Dec 19, 2016

Current Toddler Food Favorites

M&M has been a champ eater from first day he tried solid foods. We started with Baby Led Weaning right around 6 months. He's literally eaten exactly what we've had on our plates since then. It was (and still is) pretty rare for us to make something separately for him. We were always blown away by the foods he could eat with no teeth!

Then he hit one and his eating slowed down. Then the older he got, the more he realized he could say no and not eat what was on his plate. Typical toddler. I won't lie, there are some days he still eats like a cow though! We thought we might skip past the picky toddler stage since he ate so well as a baby but we weren't that lucky. I'm pretty happy if he eats one really solid meal a day plus a little at the other meals. We've always maintained the rule that he eats what we eat and he's welcome to not eat it as long as he tries a bite of everything we give him. He just doesn't get a separate meal made if he doesn't eat it. Some days he only eats a few bites and that's it. He's jumped way up on the growth scales from where he was his whole first year so I'm not concerned one bit when he doesn't eat much.

His favorite foods change pretty frequently so I really like to keep track of what his favorites are just to look back on. I thought I'd share here just in case anyone else is looking for things to try with their picky toddler. I've spent many days looking for toddler meal ideas on Pinterest and always found these posts helpful!

  • Apples - doesn't matter if they're chopped into slices or if he just grabs a whole apple to chew on. He will run to the fridge if it's unlocked and grab an apple for himself, then close the door.  We always buy honeycrisp unless they don't have them in the store. He generally eats it down to a tiny piece that's just core and seeds!
  • Goldfish Crackers - he goes back and forth on these but they're usually a solid choice for a side in meals or part of a snack. I've discovered he likes the minis better for some reason.
  • Yogurt - literally any kind of yogurt! He loves plain greek yogurt with fruit, flavored greek yogurt pouches (Chobani), or just flavored yogurt tubs (Annie's). I prefer the pouches because he tends to make the least mess with those!
  • Chicken - in any form. Lately he's been loving shredded garlic chicken and baked rotisserie seasoned chicken. I can't remember a time where he was hungry and denied chicken so this is always a good fall back option, plus it's a good source of protein.
  • Cottage Cheese - he would eat several CUPS of this at a time if we let him. I've seen him do it on more than one occasion. Just like his mama on this one ;)
  • String Cheese - this obsession seems to be fading so it doesn't always work but since he started eating he has always liked string cheese.
  • Hot Dogs - he loves these and though I try not to feed him them too often, they are a last minute lunch option if we are running errands and we don't get home until naptime.
  • Popcorn - he freaking loves this stuff. I'm always nervous when he eats it but he's never had trouble with it *knocks on wood* so we give it to him. We love Boom Chicka Pop and Skinny Pop in their flavored options. A good side choice or easy to throw a snack sized bag in my purse for an on-the-go snack.
  • Grapes - this depends on how good the bag we get is. If they're really flavorful he goes crazy over these. If the bag is so-so then he only eats a small handful at a time.
  • Strawberries - can NEVER go wrong with these. We have a really hard time finding good bunches though so they usually end up going bad a few days after we get them. I don't buy them as often anymore unless they're in season at Costco.
  • Pears - loves bartlett pears but they've caused tummy issues when he eats too many so we don't get these very often.
  • Hummus - LOVES to eat this by the spoonful. I don't normally give him crackers or veggies with it anymore because he'd rather eat it with a spoon. We love the roasted red pepper kind by Sabra.
  • Rice with peas and carrots - this one makes me laugh because a few months ago we tried to get him to eat this and he gagged. The other day we were out to eat and he picked all the peas and carrots out of my rice.
  • Smoothies - he drags the cups out for our little blender several times a day saying "plea, plea?!" while he signs please. We usually use frozen fruit so we don't have to add ice, some frozen greek yogurt cubes, and I always add spinach if we have it on hand. We bought some reusable pouches so I like to make a bigger smoothie and put half in a pouch for later. I put it in the freezer to grab when we are on the go! 
  • Smoothie Pouches - we never did the pouch baby food but I discovered smoothie pouches (Plum Organics) and they are perfect to throw in my bag when we leave the house. I like that these don't go bad for longer so I can leave one in my bag without it going bad the next day.
  • Applesauce - we buy the big jars and the pouches. He loves this but it's messy so I like to let him eat it on bath days ;)
  • YumEarth Lollipops - these are my favorite bribery treats though m&m's come in close second. I tried this brand on a whim and he loved them. I bought a big bag in September from the Halloween section and literally just ordered another bag off Amazon last week. He tends to chew on suckers right out of the wrapper so I like that this brand is flatter instead of round like a ball. I feel like he's less likely to choke if he bites the whole thing off.
  • Cheerios - standard breakfast/snack/bribery food. 'Nuff said.

