction of the bridge by Olaf II of Norway while another theory believes children were sacrificed and buried in the foundation of the bridge to prevent it from collapsing. Luckily there is no evidence of children being sacrificed, but the thought is terrifying. A more plausible theory is that the nursery rhyme came about when the London Bridge was damaged by fire then eventually rebuilt and replaced. Even though the child sacrifice theory is disturbing, I am glad it is not proven and the nursery rhyme does not have a darker meaning. The lyrics for these two nursery rhymes are straightforward and do not have a dark meaning, but some of the origin theories are rather dark.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this, have you ever questioned the songs you sing for your children while the seemed innocent and pure ?

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Living by Numbers

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I work in the IT department so I got asked for help by employees, over things that deserve my attention or sometimes I would view it as ridiculous favors. This is one of the times that I got asked for help by a lady who made my eyes roll into their own orbits. She came to me asking for help regarding Twitter, it’s not exactly in my job description to help employees with their own personal accounts but I said I’ll listen to her till the end. So she has a private account and gets following requests, she accepts EVERYONE and then proceeds to follow EVERYONE. Does that make sense ? For me it honestly doesn’t.

Twitter have set a limit for following accounts which is 5000 and this lovely smart lady keeps getting an error that she cannot follow anyone anymore because she reached the limit and she’s asking my help. There’s a fine line between idiocy and ignorance, and I feel like stating the obvious in her condition but I won’t because I’m trying so hard to nice and I’m going to say she’s just ignorant. I felt like I want to give her a lecture about this but I’ll sum it up here in a more detailed way, how I view social media and how we are living by numbers.

Do you genuinely care about those 5000 people or accounts that you have the time to read every tweet they post ? Do they post interesting content that you feel the need to follow over 5000 accounts ? I think you just want more followers because those numbers excite you and having a private account makes people curious about your account and how you gained over 17k followers while having a private account. Do you personally know every person you follow ? Did you at least have a brief conversation with that person so you would easily press the follow button or was it blindly follow for follow mechanism ?

It just baffles me that she replied after all what I said “Don’t you feel that you have to follow a person after that person had the time to follow you ?” No, I don’t feel that I’m obliged to. What if that person posts things that would upset me, maybe inappropriate content. You’re not really forced to follow anyone who follow you, I wouldn’t get upset if I follow someone and that person didn’t follow me back it just common sense to me.

This incident got me thinking how social media made us care a bit too much about numbers next to our names or handles, how much traffic I can get for my blog and how many people that follow me on social media such as Instagram and Twitter, how many likes I could get from posting photos. I get that people can make a living out of that but sometimes it gets out of control and reality isn’t about likes, followers and replies. I’d love to know your view on this matter and what do you think about this situation.

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Make My Day

When a friend or family member is having a bad day, it’s hard to know what you can do to really help. Your instinct may be to send a meaningful text message or give them a hug, there are actual science-backed ways to help turn someone’s day around that eliminate a lot of guesswork. For example, if your coworker is feeling flustered, you can offer to go on a walk with them to make them feel better. Light exercise releases endorphins, which helps calm people down.

Or, you can order your friend something yellow, like flowers, which is associated with optimism and positivity, to cheer her up. In fact, just wearing yellow can brighten anyone’s mood (So if you’re not feeling up to snuff, change into something yellow) Of course, in the end, just being there to embrace a bad day with a friend can be meaningful enough because that’s sometimes all you can do. You can still enjoy chocolate or start a gratitude list together, and know that tomorrow will be better.

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In my personal opinion, I believe aromatherapy helps in boosting your mood whether you like using essential oil diffuser or candles. Now we all agree that happiness is temporary but maintaining a good mood helps in that feeling, I honestly believe certain scents make me smile even when I’m feeling low. Here’s my personal favorite candle scents that always make my day:

  • Moss and Mint: I got this combination in a candle send in an OwlCrate and I absolutely love it, it makes me relax to be honest even without lighting it.
  • Gardenia Trees and Fresh Bamboo: Yes I confess, nature scents makes my anxiety levels low that’s why most of my favorites are related to nature. I got a candle from Bath & Body Works and it’s been my favorite ever since, it smells like the air fused with a light floral scent and bamboo. 
  • Cherry Blossom: I love everything with the Japanese cherry blossoms, I go for shower gels, lotions, candles and perfumes. It’s not too powerful and just the right amount of lightness.

I’m pretty sure there are plenty more scents I could add in this list but these are my personal top 3 which I consider my mood boosters. Let me know what are your ways to make your day.

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Venting

It’s been a while since I ranted on my blog, I kinda consider it therapeutic since I’m outlining whatever in my mind. I know I’ve been disappearing from my blog lately and I promise I’ll post an explanation for that in the upcoming posts, but anyway tell me how you been ?

