I am a big pusher of sending out thank you notes when receiving gifts. I've been writing the notes from "A", but really feel like it's not personal enough. So I came up with this idea. (And yes, it can be a bit time consuming). I let "A" play with (or wear) his new gift and set a white board next to him with a note about how much he likes it. Then I print out the picture and stick it in an envelope! Whalah! A thank you note from "A"
This is a super fun and super easy activity.
- 1 white coffee filter per child
- Washable crayola markers (I learned the hard way and didn't use washable)
- Either. . 1 spraybottle or 1 eyedropper or cup for water
- 1 brown sheet of construction paper
- 1 colored sheet of construction paper
- pencil or pen
1) Trace your child's foot on the brown construction paper
2) Help your child cut their footprint out
3) Let your child draw a turkey face on their footprint. (You can also use colored paper to cut out a beak and use googly eyes.)
4) Let your child go crazy with the washable markers and color the ENTIRE coffee filter.
Hint: You may need to hold the coffee filter while they color it and you may want to put a protective cover on the surface your child is using.
5) Wet the coffee filter to allow the colors to run together. You can wet it 3 ways. .
1) Use a spraybottle and have your child lightly spray it a couple times
2) Use an eyedropper and let your child drop a few drops of water over each part of the coffee filter.
3) Have your child wet their hand in a cup of water and spritz the coffee filter.
*Don't drench it!! :)
6) Allow the coffee filter to dry
7) Glue the coffee filter onto the TOP of the separate paper.
8) Glue the footprint on the coffee filter so it's slightly lower.
9) Have your child draw legs on the turkey.
I have a love/hate relationship with "A's" sippy cups!!! I love the fact that he can walk around the house with his milk and it doesn't spill (that's the key word. . . spill), but I hate the fact that they LEAK!! I've tried so many types and been unsuccessful Ironically the sippy's that have actually worked for us are the 7 year old cups that my friend had saved when her daughter was a baby. And yes I cringe at the thought of them having BPA.
Here's the pros and cons of my sippy cup quest!
Nuby Gripper Sippy:
- They are contoured to make it easier for little hands to hold.
- The silicone spout is a good teether (bonus!!!).
- The silicone spout is soft on their mouths.
- They leak out of the spout! (I just bought a new set last week. . . I know stupid. . . and the suction was ridiculous). As soon as "A" tried to suck , the whole sippy part suctioned in. So my husband tried to make the air hole bigger, and well that made them leak. Needless to say, both of those cups went in the garbage!
- When you take the silicone spout out to wash, you have to rematch these ridiculous little notches. This sounds easy, but it's not. I don't know if it's my brain, but I fight and fight with them!
Munchkin Mighty Grip Straw: One of my fav's!
- Thick straw makes it easy for "A" to suck, and it works well for smoothies.
- Easy to clean.
- Like other straw sippy's, when the liquid warms up (and expands), it starts flowing out of the straw. Which in turn makes a mess.
Playtex Coolster Tumbler:
- Keeps the liquid cold
- Stops most leaks (however, lately it's started leaking. grrr)
- The silicone stopper inside the cup has to go in one way and it's incredibly hard to see the little arrow unless you're in good light.
- Rarely leaks (if put together correctly)
- Easy to disassemble for wash (and dishwasher safe)
- Has a bite valve which really helps with leaks ("A" figured out how to bite it
at 9 months)
- Not insulated
- And. . . we found out the hard way that you shouldn't use it on a plane. (We opened it and it squirted water all over the passengers behind us!)
Tommee Tippee Explora:
- Super duper expensive!!
- We got the 2 pack and "A" couldn't suck hard enough to get any liquid. I followed the directions on how to put it together and no luck. The second cup in the package didn't work either!! Back to the store they went!!!
Playtex Insulator Twist and Click:
- Insulated so the drink stays cooler longer
- Easy to suck
- Liquid comes out of the straw when it warms up, and makes a HUGE mess.
- 4 parts to wash.
(My friends have the spout versions of this cup and LOVE them)
The Nuk Active Cup!!!
We just recently went on a vacation with our friends who also have a 20 month old. They were using this cup so I HAD to buy it. I absolutely love it!!
- DOESN'T LEAK AT ALL!!!
- Soft silicone spout
- The silicone spout snaps back in easily after cleaning (no matching notches)
- Holds 10 oz.
