July 25, 2014

I'm OFF!

I'm off to Blog Her '14 this morning (and tomorrow too)! Looking forward to recapping all the fun next week, but in the meantime please feel free to follow along with all the fun on Instagram! I'll be sharing pictures all weekend :)
There are so many great speakers and breakout sessions scheduled, but I have to say I am most excited to hear what Arianna Huffington has to share!

Went down to San Jose yesterday and registered! I'm all set!

July 24, 2014

One Year & Beyond - Helping Your Toddler Communicate

Today is the third week of the One Year & Beyond series and today we're talking about how we can help our toddlers be better communicators!

Communicating with a toddler can be a huge challenge. At two and a half Owen is still just beginning to understand how to express his feelings, wants and needs verbally. Toddlers are notorious for their tantrums, and most times I'd like to think the cause of said tantrums is a failure to communicate. While we're obviously still working on language development, we still feel very lucky that Owen is a pretty great communicator and seems to express his feelings easily.

Here are a handful of ways we try to help him be a good communicator:

We read a lot of books, and engage him in the stories - We usually read a book at least twice before moving on to another (the first time we just read and the second time we engage more), and while we read it the second time we talk together and notice what is happening in the book. We discuss how people are feeling in the book (sad, happy, hungry, tired, etc) and I like to ask him questions about what is happening on the page, i.e. "if you were The Very Hungry Caterpillar what would YOU want to eat next?".

We give him verbal tools - When he becomes frustrated or angry because he doesn't have the words to describe what's upsetting him we try to teach him phrases he can use to get his point across. We've taught him to say "Please stop doing that to me" when he doesn't like something another child is doing and so far it works really well. I taught him to introduce himself and say "Hi, I'm Owen!" when meeting a new child at the park, because he would get sad or upset when other children would ignore him.

We patiently listen to what Owen has to say - About a month ago I noticed Owen had developed a serious stutter. He had never had too much struggle getting words out before, but all of a sudden I noticed e was getting stuck on certain sounds he had never had difficulty with before. I immediately called his doctor, who said it is normal for children this age to develop one, but that it should lessen over the next month after we noticed it. Luckily it did. I guess it happens mostly when a child mind / communication develops faster than their tongue and mouth can catch up. For the few weeks that he struggled to get his point across he would get really frustrated. We tried to make it all easier on him by just being really patient and allowing him lots of extra time to say what he needed to say. Thankfully, his speech is totally back to normal!

We have conversations - One of our favorite things to do is have a chat -- these chats usually consist of me asking questions and Owen answering them. We talk all the time, but we have most of our chats when we're playing pretend with his Star Wars figures or his cars. I ask him what he's thinking, what he sees, what he wants to do etc. I love encouraging him to share his ideas, and playing pretend is a safe place for him to play with conversational language. 

We treat him equally at the dinner table - We don't allow him to interrupt us, but we make sure to give him even turns to talk too. I think it's important that he feels like what he has to say about his day is just as important as what we have to say about ours. I also think it's great for him to sit with adults and have a dinner conversation.

We socialize, a lot - He is around a lot of older children a lot of the time between our friends kids, and all of his awesome cousins. All of his cousins are way older than him, so he has a lot of great role models and tons of people around him speaking like grown ups.

Next week we'll be discussing dealing with separation anxiety!

July 10:  Keeping your marriage alive with a toddler
July 17:  Favorite summer toddler activities
July 24:  Helping Your Toddler to Communicate (Words, emotions, etc.)
July 31:  Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Aug 7:    Car Trip Necessities
Aug 14:  Deciding when the time is right for baby #2 (and/or how to handle these questions)
Aug 21:  Tricks for eating out with your toddler
Aug 28:  Feeling confident as a mom (How to feel this way, Your struggle with, etc.)

July 23, 2014

Butterscotch Blankees

When I was pregnant with Owen I remember someone saying that you could never have enough baby blankets. I really took that advise to heart! We registered for and purchase so many different kinds of blankets. We had fleece ones, swaddling blankets, handmade one made with love by talents friends and family, simple cotton ones. The only kind of blanket I never purchased were the adorable personalized ones...by the time I had Owen we had more blankets than one baby would need, so sadly, he never got an adorable personalized blanket... until NOW!

