Ten Meals for Toddlers.

Feeding a toddler is always tricky. Their taste buds change as fast as their attention spans. It’s an endless struggle, really. Whenever I feed LT a meal that doesn’t get thrown across the kitchen, I do a little victory dance. After many attempts, here are ten meals for toddlers that, in my experience, LT really enjoys. They cover all the basic food groups (I’m a stickler on this) and are great for dinners.

Toddler Meal 1:
Hamburger, Mashed Potatos, Asparagus, Peaches, String Cheese
Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 2:
Breaded Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, Bananas
Healthy Meals For Toddlers

Toddler Meal 3:
Meatballs, Ravioli With Red Sauce, Garlic Bread, Corn, Strawberries (not pictured….LT was having a hunger meltdown before I could snap a picture)
Toddler Dinner Meals

Toddler Meal 4:
Chicken Fried Rice With Peas & Carrots, Blueberries (partially pictured….see comment above in meal #3), String Cheese
Meals For Toddlers

Toddler Meal 5:
Crock Pot Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Carrots, Bananas, Strawberry Yogurt (not pictured)
Delicious Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 6:
Lasagna, Green Beans, Blueberries, Dinner Roll
Tasty Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 7:
Barbecue Breaded Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Blueberries/Bananas, Broccoli
Dinner Meals For Kids

Toddler Meal 8:
Spaghetti, Meatballs, Roasted Yellow Squash, Banana, Sweet Potato Yogurt (not pictured) Garlic Bread
Toddler Meal

Toddler Meal 9:
Pork Tenderloin, Carrots, Macaroni and Cheese, Apple Sauce (not pictured), String Cheese
Simple Toddler Meals

Toddler Meal 10:
Chicken and Cheesy Rice, Broccoli, Bananas, Pears
Toddler Dinners

 

Hope this gave you some toddler meal inspiration! I’d love to hear some meals you’ve whipped up for your little ones! Comment below and share your favorites.

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Our First Trip To The Dentist.

Despite the countless books, articles and mommy blogs that I have read since learning I was pregnant in 2013, I never learned that a trip to the dentist should actually take place when your little one starts to get teeth. Say what? News to me! I mean I guess it makes sense. Even though they are just baby teeth, a lot of damage can be done to permanent teeth if a problem arises and isn’t caught in time.

With a quick Google search for Pediatric Dentists in Cleveland, Ohio, I came across quite a few results. I was interested in about three of them so I went to their websites to learn a bit more. Ultimately I chose Giggles and Grin in Broadview Heights. They seemed to have a lot of offered services, and the dentist, Dr. Becky, completed her education in Ohio. Call me weird, but I really gravitate to doctors who are originally from around here. And being that I am in marketing, I found their website pleasing. I also liked the fact that they were on social media. Again, a weird quirk of mine, but what was really attractive to me was the photo gallery. It gave me a first-hand look at the office and what to expect. There were also lots of photos of Dr. Becky posing with kids after their appointments. It was evident that she really loved her job.

So, onto the appointment. It ended up being a mommy-Liam trip because daddy had a work meeting. When we walked into the office, it was just as good, if not better, than the pictures I saw online. We were greeted with bright colors, toys and cartoons. Liam darted right to the choo-choo trains. Prior to our appointment, the receptionist told me that I could download new patient forms via their website so that when I got to the office I could keep my attention on Liam….LOVED this idea…..forgot the papers!

The actual room where Liam had his cleaning was equipped with fun colored chairs, toys and even a television on the ceiling. He wasn’t too into the TV when it came time for the cleaning, but I’m sure if he was older he would appreciate it more. Dr. Becky went through what she would be doing to Liam for the cleaning, where to lay Liam on the chair and away she went. She brushed, scraped, flossed and checked out his gums for more incoming teeth. The procedure probably lasted about 5 minutes but the appointment lasted a bit longer because she explained when to start giving him fluoride toothpaste, how to care for his teeth and so on.

At the end of our visit, I was informed that Liam will be entered into the ‘No Cavity Club’, an adorable idea where Dr. Becky takes pictures of children with no cavities and puts them on a board in the office. She also shares it on their Facebook page. As we are sitting there chatting on the floor after his picture was taken, Liam decides that Dr. Becky is pretty cool and sits on her lap (I died. Seriously kid. Could you get any cuter?!)

Liam got a toy for his good behavior (a little plastic dinosaur) and we were on our merry way. I loved, loved, loved Giggles and Grin and we are looking forward to our next appointment in 6 months!
pediatric dentist

Side note: we also got this cute little hand-written note from the dentist thanking us for our visit. You don’t get too many of these personalized gestures any more these days!
Pediatric Dentist

Look whoo’s turning one!

