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Toddler 101: Road trips with toddlers made easier.

We all know that traveling with toddlers isn’t the most fun. They get restless and tired from being confined to their car seat and then morph into demons. Don’t worry though; I’m here to help you make traveling with your toddler better for everyone in the car.
Dress Them Comfortably
Dress them in something easy like, sweatpants or leggings. Would you want to sit in a car seat for hours in jeans? I think not. If it’s cold out, loose long sleeves, but remember to not put your child in the car seat with a big poofy jacket on!! My daughter is always messing with her shoes like they are bothering her when she’s in the car, so I put her in slippers for long car rides and she doesn’t fuss with them.

This is a lifesaver for me and my daughter. Having Hotspot helps too but it isn’t necessary. You can download movies on the tablet from Netflix before hand for your road trip. Unfortunately for me, my daughter likes to watch videos on YouTube so I use my entire Hotspot data on her. There are also a ton of fun learning app that you can download as well. Don’t forget the tablet charger!
Comforting Items
When going on a road trip with my daughter, bringing the things that comfort her helps tremendously. I bring my daughter’s blanket and one of her favorite babies. I really bring her blanket to prop her head up when she falls asleep. Lol
THEY ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY AND ALWAYS WANT SNACKS! I bring granola bars, fruit, cheerios, juice and water. Don’t forget the spill-proof cup! For thanksgiving, I made toddler trail mix which is perfect for road trips with kids. I shall leave the link…Here . I’m telling you, kids love this. My 14 year old step son was eating it too.
Take Frequent Breaks
Make frequent stops so your kids don’t get restless or get leg cramps is essential. I know this delays your trip time but trust me, it’s better to be late than to have a miserable toddler in the car. Besides, when traveling with toddlers you should of planned beforehand to take frequent breaks.
Trolls Soundtrack
Whatever movie or TV show your kid is into right now, they change often, bring the soundtrack. My daughter is into the movie Trolls right now and absolutely loves the soundtrack. Anytime we’re in the car and a “Trolls” song comes on, she sings and dances.
Have fun on your next road trip with your little’s and make sure you are prepared. I highly suggest making the toddler trail mix! 😉

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Toddlers 101: Guide To Toddler Proofing Your Life.

For all you first time mom’s,
If you think your new crawler gets into everything, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Toddlers, they run. They run and jump and climb like freaking ninjas. You think I’m kidding? Come watch my 2 year old for an hour. Hahahaha. Don’t worry though, there are ways to toddler proof your life. I’m not gonna lie, there is no accurate method to 100% toddler proof.

Safety Gates
These are perfect for rooms with no doors, like the kitchen, unless you have an odd shaped kitchen. It seems like the kitchen is my daughters favorite room other than the bathroom. Thank goodness the bathroom has a door. Lol. Speaking of bathroom doors, this brings me to my next item…

Doorknob/Handle Safety Locks
I haven’t had to buy these yet because the knobs we have, Averie can’t open yet. She can however open the door handles that you just have to pull down. Found that out when we went to visit my Grandma out of state and Averie opened the front door and walked out. She didn’t get very far, but she kept going back to that door the rest of the day once she figured out how easy it was to open it. Lol.

Cupboard Locks
These are essential! Especially for the cleaning supplies cupboard. Unless you plan on following your toddler around the house 24/7. There isn’t a cupboard that my daughter doesn’t try to get in. The pan cupboard is her favorite. If you keep pans in a low cupboard like I do, I highly suggest locking that one too. Averie dropped a glass pan lid on her foot once. Nothing that her Mama couldn’t kiss and make better but it could have caused a serious injury.

Toilet Locks
Yes, I am suggesting to lock your toilets. Toddlers LOVE to put things in the toilet and flush. They also think it’s a fun water table and love to splash in it. The other day, my husband didn’t shut the door to our room, which I constantly remind him to do and Averie disappeared and we found her in our bathroom, sticking all her toys in the toilet, saying she was giving them a bath…

Toddler Sippy Cups That REALLY ARE SPILL PROOF
I cannot express enough how much I love these cups. The kids drink from them like a regular cup but it has a rubber thing at the top that makes it spill proof. My daughter thinks it’s a “Big person” cup so she loves it. Warning: Cup becomes non-spill proof when thrown at wall or ground in a tantrumous rage.

