Thursday, December 18, 2014

Favorite Birthday Gifts

Stumped about what to get your toddler for Christmas?

A little over a week ago, my little miss turned 2 and we had a fun party to celebrate!  She made out like a bandit this year and received all sorts of cool toys.  These were her very favorite, and ones she plays with almost every day.  All of them are great toddler toys, especially if you are mom to a little girl.

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Some of you may be familiar with the VTech Go-Go Smart Wheels playsets, and this is basically the same thing, only with animals!  It's super cute, and the animals say different things, based on where they are on the track.  This set only comes with the rhino, but you can buy additional animals and additional track to expand the set.  The track is easy to put together for little fingers, so Reese is able to do this quite easily.

Another favorite is the Green Toys tea set.  We're huge fans of Green Toys, and to be honest, I didn't think she would get much play out of this for a while.  As soon as we took it out of the box though, she wanted to "make tea" with Scott and I.  We now have regular tea parties and it's the cutest thing.  Some of my favorite toys are the ones without batteries or flashing lights, so she's encouraged to use her imagination, which is so great!

Probably the toy that gets the most use is this Fisher Price Little People Disney Princess castle.  It plays music when you do various things, but the coolest piece is the recognition of each princess.  There's a center post that you put a princess on, and they will 'talk' and tell you who they are, and say and sing different phrases.  This comes with Snow White and Cinderella, but she also received Ariel separately.  You can buy additional princesses too, which I think she will be getting more of.  :)

Can you tell we like Little People? :)  This zoo playset is really cute, and I love that it comes with a carrying case.  It's a great toy to take with you in the car, or somewhere where you need your child to be entertained for a bit.  We may or may not have put additional toys in there too.  Reese loves the bear it came with, and often pretends to "give bear a bath!"

Rounding out her favorite presents is this Leapfrog Leaptop.  Now she has her own computer, just like Mommy & Daddy.  I love how you can personalize it with the child's name, and you can even send 'emails' that they can playback with the touch of a button.  Between the music, learning letters, and all the other features, this is a great learning tool.

Scott and I got Reese a few Christmas books (this one is our favorite!), a Water Wow book, and a Pottery Barn Kids anywhere chair for her birthday.  After seeing her try to sit on everything from baskets, to stuffed animals, to her play kitchen, we needed to get her her own chair. :)  Even though she doesn't watch much TV, now she has a place to sit when she watches Daniel Tiger.

What are some of your toddler's favorite toys?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters [Link Up Announcement]

I don't know about you but this link up just brings a smile to my face. When Courtney, Liz, and I got together to host something this Christmas our original idea was Christmas Cookies & Desserts, but we knew we could make it just a little bit more fun. So the Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters Link Up was born! Honestly, it has been making me laugh ever since we landed on it. Just look at those fabulous sweaters above, if that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will.

So, the details...
Get in the kitchen and whip up one of your favorite Christmas desserts, or find something that looks fabulous and new to try, or even go the semi homemade route and decorate some store bought sugar cookies. Take lots of pictures to share and if you are up for it snap one of you in a delightfully tacky Christmas sweater showing off your dessert as well. Write up a recipe post so we can all try it for ourselves, and then come link it up with either Courtney, Elizabeth, or myself on December 23rd & 24th. The link up will open at 5am est and close just in time for Santa to make his rounds at 11:59pm est on Christmas Eve. Don't forget to leave a little of your Christmas dessert out for Santa to try too.

Not sure if you feel like finding a tacky sweater? All three of us doctored up sweaters we either already owned or nabbed at Goodwill for a few bucks. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, the point is to have a little random Christmas fun with it. But, nothing to worry about if you'd rather not you can absolutely link up just a Christmas dessert recipe - no silly sweaters required!

Not sure what dessert to make this year? Try one of these: incredibly easy oreo cookie truffles, one of my absolutely fave cookies - chocolate crinkles, I don't even like gingerbread but these are delicious - white chocolate topped soft gingerbread cookies, my favorite sugar cookie - lofthouse sugar cookies, or a yearly tradition in our home - red velvet cheesecake cake.

We hope to see all of your Christmas treats next week!

Cocktails & Carseats

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Home Tour

I always love seeing how people decorate their homes for Christmas, which I why I love the linkup that Courtney, Jenny, & Beth are doing!

Our Pretty Little Girls

Decorating our house is one of my favorite things to do to get ready for Christmas, and this year, Reese "helped".  :)  I tend to go for the more woody/rustic decorations and I always look for new things I can add each year.  Garland and greenery are some of my favorite things, and hopefully I can find some good pre-lit stuff when it's on sale after Christmas.

Hope you enjoy!

Come on in!

