Until Next Time

I’ve been trying to find a time to write this post for a few weeks now. Somebody has been keeping me very busy : )

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It’s been a great 3 years writing Baby KERF, but I’m ready for a hiatus – until the next baby comes along!

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I’ve enjoyed writing about motherhood (even though I said I wasn’t going to!) and most of all I love having this blog as a digital baby book.

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When someone asks me a question about Mazen as a baby, I know where to look. Because of course my memory is all one big blur!

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I know many of you have written that you have gotten pregnant and ran here to read for the first time. I’m thankful that it’s been a good resource!

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Because of that, I’m leaving the archives up and running. Plus there might be a sequel in the coming years…

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While I’d like to write about our parenting adventures moving forward, I do believe there is an age where only cute photos should be shared and developmental details remain behind the scenes.

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For us, that age is 2.

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Our baby is a little boy now, and for the sake of his privacy, I’m ending my written story here.

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But of course you’ll continue to see snapshots on Instagram and KERF.

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Because of course he’s a huge part of my life! 

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And I can’t promise I won’t have a random post or two here and there. 

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I’m leaving the whole blog as it is for your reference and mine.

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I do hope that when we’re ready to get pregnant again that I’ll return to this space and will find the urge (and the time!) to document another pregnancy and the baby years, even if it’s a lot less detailed the second time through.

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Maybe someday I can turn the blog into one big printed baby book : )

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I can’t wait to show Mazen all of these photos and tell him about his first words someday.

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Thank you for all of your comments…

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…your tips

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….your advice

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…and your friendship.

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Looking back at these photos makes it seem so long ago. I really can barely remember him being so small!

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I had no idea then what Mazen would be like when he could walk, talk, jump and laugh.

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But when I do look back at these newborn shots, I can see the same personality, smiles and mischievous grins that I see now.

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Especially when he is asleep!

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Thank you all for sharing our journey!

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Until next time?!

37 weeks (6)

(And no that was not an ‘I’m pregnant” announcement. Ha. I know some of you were probably hoping that’s how the post would end! I’m still not convinced I could handle two kiddos yet : ) )

Feeding Baby Cookbook Giveaway

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I’m thrilled to be one of the many awesome bloggers on the Feeding Baby book tour! Author Clancy is a registered dietitian and blogger behind Fields of Flavor. Her new book, Feeding Baby: Simple Approaches to Raising a Healthy Baby and Creating a Lifetime of Nutritious Eating, is the best overall baby meals book I’ve come across.

Here’s why:

The book is full of researched-based advice on current best practices on all the baby food hot topics (all cited in a references list). Moreover, Clancy gives tons of tips on using herbs and spices with babies, teaching flavor preference, preventing picky eaters (as much as you can!) and more.

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I love a cookbook that includes more than just recipes, and there are a handful of great charts to give you good ideas.

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Of course there are plenty of recipes too (80 of them!), and lots of techniques to get you started on your own twists.

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Lastly, the recipes are sorted by nutritional focus, such as bone building or brain boosting. A nice plus.

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Mazen and I made the Broccoli & Cheddar Quiches together. (He stirred the eggs and helped add ingredients to the bowl). (I got these colorful silicone muffin liners on Amazon!)

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They were fabulous – especially with the fresh thyme inside!

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He loved them! (But he also loves broccoli, eggs and cheese…sooo I picked a good one to try : ) )

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As part of the book tour there are a ton of giveaways you can win! Check out all the prizes below! The entry form is at the bottom – scroll down! And good luck!

Feeding Baby Cookbook Release Party & Giveaway over $2000 in Prizes

Feeding Baby Release Party & National Giveaway

Hosted by Fields of Flavor & Measuring Flower

2 Giveaways, $2000 in Prizes & 30 Winners

baby food cookbook

About Feeding Baby:

"Your baby deserves the best in life- food is no exception! Feeding Baby is the ultimate guide to preparing and feeding wholesome foods for your infant, with helpful nutritional tips, picky eating solutions, and with over 80 recipes. Once you discover how easy and affordable it is to make baby food at home, you’ll take comfort in knowing your child is receiving the best nutrition possible."

