Tag Archives: toddler

Quick Tip: Simple Socks

So this post is a no-brainer but it sure does make me happy. And because I am so happy… I thought I would share my happiness. Socks. They disappear, they lose their best friends. It’s a tough life for a sock. With quickly growing babies, socks don’t last as long as my grey and blue nautical pair from high school. Yep, still in my drawer. Still cozy in boots. (Not still in style.)

I ordered my 2 and half year old some sneakers and sport socks. His big feet are getting bigger and, well, so are the socks and shoes. (I could stop right here and weep over the fact that my first baby is definitely a little boy now, but there isn’ t much of nap time left.) As I was putting the new large socks away, I pulled the ones he’s outgrown. And as I thought about this simple solution I started a few years back, it felt like a Project Momma Quick Tip.

socks1Kid socks look similar and it’s definitely hard to tell their size just looking at them. In fact I accidentally put baby socks on my toddler a few days back. (Proof right here.) There is no way I will remember what size socks are when I pull them out of storage. So, when I buy new socks, I simply keep the packaging or labels and shove it in the drawer under the socks. Then when it is time to pull them to store away – until the next baby has grown too big too fast – I already the packaging with them. I fell upon this idea accidentally because I kept the sock tags from Isaac’s baby socks; they were the only ones I’d found that would actually stay on those active baby feet. I save the label because did not want to forget that brand (Okie Dokie from JCPenney if your are wondering).

socks2So, now that it’s time to rotate the old socks, I grab that label, the socks and a ziplock bag to store them. 
socks3
And there you have it. Easily understood socks. I keep the outgrown socks and shoes in a separate bin from clothes. One reason is that I pass around clothes with my friends but socks and shoes I hang on to. Another reason to keep them separate? They may not be true to size. Hey Oshkosh, size 2-4 did not last pass 2 and a half for my big boy. Just sayin’. Every kid grows differently so I don’t want to have to search through my 2s, 3s, and 4s clothes, to find my 2-4 socks that fit Isaac when he was 1 and 2. Yeah, read that sentence again if you have to.  socks 4I have also started keeping some other tags and packaging for items like swaddles, sleep sacs, underwear, etc. It really takes no extra time upfront but saves a little confusion on the other end. Why not give myself little organized treasures? I deserve them.

Anyone else have a quick tip when it comes to your kids’ clothing?
quick tip  socks logo

Homemade Ornaments 2013

It has become a little tradition that Isaac and I make ornaments as Christmas gifts for the grandparents. We also make one for our family and one for Isaac. I have mommy fantasies of giving him a box of ornaments that he has made or helped with as he’s grown…. to start his own tree. Not that I want to think about him ever leaving me :) He may not always want to make the ornaments, but why not while he is interested!?

It started when Isaac was only 3 months and I saw this Pinterest idea to press a painted baby hand on a glass ornament. Adorable in theory, not so perfect in reality. Still, I treasure it as his “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament.

orn 2011 collage

Last year, I saw this idea and since we had just had some black and white professional pics taken, I modge-podged an ornament. These were really easy and turned out super cute. (I guess I should make a little tutorial on that one at some point).

orn 2012

So this year was the first year I knew Isaac could actually help in the process. I pinned a bunch of ideas, but landed on the felt Christmas trees with button ornaments. This has been one of his favorite things about Christmas… “the Kiss-mas tree!” He even sings “O Kissmas tee, oh Kissmas tee, …I love you branches.” Which, as you can imagine is pretty adorable.

So I bought the supplies: A few sheets of green felt, and 2 packs of buttons. I had the twine and glue from other projects. I prepped the trees for him, by drawing a tree as my stencil then cutting out 5 tree shapes. 
orn 1
Then I sat him down with bowls of buttons by colors. He decided one bowl was enough and dumped them all together. I would put a few glue dots and let him pick the colors and place them as he wished.orn 2 He took the whole process very seriously. See his “concentration-face”? orn 3 orn 4 I wasn’t sure how long he would last on this project but before I knew it we had all 5 trees done. You can see them here before the glue had dried (It did dry clear). Cute right? I love the imperfection that show them as his. orn 5The ornaments were done, but Isaac (and Rosie) were not. So I quickly cut out a triangle and let him do a “Big Tree”! He has discovered that bigger is better…big cheese, big cookie, etc.  I figure that I could trim and frame this one with some type of Christmas quote in the future, but as for now we added it to the kitchen memo board so Isaac can see his masterpiece.
orn 7