In the past year I’ve been frustrated and bottling this up, I just had to write it here and I really want to know what you think about it. Before I got married, I had a really petite body. To be honest you can clearly see my bones sticking out so it wasn’t that model-like sexy body, I looked really unhealthy and some people thought I had an eating disorder. I weighed around 35kg by the time I entered college, I get sick easily and I remember getting pain on my ankles from time to time which turned out because of calcium deficiency. Back then I didn’t think it was a big deal and people got used to seeing me like this.

After I got married and then getting pregnant, obviously I’ve gained weight throughout my pregnancy and after birth I managed to return my body to a better state and my weight was around 55kg which is according to my IBM rate perfect weight for my height. I looked better and more healthy, at least my bones weren’t showing and I won’t say I had a flat stomach looking all perfect but I was normal and better than my old skinny figure.

Family members and coworkers didn’t see this as a good change, and I’ve been hearing a lot of comments that basically says “You’re fat now” or asking “are you pregnant?”. I heard these words so many times it began to effect me, obviously it hurts hearing those words. I may not look like I was before but compared to my past self, I am much healthier and that what mostly mattered to me. I don’t know if that’s just society standards of how a female should look and if she changed all the sudden she’s considered fat, maybe she’s comfortable in her own skin but you’re labeling her because of her body shape changing?

I’ve been frustrated regarding this so much, it began irritating me how people I have conversations with all sudden inserting this remark within context. I don’t really appreciate it and it honestly made me less social than before. I don’t know if I’m being too sensitive over something silly, I just wanted to vent this out and wanted to know what do you think about this.

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Sleepless Nights

Sleeping … It’s a human activity I said goodbye to on the day I gave birth. I love being a mother, I honestly feel like I found my purpose in life when I look into my son’s eyes. At some point my son was sleeping perfectly throughout the night but sometimes wakes up and it wasn’t tiring for me because he sleeps fast when hug him and return him to his crib.

Lately he’s been waking up at 3 or 4 am and doesn’t sleep unless he’s on my arms, if I returned him to his bed he’ll wake up and cry till I hold him again. At some nights I would get too exhausted and make him sleep next to me, between me and my husband but it wouldn’t be comfortable with me so I would stay awake till it’s time to go to work. For two weeks I’ve been sleep deprived and always tired, I would sleep in the afternoon if I found someone to babysit my son.

Me and husband decided to break the sleep time rule and keep him awake till he’s tired and wants to sleep, and from there start teaching him to sleep on his own in his crib. It made me sad I’m not going to lie, I like hugging him to sleep.

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By night, I would let him watch few of his favorite shows till he tells me it’s sleep time and points at his milk bottle. In the first night, he was very upset that I left him in his crib to drink the bottle alone and not me holding him as usual. I had to come near him few times to show him I’m still here and I didn’t leave him. Now comes the hard part, trying to get him to sleep on his own. He cried and tried to hold me to get him off his crib, repeating my actual name. It was nerve-wrecking and I really wanted to cry with him, it was very hard hearing him cry that much and calling for me. Finally after an hour of trying, he slept but woke up at 4 am and wouldn’t return to sleep in his crib so I said I’ll let him sleep next to me because I felt he just wanted to be with me and obviously it’ll take time to teach him to sleep on his own.

The second night he was more understanding when I left him in his crib with his bottle, of course he took time to sleep on his own but didn’t cry as much as before. He slept throughout the night which is a great progress and I finally got my deserved sleeping hours. By the third and forth night, he was fine sleeping on his own and didn’t require me to be in the room with him anymore.

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This whole thing was mentally exhausting to me, he’s growing up too fast and it’s making me emotional.

Next step is potty training and it will definitely take a while …

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Goals

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I originally wanted to post it as habits I want to catch on but I saw Lise’s post about August Goals and thought I would do the same but more of a long term goal instead of monthly so here it goes …

Return to developing games. I wanted to post about this before, so I used to love creating games, mostly for fun but I enjoyed the thrill of it. It made my imagination run wild of how the story flow and setting the environment of the game, I loved messing with the scripts because it gave me the opportunity to learn new programming languages and understand the work of gaming engines. I really want to go back in developing games and bettering my programming skills.

Use moisturizing creams and lotions more often. I have a bad habit of neglecting my skin health and it shows that my skin seem too dry. I need to change that and get used to applying creams and lotions so that my skin seem less dry at least not just my face.

Cut out soda drinks. I buy snacks from time to time that I munch on when I’m watching something at night and I always go for soft drinks, I fill up the fridge with such drinks and it’s definitely not healthy. I need to exchange those drinks to fruity drinks perhaps or something more organic.

Crossing my fingers I can achieve those goals soon, what are your long term goals ?

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