Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

I know it's been pretty quiet around here lately, but it's for a good reason: we are still currently visiting family in Illinois. Since it only happens a couple times a year now, I have been trying to treasure the passing-by-in-lightening-speed time we have here. It's already been over a week and we are down to only 3 days left. I already don't want to leave.... but at least we have California sunshine and Myles' best buddy's birthday party to keep us from plummeting into a deep depression when we go back.

Now on to our Easter festivities:
(check out my recap of Myles' first Easter in his 8 Month Update)
We started our celebrating a couple weeks back with an 'Egg Scramble'. We drove about an hour to a beach front park on the bay. They had a pretty cool set-up going on there: lots of games, activities, crafts, food, and a photo opp with the Easter bunny himself! I had no plans on taking Myles to see the Easter bunny after everyone else's bad experiences I had seen floating around the internet. But when I saw him there, I had to give it a try. Luckily this bunny was super cute and nice looking. I was very impressed with this bunny suit, and so was Myles. I think it helped that he had a sucker to occupy him, but he had no problems sitting on his lap. He just kept looking at him trying to figure out what he was. He didn't even want to get up when our turn was over! First Easter bunny meet and greet: SUCCESS!
The best part of the whole day was the beach! This was the first time Myles was at an ocean beach and the awesomeness of it did not go unnoticed by him! He loved it, just like his momma does! When he first got to the water, he was asking daddy where the duckies were at(the first picture). He always does the I-don't-know hand when he asks questions. He spent most of his time discovering the beach. He found sticks and rocks to throw and his little feeties got to test out the water and sand. Eventually, he ended up with his butt in the water, so I let him go pants-less for a while (last photo). I can't wait to go back when we can stay for the whole day and actually get in the water.
After the bunny, beach, and games, we sat down for a little snack before the 'egg hunt.' It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day with clear skies and a light breeze.
The egg hunt was more of a snack hunt, and there really was no hunting involved. The 1-2 year old area had crackers and fruit pouches, and they were just scattered around the lawn. It was still super intense though. All the parents were lined up waiting to ambush the treats and literally trampled the rope when the whistle was blown. Mark was trying to help put the rope back up and Myles took off into the sea of people. I freaked out and ran in to get him. Within 2 minutes, he walked out of the crowd with a bag of oyster crackers and a smile on his face! I don't know how he managed to get anything off of the ground with the other 40+ parents scavenging the area like it was packed with diamonds and dusted in gold! Crazy people; I'm just glad Myles got out unscathed.

Our next egg hunt was still less of a hunt, but this time we did get actual eggs! The Saturday before Easter we went to a children's museum (Discovery Center) for their Easter festival. We got there early enough to let Myles play for a while before the hunt. The tot area they have is awesome: water, trains, balls, life-sized kitchen replica, a car that can be worked on, and tons more. I'm sure Myles could spent all day there, but eventually we had to go get our egg hunt on. 

When we got there, we still had a couple minutes to wait, and Myles started getting super antsy. I let him walk around for a bit, but then he started to get really upset that he couldn't go get the eggs. By the time they were ready, Myles was over it. I tried to get him to calm down and help me pick up eggs, but he was in freak out mode. Towards the end, he did grab a couple. When we were all done, we went down by the water to open his eggs up. We got lots of goodies and Myles was finally happy again!

Later that night we took to dying our Easter eggs. This is normally my favorite Easter tradition, but with Dr. Destructo on my hands, I didn't really get to enjoy it much this year. I was able to occupy him all of 10 minutes before he decided to stick an ink pad in his mouth and proceed to freak out because I told him he couldn't chew on it! So our night ended with a scrub down in the bath and the hope that next year will go better.

Before we started trying to decorate them, I let Myles play around with his egg in a whisk. A couple weeks ago I read this post from Ashley and I thought the egg in the whisk was such a clever idea! We already dyed the eggs, but I thought it would be a good way to let him mess around with his egg and be less likely to break it. He really loved this! He was super intrigued and spent at least 5 minutes trying to figure out what was holding his egg!

We did get in a little fun before operation turn Myles into a stamp ensued. He loved holding the eggs and was super excited about them; he just didn't quite get what to do with them. We tried stickers and stamps, and then he just decided to take a marker to the one I made for him. He did a pretty good job, but he got bored very quickly and only wanted to play with the ink.