- Not insulated
So my toddler has turned into the pickiest eater. One bite he may love, and the next bite, he will spit out (and that's if I'm lucky enough for him to even put it in his mouth). I worry so much about him getting all the nutrients he needs to grow (even though the pediatrician has told me this is normal and is nothing to worry about). So I've ended up making him smoothies and he LOVES them. The best part is, I hide vegetables in the smoothies. I steam and puree these vegetables just like I did when he was starting solids. Then I freeze them so they can be the "ice" part of the smoothie. "A" gets so excited when I make them for him, he can hardly wait for me to blend them up. Here are a few recipes for our favorite smoothies.
2-3 (frozen) cubes of pureed acorn squash
A few spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt
2-3 strawberries (I usually use frozen strawberries)
1 small handful blueberries
1 small handful oats (you can also use flax seed if your pediatrician ok's it)
Then blend, blend, blend!
You can switch out any of the fruits and vegetables you see listed.
Another smoothie I tried this weekend turned out to also be a hit!
1-2 large chunks fresh pineapple
3-4 chunks of cantaloupe
milk (you can try coconut milk or almond milk if you're not at risk for allergies)
A few spoonfuls yogurt
A few spoonfuls coconut
2-3 (frozen) cubes of steamed and pureed eggplant
1/2 cup applesauce
1 small handful oats (or flax seed if your pediatrician ok's it)
Then blend, blend, blend!
I always feel better at the end of the day knowing that "A" ate so many nutrients (even if this is basically the only thing he "ate" that day).
I've had a request from my friend who is expecting to post about safety and baby-proofing. So here is a list of what worked and didn't work for my family. These are just suggestions, and you may find something else works for you. :)
1) Outlets: These have been very frustrating for me. "A" few days after I happily went around the house plugging in the little outlet covers, I found my son with one in his mouth. I thought, "hmmmm, I must have dropped one." Nope, he went around and pulled them out! Then he proceeded to try and plug in the vacuum. So that FAILED! My husband and I went to Lowes and found a couple options. The first one we found was the Safety First Press Plug Protectors and those were even easier for "A" to pull out! Needless to say they went back to Lowes. Then Adam tried the second option. . . . . . entire new outlets. We only did it with three outlets because they needed to be replaced anyway, but these new safety outlets are great! They have plastic on the inside that covers each hole until a plug is placed in it (and it is too hard for little hands to plug anything in). As for the rest of the outlets in the house, I'm just following my little man around replacing the covers. :(
Cupboard locks: We've only locked the cabinets under the sink and the bathroom drawers and cabinets. "A" gets so much joy getting into the tupperware cupboard, the pantry, and the plastic dishes, I didn't want to lock them up. But we ended up using the magnetic locks which work GREAT!!! They were pretty pricey, but worth it. You have to have the magnet handy, but they keep "A" out of those certain areas. The other clip locks are just "eh". They definitely deter him from getting in the cabinets and drawers, but with one strong tug, he has successfully opened the drawer/cupboard. Both options are hidden on the inside and work for cabinets that don't have handles.
Note: The magnetic locks come with adhesive in case you don't want to drill them in. They didn't work at all with the adhesive, but once we drilled them in, they worked like a charm!Furniture Safety Straps: We've attached every big piece of furniture to the wall, which is very reassuring when I see Mr. Climber doing what he does best! Ugh! But I have found that the straps that come with the furniture and the cloth straps are so much easier to use than the plastic straps.
Oven safety: In addition to being a great climber, "A" is also a great 'hanger'. He likes to grab the oven door and hang from it. This little acrobatic act scares the pazooey out of any guests to our house, but I know he'll be ok, because we have an amazing oven lock (don't get me wrong, I stop him from hanging, but it doesn't panic me). It's the Safety First Oven Front Lock. This lock was so easy to install, easy for me to work around when baking, and has endured a lot of tugging on.
Range Knob Covers: I purchased two types of safety devises for my gas range knobs. But unfortunately, neither one worked. The knob covers didn't fit over my knobs and the little wedges weren't necessary. The problem we have is that "A" turns the gas up when the range is on. He isn't able to light the range because you have to push it in and turn to light it. So far, the only option is supervision.
Power Strip Cover: I love this product!!! I have it in "A's" room because we have the humidifier, air purifier, sound machine, and clock all plugged in. He can't even get to the power strip with this contraption. Completely worth the money!I also have a little lock for the dishwasher when he figures out how to open that. But that's all I have done (so far). We'll see what he figures out next.
My name is Melanie and I'm a stay at home mom. My husband Adam is a pharmacist and makes it possible for me to be home. We have a one year old son A, who we absolutely adore. Although sometimes my house may not look like it, (A gets into everything and makes it his job to pull whatever he can out and put it on the floor) I love to find new ways to organize my house, try new recipes, and make fun DYI projects and decorations.