Feeding Baby Book Signings & Events:

The Prizes:

1 Winner: Vitamix 5200 Blender $450.00

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1 Winner: Babycook by Beaba $150.00

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9 Winners: Feeding Baby Books $180.00

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1 Winner: Fairhaven Health and The Naked Nursing Tank Bundle: $142.00

Milkies Milk-Saver Milkies Freeze Nipple Nurture Balm Nursing Time Tea DreamBelly Stretch Mark Butter

The Naked Nursing Tank

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1 Winner: Infant Book Bundle $100.00

Feeding Baby by Clancy Cash Harrison

Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Oh, Yes You Can Breastfeed Twins! by April Rudat

Getting to the Yum by Dr. Karen Le Billon

I will Breastfeed Anywhere by Jennifer Saleem

Milkies in the Morning by Jennifer Saleem

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Scentsy Gift Card $100

  

NuRoo Baby Bundle: $85.00

NuRoo Swaddler

NuRoo Pocket Baby Wearing Shirt

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1 Winner: Buttons Diapers Gift Set $58.00

Charming-Promo

1 Winner Kiddo Feedo Freezer Trays (2) $40.00

Kiddo Feedo Silicone Freezer Trays

Blueberry & Apple Baby Food and Fruit Leather

  

1 Winner: The Sili Company Squeeze Pouches: $34.00

4 oz Sili Squeeze (spill proof) 6 oz Sili Squeeze with Ease Free-Flowing Sili Funnel

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1 Winner: Life Without Plastic Stainless Steel Set $33.00

3-Piece Stainless Steel Dish Set

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1 Winner: Yoomi 8 oz Feeding System $33.00

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1 Winner: Undercover Mama $25

Undercover Mama Nursing Shirt

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1 Winner: FunBites Cutter $13.00

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The Entry Form:

MVP Baby Items: Year 2

A while back I wrote about our MVP baby items and stand by how awesome and necessary they were during Mazen’s first year. And if you go way back, you’ll find our newborn must haves!

Now that we’re approaching 2, I figured I’d write an updated post with some MVP items during our second year as parents. These are items we use every single day, and I can’t recommend them enough!

Sesame Street Bus

We got this bus for his first Christmas. He wakes up in the morning and says “Pway bus!!” He fills it with animals from our Old Macdonald tractor (another fav) and loves to open and close the door. Of all of his toys, I’d say it’s his very favorite! When Grammie and Pea babysat during our Sonoma trip they reported that they played a total of 20 hours of bus.

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Our Train Table

I bought our train table on Craigslist for $40. When we first brought it in the house I regretted it right away. The table is HUGE and takes up a large section of our basement. But within a few days I realized how great of an asset it was. It’s so much easier for a toddler to play standing at a table compared to the floor, and the table contains toys so that they don’t need to be cleaned up after every use but still look relatively neat. He got his train set (this basic one) for his first birthday and plays with it daily. Every time we go downstairs – even if it’s just to get in the stroller and leave through the basement – he pays a visit to his trains. When we spend longer periods of time playing in the basement he will focus on the trains for up to 45 minutes at a time. A secret: he’s getting more train and track for his birthday! I got him this set of 12 trains and my mom is adding another track set.

OXO Tot Sippy Cups

These have been our favorite overall cup for an older toddler for a couple of reasons:

1) The straw is open so it’s great for thin water or thick smoothies

2) It’s very easy to disassemble and assemble to clean and put in the dishwasher

3) The cup is petite so it fits well in things

4) When closed it’s very leak proof

I mentioned older toddler above because Mazen is very good about not spilling his cups these days, but this cup when tipped over WILL allow liquid to escape. The open straw means water can flow out if it sideways, so that’s a con if your child tips over his or her cup a lot. But a pro for ease of drinking!

