|September 9, 2015||Posted by Holly Marie under #ToddlerApproved|
Our role as parents is to teach our children what truly matters in life. Kindness can be taught, but most importantly there need to be good people in their lives that model the traits that they hope their kids will someday encompass. Kindness matters.
I think as a parent it is hard to see when you, “Get it right,”. We do the best we can each day. Without the help of my husband I would definitely give into those feelings of self-doubt. Doubting my parenting. Doubting my decisions. Letting that cruel comment sink in further than it should. Being a parent is rough-throw in the Internet where everyone knows the RIGHT way to do something and you are bound to fall down flat.
Our goal was to raise our kids the best we could.
Kindness, compassion, and empathy are incredibly important to me as a person. From a very early age we have worked with both of our kids at sharing, understanding why other’s are sad/angry, and what we can do to make them better.
I’ve discussed here that both kids stand up for each other. Emma Marie has put herself in between a would-be attacker and her big brother to save him. Raymond has literally saved Emma Marie from falls, trips, and watches over her wherever we go. They keep each other safe because they love each other. It is important to them. They care about other people’s feelings and try to right wrongs they see done. I’ve seen this time and again.
That doesn’t mean it was easy. That just means that anytime one of them were outright mean(just once-no second chances) that we left wherever we were. I packed us all up to go to the Zoo, drove thirty minutes, unpacked, and we were there for no less than ten minutes when Raymond hurt his sister(and meant to). We left immediately.
That never happened again.
There were those trips to the park on a gorgeous day that just beckoned for us to play outside. If one of the kids threw a tantrum(for any reason), we left. That has happened three times. Three awful times.
Consequences for actions matter. It matters that you are unwavering. It matters that they understand the consequences. Frankly, it may be hard on you to deal with the consequences(I hate packing) but all good things in life come from hard work. Doing the right thing, just isn’t always easy.
I am grateful that I can count on Raymond to be a good role model for Emma Marie. That he will choose to do what’s right. That’s a lot to ask of a three year old. But it’s never too early, especially now that he is in preschool.
Emma Marie LOVES Bears & Puppies. She carries them around and calls them her babies. She sleeps with them, feeds them, and even attempts to put clothes on them. When Snuggle sent us three Snuggle Bears one to keep and two to give she just couldn’t contain her happiness. She squealed with joy and said thank you a dozen times.
As soon as I told her we were going to give the other two away she started gushing over how her cousins would LOVE them. I thought that perhaps she would want to keep all the bears… more is better to many(most) people, but she got all sorts of giggly and put the two girl’s bears up on the counter to wait for when we would see them.
Well this mom’s heart melted to pieces.
Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder that the kids understand. That kindness, rather than another toy matters too.
Emma Marie receiving her Snuggle Bear.
Last Thursday a sweet mom pointed out that Raymond was the only boy in class that let the girl’s play pirates with him. Sometimes it takes hearing it from another parent that maybe you aren’t screwing this whole parenting thing up. That maybe you are getting something right.
If you get a chance, pay a compliment to a fellow parent. You might not know how much it truly means to them.
Check out what Snuggle is doing on National Teddy Bear Day- perhaps more companies can learn from their example and give to those that have nothing to give them in return.
Kindness, always matters.
September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. In honor of all the joy, companionship and comfort Teddy Bears can bring, this SeptemBEAR we’re donating 5,000 teddy bears to children in need. Help us raise awareness by sharing your own memories, photos or videos with a special Teddy Bear in your life using the hashtag #ShareABear. Learn more and join the movement at Snuggle’s FB Page.
I would love to hear about a parenting win- a moment that made you proud.
Those moments need to be celebrated.
|May 8, 2015||Posted by Holly Marie under #ToddlerApproved, Kid's Activities, Party||
For our Avengers Unite Superhero Party I wanted to make sure that there were plenty of activities for kids of ALL ages. The Make Your Own Captain America Shield was a HIT with the toddlers and my preschooler! The craft is really simple to put together and is an awesome party favor for your guests to take home!
Price: $10 for 6 Frisbees & Crayons
Thoughts: Remember it doubles as a take-home favor and the kids are immediately able to play with their new shield. Love imaginative play in our house and we were thrilled with the outcome of this craft!
