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LATEST POSTS

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Remember our first Pumpkin Patch trip? It was funny, and pretty cool, and not what I expected. We go plenty of fun pictures of Lexi but not the greatest family pictures. I meant to reshoot, but life intervenes. Fast foward to this year. Guess what? We got plenty of cute Lexi photos, but our family photos had a great church building in the background. Hahahaha! We just can't win! At least we all look cool in our sunglasses :) After this I said I would come back in the morning and re-shoot the other way so that the building wasn't ruining the shot ( because of the position of the sun we weren't able to turn out and get well exposed photos), but you know what? I am learning. Learning that my overachieving selectively perfectionist self doesn't usually get the time for a re-do[...]

Swan Birthday: The Pool Party

Swan Birthday: The Pool Party

After the cake was finished, half the guests had to go home and put their kids to sleep and the other half stayed for the pool part of the party. Which was almost my favorite, since things were  now relaxed. It felt like any normal day at the pool, except that the Lexis were dressed alike and there was a photographer taking pictures :) And yay, I didn't think I would actually finish blogging about the party, but I did :) It was sweet to go through the photos again. Enjoy the last post and the photos. 2nd Birthday Party: Planning, Party Favors, Decor 2nd Birthday Party: Party Outfits 2nd Birthday: The Morning Of First Birthday posts start here Photos are taken and edited by MM Works Photography   [...]

Swan Birthday: Birthday Cake

Swan Birthday: Birthday Cake

Part II is all about the cake. We used the same amazing European bakery for the cake as on her first birthday. The cakes they make taste so authentic, not overly sweet and with such a subtle soft cream. Since we were doing everything last minute, we opted for a simple cake that we [attempted to] attached a tutu to. It was so funny watching the girls blow out the candles. Alexa was too timid to go anywhere near the people at first and Lexi didn't know how to blow well yet so she was spitting all over the place (Cringe! Sorry, guys!). Finally the candle was blown out and then Lexi asked for it again and again ( we told her we would do it at home). Everyone clapped, she looked very proud. Alexa did get a chance to blow out a candle too later when there weren't so many people around. [...]

Bok Tower and Gardens Trip

Bok Tower and Gardens Trip

This is what I call a Photo Post. I put these together when inspiration strikes, when I feel like I need a little bit more beauty in the moment, when I want reminisce, when I am down, when I am lazy and don't want to write a long post, when it's late and that's all I have the energy for, when it's something I've been meaning to share for a while. There are many reasons for me to work on a post that lacks words and instead appeals to the visual person in me. This photo post is from the time when Lexi just turned 2. It was shortly after her birthday that we decided to take a trip to one of the most beautiful places I've been to, Bok Tower and Gardens in Central Florida. It's a truly unique place in Florida and I've always wanted to bring Lexi back here, the place where her dad and I to[...]

Swan Birthday Party, Part II

Swan Birthday Party, Part II

In the second part of the Birthday, the entertainer arrived and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made for a birthday party ( aside from having a photographer). Kids LOVED it. They got animal balloons, they played games, sang songs, and had a blast. Next year we will have princess visit the party. Enjoy the pictures. Photos are taken and edited by MM Works Photography}   2nd Birthday Party: Planning, Party Favors, Decor 2nd Birthday Party: Party Outfits 2nd Birthday: The Morning Of First Birthday posts start here         2nd Birthday Party: Planning, Party Favors, Decor 2nd Birthday Party: Party Outfits 2n[...]

Stuff Lexi Says: 30-33 Months Edition

Stuff Lexi Says: 30-33 Months Edition

Funny and cute sayings from 30-33 months ( 2.5 and up) Read previous editions of "Stuff Lexi Says": 24-27 Months 27-30 Months When reading about a heart and it pumping blood: Lexi: "Pump like the one daddy used to blow up dinosaur pool!" Waking up: "I want to dress up Minnie!" Me: You want to play dress up with the Minnie doll? Lexi: That's a great idea, Momma! Come on, follow me! While playing school: "Um, Mister Mama Teacher, can you read me a book and open a snack?" Lexi: "Boobie is all sandy because someone put sand in the boobie." Me: Who did that? Lexi: Grandma? Noooo!!!! Caden? (her friend) Daddy: "But first give me a kissy. Give me a kiss and I'll turn the light on in the bathroom" Lexi: "Daddy  you get a kiss on the foot[...]

