Monday, February 27, 2012

A weekend away

Jeff and I left Friday night for San Francisco and returned home late last night. It was refreshing to get away and act like kids again. This was our first time leaving Leila so we lived it up!


Aunt Val and Stefan had babysitting duty. I think Leila proved to be pretty good birth control.

We couldn't have picked a better weekend to get away.

More to come...


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

17 Months

Leila is seventeen months old. Just ONE month shy of being a year and a half.

She is changing everyday! It's amazing how many new words she has learned this month. I know this will make it easier for her to tell me what she wants. Hooray!

Everyone has an opinion, right?! Some adults mention that Leila is small for her age (not in a rude way), but other times people notice how big she is. Personally, I think Leila is the perfect size for Leila! She wears size 12-18 or 18 months clothing. The 18-24 month sizes are still a little big on her. It did kinda freak me out when I had to by a 2T swimsuit for this summer (Yes ladies, swimsuits run small for kiddos too.)

Leila's a picky eater, like most toddlers. One day she'll love something and the next day she'll be pushing it away. I need to remember to respect her way of telling me she's not into my cooking. Otherwise the food ends up on the floor. Obviously way more fun for her!

Leila's favorite things this month include...


Playing peek-a-boo!

Swinging like the big kids


Picnics at the park (apparently she prefers greasy sunscreen head to hat head)


I wish what everyone told me wasn't true...It goes by so fast.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Toddler art {Mixing paint}

It's getting messy in here.

Two weeks after making play-dough (a decently clean activity) I took the plunge and brought out the paints.

Stripped down to her diaper I let her "loose" with red and white paint, two paint brushes, and thick white paper.

I painted her hand and showed her how to press it on the paper. That was her favorite part!

Paint ended up in her hair, mouth, and on the floor. There is still some paint on the bookcase. Not surprised? Me either. I'm sure there is paint on the window too.

I ended up tracing hearts on the back of the dried masterpieces. Our first homemade Valentine cards were a hit. xoxox

Bonus: The mess didn't kill me!

What messy things do you let your toddlers do? Did your mom let you get messy?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Baby boogers

Dear Leila,

This is what it feels like to be sick.

You are almost seventeen months old and this is your first cold. I knew it would happen eventually. Remember when I told you the toys at school were not for your mouth? Remember? This is why. Colds are no fun.


Luckily it's just the sniffles and sneezes. When you sneeze boogers shoot across the room and then drip down your face. Of course you will not let me wipe your nose as often as I want to, so you learned how to do it yourself. (So big!)

Instead of playing outside we are staying in and resting. You never sit and watch television like this. You hardly sit. Ever.

When you are sick you get to do special things like sit in your chair, watch Sesame Street, and eat crackers. You haven't eaten much these past two days.

Milk and crackers are your favorite sick food. I even made you blueberry pancakes and you hardly touched them. (Thanks, I got to eat them all!)

I hope you feel better soon baby. Until then, I am here to snuggle with (if you ever get tired of Elmo).


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Camera trick

I just realized that the LCD screen on my camera flips out and around. Now I can actually see where I'm aiming self-portrait shots. I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot more of these.


Next trick...getting Leila to hold still.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mommy-friends {Putting yourself out there}

After wondering where all the Mommas in San Diego were hiding, I realized they weren't the ones hiding. The comments on my post about Leila's first play-date really helped me see I wasn't putting myself out there.

What was I waiting for...a formal invite?

It's been so long since I dated (Jeff and I met over 20 years ago) that I forgot the most basic dating rule.

Mommy-dating Rule #1: Put yourself out there

We've been hanging out at the park regularly since summertime and it's time to change it up. Thanks to many helpful suggestions, I have joined four groups AND attended a Mommy & me preschool.

Today was our Leila's first day of school.

I was brave and showed up to the class a week after it started. Yep, I'm that mom. I stayed the entire morning, even though we aren't officially in the class. (I plan on crashing the next class too since I am pretty far down on the wait-list.)

What an experience it was!

Leila was the first one to meltdown, she pooped during circle time, tried to dominate the slide, and shared her snack with a few friends.

There were thirty diverse toddlers (ages 12-23 months) and their Mommas. The class was split into two discussion groups, with a whole group circle time to start and end the morning. All of the parents helped out by choosing a daily job, planning and preparing one class craft, and donating $10 towards supplies for the semester.

Adorable Valentine craft


I really enjoyed interacting with the other Moms and toddlers. It was fun to watch Leila explore new things and interact with so many new people. She is not shy!

And...since I plan on following all my Mommy-dating rules, we'll be heading to a Play-and Learn meet-up tomorrow. Group dates are always easiest!

Building my confidence one date at a time. Wish us luck!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm that mom

I was that mom at the park today.

We go to the park, a lot. We practically own the park we go there so much.

Leila is very comfortable hanging out with all of the children and adults there. She'll try to play with each group of kids in the sand. Then she'll head to the play structure so she can climb. After a while she'll head to the grass and sit on other families' blankets (and laps). She even tries to convince the other moms that she needs that goldfish cracker from their snack baggie.

