Rilo’s Big Girl Room Board #1

We will be moving around a lot in the next few months.  I'm sure I'll share more as soon as everything is solidified, but for now, I'll just share that we are likely moving a very short distance this fall.  As we move, I would love to transition Rilo to her big girl room!


I shared two sets of sheets I recently fell in love with from the thrift store.  I've put together a board using each set to decide which I like better.  Both would be really cute I'm sure!

{Click on the images to see their sources}

Wooden Shelf DIY Mokkasin Print Target Lamo PB Teen Duvet West Elm Rug Fox Print Around the World Print

Collier 5 Months


If you read my kids' blog, then you've read some of this already! Here is Collier at 5 months, in a nutshell.


Holy cow...Collier is 5 months now! He is HUGE. I need to get his official stats but he is a big kid. Everything about him is just big...hands, feet, all of it. He is the happiest kid on the block, full of smiles for anyone looking his way. Seriously, I can't get over how sweet and happy he is all the time.


I've stopped swaddling him now, since he definitely rolls tummy to back and occasionally goes back to tummy. He's actually sleeping better than he was a few weeks ago when he was swaddled. He's even putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up. He still wakes up every 2-3 hours though, so don't go thinking I'm super lucky. He takes a quick morning nap and then a long afternoon nap (just like Rilo did at his age).  I feel immensely blessed that my kids' take afternoon naps at the same time.  Hallelujah!


I cannot for the life of me get Collier to take a binky or a bottle. He just chews on everything, but never understands that he needs to suck on it. He's found his thumb, but same thing, just gnaws on it instead. I have to keep trying though because I would love to be able to leave for a little bit without stressing. Especially since I'm shooting a wedding in a few weeks where I'll be gone nearly all day. (Cross your fingers Mom).


He loves his toes right now. I love it when he's sitting and he grabs onto those little piggies...So cute. He's getting better at sitting for longer periods of time but still topples over now and then. He loves to play with his toys, mostly just chewing on everything.


I'm so glad he's around to make me smile all the day long (especially when the terrible twos show up around here). We love our Collier Bud!



And as for Miss Rilo Jane, well she is certainly keeping me on my toes.  She can be as sweet as sweet can be, and then the Terrible Twos come knocking' and well, then she's maybe not quite as sweet.  She is mischievous that's for sure.  It takes her only a split second to get into whatever it is you've told her not to get into a million times.  (Her favorite things to get into right now are lip gloss, toothpaste and chocolate chips).  And don't think any shelf is too high, because my fearless girl will scale anything.  And all it takes is one quick turn of your back and she is gone for good.


Despite all these things, I still can't get enough of her.  She is funny and silly and super smart.  Smart enough to know that when she's getting in trouble, she should quickly declare "Mommy, I want a pony tail in my hair!" so that I get excited and distracted.  Only to find out she doesn't, in fact, want a pony tail, but mainly wanted to dupe her mommy.  And then I can't help but smile, because how smart is that!?  She knows all letters and numbers and letter sounds.  She likes to spell her name and sing songs.  She likes to make up funny phrases to songs that are our own inside jokes.  You may think it goes "merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream", but nope, we like to sing, "merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a YEP!".


Her mullet is finally growing and I think some day soon, she might actually have hair to call her own.  The last few days, she has gone on the big girl potty without any prompting from me.  Potty training is coming up in the next few weeks!  Some of her favorite things include: brushing her teeth, playing at the park, going to the "poom" aka the pool, painting, reading books and spending time at PoppyGigi's house (yes, it has morphed into one name, minus the "and").


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Let Your Kids Play: Park Playground Tips



We spend a whole lot of time at parks, even in the winter.  Sometime we even go to two parks back to back, because we're crazy like that!  I feel a little silly even writing this, but I overhear and see a lot of the same things from parents each time we go.  There is so much going on at the park for your toddler besides just a time filler!  So I thought I would offer some (seemingly) simple tips to parents with toddlers, that will hopefully make the park not only fun for you and your kid(s), but a learning experience too!


No seriously, let them run!  I can't tell you the number of times I hear parents saying "Don't run!" at the park.  In fact, I've heard it at nearly every park I've been to.  There are so many places that kids probably shouldn't run...the pool, church, inside the house, etc.  But the park should not be one of them.  If not the park, then where?




Here's where I am probably way more lax than most.  I want Rilo to try anything!  She is fearless by nature but also by nurture.  If she wants to try it, I want her to try it too!  Whether it be the two story slide in St. Louis (seriously, St. Louis has the craziest slides, see the picture at the top), the rock wall, the sand pit or the monkey bars.  Of course that doesn't mean I don't help her or spot her or watch her, but I let her try whatever she wants.   Yes, Rilo may get messy or there may be some bumps and bruises along the way, but there is so much more happening when she tries new playground equipment.  She is learning gross motor skills, problem solving and boosting her confidence all at once.  She's also learning what she is capable of doing and what she may not be able to accomplish for a few years.  You should have seen the look on Rilo's face the other day when she figured out how to climb the rock wall (that was much taller than me) all by herself.  She was so proud and I was too!  I think sometimes as parents we get stuck in the "no and don't" rut and the park is a great place to try and get out of it!