Emma Marie and Raymond painted a shield of their own ahead of time… because PAINT… and so that the other little superheroes could see what the goal was.
Craft Table set-up during our Avengers Party. If it wasn’t for the Hulk Smash Wall outside- I might have put the craft out there. BUT nothing was colored on that wasn’t supposed to so- WIN.
Captain America gave his SEAL of Approval.
Our little Superheroes snacking on some delicious Patriotic Popcorn!
My darling nieces got in on the action in Hawaii! Love my two Hawaiian Captain America’s!
Sweet Baby Kai- Perfect Craft for young toddlers!
WHO SAYS girls can’t be Superheroes? Not this family! Love that my sister’s and I grew up knowing that we could be anything that we wanted… even a superhero! Our family favorites are Thor, Captain America, and Hulk. My sister’s family LOVES Superman, Supergirl, and Captain America!
We celebrate heroes that make a difference and our kids aspire to be more like them! Plus, there are incredible teaching moments when you look at the personality of each hero and what they are capable of, what they choose to be, and who they choose to be. Being a hero is a choice.I think that everyone can aspire to be a hero to someone in their time of need.
Superheroes for the win!
|April 13, 2015||Posted by Holly Marie under #ToddlerApproved, Adventures in Cooking, Life and Times in our House|
Dinner around the table is a must in our family. Catching up on everyone’s days and the highlights and sometimes low-lights is essential. We always, always make sure to eat at the table for each meal when possible. One of the dinners that is always, ALWAYS a hit with our family is our Burrito Bowl Meals or Taco Tuesday!
As a food allergy family it is imperative for us to read ALL of the labels of EVERYTHING that we bring into the house. This has made trips to the store harder and longer, but that’s our reality. We tend to eat as fresh as we can and with little to no additives if possible seeing as that is where most of the cross-contamination can occur for our (life threatening) allergies.
When Del Real Foods asked if I wanted to share about some of their food I jumped at the chance to showcase a brand that we LOVE and that is SAFE for our family. We bulk buy the Gluten-Free Chicken and Gluten-Free Beef from Costco. Hello deliciousness. I try to make all of our meals from scratch but goodness does life get busy! After a day out and about with the toddler and preschooler I hardly want to make another meal…
For the last two years Del Real Foods has helped keep our Burrito Bowls full and Taco Tuesday easy. I LOVE when I can count on my kids eating the food I put in front of them. Nothing makes me crankier than wasting a plateful of food that a picky kid just won’t touch. We have never had a burrito bowl turned down.
My husband and I LOVE spicy food and the Al Pastor Taco Kit came with some of the tastiest, spiciest sauce to spread over my marinated pork tacos. We wiped our plates clean. Embarrassingly clean. I know exactly what I am going to pick up for our next party as that Al Pastor Taco Kit came full to the brim with food easily enough for 5-7 adults. Took my husband and I nearly a week to finish. YUM.
You see those gorgeous Beef Tamales? Yes, they were fresh and perfect. Coming from someone who has lived in the Southwest for thirteen years? That should say something.
We were sent our favorites: Shredded Chicken and Seasoned Shredded Beef AND were able to try the Carnitas, Al Pastor Taco Kit and those oh so filling Beef Tamales. And I am more than a little excited that one of my readers will be able to pick FIVE items to be sent straight to your door.
Asking them not to dive right into their plateful of foods? Well, that right there took some restraint. A ton of restraint for a hungry toddler and preschooler. Thankful that the first shot worked(everyone’s eyes open is a win) and we were off to the races. Our fridge was overflowing with goodness.
And these two didn’t see to mind one bit that we had tacos all week. Definitely hit the store for more bell peppers- their fave to crunch on for Taco Tuesday’s.
And NOW onto the GIVEAWAY!
|March 20, 2015||Posted by Holly Marie under #ToddlerApproved, Kid's Activities, Preschooler|
Our little family got to take a peek at the new exhibit at SEA LIFE Arizona this past week. Octopus Hideout is PRICELESS. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest we were lucky enough to go to our local Aquarium at Point Defiance Park weekly with my mom. I have never seen such an active octopus nor have I been able to see one so close before.
