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  • FEATURED POST: 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

LATEST POSTS

Skylar Lunar, the only organic PJ you need to know about

Skylar Lunar, the only organic PJ you need to know about

I was not asked to write this post, nor was I paid, or sent samples for this post. (I was sent samples initially for something else - that's how I discovered them, but that was long ago and I have been buying from them since) This is simply me raving about a company that I love. I've gone through a few organic PJs companies for Lexi and all of them were... good. But it wasn't until I came across Skylar Luna that I was completely sold and in love and felt absolutely no need to ever buy anything else except for maybe Christmas PJs. The only other real competitor that makes organic pjs is Hanna Anderson, but there is absolutely no comparison here. While I looooove Hanna Anderson patterns and colors and their holiday pjs, the level of comfort is just NOT there. What makes Skylar Luna so spe[...]

Blowing Giant Bubbles - Week 5 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Blowing Giant Bubbles - Week 5 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Seriously, guys, this is awesome! I love how this project makes me step out of the comfort of doing the same things every day and try out new things. 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 5 - Blowing Giant Bubbles To see all our experiences, click here This was a lot of fun for the kids! We happened to have a giant bubble maker I bought on Zulily when Lexi was just a few months old, so I brought it to our pool playdate with E (8) and A (3) and their mom Inessa. Lexi loves the pool so she went in right away, but then instantly everyone wanted to try the bubble maker  and boy, was it fun! After a good amount of time taking turns, making bubbles, runn[...]

Hiding in the depth of my photo library

Hiding in the depth of my photo library

Was this precious gem! Sometimes, I file photos away under a name that never draws my attention and then as I clear out and organize photos periodically, I find beautiful things, like these ones. How can you not love this girl to pieces? Especially when she open her mouth and says something completely adorable! oh and yes, it's 1:51 AM and I am still on my computer working, answering emails. I still have to work out before I can go to sleep. Yikes![...]

Your Wonderful Two's - A letter.

Your Wonderful Two's - A letter.

Baby girl! I stopped my monthly letters because you're growing so fast that it would impossible to keep track of everything, and you're increasingly (I would never think it'd be possible) taking more of my time playing and having fun that it's not something I can keep up with. However, there is also so much cuteness that I want to make sure I never forget. So I will write these to you occasionally when inspiration strikes and your sleep schedule allows :) This letter encompasses the best age so far: 22-25 months (pics are from 22 months). I wanted to include a video, but that is A LOT OF work, so I will have to create it later and put it into a different post. People often talk about the terrible two's. What many don't know is the terrible two's actually hit between 1 and 2nd year, [...]

My Easter Picks

My Easter Picks

Here is what Lexi is getting for Easter plus some additional awesome Easter Basket ideas. 1. Two buckets to start her first garden ( as a part of 52 Weeks of Experiences) 2. Bunny Ears ( Target dollar bin) 3. FurReal Bunny ( that hops and moves). I haven't tried it out yet, but Daily Mom covered a FurReal toy in the Christmas Toy guide and it looks fun. 4. I See Me bunny and a book 5. Slinky ( a blast from the past) 6. Chirping Chick ( this one is really cool. When you sit it down in your palm, it starts chirping. Lexi will get a kick out of it, I am sure) 7. Yoyo ( not pictured. She has been asking for a yo-yo for a month now, so I figured it was time) 8. Chalk  (from Wee Can Too) and finger paint (from Glob) 3. Emi-Jays - Hair ties that double as a bracelet w[...]

Fort Building - Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Fort Building - Week 4 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 4 - Puddle Splashing and Fort Building To see all our experiences, click here Continuation of our Week 4 where we managed to do two activities in one day, thanks to the rainy day. See Puddle Splashing here So pretty bored on a rainy evening, I asked if Lexi wanted to build a fort. What else did we have to do? She gave me an enthusiastic YAY! even though I am not sure she knew what I meant. So we asked daddy to drag five dining room chairs into the living room and stripped the guest room off its fitted sheet. Of course the sheet didn't stay, so I brought out the "classy and subtle" blue masking table and taped th[...]

Puddle Splashing and Fort Building - Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Puddle Splashing and Fort Building - Week 4 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 4 - Puddle Splashing and Fort Building To see all our experiences, click here This week we have all been sick, still recovering so not much was done. I was hoping to go on a family bike ride through the woods but it couldn't happen cuz we were miserable. But just as it would happen we got a rainy day. YAY! And rainy days mean two things: indoor activities and puddle splashing. She was familiar with puddle splashing from Daniel Tiger episode and our previous experience and fort building was completely new to her, not even something she has ever read in books about. As I kid I LOVED building forts and escaping to [...]