Sunday morning we got up, dressed, and headed to church. My mom found this super cute suit for Myles with a bow tie! I loved the bright colors and just couldn't get over how handsome he looked. I tried to keep him in the sanctuary, but he wasn't having it! He lasted about 5 minutes before he was squirming his way around our legs to get out of the pew. So I grabbed him up and took him to play in the nursery. He wasn't familiar with the people there and wouldn't let me leave. So I spent the rest of the service watching him play with cars, go down a slide, and pretend to be a baby in a crib. 
After service we had an impromptu photo-shoot out front. It was not an easy task to get Myles to stand still for more than 5 seconds, so these are the best we got:

After church, we went out to breakfast. 
Myles wasn't interested in anything but watermelon!

 And of course, a little selfie action on the ride home! Love that big toothy grin!

After a clean up, nap, and a change of clothes, we headed to my aunts for dinner and another egg hunt! The food was super yummy; all traditional, comfort foods! From the moment he walked in the house, Myles was ready to go outside to investigate the lawn that was sprinkled with tons of eggs. When everyone was finally ready for the egg hunt, I figured Myles would be all about it. HA! I walked out there with him and all he wanted to do was wonder around the yard. He picked up one egg when we first started, then after that he just walked around trying to figure out what all the other kids were doing. After a couple minutes of that, he decided that he wanted to stick an egg through a fence hole. I told him not to push it all the way through because it would be gone forever, but of course he didn't hear a word I said... bye bye purple egg! In the end, we (I) got a good amount of eggs and candy for us to share! Myles tried a couple M&Ms and I stole a mini-snickers!

Lastly, a little post-Easter basket hat fun!

I loved reading all of your Easter recaps this week! We had a really great time celebrating this year and now I can't wait for the next holiday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monthly Favorites: Nine & Ten

When it comes to being a new mom, "free time" no longer exists. And if by some amazing miracle you happen to somehow get a couple of minutes to yourself, I doubt researching baby products is on the top of your list. Whenever my son is coming to a new age and needing new products, I heavily rely on my fellow mommy bloggers' recommendations. No need to waste precious 'you time' trying to navigate through the thousands of products out there only to find out they're poor quality or useless. So I decided to do my own monthly favorites posts to help out my fellow mommies!
I will also let you in on any deals or money saving tips with each product!

Monthly Favorites: Months Nine & Ten

Monthly Favorites: Months Nine & Ten by julia-crystal 

1. Ten Little Ladybugs: This was Myles' second favorite book (first was Baby Mickey's Book of Shapes). I'm not sure what it was about this particular book, but he was so intrigued by it. He would actually sit and listen to me read it the whole way through (unheard of at this point in his life). Sometimes I would read it as a song and he really liked that. He always had to touch all of the little ladybugs on each page. He still likes this book now at 20 months, so it has gotten a lot of use. This is a good long-term investment book that will grow with your child. 

2. Knobby Balls: Myles' ball obsession was at an all time high during these months. I found a bag of these balls at a thrift store and bought them because for the price I couldn't say no to Myles. I really like these for several reasons: the knobs on them provide stimulation of their feeling sense, they come in all different sizes and colors, and are a thick rubber so they can be chewed on (a must for Myles). Also they are filled with air, so they are lightweight and can be easily grasped. These are so perfect for any ball loving baby/toddler.    

3. Kettrike Happy Navigator Air: This is the Cadillac of tricycles. I had never even heard of this brand before my step-dad brought it home from a garage sale on day. Brand new this bike is more than $200, but my step-dad got it for $25!  It's got the normal push bar, seat belt, adjustable seat/frame, etc., but it also has so many awesome features that I have never seen in a kid's tricycle before. It has a cute little bucket for storage that tips down with a lever and it sits low to the ground to prevent tipping. One of my favorite parts is the front wheel lock that keeps the wheel in a straight position. I always lock it when I am pushing Myles, so that I can control the navigation of the bike and he can't steer. The other thing that makes this bike so cool is its wheel system. When an adult is pushing and navigating, the pedals stay in place for the child to rest their feet on. Then when the child is ready to ride on their own, the pedals move for forward motion, braking, and coasting. This is the most versatile tricycle I have ever seen and the only one you will ever need; it truly grows with your child up to age 5! It has been an awesome alternative to the stroller for us. Many times Myles gets antsy and bored in his stroller, but when we push him on the bike we have no problems. He stays occupied by thinking he is riding and steering the bike himself. Right now (20 months), he is so close to being able to reach the pedals enough to push them around. He can rest his feet, but can't quite get the momentum to push the pedal all the way around to get it moving by himself. I think he is pretty close though. I can't wait to see him ride it by himself: Big boy status!

