Hello, October!

Happy Friday, friends! Is anyone else in shock that it’s already October? I feel like I say this with every passing month, but seriously, what happened to September!? We are definitely in pumpkin season now, cupcakes anyone?

We’ve had a week over here. The common cold made it’s way through our family starting on Monday, well for two of us at least. We’re hoping and praying that Josiah stays healthy. He’s on vacation next week and it would be great to enjoy a week of family time, and feeling good! I’m now considering James and I to be seasonal cold getters, as in we come down with a cold every season of the year. I’ve never been sick so often since being pregnant, followed by motherhood. I think babies are more prone to sickness because their immune systems haven’t fully developed, and while my immune system puts up a fight, after a few days of direct exposure to coughing and sneezing, it’s a lost cause.

Here’s a picture of the 4 boxes of tissues I went through on Wednesday…just what you wanted to see! But seriously, I don’t know how parents of young children do it. Josiah works long hours on Wednesday’s which happened to be the day I was feeling the worst. I barely survived the 7am-1pm stretch with James, and honestly had an emotional breakdown at 12pm because I felt so sick, defeated, and drained. Taking care of a 17 month old with a lot of needs is hard enough when you’re healthy, but when you feel like you’re barely surviving the day yourself, it can be VERY difficult to cater to your baby.

And that’s why on Wednesday afternoon after James’s nap, I threw everything in the car and we drove over to my parent’s house. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. My mom stopped by the grocery store on her way home from work and made us grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup for dinner along with fresh squeezed orange juice. She set me up with pillows, blankets, and tissues on the couch and James was happily entertained with wagon rides, swinging, cars, pets, and exploring, as Grammy and Pappy took the reigns and I was able to rest.

I’m not sure if a post talking about being sick is really beneficial for those of you reading, but it’s real life and you know I try to keep things as open and honest on here as possible. When you plan for your week to look one way, but sickness strikes, you’ve just got to make the most of it. I’ve been trying to get James out of the house as much as possible this week, and we’ve been frequenting a very quiet park and playground near our apartment. It has been a good way for him to get fresh air and burn energy without exposing our sickness to anyone. We’ve got a family farm day on Saturday and a friend get together Sunday afternoon. Hopefully with the timing of our sickness, we’ll be more or less good to go for a weekend of fun!

Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ Here’s to good health and a beautiful fall weekend!

Toddler Meals: 16 Months Old

Hey guys! I didn’t mean to go MIA on you this past week. The days kept getting away from me and I have been finding myself with very little time to blog. I realize that I could probably make time by waking up earlier or writing after James goes to bed, but I didn’t feel like pushing myself to those limits this week. I hate to be an inconsistent blogger, but I also don’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself to publish a set number of posts every week. My full time job is being a wife and mom right now and it has felt like all of that and more lately chasing around a 16 month old that seems to have never ending energy!

Speaking of James, another month is well underway and I have not shared a recap of last month’s meals. In true summer fashion, I neglected to take a lot of meal photos last month but I’ll share what I’ve got. If you’re looking for meal inspiration for your little ones or wondering what a 16 month old baby eats, keep on scrolling!

BREAKFAST

Toast with peanut butter, cheerios, and mixed berries.

Banana oat pancakes topped with peanut butter, yogurt that looks like ice cream because it froze in the fridge, and blueberries.

French toast topped with sunflower butter, Life cereal with milk, and cherries.

Blueberry pancakes topped with cashew butter, and yogurt.

Fluffy whole wheat zucchini pancakes topped with sunflower butter, yogurt, and berries.

More blueberry pancakes topped with peanut butter, banana slices, and multigrain cheerios.

Fried eggs over buttered toast, mixed berries, and yogurt.

Pancakes topped with peanut butter, yogurt, and strawberries.

More eggs and toast, mixed berries, and banana slices.

Pancakes topped with nut butter, bananas, and an apple cider DONUT(!!).

Banana zucchini baked oatmeal, yogurt, and blueberries.

LUNCH

Peaches, cheese stick, and vanilla cupcake goldfish.

Toast with peanut butter, applesauce, and bell peppers.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, and bell peppers.

Peanut butter and jelly, cucumber slices, crackers and cheese.

Turkey and cheese sandwich, apples, grapes, and a chocolate chip zucchini cookie.

Peanut butter and jelly toast, roasted veggie orzo, and applesauce.

DINNER

Spaghetti with creamy tomato basil sauce and peas, bread, and watermelon.

