Family Tales · Mom Tales · Wife Tales

Daddy-o’s First Visit to Minnesota. 

London’s Papa left yesterday afternoon to head back home to Chicago. I couldn’t tell you enjoyed the last week more. Him, myself, Arthur, London. Having my dad come out here was a very cool thing not only for Arthur to suggest he does everymonth, but for my dad to actually get past his fear of flying to visit us. 


This was the longest I had gone without seeing my parents, video calling doesn’t count, but it was also the first time he was seeing out new house. He was seeing where we packed up and moved to with his grand baby. I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed every moment out here. 

From an entire day at the Mall of America, an afternoon at the Crayola Experience, seeing where Prince lived, and getting a Jucy Lucy from Matt’s. He did and saw so much with us that it didn’t even feel like it was a vacation for him. 

Did I mention we made homemade soup? My favorite past time with him. 

It got a little cold, hello Minnesota Cold, but he had no complaints of hanging out at the house and have a few game nights.

While the week went by quick, I was actually sadder than I thought I would be dropping him off at the airport. 

But once I knew he landed safely…and i had Davey Havoc performing in front of me, my sadness seemed to disappear. 


I’m not sure how I managed to keep London on a schedule, take my dad to the airport and still get ready for date night to AFI all before 7pm, but I did it. These moments I call my “super mom” moments.


Now it’s back to reality. Laundry. Meal planning. Cleaning. And now planning London’s 2nd birthday party!

Mom Tales

Mom Fail #327

I’d like to think within the last almost 2 years, I’ve been a good mom. My kid is happy. She plays and laughs everyday. She wears clean clothes. She has more toys than the toy aisle at Target. Pretty ok life I would say for a toddler, who doesn’t really understand how good she has it. Because you know, when I take the plunger away, it’s the end of the world for her.

One of my biggest fears since I gave birth was how am I supposed to know when she’s hungry or thirsty and what am I supposed to feed her? Would she like what I was giving her? If she doesn’t, am I supposed to give her something else? Would that teach her I’ll make her whatever she wants? Isn’t it ” If you don’t eat what I make, than you don’t eat at all?”

And I thought of that during her 4th month when I started her on baby food. Fast forward a year, and now I’m just like “Here, eat a lunchable. It has cheese and cookies.” I do try to make dinners special though because it’s my chance introduce her to new foods while I’m also trying something new. I refuse to raise a child who only eats four different meals. I want my child to have variety in her life and to enjoy the wonderful meals she can have. I give my dad 100% credit for always making me try new foods.

So the last couple of weeks, London just wasn’t eating. Of course, this has happened before but it would only last a week, maybe week and half. That was during her teething stages. I just assumed she was teething again. But the only teeth she should be teething right now are her two year old molars, and nothing was cutting through. It was so mind boggling that I would try to give her a meal, and she would only take a few bites and be done.

Why are you wasting so much food London?!

And then we realized… how much milk we were going through. A gallon and a half within a week. A WEEK. Now, I’m not a milk drinker and of course I’m not going to not give her milk because I don’t drink milk. But I didn’t realize that milk is so filling, especially whole milk. I was literally over feeding her with milk without realizing it. Of course she wasn’t hungry when she would average three cups of milk before lunch and then a cup of milk with lunch.

So I had one of those ” what was I doing” moments, and of course felt like a horrible mother when I realized she wasn’t eating because of me. No mother or parent is perfect, and I’m always the first to admit when I mess up or I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m the first to call someone for advice on what I should do.

So thankfully, since realizing what was happening, we’ve cut her milk intake down to only two cups of milk, one in the morning with breakfast and one at bedtime. With water throughout the day and juice with dinner. This change resulted in her eating a full 3 meals a day finishing every meal and also her not being nearly as cranky or taking forever to fall asleep at night.

I may not be a perfect mom, but luckily London won’t remember this. All though, one day when she’s older and reads this I’m sure she’ll come up to me and say ” Hey mom, remember when you starved me and only gave me milk?”

 

Family Tales · Mom Tales

Crayola Experience at the Mall of America. 

