Mom n' Tot Box

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm always impressed right off the bat with people who own and run a small business. I mean, I can barely manage two kids and keeping my house semi- presentable. I can't imagine throwing in running a business in there, too. Well, unless that business involved saying, "...but that's the LAST snack" a hundred times a day. Then I'd probably be making millions. But anyway, that's why we love to support them whenever we can. What's even better is that everything found in the Mom n' Tot boxes supports other small businesses as well!

When Mom n' Tot box reached out to us, I was extra excited because I knew it was geared towards both moms and their kids. When it arrived, Pato was so excited to open it and I had to keep him from ripping open the box!

Here's what came in our specific box. Trust me, this stayed laid out like this for approximately eight seconds. Right away, the kids wanted to jump in and get started!

I think their very favorite thing that came inside was this play-dough! It smelled so good and it was super soft. Right away, they started making animals and biscuits. What? You don't make play-dough biscuits?
 I liked that it came in these cute little containers because let's be honest...those regular yellow tubs with the impossible-to-open caps are kind of annoying.

They've also really loved the tic-tac-toe board that they keep calling the "tee-tak-toe game." I've been wanting to teach S how to play, but using the little pieces instead of just drawing on paper seems to make a little more sense to her. She has yet to beat me, however :) Pato has been pretending that the "O" pieces are rings. (We'll get there.) 

Throughout the week, we've had a little doggie make appearances in our home. I'm kicking myself that I haven't caught it on video yet, but for a solid fifteen minutes, S kept throwing a pencil on the ground and yelling, "Fetch doggie!" And J would pant and bark and then pick up the pencil in between his teeth. It was so adorable!

Here is the list of everything that was included in our box, along with links to where you can find the specific items:

"I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller" tee by Tribe is Alive.
Lavender Coconut Essential Oil by Frisky Fish Essentials.
Tic-Tac-Toe Board by This and That Etc.
Animal Matching Game by A New Dae.
Masks by Baby What Knots.
Make-Your-Own Robots by Mimis Craft Shack
Dough by Z-Dough

Thanks so much for all the fun, Mom n' Tot Box! Every month is a new surprise, and the boxes are customizable depending on the age of your child. I love the idea, and you should definitely hop on over and check them out HERE.

When Jonas came to visit.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Last week, all our winter dreams finally came true. The kids had only been asking for snow for weeks, and it was finally our turn to get some. The night before Jonas hit our neck of the woods, the kids and I made paper snowflakes together, and they eagerly put them under their pillows. Don't seemed like a fun idea and those kids LOVE putting little trinkets under their pillows.

S was in total heaven as she looked out the window to see everything covered in snow.

So glad I was able to catch that smile. Pure joy, I tell ya!

Superstar dad right there! I could barely pull one, and there he goes showing me up by pulling both. I was fine with him winning the "Fun Parent of Day" award for the day. I'll get you next time, Jonesy.

Snow-beard. I'm predicting that it will be the next big thing this season. And no, I didn't just marry this guy for his looks. But, they certainly helped. 

We also took the kids sledding in the woods by our house. It was such a beautiful day. They loved sledding down that hill.

Unfortunately, J suffered from "not-working legs" syndrome, and had to be pulled all the way home. He miraculously recovered when we arrived at our doorstep. I, on the other hand, contracted "my-arms-are-about-to-fall-off" disease.

Also. I should really be hired as writer for Doc McStuffins. My ability to come up with a totally-legit sounding diagnosis is top-notch.

What you can + can't ask me.

Please don't ask me...

+ what's for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.
+ if I'm ready for the baby to arrive. My brain is ready. My heart is ready. Not much else is "ready."
+ for another snack. I really hate that "s" word. Don't try to disguise it with "treat" or "little something" either. 
+ where the baby will sleep. I have no idea.
+ why my laundry is never finished. 
+ where the Apple TV remote is. (I think theres a chip in those things that make it disappear precisely fourteen minutes a day just to drive you crazy.)
+ where your (insert anything) is when I gave it to you two minutes ago.
+ to take you out of the bath so you can poop three minutes after I had just gotten you in.
+ why I can't carry you. It breaks my heart and I so wish I could, buddy. 
+ why I donated your Easy-Bake-Oven. You weren't supposed to see that.