Let me introduce you to Butterscotch Blankees! Butterscotch Blankees was founded by Jodie Roth when she was designing her first son's nursery. She was looking for the perfect accent piece to complete the look. After scavenging magazines, artwork, furniture and bedding companies for something just right, Jodie finally realized she should simply design her own. The blanket she created was just what the room needed and with that, Butterscotch Blankees was born! Jodie's company now offers a variety of custom blanket and pillow designs for the entire home. But the initial spark of inspiration was straight from a mother's heart.

"As a mother, I was looking to give my two sons bedrooms something special where they could feel the warmth and love when they snuggled into bed each night," says Jodie.

When giving this snuggly-soft baby blanket as a gift, the whimsical packaging alone will capture their hearts -- Butterscotch Blankees are wrapped up to look like a piece of butterscotch candy when you ask for gift wrapping! Custom designed and handcrafted, Butterscotch Blankees can be personalized with initials, names, or monograms. These blankets are decorative and practical, making the perfect gift for infants and older children alike!

Butterscotch Blankees are available in acrylic or cashmere, and they are incredibly soft, generously sized, and make a beautiful addition to beds, cribs, gliders and strollers or serve as a unique wall hanging in the nursery. I was so happy to find that Butterscotch Blankees are machine washable and made in the USA!

We are so happy with our beautiful, soft, fluffy blanket! Owen loves reading his name off it and I love that it's the perfect size to be used in the car or in the stroller. There are so many designs and colors to chose from, as well as sizes!

They make a great gift (Christmas is in 154 days!),
 and you can use the code OWEN for 10% off your order!  

I was not compensated for this review, but we did receive Owen's personalized stroller blanket in exchange for sharing our honest review.

July 22, 2014

That Time We Ran Out of TP

Being a Stay-at-home-mom means I have certain never ending jobs around the house. There are tasks that never end, like laundry (I've always got a load in the wash, one in the dryer, at least one that needs folding and tons to put away), dishes, cooking meals and restocking the toilet paper. I feel like the stocking of the toilet paper is possibly the most frustrating. Maybe because I'm usually the one replacing an empty roll or the one running into the garage to grab more rolls to refill the bathrooms? I wish they could stock themselves! Ha!

Now, I know we all have a story of a time that we were caught without toilet paper in a time of need. There is nothing worse than having company, or to be at someone's house for a big party and to realize you're stuck in the bathroom without toilet paper. What exactly are you supposed to do in that situation?

Owen is really into the potty right now, even though we aren't officially potty training, he still asks to use the potty when he sees older kids using it or needing to go, which brings us to my / our #SheetOutOfLuck story:

A few weeks ago we were at a friend's party at their home with lots of people. It was nearing the end of the party when Owen asked to use the bathroom. He's still in diapers, so it wasn't a necessary trip, but whenever he asks to go on the potty I obliged because I want to encourage good potty using behavior. Well, I brough him into the bathroom and sat him on the toilet and low and behold he actually went! I was so proud of him and even kind of surprised! But I was even more suprised / shocked to find the bathroom was out of TP! The horror! Stuck in the bathroom at a crowded party with a toddler who you are so proud of for going on the potty, but stuck without any TP to clean him up with. Cue major PANIC!

The party was still going strong, music playing loudly and kids playing even louder, that no one would really hear me if I shouted for help. Luckily, I knew I could depend on Keith to help. I pulled my phone out of my back pocket (luckily I was taking pictures with my camera, because otherwise I would have left it in the diaper bag) and sent him a text message to please ask the hostess for a roll of toilet paper . It took Keith a little while to notice the text, and then a little while longer for him to get to us with the toilet paper. Owen happily played games on my phone while we waited for the TP. Moral of the story is, stock your bathroom up with toilet paper before you have a big party or maybe just buy bigger rolls so you don't have to restock as often!!