Once a week, we get a full family fun day. Since Arthur works 6 days a week, we only get one full day together. This week we decided to take London to the Crayola Experience located in the Mall of America. I had actually received 6 free wristbands for the Crayola Experience over the holidays because I shop so much at the Mall of America. Thanks MOA for the rewards! 

With how cold it’s been, London has been a trooper having been stuck in the house. This was the perfect way to let her burn off her cabin fever and go nuts. 

Tuesdays at the MOA are Toddler Tuesdays. Each morning, there’s an interactive show, this week was balloon animals and London got a balloon hat. 

After getting her balloon, we made out way to the 4th floor for the Crayola Experience. The excitement from seeing just the statues of the crayons was overwhelming for London. 

The Crayola Experience is probably one of my most favorite places I’ve ever taken London. From wrapping and naming her own crayon, making herself into a coloring page, interactive screens, modeling clay, two play areas, coloring in the dark and so much more. This place has everything. 

We’ll most likely be purchasing a membership, especially for how close we are, but mostly because each visit will be different than the previous one. 

Since London had a full adventure with crayons, we let her go on one more adventure to Nickelodeon Universe. 

While London had such a fun and exciting day, she wouldn’t let a nap get in her way of coming home and running through the house. 

Don’t worry, mom and dad got to zipline at the MOA while London ate her lunch and looked around at the new scenery. 

Mom Tales

Yummy, Healthy Breakfast. 

This is a new favorite, quick and easy breakfast and sometimes snack in our house. I’ll be honest, it’s more my favorite, but London enjoys it too. 

I’ve been introducing new meals to London the last few weeks and this one was a hit with her. 

I actually haven’t found a Greek yogurt I really liked until a week ago. While I was pregnant it was all I would eat. Of course, the thought of Greek yogurt, after I had London, was disgusting. For some reason this honey flavored yogurt just sounded delicious and I needed to try it. 

To make it fun for London,instead of putting it in a bowl, I layer it up in one of her princess cups and mix up the fruit. 

As for me, this is my go to snack once she’s asleep and it’s me time.

The best part about this, is the millions of ways this can be changed up so you or your Little does that get tired of eating the same thing. From the different flavors of yogurt and even flavors of granola to all the different fruits. 

Enjoy!

Mom Tales

Happy 21 Months, London!

Our princess is 21 months old today. Seriously, how do I almost have a two year old? Have I really been a mom for this long? Talk about a quick and incredibly fun 21 months! 

London is growing and learning everyday. Her imagination is running wild each day, from pretending to cook with me, coloring, crafts, reading and watching me do everyday things, in turn she’s mimics. 

London is completely out of 18 month clothes and in 2T. While Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is still her favorite to watch, music is a very big part of her daily routine which has turned into wanting to expand her variety of cartoons and movies she watches at night before bedtime. Her current favorites include Frozen and Tangled.

Because of my personal goal of cooking more, her favorite foods has expanded and I can’t believe my toddler eats what she eats. I couldn’t be more proud that London eats anything I put in front of her and when she picks her snack she favors an applesauce or a bowl of baby carrots.

I cannot wait to continue to watch her grow and do another update next month at 22 months old. 

Mom Tales

A SAHM Schedule That You Can Stick To.

I’ve been a SAHM mom for almost two years now. I went from working full time and getting a full time paycheck to working 24/7 and not getting a paycheck. However, I get to enjoy everyday with London, watch her play and learn, I see every moment of her life, while Arthur works hard to allow me to stay home. Like any mom, I have my moments where I just want a break. I want a day to myself where I don’t have to give London six different snacks before she picks what she wants. I want a day where I can eat junk food and not have to worry about making sure I gave my kid enough fruits and veggies for the day. I want a day to not have to pick up the same toys multiple times from morning til night. But that’s what a SAHM does. I may have those moments, but at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve been trying to find my “groove” on what works for this house and what doesn’t. Not everyday is going to be the same. Not everyday is going to be a bad. Not everyday is going to be easy. But I’m responsible for London every single day, and it’s my job to make sure each day she is learning, having fun, and has a full belly. I was able to come up with a few pointers on how to make sure my daily schedule goes as smoothly as it can, because we all know when a toddler doesn’t get the right cup at lunch it’s the end of the world. Maybe these can help you if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut being home with your littles.


Get up and get dressed.

