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Cage or Freedom?

29 April 2012

Before we fell asleep last night, this was mine and Jared's conversation:

Me: Kyler is getting so big, huh?
Jared: Yep. When we move next month, he is going to sleep in a toddler bed.
Me: WHAT? No way!!
Jared: He is a walking talking toddler. He needs a big boy bed.
Me: No, he is a baby. Have you seen how crazy of a sleeper he is? He would fall off the bed every night!
Jared: He will learn how to sleep in one spot. He will be just fine. Besides, toddler beds are only 3 inches off the ground.

...The next morning...we woke up to Kyler making monkey sounds....

Me: You see? Kyler is a little monkey, he needs a cage.
Jared: Haven't you seen Planet of the Apes? Monkey's need to be FREE.
Jared: Alright, we will flip a coin.

So flip we will.
Anybody have a double sided coin I can borrow? 

How Does a Toddler Go Down a 2 inch Step? Also, More Busy Bags!

28 April 2012

Have I ever mentioned that Kyler is obsessed with balloons? Well, he is. Every time he sees one he gets SO excited and yells "baaboo!!" I got him this blue star balloon at the dollar store several days ago, and it surprisingly hasn't died yet.
Riiiight before his hat fell off.

"BaaBoo" Lover

 Kyler is a very cautious toddler. He doesn't like to climb. He won't even climb up or off of the couch yet, and he is almost 18 months old! I'm okay with this though, because it makes my job of keeping him safe, a whole lot easier. Anyways, this video clip proves how cautious he is. This little step is MAYBE two inches down.

Here are two busy bag activities I made.  The first one is Texture Cards, and the second one is a color sorting activity.
 I made these by cutting out squares and then I hot glued objects with different textures on them. Simple.
We have used these at church and while we were apartment hunting to keep Kyler busy and quiet. He loves touching and feeling different textures. 
His favorite ones are: the buttons, the feathers, sandpaper, and the cut up erasers on the top left.
I made this sorting activity using my old CRAZY BONES (does anybody remember how cool these were in like 4th grade?) Anyways, I found them at my parents house, and thought they would make a fun color sorting activity for my future preschool.
Turns out, Kyler loves it too! (even though he can't color sort yet) He likes the different shapes, and taking them out of the container and putting them back in.
I won't be taking this activity outside of home, because it is a little noisy, and Kyler tends to think it is fun to throw them, but I know preschool kids will LOVE this activity.

It's THAT time again...

23 April 2012

Can you guess what "THAT" time is?

 If you guessed TEETHING TIME...then you are right!!
Two new top teeth are on their way!
Tylenol, extra snuggles, Baby Einstein, and ice-cream are our best friends this week.

Busy Bag Sponges

21 April 2012

Well... I did it. I figured out how to get a toddler to sit still during church.
I tested it out last Sunday, and Kyler sat quietly on Jared's lap for the entire sacrament meeting!
What did I do you may ask?

I made busy bags- designed to keep children quietly entertained on-the-go.

 I got the idea from pinterest...and then I created my own! I will try to post all of the ones I made within the next few weeks. (it took 3 bags to keep Ky busy during church) Some of my busy bags are for pre-toddlers, and other activities I made are deigned for pre-school aged kids (for my future pre-school) So I will let you be the judge of whether or not your child is ready for each activity.

The first busy bag I made is made from sponges! Cheap, quick, easy, and kids LOVE them.

 I bought 2 packs of colorful sponges from Walmart (cost maybe $3?) Then, I put a little water on the sponges and cut them into strips.  I usually give them to Kyler to play with while they are damp, because he loves the cool squishy feeling of them. Oh, and I usually wait for them to dry before zipping them back up in the busy bag for long periods of time.  Kyler also loves playing with these in the bathtub!

Here is what they look like in the actual "busy bag". 

Bags like this are super cheap. I like them because you can easily see what is inside and can just grab it and go! Plus, Ky likes to unzip it and take things out/put them in and re-zip x100. I will definitely be taking this busy bag tonight when we go out to dinner. Kyler is always so wiggly and noisy at restaurants!


18 April 2012

For the past couple of months I have been really good at getting the grocery shopping routine down (for the most part).
Here is what I do:
  1.  I go online and find recipes for meals I want to cook that week.
  2. I type up a list of the ingredients for those recipes, and other basics we need from the grocery store. At the top of the list, I name which meals I will be cooking that week in BOLD.
  3. I print the list out, and cut the top part off that says which meals I will be cooking that week, and stick it on the fridge. 
  4. At the grocery store, my husband and I divide and CONQUER (we switch off who has to take Kyler each week hahaha...he always throws half of what you put in the cart out.)  I divide the actual grocery list in two, and give half to Jared. This way we know who is getting what things while we are at the grocery store, and can be outa there twice as fast. 
 I know,  it sounds complicated, but it actually makes things go so much easier and faster for us. I like being able to glance at the fridge and know exactly what meals I have all of the ingredients for.

