Tag Archives: Toddler

18 Months

3Age: 18 Months

Stats: Height 34″ (93%), Weight 27lb 6.0oz (87%), Dome 48cm (68%) – I’m going to leave his 15 month stats below for comparison – Brandon had a growth spurt right before his last appointment and he had another one just a week ago before this 18 month appointment. He likes to show those stats who’s boss!

Height 32.5″ (90%), Weight 25-6.5lb (84%), Dome 47cm (55%)

Clothes/Size: Pretty much 18-24 month clothing and some 2T. PJs though – at LEAST 3T because those babies shrink so much! I always buy them second hand to ensure they are pre-shrunk.

Favorite Foods: He has gotten a LITTLE pickier over the last couple months and I think maybe it’s because his taste is developing more. The bland, no flavor, no spice option is NOT an option anymore. Sometimes he can take or leave meat – which is funny because when I was pregnant, ALL I wanted to eat was ground beef in any form. He’s starting to eat pasta and potatoes and LOVES fruit, avocado and anything he can dip in ketchup – sometimes you gotta pull out the big guns.

Diaper size: Size 4

How much am I eating: Still eating a ton. He has no off switch! He’s slowly being able to tell us he doesn’t want anymore which is nice….but that’s not very often. He eats 3 main meals with two snacks in between and sometimes a treat after dinner.

Words: “dada”, “mama”, “hi”, “hi dada”, “uhbuhbuh” (umbrella),”mem”, “owl”, “buhbuh” (bubbles), “apple”, “I mama (I love you mama), “mamama” (grandmama), “bubba” (grandpa), “nana” (snack), “ice”, “wawa” (water), “eyes”, “shoes”, “boo boo”, “shhh”, “up”, “off”

Activities: Climbing onto the couch and then walking all over it. Peeing on the floor. Playing outside (mostly just going to our neighbors house because they give him food), playing in the bathroom with all the hair and shaving products, watching Wheels on the Bus 500,000 times a day and anything to help us – set the table, throw things in the garbage and everything in between.

Sleep: I think we are finally on good sleeping terms! He goes to bed about 8pm and sleeps until about 6-7am. If he wakes up early, it’s usually because the pacifier fell on the floor sometime during the night – we give it back and he sleeps for maybe another half hour.

Favorite Things: Books. Music. Monitor. Remote Control. Phone. Bubbles or any small bottle or lotion tube. Not a fan of stuffed animals or anything like that.

Signature Moves: Giving kisses, hugs and cuddles, waving “hi” and bye-bye. Pulling every wipe out of the container when he’s supposed to be napping. Giving high-fives and putting his head on any animal that is “soft”.

Mom’s Proudest Moment: This is definitely the most fun age. He cracks me up far more than he drives me nuts. He naps great and goes to bed easily. He has started talking a lot more and words are finally starting to emerge. In social situations he is usually so good and goes with the flow, he doesn’t really get too shy (yet) and just walks around doing his thing. He’s got such a little personality.

Dad’s Proudest Moment: Brandon is getting so smart and remembering things. He may not be able to say the words yet but he knows everything we are saying to him. He is really getting good remembering faces and names which is the sweetest thing.

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Brandon Paul

DSC_0047As we round the corner to the halfway point between One and Two, this little man NEVER seizes to amaze us. This week marks 17 months since Brandon has come earth-side and life has never been more fun than it has over the last couple of months. With this being our first child, there’s not a lot to compare to, but I have a feeling we broke the mold with this one. Some days I think he’s more like three years old with the things he does and understands. I expect him to spit out full sentences and conversation then reality hits again and I realize he’s still a baby. He’s the smartest little boy (I know, every parent thinks that), knows and understands everything we say and ask him to do. Seeing him interact with other/older children is so much fun!

DSC_0026DSC_0027He begs to throw his diaper in the garbage and help put powder on instead of smearing poop all over the wall.
He wants to turn every light switch, floor fan, ceiling fan, nightlight and monitor on and off instead of opening cabinets and playing with chemicals.
He would rather turn on the faucet and open the drain than splash in the bathtub at night with toys.
He chooses to put his crayons in and out of the container instead of coloring on the table or walls ( or paper ).
He takes his bib off and hangs it on the chair, moves his plate away from him when he’s finished eating and wipes his hands and mouth, instead of throwing food on the floor.
945 toys and he wants to play with the bottle of sunblock or tube of lotion – putting the cap on and off.
He refuses pool floats instead he wants to swim and jump in by himself with water over his head.