Seriously. Get up and get dressed right away. While staying in pajamas is fun, ok we only stay in pajamas if it’s ridiculously cold outside, how are you supposed to get through your day while in your pajamas feeling like you’re ready for bed? Put on a pair of your favorite leggings, a comfy sweater and slippers. Do your make up. I’m not talking full on date night makeup. Through on some mascara and your favorite lipstick. Trust me, you will feel great starting your day off looking great! While you’re at it, get the Littles dressed too. I know London loves when I do my makeup in the bathroom because she knows she’s going to leave with a little lipstick on to show daddy.


Planners, Lists, and Meal Planning.

My FAVORITE thing to do. If you know me personally, or have been following my blog, you know how much I loved lists and my planner. I make a list for everything, clearly see the Bucket Lists above. Each week I like to fill out my planner with fun things for London and I to do, meals, bills, and important dates. I also do my weekly meal planning on our refrigerator. Meal planning for a week is incredibly convenient when it comes to having a toddler and the last thing you want to do is have a rough day and then think about what you’re going to make for dinner at 4pm.  Each week, I make a grocery list as well for my weekly meal planning, these lists are just my “basics” for my meals. Meats, veggies, and sides. Once a month I do my “big” shopping trip and stock up everything I’ll need for the month that isn’t perishable.

I like to make a separate list of things I want to do with London too. Crafts to make, new places to go, anything really. This is my way of always having something to do, especially on the days where I’m not feeling creative and “there’s nothing to do.” There’s always something to do.

Change It Up.

There’s nothing more boring than feeling like you’re doing the same thing, day after day. Like how boring is it to wake up, have breakfast, watch tv, make dinner, and go to bed. If you’re bored with your day, chances are so is your toddler. Change it up. Instead of having breakfast at the kitchen table, have a picnic and watch a cartoon. Have no tv for a day and spend the day playing with every single toy your Little owns. Have a day of just crafts. Have breakfast for dinner. There are so many ways you can change up your day, without throwing your Little completely off.

Chores.


Because we all love chores. I cannot stand a mess anywhere in my house, even with a toddler, I’m one of those crazies that has to clean my house numerous times a day even though I know it’ll be a mess in less than an hour. However, if you make a daily or weekly list of chores that need to be done you won’t feel so overwhelmed by making sure your house is cleaned up. I have my days where I just want to power clean and get everything done, but I can’t do that every week. Instead, I make sure I have daily chores that need to be done, and weekly chores to be done. My dailies include never leaving dishes in the sink. Waking up to a sink full of dishes is one of my biggest pet peeves. So throughout the day, I’m always putting our dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Sometimes it does get run twice a day, but it’s better than having dirty dishes and no clean sippy cups. I also make it a point to sweep the kitchen each day. We all know that toddlers are just tiny crumb leavers. My weeklies include laundry of course, a good wipe down of the bathrooms, vacuuming, and dusting.

Make goals with a time frame.

I love having goals to hit. It’s my own way of making sure I’m accomplishing something for myself. I make goals for myself each month to hit that month. They aren’t crazy and achievable goals either.  Most of my goals are revolved around my everyday life, just in case I have a day where “I don’t feel like anything”, umm no, that’s not allowed. You can check out my January Goals.

Me Time.

We all look forward to our “Me Time.” Mine is always at night right after London goes to bed. I make myself a cup of hot chocolate, grab a blanket and get comfy on the couch with the fire going. Depending on the night, sometimes I have a book to fall into or I binge watch my favorite show or watch a movie. I also use nap time as my Me Time to look over our week, meals, find new recipes and work on a few goals.

Unplug 

Yes. Put your phone down. Social media will still be there during nap time or bed time. That moment your Little just did something hilarious you missed, is gone. Give your Little all the attention. They deserve it. 

 

As a SAHM, it’s easy to find yourself feeling like you’re only a servant to your toddler. You’re more than that. You keep your household running. If you’re blessed to stay home with your Littles, enjoy each and everyday no matter how rough they start. These days won’t last forever and eventually your Little won’t be little anymore.

What about you, Mama? How do you keep your days sane for you and fun for your Little?

 

Mom Tales

Winter Fun.