Swan Birthday Party, Part I

Swan Birthday Party, Part I

I realize it has been over a year since her birthday. There has been so much travel and events since then that blogging about has been pushed back. But now as she is approaching her 3rd birthday and looking back at the party, it was FABULOUS. I loved it and she looks adorable in her Swan outfit with her matching best friend. I just have to finish blogging about it, timing be damned. I will keep it short and just leave the photos. The first part of the Birthday Party was guests pouring in and children playing with toys we brought out as well as snacking. The tea sandwiches we made were killed within 30 minutes (they were yummy sandwiches) and we had to resort to ordering pizza to keep the guests fed. :) Other than that, the first part was just a lot of talking and playing on the pa[...]

Stuff Lexi Says: 27-30 months Edition

Stuff Lexi Says: 27-30 months Edition

To me this was the cutest age for sayings, because of how funny the sentence structure sometimes was and the words she used. Then at exactly 2.5 years she suddenly started talking with normal adult sentences with proper endings but also using off the wall complicated words which made it funny too, but not as funny as butchered words and sentences of 27-30 months stage. Some of these might not be funny being read, as it was also about the stage of development as well as gesturing and voice that made it so cute and funny. So behold "The Stuff Lexi says: 27-30 months Edition" Note: She calls herself YAYA, a vestige from when she couldn't pronounce Lexi, but it stuck as her nickname. After falling down, while I was watering flowers, I was hoping she would just get up and conti[...]

The Importance of Knowing Your Child's Personality

The Importance of Knowing Your Child's Personality

A few months ago, while nursing Lexi to sleep, I was on a Facebook Gentle Parenting group reading someone's post about their daughter. I think she was refering to her daughter being an extrovert and her being an introvert and the difficulty surrounding her parenting due to that. After reading her post, something clicked in my mind. The way she was describing her daughter seemed very much like Lexi: high excitement, high energy, non-stop movement unless she is doing something that requires her attention, constantly needing attention, not playing on her own. I had always thought Alexis was high needs in the best possible way when she was little but some things just didn't jive. She wasn't sensitive in a way high needs children tend to be, she just needed a lot of attention and was very[...]

Self-Calming Technique for Toddlers

Self-Calming Technique for Toddlers

I don't know if this will work for everyone, but we have come up with a calming technique that really helps diffuse an upset that is about to turn into a tantrum. Around 18 months things started getting difficult with Lexi. We hadn't experienced any tantrums at that point, because we, for the most part, allow our daughter to make her own decisions, or give her options that are acceptable. However, that age (18-24 months) was the most difficult in terms of managing all the new desires and emotions. She was finally capable of many things with many wants, but at the same time she was still too small to do other things or understand many concepts like time. She was asserting her independence  and in many way that led to her getting upset. One day Andrew tried to show Lexi how to [...]

Front Facing Bookshelves: Creating a Green Playroom and Voracious Readers

Front Facing Bookshelves: Creating a Green Playroom and Voracious Readers

I have written about buying non-toxic rugs for the playroom. I have shared with you about the play tents that aren't sprayed with fire retardants I have opted for solid wood storage furniture from IKEA, rather than their better looking MDF counterpart. I have tried to mostly use green play furniture by Hape and toddler table by Svan But the hardest part about creating a relatively non-toxic playroom was bookshelves. And surprisingly so. You would think that the number one item in a child's play area should be books. That could be my bias talking, of course. Or more precisely, Lexi's bias. She is a book worm. Beyond anything I have seen in a toddler. She LOVES books. She inhales books. On daily basis, all you could hear from her is "READ READ! MAMA READ! PLEASE READ!" [...]

Trip of a Lifetime

Trip of a Lifetime

I am back. Two weeks of traveling is no joke. But now we are home, left to dig out from the pile of housework and workwork. I can say one thing: it was a trip of a lifetime. I cannot imagine it getting any better than what we just experienced in 2 weeks. The variety of climates, locations, experiences and activities was astonishing. We all came back enriched. With experiences. Lexi came back acting and talking like she is all grown up. We have noticed that every time we go away, we come back with a major development jump in Alexis. This time it was cognitive. I am super excited to be home and settle into our routine. Back to Daily Mom work and posting on this blog, as well as Lexi's classes and activities. It seemed like we were gone 6 months. It's only been two weeks. [...]

