Budding poser and a little weekend getaway

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

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Last week we took a quick trip back to Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort (you can read about our first trip here). Our first trip to the resort was rainy, but still fun. This time we were unlucky with the weather again. Aside from the rain, we got a cold front. While that might have stopped us from enjoying the beach and the pool, it allowed us some time to explore more of the area around the resort.

OUR VIEW:

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LEXI WOULDN’T JOIN ME IN THE TUB, SO WE WENT TO THE GYM INSTEAD. AT 10 PM.

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Since the resort has a full kitchen, I stocked up on food at Whole Foods and the next day we had croissant sandwiches and a salad.

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We took a nice drive to the local Science Museum where they had a Dinosaur exhibit. Lexi loved being at the science museum and exploring concepts that she is so interested in right now: space, lightning, extreme weather. Her favorites were the plasma ball ( I got a lot of lightning questions), nano particles table, the hurricane force wind booth and the astronaut suit. untitled--4 untitled--5

The next day I researched unique playgrounds in the area and despite the rain drove 30 minutes out of our way to see it. The playground was epic but empty which resulted in a “I have no one to play with here” breakdown. The girl likes making friends. She finally found one local boy who was about a year younger and was happily following him around trying to engage him in play. I would love to return to the playground during better weather and have her really experience all the features.

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While we were getting ready, Lexi asked to pose with her speaker and had me take some pictures with my mirrorless camera.

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The scooter family is back.

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

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I remember when Lexi was first born, her development focus was on the visual aspect of her surroundings. She wanted to stay on my shoulder for hours just looking around, and as soon as I would try to put her down, she would fuss until she was up high and looking again. For months she seemed to not be interested in moving as much as she was in seeing. Rolling to a toy was just not of interest until much much later.

Then things changed, and suddenly she just wanted to be everywhere and it didn’t end till she started walking. She didn’t start walking, I am sorry. Let me correct myself: she started runfalling, a process of falling and catching yourself so fast on repeat that you end up running. That’s what she did. Suddenly everything that had to do with physical activity was the shit. Scooters, bikes, climbers- she wanted to move. We got her a scooter. She loved it. Earlier than expected, but she did.

Mommy and me trip to Dreams Las Mareas, Costa Rica (Part II: Experiences)

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

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In case you missed the first part, Read Dreams Las Mareas, Part I: Impressions

We arrived at the airport and were met by our driver who would take us to the resort about 2 hours away from Liberia Airport. The area we were going to be staying in is called Guanacaste region and is more remote but insanely beautiful and is known for its beaches, surfing and sportsfishing. On our 2 our road trip, we stared out of the window and counted monkeys we saw on the way, played on the Ipad and even napped. It went really smoothly.

Mommy and me trip to Dreams Las Mareas, Costa Rica (Part I: Impressions)

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

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I am addicted. Addicted to travel, but more importantly, traveling with Lexi. Being able to take her places that are different from our comfort zone of home, seeing her grow through that and develop, talk about countries I could have only dreamed of visiting when I was her age. It’s pretty darn cool.

This last year has been incredibly intense from the travel standpoint. When I look back and count the number of trips we have taken, I can’t believe it all fit into on year. We have been to Mexico (twice) and Costa Rica, on a Princess cruise to St Martin and St Thomas and to California. I personally ( alone) traveled to Hawaii, Sierra Mountains, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico. And many many local trips around Florida. There has been so much that it would be difficult to post it all on the blog. So I am relying on the power of social media to walk you through our adventures, as well as the photos that are supposed to be worth a thousand words.

Lexi’s Favorite Snacks

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, BUSY MOM TIPS, Cooking, FOR MOMS, Fun as a Toddler Mom, Health and Fitness, Life as a Toddler, PRODUCTS, Tried and True

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I haven’t written about what we eat in a long time. Tastes and routines evolve and so do our eating habits, so I want to update what our favorite on-the-go snacks of the moment are.

We still prefer fresh organic whole foods like fruit and vegetables to anything else. However there are times where packing a lunchbox full of perishables isn’t a good idea. Living in Florida doesn’t really help it. So during those days, we resort to nuts  and packaged snacks. I personally love going through the snack isle at Whole Foods trying to discover different types of snacks that would be better than what we are already eating.  This list below applies to both me and Lexi. In fact, our eating habits aren’t that different with the exception that I eat less healthy than she is (I am adult. I can. That’s my excuse)

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So these are the things we enjoy together.

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Seaweed snacks

This one blew my mind. One day we were sitting at the beach with our friends and my girlfriend Carla showed me roasted seaweed sheets that her 3 year old was obsessed with. She swore that Lexi would go crazy over them. I smelled the snack and ew! I am not a person who is normally grossed out by food. But I couldn’t believe Lexi would want to eat that. Two minutes later, she had devoured the whole package and moved onto the second one.

We have been buying these snacks since then and it is absolutely the most favorite thing of hers to eat on the go. A year later and I am now starting to dig them from time to time myself. Open mind, I’ll tell ya, keep an open mind. We can’t order them fast enough from Amazon. Just FYI, do not buy wasabi and teriyaki flavor is the best.

BUY HERE: Seaweed Roasted Snacks

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goodnessknows snack squares

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I consider this a treat which is one of the reasons why it is so awesome. Packed with nutty goodness, fruit/berries and DARK chocolate with specifically retained phytonutrients, it acts like a treat, but is natural and wholesome.

