Here’s the beauty of a fairy garden: You really can’t mess it up. (Leah’s tried.) Your toddler can basically be in charge of what they do with it and there’s minimal maintenance. We threw two fairy pots together in the Spring and the girls still get enjoyment out of them. I didn’t anticipate the girls to voluntarily nurture and tend to them as they do, but it’s been a pleasant surprise on our many backyard days. Even if they’re just rearranging rocks, trading items from pot to pot, watering, or making mounds of mulch– it’s an activity that is easy, interactive, and keeps them somewhat stationary. Which translates to me sitting nearby, watching them create something they believe to be so magical.
Hoping you all had fun celebrating the Fourth. It’s always a day of over-stimulation, family, and sugar highs. This year, we were at Derek’s sister’s where Mya got to
walk chase pigs, shoot off some baby fireworks, and the girls both fell asleep on the drive home at 7 PM. I love how much the girls want to be outside (minus the heat), playing in the dirt, Mya’s fascination for every little bug, and seeing all the cousins play together. Being out in the country, overlooking a vast corn field always warms my heart. We are blessed with a great neighborhood and I could never become a farmer– that would be way too much work! But it would be a dream to someday have a little bit of land for the girls to walk out the back door and open roam.
Summer’s in full swing, it’s hotter than h-e-double-hockey-stick outside and everyone’s at the pool. The girls would swim all day everyday if I had the energy to prevent a toddler from jumping into the deep end the entire time. Pool trips are a full-on workout and I definitely equip us for pool trips differently than I did three years ago. Before Leah was born, I would take Mya to the pool with multiple floatation devices, too many pool rings, balls, wind-up bath toys… so. much. stuff. But like most things with kids: less is more. We now only take one ring, goggles for Mya, and a floaty for Leah. But even with just those few things, you’re still shlepping sunscreen, hats, water shoes, cover-ups, swim diapers, water bottles, snacks… lots and lots of snacks. In attempt to make your pool trips less exhausting with kids, here are some of our favorite swimming finds.
We all know that
sometimes a lot of times it’s hard to get kids to swallow down the good nutrients. Leah runs to the pantry every hour wanting goldfish crackers and Mya just wants to snack on cheese and yogurt all day everyday. But since I don’t really want to be in the kitchen every thirty minutes getting them snacks (which is usually what happens when we are home), I try to find foods that pack in the nutrients and sustain them. Our go-to for the three o’clock hour (when we’re all running on empty) are smoothies. With just a couple of fresh and frozen ingredients, the girls have a tasty drink that seems to be the ticket to tide them over until dinner.
Mya’s final day of 3’s Preschool was last week and we’re officially having those summer vibes. After our vacation to Estes and the girls’ and my trip up to Omaha, it’s been kind of a struggle to get back in the swing of things at home. I think Mya is expecting a road trip every week, which is definitely not the case. So in an effort not to bore her out of her mind and always strive to be more fun-loving parents, we came up with a list of things we want to do with the girls this summer. Hoping that you guys send us some of your summer plans too, so we can add them to our list!
Last week we went to Estes Park– the first time flying with both girls– and it was beautiful. Exhausting, but oh so beautiful. The weather was a perfect high of 70 degrees, Leah only had 8 full-on tantrums– nothing makes Derek sweat more than a crying baby in the wilderness–, and the girls were both angels on the plane (thanks to endless snacks and iPad movies.) Compared to all past travels, I would have to say that I planned the very least for this little getaway. Perhaps because Derek took care of the hiking logistics/ rental car/ driving, or maybe just because I was already in the vacation, laid-back Colorado mindset and figured things would just unfold. And they totally did. Some of our favorite stops were planned, some were just by chance (cue bathroom emergency at a local coffee shop.) But whether or not things happened on purpose, I was so happy just being us four, showing the girls a new place, and having them remind us that the best world is outdoors. Here are a few of our favorite findings (and a whole lot of pictures) from our little trip:
Being a “Mom” doesn’t totally define me, but let’s be real: I’m drawn to things that label me as a Mom because it’s what I live for. I swoon over pretty, yet practical products, entertainment is centered around watching my kids dance in the living room, and I wear a backpack for a purse. So yeah. The mom game is strong over here. Moms’ Day is just around the corner and I wanted to throw another gift guide together of some current functional faves:
Thanks for everyone’s input on the last post regarding our family travels. Since then, we decided that the trip to Estes next month seemed more appealing to fly 1 hr as opposed to a 10 hr drive. Duh, right? So the flights are booked and the VRBO is reserved. We’re basically already there. 😉 The thought of minimal cleaning (oh, and quality time with my loves, of course) has me counting down the days. But now let’s talk about something else I’ve been pretty giddy about: my new phone case from Case Station.
