Let them eat cake! Or potato chips… or cookies…

My days used to be spent lacing people up in corsets and helping them pick out fancy costumes. Now I feel like 95% of my day is spent trying to find something my toddler will agree to eat. It’s quite a lifestyle change and takes some adjusting.

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Potato chips for dinner! #ParentingWin

Why do toddlers hate food? Or love something one day so you stock up on it and then they refuse to even touch it?
I clearly remember my great grandmother feeding me steak piece by piece while I pretended to be a little bird stealing it from her fork. It probably took 45 minutes for me to finish the entire thing but she kept up with it. I now totally understand why. Being a parent has given me insight into certain things from my childhood that I never really would’ve understood otherwise. I also remember her making me a pizza at 10 PM at night just because I said I was hungry. Parents (and grandparents) will do anything to get a kid to eat.

I can tell Keelan is going to be a skinny kid, just like me and his dad were. I hope he eventually embraces our love of good food and cooking. Right now I might as well make him a nice dinner and then dump it on the floor because that’s where it ends up. But I will keep trying! I really look forward to the day he is helping me make gourmet dinners the kitchen and picking out his own sushi at dinner. (Early 20s maybe? Lol)

Until then, I’ll just keep slicing up those hotdogs. Unless he hates them this week of course.

The Hands On Adventure

IMG_4084Our toddler adventure for today was at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Jacksonville, FL. I went in expecting it to be on the science-y side, but it ended up being more like a museum of real life.  There was a grocery store, bank, veterinarian, cafe, theater, etc. I’m not really sure where the “museum” part comes in… maybe because it has been there for 17 years? Lol

Everything was a little old and beat up, and it was hot and some stuff was stinky, but you know who doesn’t care about any of that? A two-year-old. So I just took a step back and let him go crazy and play with everything. We’ve got to kick that immune system into high gear for our impending date with preschool anyway!

It’s definitely worth checking out if you live in Jacksonville. We were there a couple hours and K didn’t want to leave! I think it’s odd that parents have to pay $5.50 to sit and watch their kid, so essentially that made it a $9.50 visit. But overall worth the trip since I had a tired baby afterwards!

Star Wars Mac & Cheese Makes Forks Easy

As a first time mom, I am learning as I go. I had no smaller siblings, so I know nothing about babies and kids. I wanted to start doing little reviews of products and things I found useful. So here’s my first thing:

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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Star Wars style!

ok, so yes I bought it because it was Star Wars mac & cheese, but I came to find out it was actually really useful! The little shapes make it so much easier for my two-year-old son to pick the pieces up using a fork (or spork) and that means he eats more of his meal and less lands in his lap/on floor/in hair.

It cooks fast, but gets pretty hot. If your toddler is anything like mine, than anything over room temperature is deemed “too hot.” So I cook it up, dump it in a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Stir a couple times and it is good to go. Or if  you are in a hurry, make it a little thick and toss in an ice cube for a quick cool down.

PS – if they don’t eat it all, it is also a tasty adult snack as well. I find that a plus in any toddler meal.

We’ve Become Those People

My husband and I used to go out to dinner a lot. We would usually sit at the bar and spend several hours drinking wine and eating appetizers for meals. We rarely sat at a table and would just enjoy the experience of sampling food and drinks.

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Not my actual child, but you get the point

Now no more bar for us- we need a table that can fit a highchair. Also, you probably want to stick us somewhere in the back where we won’t be a nuisance. But not too far back because one of the kids may open the emergency door and set off the very loud alarm.

So last night, as I sat on the toilet at the restaurant, listening to the screeching alarm going off, I totally knew that was our table causing the commotion. We were out to dinner with friends that had two boys, 4 and 6. So I did not burst out of the bathroom worried there was some sort of actual emergency. I may have actually lingered a moment or two longer than usual, hoping the alarm would be off by the time I stepped out.

Back in before baby days, we would be at the bar, rolling eyes and laughing at the hapless parents trying to enjoy a meal and wrangle their children. Most likely thinking what a bunch of brats they were and how if we had kids they would be sitting quietly like little angels.

Bwahahahahhahahahha

Oh how the mightly have fallen…right off their barstools.

 

Our Island Adventure

We spent the weekend on Jekyll Island, GA, for their 2016 ComicCon. I was a cosplay guest so I had a table all weekend and Sean was on daddy duty. We did manage to break away on the last day and check out the famous Driftwood Beach, where they recently filmed some scenes from the Walking Dead.

The beach was pretty amazing, though Keelan was mostly interested in throwing sand. I’ve been wanting to visit for a while, but it’s an hour and half north of us so the comic con event was the extra incentive I needed to finally make it happen.

1toddlerwrangleWe stayed at the beachfront Days Inn, so of course I had visions of going out and enjoying the sunrises and taking some pretty family photos. Keelan had other ideas. Lesson number one with kids: nothing ever turns out the way you have it planned in your head. Lesson number two: never let it stop you from trying because it is still worth it!