You CAN ask me...

+ for another hug/kiss/cuddle. I'll never run out of those.
+ if I'd like you to bring me home a chocolate chip cookie on your way home from work. 

I know my belly is pointy, okay?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy first day of February from me and this thirty-two week belly!

As I was waking up this morning with a sick little Pato laying next to me, it hit me. Ohmagashhhh! It's February! That means when people ask (which, by the way, I've hit the point where everyone and their mailman is starting to ask) I can say, "He's due next month!"

Next. Month. That's wild.

Also. Can we just agree to think twice before commenting on a woman's pregnant belly? Let that be your "Lesson of the Month."

Yesterday, C and I were hanging in hallway after church had ended, when around the corner I hear a completely unfamiliar male voice say, "It's a boy, right?"

Well hello, person-I've-never-ever-even-seen-before.

Me: "Yup! It's a boy!"

Unfamiliar man: "I thought so. Cuz you're pointy."

Me: "Your face is pointy."

Okay, well mayyyybe that last part was said in my head and not out loud. And just like that, he walked out the door and out of my pointy life.

Can you tell it's a sore subject here?

Ps. In completely unrelated news: Pato has been calling his sister "Lily" for the last half hour. I have no idea where this came from. But, apparently, I just agreed to let him and Lily jump on the bed.

Ten Things I'm Really Loving About J Right Now

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1. The way he loves me. Yesterday he caressed my face, looked me dead in the eye, and said, "Mama. When I grow up, I'm gonna marry you."

2. How he insists on only wearing "comfy cozy" pants.

3. He calls Skittles "Skiggles."

4. Oddly, I find it absolutely adorable how he can't be near any trash can. He gags every time.

5. The way he wants to be cuddled up rightnexttoyou when he comes into our bed early every morning.

6. His feet. I am obsessed with his feet. I don't even mind when he says, "Mama, smell my stinky feet!"

7. How he says, "mama" when he begins most of his sentences when he's talking to me. I'll admit, sometimes I just want my kids to go one minute without saying my name, but I also know it's the greatest title I could ever hope to hold.

8. That he doesn't wake us up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Thank. You.

9. How much he adores his sister. They have such a wonderful relationship (MOST of the time.)

10. The way he asks me every night what I'm making for dinner, and then asks, "Does it have carrots?!" He is dead-set against carrots.

Shirt c/o Little Cottonwood (check out their site...THE cutest toys and clothes, I tell ya!) + Hat c/o Se Mari. He wears this hat oh, just about a billion times a week.

Traveling with Kids Part I: So you have a million reasons why not to...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Okay. I'd like to preface this series of posts with saying that I know I am absolutely no expert on this subject. However, I've lost count of how many flights and road trips my kids have been on, and I think I feel fairly confident in my packing abilities and preparing for any type of travel. We've done short flights, flights across that Atlantic, and flights that are just too long it's absurd with the kids. We've done short road trips and road trips across the country. Several times. I'd say our kids are pros.

Also, I've been approached numerous times about any travel tips I may have, so I've decided it's about time I sat and started writing them down. Here we go!

Traveling with Kids  Part I: Just Do It!


I've heard people list off reasons why they choose not to travel with kids. Let's set aside the blatant reason that hello! It's expensive to fly/travel with kids!!! Because that's an incredibly valid reason! I'm sure SO many people want to travel more, especially with their children, but right now it is just not financially feasible. I can't stress enough- that's 100% valid. Please don't go into debt just for a trip because that's absolutely silly. In fact, a lot of our trips are ones that we couldn't have made in a million years if it weren't for them just falling in our laps.

Now that we've set that aside.

