Monday Minute

Happy Monday! It’s absolutely gorgeous here (a little hot, but I won’t dare complain) and we are enjoying the outdoors and soaking up the sun as much as we can lately. We had a very productive weekend packing and moving some things and threw in a little fun too by taking a trip to a local zoo.

Here’s what’s going on here this week!

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But First, Coffee. How to Really Enjoy Summer With Your Kids This Year

Every. single. morning. I have the same routine. When I hear one of the kids wake up, I throw some clothes on and put on my glasses. I get both of them downstairs, change diapers, give the toddler a drink and fruit, feed the baby if she needs to be fed, and I turn on PBS. (Yes, the baby watches way more TV than my toddler did, and no, the tv is not on all day.) I choose this time wisely to make our tv time, because ya know what I always do next?

Drink my coffee. 

Yes, I realize that a great portion of America drinks their coffee in the morning before really starting their day, but this ritual is more than just “waking up.” It’s not really about the coffee, but more about the me time. Yes, it may seem selfish that I want to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while my kids watch tv, but they are also playing, overjoyed to see one another, and just waking up themselves and this is an absolutely necessary routine we have grown to love. I believe in the importance of independent play with supervision and this is a great way to practice too :).  Plus it only ever lasts about 10 minutes, trust me!

As a stay-at-home mom, my kids need me ALL DAY LONG. I am always there for them. It’s the most amazing thing in the world. Also the hardest. Every mom needs a minute to herself, and I choose to take this minute right when we wake up. It refuels me. It gives me strength. It allows me to take a deep breath before starting the day so that I can reflect on how to be the best mom I can be, before I let myself feel upset or defeated. It’s everything.

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Memorial Day Fun

I absolutely love Memorial Day, and I’m so glad that I can share it with my two babies now. We had a fun-filled weekend filled with family and food, and of course remembering and celebrating those who have bravely served our country.

Memorial Day is great because it really marks the beginning of summer, the beginning of grill season, and the beginning of weekends spent outside swimming and having fun! I always like to pause during this time of year because before we know it, summer will be over and we will be wishing it were May again!

I think it would be safe to say that these two had an amazing weekend, despite a small cold for Ella that appeared Sunday, and they are happy just cuddling and relaxing on this rainy, cloudy day today.

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend too!

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Summer Sensory Play – For Toddlers and Babies

I’m often on the lookout for fun activities that both my children can enjoy. As they get older, it’s much easier to find developmentally and safe things they both like. They even “play together” now sometimes, which I love of course! Toddlers are naturally more independent than babies, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some sensory play this summer with both of your children, which in my case are both under two years old!

I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to my kids. I love buying things for them, but I almost always get rid of something when we get something new, usually in the form of toys ;). I promote good, old-fashioned fun, and you wont see a ton of complicated homemade Pinterest devices here on the blog. I’ve been there, done that, especially as an elementary teacher. But over the years I’ve realized that kids will probably have more fun with a bin of recycled materials that I already had than an ornate sensory bin that I made myself. Just speaking from my experiences.

Therefore, below you will find some of our favorite, simple, inexpensive ways to ignite your child’s senses, practice motor skills, and have a lot of fun while doing so. Good old outside summer fun. Enjoy!

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In Honor of All The Moms in Our life – How I Became a Better Mom by Learning from Them

Being a mom can be tough sometimes. We not only compare ourselves to other moms around us and on social media, but we are our own biggest critics. It’s easy to feel inadequate when your only “job” is taking care of your children, but it’s also easy to feel on top of the world with a small hug or kiss from your baby.

While I was relaxing yesterday during nap time, I found myself scrolling through the photos on my phone. I was overwhelmed with wonderful memories and simple moments with the people I love. Many of these photos included all of the beautiful moms in our life, who love our family so much and are always here for us. I realized that although I often thank these women for dinner, or help with babysitting, or other small acts of kindness, I never really thought about how deeply they have impacted me as a mom.

I truly would not be the mom I am today without learning from the moms around me, and I am sincerely thankful for their love and support. Here are the ways I have become a better mom by learning from the special moms in my life.

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What’s on the Menu Wednesday

 

Spicy Chipotle Salmon with Garlic Zoodles! 

This week we are getting back into the swing of healthy eating, a few recipes at a time!

Monday night I made shells with peas and butter, a toddler favorite and comfort food for sure.

Tuesday I made Spicy Chipotle Salmon with Garlic Zoodles, “recipe” below!

Tonight we are having healthy pulled pork wraps. You can find the recipe here.

Tomorrow night we are having my “birthday dinner” at my in-laws and my mother-in-law is making eggplant parm! Can’t wait 😉

Friday we have chicken to use, but I have a feeling we may opt for takeout of some sort! If you have any favorite chicken recipes, feel free to drop them below.

Enjoy what’s on our menu this week!

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Monday Minute

Happy Monday! ^ That’s what we’ve been up to!! ^ It’s been tough to write recently with everything going on, but I’ve really missed my little corner of the Internet, so I’m going to make a conscious effort to put more time into my blog. Now that the weather is changing (very slowly 😉 ) we have been out and about more and James is loving it. In the past few weeks we’ve gone on hikes, played outside a lot, visited farms and played with baby animals, and spent lots of time with Nonnie (my mom) who is home from work after her hip surgery. Here’s what’s going on with me and my two under two!

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What’s New Wednesday

So, I missed Monday Minute, which means I am going to give you all an update on what’s exciting around here today! I’ll combine it with “What’s on the Menu Wednesday” although I don’t have a ton of great food ideas this week.

Life has been hectic lately, which I am ok with, but I haven’t had any time to sit down and write! We are selling our house, which is a little bittersweet, but I am SO excited to move on to our next adventure. Between house showings, little outings since it’s getting nicer around here, and me feeling a little under the weather, life is crazy! I wouldn’t have it any other way (besides being sick maybe!).

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The Stay-at-Home Mom Rut

The Stay-at-Home Mom Rut. You may have heard of it – we all go through “ruts” in life. The question is how do you get yourself out of it?! Or if you’re smart, avoid it all together.

We have been super busy lately, which I love! I am not a home-body. I love being surrounded by family and friends, trying new things and visiting new places. The problem is, as a stay-at-home mom, once the “busy” is done, you find yourself home again. Staring at the new, but same old, pile of laundry, dishes in the sink, floors that need to be vacuumed, and the two little people who you created who seem to need you every second of your day.

I feel like I have no energy lately (AKA I’m being lazy!), I find myself blaming everything on the weather (it’s called unpredictable spring!), I feel uninspired overall, and I have a list of things to do but I am too tired to do them by the time the kids are in bed!

You sometimes feel like you have SO much time but trapped at home and unable to do anything you want to do! Sounds crazy right? Well I’m feeling the stay-at-home mom rut right now.

We had a wonderful Easter holiday and a busy few weekends. In fact, I can’t look at my calendar and find a weekend coming up with no plans. There has also been a lot of talk of fun vacations and events this summer that I’m so looking forward to. The problem with that is – I have to be PATIENT! Like I always tell my toddler…

Sometimes I find it hard to relax; can you tell?

Anyway, when I find myself in the stay-at-home mom rut (it’s happened before!) I need to take my own advice and get myself back on track. I do this in a few different ways, and I’ll share them with you here.

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