Watch Out for That Toy!

My brother and I had plenty of toys when we were kids. In fact, I enjoy going on eBay and browsing through the 80s and 90s toys that shaped my childhood. According to my mother, my grandparents would say (jokingly, of course) that it looked like a toy store. I wonder what they would say about my house.

We could open a toy store—yesterday.

I’m glad the kids have plenty of toys, and I’m grateful they’ve been giving so many as gifts. Sure, organizing them is a challenge, but at least they’re having fun. One tough part? Trying not to step on things in bare feet.

Being barefoot is a way of life for me. When I was a baby, I kicked off booties (according to my mom), and my feet were always hot. I’m 25% Sicilian, so I’ve inherited the hot, Italian feet. Thanks, Dad.

I have yet to step on Legos as an adult. I stepped on them a couple of times in the past, and the memes are pretty accurate. It is one painful experience.

A1 puts a sea of toys on the floor. It can become an obstacle course. Yesterday, it was a bedtime ABC book that poked me in the foot. Those are some razor sharp corners! She also loves to sort and build, which is great. Then she grabs our shoes, wears them, and leaves them in the middle of the kitchen. If you read my entry about breaking my arm, you know I’m afraid of trip hazards, perhaps more so than the next mom (or so it seems).

I carry A2 and make an effort to avoid the toy maze on the ground. It’s hard work, but I enjoy playing with the toys when I’m at ground level.


The Things I Will/Won’t Miss: 2As Edition

I took the As to the store to pick up a few things. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but today, A1 decides to 1) Open her cup of Ritz crackers herself 2) Throw them all over the floor and 3) Scream and flip about the ones that were still stuck in the cart. Embarrassing.

I left the store after using a self-scan register, and ran into one of my ex-coworkers. I was in mid-dash, just trying to exit the store as quickly as possible. She asked how I was doing. “Ok, I guess,” in that well, obviously not tone. She asked if everything was all right. I gestured to A1, telling her that my toddler was terrible in the store, and retelling the cracker story. “It sucks,” I said, desperate for a moment to regroup. She laughed. You know, that knowing laugh of a BTDT mom. One who now wears the “grandma” badge. “Oh, I shouldn’t laugh, but you’re very right.”

Yesterday, I took the As to a local festival to see what A1 refers to as “wireworks” (fireworks). It was a great night. “Bye bye, wireworks,” she said after the show. Then, I put the kids in the car. They proceeded to scream, emitting that shrill, wild animal sound that drives you mad. I have never sung “Michael, Row The Boat Ashore” aloud, but it was I could do in a traffic jam, so I would scream at them or want to shoot myself.

All of this has inspired this post, so here it is: the good, bad, and the ugly of raising two small children.

Things I Will Miss:

1. The first smile.
2. The first time they say “Mama.”
3. The baby laugh.
4. The inventive, funny phrases of a toddler.
5. The times they fall asleep in my arms when they are sick or teething.
6. Picking out their clothes.
7. Picking out hair bows.
8. Their small size.
9. Some of their toys.
10. Nursing. The milk drunk smile, the “boob in the mouth” smile, watching A2 grab my shirt. Snuggling on the couch with her.
11. Being able to share a seat on the couch with both kids.
12. The random hugs and kisses A1 gives me (and eventually A1’s).
13. The joy and ease of an immobile baby. You know, before the crawling stage.
14. Cute toddler mispronunciations.
15. Being the center of their universe.
16. All the little kids’ playground equipment.
I’m sure there are more, and I will add them.
Things I won’t miss:
1. Changing diapers, especially A1’s.
2. Spit up on my clothes.
3. Tantrums.

I still love them anyway. 😉

A1 colors at the table with Mama.

A2 enjoys chewing on a book!


A Day in the Life

A1 “stunts” at the table while A2 looks at the camera

The As hanging out on the couch

A2 catches up on her reading. Her book of choice? Baby Touch and Feel Farm, of course. She also sat unsupported for the first time today (she decided to flop down and roll over when I grabbed my phone).

Big cheesin’: A1 swings at the neighbors’.

A2 on the baby swing.


Mama J’s Travel Tips For Two Under 2/Two Little Ones (LOs)

Some trips are more necessary than others, and some special occasions require that you haul your small fries on short notice. Here’s how I roll when I travel:

Mama J’s Essentials (Like a boss!)

1. Wipes. If it’s in the Mama J bag, it’s the Huggies travel-sized variety. Less is more, and compact storage is in demand.
2. Diapers/training pants/underwear for PT toddlers. Keep the greatest amount in your big diaper bag, and then replenish your quick trips bag (QTB) as you go.
3. Extra clothes, all types. Pack an outfit for warm weather for each child, then include pants and sweatshirts for easy layering. In winter, choose only tee shirts and long sleeve tees/hoodies for this, since your go-to bottoms will be pants. This way, you can strip your kid down indoors. Remove winter coats immediately upon entering buildings. Keep gloves/mittens in coat pockets or diaper bag (DB) compartments. Socks for all seasons.
4. Small snacks. Use sandwich bags and plastic storage containers. Use sippy cups or sports bottles for toddlers.
5. Small toys. Mini board books, Fisher-Price electronic books, rattles for infants, tug toys, rattle/teether combos, etc. When else fails, sing songs, use your smartphone, or just be silly.
6. Pacifiers for “binky babies”. Pacifier keepers if you are outdoors.
7. A small bottle of travel head-to-toe J&J body wash and lotion.
8. Travel diaper rash cream. I like Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
9. Orajel. ‘Nuff said.
10. Bibs and eating utensils. Vital Baby makes a nice bowl with a lid and insert for a spoon, which is great for babies. Wash it out and use a fork, and it will work for toddlers.
11. Baby food in sandwich bags, so it doesn’t leak.
12. Sunblock.
13. Insect repellent for children 6 months and older if you will be at a park or other outdoor venue for a long period of time. Skintastic is great.
14. Baby food jars and toddler food. Gerber or Beech Nut squeeze packs work well. Beech Nut Steamies are great for toddlers.