orn 6

I added a loop of twine to each ornament. I like the rough texture and additional color. I took a needle to start a hole at the top of the tree. Because the twine was so thick, I had to expand the hole a bit bigger with a fork prong. I laced it through and tied a knot. I wrote his name, the year, and his age on the back with a black sharpie. Isaac was excited to hang ours on our tree. Below, you see the finished product in a gift box to be passed on to grandma and grandpa. Once they each opened the gift, Isaac insisted on taking the ornament to the tree in the room and hang it up. That meant that Great Grandpa and Great Grandma’s went onto Uncle Paul’s tree for a minute, since that was the house we were at. Made sense to Isaac!
orn  bannerI think next year I will end up doing two, as I want to make the “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament for the baby in a different color. We will see what Isaac is in to next year. From there on out, I see us just making the same ornaments.

It’s a fun little family tradition! I will be back this week with a few of our favorite holiday moments After all, this is my digital scrapbook.

Isaac 2.0

2 party isacIsaac turned 2 in September. And, even though I have yet to get his 2 year pics done, I do have some favorites and stats that I want to keep for memories (I’ll update pics later). I’d  like to interview him these questions each year in the future. Probably start next year, but this is what I think he would answer at 2.

FAVORITES AT 2 YEARS OLD:
Favorite Food: Yogurt. Cheese. Milk. Juice.
Favorite Sport: Swinging and Somersaults
Best Show on TV: Thomas the Train
The Coolest Person on Earth: Mommy
My Favorite Thing about School: Playing at the train table with the big boys
My Favorite Thing to Learn About is: ABCs
My Favorite Thing I Have is: My new Rosie the Train and 2nd to that is Thomas.
The Thing I Do Most Awesomely is: Puzzles. Climb. Make life fun.
If I could go anywhere in the world it would be: Krogers or Chick-fil-a
My Favorite Color is: Pink
The Way I Sleep is: In my crib with an adult pillow, Daddy’s warm blanket, a baby blanket to snuggle and my buddies Elmo, Benny Bear and Meow the Cat.
When I grow up I am going to be: Daddy
My Current Favorite Song is: Thomas the Train or You Are My Sunshine
The Book I Am Loving Right Now Is: Curious George’s Big Book of Curiosity
The Words That Describe Me Are: Happy, Determined, and Funny
When I Was Little I used to: Be in the Baby Room.
Favorite Season of the Year: Summer b/c I get to play with the neighbors.
The Snack I like best is: Goldfish (or “Dolfish”)
One Food I dislike is: Pasta, Mashed Potatoes, & Most Vegetables
My Best Friend is: Judah
If I had One Wish it would be: To see Anna-Ellie a lot.
Best Memory is: Playing the Sock Game with Dad and yelling “Hey!”

STATS AT 2 YEARS OLD:
33.6 lbs
38.25 inches tall
Wearing size 2T clothes, size 5 diapers, and 7.5 shoes

Kid-friendly Juices for Two

Last week I joined 20,000 of my closest friends on a “beans and rice” fast with my church. The goal was to live on sustenance and give out of our abundance – for one week. We pooled together all the money we saved only eating rice and beans to donate to three charities. We raised a BUNCH of money (I’ll update once I am allowed to share the amount).

I wasn’t sure I could eat beans and rice for breakfast, so instead I did coffee and juice. And, since Isaac has been kinda choosy with his eating, I decided to make some homemade juice that he could share. I found some recipes on Pinterest.
juice 1 bannerJUICE #1 – Orchard Dream 
3 apples / 3 stalks of celery / 4 carrots / tablespoon of ginger

Carrots are a great vegetable to juice. And, even thought I am not a huge carrot lover, I know they are so healthy for me. Great for my skin and vision as well as a cancer preventer. It is a great base for juice. I have often juiced apple and carrot together, but this was my first time using the granny smith apples along with ginger. This was Isaac’s first juice and he loved it! He drank it all down while riding with me to work. I wish I had given him a little more in his cup!
juice 2 bannerJUICE #2 - Pineapple Green Lemonade
1/3 pineapple / 1/2 head of romaine lettuce / 5 stalks celery / 1 cucumber / 1 1/2 small lemons

I was really excited about trying his juice. I love lemonade and was happily surprised when left with a very tart (and still sweet from the pineapple) aftertaste. This recipe made a lot more than the first one. So, I literally was drinking it until lunch. I was full but did not want to waste any of it!  Note that my lemons in this picture were large not small, which was fine with me but a little too tart for Isaac (insert cute toddler pucker face here). The next time I tried this recipe, I reduced the lemon and he liked it much more.

juice5If you are new to juicing you might not know where to start. I am definitely not an expert on juicing, but here are some of my personal opinions and tips.

