Sunday Things

  • The weather has been incredibly perfect lately. Morning walks are becoming the norm for Sophia and I and she really seems to enjoy them. They break up our mornings since some days she wakes up earlier than others.

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  • As picture above entails, she’s also pretty obsessed with bringing all of her favorite animals with us, everywhere.
  • I’m really starting to get on the healthy exercise train since the weather is cooling down. I hate the heat, so this cool air is welcomed with open arms.
  • I tried Costco’s Spinach, Artichoke + Parmesan dip this weekend and it’s amazing. I don’t have a membership there, but am more than welcome to the idea of it being brought to my doorstep in exchange for other delicious food. Any takers?

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  • We took Sophia to a party about an hour away from us in Delaware on Saturday. We’re really trying to take her to more places to expose her to different environments. We usually take the babysitter approach, but it seemed fitting to bring her.
  • Important to note: She still won’t sleep anywhere else besides the car, her own crib, or my parent’s house. Double edge sword. So naturally she partied with us until 10:30ish and we headed home. She crashed almost immediately in the car, and transferred smoothly to her crib. Us being the old people we are, followed suit.
  • Sophia is obsessed with nail polish. I’ve never put it on her, she just likes carrying the bottles of it around.

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  • I took the toy popper out of the closet on Friday, and it will be going back away tonight. So. Much. Popping.
  • It’s soup weather! That means, Kylie makes every soup under the sun, and Sophia eats all of them. Literally, all of them.
  • Fun fact: She can say “Elsa” but still won’t say “Mommy”. Rude.
  • We have VERY busy weekends coming up this fall, so the next couple weekends will be for mentally preparing for all of it. Once we get a break, it’s Thanksgiving, and then Sophia’s 2nd Birthday (holy crap) and then Christmas. My planner wants to catch fire.
  • I still haven’t had Pumpkin anything, and it’s going to stay that way until at least October.
  • I want to paint incredibly bad, but when I actually sit and think about doing it? It can wait until tomorrow.

And here’s your dose of Sunday cuteness.

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Because They Are Toddlers

You’ll make the food they ask for, and watch them take one bite and sign, “all done”.

Because they are toddlers.

You will get them dressed, hair brushed, snack + drink ready, for them to run upstairs in protest of getting in the car.

Because they are toddlers.

You will be subjected to public tantrums and obvious shaming from other “non-parents” for their behavior.

Because they are toddlers.

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They. Are. Toddlers.

I need to remind myself of this every day. Every single day brings struggles. Toddlers are extremely frustrating, loud, loving, cuddly little things. Most of them are bipolar, at least mine is most days. They’re picky eaters, or they just don’t eat in general. They love the stroller one day, hate the stroller the next day. Nothing is ever the same, and everything changes day-to-day. You never know what kind of day you’re going to have, especially if they wake up on the wrong side of the crib.

And why?

Because they are toddlers, and that’s what these little crazy people do ;)

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me, Part 1

 

1. I’m Happiest When: I’m well-rested and filled with food. Pure happiness.

2. I love to spend free time: eating. I love to eat.

3. I’ve always wanted to: Go on an all-inclusive vacation. I don’t think I’d drink enough to make it worth the price, but I’d still love to go.
4. My family and I: are probably the youngest in our neighborhood. 
5. I was a terrible: Traveler. Two words: motion sickness.

6. My first job ever was: A counter girl at the Pavilion Arcade on the Point Pleasant boardwalk!
7. I could probably eat: a Buffalo Bleu Salad from Houlihan’s everyday. Fried chicken, extra garlic ranch dressing.

8. I stole: Some of Sophia’s drink at the park yesterday. Oooops.

9. I was born on the same day as: My grandma on my dad’s side.
10. My all-time favorite film is: The Wizard of Oz

11. I do a pretty mean: Chicken Enchiladas, thanks to my sister Melissa 
12. I’m still mad: That chambray is still happening.

13. My favorite color is and three things that are the color are: gray, lilac + green. Gray is our house interior, lilac + green are Sophia’s nursery colors.
14. I always knew I wanted: To be a mommy.
15. I’m not afraid to: flip someone off for being a horrible driver. I’m from NJ, old habits die hard.

16. I make the best: smoothies! If they taste like sherbet, I’m happy.
17. I have almost no: Patience. But who has patience with a toddler?
18. I’m (now): A Jersey Girl stuck in Maryland. Maybe one day we’ll move back.
19. I always cry when: I watch Aladdin. I truly can’t believe the Genie has been set free, for real. #RIPRobinWilliams

20. I spent 12 years: In school? Haha. I don’t think I’ve done anything specifically for 12 years.

21. My ideal weather climate for everyday would be: No higher than 75, partly cloudy, always with a breeze.

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with: Eating a banana, a yogurt and a piece of cheese for lunch.

23. I believe if everyone was: happier, the world would be a better place. (Kept this the same as Brittany)
24. I can’t stand: Maryland drivers. They’re awful, and they’re always eating. Always. Never fails.