Vegas, here we come again

Vegas, here we come again

Almost exactly a year ago we took our first cross country trip since Lexi was born to attend a trade show. It was nerve racking for many reasons and looking back I have a mix of emotions about it. Going into it, we had no idea how  it was going to work. We had never done anything like that with Lexi and her reaction could not have been guessed. On one hand I was excited to fly with her for the first time, to show her the sights, to experience it with her for the first time. One of my most favorite things about have a child is seeing the world through their eyes and finding things that brings them joy. At the same time, I was completely lost at the idea of how she would tolerate a 5 hour non-stop flight considering we just barely got a handle on 3 hour car rides. We were also getting [...]

I can't stand it!

I can't stand it!

This blog has become such a big part of my life that during times when I can't blog, I get this nagging sad feeling. Right now we are frantically working to finish the National Breastfeeding Month with a bang and planning the annual Vegas trip for the ABC Expo, so very little time is left to blog, which will change again shortly at the end of this month. In the meantime, this is what has been keeping us busy.... [...]

Something cool brewing

Something cool brewing

I know a ton of my readers still breastfeed. Or maybe at this point are expecting a new baby or just had one.   We are running a super cool initiative for World Breastfeeding Month at Daily Mom, where readers get to share their breastfeeding stories with everyone. At the end of the month we will be running a HUGE and I mean, HUGE breastfeeding giveaway and I just want to give you the heads up to watch for it. We are putting it together now and it is massive. It will include EVERYTHING one might want, if they are a new breastfeeding mom, a mom breastfeeding a toddler, an exclusively pumping mom. We will have 4 winners. So don't miss it. I think that's all. Thought it kind of went with the previous post. [...]

South Seas Getaway Day 3: A tour around the resort and Pool time

South Seas Getaway Day 3: A tour around the resort and Pool time

Day 3 of 3 Days at South Seas Resort. See gorgeous Day 1 here and exciting Day 2 here   #justescape was the hashtag of our South Seas, Captiva trip and I can certainly say that is what we did. We just escaped. Looking at the photos, it is almost as if I have temporary amnesia from our stay there. I don't even remember and can't imagine being in that beauty. I guess it's normal because I feel that way every time I step onto the beaches here in Florida. But one thing I do know is how much I wish I could be there again. Taking photos, enjoying the sunshine, the food, the view. Not a care in the world. The last day was spent almost entirely at the pool. Thanks for the pool cabana which has long become a MUST HAVE on all our beach vacations, we were able to relax and enjoy the[...]

Lexi Twins in Nununu Baby - Cuteness Overload

Lexi Twins in Nununu Baby - Cuteness Overload

So the plan was to have the girls wear these adorable and cool outfits to Disney and take lots of adorable and cool photos with them hugging and holding hands and looking adorable and cool with the Cinderella's castle in the background. Just like most everything in motherhood, then real life happened. Real life means two crabby 2 year olds who either wanted a balloon or nothing to do with each other (hold hands...ha!) or out of the heat or to go ride rides. Lesson learned, little ones, lesson learned. So we scrapped the idea and decided to try again later. Do a Lexitwin photoshoot somewhere else. Do it after Alexa had some time to warm up to being around Lexi (opposite personalities mean that shy and quiet (in public) Alexa is often freaked out by extra-energetic in-your-face L[...]

Our Favorite Active Outdoor Toys

Our Favorite Active Outdoor Toys

I've been mentally writing this post the whole summer. Every time I would go outside with Lexi, I would think about mentioning this and that in a post on the blog. So I'll keep it short but to the point. After getting glasses, we decided to start spending even more time outdoors because that was the only thing that seemed to have any kind of correlation to slowing down myopia in studies . So we figured why not focus on spending as much time as possible outdoors. That meant creating an environment that was stimulating and interesting enough, especially for Lexi since she has a pretty high threshold on stimulation, just like her mama. I had a few items we loved before that we moved outside and then slowly "collected" other toys that have together created her "outdoor space". [...]