4. WATER HOPPER Balls: Another ball of course! My mom bought this one for Myles a while back. This was Myles' first favorite ball (and if I knew where is was it would probably still be his favorite now). The ball obsession started with this one. The funny thing is, we never used it the way it was intended. Apparently this ball skips on water like a rock does. Whatever its real purpose, it worked great for Myles in learning how to play with a ball. He rolled it and threw it and bounced it all over the place. He played this goofy game that I told you guys about in his 8 Month Update. It also was the perfect teether for him; because the rubber was so tough he could bite and chew the heck out of it and it never came apart.  

5. Boon Frog Pod Bath Toy Scoop: I know this is a pretty popular item within the mommy blogging community. I would have never sought this item out on my own because it is a little pricey for me, but I found it at a consignment shop for half price. Now that I have it, I definitely think it is worth the price. This makes bath time and clean up a breeze: you can pick all the toys up in just one scoop and rinse them all off together once they are in the 'shell'. And the best part about it for me is that it keeps the toys nicely tucked away and up off of the ground/inside of the tub. And, of course, it helps that the frog is just so cute hanging there on the wall :) 100% worth the price: a complete must-have item for me!

6. My Pillow Pets Dog: This toy wasn't even bought for Myles; he stole it from my brother. I would have never bought a pillow pal for Myles, but he loved this thing. He wanted it to go wherever he went. He liked to lay on it when it was a pillow. We would say "Awe, lay down" and he would lay his head down on the body. His favorite part was when it was velcroed together and we would pretend it was a real dog. We would bark and move it towards him and he would laugh so hard. And I have to admit, they are pretty soft and cuddly. 

7. Disney Mickey Mouse Plush Toy: This was the replacement Mickey we got after losing the one my parents got for him at Christmas. I talked about buying this one when we went to the mall. I just couldn't resist grabbing him up when we took Myles into the Disney Store. He was cuddling and hugging that Mickey so hard, I didn't dare try to take him away. It's funny because we stopped having the TV on at our house when Myles was around 4 months old, but it seemed like he still remembered Mickey from when he watched it months before. Mickey was also the star of his first favorite book: Baby Mickey's Book of Shapes that I talked about in his 3 & 4 Month Favorites. He was the only character Myles recognized and was drawn to at this age. We have managed to not lose this Mickey and hopefully he sticks around for a while because he is such a classic character and, of course, we need to know who he is when we go to visit him at Disneyland!
8. Banzai Spray n Play Hippo Pool: This is the pool I talked about in Myles' Nine and Ten month updates It's just a cheap little plastic, blow-up kiddie pool, but it works perfect for us. Myles has a blast playing in it and I like the fact that it can be deflated and stored in a small box during the colder months. I had picked this one out because of the sprinkler feature, thinking Myles would love that part... Of course, I was so wrong and he hated it. He cried something fierce the two times I tried it out. I think the water from the hose was too cold and it scared him. Hopefully he will like it when I try again this summer. Nothing fancy, but perfect for a hot summer's day cool down and daily splash therapy for the toddler.

What products are you loving for you kids right now? 
Do you/have you used any of these products with your kids?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Social Media Sunday

Social Media Sunday link up
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It's that time again friends! Time for another Social Media Sunday!
SMS Hosts.jpg
Guest Hosts
As you know Social Media Sundays are a place for you to connect with other bloggers in as many ways as possible, since meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!
The rules are simple!
Follow your hosts and guest hosts and leave a comment letting us know so that we can follow you back.
Grab the button and spread the word, the more the merrier!
Get to hopping! Check out your fellow bloggers and make a new friend or two!
Most importantly, have FUN!

Myles Monthly: 10

As you may know, I didn't decide to start my blog until my son Myles was about 8 months old. And well... now he is 20 months old! So I am focusing on getting caught up with monthly updates and monthly favorites, so I can get, and hopefully stay, up to date with current times. 