The con was small, but fun. I dressed as Sub Zero on Saturday and Wonder Woman on Sunday. Keelan had fun looking at all the costumes. He had to go say hi to all the Stormtroopers. We even found Santa Claus and then found Deadpool dressed as Santa, so we got our Christmas card pics taken care of. Photo of that coming soon 🙂

Like a Toddler in a China Shop

In my big effort to “get out there and do stuff,” I signed us up for a handprint ornament class at one of those make it and paint it pottery places. In other words, I took a toddler to a fragile land of no-no filled with colorful animals, flowers and even tanks and video game controllers that he can’t touch! In case you are wondering how fun it is with a 19 month old, well on a scale of 1-10…it’s maybe a 3. And that’s if you just really like arts and crafts. And chasing toddlers. We spent 10% of our time on the handprint and 90% of the time it was me chasing him around going “No Touch! No Touch!”

It all sounded so lovely – a story time with snack and drink, followed by creating a pottery piece that went with the story. Unfortunately they started with the crafty part, so by the time the story time came he was WAY over it. Then the snack and drink were terribly inappropriate for his age group. Little hard gummy bear type things and juice in a small Styrofoam cup that he immediately grabbed and tried to crush in his tiny toddler hands as it sloshed all over my lap. I quickly ate all the gummy bears, took the shot of juice and then gave him a pouch from home. Oddly enough the only thing he didn’t try to crush was his handprint. I could barely make a dent. I was starting to worry I was hurting him, trying to cram his hand into the clay.

Other highlights include a kid peeing his pants in the corner and a mom who thought a loud airplane might be a tornado. I’m serious. She went outside to check the clouds.

So in just a couple weeks we will get a lovely $18 handprint turned Santa ornament to mark this occasion. I’m glad we tried it, but it will be a little while before we try it again. It is making me reconsider the $90 art class I’ve been eyeing. Maybe save that for a couple months from now…

I’m glad I didn’t stick around for the footprint (an additional $18) because I found this nifty idea online on how you can do the exact same thing at home for free:

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The NeverEnding Story and Its Never Ending Impact

My son and I go to a kid’s gym type play place called My Gym once a week. He loves to play in the ball pit. Today he tried licking them all. I’m just going to ignore that and move on.

So as he was sinking slowly and I was pretending to save him, I was like “Artax noooooo…..” because all I could think of was Atreyu losing his horse in the Swamps of Sadness. I have not seen this movie in years, but it made quite an impression me growing up. I loved The NeverEnding Story with a passion. I also had a massive crush on Atreyu. And as an animal lover, I found it heart-wrenching when Artax just gave up and sank.

It got me wondering, what movies will make such an impact on my son? What movies have made a huge impact on you guys? Is anyone else still sad about Artax? lol

I can’t wait to share my favorite movies with him when he gets a little older. I just might have to make a “horses are actors too” disclaimer before the swamp scene. And I know he’s totally going to want a Luck Dragon. I still do!

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It’s all about the activities

Since I don’t intend on just sitting around the house, I am on the hunt for activities for my son and I to do now that he is home with me. There’s always the scramble to get the house/work/life stuff done, but I don’t want him sitting around watching me try to get things done. I’m intent on experiencing things together. So I spent this morning scouring the Internet for toddler-friendly activities that are also free or pretty cheap. I’m trying to save money on daycare and not make it up in pricey activities! I actually had a great (and free) morning at the park, where we jogged around the lake a couple times and then he played so much that he took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Score!!

So far I’ve found:

  • Barnes & Nobles has free story time
  • All the local libraries have free storytime and arts/crafts
  • Our museums have a free day but not sure how excited he’d be about that
  • The science museum has fun stuff but he’s still too young for the events I saw posted
  • There’s a bouncy place called Rebounderz that has special toddler times for $8
  • There’s an art class I really want to do called Color Splash but you have to buy the whole month and it’s $90-$110! I wish they just had per class options.

So, I’d love to hear from other SAHM’s about where they find activities and what I should check into!

Diary of a SAHM – Day 3

I think my son is on a hunger strike. He doesn’t seem to like anything except grapes and oranges. Maybe he’s gone fruitarian? I tried to bribe him with cheese puffs just to get something else in him and he crushed them in his baby hands like a tiny Hulk and threw them at the dogs.

Other than that, our day went well. I’m supposed to be reviewing this magic Sleepy Baby lightbulb but can’t find a lamp to use for it so am failing miserably so far. It is supposed to help them go to sleep or go back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night. As with most  moms, I’m willing to try anything that encourages sleep.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family. Doing something a little different this year and going to my mom’s for the first time since we’ve been married. A visit with mom is usually blog posting gold, lol. If I don’t post anything more between now and turkey day, hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"Just a sec honey...Mommy has to cut this up into little pieces, so the vacuum can pick it up easier."