Sun and Fun: Toys and Safety Accessories

Sun and Fun: Toys and Safety Accessories

The last post in the Sun and Fun series is about all the items that actually make it fun to be in the sun (as well as safe and comfortable). For the other posts, go here: Submarine Kids Petit Crabe Konfidence Number 1: SUNHAT! I have gone through..... one, two, three, four, maybe five sunhats for Lexi. I've tried different brands and the only one stand alone (not with a swimsuit) hat that sticks out at me is this Polarn O Pyret sun hat. It looks great with pretty much any outfit, unlike the swim hats I've bought before. White, UV protective, but most importantly flattering with its wide shape and rounded top. It has ties at the bottom for those lovelies who tend to tear hats off at first opportune moment.    It's just a hat that really works for us. BUY[...]

Cute Organic Toddler Underwear Round Up

Cute Organic Toddler Underwear Round Up

Lexi is 2.5 years old today, she has been potty trained since 22 months. She goes dry at night IF I make sure to put her on the potty before we go to bed and she doesn't breastfeed much at night. She has been solidly and reliably going on the potty on her own without a reminder since about 24 months. Like any toddler, she waits to pee till the last second because she doesn't want to stop playing, and then run run runs to the potty, but it's still amazing to me that she does it all on her own. I wrote about how she got to be potty trained. I can't say we trained her, because we only introduced her to the concept and kept communicating it to her and then she just went when she was ready. I never wrote about what happened next. She had a few accidents in the car while trying to figure out t[...]

Real Life in Cell Phone Photos

Real Life in Cell Phone Photos

Here are some of our more candid moments that would normally be posted on IG. I am thinking about coming back to IG soon, just posting during our travels and such. Probably in a few weeks or so. So these photos- just some of the moments of our every day life. 1. Lexi and me at the beach. She is so much fun at 2.5!   Top to Bottom, Left to Right 1. At the playground with her cartoon crush Prince Wednesday ( she is no longer crashing on him, btw. Moved onto Bill from Curious George books and Winnie the Pooh) 2. Just us hanging out in the backyard 3. Lexi walked up to Brian (Alexa's dad), sat in his lap and asked him to read a book. 4. Two redneck husbands. 5. The girls at a Disney train 6. Cinderella's Carousel with my new hair ( which is here to stay btw) 7[...]

Reader Question of the Month

Reader Question of the Month

Hi Elena! What are some things I could/should be teaching my 18 month old? She is so active that is hard to get her to sit and pay attention, LOL. Thank you! That's an interesting question. And the answer is simple NOTHING! (Lexi at about 20 months) You should not be "teaching" your 18 months old anything. You should be interacting and playing with her. At this age, everything should still go by her cues. What she is interested in and how she prefers doing things. She will get to learn alphabet when she is ready, or learn to count. Right now the biggest gift you could give her is your time. Talking to her and playing with her will teach her everything she needs, including language. Obviously, you could totally insert small lessons into every day life, like washing han[...]

South Seas Getaway Day 2: Jet Skis, Beach and Fun

South Seas Getaway Day 2: Jet Skis, Beach and Fun

Day 2 of 3 Days at South Seas Resort. See gorgeous Day 1 here The next day after our arrival,packed with more experiences, was no less full and exciting. After a nice relaxed breakfast buffet at the marina with gorgeous views of gleaming white cottages and blooming bougainvillea, we set off for the beach. What gorgeous beaches Captiva has! Note Lexi's Peter Pan Dress  by Right Banks Babies.  Such perfect colors for a tropical paradise, those patterns are just amazing. It's technically supposed to be a dress, but given that Lexi is really tall, it worked as a top for us :) You would think that we would be used to teal waters and soft sand, but every time I get to spend a chance at the beach, I thank myself for making the move to Florida. There is nothing quite a[...]

BUSY MOMS: How to get more done in less time (GTD technique)

BUSY MOMS: How to get more done in less time (GTD technique)

This is a part of BUSY MOM series of posts. To see others, click here: BUSY MOM TIPS All my DM girls have been asking for this post and here it is. I know many of my readers, busy moms, might love this concept too. I have a post pending on 10 best tips for productivity and time management and a related post about my work out routine, but it all wouldn't be complete with an in-detail account of my main time management technique, POMODORO. { Glasses c/o David Kind } Up until recently I have been struggling with fitting everything into a 24 hour day. With all the hobbies and projects, obligations and websites, desires and an active and engaged toddler, it seemed like there was no way to find extra time to be more productive, or accomplish nearly everything on my constantly [...]