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Aden + Anias Blankets

I’m putting these blankets on this list for year 2 because Mazen always sleeps with his blankies so they remain a daily use items for us. He rolls them into a ball and actually sleeps on them. He’s not attached to any particular one, but he sure loves them as a set. While these blankets are not cheap, the fact that we’ve used them every single day for 2 years means we’ve gotten our money’s worth (or our gift’s worth!). A perfect shower gift for any mom.

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Clek Foonf Car Seat

We got the Foonf when Mazen was about 6 months old and after well over a year of use I continue to sing its praises. I’ve experienced a number of other car seat brands when traveling or riding with friends, and can say with confidence that this is the best car seat I’ve encountered. Not for safety (because they are all safe), but for lots of other reasons: its look and feel, the ability to clean the fabric (vegetable pouch stains just wipe off with a little water), the ease of installation and instruction book, Mazen’s apparent comfort, etc. I really have zero complaints about it. I will say that a big part of why I love it is because of a really nice aesthetic, but that was important to me, and I’m so glad we spent extra to get something really nice.

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Wipe Warmer

I was on the fence about needing a wipe warmer and I felt a little silly when I  bought one at the beginning of our first winter. But we’ve continued to use this one all four seasons of the year. I actually prefer our OXO wipe holder for its look and smaller footprint, but when I tried switching back to it when the weather warmed up both Mazen and I thought the wipes were just too chilly – even for summer. He got instant goosebumps! Maybe that’s just because he’s used to the warmer wipes, but I thought they felt cold too. The first wipe in the stack does dry out a bit, but otherwise I am very happy with this warmer. If you’re debating between wipe holders, go ahead and get a warming one.

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Crocs

We are a croc family! I bought Mazen’s first pair at a consignment sale and quickly realized why they are such great shoes for toddlers. First, unlike cloth shoes, there’s no need for socks (although sometimes they smell stinky before I give them a wash). But it’s nice to know socks are optional. Second, they are super easy to clean – dunk in soapy water, scrub and rinse. Third they are great for splashing in puddles or with socks in the winter – versatility at its best. They come in many colors and designs – these are our favorites!

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Curious George and Richard Scarry

Two of our most-read books. These are not only great picks because they are good books (see this post for a bunch of great books) but because they are long so you get a lot of entertainment out of them. The Complete Adventures of Curious George (a chapter book) was a gift from Papa and Mimi, and Mazen loves it. George is his favorite TV show as well. Richard Scarry: Cars, Trucks and Things That Go is probably his very favorite bedtime book, and what’s great is that when Matt and I are tired we don’t even have to read the text – the pictures say it all. We spend hours just looking at the pages and pointing things out. M learned the words “big mess” from a page with a pile of things that collided, and he knows a lot more about life from these pages (and non-life – like pickle cars!)

No surprises with these last three…

Our Motorola Video Monitor

I can’t sing its praises enough. Our monitor has become even more valuable as Mazen has gotten very mobile. I watch him playing in the crib or assess his climbing skills to see if he’s figuring it out (so far, he hasn’t but he’s getting closer). This is the one we have, FYI! The ability to pan around is worth the extra cost over the less expensive model.

The BOB

Like the monitor, the BOB gets a spot in this list simply because we use it every single day. It’s another in the category of “expensive but worth it” due to the frequency of use for many years. We bought the CE model because it has smaller wheels for easier transport and it’s been great for both walking and running.

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OXO High Chair

Still loving it! I’ve used a variety of different kinds during travel and friends’ houses and think the OXO Tot is one of the best. Looks great, easy to clean tray, easy to clean seat, lovely to look at.

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A Few Duds…

This place mat. Bought it at a friend’s recommendation and never used it.

This bike. While we did get a lot of use out of it, it fell apart many times and eventually bit the dust. An outdoor bike made out of plastic intended for pushing over rough landscape is just not the brightest combination. Go for metal!

Fubbles bubble machine. We had this one and it was a battery hog. And since it’s a kids item that needs a screwdriver to change the batteries, it was a pain to maintain. It was supposed to be no spill, but it spilled on me several times. And finally it just stopped working. We loved the concept while it lasted, but I can’t recommend this model. Anyone love their bubble machine?

