Toy Story Party

My son’s 2nd birthday party was Toy Story themed. It was a small party with mostly adults but I think the birthday boy had alot of fun!

Invitations: Printed 4×6 Toy Story Invitations

Food:
Rosati’sPizza Planet Pizza

Cake (Decorated with Toy Story Figures)

Cheetos

Activities: Knock Over Mr. Potato Head

Toy Story on in the Background

Trampoline

Present Time

Decorations: Toy Story Backgrounds Banner

Pizza Planet Sign

Wanted Posters

Party Favors: Crayon Rolls with Toy Story Coloring Pages

Road Trip Packing List Printable- Toddler Edition

Toddlers need a lot when they go on road trips. Not quite as much as babies, but to keep them happy and entertained for hours on end they need plenty of stuff. After I worked on my regular road trip packing list, I realized that I should just have a second one for the toddler’s stuff. He is pretty spoiled. I bring movies for me, and separate movies for him. I bring snacks for me, and separate snacks for him or else he eats all of mine. It goes on and on, but with the separate list it is easier to get it all straight.

One of my tricks for road trips with toddlers is that if they are drinking real milk regularly you can buy cartons of shelf milk that don’t have to be refrigerated until they are open, or I like to give him the pedia sure milk replacements. They are expensive, but cheaper than buying a big thing of milk and wasting it because you can’t refrigerate it. Also, I have found that it is hard to get whole milk most places, so I really like having my own milk with me.

Another thing is that I like to buy a few new toys or books. They don’t have to be “new” I usually get them from yard sales or kid’s resale stores but something new keeps him entertained for longer. The good thing about getting them at yard sales is that if you don’t want to keep them after the trip you can turn around and yard sale them again or it won’t hurt as much to donate them. It’s worth spending a little bit to have more sanity while traveling. I put some of his toys for the car in his backpack, so that they are easy for him to get to. If we are going to a family’s home that don’t have little kids, or staying in a hotel, I bring my playmat full of toys so that he is entertained the few days that we are there too. I just try not to bring anything sentimental or irreplaceable as toys are more likely to get lost when traveling.

I have a large rubberband that I use to hold his diapers together. It keeps them in one spot and is easier than a half empty bag later on.

Toddler Chores

From the time he started walking, my son knew to put his shoes away in the basket where we all keep our shoes. Sometimes he would even put mine away for me too. That has been his only chore until recently. He sometimes would help me clean up, but it didn’t happen very often because I’m lazy and I would just leave the toys out.

Now we have a new puppy and she likes to get into stuff so I have to be better at putting stuff away. I started by having my son put his dishes in the sink after dinner. After doing that for a few days I saw this article and realized he could be doing much much more.

This is his current chore list, although lots of times they are just bigger chores for me.

Put shoes away

Put dishes in the sink

Throw away what mommy asks

Pick up toys and books before bed

Put away dishes in “Colton’s Cupboard”

Put silverware in the drawer

Feed the dog

At just barely a year and a half he is doing great! Some things are easier for me, even if the rest are double the work that they usually are. It will pay off later though!

On Travel Tips

I recently went to go visit family for the third time in a year with my little one. The second time without having my husband’s help. The baby is a little harder to run around with now, but I was prepared.

First off, here’s a new travel tip: Don’t play with fireworks the day before you fly.

Apparently I would have been fine if I took off my baby backpack when I went through security. But I didn’t and that means they test your hands for explosive residue. So they made me sit and wait for them to test everything in my luggage and then made me sit and wait while they got a higher rank female to do a full pat down. It was fine though, they had me wait in a closed off room and it was excellent for the baby to run around in. After the pat down I was able to go get on my flight.

Don’t do this 26 hours before flying.

I also learned to use the baby backpack, even if you don’t think you need it. I thought I would be fine (and I was paranoid about having my hands tested on the way home) so I didn’t put him in the back pack through security and he crawled under the table and around everything it was bad. I guess since he’s bigger they weren’t too happy with me having him sit in a bin for a minute. They yelled at me. 🙁

Allowed in April 2012 but not January 2013

Yeah, it just wasn’t fun and was very embarrassing without the backpack. Especially because my father-in-law was there watching from the other side of security the whole time. I wanted him to think that I had it together like every other time I’ve been not running around to grab my kid in my barefeet.

With the baby in the backpack, even though our plane was delayed I was able to run across the entire airport to make it to our next flight with no time to spare. It was a nightmare but I was proud that I made it, even though I thought I was going to pass out when I got there and had to have a flight attendant carry all of my stuff for me. That too was an embarrassing moment.