If you made it through all of that, I'm impressed. This one got a little longer than I normally like to post! Now that I've written down all of his favorites they will probably change because he likes to keep us guessing haha.

What are your kids favorite foods?

Dec 16, 2016

Sledding Days

Though it technically wasn't the first solid snowfall of the winter, it was the first time we were home when it piled up the other day. We got quite a bit of snow but most of it blew away or melted before we got a chance to play in it.

The ratio of time spent bundling up a potty trained toddler (including a bathroom break) as well as ourselves to the amount of time we actually spent playing outside was out of whack. We did it anyway because this kid spent two full days pushing his sled around the house and sitting in it before we went out. By the time he was all bundled up, I'm surprised he could even walk. We're set to get a bunch more snow this weekend so maybe we will get a chance to head out again in the next few days!

Yes, that flying white spot is a snowball he chucked at my camera. We can thank his daddy for encouraging that one haha.

Dec 12, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

Last year we started a new tradition of going to a local tree farm to find our Christmas tree. We snuck in right before they closed on a windy, cold day. Turns out that is just as much a part of the tradition as getting the tree!

This year it was cold, windy, and even flurrying a bit. We made it just before dark! We went back to where we found our favorite tree last year. I wanted a smaller, skinnier tree. M wanted a tall, fluffy tree. We compromised but I'd say he won because the tree is 7' and rounder than our tree was last year haha.

M&M runs to the tree daily yelling "oh wow!" He loves to admire all the ornaments and yank the garland off. He also thinks it's pretty hilarious that his elf Cocoa hangs out there from time to time ;) We told him Santa wouldn't come if he yanked on the tree and so far that has worked for him. It also helps that our living room is tiny so the tree is mostly tucked away behind the furniture.

I love the way our tree lights up the room and brings joy to all our faces! We haven't started many Christmas traditions yet but I think this one will always be my favorite! What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Dec 2, 2016

We attempted to potty train our 1.5 year old..

..and we've had great success! We started in early October (he was 19 months at the time) after M came home from Germany. Technically we tried in June but I had to have surgery right after we started so we decided to postpone the whole thing. I was hesitant to tell anyone we potty trained him because we didn't want to hear any negative comments. Most people were just surprised but after seeing how well he did, they were positive about it!

I read the Oh Crap! Potty Training Method but we used rewards even though the book didn't recommend them. Mav is motivated by his sweet tooth, like me, so M&M's have worked as the perfect reward for him! He's still in his crib for sleep so he stays in a diaper for naps and nighttime but he's 100% diaperless when he's awake now. We've had many sprints to the bathroom at home and in public which usually makes him giggle. I've even had to ditch our shopping cart a few times to get him there in time! Long roadtrips are interesting too. If we know he's likely to fall asleep then we put him in a diaper but we also stop and take him to the bathroom if he's awake! 

I'm super proud of Mav! Potty training him early worked for us and made the process fairly easy. I know most people wait for a variety of reasons though! I think as long as you do what's right for your family, that's all that matters. 

Nov 21, 2016

Toddler Testing

This kiddo tests my patience on a daily basis. He knows how to push my buttons on every level and he laughs in my face when he's doing something naughty. But then he does things like this, cramming through my legs while I'm trying to do yoga, and I can't help but bust out laughing. This age is so much fun because I can see the way he's learning constantly! As much as he frustrates me, he makes me smile even more. 

Here's to lots of patience and the ability to laugh (where he can't see me) about all the funny things my toddler pulls throughout the day.

Nov 16, 2016

The Little Things

After dumping water on the floor.

The face he gives me when I say "cheese" and his apple obsession.

Every time he's amazed by something he makes this face.

Bedtime stories with daddy.

Part of his bedtime routine.

Just trying to catch some of these little things before they disappear all too quickly. Our little M&M is changing before our eyes!

