Thursday, October 30, 2014

Best Gifts for Two-Year-Olds

Christmas is just around the corner! EEEEEEKK! Before having kids of my own, I was always clueless when it came to buying gifts for my family or friends' children. Well, I'm hoping to help some of ya'll who find yourself in similar situations by creating a few of these age-appropriate "Gift Guides." So here are some great gift ideas for the two-year-olds in your life!

Under $15:

1. Puzzles- One thing I asked for when Eva turned 2 was puzzles! She just loves putting them together, and they are a great learning opportunity. So far we've collected these Alphabet and Number puzzles from Melissa & Doug, this Mermaid Dress Up puzzle (also from M&D), and this Fishing Puzzle game (also from M&D, actually... they seem to be the puzzle people).

2. Shape, Model, and Mold Kit (for Play Dough)- Eva is obsessed with play dough. Even though it can be messy, I love encouraging her to create things with it.

3. Little Helper Broom Set- Eva used to always try to steal my broom from me when I was sweeping, so when I saw this broom set that was just the right size for her I knew I had to get it. Now she's my little helper. :)

Under $25:

4. Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Classic Doodler- Who didn't have one of these growing up? This is great when I don't feel like supervising Eva with actual markers and crayons. It's also perfect for road trips.

5. Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set- Also a classic toy. We don't have one of these at home, but there is one at Eva's pre-school and she loves it.

6. Dress Up Sets- It doesn't have to be Halloween to dress up! Eva loves dressing up for imaginative play almost everyday. The possibilities are endless. There are these awesome dress up trunks for little princesses, or these Fireman outfits for boys (or girls, too!). I'm always finding cute costumes super cheap on GroopDealz as well.

Under $50:

7. Duplo Legos- I almost always get a set of legos as a gift when I'm going to Eva's friend's birthday parties. Why? Beacuse you can never have too many legos.

8. Little Tikes Shopping Cart- My mom bought Eva this one and it was a big hit. She loves walking around our house with it, putting random things in it. It goes great with the KidKraft kitchen listed below, too.

9. Big Wheels Beginnier's Tricycle- We bought Eva a real bike with training wheels but it's still pretty complex for her. We decided to downgrade to the Big Wheels, which I think is much easier for two-year-olds. I remember being a kid on the playground and it was always an accomplishment for kids to get their hands on one because they were ALWAYS TAKEN! Do you remember this or was this just at my pre-school? Also, I seem to remember the weirdest things.

Splurge Gifts:

10. KidKraft Train Table- This is a toy that Eva doesn't have but I have quite a few friends with boys who swear by this table.

11. TeePee Tent- Eva doesn't have this one either, but I've been dying to either buy her one or make her one myself. After I created the graphic above, I realized my blogger buddy Misty sells them on her Etsy page, so go check those out too!

12. KidKraft Kitchen- This is the "splurge gift" that Eva DOES have, and let me tell you, it was well worth the money. Eva uses her kitchen every ingle day, whether it is to make me breakfast or hide stuff she shouldn't be playing with. I'm always finding random things in her washing machine, lol.

What are your 2-year-old's favorite toys?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Post

Because what kind of horrible parent doesn't take their kids to the pumpkin patch and post pictures of it? Juuuust kidding. This is actually the first time I've ever been to any sort of pumpkin patch. The kids had a lot of fun. Damian was trying desperately to eat the grass without me stopping him, and Eva kept running as far ahead of me as possible. But I had fun too, even though I couldn't get both kids to look at the camera at the same time and it was driving me crazy. I guess we'll have to make it a tradition.

Monday, October 27, 2014

43/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}

It was another week of great weather. The forecast said it was supposed to be cold, but it didn't feel that way. Or maybe we're just getting used to life in the 60's (GASP!). Anyway, it made for a nice week of outdoor time. Here's what it looked like...
Day 8 of these Jams

Eva's really diggin this whole Halloween thing. It's the first year she really knows what's going on. She keeps asking to paint pumpkins, so we let her twice this week. I can't wait to take her trick-or-treating!!!
I found this white vinyl backdrop on GroopDealz. I can't wait to start experimenting with it more. It's way better than my beige-colored walls that always seem to wash out people's skin. I think I'm going to order another style too when they show up for sale again.
Damian's latest favorite thing to do is to take out the toys from his mini toy box one-by-one until they're all over the floor. I just love this stage. He tried lots of new foods this week, to include pears, apples, and peas. He loved all of them. I was worried that giving him fruits would make him turn away from the vegetables, but nope! His favorites are still sweet potato and green beans. He tries to eat everything in sight, now, so I really have to keep my eye on him.

Day by Day:
One of my children is now the proud owner of leather baby moccasins, and I didn't have to pay $40! They were only $15 on, you guessed it, GroopDealz.

I went to another babywearing meeting this week and it was great! This is the first time I've really made an effort to get out and socialize with other adults, haha. I'm feeling much more comfortable with this lugging around two kids thing now. Hopefully I can make some friends. :) 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Damian: Six Months

Dear Damian,

Happy Half-Birthday! I'm secretly so excited that we've reached this point. I just LOVE this age and I wouldn't mind if time slowed down right around now. You'll be crawling any day now. You get up on all fours and scoot around on your belly but you haven't quite figured out how to put them together yet. You try to pull yourself up on things because you just love being in the standing position. I can't wait for you to be able to do this all on your own. Everything will be that much more fun. I know you'll try to get into things you're not supposed to, and that will be stressful, but it will still be fun.

You already try to grab everything you're not supposed to grab. It's hard for me to text, eat, and drink anything when I'm holding you now. When I walk by a kitchen counter, two chubby little hands reach out and a warm, squisy body contorts to try to grab anything within reach. Those hands... I could just eat them.

You're eating everything now. Green beans and sweet potato are your favorites, but you'll still happily eat squash, carrots, peas, apples, bananas, and pears. Feeding you is so much fun. You attack the spoon like a little bird. If I take to long between spoonfuls, you start whining. But you also let me know when you are done. You close your little mouth and give me the look. It's so wonderful to have a good eater. I never got to experience any of this with your big sister because she just never cared that much for food.

You still love your sister more than ever. You watch her and smile at her constantly. Now that you're more active, she's more interested in you too. She'll just sit and play with you sometimes. Those are some of the happiest moments of my life.

Things you love: You love the beach and the warm ocean. You love being in the water, period. You love food. You love toys. You love our walks. You love other babies.

Things you hate: You still hate your carseat. You also hate the seconds between swallowing and getting another bite of food.

You're sleeping better than ever. You usually only wake up once, and you pulled your first 8+ hour stretch this month (though you never did it again). I'm looking forward to this stage we're entering more than ever. Thank you for being my little six-month old. I love you to the moon.

Love,
Mama
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