12 Tips for New Juicers
1. Start with recipes that use vegetables and fruits that you already like to eat.
2. Plan on replacing a meal or a majority of a meal with the juice. Vegetable juices are much heavier and more filling than store bought fruit juices.
3. Prep all your produce before you start juicing. Prep the night before busy mornings. Make sure to wash produce before coring and cutting.
4. Drink your juice cold. This works if you juice produce straight from the fridge too.
5. Juice only enough for one day. Start fresh the next day.
6. Add sweetness (like apples or pineapples) to veggies to bring balance.
7. If you don’t love the taste, use a straw and try again. It kinda begins to grow on you.
8. When you can, drink your veggies and eat your fruits.
9. Clean your juicer right away to save scrubbers elbow.
10. Venture out and try adding new produce to the bases that you already like.
11. If you’re juicing for kids, start them young and get them involved in the process.
12. Juice regularly!

Juicing is a great way to get nutrients into your body without having to consume the whole vegetables! Give a try. It is so good for you and you will love the natural energy!

juicing collage2

foods to try

Toddler Food Funk

A few months ago, I would proudly claim that my son would “eat anything except mashed potatoes and avocado”. I was proud that he was such a good eater. But, now? My he’ll-eat-anything-son has quickly turned into a he’ll-eat-that-maybe-some-of-the time-son. I wouldn’t call him a picky eater, because he still eats many things, but he is slowly getting preferential to some foods at certain times. He has also taken on a deep passionate affair with his milk. He walks to the fridge and looks at me, signs “please”, and asks me in his way to give him his milk….20 times a day!
He is a healthy boy, weighing in at 28 lbs and 3 oz. a couple weeks ago; I am not at all worried about his health. I do, however, want to make sure that I am giving him enough variety and trying things enough times to give him the opportunity to like them.

photo

Back when Isaac started eating solids, I made a sorta cheat sheet to hang inside the cabinet. It was helpful for Doug and Isaac’s grandparents when they were wondering what was OK to feed him. It has evolved into a short list of his staple foods. I’ve updated it a few times over the last year.

I thought I would add another list – “foods to try” to help me think creatively when preparing foods for him, especially breakfasts & lunches. For dinner we mostly have him eat what we are eating and since we don’t eat the same thing every night, neither does he. Also, his appetite is lowest at dinner.

What did moms do without the internet? I spent 15 minutes searching online and got some good ideas. My favorite finds were Wholesome Toddler Food, Toddler Lunch Ideas, and Feeding the Picky Eater - 17 Tips. I also spent some time reading about toddler nutrition reviewing toddler portion sizes. As I made some notes, I tried not to discount foods that I don’t like, since Isaac already loves things that I don’t care for (like yogurt).
foods to tryI also updated Isaac’s staple list.
staplesI hung them both back in the cabinet where I keep his plates, cups, snacks and etc. I see these notes on a daily basis. I feel like now if I am ever feeling the food funk, I can try  one of these ideas.
cabinet doorI think that the best thing that came out of this little project was being reminded that I already knew a lot about toddler eating. Yep, Isaac is one!! He should be picky, he should be grazing, and it is all OK. Plus, it’s not like I haven’t been down this road with many kids before, and they have all turned out just fine. Through my experiences as a nanny I followed a few unwritten principles. I think that writing them down will remind me to live by them with Isaac as well.

9 Principles to Feed By:
1. Don’t focus on each meal for nutrition, instead look at what the child ate in a day or even week.
2. Don’t stress about food, kids will pick up that
3. Everything in moderation.
4. Keep offering foods over, and over, and 14 times over.
5. Try foods in different locations and served in different containers.
6. Model nutrition.
7. Don’t discount foods I don’t like myself.
8. Sit and eat as a family – enjoy the experience!
9. Kid portions are small.

I plan to relax a bit and remember lessons I have already learned. I also plan to try new things with the boy and new things myself.