2nd Birthday: The Morning of

2nd Birthday: The Morning of

So it's end of March. It's been two months and I am ready to do a recap of Lexi's 2nd birthday. Not too bad, considering my track record. At least it's not August :) See? I am trying to catch  up. The series of posts on her birthday will be similar to last year: Birthday Morning Decor, Planning and Favor Bags Main party (several parts) Pool party (the pool part of the party) I have very fond memories of the first birthday party and the second one, too. You'd think that with all the stress of planning, stress would be all that I would remember, but it's really just so much fun! I will talk about planning and the theme and how the thought process evolved for the party in the Decor Part. So on the eve of her birthday, our friends who were visiting us for Lexi's birthday [...]

We Heart Lexis

We Heart Lexis

This morning when my daily Zulily email came through, I saw that they are having a RUUM sale. Being one of my favorite and really inexpensive brands, I thought I would give you guys a heads up and post some pics of the two Lexis in their RUUM outfits for Vday this year. Both the heart sweater and the heart t-shirt are available on zulily for 17.99 and 6.99. Aren't they cute? STRIDER Strider Bikes are also on sale for those looking for a super good quality balance bike. [...]

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS - Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS - Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Toddler 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 3 - FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT OUTDOORS! To see all our experiences, click here This last week we technically completed quite a few things off the list. We went to a county fair and rode a pony and visited a petting zoo, had a picnic during the St Patrick's parade, went to the zoo,  had a movie night with snacks,  and almost rode a rollercoaster (yes it was a busy week), but ONLY one activity was intentional. Since the 52 weeks of experiences isn't about crossing stuff off your check list, but CREATING experiences, I do not count any of these but the movie night. The rest just happened on their own. We didn't talk about it, we[...]

Baby's got glasses and what we, as parents, should know about sight!

Baby's got glasses and what we, as parents, should know about sight!

About a few weeks ago, we made a decision to get Lexi glasses. After a yearly trip to an ophthalmologist, we found out that Lexi was nearsighted (she can see well close up but not far away) and could possibly need glasses. The doctor didn't seem so sure that she HAD to have them, if we didn't want to get them, but after figuring out how she must be seeing and reading up on some studies, we decided that it was necessary.  So that same day, we took her to a local lens store and got her two pairs of glasses. We had an idea that it would happen sooner or later, as Andrew's side of the family have all  been in glasses since a very early age, especially the females. Given that childhood onset myopia (nearsightedness) is primarily genetic, we figured she would need glasses at some point, but, [...]

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Recently we came back from another short trip to Disney and there was something I wanted to write about. I usually don't write "short-ish" posts like this, especially about just one topic, but this one impressed me so much I feel it warrants its own post. Up until now we have always skipped one attraction at Magic Kingdom, "Enchanted Tales with Belle". It's a new attraction, a part of the Fantasyland redesign, it always has insane waits and up until now it was not included into the FastPass program. So we had skipped it every time. This last time, however, it was one of our three FastPasses that we are allowed per day under the new program that we got. So we went. This attraction was a complete shock to me because I was going there expecting it to be a waste of time for a 2 year o[...]

Kite Flying - Week 2 of 52 Weeks of Toddler Experiences

Kite Flying - Week 2 of 52 Weeks of Toddler 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 2 - KITE FLYING! To see all our experiences, click here So this was fun! But also tricky! Background story: we have been reading The Berenstein Bears' Big Red Kite book for a while now and it's one of Lexi's top 25 books (she usually has about 20-25 favorites at a time). It really is a great rhyming story that also teaches a lesson. We also have a Curious George book about Flying a Kite in both Russian (I had to order it in Russia and have m mom ship it) and English (and there is one based on the episode), and Lexi crushing on a character Bill in the story helped with the whole kite thing. So she was already too [...]

Faces of a 2 year old

Faces of a 2 year old

Age: 22 months [...]

Goodbye, Instagram!

Goodbye, Instagram!

I deleted my main Instagram account. It was a pretty rash decision. But one that I've been going back and forth on for weeks now. I know a lot of you really enjoyed connecting with us through Instagram and I have to admit, that was one of the best parts of it for me, too. But something had to change. As you noticed, I've been struggling to write on this blog consistently due to most of my time going to spending time with Lexi and the addition of Daily Mom. I have a lot to share and talk about but only 24 hours a day and a toddler that literally needs me 20 of those 24 hours, as well as a fairly large website to run. So something had to give. Instagram wasn't ever meant to be an extension of my blog, which it was becoming. I was finding myself resorting to posting on Instagram whe[...]

This happened today!

This happened today!

Then 4 neighborhood kids joined and it turned into an EPIC mess, followed by a group hose-down and sunset kite flying. The 52 Weeks of Experiences is certainly making our life even more fun than I expected. And this isn't even a part of our weekly entry. {activity inspired by Megan V}[...]