Anything you swear by with daily use?

Bites For Babies Cookbook

Like most things, when feeding a baby or toddler a little planning goes a looooong way. While I am not nearly as creative and organized with Mazen’s meals as I’d like to be, there are inspiring cookbooks to get one’s creative juices flowing and feed those kiddos well. Digital friend Lisa’s blog and cookbook is one of them!

Lisa started her blog, Bites for Babies, two years ago to share her passion for cooking and providing healthy, interesting meals for her son that she hoped would nurture an adventurous palate and passion for healthy eating in the years to come. Her recipes are both baby and parent friendly and have a global spin thanks to Lisa’s years living and cooking abroad.

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Lisa writes:

As a working mom with two kids (3 1/2 and 20 months), I KNOW how busy life can be and can only imagine how frustrating it is for moms to find the time to cook for their family, especially if they don’t enjoy cooking! Many of my recipes can be prepared for the the family and modified for baby (i.e., removing baby’s portion before adding salt, pureeing or mashing, etc). I call my recipes “palate-pleasing” and although they are created for babies, they are actually adult-inspired recipes! I’ve eaten most of them myself 😉

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Lisa’s e-cookbook is an extension of her blog and features 50 healthy recipes for baby and the family inside. You can order it both as a PDF or an iBook. Learn all about it here!

The cookbook features…

  • 50 healthy recipes
  • 50 helpful storage and cooking tips
  • A list of pantry essentials to ensure your kitchen is well-stocked before you start cooking
  • Recipes written with quick tips, serving suggestions, and easy modifications which render the recipes more toddler or adult-friendly.

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The charts and tips are great for moms just starting out on baby food. And the recipes are definitely above and beyond steamed and mashed veggies!

Recipes include…

  • Parmesan Parsnip Mash
  • Cheesy Potato & Zucchini Puree
  • Mushroom Thyme Pesto
  • Cheesy Egg Yolk Risotto
  • Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Polenta
  • Coconut-Curried Lentils and Brown Rice
  • Banana Fig Turmeric Milkshake

…and more. Sounds yummy, right?

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You can purchase the Baby Bites cookbook here, and enter below for a chance to win one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tips For An Awesome Baby Shower

This post is sponsored by Target

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A few weeks ago I hosted a baby shower for my good friend Meg. Her baby girl is due any day and her name will be Rose! Thus, I knew a rose theme would be perfect!

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Here are a few tips that I took away from a fun and festive baby shower!

1. Bunches of Brunches. This is the second brunch baby shower I have hosted, and both have been wonderful occasions. Brunch is such a nice time for a ladies’ morning, and it’s a good time of day for a menu that is delicious but doesn’t require hours of preparation. I served egg casserole, bacon, three kinds of fruit salad, raspberry crumble bars, raspberry cupcakes, punch, wine and coffee. My girlfriends made the crumble bars and cupcakes (their specialties!), and I prepared the rest. Since everything was hands off once it was prepared, I was able to completely enjoy the party with my guests.

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2. Put some prep in your step. I have entertained guests enough to know that the hour before they arrive will be a hectic one. Since my shower was in the morning and I knew I had to take my son to his play date beforehand, I had to be as organized as possible. The night before I set the table, picked out my serving dishes, prepped anything that wouldn’t get mushy overnight, rolled napkins, filled the coffeepot, put flowers in vases, washed my dishes, planned for the game and wrapped the gift. The morning of I just had to assemble and bake the casserole, fry the bacon, put the finishing touches on the fruit salads, make the punch and flip the coffeepot to ON.

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3. Keep it glassy. I am a believer that a beautiful event doesn’t need over-the-top decorations. I could have spent hours making paper roses or sewing garlands, but what guests enjoy most is good food and good company. To make the shower feel fancy, I brought out my grandmother’s vintage champagne glasses (along with my own from my wedding), a crystal punch bowl, real plates and cloth napkins rolled and secured with washi tape.

