Tag Archives: Toys

Diaper Bag Essentials at 18 Months

dsc_0066I’m totally “that Mom” who leaves the house to run errands and doesn’t bring a diaper bag. It’s not sitting by the door, it’s never fully stocked – as in it’s usually missing a minimum of two essential items. oh well. I’ve been trying to combat this lack of being prepared in a couple of ways… 1. keeping diapers & wipes in the car at all times so I don’t need to bring a bag with me for short trips ( this was a recent #fail because the last time I needed the emergency stash, the wipes were dry and the diapers were the wrong size! ) and 2. using a larger purse and keeping a couple diapers and a small package of wipes for emergencies.

Here are the items I have in the diaper bag ( in our case backpack ) when it is fully stocked!

dsc_0067(Vera Bradley Diaper bag from the Outlet two years ago – similar here)

– probably the most obvious item. Over the summer I always had a couple “swimmers” diapers in addition to the regular diapers because you never know when there’s a pool or splash pad right around the corner.

Wipes – behind the diapers, this is second most obvious ( I hope ).

Snacks – in our family, this is probably more essential than the diapers and wipes because Brandon will absolutely lose his ess-aych-eye-tee if he doesn’t have something to eat every 85 seconds. The new Little Journey line from Aldi has impressed us with their snack selection. Brandon devoured the Little Munchers in about two days ( along with my help ) and the Yogurt Bites are full of flavor. They also carry Puffs and USDA Organic fruit and veggie Pouches.

Toys – this doesn’t mean grab every single toy in the house and throw it in the bag. We typically have a handful of toys that ALWAYS stay in the diaper bag which is nice because you don’t have to think about packing some or realizing you forgot his favorite ducky but even better than that is the toys always seem new to him! The toys that are around the house everyday are boring. When that little book with the puppet shark comes out once a month it’s a whole new ballgame.

Powder / Ointment – another necessity. Brandon loves carrying around small containers of powder and now that he knows how to open the cap, we keep the use at a minimum.

Miscellaneous – ziploc bag and spare clothes for accidents, snacks for Mom and Dad, sippy cup, changing pad if one isn’t already packed, pacifier, sunblock and hat for the summer months and an activity books and crayons.



Thank you Aldi and Influenster for sponsoring this blog post. I received my ALDI Little Journey products complimentary from Influenster and am entering the Brand Challenge for a chance to win a prize.

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.