All of these toddler proofing items are awesome and work great. Tip: If your child is a climber and the safety gates are nothing for them, get two and put one on top of the other. Oh, and don’t even bother buying shelves. They will climb those. Toddlers are ninjas AND monkeys. Not a good combo.

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Dear Stay at home moms, I give you props.

The other day, My friend Ashley Moore wrote a blog post, called, Dear working moms, We struggle too. I thought I’d write a response post to hers.
For the first year of my daughter’s life, I was a SAHM. Today, I have a full time job, working 40 hours a week., and yeah, being away from my kid is hard but honestly, in my opinion, being a SAHM is harder by far!
For all of you (dads included) who think staying home with the kids is a cake walk, you must have some screws loose! It’s hard. It’s physical, emotionally and mentally hard. No joke. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being home with my daughter- I got to see most if not all of her firsts which is amazing, but being a SAHM doesn’t just consist of experiencing your babies firsts. It requires cleaning, feeding, more cleaning, diaper changes, laundry, more feedings, more laundry (laundry is never ending by the way), cooking, more cleaning, doctors appointments (alone, which are awful when your little is getting shots), and so on and so forth. If the mom is a breast feeding mom, then you can just forget about the other house work that needs to be done. Their babies will be attached to them pretty much most of the day or they are pumping and if you think breast feeding moms can just clean in between feedings, you are wrong. Breast feeding is so draining. There’s barely any sleeping, so you best believe that these moms are going to sleep for the short periods of time in between feedings while their little’s are asleep instead of doing laundry or dishes. Sorry, not sorry.
Now, let’s talk about the social life of a SAHM. Yeah… It’s non-existent. When I was a SAHM, I was eager for my husband to get home to hear about about his day, tell him about the color or physical appearance of our child’s poop that day, or pretty much anything. It’s hard to hang out with your friends who don’t have kids and sometimes just as hard to hang out with your friends who are moms because like Ashley said, sometimes things don’t always align right.

I give major props to the SAHM’s. I do honestly believe that your job is harder. I can say this because, I’ve been where you’re at. I’ve felt what you feel. I know how lonely and tiring it is. I know how lame you feel for knowing every song from Mickey mouse club house or whatever your child’s favorite show is. Trust me, I do know.

As much as I love my daughter, I wouldn’t choose to be a SAHM again. I like getting up at 5am and being to work by 6am every morning. I enjoy the wind down drives home. Honestly, I like missing my daughter. I love the excitement I get from my daughter when I get home from work. I love all the welcome home hugs and kisses she gives me.
For those SAHM’s who have more than one kid, you ladies deserve an award for staying home and still putting a smile on your face while pretending you aren’t close to losing your sanity. You deserve a weekly paycheck and your own show on TLC. You are the real supermoms.

For all of you who hasn’t been a stay at home parent for more than a few months or hasn’t been one at all, watch what you say to those parents who have. They work hard too. They don’t get paid. They often miss meals and rarely sleep more than 2 hours at a time and unfortunately, often go days without showering. Be compassionate and understanding. Whether you are a SAHM or  a WM, we’re all moms. Let’s lift each other up and be there for each other.

With love,
A former SAHM who is now a WM.

Read my friend, Ashley’s blog.

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Happy first Birthday to my Baby Girl

Today is a bittersweet day for me. My baby girl is one year old. My pregnancy went by so fast and her first year did as well. She has such a personality already. She is sassy but sweet. The best way I can describe her is by saying she is a sourpatch kid. She will yell at me but then give me kisses.