The playground is a great place for kids to learn social cues, make friends, observe behavior and interact with kids of different ages.  Unless I see inappropriate/dangerous behavior, I love to let Rilo meet new park friends and play on her own with them.  I sit back and observe and see what we can work on together at home.  Right now, she most definitely need some work on taking turns!  But she has mastered asking someone's name and telling them her name in return.  And these are the types of things I learn from simply watching her play at the park!  We often talk on the way home about the things we saw and the interactions that happened and whether they were "nice" (her favorite word) or not.



What about you?  Any good park tips to offer?


We, Three: Summer Shoes

So I'm going to start a little occasional series called "We, Three".  It will focus on finds for me, for Rilo and for Collier.  The first of this series is focused on new summer shoes for all of us!  I am long overdue for some new summer shoes...I don't think I bought a single pair last year or the year before. Yikes! This time I chose 3 stores to find shoes from: Zara, H&M and Old Navy.

Click on each image to take you to the source!


Zara Zara Zara H&M H&M H&M Old Navy Old Navy Old Navy


Make sure to check back tomorrow because I'll have a tutorial on how to make your images clickable, like mine above!


Happy Birthday Rilo Jane!

Today my first baby turns two years old.  I think I may be in shock.  I remember the day she was born.  I remember looking at her and wondering what she would be like, who she would look like and wondering how my life would be with her in it.  Today I can't even remember what life was like without her. She is the happiest, funniest, most spirited little girl.  She is full of mischief and yet so full of pure innocence.  She is smart...a little too smart I think.  And she is so full of love.  "Yuvy, yuvy, yuv" she says as she throws her arms tightly around your neck (which translates to "Lovey, lovey, love" if you can't say your "y's").  She is infectious and we miss her every second she's not with us.  I love her constant sing-songy chatter...and when I say constant, I mean constant.  She never stops talking for anything.  I still hear nearly every day "wow, she talks A LOT for her age".   I love her for all the things she teaches me about myself and the world.  Life would not be the same without my sweet Rilo Jane!  Happy birthday big girl!!




Rilo’s Winter Waterland Party

We had a really good time at Rilo's 2nd birthday party!  At 39 weeks pregnant, I knew I wanted to make it as stress free as possible.  We rented a room at our local library which was the best decision.  When I sent out invites I realized that there would be around 20 1-3 year olds!!  The big huge room, with nothing to break and a door that closed was absolutely perfect for all the kids (and the moms too!).  We filled the floor with balloons and all the kids ran around and played for 2 hours.


The library had policies on hanging things on their walls so I bought 2 large presentation boards and decorated those for the backdrops for the food and drink tables.  For food there were Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes, Seafruit (fruit), Sea Anemone (Veggies), Sushi Rolls (Assorted Wraps), Goldfish and Whale crackers.  The star of the show was going to be macaroons shaped like oysters, with a pearl inside, but they fell through last minute.  Instead I brought peanut butter bars, which I was going to label driftwood.  I've never claimed cake decorating as a skill of mine, which is evident from the pictures.  Luckily it tasted just fine!


For activities, I made a wooden fishing game.  I bought a dowel rod, some magnets and little wooden painted sea creatures from the craft store.  I used hot glue, but I would suggest using something stronger, like E3000 for gluing the magnets.  We had some that came off during the party (hello choking hazard!).  We had a craft table where the kids made an octopus with a paper plate and crepe paper.  I also had a Pin-the-Scale of the Fish game, but we didn't even get to that part...the kids loved the balloons the most!

For favors, Alison from The Alison Show, taught me how to use royal icing and we frosted mini fish cookies for everyone to take home.  The party wasn't as crazy detailed and styled as I had it in my head, but I had a great time and hopefully everyone else did to.  And really, that's what matters!





Thanks to everyone that came and special thanks to my girl Kayti, who came to our rescue and helped us bring all the food and supplies to the library last minute!


Old Navy Baby Sale

Why is it that I have the hardest time buying things for myself but have NO problem buying things for my kids?!  Is it because the clothes are miniature, therefore cuter?   I don't know the reason, but I really have to hold myself back sometimes.  This week is the Old Navy Baby Sale and I'm not sure I can resist much longer.


{Yellow Dress, Blue Tunic, Striped Hoodie, Yellow Skinnies, Striped Flats}



{Grey Tee, Purple Striped Button Down, Green Windbreaker, Canvas Shoes, Green Jeans }


I'm just finishing up the photos from Rilo's 2nd birthday party.  Can't wait to share!


My Little Valentine

Rilo let me take a few photos of her in one of her Valentine's Day outfits.  And by "let me take" I really mean I bribed her with sour gummy worms that she found while I was cleaning up.  She was so politely asking "Umm, maybe scissors please?", trying to get me to open the bag for her.  She did this for about 15 minutes before I finally wised up and realized I could use the worms to my advantage.




And how things were getting accomplished...sour gummy worms!

I'll be spending today with Adam and Rilo...we're hoping to head out early for a little family dinner. Today is also my due date! We are patiently waiting on our little boy, though I imagine he won't make his appearance until later this week/early next week.  Hope you all have a fantastic Valentine's Day!


Gutter Bookshelf Update

Almost 2 years ago, we put in a gutter bookshelf for Rilo's room.  We've loved it thus far...especially since it was free (we had a gutter sitting in our basement)!  Lately though, Rilo's shelf has been overflowing with books.  Adam cut another piece of the gutter and we installed a second shelf.  We also grabbed the $14.99 toy box from Ikea.  It's nice to have one place to throw her toys...it makes her room feel much more organized!