OTHER reasons I've heard people say they're not traveling with their kids...

"They're too young. They won't remember."
I get this. You're right about one thing. Your six month old won't remember strolling through the Victoria & Albert Museum, and your two-year old probably won't remember the breathtaking views of the Midwest. BUT, they can get used to traveling at a very early age. I think the reason our kids are on the whole so well behaved while traveling and excited to go to new places is because we've been doing it for a long time. Road trips and plane rides have been part of their lives since they were babies. Also. You know who WILL remember? You. And I promise you you'll cherish those memories.

"They won't appreciate it yet."
Then help them appreciate it. Make going to see a new place down the street exciting! Have talks about the things you saw. Say, "Hey, remember that time we saw those really cool Buddhist temples? Remember how we had to take our shoes off before we walked in? That was a good thing to do because we wanted to be respectful, huh?" One thing we've done is started a postcard collection for each of the kids. We let them pick out one postcard every time we visit a new country/state. This is such a simple and cheap thing to do, but they LOVE it!

"It's hard."
Yeah, it is. And exhausting. And frankly, duh, NOT easy. But, have you never done a hard thing? What happens when you do hard things? You learn from them and then you feel like Superman for having kicked that hard thing in the butt.

"I'm too nervous/scared."
Oh, goodness. I've been there! Sixteen hours on a plane SHOULD scare you! I know I was before every flight! But, again, the more you do things, the easier they get and the more confident you feel. I remember when S was two days old and we had to take her to her pediatrician. It's insane how much I packed for the seven minute ride. I was nervous about surviving a seven hour road trip with her when she was a few months old. We were pretty scared when we were preparing to fly to Europe with a six and eighteen month old. I'm still nervous about any potential flights to Asia! Let's just take a deep breath.

"It won't be as much fun with the kids."

I don't know how to address this one because I think it's really a manner of a opinion. We traveled to England and the Isle of Man with our kids, and then again to Europe without the kids a year later. Both were extremely memorable. C and I just happen to agree that a huge part of what makes any trip (near or far) especially enjoyable is simply seeing our kids experience it. Driving forty-five minutes to pick apples in a really pretty part of Pennsylvania we hadn't been before: Awesome. Seeing the kids "ooh" and "aah" at the trees and run up and down the rows: Priceless.

Well, now that I've addressed the main reasons why maybe some are choosing not to travel with kids, I'll start addressing the actual traveling part. Next up: (I think...I'm kind of just flying by the seat of my pants) what to pack for the kids for the flight/car.

A post in which I post a picture of one thing, but really end up talking about another thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I know it's not just me who thinks this. But, almost everything is cuter when it's miniature. Mini bottles of ketchup. Those little maple syrup bottles that you just want to stuff in your coat and take home. Never to actually USE of course. Just to have in your pantry, and every once in a while, go look at it and remark on how adorable it is.

Well, okay. I know lots of stuff is way better not miniature. C came home recently from the store with the almost-perfect size set of Coke bottles for me. They're smaller than your regular bottles, and he knows better than to buy me a can of anything because I'll never finish it. It's almost a rule. If you put something in a can, I can almost guarantee that a quarter of it ends up going flat and then down the drain. I feel like a little part of him dies inside when he sees good soda go to waste like that.

Anyway. These bottles are small enough, because I am able to finish them off, but I'm still thirsty! And yeah yeah yeah, I'm drinking a fully caffeinated coke while pregnant. I remember with S, I was so particular about what I ate. No caffeine for me. This time around I'm like, "Coke shmoke. Just make sure it's not diet. I want my Coke AND my calories!"

And huh. Would you look at that? I just wrote almost an entire post about the size of a drink.

Dear future me,

I hope you've found an incredibly fulfilling life. I hope you're still down with talking about absolutely meaningless things. Like bottles of Coke. And I hope you found that box of really beautiful but way- too-nice-for-you-to-own Christmas ornaments you looked for for weeks.

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