He eats deviled eggs and guacamole, dips everything in ketchup, puts his dishes in the sink when he’s done, throws plastic in the recycling bin, loves bubbles, plays with ‘his‘ cell phone and says “cheese” for pictures, wants to type on Daddy’s laptop and opens the bathroom door when we scoop Zoe’s litter. He’s done ‘pee-pee’ on the potty and knows ALL of his body parts…

He eats all day long, is determined to figure things out by himself, watches our every move and pays attention to our mouth when we talk to him. He applauds himself when he does something good and grunts when he gets in trouble. He loves his blankie and Mr. Racoon, pulling wipes out of the container after his nap and brushing his teeth ( except he doesn’t like that AT ALL! )

DSC_0028We both feel like Daycare has helped Brandon develop so much and he has learned so much being around older kids or kids in general. He can be a little devil child but has a sweet heart to even everything out. He makes me laugh multiple times a day…even when he’s being reprimanded and I can’t help but to laugh. He pushes our buttons, but gives hugs and kisses five minutes later. Some days we throw our hands up and just go with the flow…if that means three snacks before dinner, then that’s what has to happen so we don’t lose our mind! This little boy has my heart.


Books for Babies and Toddlers

I have been dying to write this post and with summer in full swing and being pulled in 362 different directions I am finally forcing myself to get on it! Brandon has been loving books for the last 6 months or so which has made bedtime more enjoyable for us. Not only does he have to enjoy the stories and pictures but Kevin and I have to also. I can tell you there are a few books I get all the way through and say under my breath “that one sucked” and there are others where I don’t even get beyond the first couple pages. They need a rhythm, a flow, some funny voices and a cute story. Here are our top bedtime stories (and books) from pregnancy through 18 months.

booksI guess starting with pregnancy books would be a smart move. Less is more in my opinion. I want to be knowledgeable but not SO knowledgeable where I’m freaking out because I know too much. There are SO many pregnancy books out there and from my experience most are more harmful than good; geared more towards the negative and worst case scenario instead of the happy part of pregnancy. With THAT being said, knowing I wanted a natural, un-medicated labor and birth, I loved Natural Child Birth the Bradley Way. It was an amazing book of knowledge for Mom’s and Dad’s and touched on everything (even C-Sections). Pain is one thing, but when you can associate pain with what is actually happening to your body during labor it’s so much more meaningful. Great Expectations: Pregnancy and Childbirth was a great week-by-week read for what’s going on with your body, size of baby as well as life after birth. Lastly, Jenny McCarthy shares the real joys of pregnancy, birth and the early days of Mom-life in a hilarious, easy read Belly Laughs.

We started reading books to Brandon early on, they were probably more for us than him anyway. The plush, crinkle books and anything with some sort of touch are best for babies development. The Baby Animals Touch & Feel box set has been a favorite of ours since B was about 2 months old. It includes Baby Animals, Zoo Animals, On the Farm, and Perfect Pets. He still plays with them after all these months. Another favorite is Right At Home which is a personalized book of pockets. Brandon was given this for Christmas and can actually spend QUITE a while playing with it. He just loves the animals (they spent more time in his mouth than in the book) but now really loves to put them in their “homes” throughout the book. A favorite in our house.

Anything after the 8-10 month mark can be used for months and years after I feel. Pout Pout Fish or (Big Big Dark), Little Blue Truck or (Leads the Way), Brown Bear Brown Bear and Where do Diggers Sleep have been read more times than I can count but we all still love them! The Going To Bed Book is usually the last one I read before putting Brandon into his crib and Giraffe’s Can’t Dance is another cute book with lots of animals and colors to talk about.

There are so many more books we love, anything by Sandra Boynton, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, Steam Train Dream Train, and Home Sweet Home.

I hope you can share your favorites because we are always looking for new books to add in the rotation.

**I have purchased myself, or been given as gifts all books mentioned above and all content is original and genuine.



Vacation with a Toddler

We can all agree that traveling with children is not the most relaxing event in the world. I don’t care if we’re driving down the road to the grocery store, they’re bound to have a fit at some point and as Mom’s and Dad’s we have to be prepared for that by planning ahead so we can divert breakdowns for them and for ourselves! We are going on vacation in a couple of weeks (for a week) so here are some tricks I use to make the whole trip a little easier on all of us.