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4. Punch it up. Man oh man, was the punch a hit!! I called my mom the week before and asked if she had any punch recipes. She told me about a cranberry punch that was equal parts 100% cranberry juice, ginger ale and lemonade. Sherbet floats on top to form a layer of sweet foam. The punch was a HUGE hit! Those women who were pregnant didn’t miss out on the fun of a champagne glass, and those of us who wanted a bit more fun mixed in some rosé wine, which added to the rose theme and tasted delicious!

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5. Guessing games (that people actually like). Candy-bars-melted-in-diapers game, I’m looking at you! I decided since all of the ladies in attendance were already moms we’d have a little “Price Is Right” game with some of the baby items we all love and use. We should all be familiar with the cost of things, right?! I picked up the follow items at Target the week before:

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Everyone got an index card, and as I pulled out and named each item the ladies had to guess the price and organize them from least to most expensive. The person who got the order right and guessed the closest price without going over won a prize! (Chocolate and jam!)

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And of course the mom-to-be got to keep all the items as a gift.

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As one shower does not fit all, I’d love to hear some of your favorite tips from showers you have attended, hosted or been given!

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The above links are not affiliate links. Love me some Target though!

This post is sponsored by Target. The adventure begins here: Discover all Target has to offer for your baby registry and throughout your motherhood journey.

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23 Months

Mazen turns 23 months old tomorrow.

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Can you believe he ever looked like this!? I can hardly remember those days!

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Yet his personality has stayed the same. Such a sneaky boy!

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And I can often see his spirit in the same facial expressions that he has made since birth. Like this one! That’s the face he makes right before he jumps on me!

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Can you tell I’m getting all sentimental that he’s about to turn 2!? When I was pregnant I used to be able to imagine myself the mom of a baby, but I couldn’t see myself as the mom of a little boy. I just didn’t know what it would be like! Now I am in the thick of it, and it gets more fun by the day.

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In recent weeks Mazen’s language has come to life. Before he would say a word at a time, but now he really puts emotion into full sentences.

He has started saying “Yeaaaaahhhh” when asked a question (instead of a simple “jes”) He sounds like he’s from Minnesota when he says it!

He says “bye-bye” to things all the time (trucks, cats, trees) and smacks a kiss into the air right after.

There is always lots of commentary about eating and drinking: “Mommy bite? Mommy taste? Mommy drinks coffee! Mommy eats oats! Mazen eats pancakes!”

And recently when I sneezed he said “Bwess you!” <—something KK taught him!

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On the fun front, we’ve had a great time playing tent in the mornings. After I get him out of his crib, we go into my room and I make the comforter a tent with my leg and he crawls in and out with Pumpkin the cat for about 10 minutes. It’s loads of fun!

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He has developed a fierce independence this month where he wants to buckle his car seat, climb into his high chair and do things his own way. Generally this is going fine with me – he’s pretty good at most things – but we do have battles from time to time.

Here he is looking all proud after climbing up into his car seat himself!

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Speaking of climbing, that’s new too. He hasn’t been much of a climber until now and all of a sudden he got the concept. He can climb up onto his high chair WITH the tray on and loves everything climbable at the playground. I wouldn’t let him stand at the top of a steep flight of stairs without me, but he’s getting better at stairs too. He goes up and down the stairs on our back porch all the time.

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On the food front things have gotten a little bit better. He still won’t touch berries of any kind! And he is finickier than ever about some foods, but he has also tried a lot more new things lately. Salmon was a food he hadn’t liked for a while and one day I offered him some and he called it “Pink bok bok” (aka pink chicken). He ate his portion and mine that day! He also devoured a can of sardines one day while I held my breath. He doesn’t have to eat blueberries if he likes sardines! The boy also loves ice cream like it’s his job.

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Naps are still going well. We had two THREE AND A HALF HOUR NAPS this month!! Dannnnng those were long! Most days it’s 2 to 2.5 hours, sometimes 3. A few times on our travel days he has skipped his nap completely and that has actually gone pretty well. I’m glad to know it’s a bit flexible now.