It has been a few days since Liam’s first birthday and I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have a toddler. Unbelievable. How did this happen? I know it is cliche, but it literally feels like yesterday that we brought him home. This whole parenthood thing is going by way too fast. Super fun. But too fast.

Anyway, let’s get to the point of this blog…the birthday party! I took planning Liam’s birthday party very seriously. Not only because it was his first party, but because I love to party plan and the only one in charge of everything was ME…I’m a bit of a control freak.

Before Liam was born, we had a series of onsies made for him. Each onsie had an owl with the message, “Look whoo’s (number) months!” And Liam’s nursery theme is owls, so it was only fitting that his birthday party would be owl themed as well.

With some assistance from Pinterest and the rest from my own brain, I got to crafting. I personally made everything from the invitations to (some) of the food. Take a look!

I designed these invitations myself. I’m not an InDesign user, so these were created in good old PowerPoint.
Owl Invitations

I wanted go get some guest participation so I thought a time capsule would be a great idea. I cut out owls, attached them to a string and added little bit of the outdoors into the craft by putting a few sticks in a rustic vase.
time capsule

There are so many clothes that I loved putting Liam in when he was itsy bitsy, so I added a clothes line of some of my favorites. Luckily the place we rented had a gorgeous fireplace so it worked out perfectly!
1st Birthday Clothes LineBaby Clothes LineBirthday Clothes Line

Birthday Clothes Line

Birthday Clothes Line

Birthday Clothes Line

Liam’s least favorite. outfit..socks.

 

We had an old frame that was just sitting in the basement so I took it apart, fixed the corner of the frame that was broken and made two boards from it. For the first board, I glued some yarn to the back of it and affixed Liam’s monthly pictures (in the owl onesies) with clothespins that were painted with his color scheme. For the second board, I took the backing of the frame, spray painted it with chalkboard paint and wrote all his stats (e.g. weight, height, number of teeth, etc). And voila! Two boards for less than $10.
birthday boards

I wanted something theme-ish for each table so I made some owls from felt to work as the weights for the balloons at each table. They were a hit! I made eight of them. They were a bit time consuming, but so worth it!

Felt Owl Balloon Weights

The cake table (and food tables, really) were complete with stuffed animals. For the cupcakes I made little cupcake toppers from toothpicks and completed the theme with ‘one’ and ‘owl’ shaped sandwiches.
Owl Birthday Cake Table

Owl Birthday Cupcakes

Owl Sandwiches

And who doesn’t love gift bags? With a little construction paper, brown paper bags and some goodies to put inside, all the kids at the party took home an owl gift bag.
Owl Gift Bags

And here he is! My little peanut is officially a toddler. He had a blast at his party despite missing every single one of his naps that day. Such a trooper! Owl Themed Birthday Party

A weekend of firsts.

The Thursday following Easter has always been the start of the Geauga County Maple Festival  and lucky for Chardon-ites, Easter came late this year, so the festival didn’t have to be cancelled on an account of being buried under several feet of snow. Of course being from Chardon, I drag my husband to the Maple Festival each and every year for a weekend full of bad food decisions. This year, however was extra special as it was Liam’s first Maple Festival!

Maple FestivalFrom the picture, you can totally tell just how excited he was.

Not only was it LT’s (Liam Thomas) first Maple Festival, it was also where both mine and my mom’s first race would take place. Last year, I signed up for the five mile Sap Run, but ended up finding out I was pregnant a few months earlier and physically did not have the energy to run five miles. I promised I would sign up next year. I blinked twice and next year was here! Being the loving daughter I am, I made my mom sign up with me. Though she thought it was a good idea at the time, after spending 11 days sick before the race, her mind was made up that this was the worst idea ever and she had a heartless daughter for not letting her back out. As we both stood at the start line surrounded by veteran runners with their water bottles tied around their waists and their short shorts despite the 32 degree temps, I too was starting to think this was the worst idea ever.

Of course as it turned out, it was a blast. The best part of course was when we approached four and a quarter miles and saw my adorable peanut sporting a onesie made by AK Grafix that said “Go Grandma Proy & Mommy Kick Butt!”

AK Grafix Custom OnesieWe treated ourselves to a huge breakfast at Spinner’s Good Time Diner, which if you haven’t been, you gotta! It was delicious.

Will we do it next year? You betcha (I say that now…)

Maple Festival Sap Run

 

 

 

Baby tales: what I’ve learned In 3 months.

