Preparing my Body for Baby #2

Monday, February 18, 2019
This post was written in collaboration with Ava Women, however, all opinions are my own.

I have always wanted at least two kids. Our first little man came into our world two and a half years ago, and not only have I never experienced such love, but it only affirmed my desire to continue to grow our family.

That said, conceiving the first time around wasn't as simple as we had imagined. After months of wacky cycles post birth control, a discovery of undiagnosed Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and countless negative pregnancy tests, we were finally blessed with those two pink lines.

My Favorite Podcasts for Moms

Monday, February 11, 2019
One of my favorite ways to spend any "alone" time I get is listening to podcasts. Be it at the gym, on a solo car ride or while simply lounging at home, I relish in the opportunity to listen to others and learn from their wisdom and life experiences. Many of the podcasts I'm loving lately, are geared toward the various facets of motherhood and cover a whole range of topics from child development and learning, to health, to fostering a gospel-centered home. I am so grateful to the women who have put their heart and soul into sharing their knowledge with us, so I thought I would spread the love and share a few of my personal favorites with you all today.

1. Mom Enough: A podcast featuring mother/daughter duo Dr.'s Marti & Erin Erickson that offers parenting tips and research based advice on a variety of topics related to raising kids today.

10 Ways to Boost your Toddler's Vocabulary with Books

Monday, January 21, 2019
This post was written in collaboration with Mrs. Wordsmith, however, all opinions are my own.

Did you know that every state has learning standards for even our tiniest of learners to help educators as well as us as parents to know what it is that they should be learning and able to do at a given age?

The standards share everything from fine and gross motor skills to math concepts to early literacy development and beyond and what these areas may look like at different stages. For instance, one particular area that is highlighted for our little learners is that of vocabulary. Most state standards share that as they grow, children should begin using increasingly more complex vocabulary and language, using more descriptive words like adjectives and adverbs and forming more structurally sound and complex sentences. That being said, I thought I'd take a moment today to share in 10 simple ways you can seek to boost these skills with your toddler at home through the simple act of sharing in time reading together.

1. Read a multitude of texts. Research shows that voracious readers have a wider vocabulary, and this is no different for toddlers. One strategy we try and utilize in our home to ensure this takes place is to read one new book, one familiar book and one favorite throughout the day. It encourages children to explore new books and vocabulary, while reviewing and revisiting those they know and love as well.

15 Teaching Opportunities for Toddlers at the Grocery Store

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
I'll admit, while the actual act of getting groceries still doesn't top my list of favorite things to do each week, I have learned to actually enjoy it a bit more now that I have a little one. Don't get me wrong, I love the solo trip to the store as much as the next mom, and it certainly makes the process go much more quickly, but I've also found that our weekly grocery store trips together provide me with a space for a vast array of teaching opportunities with my child that go beyond the basics of buying food to fill our bellies for the week.

Below is a list of 15 different (and incredibly simple) teaching opportunities for you to try out with your toddler on your next grocery shopping adventure:

New Years Activities for Toddlers

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
This New Year's Eve was by far the best I can remember. It involved no fancy outfits or drinks, no parties or gatherings, and it didn't even involve me actually staying awake until midnight. What it did involve, however, was a whole day chalked full of fun with my family.

To help us get into the spirit the day of, I spent the evening prior whipping up this little balloon garland. Inside each balloon (which my husband so graciously donated his lungs to fill), I placed a rolled up piece of paper highlighting activities we would do throughout the day. We hung and filled 12 balloons to represent 12 o'clock and popped them in their numbered order as the day progressed. Not only did my little one light up when he walked into the living room New Year's Eve morning, but he continued to do so as we popped each balloon one-by-one and participated in all of the festive fun.

A Full Day of Festive Toddler Food

Thursday, December 13, 2018
This post was written in collaboration with Kiddobloom, however, all opinions are my own.

You all know I love being creative. If you've been following along with our family for any length of time, you also know I love me a good nutrient dense meal or snack. So when the holidays come around, and I have a festive reason to combine these two passions of mine - you better believe I'm all in. While I've included a full day's worth of ideas here, you could certainly do them across a variety of days throughout the season. Feel free to pair your favorite holiday songs, activities and books alongside them as well!

Breath a Sigh of Relief with Smartbeat Video Baby Monitor

Saturday, December 8, 2018
This post was written in collaboration with Smartbeat, however, all opinions are my own.

As a mama to a preemie, I entered the world of parenthood to the tune of monitors. For the first few weeks of my little one's life, we had constant access to his heart rate, oxygen levels and more while he was both awake and sleeping giving us peace of mind that all was well in that tiny body of his. When we finally brought Asher home, I will admit, I had a difficult time being away from all of those reassuring beeps and buzzes from the hospital. The hardest for me was the nighttime when I needed to be getting much needed rest myself, but struggled with worries like "Is my baby breathing?" or "Is he okay?" throughout many of those first few weeks home together.