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However, bedtime has been a bit tricky lately. He started doing some more crying when we tried to leave the room along with a few middle-of-the-night wakeups with crying. After a few weeks of rushing in and talking to him, and trying different night light/door open techniques, we determined that nothing was actually wrong – he just wanted our attention and knew if he cried we would come. I talked to some friends and decided to do another round of sleep training. This meant that after lots of books, lots of rocking and singing and a drowsy toddler that when he got in his crib we left the room and stayed out. Guess what – it worked! He still doesn’t like it when we leave, but he settles down in about 2 minutes and talks to Elmo and Big Bird and then falls asleep. The nighttime crying has stopped too.

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Speaking of bedtime, M has started to actually sing songs! He knows the words to Twinkle Twinkle, Happy Birthday, Row Row Row Your Boat and the ABCs – and the tune to Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring! He sings with us at bedtime, and it’s very cute.

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We are having lots of fun trying new activities together – baking, coloring, playing trains. Karen took M to the fire station while I was in Hershey and as much as he LOVES fire trucks, he was too scared to climb up on the truck!

He looooves the ice cream cones she makes though!

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I have debated birthday party themes. His favorites are fire trucks, trains and dinosaurs. I think we’re going with a prehistoric theme and will be having one of these at the party!

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Tips For Toddlers At The Beach

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We had an absolute blast taking Mazen to the beach this year.

Our first visit to the beach was when he was just learning to crawl. That wasn’t very fun. 

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During our second visit he was just learning to walk. We had a little more fun, but he still didn’t really know how to play on the beach.

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This year he was 22 months and had a wonderful time!

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The first day he was quite scared of the ocean. He was content playing in the sand. But by day 2 he started to explore the surf and by the end of our week he was begging us to take him deeper into the water. "MO WAVES!"

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Here are five tips for taking a toddler to the beach!

1. Bring a baby pool. This was Caitlin’s genius move. She packed a blow-up baby pool that we were able to fill with water. When the toddlers were first timid about the water or when the grown-ups grew exhausted from jumping in the waves, the pool was a lifesaver to keep them happy. They alternated games of "swimming", throwing sand inside, dunking toys and cleaning hands.

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2. Purchase a few new sand toys. I bought the boys matching sand dump trucks that were a big hit! Matching because then there would be no bickering and sand trucks because the wheels were big and there were no creases for sand to collect. Moreover, they were designed to be completely rinsed off when the day was over. They had lots of fun scooping sand into the back.

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3. This beach bag. I can’t say enough good things about it!! The outside pockets are amazzzzing for sunscreen, diapers, snacks, etc, and the mesh material was awesome for sand, sticky, etc. It can all be rinsed off! I’ve never had a beach bag that I even liked, so to find one that I love makes me really happy.

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4. Shade. Thanks to Caitlin for their great tailgate tent. We were planning to buy one this year but put it off since they already had one. I can’t go to the beach in the summer without shade, and it was so nice to have a full-size tent rather than just an umbrella. I know little pop-up tents are popular for babies, but I hated the one I bought second hand last year – I couldn’t fit inside and it was hot! A big open air tent like this is way more practical for a day at the beach. And necessary if it’s a scorcher and you plan on staying out a while.

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5. Baby sunglasses, a hat, a rash guard or just lots of sun screen. Whatever your toddler will tolerate! My child wears sunglasses like it’s his job, but he refuses a hat. Caitlin’s son doesn’t mind a hat, but tears sunglasses off. I’ve heard these sunglasses are great for babies (and the company will replace them if they break like our GAP ones did a few months in!) I love this company for rash guards and hats too. If you can cover up as much as you can with fabric, putting on sunscreen gets a little easier.

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What are your best baby beach tips?

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Cozy Wall Art

Cozy Wall Art asked if I’d like to try out one of their wall decals to dress up one of Mazen’s play spaces. My first thought was his reading nook! And what sealed the deal was this cute Dr. Seuss “The More You Read” quote – it was perfect!

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Here’s what his nook looked like last week after I cleaned it out (it had been storing some of his bigger toys that I’d thrown in there for out-of-sight keeping)

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I was very nervous to put the decal up because every DIY project I do has some kind of error, so I read the enclosed instructions three times before beginning. There are good ones on the Cozy Wall site too!

