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Category: Kids

A summer with two toddlers

Happy Friday!  We have an exciting weekend planed and are skipping out early today to head up to St. Paul to get a head start on the fun!  First, though, I wanted to share a few things I have learned this summer with having two toddlers.

toddler summer

  1. A lot changes when you kid turns three.  Last spring, when I enrolled Max in preschool for this upcoming fall I was convinced he was not going to be ready.  I think anyone who has had to potty train a spirited child will agree with me that it is not easy.
  2. You want to desperately to be able to have full conversations with them and then they won’t stop talking… Max was a little slower to talk (as in he didn’t really talk until nearly three years old.  Now, he won’t stop.  It’s fun, but loud 🙂 .
  3. They learn things no matter what you do.  I am not the mom pulling out flash cards every night or doing specific learning activities (I’ve tried but it just isn’t me).  However, Max is still somehow learning, a lot!  Like more than he probably should, he can even spell a few words?  I have no idea but I’m glad something is working.

Now on to my little Asher 🙂 .

  1. Obviously I have had a one year old before but the second one is just as unique, if not more, and there is still a learning curve in learning what works for him.
  2. He is a lot more daring.  Making convincing David for number three incredibly difficult 🙂 .  I’m not sure if this is a second child thing or just a personality thing but Asher is always on top of something, upside down, in something, or getting into something.  Of course Max did this as well but not to the same extent.
  3. It’s fun to do something separately with your kids, learn about, and encourage their separate interests.  Max and Asher are almost to the day 16 months apart and they share a room so they often get put together.  It is important to encourage them to have differences and it actually takes quite a bit of work to do this!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  I am off to get a bit of work done before we pick Max and Asher up and head off to the cities for the weekend!


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Top ten baby names I didn’t use

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Mother’s Day weekend!  Today I am sharing ten of my favorite baby names 🙂 .   I have seen this topic around a few places and found it interesting to learn what names others love but didn’t choose for their babies for some reason or another.

Before I move on I just have to verify, no, I’m not pregnant not have I been successful in convincing David to move from his stance on maintaining a man on man defense 🙂 .

top ten baby names

First up, boy names!

Thomas.  I love this name and think a little Tommy running around would be adorable but David wasn’t as on board with it so it was nixed.

Lincoln.  David did not like this name at all for some reason and wouldn’t even consider it but I think it is super cute.  Although, I have no idea on what a good nickname would be for this little guy.

Harrison.  A good, strong name, in my opinion 🙂 .  Once again, David wasn’t a huge fan.

Jude.  I love the idea of simple, one syllable names and this one fits the bill.  However, David was not interested in using any names that can be found in a Beatles song (I have no idea why) so it was out.

Christopher.  I love this name.  It is possibly my favorite but I love the whole name and not any of the nicknames so we didn’t choose it 🙂 .

Girl names!  I’m not going to share the actual girl name we had decided if we did happen to have a girl so these are my other top picks.  (Just so everyone knows, I was the only who knew what we were having.  David wanted it to be a surprise but I wanted to know so I found out and kept it a secret both times!)

Eleanor.  I love this name but again, David, not so much.  Also, the Beatles.

Lucy.  A nice, one syllable name I love!  However, again, those darn Beatles 🙂 .

Elizabeth.  This was actually also my grandma’s name and even though she didn’t like it I happen to think it is a great name 🙂 .

Liberty.  I became obsessed with this name after driving by small lake once called Liberty lake.  David didn’t share my enthusiasm though.

Grace.  We actually both love this name and if we would have ended up with two girls this probably would have been Asher’s name!

It was difficult for me to narrow down my top five for each boy and girl names!  If I am ever able to talk David into more babies we may choose one of these names!

What baby names do you love?

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Healthy toddler snacks on the go

Happy Wednesday!  Christmas is only about a week away!  Quite a few people travel around the holidays and for Christmas to visit family (or maybe to get away from family – remember Four Christmases? 🙂 ) and while it is usually no big deal to travel as an adult little kids don’t always adjust well to differing eating times, different food, and just being in a different place.  In order to ease the transition a bit I always bring a suitcase FULL of snacks for Max and Asher so they have something that I know they will like and eat in case they decide to boycott all food on vacation or our eating plans get delayed for some reason.