Waffle fries, chicken tenders, cherries, and tomato slices.

Cheese pizza, cucumber and pepper slices, and watermelon.

Some kind of veggie stir fry with rice, watermelon, and shredded mozzarella.

Veggie burger with ketchup, crackers and peanut butter, watermelon, applesauce and pasta salad.

Apparently I did a lot better at taking breakfast photos than any other meal. Ooops!

I’ve said this before, but don’t go thinking that James is a perfect eater. A lot of these plates go uneaten or he will only eat the food he’s familiar with on his plate. We are also very much in a food throwing phase so often times his entire meal ends up on the floor…life with a toddler!

I do my best to add variety to his meals and slowly introduce new foods to him. It’s easy to get discouraged when he seems to be more interested in playing with and throwing his food vs. eating it. I find myself saying “why do I even bother” after a lot of meals just because I try hard to make his plates appetizing in both taste and appearance and to see all of that hard work get thrown on the floor can be frustrating.

That’s a quick update for you on where we are with eating these days. I hate to say it, but James is still drinking a lot of bottles and I’m convinced he doesn’t want to let the milk/formula go as his primary food source. Although it very well could be me who’s hanging on to the comfort of bottles. One of these days he’ll be weaned!

I hope you all are having a great week so far! Talk to you soon πŸ™‚

Toddler Meals: 15 Months Old

Happy August everyone! Another month has come and gone, which means it’s time for a roundup of toddler meals over here! James is now 15 months old, and if you’re curious what he’s been eating lately, keep on scrolling.

I’m always trying to add more variety to James’s meals, especially since some of his old favorites, such as toast with nut butter are no longer quite as appealing. His latest at meal times has looked like ignoring everything on his plate and reaching out to our food saying “nom nom nom” continuously until we start handing him random food from our plates or the table. The grass is always greener, am I right?

I have zero idea what I’m doing when it comes to feeding a 15 month old, so my strategy is mostly intuition and trying to read James’s cues. I hope that these meal ideas offer inspiration for you and your little ones, and like I always say, I post the best of what we’ve got around here and there are a lot of “not so pretty” meals eaten as well.

  • Breakfast

Blueberry bagel, blueberries, and yogurt. I usually try to mix a flavored yogurt with some plain yogurt because the flavored ones are super sweet and the plain is super bland, so a mix tastes perfect!

Must be blueberry season! We’ve got a blueberry almond flour pancake (slightly burned), cheerios, and yogurt.

Oh my gosh more blueberries! Along with a buttermilk waffle topped with PB and a banana chocolate chip muffin.

4th of July patriotic breakfast! But really nothing fancy. Mixed berries, bananas, cereal and PB toast.

Pancakes topped with sunflower butter, banana slices, and fresh picked raspberries from a friend.

Pancakes topped with PB, bananas and blueberries (!!), along with some life cereal and milk.

Ok we’re obsessed, blueberries, yogurt and french toast sticks.

Veggie egg scramble, plain donut, and yogurt.

  • Lunch

Peanut butter and jelly, mozzarella cheese stick, and watermelon.

Tuna salad sandwich, cheese crackers, and blueberry applesauce.

A hummus plate! Naan, hummus, cheese stick, peppers, cucumber, peaches, and cherries. He ate chick-fil-a french fries for dinner that night…#balance.

Roasted vegetable pesto couscous, applesauce and shredded cheese.

Pizza squares, peanut butter crackers, peppers and cucumbers.

Sunflower butter and jelly toast, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cherries.

Peanut butter on sourdough toast, chickpeas, celery, and cherry tomatoes.

Leftover chicken parmesan, naan, veggies with hummus, and cherries.

  • Dinner

Cheese quesadillas, black bean and corn salad, and watermelon.

A slightly blurry photo, oops! Coconut rice, chili maple lime salmon, and mango salsa.

Chicken parmesan, watermelon, and tossed salad.

We had salads for dinner, James had everything but the lettuce. Roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, figs, chicken, avocado, goat cheese and a croissant.

Pasta with marinara sauce, toast and butter, cherries, and celery…at the beach!

Vegan egg roll in a bowl with ramen, blueberries and a granola bar.

Buttered couscous, salmon, roasted broccoli, and watermelon.

Peanut butter and jelly, peppers, cucumbers, hummus, and blackberries.

And for DESSERT?!

Ice cream of course πŸ™‚

Question of the Day: What do meals look like for you and your family?