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The first step is to tape up your decal and then peel the bottom layer away and cut it out from underneath the decal and transfer paper on top.

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Easy does it…

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Once the backing is gone you can press the decal onto the wall and then remove the backing from the other side.

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After the decal is on the wall, you use the provided plastic card to press it in and remove all bubbles

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And then you peel away the transfer paper to reveal the finished decal!

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Surprisingly, my install was flawless!

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Mazen is more interested in his train table than his reading nook at the moment, but I hope he’ll grow into it in the years to come and Dr. Seuss will inspire him to keep on reading!

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22 Months

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Lots of 2s…..getting soooo close to 2!!! Just 2 2 go!

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My sweet baby boy is so talkative these days and is starting to make me laugh out loud on an hourly basis. Recently before naptime he said “Ni-night Mazen!” “Yes” and “no” are now words he has mastered (and the word yes has been so helpful!)

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His verbs have really taken off so most of the day is filled with little sentences:

“Mommy taste eggs?”

“Mazen drinks water”

“Mommy gets glasses.”

Sometimes I have a hard time translating. The “Mommy gets glasses” sentence was one of them. We were out on the porch and he started to go to the yard and the sun was bright. He came and took my hand and led me into his room saying over and over “Mommyditglas.” When I finally figured it out I was laughing out loud!

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We have been working on saying please and thank you. He has please down pretty well and has used it unprompted a few times (when he realllly wants something!) but most of the time I have to prompt him. Thank you is following right behind. While he has known the sign for thank you for months, he said it for the first time this month: “tank oo mommy” or something like that. I also got an “I’m sorry mommy” out of him too. He is a really sweet boy.

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However, another word that has really taken off is MINE! He knows what it means and how to use it! Innocently enough though. We all need our boundaries. But he is quick to tell you what is “Mazen’s broccoli” and “Mommy’s broccoli” and so on. He knows when he wants more independence and will push me out of the way if he wants to do something himself.

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Another key word: Hungry! The first time he said it I nearly died of happiness. While he’s been able to sign eat for a while, just being able to say hungry and know what it means is a whole step of communication achieved. The words breakfast and lunch weren’t far behind. Now he will say “Mazen eat breakfast!” right when he gets up.

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When we roll through the neighborhood in the stroller he spends his time pointing out all the BIGTRUCKS and BUS!! and P-LICE CAR! He is an fan of any kind of transportation – from fire trucks (his favorite) to airplanes to trains. Every time we pass through the basement he has to say hello to his trains.

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We had been working on counting to 3 and have several counting books and one day he surprised me and just counted all the way to 10. I was completely blown away! We’re working on the ABCs a little, but no signs of going past C yet. Although when I sing the ABC song to him he chimes in during specific letter strings (W, X, Y, and Z). No sign of really knowing colors yet either, although I haven’t been working on them too much other than pointing out “red shorts” or “green truck.”

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Speaking of singing, his favorite song is Happy Birthday. I started singing it before naps and now it has become quite the singing event. He wants to sing it with me, and while he doesn’t know the whole song by himself, he chimes in and bellows it out while I sing with him… “HAPPY ….DAY….YOU!” He doesn’t want me to sing anything else!

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Naps have been KILLER lately! Last week he slept for 3 hours nearly every day. It’s kind of annoying because we now can’t make any afternoon plans, but it’s also the best thing ever for days when we’re at home. I have been able to get SO much work done!

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Favorites: firetrucks, trains, dinosaurs, Curious George, Elmo, putting trucks in trucks, his train table, swimming, slides, running everywhere, bubbles, books, his friend Saya

Major improvements: diaper changes, tooth brushing, naps

Least favorites: being rushed, sharing, most fruit, most meat, most food, actually, occasional tooth brushing

Weight: 31-32 lbs

Height: 32+ inches (was 32 at 18 months)

Clothes: Some 18-24 months but mostly 2T

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Guess it’s time to start planning that 2nd birthday party!

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