Nov 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

This year we went low-key for Halloween. I didn't really feel like dressing up and I certainly didn't feel like coming up with a costume for all 3 of us. So M&M went solo on the costume front this year!

It's amazing how different trick-or-treating was this year vs. last year. Last year we went just because we thought it would be fun. M&M was still itty bitty and obviously wasn't knocking on doors himself. This year he ran from door to door! He got the hang of it after the first couple doors so all we had to do was remind him to put the candy in his bucket and say thank you! I loved the joy on his face watching him knock on the doors and pick out his candy!

I have to admit, I'm not a huge Halloween person myself. I love Fall and everything that comes with it but I just don't get ecstatic over celebrating Halloween the way a lot of other people do. I'm sure my feelings for the holiday will grow as my little man does and I get to see him enjoying it!

What's your favorite part about Halloween?

Oct 24, 2016

Capturing Fall

When the local Fall scene is gorgeous, you might as well make use of it. Even if that means grabbing outfits and running out the door before the sun disappears!

Oct 17, 2016

Farmhouse + Flea Market

I'm starting to realize the older I get that my style just naturally leans towards the country feel. Maybe it's because I was raised on a gravel road but I find myself swooning over the "farmhouse" style of decor. Honestly, my dream would be a farm house out in the country with all my kids running around the yard and some chickens out back! M laughs every time I bring up wanting chickens but that's a whole different topic.

The farmhouse style has become really popular recently because of the tv show Fixer Upper. I mean, Chip and Joanna Gaines seem like absolute sweethearts so it's not hard to fall in love with the show. I've noticed since it's become a hit that everyone and their mom is suddenly all about this style. That's perfectly fine with me because it means more options for decor and more inspiration to look at! Eventually this trend will pass and hopefully I'll be able to find lots of cheap stuff by the time we actually can afford to buy a house ;)

While I've been seeing more farmhouse items pop up in stores, I've been having some luck at flea markets! I love buying the "older" version of something because if it can withstand use long enough to be resold then it's probably a quality/sturdy item. Anymore the new stuff you buy from stores is so cheaply made and it falls apart after a year or two. So frustrating! Last month I spent some time back home with my parents while M was in Germany. My mom and I made a girls + Mav day and went to a really cool local market. There was SO many things that I loved. I told my mom that it's probably a good thing we still live in a small apartment or I would have been even more tempted to buy some really cool pieces of furniture that I found. There were several beautiful hutches that I wanted in the worst way. We just don't have any room in our place right now!

I snagged a few cute signs and an old washboard that I've been wanting forever while we were there. My mom found some really cool stuff too! There were definitely some things that were insanely cheap and a few people had stuff what was way overpriced. I think something I definitely need to work on is knowing my prices on what my "must have" items generally go for. That way when I find them I'll know if they are worth the price or if I should keep looking!

We went to another true flea market the next day and we spotted an old wooden box that was another item on my list. I've been searching for a box like this to store our blankets and throws in but could never find one big enough in any stores. I talked the guy down $10 on it too so I worked on my bargain hunting skills ;) I'm debating if I should just strip it down to wood and leave it or if I should repaint it. I considered leaving it the color it is but pictures don't do it justice, the paint is all splotchy and one side isn't painted at all. I scored a small cast iron skillet in just the size we were missing for $4 too so that made me pretty happy! Hubby scoured off the rust, we seasoned it, and it's starting too look more like all of our other cast irons. We've got quite the collection now!

In This House print by Matted Ink

The Market at White Barns

I had a lot of fun with my family while at these markets and it really opened my eyes to finding some awesome deals for the decor I want. I've decided I'm no longer buying any house items (no matter how stinking cute they are) unless they fall in line with the farmhouse style I'm looking for. We may not be in a house for awhile yet but there's no harm in collecting items to use in our apartment that can also transfer over to a house someday.

What style does your house decorating fall under?

Oct 10, 2016

Annual Trip to Center Grove

That time I gave a stranger my camera in manual mode and hoped for the best. For once we actually got a good family picture out of it!

M came home last weekend after spending most of September in Germany. We missed him immensely! Our little family took a trip to Center Grove Orchard and spent a few hours just playing around. Last year when we went M&M was just a little ham still. This year he was terrorizing the place ;)