Viewing posts for the category Toddlers

Halloween 2017 Festivities

Not that Halloween is relevant anymore, but in case your interested, here are some pics! 

We went to a fall festival in our neighborhood and the kids fed animals, and were trying to put their entire hands into the animals mouths. Eeeeeeek!!!!! The germaphobe inside me freaked out a little, but they were having so much fun!! 

On the night of Halloween they helped with carving the pumpkin and we gave them the task of scooping. All I heard for days was "I WANT TO SCOOP PUMPIN!!!!" And for days after I was finding whole pumpkin seeds in my dogs poo :D

We only went trick or treating to a few neighbors homes as Halloween was on a school night this year, but it was so much fun now that the boys are older. Caspian kept trying to go inside our neighbors homes LOL! I mean, that is what is noramlly done after ringing the doorbell, so he was totally confused as to why he couldn't go inside :) 

farm feeding animals fall festival

tinkerbell 6-12 month costume

halloween party cupcakes decor

halloween party cupcakes table

toddlers carving pumpkin halloween

peter pan halloween costume 2t

Surviving 3 kids 3 and under

I am that crazy mom who apparently keeps having babies. Yes I try contraception but no joke guys NOTHING WORKS! Out of the 5 years I've been married I've been pregnant 4 times, and three of the pregnancies resulted in little monsters, who are now three, two, and an infant.  

I also wouldn't mind having more. Call me crazy, but I just LOVE being a mom. Don't get me wrong it's hard work, but totally worth it if you ask me. 

Here are 5 survival tips, because when you have three kids three and under, every day is about SURVIVAL. These have worked out pretty well for me and sometimes I even fool myself in thinking that I have it all together. 

  • STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE: We all do the same thing pretty much every day, except for the weekends of course. The kids know when it's breakfast time, school time, "homework time", nap time, quiet time, dinner time, bath time and bedtime. My three year old reminds me when it's time to put the two year old for a nap and when it's time to feed the baby. My two year old knows that during nap time he has to stay in his room and on his bed until he falls asleep, and both kids know that every day after dinner they need to make sure that the living room area (which has been converted to their playroom) is completely spotless. On weekends their routine is to go to the pool in the late afternoon and then have their dinner poolside. Toddlers thrive when there is structure and routine, and infants too! Baby Persephone has her own routine that works great for her as well! So we are really strict when it comes to their routines and they have to be in bed no later than 7:30pm. This means that sometimes we have to miss fun events and can't socialize as much as we would like to, but at least my children won't be grumpy due to lack of sleep, and that makes every day SO much easier for me. 

  • CHORES CHORES AND MORE CHORES: Ok so my infant doesn't have any chores (yet) but the older two know their chores and responsibilities. They both know to clean their rooms and living room before bed time, put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper outside of their rooms, and where to put their shoes and backpacks when they come home from school. They both wipe the table after dinner (even though I wipe the crumbs off of it before they wipe) it's all about making them feel proud, useful and accomplished. And the more they get used to doing, the less I have to do! Win-win situation. 

toddler chores

My three year old is totally OCD and needs his things in a certain order. God forbid someone ruin the order - all hell will break loose!

  • TOY ROTATION SYSTEM / NO TV: Instead of turning on the TV for them when I want them to be quiet and out of my way, I will bring a bucket of "new" toys for them to play with. The "new" toys are just their old toys that were stored away that they forgot they have. I have lots of buckets filled with toys, and I let them play with one bucket at a time. Then when they get bored of those toys I will switch out the bucket. This system works miracles for me! Another win!!

bin rotation toys

  • MAKING SURE THE KITCHEN IS CLEAN BEFORE BED: I don't know why, but having a clean and spotless kitchen just makes me feel like I'm ready to conquer the world. The rest of my house can be an absolute mess, but for some reason, waking up to a clean kitchen just makes everything better. Every night no matter how tired I am, the counters need to be cleaned and cloroxed and all the dirty dishes need to be in the dishwasher. If I wake up to a dirty kitchen I will feel paralyzed for the rest of the day, and it will completely trash my productivity. 

  • PLANNING: This is something I picked up more from hubby, who is literally a master planner. Being a great planner helps with all aspects of life, and can make taking care of multiples feel like a breeze! A little planning goes a long way, and is so necessary when trying to successfully run your household. Me and hubby hold monthly meetings to plan for the following month. We plan for things such as fun events for the kids, when and what to order online (we are ALL about Amazon Fresh and Prime), and when to do finances and hold budgeting meetings. I also make a meal plan every month for the following month and it helps tremendously.

So there are times in our life where for some reason or another we may not do the things above. The world doesn't fall apart BUT there tends to be more conflict, less fun and more stress. We find that doing these things makes life so much easier for all of us (but especially for mom and dad:) Many people think having three kids this small is really difficult, but it's really not too bad. I'm not saying it's a piece of cake, but it's no way as hard as I initially imagined. You just need to have a system that works for you. These tips might work great for some yet no so much for others. Always just do what works for you and your family. 