Her Likes:

  • Music
  • Tarzan
  • Doc Mcstuffins
  • Shoes
  • Baby Cheetos
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Spaghetti
  • Bath time
  • Her brother
  • Brother’s room
  • Her babies (Stuffed animals)
  • Bracelets
  • Anyone’s bellybutton
  • My lips Lol
  • DVD Shelves

 Her Dislikes:

    • The word “No”
    • Peas
    • When anyone walks away from her
    • When shes locked out of the kitchen
    • When we won’t let her eat dog food
    • Basically when she doesn’t get her way
    It’s amazing how much babies learn in just one year. She is already so smart. She was saying “Mom” & “Dada” around 8 months old. Today, on her birthday, she stood up on her own for the first time…of course I was not in the room when she did it and her daddy didn’t have time to record it. *Sigh* She has refused to try and stand. She wouldn’t even straighten out her legs when we tried to help her stand. I know she will do it when she is ready to.
    What She has learned recently:
    • How to wave. She actually waves at people the right way and not at herself like most babies do at first.
    • She says, “Ohhh Cool!”, “Pretty”, “Haaay”, “Bath” and her own little word that I have no idea what it means, “Bacah”. 
    • If you ask her where her Piggies are, she will point to her toes and if you ask her where her nose is, she will point to that too. We are working on the rest. 
    • She does the “Roll em” part of patty cake.
    She learns things pretty fast actually. Her papa taught her how to say “Pretty” and she got it in one day. 
    I couldn’t have asked for any better in a daughter. She just puts a smile on everyone’s face. She dances all the time and she makes sure everyone is watching. Today we were talking to a police officer and she wouldn’t stop staring at him. He waved at her and she got this huge grin and waved back. 
    She is so entertaining. She will laugh if she hears anyone else laugh. She still does her little fake cough that her Papa taught her but it works to get her to open her mouth when I am trying to feed her. 
    This year went by too quickly for me. I remember having her like it was just yesterday and now she’s one!!! I am super proud of who she is and that I get to be her mama. I do have to admit, she does have my attitude (Poor Erich. LOL). I think she has qualities from both mama and daddy equally. She’s sassy like me and stubborn like Erich. some people say her eyes look like her dad’s and her mouth looks like mine. I don’t know. lol. But everyone tells me that she looks exactly like her brother did when he was her age! 
    A bit of advice to mamas with newborns & mamas to be, Hold your baby close, any chance you can. Cuddle with them whenever you can. Pick them up when they cry as often as you feel.  Don’t listen to others when they tell you to “not spoil your baby”. When they get older, they won’t always want to cuddle or be held and it’ll break your heart. Your babies don’t stay babies forever, so let them be babies. Don’t let anyone tell you how to parent or make you feel like you aren’t “doing it right”. 
    My Baby is One. *Sobbing*
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    SAHM life.

    Lately I have heard a lot of talk about how being a stay at home mom is not hard work. Wrong!

    I am only a first time mom and of one and if I think this can be difficult, I can’t imagine how a SAHM of 2 or more kids feels. Those women deserve a prize. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mom and would rather do this than work for many reasons, one of them being that I trust very few people and don’t trust daycare at all.
    You have to have patience for this “job”, a lot of patience and compassion. Your client is very demanding and has no self control. LOL
    Being a SAHM is hard physically & emotionally. You’re lucky if you get a full 5 hours straight of sleep but you learn to function off of 3. You forget to eat sometimes as well. Oh and showers are like vacation. Luckily My daughter loves taking baths with me now so I get to shower every other day.