Thankfully no wild encounters at the Narrows Bridge… where the world’s biggest octopus lives… but I have been stung by a jelly fish. Those babies burn, burn, burn. Those “cures” you hear about don’t help like you would think they would. I ran around like my leg was on fire… because it was, essentially.
Well living out in the desert I don’t want to deprive my kids of growing up knowing about the ocean-so thankfully we can venture out to SEA LIFE Arizona to escape the heat and enter a world of it’s own. The lay out is quite impressive when you think of the fact that the Aquarium is at a mall. You weave in and out of rooms- through tunnels-gang planks-and are always surrounded by sea life. I LOVE how everything is kid-friendly, touchable, and the DIVE LOG BOOK stamp adventure. Ever since my little man turned two this has been a favorite. He proudly finds the next station and stamps his book. At then end if they recover all of the stamps they receive a cute little prize. But honestly the independent adventure is a prize in itself.
There were quite a few, “Yo-Ho’s” and of course I added in a couple, “Shiver me timbers” just for good measure.
Fish are friends, not food.
I definitely enjoyed quoting Finding Nemo. Thankfully my husband just chuckled along and joined in the chorus of, “Shark Bait-OO-AH-AH”.
The new Octopus Hideout exhibit features five tanks of cephalopods: Common Cuttlefish, Dwarf Cuttlefish, Nautilus, Mantis Shrimp, and the beautiful Giant Pacific Octopus. Raymond’s favorite were the Common Cuttlefish as we were able to watch them eat breakfast and it was pretty incredible how they used their two tentacles to catch the food… looked like a frog catching a fly! Emma Marie was enthralled with the octopus! She was definitely unsure about being so close to her, but she just couldn’t walk away. Loved that we could put our hands on the tank and she would use her large tentacles to check us out. Never have I ever been able to see an octopus travel around their tank. She did multiple laps around and checked everyone out. Pretty cool for this Pacific Northwestener.
Emma Marie would not stop talking about the octopus… you can see her little hands trying to explain what she was talking about.
The BEST part of SEA LIFE Arizona are all of the tunnels, look outs, see-through floors, and these fabulous little fish eyes. You get right in the action. Love being so close to the sea life!
I whole-heartedly recommend checking out SEA LIFE Arizona! Throughout the year they have different events you can attend like Santa in the Dive Tank and coming up the Octonauts are going to be visiting this summer! My two nieces are in LOVE with the Octonauts and I am hopeful we will be able to take them to the event to meet their favorite Sea Life Helpers. For moms with little ones I recommend bringing a carrier-and not a stroller. We used a stroller once and the tunnels(which makes the experience that much cooler) are not stroller friendly. I used an Ergo last time with Em when she was 10 months and have just let them roam free after she turned one.
For more information about events you can check out SEA LIFE Arizona: HERE.
Did you grow up going to an aquarium? Have you been to SEA LIFE Arizona before?
I definitely took it for granted when I was little that my mom took all three of us to the zoo and aquarium ALL. THE. TIME. I am tremendously thankful that she did and am trying my hardest to give my children life experiences out here in the desert.
|March 6, 2015||Posted by Holly Marie under #ToddlerApproved, Kid's Activities||
Loved hosting our #DisneySide @Home Valentine’s Day Cars Celebration with a bunch of our little preschool friends! Our #DisneySide Box was full of party supplies, games, and fabulous party favors for our guests(and their parents!). You can check out our #DisneySide Box Reveal- HERE.
FYI Toddlers and Preschoolers do not know the meaning of silence… as anyone who has ever tried to make an important call with them in the background knows full-well….
I am so thankful for being able to host this #DisneySide @Home Cars Valentine’s Day Celebration with our friends and family! My kids had so much fun helping set-up-which of course meant that everything took longer- but it was well worth it. Everyone left with a large swag bag full of toys, stickers, HP Photo Paper, Chore Charts(they are fun ones I swear), and Cars treat bags with goodies. We ended the night with popcorn in big red solo cups watching the original Cars movie.