Our first pandemic

pandemic 2020

The Coronavirus has changed so much in such a small amount of time. Things that used to be the highlight of our week are now considered dangerous activities. This is seriously such an odd time for everyone, and especially for littles. Not knowing how to explain why we can’t go to the zoo or see grandparents is tough. Bobby has handled everything like a champ, mainly because he is one and has no clue anything is even happening. But Betty is old enough to miss spending time with her cousin and going to play at the museum. Even though she is young, we believe honesty is always the best policy. We explained germs are everywhere and the places with more people have more germs. Which means we need to stay home for a while to keep from getting sick or spreading bad germs to friends and family. We may have over simplified but she gets it and, like everyone else, Betty is ready to get back to regular activities.

Toilet paper crisis

Because Betty & Bobby are so young and I stay home with them, the shelter-in place order hasn’t changed too much of our normal routine. The main difference is their Dad working from home. Which means we have to make an effort not to distract or disturb him 8-5. In toddler Time that’s like years, and since he is the fun parent the babes are struggling with this part. However, the effort has been made to spend a lot of time outside on walks, playing with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and enjoying snacks.

Chef Betty

Making the best of things is a trait we’re actively trying to teach both littles. So we’ve been doing fun social distancing activities indoors too. Learning to bake and make treats has become one of Betty’s favorites (check out the Lucky charm treat recipe we tried here.) She has also been taking her dance class through zoom. We’ve done a ton of video chats with friends and family.  Although we cannot physically go to the zoo we watch story time from their Facebook page. Same for our favorite bookshop, Fabled, and trying activities from the Mayborn Museum’s website. We also have colored pictures and given them to a local volunteer who delivers them to residents of neighboring assisted living facilities. These residents are no longer able to see visitors or have guests, which is heart breaking. Our standard at home amusement like reading, playing dress up, building with Legos/ blocks and watching movies has stayed in rotation. However, it is not all fun and games around here. Betty & Bobby have been more involved in the household chores lately too. Bobby enjoys helping load the dryer and pushing the buttons to start it up. He also has become infatuated with the broom & Swiffer. Betty started bringing her dishes to the kitchen following her meals/ snacks and wiping off the table. I’m also happy to report that a lot of organizing, clearing out closets, and homework has been getting done on the Mommy side of things. wp-15858665761185867557227945545779.jpgOur most recent trip to the grocery store was pretty unreal. I still don’t get the whole toilet paper crisis, yet seeing bare shelves and people wearing masks and gloves felt so extreme. HEB is the best grocery store ever (you can’t change my mind) on this visit an employee approached me and asked if we happened to need wipes and we definitely did, but the shelf was empty when we looked upon arrival. She then handed me a small package of them and said they were the last in the entire store until restock and she’d been holding onto them in hopes of finding someone with a small baby to give them to. Bobby is often mistaken for Betty’s twin and far from small (94% percentile at our last check up,) but I was appreciative none the less. Thank goodness I’m a Virgo and our home usually stays properly stocked with cleaning supplies and toilet paper. 

wp-15858674780294531370733776203722.jpgKindness goes so far, in times like these I have high hopes that we as a people show compassion rather than competition. Our family is optimistic that everyone realizes how intense the pandemic is and that y’all are staying home as much as possible, this way we stop spreading the virus and can get back to living life out in the world. 

What are some activities keeping you and your babes busy during the shelter in place?  Be sure and let us know in the comments section. 

St. Patrick’s Day

wp-15845090216958360990222004624962.jpgI am the cheesy Mom that is always trying to make things fun and exciting for the babes, especially holidays. St. Patrick’s day is no exception, even with a pandemic happening all around us. We started the day by reading The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun by Jeffrey Burton.

Mom's lucky charm

But is it even a holiday if Mom doesn’t dress you in something festive?! Bobby geared up in a Mommy’s lucky charm, hand-me-down tee from Old Navy, distressed jeans, and checkered sneakers. Betty chose a sparkly monogram tee, velvet green bummies & matching bow (don’t forget to use code Betty when shopping their site) and Black dragon scale T-straps

It was a perfect 77 degrees with lots of sunshine so naturally, we headed outside to hunt for leprechauns and hopefully find some gold or a four leaf clover. Although our efforts were unsuccessful it was a good time filled with lots of giggles.

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All that running around wore us out and after about an hour we headed inside for nap. My little lad & lassy woke up fully rested and ready for more fun. We went straight to the kitchen and made rainbow cupcakes, added some sprinkles, and then took them to the pool to enjoy in the sun. After lounging for a bit we thought the best way to finish our St. Patrick’s day fun was by chasing bubbles until Dad got home from work.wp-1584509058936898096283559414925.jpg

We are already homebodies so the social distancing hasn’t put too much change in our routine. Normally on beautiful days we would run around the zoo, park, or meet up with friends. Due to Betty & I having a cough plus sneezing (no fevers thank goodness) we decided it would be best if we did all the fun things here at home on our own. Even without the threat of a world wide virus, we intentionally stay away from other people when feeling icky.  Holidays are really only as fun as you want them to be. Although it wasn’t a fancy or grand celebration, we had a total blast.wp-15845090887094859583656221857568.jpg

 

Baby’s first birthday

Making it through the first twelve months is such an amazing milestone for both baby and parents. Baby has blossomed into a toddler becoming more and more mobile and vocal. As a mom, seeing my son turn one was bitter sweet: I’m so excited for how far he has come, but also so sad that my little baby is growing up. 

