52 Weeks of Experiences List: The Beginning!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TODDLER

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 not going to be possible for everyone, so do what you feel like doing each week.

We’ll review the week each Monday. This week Lexi and I will be doing: Jumping on the bed and couches like 5 Little Monkeys 

Toddler classes and activities

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER, VIDEO

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.

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

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TODDLER


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.

Fun Toys for 12-24 Months Stage

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

fun toys

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 about toy safety from the toxin standpoint and outlined some of the companies that make better toys with fewer recalls, some that claim they are lead free, BFR free and approach safety consciously. If you’re just starting on my blog, make sure to check that post and then go over the toys that we found useful for the 0-12 months stage. Also don’t miss the post on Tag Toys which are the most unique toys I’ve ever come across.

For now, in case you are  looking to replenish your playroom, buy birthday gifts, or are just curious about which toys Lexi plays with on daily basis, or used to play when she was slightly younger, read on!

Potty Training, it’s just the beginning (and the end?)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Daily, Fun as a Toddler Mom, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER


I’ve been hanging onto this post, hoping that there will be enough progress that I will have something else to add to it, but alas it appears that we are at a standstill.

That’s how I started this post 2 months ago and that’s how it would stay up until a few days ago (Dec 26th, 2013) when suddenly something drastic happened!

{Note: if you have problems with potty talk or seeing babies sitting on potties, you should probably go to some other post on The Art of Making a Baby, like this one about flowers and pretty things}

Toddler Routines: Meal Times

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Health and Fitness, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, TODDLER

Continuing the routines series, I would like to write about our current eating/feeding process, and a follow up post with an average week of meals.


The “cooking for Lexi” process really happens randomly and is almost never planned, sort of like for us. I try to make enough food to for her to last 2-3 meals and it’s usually rounded enough that she could eat it all day long if we needed to and still get plenty of nutrition and vitamins. According to what I read, at 18 months a breastfed toddler still gets 50% of his/her nutrition from breastmilk which is a staggering number for me. In the morning, when Andrew takes her and I either catch up on sleep or get an hour or two of work done, he usually gives her fruit (per my instructions, though he does tend to forget sometimes) while he quickly cooks hard boiled eggs, peas and broccoli. Those are his staples, and those are the foods she likes to eat now (along with many others). The reason for fruit in the morning is something I have written about in the past, but I’ll mention it again.

Nature vs. Nurture – A Shocking Discovery

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TODDLER

Nature vs Nurture- A shocking Discovery

I was at the airport in Vegas getting reading to board the plane to fly back home to Florida….

I was in the hurry at the time, with the gates literally closing within 5 minutes, but I knew that my husband was running behind after having to drop off the rental car, so I wouldn’t get on the plane without him anyways. I had Lexi in a my Emotion stroller ( which is by the way ridiculously awesome for airplane travel) and 3 carry-ons with me, but I was determined to get some water and reading materials for the flight. After browsing their magazine stand and not finding anything that would interest me, I made my way to the book area and after skipping all the romance novels, I saw this book, called “How Children Succeed” and I thought the title was good enough for me to make it an entertaining and at the same time educational read while Alexis sleeps on the plane.

Little did I know that that book would become the kind of parenting science/child psychology/biology book that you devour and then recommend to all your friends and blog about.

So here I am, so impressed with it, that I am writing this post while riding in the car from Orlando.

Let me start with a piece of advice for everyone reading this:

Go on Amazon.com ( or wherever it is you buy books) and order this book immediately! It does not matter whether you are 16 years old, 50 years old, or childless. It is seriously that impressive and interesting to anyone who has ever been interested in why people turn out they way they do and what makes some people successful and well rounded individuals while others seem to struggle at everything they do, how much parenting really influences us and our children. This book has insights,  parts of which I have read in numerous parenting and psychology books I have gone through over the year, yet no one book has ever summed everything up and traced it from the beginning to the end, rather than rely on us trusting its conclusions.

Tag Toys – The Ultimate Montessori Toys

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PRODUCTS, TODDLER


Before I write a post about the best toys that I have found for the 18-24 months old crowd, I wanted to do a spotlight on my new favorite toy company with the kind of toys that last a lifetime and create many opportunities for learning and development.


I learned about Tag Toys in the usual way I discover companies.  I had an idea for a toy that Lexi would really enjoy in my head and I set off to try and find that toy online.

This time it was some kind of board with different switches and locks. It didn’t take me long to find Melissa and Doug products, however being very leery of big toy companies when it comes to quality (on that later) and knowing that many M&D, and other wooden toys for that matter, tested positive for lead and arsenic and a lot of other nasty stuff, I was set on finding an alternative that is safer. That’s how I found Tag Toys.

Check out the video I made of Lexi playing with the toys here:

Back from Las Vegas

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, New Mom Experience, TODDLER, TRAVEL


{This beautiful view is JW Marriott Las Vegas. I absolutely LOVED staying close to the mountains rather than the strip.}

So we are back from the Expo in Vegas and attempting to put our lives back in order. Luckily, my mom is now here and here’s huge help. It’s amazing what a difference having extended family around makes. Everything is just so much more relaxed and laid back, because there are plenty of people to look after Lexi while the rest get stuff done.