I’m not a techie person, seldom wear a watch, and lose my phone daily. So getting me a tech-related gift for Mothers’ Day wouldn’t normally score the hubby many points. Until now. Recently, we each got a phone case from Case Station and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the design, quality and durability. In the world of a billion different phone cases, I wanted something personal and practical. “Personal” meaning I wanted the imagery to mean something to me. “Practical” meaning “when
the girls I (who am I kidding?) drop it daily, it will hold up and prevent injury to my phone.” Here is why we think Case Station is a step above the rest in creating the perfect personalized phone case:
I feel like if I don’t write our family trips down for this year, they’re not going to happen. And I want them to happen. Leah has no problem sleeping 12 hours at night, Mya is ready to explore more of our world, and I want to see the wonderment in their eyes of new places. We could probably just take them to a different park and they’d be just as happy, but sometimes they don’t know what they want. Right? In the effort of “less talking, more doing,” the first step of taking these trips is to put them on Derek’s work calendar and start planning. Below are our desired, feasible family trips of 2017. With the exception of Omaha, we’ve never taken the girls with us to any of these places. We graciously welcome any advice on where to stay and what to do. And you can send us all the good vibes for traveling with kids. 😉
How can we be more exhausted after the weekend than when it started… when we were basically home the whole time? I’ll chalk it up to being outside for the majority of it and two Easter egg hunts that lasted about five minutes each. Since we’re going to be visiting family next weekend, we thought we’d spread out the joy and not cram it all into one day. Because we all know how that would turn out: anxious for the fun-filled day, Easter egg hunt, open all the eggs, toss aside everything but the candy, sugar high, “I’m not hungry for real food at dinner,” huge fit, and crash. Which is what happened today and will inevitably happen next weekend too. These kids can be so predictable. 😉
Turns out Easter’s less than two weeks away and we need to whip out some Spring crafts before the big day. Seems pretty feasible since we were literally in our pajamas until 1:00 today. Any later and I probably wouldn’t have changed at all. Except we wanted to play in the rain and I made the girls go to Costco. Since our goals are not that high and we’re relaxing to the max, I thought I’d get myself (somewhat) organized and jot down some realistic things we could accomplish in the next week. And then I can trick myself into thinking we’re getting so much done when I check things off the list like “dye some eggs” and “make Leah cry from sitting on a giant bunny’s lap.”
You know how sometimes you have a plan for the day… and then you remember you have kids… and whatever vision you had was just a joke really? Pile up Mya getting sick, some gloomy weather, and post breastfeeding hormones and the past week was pretty thrown. But rainy walks around the block, lots of pajama days, and a daily dose of Moana seemed to do the trick. Last weekend, that’s exactly what happened– we stayed home to get well and recharge for the week. All the bins and baskets of playthings were thrown on the living room floor and we all just camped out by the fire. Most of the time, I have the girls pick up things as we are done playing with them because it leaves less of a mess for me after bedtime. And because #mamatired. But last weekend we just let it happen and looked past the mess to find two happy girls, perfectly content with being together at home with just us parents. Which I’m going to pretend will always be the case. Because this is my heaven.