  May 15th- June 14th, 2013

Born: 7 lbs 6 oz and 19.5 inches
Ten Months: No official stats this month, but I am guessing 20ish lbs and 30 inches

Just about the size of a mailbox :)


Good month in the health department again (normal, everyday life is crazy enough with a baby, so it is a huge relief when things are well in the health department for a whole month). He was standing and cruising like a pro by this point and was getting super close to walking. He was still super physically active and needing to be getting into everything around him. I could tell his face was beginning to change from baby to toddler, as he was starting to lose his chunkiness. All of his baby fat was melting away from his constant moving and shakin'. I swear he thought he was training for the decathlon in the Olympics or something, because he was just becoming so lean and strong. I totally did not see this transformation coming. I really thought he was going to stay in the upper percentiles for weight and height, but his body completely changed. He used to be in the 75-90% in both categories, but now he was hanging around 50% for weight and 75% for height. 
And as evidenced below, he was still chewing on everything! I remember thinking how I so looked forward to a time when he didn't have to put everything in his mouth. Since it had been going on for over 5 months already, it seemed to have become totally normal to me. It wasn't until I realized that, at some point, he would actually stop putting stuff in his mouth, that I longed for that time to come soon! I could tell it was tough work trying to pop them teefers out :) I think we were both ready for some more teeth (he was still only rocking his bottom middle two at this time).

Of course this little man was still all about breastfeeding. It was quite obvious that he had no intention to stop anytime soon. He was and still is a comfort nurser. When he is sick, sad, upset, tired, or any combination of those, he has to nurse. It was a good and bad thing; good because it was easy to calm him down whenever he did get upset over something (getting hurt, shots, tired, etc), but also bad because whenever he felt any of those ways (which for a 10 month old is 75% of the time), he had to nurse. He was nursing about every 2-3 hours. Before he was sleeping through the night, I was trying to feed him all the time during the day in case the reason he wasn't sleeping was because he wasn't eating enough during the day. But now that he was sleeping 8 hours straight at night, I wasn't so worried about feeding him so often during the day. 

As far as food goes, not much had changed. He was slowing starting to try more and more things, but still not eating any real meals. He loved refried beans and blueberries. He was still eating the puffs, rice rusks, and those Gerber cheeto looking things. I was trying not to pressure him too much and turn food into a bad experience for him. He was taking his time and I was fine with that.

Same as last month; which was finally a good thing! He was still sleeping 8 hours in one stretch at night, from about 10pm-6am. Then I would bring him in bed with me to nurse and sleep on-and-off until we woke up sometime between 8am-9am. 
He would typically take 2 naps a day: one mid-morning around 11am-12pm and one mid-afternoon around 2pm-3pm. He was still only going down for about 30 minutes, but it was better than nothing and a much needed break for me! 
Sometimes he still cried when I first put him down at night. After I nursed him, then laid him down, he would stand back up and cry. This really only happened maybe once a week or even less and within 3 minutes, he would lay back down and go to sleep. He rarely ever woke up in the middle of the night anymore either. Ever since he began sleeping 8 hours straight last month, he was pretty consistent with that schedule.
 I also stopped used the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit this month. At night, he would just sleep in a one-piece sleeper with nothing else in his crib. I still wasn't very comfortable with putting anything in the crib with him, so he didn't use a blanket yet. Since it had been warming up, I felt that he was fine as long as I made sure the temperature in the room was good.
  • Myles went to his first circus this month. It was fun, but definitely didn't go very smoothly. At this age, Myles was too old to just sit there and be chill, but not old enough to understand what was going on and be entertained. So most of the time he spent squirming around, trying to get down and explore. Somehow we managed to stay the whole time (2+ hours), but we weren't really able to enjoy ourselves. The acts aren't anything like I remember when I was a kid and it definitely wasn't worth the outrageous price for tickets. I'm sure we will still go back at some point though because it's something I want him to experience, but I will wait until he is older.
  •  Myles got his first taste of dirt this month! Grandma was planting her tomato seeds and Myles got to get in on some action. He loved exploring and learning about new things, so he was way into touching and figuring out the dirt! I think he probably even got a little taste!
  •  Myles went to his first fair! It was a Memorial Day fair in our town called Young at Heart Festival. He loved it! The weather wasn't the greatest, but we still made the most of it. He tried corn on the cob for the first time and he couldn't get enough. I think he liked it so much because he could chew and gnaw on it as hard as he wanted. He also got his first pet fish. We didn't win it; a little boy gave it to us. He asked if Myles wanted it and I couldn't dare say no.
We mostly just walked around, letting Myles check everything out, but he did get to go on a couple of rides. The very first one being this potato sack slide (don't worry, he didn't go alone.. lol). By the look on his face, I think he was a little freaked out! 
  • We started venturing out to eat a little more this month as well. We were able to keep him occupied better than before with toys, menus, and eating. He loved Mexican and refried beans! He would eat spoonfuls of it!
  • Daddy went to California for two weeks this month in order to find us a place to live, so before he left, we spent as much time with him as possible. Mostly that consisted of going out to eat and walks outside. He started getting into the park a little more now too, since he could move around and get into stuff, like the slides and swings.