  • probably one of the hardest things to do when kids are involved because you never know WHAT you’re going to need. When Brandon was a baby, Kevin and I had a few arguments about packing because I always got stuck doing it for everyone and that’s stressful. We downloaded the Checklist app on our phones and that has been SO helpful. You can make lists for different destinations, each member of the family or things to do to your house before leaving. This way, Kevin can pack if I’m busy. Tip – make the list, and make it thorough! Or make a winter list and a summer list so it’s not so general.
  • pack kids outfits in gallon size ziploc bags for easy dressing while on vacation. The guesswork is done, you don’t have to figure out what goes with what or think “where did I put those socks”. I throw a shirt, pants, socks and long sleeve all in a bag and into the suitcase it goes. When the outfit is dirty or wet, throw it back into the same bag to keep messes under control. These packing cubes (similar here) are also great optionsDSC_0011DSC_0014
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  • i pack the number of days in outfits plus two more, two pairs of shoes, two bibs, two or more sets of PJs, a hat, sweatshirt and sweatpants (even if it’s summer) and bathing suit. I keep a mesh bag in Brandon’s suitcase of bath items (two toys, two wash cloths, travel baby wash and a toothbrush – also a nightlight) – keeping the little things always packed has been helpful.DSC_0010diaper bag – when traveling, we always use a backpack as a diaper bag because now that Brandon is walking we need both hands free at all times. Make sure the diaper bag is stocked with diapers, wipes, powder, sunblock, snacks, toys and a change of clothes in a bag. Are you bringing a stroller? Which one are you bringing – we have a 2-in-1 stroller as well as the small umbrella stroller. What high chair? We have the travel Ciao Baby high chair and a booster seat – both great options for travel (by car).
  • pack enough diapers to get you through a couple days. Diapers are heavy and take up space, if you’re going to a populated area, leave the diapers at home and buy them once you arrive.
  • bedding. We travel with the pack-n-play since Brandon is still too small for a bed. We bring one stuffed animal that is always in the crib with him along with two blankets (one thin and one heavy), pacifier and monitor.
  • extras. I have learned to pack the tylenol/motrin on every trip. You NEVER know when that tooth is going to want to come through or a stomach bug will hit. Being prepared makes the middle of the night a little smoother when the little one spikes a fever. You think you packed enough snacks? Pack more. Think there’s enough toys? Buy a couple new, inexpensive goodies. The change might snap him out of the fit he’s having and make everyone happy. Brandon is still a little too small to really care about new toys and special treats, but I do have a couple little things to give him while enjoying the shore.

Traveling / Arriving

  • travel around nap or bedtime. Sometimes that can be difficult because of traffic. Leave mid-morning, stop for lunch around normal lunch time and plan for a nap on the second leg of the trip.
  • try to get situated as SOON as you arrive. Set up the crib, changing station and lay out toys and clothes. Make the littles get as settled and situated as possible so when it’s time for a nap or bed you aren’t running around, it’s smooth sailing into your routine.
  • routine. Try to stay on track. I know it’s difficult on vacation – meals are scattered, late nights, more excitement…but try to stick with what you normally do, even if it’s an hour later.
  • fun. Vacationing with kids can be completely stressful (I’ll be the first one to admit that). After being a handful of trips with Brandon I have learned to just go with the flow and enjoy life. While routine and keeping life the same is important, you can’t let it rule you.



14 Month Snacks and Meals

It’s amazing how far we’ve come and how much things change in just a year – is this the biggest year of growth in human’s life, it has to be! Anyway, along with growth comes lots of change – for Brandon it has been with his belly. It seems like everyday is different – what he likes today, he spits out tomorrow and vice versa but if I add Ketchup it’s ALL good in the hood.


DSC_0004We’re still making mashed/pureed fruit for him to eat in the morning for breakfast mixed with yogurt and cereal – right now it’s the easiest thing to be prepped and ready to go for a hungry man (since we all know he can’t wait 30 seconds for food to be made). Every three weeks or so I buy some apples/pears/peaches whatever is on sale (or fruit from our weekly CSA), peel it, cut it up and put it in a pot with a small amount of water. If I have any fruit in the freezer, I’ll throw that in as well (strawberries, peaches, blueberries). Cover and cook until soft – mash with a potato masher. We spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray for easy portioning. Once frozen, pop the cubes into a ziploc – use 2 cubes each morning. Brandon has been needing a little more to eat in the morning so he’ll get some pancakes, waffles, quiche or whatever we have laying around!

Morning Snack

When we’re home with the little guy (versus when he’s at Daycare), he typically gets a snack late morning (only because I’m usually snacking and we all know one can’t eat without the other one eating as well). I’ll either share whatever protein bar I’m eating, yogurt tube, cottage cheese or some other healthy type of snack.