Am I the only who feels like Winter should just end in December? December is so magical and full of so many things to do. And then there’s January. It’s colder, seriously Minnesota cold lives up to its name, there’s no Christmas magic, and there’s toys everywhere that have lost its appeal after four days. 

Add in a toddler who gets cabin fever just as quick as an adult does. What’s a mama to do? 

Last Winter it wasn’t as bad, considering London was only 9 months old and it was me that was dieing to get out of the house. This year she’s almost 21 months old and is so full of energy that I have no idea what to do most of the time. That’s when Pinterest came in handy and the thought of finally being able to do the activities I’ve been waiting to do everything since she was born. 

Crafts.

London has shown interest in arts and crafts since she was about 14 months. She always needed a pencil or a crayon and some paper. We started buying the Crayola Wonder Markers and paper, as well as a brand new box of crayons and tons of coloring books. I came up with the idea that maybe she would be interested in doing actual crafts and expand her creativity by doing a Hobby Lobby trip and picking up everything and anything for her. Pom poms, pipe cleaners, paints, playdoh, stickers, colored paper, basically everything in the aisle. Bonus fun- putting her inside a moving box and letting her decorate her new playhouse. 


Pretend Time.

Since we’ve taken away the Ipad and TV time, I’ve noticed how incredibly imaginative London has become. From tea parties, to cooking on her Minnie Mouse kitchen, and serving us her delicious meals. Watching her play and let her mind take her on her own adventures is one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve had as a mom. 


Learning Time.

London has a box of flashcards of numbers, letters,shapes,colors and animals. She loves counting lately and always wants to help count the ornaments in her It’s Christmas Time Mouse book. Usually I throw in an episode of Little Einsteins because, let’s face it a mama needs to sit and relax once in a while. 


Mall of America.

Our favorite place. As long as it’s not below 20 degrees, you can find us at the mall. With how big it is, we can go there 5 times a week and still not see or do anything twice. London’s favorite of course is the Sea Life Aquarium on the lower level.
I like to use winter as a time to read and journal more. Have you noticed how many journals I use?  With how busy spring and summer can get, winter is my one chance to really get my mind prepared for what I can’t wait to accomplish in the coming months. 

Ok mama’s, how do you keep your little busy during the cold months? 

Candi  

Family Tales · Mom Tales · Wife Tales

Happy 2017.

Happy 2017! It’s now 4 days into 2017 and I can’t help but feel like this year is already going amazing! Yes its only 4 days, but 4 great days beat a bad day or two. London didn’t make it til midnight, but neither do I. So we’ll just say we celebrated the New Year when we woke up.

One of my 17 Things I want to Accomplish in 2017, is to cook more and really get use of my kitchen. New Years Day, I did just that. I think the last time I cooked that much was Christmas Eve two years ago. We had a few friends over that day, and London had two playdates. So between all the food being made and London going crazy with her new friends and toys all over the place, our New Years Day was quite the eventful one.  This also gave me a chance to start my recipe binder that I’ve been saying I wanted to do for like 5 years.

I’ve also finished my first book of the New Year. Was I a fan of it? At first, and then towards the end I couldn’t wait for it to end, but that’s just one book towards my goal this year. Also one book to put up and away in my reading nook. ( If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve been posting my current readings.)

I had posted back in December about my January Goals, and so far I’ve marked off a few things already, which is exciting for me because I tend to be a procrastinator. I love when I know I’ve accomplished something that I told myself I would. Setting goals for myself is something I enjoy doing because it helps me when I feel like I’m in a funk, and it also always guarantees a fun adventure with London.

London may not understand what a new year is, but she’ll realize that things are a lot different these days. Minus the obvious that instead of going to Nana and Papa’s house, we video call them twice a day. However, for Christmas last year, we surprised my dad with trips to come visit us in Minnesota once a month for how ever many days he wants. And he’s coming in TWO WEEKS!! London has no idea, and I’ve made sure we don’t talk about it around her because I want her to be completely surprised when she see’s her Papa walk in the house.

How’s your New Year starting off for you? Have you set goals for yourself?

Just remember, if the year doesn’t start off the way you thought it would, doesn’t mean that’s going to define the rest of your year. Only you have the capability to make your year a good one.

Xoxo