Through a bit of trial and errors we have found some great options that travel well and are, for the most part, allowed in the airport!  Due to being easier to pack and take through the airport we usually opt for individually packaged, store bought snacks when traveling.  Also, I am usually way to busy with others things and don’t have time to make a bunch of snacks!

toddler snacks

Raisins.  By far a favorite.  These are always a go to for us and we love the little individual boxes when traveling.  They are so easy to throw in our bag while on the go.  I almost always have a box of raisins floating around in the diaper bag.

Fruit squeeze pouches.  I’m not really sure what these are actually called but Max and Asher love them!  We typically go for the organic brands such as Target’s Simply Balanced, Plum Organics, Happy Tot, Earth’s Best, Sprout, Ella’s Kitchen, and Gerber also has an organic line.

Gerber Yogurt Blends.  Max and Asher don’t like these as well as the regular greek yogurt they typically eat at home but these are a great way to travel with yogurt since they don’t require refrigeration.

Dried fruit.  Typically we stick to similar organic brands that also carry the fruit squeeze pouches.  These are nice as they are a little bit less messy, especially when your baby is younger.  The Happy Baby brand is definitely a favorite!  Sweetie Pie is also another great option that offers freeze dried fruits and vegetables.  I like these better for Max and Asher as opposed to fruit snacks which we tend to avoid most of the time.

Crackers.  I tend to avoid puffs or anything type of cereal simply because they don’t seem to fill my kids up! However, Crackers can also be difficult because they can get smashed so easily.  We learned our lesson with some Ritz in a checked bag!  I usually switch them out to a hard, Tupperware type container but they can still sometimes get smashed from being banged around in a bag.  We also love to find individual packages, especially while traveling so we aren’t carrying a big box of crackers around the airport 🙂 .  Max and Asher were loving animal crackers for awhile and there are always options (some even organic!) of those in individual packages.   Annies, Plum Organics, Ella’s Kitchen, Earth’s Best, and Sweetie Pie are some great brands that offer a variety of crackers and snacks geared towards kids.  When traveling I like to find crackers that are with filling, healthy ingredients and aren’t simply empty carbs.  I have never purchased these but I have considered trying the Cliff Kidz bars or something similar now that they are both a little older.  Asher is still a bit young for them but Max might like them and they may help satisfy him a bit more than crackers.  I haven’t looked at the ingredients yet though to see what is in them!

Most of these brands can be found online, on Amazon, Thrive Market, or their own website.  Target’s Simply Balanced brand is a great option but since we don’t have a Target nearby and many of the products aren’t available online I don’t typically buy the brand too often.  I actually just discovered this brand a month ago while in Bemidji!   Once we arrive to our hotel we almost always go out and pick up some perishable items to keep around as well and we found this brand to have some great options.  Another great, affordable option for organic snacks is Aldi’s Simply Nature, although not all of the products are organic.  They also don’t have a ton of toddler snacks but do have some other great options.

I have found I have to be really careful about the food Max and Asher eat so stopping somewhere while even on vacation to buy a quick snack isn’t always an option since they are often full of artificial everything and preservatives.  Originally I was ok with those types of snacks on occasion but since they don’t seem to agree with us I like to be prepared with lots of options!

Have a wonderful day!  Everything is kind of winding down for us with Christmas break starting so we don’t have anything planned … we might end up walking around indoors somewhere if it is too cold just to get out.


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Halloween Treats for Kids

Hello!  It has been awhile!  I have been working on quite a few other projects along with my regular daily work and simply haven’t had any extra time 🙂 .  I am going to make an effort to post 1 – 2 times a week in the future.  One post is completely doable right?

We have been dealing with the typical toddler issues, especially with “no” being, by far, the favorite word and teething from my baby that is turning one this week!  With both on them being even more mobile (2 walkers has definitely been an adjustment) I feel like all I do is chase them around making sure they aren’t getting into anything or being mischievous 🙂 .

One of our favorite activities is to make things, whether it be a craft or in the kitchen.  It allows them to be creative, get messy, and keeps them occupied.  Creating things in the kitchen is always fun because then they get to eat their create as well!  Neither Max nor Asher really understand what Halloween is (Asher was only about 2 weeks old last year!) so we have been reading books and making some fun Halloween treats in the kitchen.  Some healthy, some (most) more of a special sweet treat 🙂 .  I thought I would share a few of my favorites since they have been quite a bit of fun and Max and Asher have been loving them.  I am not at all creative in the kitchen so Pinterest is my best friend and where I found all of these ideas!


