August 27, 2014

Fall Fashion Picks for the Mini

Okay, I know it's not even September yet but I know that hasn't stopped many of us from browsing the new fall fashion picks that are popping up in every single store. How's a mama not to look!? One of my favorite things to do, you might even call it a hobby, is online know, where you fill the cart but don't actually buy anything? Yes, that's me.

In this case, I actually bought these two pairs of cute shoes from Zulily. Miss A still has some birthday money left and I've been spending it wisely, on her preschool corner, and new clothes and shoes she will need once the temperatures start to dip. I could not pass up these adorable sneakers and pretty sparkly silver flats, which I'm sure she'll get great use out of during the holidays.

Besides Zulily, I also love shopping at Old Navy for Miss A. Old Navy never seems to fail with cute, affordable clothes, especially when there's a sale going on. Recently there was a 30% everything sale and I took a look around and fell in love with so many pieces. 

I love dressing her up for every holiday, so there's no doubt I will get her several Halloween related outfits. Speaking of Halloween, have you thought about costumes yet? I haven't the faintest idea what she'll be this year, but costumes are already popping up everywhere too, and there's so much to choose from!

I've barely looked around for anything for myself- isn't that the case for most mama's? I'd love some new long sleeved tops and sweaters. Oh, and BOOTS! What have you seen lately? Bonus points for links! :)

August 26, 2014

Life Lately

 I have really missed blogging these past few weeks! I can't seem to find the time lately to get my thoughts together and write them down. Little Miss A has stopped napping- completely. It's been over three weeks since her last nap. Mama is not happy, but I've accepted it, and that in itself has changed my attitude. She still goes in her room, in her crib, everyday, but instead of sleeping she spins around, sings, laughs, talks, until she gets bored and starts calling for me. She can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, so at least I have some bit of a break, even if it's not a quiet one! So without her naps, which is when I used to blog, it certainly is much harder to sit down and get it done. Along with many other things around the house. Has your toddler stopped napping?

Lately we've been enjoying the last few days of summer. The past few mornings the weather has been nice and cool. (which has caused me to break out the pumpkin candles)A huge welcome after all these humid days. We try to get out for playdates when we can and run our errands in the afternoon. 

Our weekends have been taking place on Sundays and Mondays, the hubby's current two days off. His schedule changes again in a week, in September, but it does look promising, with a few weekends thrown in there. We've been to the park, the mall, out for milkshakes, and played with all the toys in the house! 

Miss A has been all kinds of crazy lately. She is a monster at dinner right now. Refusing to eat, shoving her plate away, throwing her fork on the floor. It has not been fun on the nights when I'm alone. Any advice would be much appreciated! She also has a bit of a stubborn streak whenever we tell her "no" to something. Little miss is sure developing that personality! 

August 7, 2014

Creating a Preschool Corner

Miss A is at the age where she is picking on up on everything. She loves to learn, to explore, and observe. I knew I wanted to create a preschool area for her somewhere in the house and I figured under our breakfast bar, which we've never used as a breakfast bar, would be the perfect spot.

I hopped on the bandwagon with wanting a chalkboad wall. I knew she would love it and when we do start doing preschool like activities in the fall I can use the chalkboard as a teaching tool too. Makes this former teacher giddy with excitement. I picked up a can of chalkboard paint at Lowe's one day a few weeks ago and got down on my hands and knees during nap time to do the first coat. It went on easy, thankfully, as I have very little patience when it comes to painting.

I read online that most people did two coats, so that's what I did too. Of course I had to wait until the next day to do coat number 2. It looked great, so I followed the rest of the suggestions I read online, which were to wait three days for the paint to cure, and then roll a piece of white chalk over the entire surface and erase.

Viola! We now have our very own chalkboard wall.

The next thing I wanted to do was get Miss A her very own table and chair set. I've been looking around for months and kept going back to this one from Ikea. There's definitely a reason why so many people have it; it's a great size, price, and so cute! We don't have any Ikea near us so I ordered it from Amazon with some of the birthday money Miss A got.

I put it together when it arrived with her watching me the whole time and "helping" by handing me each wooden peg and screw. Don't worry, she's passed the stage of putting things in her mouth. :) When it was done we immediately sat down to color, an activity we've done everyday since.

I still have more plans for this little corner- perhaps baskets, or buckets attached to the wall to hold crayons, flash cards, books, and other teaching tools. I can't seem to figure out what will work best as the only wall we have left is very small and won't hold much. Maybe a preschool basket or bin?

In the mean time we're enjoying this little space as I collect items and ideas. If you've started preschool or know of any good resources, please share!

August 4, 2014

5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler On a Rainy Day

This weekend was challenging, for me and Miss A. We both missed my husband. He had to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, meaning he slept during the day, seeing us for only a short period before he had to go off to work. It was gray and rainy, limiting our time outside. It was just the two of us.

I did my best to keep us busy and entertained. Staying indoors is hard for the both of us; we love being outside, meeting our friends, and doing errands. Sometimes that's not possible on the weekends, and even harder when it's raining outside. Here are a few things we did, in case you need some ideas what to do on a rainy day. 

1. Arts & Crafts

I keep a bin of arts and crafts in our pantry, filled with play dough, finger paints, markers, blank sheets of paper, beads, water colors, and paint sponges. We do "art time" in the kitchen, at the table. It's the easiest place to clean up afterwards and I don't have to worry about spills falling on carpet and the like. We painted, rolled out play dough, and drew with markers.

2. Watch Old Videos

Miss A absolutely loves watching videos of herself. I let her watch videos on my phone all the time but I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and show her some videos from last year, that are stored on our computer, when she was one years old. Warning: tears may ensue. She loved it, pointing at the screen and laughing as we watched her fumble and do the drunken I'm-a-new-walker walk.

3. Bring Out Old Toys

After every birthday and big holiday, there are lots of new toys to play with. In order to make room for all her new stuff, I collect some of the old and store them away in large clear plastic bins. We have them separated by age: baby, pre-toddler, etc in our storage closet. I dragged out one of the bins and let her search through it, killing a good hour with playtime.

4. Have Lunch/Snack Outside

If you have a covered porch or deck, you can still eat outside even if it's raining. That is, if it's not raining too heavy. We sat on the front porch to have our snacks in the middle of the day despite the drizzle. I'm definitely someone that needs fresh air every day and I notice a huge drop in my mood if I haven't been outside. Miss A loves being outside too and really enjoyed watching the rain fall while we ate our snacks.

5. Play Hide & Seek

Now that Miss A is older, she kinda sorta understands how to play hide and seek. It was especially fun to play this weekend since it was so dark in the house. Sometimes she actually hides, usually behind a door or behind a wall. Shouting, "Where are you?" causes her to burst into giggles; she doesn't stay hidden for long. She hasn't quite figured out how to find me though, so I usually just stand right in the open in a different room and let her squeal when she finds me.