So many aspects of my life have changed now that I am a mom, which is completely expected. But there’s so many changes that have completely caught me off guard. If you are a mom, I’m sure you can relate to a lot of this. If you are a soon-to-be mom, get ready. If you’re planning to be a mom in the near feature – get ready for the ride of your life!

1. My baby story wasn’t my ideal story given that I had to have a Cesarian, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have accepted it with open arms when my doctor initially suggested it (Liam was a fairly large baby).

Baby Battin The worst of the C Section was not being able to help change Liam or pick him up while he was crying during that first night. Everything after that was smooth sailing. I was right back to running in 5 weeks (shhh don’t tell my doctor)!

2. I never ever, ever, ever times infinite thought it was possible to have so much love for someone, let alone someone who spends most of their day sleeping, messing a diaper and crying. The love you have for your child is overwhelming at times. You hear mothers say it all the time, but I don’t think you really ‘get it’ until you have one of your own.

3. During my pregnancy days, I never really had any food cravings, which was really disappointing. I kept waiting for that 2 a.m. craving to send my sleepy hubby to the grocery store, but it never came. What I wasn’t expecting was for my taste buds to change post-pregnancy. I used to strongly detest bananas and now I eat one almost every day. I was also never really a pop drinker and now I find myself salivating over the sound of a pop tab opening. And the worst……all I want is candy, chocolate, cake……you name it! If it’s sweet, I want it. It’s really putting a wrench into my whole, “Lose the baby weight” program I’m on.

4. Going back to work was truly exciting for me. I was more than ready to get on a normal routine and I actually love the title of, “Working Mom.” It’s kind of synonymous with Wonder Woman. Giving Liam to a room full of strangers was another story. I made my husband drop him off at daycare because I new I would be a bumbling fool. Luckily, he goes to Le Chaperone Rouge which has been a godsend! All of the girls are so sweet and polite. It makes me feel good knowing he is in such good hands.

5. Huggies are not my friend. I’m not a fan of their overly elastic bands and have had many accidents that were not contained (if you know what I mean). I am, however, a huge proponent of Luvs and Pampers. They both fit perfectly and have really minimized Liam’s need for multiple wardrobe changes.

Huggies no good

6. SLEEP! I actually get more sleep now than I did when I was pregnant (knock on wood). Liam is an excellent sleeper. He has always been a good sleeper, he just had issues with going to bed before 3 a.m.  I would say at about week 10 he finally got on track and started to go to sleep at 10 p.m. and sleeps through the night.

7. Since I’ve become my mom – I am a worry wart. All I do is worry! Is he eating enough? Is he sleeping too much? Is he catching a cold because he is sneezing? It’s a full time job just worrying, and it’s just the beginning.

8. I was pretty adamant about wanting to establish a good sleep/feed routine for Liam, probably sooner than he was ready for one. I learned quickly to forget trying to establish a routine. Liam got on one when he was good and ready. My advice; spare yourself hours of reading books and online articles. Just go with the flow!

Baby and me

Did something happen to you post-baby, or did you learn something new that you were not expecting? I’d love to hear about it! Just comment in the box below.

A quack-tastic ducky themed baby shower.

If feels like forever ago, but really it was only last year this time that I was planning a baby shower for my cousin’s first child. I insisted on heading up the decoration committee since I love crafts and planning parties! As soon as I got the green light on the ducky theme, it was full speed ahead!

Up until delivery, my cousin had no idea what she was having, so we opted for a gender neutral theme – and what more neutral than a rubber ducky!
Here is a recap of the beautiful day!
Gift station complete with a ducky gift sign.
 sign and picture
Table filled with gift bags and green and yellow polka dot boxes full of M&M’s for baby bingo.
duckk themed game table

Giveaway bags that contained lotions, fragrances and all things nice for those who won baby bingo.

rubber ducky themed gifts

Here is the “guess how many kisses bottle” next to my all time favorite decoration – rubber duckies in a bowl of cotton balls! I should have gotten a close up, but I didn’t!

rubber ducky themed game

Dessert station.
rubber ducky desserts
For favors, everyone got to take home a bag of homemade ducky cookies complete with a “Thank you” stamped tag. Stamp was purchased at Pat Catan’s.
rubber ducky cookie
For the tables, we kept with the green and yellow polka dot color scheme with these super cute porcelain pots from the One Spot at Target.
rubber ducky decorations
And the silverware was all wrapped in yellow polka dot ribbon that we found at the The Dollar Tree.
party silverware
 Even the water bin got some ducky love!
rubber ducky water bin
 And finally, the cake!
rubber ducky cake
Me and the mommy-to-be (mommy now to a beautiful baby boy!)
rubber ducky themed shower