Archive for May 2016

How to survive the rainy day blues with your toddler

May 26, 2016

Have you ever felt like you might just lose your ever-loving mind if you have to spend one more minute cooped up inside with your toddler? Yeah? Me too. Summer is on the way, and while that's mostly a good thing, it also means the rainy season has begun. Just this past week we dealt with four days straight of rain and thunderstorms. We've gotten to the point where the thunder booms and my toddler automatically shouts "it's raining!"

I don't know about you but the last thing I want to do on a stormy day is drag my toddler out in the rain. By the time we get anywhere, we are both soaked and miserable. Forget trying to push a stroller and hold an umbrella at the same time - it's impossible. 

But those days when we can't go out and play or drive to the park are TOUGH. I don't know about your toddler, but mine will only play contently by himself for a half hour tops. The rest of the time, he wants to be entertained - what's a mom to do? 

We've have to get very creative to keep ourselves from going crazy during the rainy season, (which lasts from May through October here in Florida).

Here are our top 5 stuck inside activities! 

1. Drive-in Movie 
We like to pull Jacob's ride-on car inside so he can watch a movie in it. It has a buckle, which he can't undo yet, which means he's contained if I need to do some dinner prep in the kitchen or check up on some emails. I can usually set him up with a snack and a drink and he's good to go. Sometimes I'll curl up on the couch and watch with him, and sometimes I'll take advantage of the extra time to get some work done. If you don't have a car you can turn a cardboard box into one with a few art supplies and some imagination!

2. Board Game Marathon
Jacob is just starting to learn how to play games. We like this one because it has bright, familiar characters and we can practice colors and counting while we play. Jacob needs quite a bit of guidance at this point to successfully play, but that's to be expected. 

3. Hallway Bowling
We set up our narrow upstairs hallway as a bowling alley, complete with pool noodles for bumpers and our little wooden pin set. I got this set at a thrift store in Denver, several summers before Jacob was born, but you can find a similar wood set here.

4. Bathtub Art Party
Art is notoriously messy with toddlers, which is why I like to contain it to the bathtub for easy clean up. Jacob can color or paint to his hearts content and then I can just spray off both him and the bath. You can make your own paint using cool-whip or whipped cream and food coloring, or use bath crayons like these.  

5. Puddle Jumping
If all else fails, and you can not stay inside for another second, put on your rainboots and your coat and introduce your toddler to the pastime of puddle jumping. You'll want to make sure there is no thunder or lightning of course, and be prepared to warm up afterwards with a bubble bath or maybe some hot chocolate! 

I love to make snack mix on rainy days. I usually use whatever we already have around the house but one of our favorite combos uses Chex Mix, Bugles, and Orville Redenbacker's Gourmet Popcorn which we combine with some M&Ms for a salty and sweet rainy day snack mix. 

My little guy likes to dig through and pull out all the chocolate pieces first!

Having snack mix on hand saves me from running out in the rain which makes me AND little man happy! What's your favorite rainy day activity?

Here's a handy pin if you'd like to save these ideas!

A whole 30 update

May 23, 2016

Day 22.... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. 

No but seriously, we're doing great! Our family has been amazed at how poorly we were eating before, and how easy it is to make some little changes. Cutting out carbs, dairy, and sugar is HARD. We miss dairy most of all. But we've found some really good recipes and we plan to continue following a paleo diet even when our 30 days are up. Here's our thoughts on the Whole 30 so far: 

Effortless Mini Key Lime Pies

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

Mmmmm. The sweet, tangy taste of summer. Key lime pie has always been a favorite in our house. When summer is heating up and the last thing you want is to turn on your oven, this cool treat doesn't disappoint. I usually make a full size pie, but these mini versions are quick and portable, perfect for a backyard picnic, dinner with friends, or even a brunch.

Snack Pack Naturals Layered Fruit Swirl Pops

May 19, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone
. #SnackPackNaturals #CollectiveBias

If you follow us regularly, you know that we are smack dab in the middle of the Whole 30. You can read about it here. While we aren't following the diet strictly with Jacob, he is enjoying many of the snacks and meals we're having and we're trying to make better decisions in general about what we feed him. 

For Every Step {a Freshly Picked giveaway}

May 16, 2016

Susan Petersen has been a huge inspiration to me for a while now. Ever since i saw her story on Shark Tank I knew that with enough hard work and determination I could make just about anything happen. 

If you are unfamiliar with her story, Susan built her company from the ground up. Literally. Susan started Freshly Picked one summer by taking discarded windows from her brother's window installation company, hammering out the glass and selling the metal to a scrap yard.
 She used the money from selling the metal to buy a bag of scrap leather at a yard sale and made her first pairs of baby moccasins. 

Love Grows Here {a sentimental handprint craft}

May 12, 2016

Jacob has three of the best grandmother's around who love on him big time, so when Mother's Day came around we knew we wanted to make something extra special and meaningful for his Grandma, Mimi, and Nonna. 

10 on the 10th: 23 months

May 10, 2016

How is it possible that this is our last update before your birthday? 

Little Moments

May 8, 2016
A special thank you to Gerber for sponsoring this Mother's Day post and challenging me to pause and really reflect on all the little moments that make motherhood worthwhile. 

The first year is full of so many challenges and frustrations that even the most patient of us have those "what in the world did I get myself into?" moments. 

Getting Ready for the Whole 30

May 4, 2016

Oh yes, you read that right. I'm getting ready to do my first round of the whole 30! A whole month without sugar, carbs or dairy? Sounds like a challenge for sure! So how exactly did I get ready for such a big undertaking? Read on to find out...

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2, 2016

She's the ringleader of the classroom circus, the rock star of the school stage. She's your child's teacher, and this week it's all about her!