I want to encourage you to come back early next week to enter the sweepstakes I will be hosting where one reader will win a YEAR supply of Angel Soft®!! Because we all know no one wants to be the poor girl in this video and  with 60% MORE sheets than Charmin Ultra, Angel Soft is on your side!

You can check out more of these cute videos HERE that show more funny, sad, moments when people realize they're #SheetOutOfLuck! Now it's YOUR turn! I would love to hear some of your #SheetHappens moments! Follow the hashtags #SheetOutOfLuck and #SheetHappens on Facebook and Twitter and join in on the conversation!

Are you attending BlogHer '14 this week? Angel Soft® will be at BlogHer ’14 and I'd like to encourage you to visit the Angel Soft® booth (booth #201) in hope that we'll run into each other there -- I'll be popping by there often! I'm so excited for the conference (in less than 48 hours!) and I hope to see you there!

I was compensated for sharing our #SheetOutOfLuck story with you today, but the mortification and panic described were truly my own, as is our love for Angel Soft®!

July 18, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Good Morning and Happy Friday! I feel like it has been forever since I've blogged about what we're up to around here, so today I'm just rambling on about this and that just like I would to a friend at the park and I hope you don't mind all my yammering!

Owen and I spent Thursday morning at the TOMS Warehouse Sale! I hadn't really planned on going, but we were up and out at the park when I remembered it was starting that morning, so we headed over. The line was long outside and there was a 20 minute wait to get in, but luckily for me Owen was really patient. The warehouse was filled with shoes! Everything was sorted into Women's, Children's and Men's sections and then from there by size. Each size had about two groupings of 7 boxes filled with shoes. From there you had to dig through to find the material / color / style you were looking for. The Classic style was only $22 each! And the children's were $17! It took me forever to make a decision about what to get, but in the end I left with the TOMS Classic in Ash and TOMS Classic in Dark Green, and a pair of TOMS Tiny Classics in Ash for Owen. We might be going back again this morning in hopes of finding a pair of ballet flats since they didn't have any out yesterday.


I never got around to recapping our little 4th of July last week, and I'm okay with that, but I just want to make sure I record the cute thing Owen said when we were watching fireworks.

I had been talking up the fireworks, America and singing him God Bless America (don't worry, I'm not going to make you listen to that) for weeks, so on the 4th he was really excited the time had finally come to see the fireworks! What's really funny is that he kept requesting that I sing "God Bless America" to him all the time, every where we went: in Target, driving in the car, while I rocked him to sleep. Anyway we're sitting out on the field at the elementary school in our neighborhood with a bunch of our family and Owen is just loving the firework show. He was "oooing" and "ahhhing" along with everyone and we were so glad he wasn't scared of the dark or the loud booms.

Well, the finale starts and he's totally blown away and says "That's God Bless America, right there!!!" Like in that moment he was just really feeling the patriotism and the song and it was coming to life right in front of him. Keith and I just looked at each other in surprise and died from the cuteness.

My new Life Planner came this week! I went with the scales design in seafoam, and I spent a good chunk of Owen's nap Tuesday filling in all the important dates. I really lucked out that it came so quickly -- I was just weeks away from running out of space! This year I also added a picture to the back, which I really like. There's nothing like a nice new, fresh planner to make me feel extra organized!

I finally finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green a couple weeks ago. It was a great book, and I loved the story. It was well written, an easy read and I came to really like and care for the characters by the end of the book. And now I can't wait to see the movie! After finishing the book I was really in the mood for another good read, so I dove right into Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klin. I finished this book in three days! It was that good, in my opinion. I liked that it bounced back and forth between two different stories and time periods, although I really enjoyed reading Viviana's story a lot more.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opened to the public today! I have been eying this Moon & Lola Personalized Script Monogram Pendant Necklace the whole time the card holder pre-sale was going on. I was so excited to see this morning that the it's under $60! It was promptly added to my shopping cart and purchased. Can't wait for it to arrive!

Linking this post up with Karli & Amy for "Oh Hey, Friday"!
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