Reason 827 of Why We Love Cloth Diapers

The coordinating cuteness of a cloth diaper outfit. So cute. So ecofriendly. So stylish. 

I LOVE getting to coordinate outfits around diaper prints. I love pineapples, so naturally, I buy all of the pineapple things. 

This cuteness overload brought to you by cloth diapers. 


Want these styles? Find them here:

Cloth diaper: http://www.liltulips.com

Pineapple hat: https://www.target.com/p/baby-pineapple-print-trucker-hat-cat-jack-153-aqua/-/A-52090467

Pineapple picnic blanket: https://www.target.com/p/yellow-fruit-bed-blanket/-/A-51515081?lnk=rec|slp|search_bought|slp|51515081|0

S’well water bottle: https://www.liltulips.com/products/sip-by-swell?variant=32212247886

Shirt: Sweet Southern Creations on Facebook 

Leggings: Lularoe 

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You Are My Sunshine: An Infertility Reality

Tonight this little cutie was having a difficult time falling asleep. He wanted to “cuddle with his blanket and mom.” Of course, I obliged even though I had already laid him down 30 minutes prior. These cuddles are not as frequent as they were when he was itty bitty. I find myself taking advantage of every moment like this. Constantly wondering if I will ever get to experience this amazing thing called motherhood again. 

I gently swayed back and forth with his big boy body in my arms. I whispered in his ear, asking him if he wanted me to sing him a song. He smiled and replied with, “yeah, Elmo’s song?”

“Of all the songs in the world he wants that one, really?” I thought to myself, yet I immediately smiled at him and started in with the “lalalas”. We sang another song. Then I started singing “You Are My Sunshine”. He quickly laid his head onto my shoulder and was deep breathing in my ear. 
I got through one verse. Then the tears began to fall. How truer are those words right now?

 “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” He is my only sunshine. He is my only. He is the brightest star in my day, in my world. I can’t help but wonder, question, and continue to pray. Will he be my only? Will we be blessed again? When? How? Why has it not happened yet?

“You make me happy when skies are gray.” Gosh, how I, how we have been struggling lately. Struggling to get pregnant, struggling with work, keeping up with life. However, this little boy manages to bring us bountiful joy each and every day. We are always happy to be with him. We are always happy he is ours. 

“You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.” Do children ever understand how deep the love of a parent runs? I know I didn’t. Not until I was a parent myself. 

“Please don’t take my Sunshine away.”

Praying. Praying that God will bless us with another sunshine to make our little sunshine shine even brighter. 

I continued whisper singing to him, with him smiling, and tears in my eyes and cheeks. Many people don’t know this, but we tried for a long time to get this miracle. We have been trying for quite some time for a second one. 

Top Tub Toys for Toddlers

When it comes to toddlers, you really don’t have to spend a ton of money to make bath time fun. However, many of the toys marketed for the bath quickly become moldy, difficult to clean and just plain gross to have around. Here are some simple solutions for fun in the tub without the moldy mess.

#1 The Basic CupDSC_0503

Every single toddler, baby, big kid needs a cup for the tub. This one is quite large and came free with the purchase of a drink! Use it for rinsing, playing, or dumping water all over the floor. No matter how you look at it, a cup is a must have! Our little guy loves filling the cup up and dumping it through other toys.

 

2. A Cup With Holes

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This simple cup with two holes gives my toddler hours of entertainment. He loves to dip it into the water and watch the water come out. Or use it to fill up the bigger cup. This one comes in a set of multi-colored cups, which offers a great opportunity to practice learning colors.

#3 Begin Again Bath Toys

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These things are amazing! They are made of natural rubber and come in many fun shapes. Each one “blows bubbles” when you put it underwater. They easily drain due to larger holes on the underside of each one. We have had these for almost a year and not one has ever had mold on it. If they get dirty you can throw them right in the dishwasher. They also can double as a teether. My little guy LOVES to chew on the blue diver.

Here are some close up photos to better show the features of the Begin Again Bath Toys. They retail for only $4 each. If you are interested in purchasing they are carried at Kelly’s Closet by clicking here.

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#4 Marcus & Marcus Bath Toys

DSC_0519Another fabulous, fun yet easy to clean toy. This toy is made of BPA free and phthalate free silicone. It squirts just like a regular bath squirt toy. What really sets this toy apart is that it has a piece that unscrews allowing the inside to air dry and prevent any mold from forming. I can’t tell you how much money we tossed into bath squirt toys that we had to end up throwing away because of mold. This one is totally worth the money. It can be purchased from Kelly’s Closet by clicking here.

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**This post contains affiliate links.

Tips for a Successful Holiday Photoshoot with a Toddler

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Taking cute Christmas pictures with a toddler was definitely way more challenging than getting cute pictures of a non-walker last year! Here are some tips to take your own toddler’s pictures at home this holiday season.

 

1. Timing

Toddlers can be so temperamental. Take advantage of their happiest time of the day. For these photos we did them first thing in the morning, right after he had eaten breakfast.

 

2. Lighting

Use as much natural light as possible and avoid using the flash.

 

3. Plan but be flexible.

Plan in a sense that everything is readily available. Be flexible. Let your child guide the photoshoot. In my mind I really wanted pictures with lights, just like the year before. Well, after telling him the lights on the tree are hot, he wanted nothing to do with the lights! Luckily I had a basket filled with ornaments on the table. He loved playing “basketball” with the ornaments.  dsc_0019

4. Use wrapping paper as a backdrop.

Each year at the end of the season I buy wrapping paper when it’s on sale. It is a cheap way to get a festive background.