When I hosted my daughter’s first birthday party I got stressed and even overwhelmed at some points. Don’t get me wrong everything turned out fine and we had a blast, but I knew that I wanted to take a more laid back approach to my son’s party. With that in mind I started planning Bobby’s wild ONE party when he was about six months old.

The idea was to choose a theme that would work for a Texas January. Which means it could have been anywhere between 35 – 65 degrees. So a lodge/ forest wild ONE seemed the perfect fit. Plus we can re-use some of the buffalo plaid decor at Christmas. For my daughter’s party, I made many of the decorations on short notice which contributed to being stressed. This round we grabbed balloons, table cloths, and banners (more banners) months ahead of time, for less than $40 (including shipping). It was a good thing we ordered so far in advance since shipping from this site can take six weeks or more. To save ourselves some time and stress we decorated the afternoon before the party. Seeing everything in place made it very easy to make a list of items we still needed to grab before the party. We did the standard 1- 12 month photo banner and added a “my first holidays” banner (not pictured.) Table cloths went down on the sign, snacks, and goodie bag tables; and our wild one balloons hung above the gift area. Other than that we didn’t do much decorating, we figured with the majority of our guests being under ten they would most likely be on the floor or outside in the bounce house. 

Part of the cash we saved on decor went toward a cake smash photoshoot with Willie + Rose Photography, which has become a family tradition. These photos will last forever so I definitely think it is worth getting them done by a professional. We used our favorite shots for his party invites and thank you notes. Another budget efficient tip we used was only mailing invitations to out of town family and opted for a Facebook event for the remaining guests.

Keri’s Kreations makes the best custom treats in Waco, TX; they are almost too beautiful to eat. Keri did the cake & cookies for my daughter’s birthday so naturally she is who we chose for Bobby’s forest themed cake and woodland animal cupcakes to serve at the party. Both the the cake and cupcakes tasted like heaven. Bobby did not dig into his smash cake as expected, which was a bit of a bummer but I think he was taken back by seeing everyone sing to him. 

Although we we’re aiming for a laid back celebration, I’m a sucker for a good theme party and always looking for a reason to bust out a costume. Bobby’s first outfit has been dubbed the little stinker. He was such a good sport with this one he loved the little footie paws and kept rubbing the fuzzy section on his belly.

Bobby really enjoyed this little skunk outfit gifted to him at Christmas (thanks Uncle Nat), but couldn’t keep it on for the whole party. He started getting a little sweaty about an hour in. Assuming things would get messy we brought something to wear for after cake. Comfort is key, so we chose buffalo plaid joggers from B3 Wraps (using the code “Bobby” saves on your orders) and a custom birthday T-shirt from Hustle Darling. This was also one of the outfits from his birthday shoot.

Originally I hadn’t planned on doing goodie bags. I read an article about parents not wanting cheap little toys that break and the risk of food allergies or anti-sugar households and basically all the things that could go wrong, but my mom found the cutest little Pinterest project a couple days before the party, and I couldn’t help myself. So we put our own spin on it and made s’more kits with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and teddy grahams. The mix was put in snack bags and I added tags made out of cardstock. We thought a cheesy-yet-adorable bear pun would put it over the top, so I made stickers from mailing labels with my Cricut. I think they turned out super cute!

I told Bobby’s dad the day before the party that I felt much less stressed preparing for this one. To which he replied “second child syndrome” and chuckled. He was obviously joking, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t sting a little. As a mother to siblings I strive to give both babies the same amount of effort and affection. I’d like to think that Bobby’s party was less stressful because we were able to use the knowledge gained from hosting Betty’s first birthday to make it easier for everyone involved to focus on the fun. The lesson I learned from hosting both is that the best part of any party is celebrating with people you love. Seeing all of our friends and family play, smile, dance, and laugh in honor of Bobby’s birthday was the highlight of the day. All the decorations, costumes, and gift bags are useless when you don’t have anyone to share them with. Our little family is so incredibly lucky to have people that show up for us and our babies.

 

Healthy Eater’s Perspective

Healthy Eater's perspective: ThanksgivingFor many years I have attempted to stop eating foods that contain health risks, such as any processed and canned foods. It’s so hard to know where all your food comes from without doing research. This definitely includes fast food, so now I just avoid and try my very best to stay clear from places who buy cheap food and poorly sourced products.

image-from-rawpixel-id-435669-jpegNow I know that not all people feel the same way I do. For example; my mother in law buys canned food and uses it for dishes served during family functions and in everyday meals. To be polite, I don’t say anything but I also don’t eat those types of foods, so I try my best to make my plate look full without touching the processed food. Last Thanksgiving I made a green bean casserole (I absolutely love GBC!) and I made it from scratch with fresh organic ingredients. My mother in law rudely told me it wouldn’t taste the same. Boy was she wrong! It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and kept asking who made it.

So, my point is, if you eat healthy don’t sacrifice your beliefs or your dignity… instead, just make it yourself or offer to be the one who does the grocery shopping.