My favorite decoration - my Willow Tree nativity
(excuse the bad lighting)

Stockings next to our wood stove

Under our TV

The only toddler-proof decoration I can put on a lower shelf :)

My favorite ornament - Reese's handprint from last year

Everyday when we get home, Reese insists we "turn lights on!"  I have 3 battery operated things that always have to be on - the Christmas tree and Micky snowman on the sofa table, and the snowmen globe on our entertainment center.  And of course the Christmas tree lights, which are now on a timer. :)  I love seeing how excited she is about everything and I'm very much looking forward to Christmas with her this year!

Had to include one of her toys that she plays with right next to the tree :)

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Wish List for Littles

 Wooden TrainPajamas | Cups | Turtle | Books - 12 | Train | Duplos
Since Reese is still too young to understand the whole wish list concept, I've put together a few things I know she'll love.  We like to implement the 'want, need, wear, read' philosophy, so she's not getting a ton of presents, but still gets a few fun things.

We don't have any of the Hanna Andersson pajamas yet, but aren't these Frozen ones cute?  Reese is really into trains right now, so the Green Toys train is a must buy.  We're a big fan of that company and have quite a few other things from them.  I'd love to buy her a wooden train set that we can add onto each year too.  We found these cups recently, and they're awesome sippy cups!  They're made of recycled milk jugs and don't leak!  We got Reese a couple recently, but I'd love to get her a few more.   Throw in some books, blocks, and a turtle that projects waves onto the ceiling, and I think that about rounds it out.  I can't wait to get her some of these things this Christmas!

What kinds of things are you getting your child(ren) for Christmas?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2 Year Stats

Height: 32.5"

Weight: around 25 lbs, give or take.  Not entirely accurate, as we did the weigh Mom then hold her thing.  Will find out true weight at her 2 year checkup.

Clothes: 18 and 24 month.  Pants in 18 month size are getting shorter, but 24 month tend to fall down.   She's a skinny little thing. 

Sleep: Bedtime is still around 7-7:30 every night.  She's falling asleep much quicker than she used to, which is nice, since I always worry about her getting the sleep she needs.  I have to wake her no later than 6:10, Monday through Thursday, so when she falls asleep at or before 8 pm, I'm happy.  She sleeps with her moose pillow pet, taggies blankie, stuffed Ty dog, Ocean Wonders seahorse, and the occasional 'friend' (currently Daniel Tiger, otherwise usually Mickey, Minnie, or Donald... or all 3).

Teeth: I'm pretty sure all her teeth are in, minus her other molars.  They've been slowing pushing through the last few weeks, as she's been chewing on her fingers a lot.

Food: She's become very picky about food lately, so I guess typical toddler eating.  She loves peanut butter and jelly, yogurt, cheese, cereal (Special K or Cheerios), pretzels and hummus, chicken, eggs, breakfast sausage, bananas, peaches, applesauce, and broccoli.  The hard thing is finding enough healthy things for her to eat, since I know she doesn't get enough veggies.  I think it's time to go back to our regular green smoothies since she used to love those!

Accomplishments:  She speaks in phrases now, and is really close to full sentences.  Things like "Reese helping Daddy kitchen" or "It's the letter Y!"  I'm continually impressed by her vocabulary and how much it grows.

She's also doing more imaginative play with her toys, which is so awesome to see.  She'll take her Little People and say "time to eat now", and put them near the play table/food.  

Can sing Twinkle Twinkle and the Alphabet song with 95% accuracy.  Can also recognize a few letters if shown to her.

Knows most shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, pentagon)

Knows all her colors

Can count to 20

Favorite books: Tails, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Moo Baa La La La, But Not the Hippopotamus, The Going to Bed book, Duck & Goose - It's Time for Christmas


Likes: Still loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Elmo, but her current favorite is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  I showed it to her one day a few weeks ago, and that's all she wants to watch now.  We don't let her watch too much tv, but here and there she'll watch an episode, and she absolutely loves it!  She loves to read, color, build towers with her Mega Blocks, "make a train" with her Duplos, run around the house and hide, and look at any sort of lights.  Now that our Christmas decorations are up, along with our tree, she's in heaven!  I'm so looking forward to taking her to see the Christmas lights around town this year.  She also loves to dance (mama's girl for sure!), and always wants Scott and I to sing to her.  Sometimes it's kid songs, but lots of times, it's ones we make up.  Lots of silly songs happen around our house daily :)

Dislikes: Eating anything she doesn't want to, being stuck in the car for long periods of time, having a toy taken away during mealtime... typical toddler things. :)  She is also very timid around strangers, and if someone talks to her, she'll often cuddle into my shoulder and hide.  Oh, and she also hates having her hair washed during baths.  Thankfully, she's a very happy little girl and rarely gets upset about anything, unless she gets hurt.

Other: I continue to be amazed by all she learns and picks up on a daily basis.  I love that we can have actual conversations, with her replying 'ok' or 'yeah' to our questions.  She's my little sidekick and most favorite person to be around (other than my hubby! :).  I cannot wait to see what this next year brings - every stage just gets better and better!

I love you little miss, with all my heart!

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