25. Whenever: it rains, I smile. Sophia always sleeps later in the morning if it stays darker in her room from the rain.

City Mini GT *Review

I’ve wanted this stroller since I started my baby registry in 2012 during my pregnancy with Sophia. I was a new mom and since it’s expensive, and I hadn’t really researched it a ton, I went with the Graco Trekko 3-Wheel Travel System. Wrong choice. It was huge, incredibly bulky and while it pushed like a dream, I could barely get it in and out of the car by myself. Then, it broke. Graco refunded my money, and I bought the same system again, in black this time. Then, it broke. Another refund, another purchase of yet again, a Graco stroller. I loved this stroller, and thought this was my end-all search. Wrong again. My love equaled Sophia’s hatred. I sold it recently, and we finally went ahead and purchased the Baby Jogger City Mini GT stroller in Black/Black.

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It’s beautiful. It’s compact.

The entire stroller liner and canopy can be removed and washed in the washing machine(?!). The handle bar is height-adjustable (GT version only) so it’s comfortable for both my husband and I to push. The harness is simple. It reclines nearly flat so napping is always an option. Mesh allows the breeze, but comes with a built-in weather cover in case it rains. The canopy is amazing – no other word can describe it, along with its two peek-a-boo windows. Your pedicure will never be ruined because the (GT version) comes equipped with a hand brake. Best part, it collapses in one motion. You pull a single handle and it folds/locks in seconds.

They’ve really thought of everything.

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The best part is that Sophia loves this stroller. It’s been a fight to get her into the lower-end jogger we have for walks, and it’s not pretty. This stroller gives us the ability to get outdoors + have fun doing it.  It’s also a dream to push. It has forever-air tires and won’t ever get a flat. They’re also quick-release, which allows you to make the stroller lighter or more compact if need be.

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I’d say the only con about the stroller would be the weight, but the GT tires are completely worth it. If someone stole it, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another one immediately.

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The price may set many people off. I completely understand, as I didn’t purchase it for two years. However, Baby Jogger just did a logo change and slashed the prices on all 2013 models! I got this stroller for a steal, even cheaper than the original City Mini!

I haven’t purchased any Baby Jogger accessories for it yet. I only have the Choopie City Grips which are a MUST on every stroller I own now, and the Diono stroller console which I’ve had for over a year now. Both so affordable and something I use every day. I also had a pair of stroller hooks that I attached on the stroller mid-frame to hang the diaper bag so that it resolved the “tipping” issue that is heard of with the GT version.

 

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Do you have this stroller or a similar one? Do you love it?

Toddler Tantrums + Recipes

Oh toddlers. They’re funny little humans. Well, at least they think they’re funny.

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I mean, look at that face. There is no possible way that this cute little girl could throw a tantrum.

Lies. LIES. LIES.

I’m going to preface this by saying that Sophia’s tantrum spurts started almost overnight. I think that’s why the first tantrum came as such a shock to us. There are a lot of things that Sophia finds completely normal some days, such as drinking coffee creamer, standing on the dining room table, and painting the floor with the remnants of her morning milk cup. I can (sometimes) prevent a meltdown but other times, they’re inevitable.

One thing we’ve learned with Sophia is to not intervene if she gets upset, more specifically at night when she’s already in bed. It could be a bad dream, a thunderstorm, a lost-for-a-second bunny, teething pain, or gas. Unless she’s crying for a solid 3+ minutes, we physically cannot go in her room. She gets so much more upset if we go into her room and try to calm her down. It’s extremely frustrating at times, but it’s what works for her, so we make it work for us.

I’ve found that the redirect + ignore technique works for us at the moment. No, I don’t mean put her in the basement to cry it out. So during the day, I try to redirect as much as possible. Where is your bunny? Would you like a snack? Where’s your balloon? Do you want to color? Are you thirsty? One of these questions will usually follow up with a small “yes” and all is right with the world. When that doesn’t happen, I turn the shoulder. She realizes that I’m not bringing attention to her tantrum, and that when she shows me what she wants, or would like to do something, she can do it without a tantrum. It may not be the technique that works for every parent or child, but it works for us. Believe me – once you’re a parent and you find something that works, you stick with it. Don’t stray. It could cost you your sanity.

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So that’s where we are on tantrums. Fun stuff. Not.

On the recipe end, I did find this delicious recipe on Pinterest for Chicken Lozone. It’s delicious and it’s even better the next day.

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It’s so beautifully delicious. Incredibly fattening, but that’s okay. Because I said so.

On another incredibly random note, we got a new stroller! Yes, it’s like my 7th stroller. Judge away, I only own two now :D

Anyway, it’s beautiful, and Sophia finally doesn’t scream bloody murder when I throw the idea of going for a walk in her stroller around the neighborhood. She actually gets super excited, climbs into it herself(?!) and asks for an apple slice. Every. Single. Time.

It’s awesome, and well worth the money.