We’re in a stage of life where meals are often hectic, messy, loud, and all around unpredictable. Not the most ideal circumstances for someone who looks forward to each and every meal of the day, but I value eating as a family and if it requires a lot of noise and food thrown everywhere, I’ll roll with it. Or try to at least πŸ˜‰

Happy eating everyone!

Happy 4th from the Beach

Happy 4th everyone! James and I arrived to Pawley’s Island VERY late last night. We didn’t go to bed until after midnight! Our plane was delayed, and after screaming his lungs out for the first half of the flight, James finally passed out in my arms for the remainder. I’ll spare you all of the travel details for now, that could be a whole post in and of itself. Most importantly, we made it safely and it’s the 4th of July on the island and the rest of the country!

James slept in a bit later than usual, and we started our day with the most patriotic breakfast I could come up with. Gotta love a red white and blue breakfast on the 4th.

Soon after breakfast, it was off to the beach! James is already a big fan of the ocean and all of the sand. I was filled with joy watching his little mind take in the beach scene for the first time. I can’t wait for him to get even more comfortable with the environment in the next couple of days, I have a feeling we have a beach baby in the making.

We missed out on the Pawley’s Island parade in favor of a nap, but I’m sure our afternoon will be filled with lots of adventures. I’ve got a pasty white baby on my hands, so we just have to be careful about the blazing sun later. Maybe some shaded fun will be in our best interest.

I hope you are all out there enjoying this beautiful day! I’ll stop by soon with more updates πŸ™‚

Toddler Entertainment: 14 Months Old

As a full-time mom, I wake up every morning with one primary goal for the day, keep James alive and entertained. We both get bored easily, so I try and fill our days with lots of fun and play. I’ve listed some of our favorite weekday activities below. They’re a 2/10 on the creative scale, but maybe they’ll spark a new idea for you and your little one(s).

  • Fresh Air

This is my number one tip for keeping little ones happy. Whenever James starts to get cranky with indoor play, we pack up and head outside. Now that it’s summer we have been trying to get out as early as possible to beat the heat. Even some playtime in the driveway is enough to change the scenery (as well as the mood).

  • Playgrounds

Along with simply getting outside, a trip to the playground is always a fun treat! James particularly loves spending time in the swing, and now that he is more mobile he has started to enjoy exploring other areas of the playground as well. We spent a good part of the afternoon at a local playground the other day and it was a great way to combat the afternoon slump.

  • Walks

Whether they are in the stroller or backpack, babies always seem to enjoy a nice walk and parents do too! True confession, I don’t love the hiking backpack. We have a nice one, it just doesn’t work for me. I have a herniated disc in my low back and I experienced a lot of pain the day after I took James on a short hike with the backpack. I do love a good stroller walk though, and often use our time spent walking as a way to engage my mind and listen to a podcast while James happily takes in the scenery (most of the time).

  • Water

Not all babies like water, but if yours does, I highly recommend incorporating water play into the day. Something about a simple tub of water and a few floating toys creates a wet and wild time of joy for James, and I’m sure other babies as well! Since we live in an apartment, we don’t have much yard access. I try not to let that stop me from letting James play with water and we usually just use our back patio most of the time.

  • Snacks

Snacks aren’t always the answer, but for James they are. Ha! I’m sort of kidding, but I’ve found that a quick snack, especially right after a nap, can ease his grogginess and cheer him right up! These days it feels like James is snacking all day long, I think that’s normal for babies his age? Either way, if it makes him happy then I will happily oblige.

  • Library Activities

We got a flyer in the mail from our local library and I’m so excited to bring James to all of the kid’s programs offered this summer. Aside from an independent reading program, there is also a weekly story time, puppet shows, dance parties, and all kinds of fun scheduled throughout the summer at the library. We literally have not stepped foot in a library since James was born, but now that things are opening back up and James is at a good age, we look forward to using the resources offered at our local library.

  • Mom and Baby Playdates

We don’t do these enough! But whenever James and I do get out with other mom’s and babies we both instantly cheer up. Connecting with other moms while watching your baby enjoy time in a new environment with other adults and babies is such an awesome experience. It is easy to feel isolated as a mom, and I find it crucial for my own mental health and well-being to surround myself with as many social connections as possible.

There you have it! Our super non-creative list of activities. I always wanted to be one of those moms that comes up with the coolest projects and crafts for kids…I’m not there yet. But I will let you know if we come up with other fun activities to add to our list!

Have a lovely Wednesday afternoon everyone πŸ™‚

Question of the day: What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your little ones?