BOOKROO SUBSCRIPTION BOX – FIND OF THE WEEK

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, FOR MOMS, Life as a Toddler, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, Tried and True

Bookroo book subscription for kids and moms (11)

My new series- FIND OF THE WEEK.

As an editor for Daily Mom, I get pitched so many products and as a natural mom, I spend countless hours researching for the best products for Lexi and I, so I end up having a lot of recommendations based on the research I do and the access I have to new products. So once a week I will continue introducing one cool product or service that I either use or think would be really cool for others.

Micro Scooter Party

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Birthdays, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, Tried and True

IMG_6820

Who is here a fan of scooters? What about your kids? If so, you would have loved Lexi’s last Birthday party.

I’ve talked about how much we love scooters here. We ride adults scooters along with Lexi.

So for her 4th birthday (which was a few months ago but of course I am just now writing about it, because, damn, I took lots of pictures and had to edit them and also… LIFE), we partnered up with Micro Kickboard to do a scooter birthday party.

5 things your preschooler will LOVE at the Mall of America

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, Life as a Toddler, TODDLER, TRAVEL

nickuniver1se

Towards the end of winter, I decided to take Lexi with me to Minnesota for a week. I wasn’t sure what we would do there but I wanted to go somewhere with her and since I was already planning a trip there, I took her along. My one goal for the trip was to show her snow. She had been asking about it and we just hadn’t had a chance to make it to the north that winter, so this trip came in handy.

She did see snow and actually managed to get on skis and do some snow tubing which was an absolute blast, but the most unexpectedly memorable experience was Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America.

 

I am not sure what I was expecting… I guess being spoiled by Disney just three hours away, I didn’t think some indoor amusement park was going to impress me. Or Lexi, for that reason.

But wow the Mall was fun!

Here are the 5 things that Lexi and I both loved at the Minneapolis’ Mall of America

1. Lego Store and play area

Oh boy! That spells both danger and glorious moments of freedom. The Lego Store at the MOA is equipped with tables full of random legos and at any time you can see crowds of kids sitting at the tables assembling Legos with their bored parents staring off into the distance. I made the mistake of taking Lexi there before dinner and needless to say, I could not get her out. If you’re planning on visiting the mall, make sure that you bring your laptop or a book and go there right after a meal. This way your lego obsessed kiddo can happily ignore you while building with all the other kids and you will actually be able to relax and do something for yourself while watching from the side.

 

A video posted by E @ The Art Of Making A Baby (@prebabyblog) on

2. American Girl Bistro

american-girl-store-mall-of-america

american-girl-storeamerican-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (1)

Wow! This was really cool. For any girl, whether she is interested in dolls or not, whether she is an American girl fan or not, this experience is a MUST. Lexi has never been into dolls and she certainly didn’t know what American Girl dolls were (in fact, the only toy she picked out was a kitty, out of the whole store of dolls). Despite that, she was in 7th heaven.

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (3)

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (4)

Who doesn’t want a little friend having lunch with them? She sat at the table and quietly played with her doll, feeding her cupcakes (the doll gets food too), and talking to her and enjoying their lunch together. No entertainment required, I was kind of a third wheel. Once in a while she would get up from the table and start dancing with her doll, but then sit back down and continue eating.

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (5)

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (6)

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (8)

The make your own cupcake desert activity was really fun too. I seriously just sat there watching her play on her own and taking pictures while she enjoyed the experience. The food was really tasty. A little too oily for what I am used to, but tasted really really good. Lexi had salmon which she loved (and I did too) and I had shrimp scampi.

american-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (7)  america-girl-cafeamerican-girl-cafe-mall-of-america (9)

3. Pepsi Orange StreakSplat-O-Sphere

Think of these rides as gateway drugs to the rollercoaster world. If you have a kid who is like mine, who LOVES excitement and thrills but due to young age can still be tentative about something that is a little bit too jarring or scary or even exciting, then these two rides are perfect.

Pepsi Orange Streak is like a hybrid of fast adult coasters (fast, smooth, exciting), but small enough with average drops where a 4 year old will have no problem handling the excitement (unless you have a particularly cautious 4 year old). Lexi asked me to ride it 3 times in a row. Luckily, at Nick Universe, most bigger rides allow the parent to go in for free to accompany a little kid.

Splat-O-Sphere is an entry into the drop rides. I was concerned Lexi would be scared (but then who am I kidding, the girl cried when she found out she couldn’t go on Dr Doom’s Fall at Islands of Adventure), and she was nervous at first, but quickly the excitement of the drop overpowered any fear she had and just like Pepsi Orange Streak, she asked to go on it 3 times.  I love that she was able to experience somewhat adult rides that were toned down for kids who outgrew the lack of excitement of the true kiddie rides.

And then, of course, for those needing way more excitement ( height restrictions apply), there is always the Mutant Ninja Turtles ride :)

4.  Toddler Tuesdays

Now this is brilliant and I wish more parks would get a clue and do something similar.