Boo-nana Pops.  How cute are these?  Bananas are a favorite in our house and tragedy strikes every time we run out.  Dipping them in some sweetened yogurt and popping on two chocolate chips was a huge hit, although a little tough for them to eat in a neat way 🙂


Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs.  I am not a fan of candy corn but she suggests using M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, or Pecans.  I love M&Ms so obviously that is what I chose 🙂 .  These are super easy to make and easy to bring as a treat to a party as well.


Pumpkin Patch Pudding.  Another super cute treat.  I am also not a fan of the pumpkins and while they could be switched out for something else that would kind of defeat the purpose of it being a pumpkin patch.  Max has a huge sweet tooth however so he will be excited to make these in the future!


Mini Donut Spiders.  I have also seen this same concept using sandwich cookies but I remember loving those little donuts when I could still eat them 🙂 .  This is another one we haven’t tried yet, although I have used cookies to make the spiders, which, they of course loved.  We will definitely be trying it sometime in the next week!


Witch Brooms.  Max LOVES reeses.  They are a super easy treat to make as well although Max can’t help me because all he does is eat the reeses rather than help build the broom 🙂 .


Pretzel Monsters.  These are messy to make but so  much fun to eat!  It is also fun to have your kids pick out the colors they want their monsters to be and let them “help” make them a little.

This Skinny Mom post also has some great, healthier options.  The fruit spiders are super cute and Max and Asher love fruit that one was a win for us 🙂 .

Both Max and Asher absolutely love being in the kitchen, and eating, so I am sure we will be experimenting with many more treats and cooking this winter!

Have a wonderful day!

All pictures with the exception of the first one were taken from the original posts from which these treats were shared.

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Alpaca Farm Fun and Fall Activities

Hello!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  We started the weekend out having my parents visit on Friday evening and then on Saturday we went downtown for a bit.  There is a party store that also sells the cutest toys that we love to look around and since Asher’s birthday is in a little over a week we needed start figuring out what we are going to get the little guy!  There is also currently a pop up West End Architectural Salvage store (hopefully they will end up putting a permanent location here!) downtown that we looked around as well.

When we got back home we all took a nap and then enjoyed some amazing chicken noodle soup David made for us.  I absolutely love chicken noodle soup and it turned out exceptionally good this time 🙂 .

On Sunday we did a bit of grocery shopping for the week and visited a local Alpaca farm!  Max and Asher both thoroughly enjoyed it and we are looking forward to doing even more fall activities with them in the up coming weeks.  There are so many fun activities to do with toddlers and young children that today I am sharing a few of our favorite activities to do throughout the fall that keep us active and outside.

alpaca farm

Apple Orchard.  Every year we make a point to visit a local apple orchard.  Often times they have hay rides, corn mazes and other fun activities for families that even little ones like Asher can enjoy.

Nature Walk.  We are fortunate to have a great state bike trail in town that can we can easily access and walk on with Max and Asher.  It typically isn’t too busy and has a ton of different types of trees and other nature for Max and Asher to look at with the changing seasons.  Max loves to walk around with his tackle box and collect different colored leaves and others things.  (Fortunately I am still able to convince him to leave these things in a ‘special spot’ at the trail and they don’t end up at home with us 🙂 ).

Zoo.  We love to go to the zoo.  It is educational and wears out two little boys quite nicely 🙂 .  The zoo actually changes quite a bit throughout the year so it works out great to go multiple times in different seasons.

Park.  A trip to the park that doesn’t result in needing a shower at the end due to the heat?  That sounds great!

Pumpkin Patch.  Little kids seem to love going out and picking out their very own everything.  Isn’t it always way more fun to pick something out where it grows than at the store?  Max has been asking for a pumpkin for approximately two weeks already so this trips is going to be in our near future 🙂 .

Visit a local festival.  Did anyone else watch Gilmore Girls?  Town festivals may be cheesy but kids love them.  Southern Minnesota has an abundance of festivals (everyone loves their heritage and history right 🙂 ) that have fun activities for both adults and children.

Minnesota in the fall is my absolute favorite time of year and I am excited for the cooler weather this week, I am ready for some cozy clothes and cappuccinos!

What is your favorite fall activity?

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