IMG_8060Lunch is usually the easier meal to feed Brandon since it typically consists of leftovers. Who doesn’t love leftovers? Except, sometimes he can be a little punk and push the plate away if the stars don’t align perfectly (ie. the tray is attached to his high chair instead of him being pulled up to the table to eat like the rest of us). Turkey and Avo Sandwich, chicken, sweet potatoes, veggies, fruit, quesadilla – pretty much anything I can grab, chop and throw together quickly. I have a box of chicken nuggets in the freezer JUST in case we ever run out of something for him to eat.

Afternoon Snack

This snack also depends on what I’m eating. Last week I was eating cereal with almond milk. If he could get back inside my belly I think he would have tried because that’s how close to was to me while trying to eat my food. Again, depending on what I eat and what he had for morning snack and lunch changes what he has for snack. Sometimes bread and hummus, bread and peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit…anything I can get my hands on before he loses his sh*t.


DSC_0568Providing Brandon isn’t in a fussy mood, dinner is usually a piece of cake, once we get past the witching hour (which is really any time of day Kevin or I step foot into the kitchen!). Brandon eats whatever we eat for dinner and usually “mmmm’s” through the ENTIRE meal. If we are eating something with a lot of spice, sauce or something not suitable for a baby we just make a small portion for him. Last night we had Orange Chicken and Rice – Brandon had chicken (minus the sauce) with leftover sweet potatoes and he couldn’t have been happier.


We really are trying to make sure he gets his calcium either through yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese or milk. Some days he would just rather have juice (I can’t blame him) and those days he gets extra yogurt tubes. He has been drinking out of a straw now for about three weeks and that has been AMAZING. I literally used every curse word on the planet every time a sippy cup tipped over and leaked because it was 155% of the time. EVERY. SINGLE. CUP! If you have a sippy cup that DOESN’T leak, please let me know because next time around I’m not cleaning up juice all day long.

Hope you enjoyed this mini-meal rundown, what do your littles eat?


Our (one year) Routine

Routine Routine Routine. I was the girl who rolled her eyes anytime someone said “I can’t because it’s during nap time” or whatever the story was. It drove me nuts every single time, I wasn’t mad, I just hated hearing that because I felt like, so what? Here we are, almost 14 months into this parent thing and yea, I get it. We aren’t nearly as crazy about sticking to a routine anymore but straying from it can sometimes be detrimental. Here’s what our typical day looks like (when Brandon isn’t in Daycare).

I don’t sleep in anymore, not like I ever really did, but I’m usually awake around 6-6:30am and I try with every piece of me  not step on the sections of floor that creek (that’s a joke because the entire upstairs is loud as can be!), and hope Zoe doesn’t decide to meow her head off before I get down to feed her. If It’s Friday I usually brew my coffee and open my computer to do some work before everyone gets up. It it’s the weekend, I head right out the door and get to the gym by 7am when they open. Kevin and Brandon are usually close behind and come down anytime between 7-8. Brandon eats right away while we make our breakfast.

After Kevin heads off to work I finish some work, clean up the kitchen and get my sh*t together to go run errands or whatever is planned for the day. I hit the grocery store, go shopping, get coffee, have a play date (eat snack) or hit the beach between 9-1130. We get home, Brandon gets lunch and takes a nap anytime around 1130-2 – if he falls asleep in the car during errands everything gets thrown off.

While Brandon naps, I do more work, prep dinner, clean up, shower or just relax and await his little voice. If it’s nice outside we go and play, run anymore errands, have an afternoon snack and wait for Kevin to get home around 4:45. I get dinner prepped and cooked to eat by 6. We clean up (pack lunch if it’s a week night), and have about an hour and a half to play with Brandon – whether we bike ride, play outside, go to a book class at the library or just play around the house. We start reading around 7:30, Brandon gets a bath around 7:50 (every other night) and is in bed around 8pm. I’m usually not far behind!

The only thing that really differs when Brandon is in Daycare is that we all wake up a little sooner, I’m out the door by 6:45, Kevin gets Brandon up, dressed, fed and off to Daycare around 8 and he gets picked up around 430.

It’s nice to have a routine and know that even on the worst days, that nap and that 8pm bedtime are in sight. We have really let Brandon dictate his own schedule. We never forced him down for naps or forced him to bed because that just never seemed to work. He slept better on his terms and that was fine with us. When we started incorporating his nighttime routine “bath, bottle, bed” it helped SO much and he would pretty much tell us “ok, it’s time to get this show on the road” which started around 630 at night so it was a TOTAL chaotic mess trying to get home cook, clean up and get him read for bed. Now that he’s older his bedtime has morphed, again, on his terms. If he’s the life of the party I’m not going to put him to bed at 7:30pm because I think it’ll take him a while to whined down.