Basically it's a free for all.

A few months ago you could find me following behind Leila about ten feet back. Always ready to apologize for her invading their space.

Not anymore.


I'm that mom that lets their toddler run across the park while I am building sandcastles (with the kids she was just playing with). I'm the one that doesn't make my child "ask" to play with your toys. I'm the one that waves from afar when I see the nearby adult scanning the park for her mother.

I'm the mom that panicked today when she couldn't see her child.

As usual, she left me playing in the sand with a bunch of kids I don't know. She went off to climb around, in, over, and through the play structure. She's so tiny that I could barely see her behind it. The next moment I looked, she wasn't there.

Look for her hat...moving.
She was following some older girls and was trying to sit on the swing.

I sat back down like it was no big deal. Still watching her play by those swings, I saw how happy she was.

The smile plastered on her face, as she stared up at the big girls, reminded me that I know I'm doing the right thing...for both of us.

(I met three new friends at the park this week! No real play-dates scheduled, but it was great to relax and chat with some Mommas I see their regularly.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mommy friends- Where are you?

Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Leila is sixteen months old and we've never been on a play-date, until today.

It certainly is not her fault. She's got the best personality around! Leila loves playing with kids of all ages at the park. And yes, that's about the only place we go where she interacts with other kids.

Sad, huh?

I have only a handful of friends in a town I've lived in for eight years, and one of those is my sister. And of those friends, only one has a baby. I hang out with people who write things like...This is why I don't have a baby.

Leila's only chance for picking up a play-date was at the park.

Actually, we all know that when your kids are young, you are the one making the date. So, the first time I ever swapped numbers at the park I was so pumped. Unfortunately after a couple attempts to match our schedules, it just didn't work out. Since then, I have left the park two times without a phone number of a mommy I clicked with.

I was just too shy, maybe? Worried about being awkward? Afraid of being turned down?

But last week it happened.
We clicked.
Our girls clicked.
She mentioned getting together.
I was brave enough to ask for her number.
We had our first play-date.

And wasn't at the park!

Walking to her first play-date


Am I the only one that has trouble making Mommy friends?
Can you suggest any other places to meet Mommas?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Now and then {Stroller Edition}


Leila hasn't fallen asleep in her stroller for at least ten months. Last week she passed out during my morning run.


I could hardly keep her awake at one month old.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sponsor Love

This month Leilaland is showing some love! I've teamed up with two great women. I find myself commenting on their posts often. Go ahead, check them out!

Home for Three

The Story of a World Changed by One Tiny Addition

The adventures of a little boy named Charlie with a dash of crafts, recipes, and my best attempt at home making thrown in for good measure.

It's a Vol!

Two parents. One Baby. Four dogs. Two cats. One small house. Welcome to our world.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Toddler activites {Microwave Playdough}

After reading about brave Mommas painting with their toddlers, I convinced myself play-dough was like painting for the Type A parent. She could get her hands in it, and if she threw it across the room I wouldn't be cleaning it up for days weeks.

I was also skeptical about making play-dough with Leila because I was worried, of course, that she would try to eat it. I mean, what child can resist the taste of play-dough on their lips?

When I saw the ingredients in this recipe posted by Annie at It's Just my Life... I figured if Leila tasted a little bit it wouldn't kill her. (It's pretty similar to my stove top recipe but without the chance of ruining my pots and pans.)

Here's what you need:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
food coloring

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium sized microwave safe bowl.

Add water, oil, and food coloring to the dry ingredients.

Microwave on HIGH for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.

Let it cool enough so you are able to knead the play-dough. Store in an airtight container after it is completely cooled.

Leila has been really into her toddler-sized kitchen utensils these days, so I knew she would love helping me mix up all the dry ingredients.

I should have known she would try to feed it to herself...


...and then get really mad when I wouldn't let her.

Live and learn!

The secret to making this microwave play-dough is to stop and stir it every 30 seconds! I found other microwave play-dough recipes online that did not instruct me to stir that often. Theirs turned out lumpy and gooey. Not mine! I stirred every 30 seconds while it cooked for three minutes.

See...not lumpy at all.


Leila, Jeff and I had a blast playing with the play-dough. I threw some wooden craft sticks and pipe cleaners on the table to play with since all of my play-dough tools are packed away in my former classroom. She mimicked what we did, ripped it apart, smashed it back together, and of course enjoyed the salty taste on her lips.

For teacher appreciation week this year, I made a triple batch and gave it to Teacher Lee! The kids love how easy it is to manipulate. I even got a little on my pants today and it came right out with just a little water. Hooray!

Like this recipe?  Share it!


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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rainy days are fun again

Great idea Momma! A rainy day walk in my jammies was just what I needed!

Doesn't matter how wet I get. I can't feel a thing through this diaper.

This looks nice and wet too.

Where is everybody? I guess I'll give you my wet sand.

Momma, I love you this much!

Can we go home now?
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