While technically these are a snack I use the word “treat” with Lexi, so she eats these instead of bad treats. It has chocolate, so she is happy. And it is loaded with wholesome nuts, oats and berries, so I am happy. Win win. Natural and tasty treat. 

Wholesome toddler snacks

Each goodnessknows package contains 150 calories, no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. My favorite part is  that it’s divided  into 4 pieces so you’re not tempted to eat the whole bar and give it out as little squares

My favorite is Peach & Cherry with almond and dark chocolate flavor. Lexi loves the apple, almond&peanut, dark chocolate ones.goodness

BUY HERE: Amazon

FIND RETAILERS: goodnessknows

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Edamame peas

Lexi lovingly calls them “mommy peas” ( aw which breaks my heart as I am writing this on the plane to Vegas away from my girl)

When we make them at home, we always buy organic, since they are soy beans and soy is ALL pretty much GMO, unless it’s organic or Non-GMO certified. Unfortunately at the restaurants we can’t really chose organic and non-GMO, so we eat whatever they serve.

You can buy bags of frozen organic edamame peas that are quickly prepared in boiling water and make for a great snack at home or for a lunch box.

BUY HERE: Organic Edamame Peas

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Prunes and Dried  apricots

This is a total throwback to my childhood. My mom used to give them to us and only when I became an adult, did I appreciate their taste of prunes. I love them now and so does Lexi. If dehydrated properly, they are a nutritional powerhouse.

BUY HERE: Dried Apricots | Prunes

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On traveling solo, sleep and being away from Lexi

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

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As I am sitting here at 11:40 pm on a Wednesday night, two days late on my promised (to myself) weekly post, trying to decide what I can write about that I have the inspiration for and doesn’t take literally 4-5 hours to complete (writing to formatting to photos). I have a few drafts started but it’s all informative posts that really need some time put into them.

So the easiest, I thought, would be what I personally consider (harshly put) “useless babble”, but people seem to like. I have trouble writing posts that I don’t feel in some way benefit the reader, aside from photo posts or travel posts-I am sucker for those.

So that being said, how about we talk about a huge change that has happened in my and Lexi’s life: having to and being able to leave her with her dad and travel (for work or pleasure) solo.

Juvenile Products Expo fun with Lexi

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

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I guess since I mentioned the ABC, I will post some pictures of how Lexi enjoyed it. The show showcases kid products and is not open to public but often attendees bring their children to the show who have lots of fun going from booth to booth trying out toys.

My Daily Mom editor Megan joined me on this trip with her son Will as well.

Last year in Vegas around this time….

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

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So this time of the year is coming by and as usual I am reflecting on two unchanging things: our annual trip to Disney and my now annual trip to ABC Expo in Vegas.

This time, however, I am trying to decide whether to go alone or to take Lexi with me. I cannot believe that we have come to a point where I can actually leave for several days to do work without the whole world collapsing. At times it felt like we would never get there. Just like when I was beginning to breastfeed, it felt like it will always be this painful. Or when Lexi would wake up for the umpteenth time a night, it would feel like I would never get to sleep. And yet here we are, life goes on, children grow and change, get to the point where they don’t need to be with mommy all the time.

Not even sure why I am getting all semi-philosophical here. It is just interesting looking back and knowing that last year there would be no way in hell Lexi would be ok without me even for a night. And now I am trying to decide if it’s worth it buying two extra plane tickets and having them come with me. What a difference a year makes.

Tried and True: Scotchi games

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

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For over a year, I have been compiling and collecting products that I discover in the course of my work and personal research that are simply outstanding.

I know many readers enjoyed that aspect of my blog. A while ago I started Best for Baby category and then moved into Tried and True.

Who has time to look for new cool better things for yourself and your kids, right? I know I don’t anymore. But I’ve always been passionate about it.

So since my last Tried and True posts, I’ve been writing down things that I have bought or received that I am very impressed with, in hopes of compiling another one of those posts. But every time I look at the long list of products with corresponding pictures I need to take/find, it’s just too overwhelming. I don’t have time for that.

So a few days ago, I bit the bullet and said to myself: “Just get them out one by one! And then compile them into one post later if needed.” (I need to use this approach more in my life)

So here we go.

TRIED AND TRUE: SCOTCHI GAMES

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Really an ingenious concept for educational games for toddlers over age 1.

You have well designed and illustrated sturdy cardboard sets of matching, assembling, memory and educational games for toddlers spanning a multitude of topics from every day living to professions and animal world.

Each peace has a velcro on the back and gets attached to a velcro circle on the board.

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We started with a simple village train that you assemble and then assign the right number of vegetables to each wagon.

As she got older  games like Supermarket where you have to collect groceries into your cart based on their category ( dairy, meats, veggies, etc) and Around the table (where you get to set the table for the whole family) became more appealing, yet challenging.

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To me this is a physical version of many iPad games that Lexi plays with the added benefit of being real life tactile experience that she can do with me. She has been enjoying these games for over a year now and still pulls them out periodically at 3.5 asking to play together or playing by herself.

My first clock can easily be a tool to teach time and numbers in a fun non-intimidating way as early as 2 years of age.

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BUY IT:

My First Clock | Supermarket | Around the Table | Village Train | Girls Dress Up | People at Work  | In Our House