 I always cook 5 meals a week, and then on Friday and Saturday we either go out or eat leftovers.I'm always curious about what my friends cook for dinner, and how much they spend per week on groceries, so I am going to post my list from last week.

 Here is what I am made last week:
                                                     -Crockpot Chicken Tacos
                                                     -7 Layer Salad
                                                     -Beef Enchiladas
                                                     -Creamy Potato and Chicken Soup
                                                     -Hamburgers with roman noodle salad.
Our grocery bill came up to $92.79 (including basic milk/eggs, things for breakfast and snacks...ect)  We typically spend around $100 a week. Is that in the normal range? How much do you spend on groceries? and how do you organize your meal plans? I'm always looking for ways to cut-back and improve!

Egg Hunting on the Beach + movie!

13 April 2012

We have had a very busy and fun week, including a trip to the beach for Easter! Kyler absolutely loved the beach. He was literally squealing in delight when he got SUPER messy in the sand. I didn't even try to stop him.
 Isn't getting messy without being told "no" every toddler boy's dream?
Sunday morning church was awesome, and then we headed to the beach for an Easter egg hunt.
 Easter was so fun having a kid who could actually hunt for Easter eggs, and I'm sure they will only get more fun as he grows older.
Needless to say, I think Kyler is enjoying being spoiled rotten during his time as an only child.

I have to post a picture of Bauer for all of our nieces and nephews, who are absolutely obsessed with our dog (it's okay, we kinda are too).
Bauer loves the beach too. However, getting all of the sand out of his fur after playing in the ocean is a pain in the bootay.
After Bauer fetches a ball we always tell him to "drop it". This week Kyler started saying "dawp it!". I can't stop smiling every time he says it, I just think it is the cutest thing ever! I seriously oogle and awgle over him all day long, over all of the new things he is learning. I love being a mom!

Sometimes I get jealous of people who have careers, and the social lives that come along with working, but then I just think about how lucky I am to I get to spend all of my time with Kyler...watching him learn and grow, and teaching him new things about life. It really is the best job ever. It is difficult at times, true, but there is something about it that is so satisfying and rewarding when he wraps his little arms around my neck and snuggles up close to me. I can't imagine ever having a life without him.

I just finished putting together another cute movie! This is the first video I have made where Kyler is WALKING in it, so I added that short clip at the beginning in case you missed it.... Enjoy:

Super long blog post, I know, but thanks for stopping by!


04 April 2012

We are going to the Lucky Leaf tomorrow! We are soooo excited! Kyler will get to go Easter egg hunting on the beach, and I can't wait to take him swimming in the ocean!!

Last weekend we went to the Boardwalk in Charlotte. Kyler looooved the ducks.

Ky-guy is obsessed with this blanket his grandma Antczak gave him. He would take it everywhere, if I let him...

We recently bought Kyler a Tummy-Tickler sippy cup, and both him and I are both obsessed with it. If you have a toddler, and don't already have one you should check it out! I think ours was like $3 from Walmart (by the Capri-Suns). Although it comes with juice already in it and may look somewhat disposable, it is dishwasher safe, and can be used over and over again. It doesn't leak or spill, and kids love the design so it makes drinking fun for them!
I know, I'm a great advertiser. 

Cord Holder

03 April 2012

I don't know about you, but we have a box designated to random cords, and it seems like they always get tangled together. I tried folding them and tying the ends around each other, but they just came undone. I tried rubberbands, but they broke. I tried bread twist-ties but they were time consuming and so small they would get dropped and lost...then I would have to wait until our bread was gone to get another! Sooo.... pinterest  gave me the idea to use empty toilet paper rolls. (I think my mom does this too?) Anyway. It is a brilliant idea. It slips over the cords in half a second and KEEPS them organized.

I made the toilet paper rolls cute by hot gluing a small piece of left-over fabric on them. It took about 5 minutes to do and zero trips to the store, and the end result? 
A CUTE organized cord box. (The cute part really does matter).

It was an extremely simple/easy/cheap craft project.
One thing that made it easier for me was to cut the fabric every inch or so around the top, so that it folds over neatly.
Bam. Done.

Nursery Prep

02 April 2012

Kyler will be going into nursery at church NEXT MONTH when he turns 18 months old! I think he will do just fine. I've been taking him to Kidz Club at the gym while I work out, and they always tell me he is really good for them. In preparation for nursery, he has been practicing drinking out of a big boy cup and I've been teaching him primary songs. His favorite song so far is "Jesus Wants Me for a SunBEAM".

 I taught him "I am a Child of God" today... apparently he didn't think it was as fun of a song, because he just ignored my singing most of the time (or maybe he was just distracted by his "hat?" lol) You decide.