Couch Jumping- Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Couch Jumping- Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Experiences

Ah! We are here! I am so excited to be posting our first week of the 52 Toddler Experiences Scavenger Hunt. This week we took on an easy one that could be done with no preparations and spur of the moment. A good start to get into the swing of things. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!  I was honestly surprised that such a simple activity as jumping on the couches would be so interesting. To see all our experiences, click here At first Lexi didn't want anything to do with it. She didn't know what I was doing, why I was doing and honestly, she clearly couldn't care less. I've got a very determined girl, who is driven and likes to play the way she wants to play (which is one of the big reasons I like to introduce books and concepts to her before activities, otherwise she has no interest i[...]

My first NIP comment

My first NIP comment

I've been breastfeeding in public for over 2 years now and based on the stories that circulate in the media this whole time I was prepared to get disapproving looks or comments. I've gotten none. No one has ever said anything or looked negatively at it. That is good news. I've also gotten a few smiles, nods and thumbs up. But I've never gotten a single comment. Till today. So I guess it's a big deal. Maybe it was just a st Patricks day atmosphere and all the drinking that I assume goes on early in the morning, but... I was sitting on a bench breastfeeding Lexi after the parade today when a man in his 50s was walking by. He respectfully waved at us and then passing by, cheerfully said "Carry on!" -"Will do!" - I answered excitedly matching his tone. That sort of cheered me up[...]

On blogging and photos

On blogging and photos

It's funny when I get to clean out my drafts, I often find unfinished posts or photos I never shared. The "art" of blogging isn't exactly easy. You have a flurry of thoughts and ideas to share, you maybe find a second to write them down before they get pushed away by something more relevant, and then the most hated part of all bloggers- formatting, proofreading, etc. Ugh. If I could just write a wall of text and hit publish, then there would be a lot more wordy posts. But the reality is that aside from proofreading (which doesn't always happen, and ALWAYS takes an exorbitant amount of time), there is sectioning your thoughts out, making them clearer, adding headers, organizing the post into sections so that it wasn't a bunch of ramblings but a concise post. Then there is formatting t[...]

52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!

52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!

If you have not read the Experience Scavenger Hunt post, go there first and then come back to participate. So the 52 weeks of Childhood Unplugged experience poll is now closed and I have assembled our list of experiences. I decided that going by the majority vote wasn't fair because many great suggestions were added late and didn't get a chance to be seen and voted on as much. So instead I took ALL of the suggestions and compiled my own list out of it and left the rest below for you guys to pick and choose from. The way I see this happening is everyone either makes their own list or goes off of the one I compiled, if your toddler is similar in interests. I would love it for us to find a way to do the same thing on the same week so that we could share the experience, but of course it's [...]

The best kind of Sneetch on the beaches

The best kind of Sneetch on the beaches

Whenever I can't think of a creative title (read: all the time), I tend to resort to Dr. Seuss. Not sure why the guy happens to have the coolest titles ever. For a mommy/baby blog, to boot. This is nothing more than a photo post. Back from November. Lexi is 22 months, and adorable as always. These have been sitting in my "share later" folder. I figured better "later" than never. So here we go. Just photos. just us. Just the beach. Just Lexi doing splits. Yeah, I know. Weird, but she loves it! Lexi's dress is from my favorite Biscotti & Kate Mack               [...]

Toddler classes and activities

Toddler classes and activities

One of my long time readers, Irina, suggested that I write a post about the classes/activities Lexi takes/attends and the effect that it has on her and her development. I thought that would be a pretty fun topic to discuss since I love going to organized activities with her, just like I did when I was a kid myself. Usually , most of our mornings are taken up by these activities and evenings are full of free play and book reading at home. I should do another day/week in life post, now that I think of it. WHY I always day dreamed about taking my daughter to different classes, even though you often see this particular part of parenting made fun of : "Soccer Mom" or "Carting your kids around". The way I see it is it's a perfect way to allow her to interact with children her age, g[...]

Rainy Day Family Photoshoot

Rainy Day Family Photoshoot

Ok, so picture a perfect family photoshoot at a gorgeous beachside hotel? Beautiful coral, mint and white colors, sparkling beach, tropical huts.... Perfection, right? What could be more gorgeous that a setting like that for a family photoshoot? Ugh! Our luck ( seriously, it seems like every time we set out to go take beautiful pictures for the sake of beautiful pictures, something goes wrong!) would have it, it was THE RARE rainy day. Not the "30 minute thunderstorm and then sunny all day" like we are used to, but good ol' Cleveland type of nasty, cold, yucky rain.... Brrrr... We dragged our photographer/BFF, Leeka, all the way there for nothing. We did take photos, except that we looked like wet rats with frizzy hair, but still fun to look back at. And of course her photo[...]