Happy Fourth America!

Happy fourth of July! I am so lucky to live in such an amazing country with so many freedoms and opportunities. 

We had a fun filled weekend with the toddlers, and attended a neighborhood pool party where the DJ was uncle Sam. The last time I attended a pool party was years ago to see Afrojack in Vegas with hubby when he was just my boyfriend. We thought we were so cool. My life has definitely taken a 180 since then!  

So my two year old, Caspian, had a mini temper tantrum at the pool party. I think the loud music and crowd didn't help, and so he had a little time out in the corner. We are big on discipline and consequences for bad behavior. We both ignored him while he was just sitting there angry in time out, and I had to bite my tongue not to laugh at his adorable angry little face. He later realized the error in his ways and politely came and joined the rest of the family. 

Later that night during baby's last feeding for the night, we noticed fireworks at the front of our house, with a perfect view from baby's window. This was super exciting for us because we didn't live in our current home last fourth of July, and I thought we would have to miss watching them this year because the kids's bedtime is 7:30. How pleasantly surprised was I to get a perfect view! Hubby then joined and all three of us cuddled with baby by her window and watched the fireworks together. She wasn't impressed, but me and hubby just loved it and it was so magical and it was the perfect ending to the day. 

Utilizing Safe Spaces in your home for small children

My #1 necessity / mommy saver / mom hack are the use of:

SAFE SPACES!

What is better than a safe space?!! NOTHING is better than a safe space!!!! A safe space is an enclosed area where kids are free to roam and do whatever they like with no safety hazards and plenty of room to do what kids do best - play. Our best safe space in our home is our living room, which we have donated to the kids. The kids can be kids and play and run around and touch anything they want without hearing a "NO" or tripping and hurting themselves on a coffee table. It's a contained area with a wide gate that kind of makes it seem like they are in jail....but they are not in jail. They are in a fun and safe environment that they both enjoy and that promotes independence. AND it lets mommy enjoy some space and time to do mommy things without the interruption of one toddler holding onto each of my legs as I try to walk. 

safe spaces for toddlers

safe space in home toddlers

Here's a fun idea- a safe space for toddler eating time! We donated a corner of our dining room for their eating space, with toddler tables and chairs, and a matt underneath to catch all those crumbs. You won't find anything with sharp corners here! And our adult dining table is round so that makes for no worrying about eyes bumping into table corners. 

I've made it easy for them to help themselves to however much food they want. I find that they eat more this way and it gives them a sense of independence which is EVERYTHING to a 2 and 3 year old. Oh and afterwards they put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher too, and Valentino has even begun to vacuum the crumbs with a little hand held vacuum cleaner. I can't handle the cuteness. 

toddler eating space table and chairs

eating area for toddlers

Another safe space area: THE BEDROOM. All our kids rooms are gated and fully toddler safety proof. I've lately been really into the KonMari method and have been on a major purging and organizing kick. I've gotten rid of most all clutter and find it so satisfying to be able to walk into my toddler's rooms without constantly tripping on toys. I put minimal furniture in each of their rooms too- only the absolute necessaties, and also replaced curtains with valances so they won't be able to pull them down. I find that the more "stuff" is in their rooms, the more prone to injury they are and the less safe it is. They do still have a lot of toys but I put them in bins and we have a rotating bin system that keeps them loving their "new" old toys that I rotate out. 

making bedroom toddler friendly safe space

The more kids I have, the more I realize how necessary these spaces are for my kids. Like how else would I be able to feed a baby away from the loud screaming toddlers? I cannot leave any kid fully unattended, however safe the "safe space" may be, so we made sure to install cameras in all our kid safe space areas. This way I can keep an eye on them playing in the living room while I'm upstairs feeding the baby. Or I can peek and make sure they are actually sleeping when it's nap time or bed time. 

So my house isn't fancy and we don't have many expensive and nice things, but when having kids this small I feel this system we have is just perfect and functional for everyone. 

Father's Day 2017

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! What a great day hubby had. The kids's school celebrated Father's Day too and hubby got showered with gifts! I'm so grateful that he's such an amazing dad and role model, and if I could I totally would have gotten him maybe an Apple imac, new iPad and/or the latest Apple laptop. BUT- a craft with the toddlers had to suffice. It's the thought that counts? Right? :) '

On Father's Day we had (almost) all his favorite foods. Carbs are a no no on our Ketogenic diet so I had to improvise. I made his favorite cheese ball AND ropa vieja! Ok you guys like seriously this ropa vieja I make is TO DIE FOR and I am not even Cuban. I'll post the recipe for that and the cheese ball later...Both of which are keto friendly. The ropa veija does have a tomato based sauce but to make it keto friendly I don't pour the sauce over it. 

These past two Father's Day have been AMAZING- last year we found out I was pregnant ON Father's Day- who can beat a gift like that?!! And this year for Father's Day hubby is a father of 3 and was spoiled silly. How am I going to top it next year?!!! I love him so much!

Father's Day craft ideas

cheese ball

ropa vieja