5. You have a toddler, it won’t go as planned

Here are some outtakes from our little photoshoot. They make me laugh. This is life with a toddler. I was patient and still captured the pictures I was hoping for, I especially love the one with our cat, his little buddy.

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Be patient, make it fun.

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Super Easy Edible Play-Doh

We have had an unusually high amount of rainy days this summer. The little monster is becoming more and more challenging to keep entertained indoors all day long so today I decided we would make play-doh.

I love this recipe because it only has a few ingredients, they are cheap ingredients, they are ingredients most people have and my kid can safely eat it. 

I mixed 1 cup of oatmeal, uncooked. 1/2 cup of flour (I used whole wheat because that was the bag that was opened). 1/2 cup of water. Divided it out and mixed in some color. I let it set for about 15 minutes just so it wasn’t as sticky. Oh I also put a dash of cinnamon in.

The dog was excited that the monster was in his seat. She was anticipating meal time. Sure enough, the first thing the monster did was take a bite. He actually liked it. 

He enjoyed exploring by tasting, squishing, squashing, smashing and rolling. 

Again the recipe is 2 parts oatmeal, 1 part flour, 1 part water. Add cinnamon and food coloring if you would like. 

Why I Let Him Fall

Did you chuckle, or full on belly laugh too? It makes me chuckle every time. Go ahead and think I am a “bad mom” and then I will explain why I was right there and let him fall. And no, it is not because I was video taping. 

There are a few reasons why I let this happen and let similar things happen on a daily basis. First off, I knew he was safe. I knew he wasn’t going to get hurt. It wasn’t like I was allowing him to fall from the top of the climbing structure. He had also successfully climbed up the same structure unassisted about 27 times before I decided to record him. 

My second reason is that so many kids these days never experience failure or struggle. We seem to always be right there to help them, to swoop in and protect them. But one day they will go to pre-school, kindergarten, high school, college or into the real world on their own where we will not be there. (I know that’s scary and it sucks to realize that our babies will be there in the blink of an eye.) How can we expect them to handle failure and struggle without freaking out if they have never experienced it, even on the small scale? 

Also, I want my child to know that it is OK to make mistakes. I want him to be able to get back up and try again. And ya know what? In this video that is exactly what he did. He looked at me, I smiled back at him, he smiled back, he got up and climbed to the top by himself. At 16 months old my child has learned that fall doesn’t equate cry every time. Fall does equate get up. 

I let him fall and struggle with other things too because babies and toddlers have amazing brain power. They are problem solvers. They can figure out how to do things in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. I want him to be a problem solver. I want him to realize he doesn’t have to solve a problem in the same way as someone else. 

I want my child to grow up to be determined to accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish. I want him to be able to be able to perservere because life isn’t easy. I want him to have the skills to problem solve and be creative when he needs to be. That is why I let him fall. 

Surviving 40+ Hours in the Car with a Toddler

Before we were even pregnant we swore that we would not let having children change our lives, meaning we wouldn’t stop doing things we love, we would just do them with our kids. We kinda love road trips. I guess that is why we thought it would be OK to be in the car with our almost 16 month old for well over 40 hours across the span of 2 weeks. And ya know what? It WAS OK! No major crying fits. No tantrums. We did it!

Just a little background, we were not in the car for a solid 40+ hours. We took an 8 hour each way round trip to visit family and friends. Were back home for one night, then drove 11.5 hours to visit friends, another hour to do sight seeing with friends, 4 more hours to stay with family, another 4 hours to see more family, and finally 9 hours home. Total time spent in the car 45.5 hours. This doesn’t count the time spent in the car while at each destination.

Here are our tips for traveling road trip style with a small toddler:

  • Travel while they sleep. Whether it is at night or during nap time you can cover some serious ground while your little one is asleep. Make sure you bring what you need to help yourself stay alert.
  • Stop as often as needed. Stop to switch drivers. Stop to eat. Stop to change diapers. Stop to get out and play. You will need to stop more often with kids, but it’s also good for you to stop too. We planned stops where we knew they had a place to play, sometimes this was a friend’s house, or a cloth diaper warehouse. Make it fun.
  • Pack food. We are big snackers in the car. We packed up a reusable shopping bag filled with random snacks for ourselves. I also packed up a few of these awesome bento boxes called a Yumbox with snacks for the toddler. They are perfect for traveling. When we stopped for fast food it also meant that he could still eat healthier. IMG_20160626_100319929
  • Be flexible. Something will not go as planned. You will be later than expected for a stop. The baby will poop right after you get back on the road. Just like with anything else, when you have a toddler, you have to be flexible.
  • Have a bag of car toys. This saved our trip. I kept a little tote filled with his favorite books, little trucks, teethers, stuff he hadn’t seen in a while and kept it in the passenger seat. When he was awake we would hand him something from the bag. When he was done with it we would usually hear “uh oh”, and then hand him the next thing from the bag. It never got old. IMG_20160621_201532116
  • Have an amazing kid. Some of being able to survive this long in the car is that our kid is pretty laid back. I like to think that we’ve helped make him that way.IMG_20160621_202142889_HDR