Atleast I was smart enough to wear the backpack at the Farm

I was glad that I had painted my suitcase, because they made us wait (when I needed to get to the second flight that was taking off at any minute) to get our suitcases on the ramp to get off of the plane. They set mine down further away, and because it was so unique I was able to see it and go run and get it to be able to run to the next flight, while everyone else waited for their bags.

My son behaved very well, I brought along a bunch of “hush-food” as one lady called it, so if he had plenty of fruit snacks and granola bars. He had new toys to entertain him and he was able to get his energy out at the play areas before we got on the flight. I was proud of him! One of the flights he was able to get his own seat, he loved it. Soon enough we’re going to have to pay for him to have his own seat, so I was glad to get one for free.

He loves his free seat!

Other Traveling Tips:
Airport Traveling Tips
Mom and Baby at the Airport
My Packing List

The Rock Climbing One Year Old

My husband and I used to both be outdoorsy people. That was a few years ago. We would still like to be, but we spent 3 years of working different schedules and our together time became meals, shopping or tv time because we didn’t have the time to drive to somewhere “outdoorsy” and we don’t have much close, or the weather is too warm.

I was able to go out in a Jeep this past weekend, and we stopped by some cool places in the desert. My son got out and walked around with us. He has just been learning to run and was tripping over everything at first. He’s not used to obstacles in his way (ok, other than his toys that don’t get picked up).

I was amazed that when we got to an area with some large rocks that he started trying to climb right up. He did a great job with it, until he tried using his knees rather than his shoes to get to the top. With holding our hands he made it up to the top of the rocks he was trying to climb and walked around on everything without getting a concussion, so I consider it a success. He must have the bouldering already programmed into his mind from our genes. It was a very exciting thing to see and has me getting ready to enjoy the great outdoors with him more.

Mail Time: Postcards for Daddy

With a deployed husband we try to send him things pretty often, whether they are e-mails, letters or packages. I think he enjoys what we send him. It’s hard to figure out what he really feels with this distance.

One thing I have had fun doing is letter our toddler get involved with sending stuff to Daddy. The toddler can help pick out postcards from the rack, or help chew on the postcards or bend them. I know he doesn’t really understand but I let him color in crayon or highlighter on whatever I send and I write in pen. That way you can see both of our messages on the same postcard. It works well, usually. One thing I have learned was that if you use a gel pen, don’t let the toddler kiss the postcard because it may smear the mailing address.

Other Toddler Activities:
Pinned it, Did It: Tube Play and Finger Paints in a Bag
Toy Laptop
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Toddler Army Uniform Costume from Daddy's ACU's

I hate calling my baby a toddler- how did he get so big??

I’m not going to give a tutorial because I messed it up quite a bit, and didn’t have a very good way of doing it. (I was so frustrated it sat on the floor for almost a month!) The pants we’re super easy though, I made them just like pajama pants, and from the very bottom of the legs on daddy’s ACU’s.

So just enjoy the pictures of my cute little man- they make me cry- and just know that making this is do-able but finding a tutorial elsewhere would be a good idea!

I also want to try putting together a rucksack for him to use as a goody bag and maybe a tan t-shirt for under his jacket. (He was wearing a standard-issue blue’s Clues shirt for some of the pictures:)

Edited: I have gotten tons questions about making this outfit, it was something I made without a pattern (or taking enough pictures) but I did take some pictures of the outfit just laid out so that you can see it better so that maybe they can help more than I can! I do try to take the time to respond to any questions so feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will try to help!
ACU Top
ACU Top Open
ACU Bottoms

Pinned It, Did It: Toddler Activities

My son is a young toddler (15 months) and has been needing some stimulation. It’s still a little hot to play outside all the time so I decided to try some of the activities I pinned.

Paper Tube Car Ramp

Time Spent Preparing:1 minute
Materials Cost: A few cents for Tape, tube was technically trash
Time it Entertained:10 minutes
Clean-Up:Painless

Ten minutes is alot for a toddler to spend on one activity, atleast for mine it is. He loved the car ramp. He played with it the first time for about ten minutes and then was bored and went to something else. I left it out and after his nap he came back to it for a few more minutes until he figured ripping it off the couch would be more fun.

Finger Painting Inside of a Zip Lock Bag

Time Spent Preparing:2 minutes
Materials Cost: A few cents worth of paint, paper and ziplock bag
Time it Entertained: 2 minutes
Clean-Up:Painless

I hate wasting my ziplock bags, I try not to use stuff that just gets thrown away. With that just as a side thought, this activity wasn’t very entertaining for my son. He may just be too young. I won’t be trying this one until he’s a bit older.