Every Tuesday the Mall of America provides events, free entertainment and discounts for toddlers. Special character appearances, crafts, and story time are all available. Kids eat free at the participating restaurants and you can buy a Toddler Tuesday ride special for only $11.95 plus tax (good for 5 hours which is plenty to ride EVERYTHING their heart desires). Only toddler rides are included and they can ride them unlimited number of times.

 

 

5. Number of Kiddie Rides

This park is DESIGNED with small kids in mind. While there are a few more exciting adult rides around Nickelodeon Universe, this is a mecca for preschoolers. I counted 15 small kid rides plus 6-7 more that braver souls can venture on (and those who are in the higher percentile for height). One day is NOT enough here, but it’s better than nothing. I would recommend planning for at least 2 days, because you will want to return. I want to go back now, but I am probably not taking Lexi to Minnesota until later this year.

    

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO MALL OF AMERICA? If so, what is your favorite experience there?

Let’s go camping in Florida and a $50 camping card giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, Florida, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS, TODDLER, TRAVEL

untitled-1398

Note: Kohl’s has provided us with a $50 gift card for the giveaway and the products listed above.

The Backstory

With spring approaching and Lexi getting older, I have been thinking a lot about taking her camping. She keeps seeing camping references in books she reads and shows she watches and has become pretty interested in it. While we were in Chattanooga on a press trip ( post coming up), she bought a little lantern at Ruby Falls and has been inseparable with it, talking about camping with her lantern. Now my experience with camping equals to zero. I grew up in a city and during my adult life never had anyone who was even remotely interested in going camping (and who wants to go alone?). So I always wished I could camp, but never had the opportunity to make it happen. Andrew always said “ugh, bugs mosquitoes, why???”.

Despite all that, I have planned out all the camping spots I wanted to go to years ago and have had that on my to do list periodically looking it over.

Obviously when Lexi was little, going on my own first camping trip was out of the question. Now that she is 4 and is herself interested in it, it would be a shame not to get it going. Two females against one male. We know who wins there. So we started shopping on Kohl’s for their camping sale event.

Big Announcement!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in 52 Weeks of Experiences, Adventures, BABY, Best for Baby, Birthdays, BUMP UPDATES, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, Daily, Disney, EVERYTHING ELSE, Fashion and Outfits, Florida, FOR MOMS, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, FUN TIMES, GET FIT, Green Products, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, Letters to Lexi, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Nursery, Other Recommendations, Parenting, PHOTO, Photo Stories, Photography for Mommies Tutorials, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnancy Q of the week, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS, Real Life Photos, TODDLER, TRAVEL, Tried and True, VIDEO

melodylaneclothing-7778

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Some of you, who follow me on social media, might have noticed that for the last 6 months I have been working on a few projects. I am ready to officially announce the first one.

Together with a friend of mine, I started a new business, Melody Lane, a clothing store that is focused on making sure that women in all stages of their lives have access to comfortable, affordable and most importantly versatile clothing. (see below on details of a $500 giveaway!)

Pregnancy, motherhood, nursing, party, fitness, vacation, career, school – it’s amazing how many stages we go through as women that require a completely different wardrobe. So our goal is to offer clothing with versatility and affordability in mind. Items you could wear for several occasions and during several stages of your life. Clothing that is comfortable, yet still looks good, because I have to admit that since becoming a mother, comfort trumps looks, however I still want to look good.

Our favorite winter styles by See Kai Run and a Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Fashion and Outfits, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

untitled-0485

If you ever want some eye candy, all you have to do is check out See Kai Run shoes. I am amazed every season at how they manage to come out with the cutest designs.

There is one particular type of shoe that I am most in love with. It’s a high top sneaker, and every season See Kai Run manages to do something amazing with the patterns. It’s the single most complimented shoe since day 1 (different seasons and styles). Every season it’s a different pattern, but same compliments. The most unique shoe in the history of kids footwear.

The reason I am writing this post, however, is to let you guys know three things:

Breastfeeding a 4 year old at the airport

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, BABY, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience, Parenting, TRAVEL

img_3626-1.jpeg

Our flight is delayed and Lexi is crashed out. She asked for boobie before she went down.
I haven’t spoken about breastfeeding for a long time because it has almost ceased. Almost.

She is four years old. And yes she technically still breastfeeds. Mostly only at home before bed and in the mornings or when very upset or tired. 

Today exactly one year ago you were only 3

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Birthdays, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, Photo Stories, TODDLER

IMG_0440

And now suddenly you are FOUR!

Why does the gap between 3 and 4 seem so much more substantial than I thought it would be?

At 3 you were still a toddler to me, now you’re a big girl.

Looking at pictures of our last year’s party, you seem like such a baby. Not any more.

So as we celebrate your 4th birthday, with an awesome theme, great guests and even better ideas, I want to share some of the party photos from the last birthday.