  • First time going to the zoo: We took Myles to the Henry Villas Zoo in Madison, Wi. It is about 1 1/2 hours away from us, but is so worth it. It is a pretty decent zoo for being free and is in a beautiful area. The weather was perfect and Myles had a blast. Although I don't think he really understood the animal part, he was in pretty high spirits the whole time. I couldn't believe how well behaved he was in his stroller just chilling. 

We checked out all the main guys: tiger, lion, rhino, elephant, giraffe. He liked it, but like I said, I don't think he knew or understood the concept of what was going on there. He looked at them, but he didn't know it was an animal or something that was alive.

He really got into the aquarium though. He was super intrigued by the turtles and fish. I'm guessing he liked them better because he was able to get up close and 'touch' them. 

We took him by the petting zoo too, but didn't go inside. Those animals always seem to be super aggressive and I didn't feel like dealing with that. They are forever trying to attack you over some little food pebbles, and really it's kind of scary! Myles also got to ride on his first real carousal (he rode a tiny one at the fair, but I don't count that). We both had blue mouths from a popsicle we shared earlier. We, of course, picked the giraffe (mommy's favorite) and he seemed to like it well enough.
  • First curls: This is just crazy looking at his hair from 10 months ago and how much it has grown! Those first little curls have turned into a whole head of ridiculously cute curls. It does get a little out of control at times, especially noted in these pictures. I have since cut it, but it is just too cute to tame. I just can't believe his hair looked like this not even a year ago; I am in total shock over here. I think I have gotten so used to the way it is now that I completely forgot it wasn't always like that!
  • First guitar: Grandpa picked up a mini-sized guitar from a sale for his little music man. Myles thought it was pretty cool, but he wasn't allowed to play with it per Uncle Chris' rules! My brother is a music/instrument aficionado and is very protective of any instrument that comes into his house. So he is holding on to this guitar and protecting it until he deems Myles ready to take some lessons.. hopefully from him!
  • Cruising: This boy was cruising like a maniac and getting so close to walking. I really wasn't encouraging him too much at first because I didn't think I was quite ready to have a walking baby just yet! It didn't seem real that it was happening already and he was close to being a toddler. I was excited but I had no idea what was to come of the new stage, so I just let him take his time. He loved pushing this bike around. He never wanted to get on and ride it, he would just push it around the whole front until he got stuck somewhere. He also tripped.. a lot.. :)

  • He loved doing things that made him feel like he was a big boy! He always wanted to be in on the action of whatever someone was doing. As long as he could be a part of the adult things he was happy! 
  • Water: he officially liked the bath again, still loved swimming lessons, and got a lot of fun time in his kiddie pool. I got to get in the water with him at his swim lessons finally (since Mark was gone) and I totally enjoyed it. It was a pretty fun sight watching me try to get myself and a baby cleaned and dressed after the lesson (epic disaster every time!), but it was totally worth it to be able to have that special time with him. He also loved playing around in his pool. Mostly he just liked to throw things out of the pool and then get out to throw everything back in, and then get back in the pool... and repeat! 
  • Uncle Chris: I had to find a way to put this picture in this post! We were getting things ready to move to California with a huge garage sale to sell 75% of our belongings and my step-dad and brother came along to keep Myles company. My brother suggested that he take him for a walk and insisted he wear him the the baby carrier. It did quite fit him right, but it worked well enough for a 10 minute walk and Myles seemed to enjoy it :) I love my brother times a million for this! 'The Hangover' much!?! 

  • Being away from me: sometimes he would be fine, but most of the time, he was not having it. I was pretty much never away from him, so when I had to leave, he would freak out. He really didn't even want other people to hold him. If I was around he would want me to be holding him. He did go with my parents fairly easily though (or at least he was the most comfortable with them). 
  • Being told 'no': totally normal and typical, but he didn't like it if he couldn't get into something he wanted to check out. 
  • Being confined: He didn't like being in anything that held him down, i.e. car seat, stroller, high chair. He would be okay for a certain amount of time (maybe 10-15 minutes), but when he wanted out, that was it. He would have a tantrum until someone got him out. 

Come back soon to check out my monthly favorites for months nine & ten!