Annnndddd, I’m not going to tell you what it is because that would spoil my review on it for Monday’s blog post ;)

Sorry for the abrupt stopping of the blog posts, life happened. See you Monday – until then, we’ll be enjoying our smoothies.

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Playtex Straw Sippy Cup – Old vs. New

Sophia learned how to use a straw from a young age. She started with the normal spout sippy cups, but was more interested in using a straw. So, I got a couple straw cups, and the rest is history.

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(There are 4-5 more of these in the dishwasher)

Until they updated one of her favorites.

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Now I needed to give these a whirl, obviously, given my baby gear/item obsession. The two-pack I bought were on sale for $7, which is reasonable. When the cups are $9+ that’s when I look elsewhere, like Amazon or Marshalls. When I got them home, I realized we have one of the cups already, but in the older version. Same pattern, colors, everything. Just, newer.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A few immediate differences in the cup come from what you see before you even buy them in the store. It’s about the same height as the old cup, but skinnier. It’s also lighter, but almost looks more cheaply made? I guess we’ll see over time. The straw is longer, which is ideal since Sophia can never efficiently get every bit of water out of her cups. The sliding mechanism to close the straw is a bit different. Also, the straws are slightly different, as are how they connect inside the lids, shown below.

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(new straw – left / old straw – right)

So far, one main con I can see is how lightweight the cups are. Yes, it’s ideal, but not for a toddler. If you have a toddler, you know that they knock over everything. Most of her sippy cups get knocked over during meal time, but she barely tapped this one and it flew off her tray. Luckily, these cups are leak-proof (so far) and haven’t spilled a drop.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A major pro for me is the way the cup locks. HALLELUJAH THEY GOT THIS RIGHT. It (finally) doesn’t take excessive force and water exploding out of the straw to screw closed the lid. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me. So, in rebuttal to the old cup having a “leak proof” claim, it doesn’t leak when used, but totally leaks when you’re putting it together.

It’s still early in the testing process for us. I’ve hand washed them and they’ve washed well, but let’s be honest, these cups go right in the dishwasher. We use a little cage that came with our dishwasher for the straw parts, and we always use the sanitize setting on our dishwasher.

What’s your child’s favorite sippy cup? I’d love to go get 12 more to try ;)

Motherhood is Hard

Actually, it’s way harder than I thought it would be. Who knew?

Sophia has probably been the easiest baby and toddler on the planet. She’s pretty adaptable, and almost always well behaved. She’s pretty shy in certain situations, and is very clingy when she’s around strangers. I will never be mad at my daughter for not wanting to say hi to someone she doesn’t know. Isn’t that how kids get abducted nowadays?

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We attempted a one-day trip to Brooklyn over the weekend, and slightly failed. Usually our trips up north are an overnight-stay type of trip. We’ve never subjected her to more than 2 1/2 hours in the car at a time, except that one time it took us 4+ hours to get home from NJ and she was nursing newborn and slightly starving. For this trip, we were in the car at 10am and didn’t get to our destination until almost 2pm.

Needless to say, Sophia was not a fan.

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Screaming, kicking, dirty looks, and throwing of toys, food and drinks occurred. I wanted to turn around and go home. I feel like no trip is worth her unhappiness. (Also, I’m against drugging her with Benadryl, like many other moms recommended to me. It just doesn’t sit right with me.) Regardless, she was better once we got there, and even better once she had an entire plate of eggplant parmesan, ziti, penne vodka, lemon chicken, and salad in her belly. But now, it was 4pm. This little girl didn’t have a nap at all, besides a cat nap from screaming herself to sleep in the car.

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Sophia and I are the exact same person when it comes to tiredness and hunger. We get extremely angry, bratty, and unreasonable. Ask my husband, we are not fun to deal with. So that is totally me I see in her when she hits that brick wall of tiredness. In all of her almost year and a half in this world, I’ve never seen this girl throw a tantrum of this magnitude, in public no less. Let’s just say she’s got this whole toddler thing backwards. She’ll throw a tantrum at home, but in public? She’s an angel. It’s the weirdest thing ever, and I’m not sure how to deal with it sometimes.

That one day, that single day-trip, made me absolutely think twice about having another baby.

Over three hours later, we arrived home. [Insert completely happy child here]. Nothing but smiles and giggles on her end, and nothing but Tylenol PM and a bed on our end. It’s Monday and I’m still exhausted trying to remember the details from the day. Not to mention, Jason didn’t get home until 11:30pm Friday night, so we didn’t get off on the right foot to begin with.

That was a tough day. I’ll admit that. Sophia has been extremely tough to deal with these past few days, and I’m finding myself not being the calm, collected person that I usually am with her. I’m getting angry, shouting at her, and then I realize she doesn’t understand. I realize that her being upset is the only way to tell me what’s wrong. Me yelling at her doesn’t make anything better, and it makes me feel like a horrible mom. But this right here? This made me feel like I’m doing something right.

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