    I think the hardest part of being a SAHM is when your baby won’t stop crying and you can’t seem to figure why.
    I remember 2 weeks after I brought my daughter home, she was crying one night, non stop. She started around 8 pm and she cried until around 1 am. I tried everything and nothing seem to make her feel better. I was so overwhelmed and exhausted, at one point, I cried with her. I think babies know when you’re most tired and decided, that’s the night that they are going to pull an all-nighter.
    Just recently when my husband and I decided we needed a date night, our daughter decided that we didn’t. We started getting ready to leave around 7 pm and didn’t actually leave the house until around 11:30 pm. Averie was not happy that night and would not go to sleep or let anyone else hold her but me.
    If you are a breastfeeding momma, then you know how difficult it can be. My daughter wanted to nurse 24/7. When breastfeeding, it makes both of you tired so imagine breastfeeding 24/7. Exhausting. 
    You learn to really multi-task. I can cook a full meal while holding a frustrated baby. I can pretty much do everything with one hand now. Definitely not easy.
    My daughter is in a “I want Momma” phase. So anytime I walk away from her, she cries. When I put her down after 45 straight minutes of holding her, she cries. When I try to hand her to daddy when he gets home from work, she’ll smile and interact with him for about 10 minutes and then she’ll cry.
    Being a SAHM isn’t hard just for the work you do but for the strain that your significant other is willing to endure so you can be a SAHM. I couldn’t imagine being a single mom. I am very thankful for my Husband. He took extra hours at work so I could stay home with our daughter and his son.
    Another thing that can be difficult is not having a social life. I feel like I talk to more people I don’t know on the Internet than I do to people I actually know.
    For the first 2 months of my daughters life, I never went anywhere, except to doctors appointments. I felt that it was easier not to pack a diaper bag and lug her down the stairs. I am definitely a home body! I do go stir crazy at times though. The few times I did plan to leave the house, my daughter decided that she was going to be a crab that day. Basically she decides when I go anywhere or how long I stay somewhere. (Baby dictator) LOL

    I never get to watch what I want. I know every song from Mickey Mouse Club House.
    I don’t get to eat when I want.
    I definitely don’t get to sleep when I want. Especially now since I am transitioning my daughter from her Rock n Play to her crib.
    I don’t get to go to the bathroom when I want.
    I pretty much don’t get to do anything I want when I want. Unless it’s nap time.

    There are my thoughts. I just wanted to throw my input in about the whole SAHM thing. It is by no means easy.
    *I noticed that most the mom’s that talk about SAHM’s have never been one full time.

    It’s hard but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. <3

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    Nap time.

    Lets be honest here, as much as we love spending time playing with our babies and making them laugh, we love nap time just as much. Nothing wrong with that. Babies need sleep and mommas need mom time to do whatever.

    once Averie turned 2 months old, she would not take a nap longer than 15 minutes, a few times a day. I could never get anything done or even take a nap myself which we all know is what most of us moms want/need. Just a few weeks ago she started taking two, hour and a half to two hour naps a day. I was beginning to think that she would never take naps.

    Today she fell asleep for her first nap and I decided I was going to clean my kitchen and living room which is strange because I usually choose to nap with her. I guess I had more energy today. Haha.
    A lot of the times when I choose to nap with her, it seems like she knows I am trying to sleep too and then wakes up and wants to play. Pretty much every time!

    Although this quote is funny, it does not work with my daughter.
    I think she can sense when I am awake or in the room.
    So, during nap time today, I did not nap. I actually accomplished something. I finally got my kitchen cleaned…just for it to be messed up by tomorrow. I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning! When you live with boys and dogs, you pretty much have this kind of relationship with cleaning anything!
    This is what I was working with earlier. There are actually far more dishes than shown here; pans that were left on the stove from last nights spaghetti dinner. I hate washing pans. They.Are.Evil. Oh and so are bottles. Washing bottles suck. As much as I love the Dr. Brown’s bottles, they have to be the worst ones to clean ever! I only have 6, so I wash bottles everyday!
    Here is the finished product. I really just hid everything in the dishwasher… Just joking. I’ve thought about though, not gonna lie but I would be the one who has to clean it later. Again, a love/hate relationship.
    I also managed to clean the living room, clean out the fridge, and put clean towels away. All during nap time!
    I now wish I would have taken a nap with Averie. She is WIDE awake and isn’t going to sleep until bedtime around 9 or 10 pm.
    By the time I get the rest of the house cleaned, the rooms I first cleaned will be dirty again.
    Sounds about right.