Super Lexi!

Super Lexi!

We have been so deep in pretend play and dress up that I thought it was fitting for a mother of a 2 year old to write at least one post about it. At first the two most played out dress up and pretend games were DOCTOR and SUPERHERO.  Just a week ago, I ordered a Princess Dress up outfit and the twirling and "Mama, I'm a princess!" have been incredibly cute to watch. I can't stop saying what a magical time it is right now. There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't hug Lexi tight and say "Oh My God, can you be any cuter?" To which she normally says "Mhm!" Unfortunately, someone here LOVES to play sans clothes, so I can never share any of the videos or photos of what goes on at home, but I love that I have it all to remember this darling age by. For her superhero play, she loves [...]

Perfect Exercise Routine for Busy Moms

Perfect Exercise Routine for Busy Moms

UGH! Can I start this post with UGH? I really didn't think I'd be here at this point, but whatever. Let me start from the beginning. Or actually let me start with this phrase: I was in better shape right after birth than I am now ( at the time of writing). Bam! That blows! It took 3 years (pregnancy and 2 toddler years) to UNDO all the work I had done prior to pregnancy. People often ask me how I stayed so fit and "skinny" after birth. Before, I could have told them something worthwhile. Now I just chuckle. I looked good after birth because I was REALLY fit going INTO pregnancy. What went wrong? Motherhood did me in :) Going into pregnancy I was in fabulous shape. Best of my life. I'd been skinnier before, but never was I that fit. I exercised during pregnancy, but it was more to[...]

A Visit to a Train Museum - Week 12 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

A Visit to a Train Museum - Week 12 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

If you haven't joined our 52 Weeks of Toddler/Preschooler Experiences and explored all the ways you can have fun together, check out this post and then this post. WEEK 12 - A Visit to a Train Museum To see all our experiences, click here For this week's activity I didn't take my big girl camera so all the photos are taken with a cell phone. I really cannot stand having my iphone camera as my only option, because Lexi moves so fast and so unexpectedly, it is difficult enough to take photos of her with a DSLR, let alone a slow bad quality iPhone camera. And all the point and shoots I have gotten no matter how good the reviews are, are just lacking. Maybe it's time to invest in a mirrorless camera. Anyways... I had been planning on taking Lexi to a train museum for weeks,[...]

Beach Photography

Beach Photography

I've shared some of the photos here and there, but never the whole beach trip. Nothing special, just some eye candy to look at. Swimsuit: Petit Crabe Pink Dress: Nununu  Baby          [...]

A Quick Disney Guide for Toddlers

A Quick Disney Guide for Toddlers

This post is catered towards walking 1,2 and 3 year olds and their parents who want a quick overview of things, and don't have time to go in-depth. The guide is obviously subjective, but having gone to Disney about 15-20 times with a baby and toddler, I have a pretty good handle on things. general tips and guide: what to wear For adults, it's a personal decision. While many choose to wear shorts and tennis shoes, there is a decent number of people who make Disney a special occasion and like to dress nicely. I belong to the latter camp. Because we go to Disney so often, I don't always put on nice clothes, but I do like to make it feel more special than just a family going to local Six Flags for the day. Disney isn't like going hiking, it has plenty of stops, shops, rest areas, so [...]

Creating a Green Playroom: Non-toxic Play Tents

Creating a Green Playroom: Non-toxic Play Tents

I have been slowly but surely designing and adding to Lexi's playroom over the past year making it into a comfortable space that is also non-toxic. As always, the last part has proven itself to be pretty difficult. I keep struggling deciding whether I want to go for what looks cute, is cheaper and easier to get OR making sure that it's as non-toxic as possible, even if that means sacrificing looks and price. Of course I want the first one. I want Lexi's playroom to look really cute, but in the end I always end up doing the right thing, even if that means getting natural wood bookshelves instead of gleaming white ones. At this point the playroom is virtually complete minus the art work and some lighting that is coming in soon, so I thought it was time to start highlighting the choices[...]