Christmas & Christmas Morning: Holidays in Review

Christmas & Christmas Morning: Holidays in Review

Since I resumed blogging at the end of January, I sort of missed out on all the holidays posts, and now that I am knee deep in inspirations for other parenting/breastfeeding/toddler posts, it's hard to have to go back to the holidays that happened 2 months ago and do a recap. But. Christmas morning is pretty fun. And there are some fun presents there. And I had the pictures ready. So I just have to do it. It's the last one, too. If you ask me what we did on Christmas Eve, I honestly can't  remember. Like I seriously can't remember whether we cooked, or did take out or how it all looked. I know Lexi opened some gifts, I know we took some photos and the rest is blank. I've experience this memory funk since Lexi was born. It's like my memory is selective and can only hold so much! So th[...]

"52 weeks of Childhood Unplugged", an experience scavenger hunt!

I would like to propose something! If you have a toddler or a pre-schooler, read till the end. The other day I was on the playground with Lexi when some of the older kids started climbing a tree. Obviously, Lexi instantly said "Lexi, too! Lexi, too!" So we walked over the the leaning tree and watched the kids take their turns climbing it while she bounced up and down, chanting "Lexi too climb tree!!!" When the kids were done, I helped her get started and she happily and proudly attempted to repeat what she saw the other kids doing. As I stood there helping her get higher and higher on the tree, it made me think of two things: 1.We should take her to the Robinson's Tree House at Disney (lol) and 2. What an AMAZING moment! This is her FIRST time climbing a tree! Such a true [...]

The girl in the red dress- Vday style

The girl in the red dress- Vday style

Two days before Valentine's Day, we went to our weekly Kindermusik class V-Day style. We had put together little valentines for everyone in the class to exchange with, pulled out a perfect red dress from the closet that had been waiting to be worn on this holiday... The class was a lot of fun and Lexi enjoyed exchanging valentines with her friends. We hadn't done anything special during the week because she still doesn't get the point of crafts aside from scribbling or drawing and has no interest in trying it, and she is too active to cook V-Day themed recipes with me, so I didn't want to even attempt any of it till next year. Besides, with our anniversary falling on Valentine's Day, I wanted to keep this holiday for us, adults, without catering to kids too much, like we do for pretty m[...]

Artifact Uprising Photo Books

Artifact Uprising Photo Books

Working on the Lexi's classes and activities post, as well as the last one in the Holidays in Review, Christmas Morning, but in the meantime, I've had this post prepared since before Lexi's 2nd birthday. See I've been in love with the style of the photo books by Artifact Uprising, and I even had a code for a complimentary book, but it wasn't until mid last year that I could put it together and, obviously, now till I was able to blog about it. I really don't have to gush about it, because the style is apparent in photos, but this is by far my favorite book to use for my photos. I felt it was perfect for Alexis' First Birthday because our photographer's style was exactly what Artifact Uprising is all about- mute colors, blurred edges, softness, calm, peace. It's softcover, has the f[...]

Holidays In Review: Early Gifting, Decorating and Pre-Christmas Experience

Holidays In Review: Early Gifting, Decorating and Pre-Christmas Experience

This was our first real Christmas since Alexis was born. She was too young to understand gifts or the decorations or even do any of it safely before that when she was one, so we sort of skipped the whole Christmas deal that year and just had a Christmas dinner. This past year however was all about buying Lexi her first Christmas gifts, decorating together, playing Christmas music, reading Christmas Books, going to Christmas events, seeing fake Florida snow. Santa Claus I thought a bit  about how to do Christmas in our family. I was not ok with the whole Santa thing (some strange old dude bringing presents through a chimney? What?) but I couldn't think of a way of presenting it all without segregating her from all the kins who will believe in Santa when she is a little bit older. T[...]

Fun Toys for 12-24 Months Stage

Fun Toys for 12-24 Months Stage

I have been thinking of ways of structuring this post to make it easier to read and more comprehensive and the only thing that seems to make sense is to go by brand. We tend to be loyal to companies whose products we like, so if you were to walk into our house, you'd see lots of items by the same brands. It doesn't mean we are not open to other companies and makers. In fact, on the contrary, I am always looking for new ideas and products, but usually when you happen on a product that really really works, you end up sticking with it, at least until something else comes along. So it's even more relevant when it comes to toys. I have favorites, companies that I know I can trust from the safety standpoint and those that make beautiful, functional and fun toys. A while ago I wrote abo[...]

Happy Birthday Lexi! (+a few video snippets of the 2nd year)

Happy Birthday Lexi! (+a few video snippets of the 2nd year)

As a little treat for me and those of you who have grown to love Alexis, I've put together a compilation of my favorite short 6-15 second Instagram videos that span a whole year! Thank you for being a part of our lives and for all the support! If you've seen the earlier clips, skip closer towards the end for the latest shots, including her cute phrases and gymnastic moves. [...]