Wednesday, October 31, 2012

21 weeks {Bumpdate}

Last pregnancy I got much bigger from 20 to 22 weeks.
I can see from last week's post that this belly is bigger!

How far along: 21 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  I gained two pounds AGAIN this week.  I am up a total of nine pounds with waaaaay too much time left for this two-pound-a-week trend.  I'm scared.  

Feeling:  Good.  I am finding that I need to stretch for quite a while after workouts or I am sore for days.

Maternity clothes: Yep.  I actually do fit into a few pairs of non-maternity pants and some super long tanks.

Stretch marks:  Nope.

Sleep: I can feel my belly getting heavier so wedging a pillow under it helps me fall asleep comfortably.

Best moment(s) this week:  Napping on the weekend.  It was relaxing to know Jeff was available to get Leila up from her nap.

Food cravings: Fruit snacks.  I need to stop over doing it.  NOW.

Gender: BOY!  I get more and more excited every time I talk about it.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to raise a boy and a girl.  I will let you all know if there really is a difference.     

Movement: It felt like he was doing somersaults last night. 

What I miss:  Still missing my nightly glass of wine.

What I'm looking forward to:  I have a check-up on Friday.  I enjoying checking in with the doctors!

Weekly wisdom: Same as last week due to another two pound weight gain.  I am scared to death that I will end up a HUGE as I was with Leila.  I must continue to make good food choices and keep up my exercise routine.  Halloween candy will be consumed and I will get back on track.

Milestones: We have narrowed down his name to TWO choices.  Although it still may change, we are pretty set on these two names.  Jeff is more set on one than the other.  I have a feeling he will win.

Due date: 3-13-13

My favorite girl!  Having a boy allows me to keep telling her this...forever.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{Toddler} Holiday Wish List 2012

I know, it's not even November yet, but you better believe I've already been doing some Christmas shopping!

All year I keep a list on my phone titled "Gifts". When I hear a family member or friend mention something they like, I add it to the list.  When I think of something Leila would like or read about a product online, I add it to the list.  This makes shopping way less stressful during the holiday months.

Leila's wish list was wiped out after celebrating her 2nd birthday a month ago. Our house is stocked with toys, but I know by Christmas she'll be ready for a few new items.  I'll be especially looking into more items that allow for her to play independently.  That's going to be necessary after her baby brother is born.

Toys for toddlers

Green Toys Dump Truck
Melissa and Doug Cutting Food- Wooden Play food
Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase and his party friend Mrs. Potato Head Spudette
Disney Princess Sparkle Shoe Boutique
and dress-up clothes of all kinds

Art supplies for toddlers

Melissa and Doug Paint with Water book

Do-a-Dot Rainbow Art Set
Color Me Nursery Rhymes Do-a-Dot Creative Art Book


Minnie Mouse Slippers Size 5/6- Toddler
(I saw Elmo ones in her size too!)
Chicago Bears Toddler Football Jersey and Pant Set

More toddler gift ideas

My Tot Clock
 I love that this clock has so many uses! 

Stocking Stuffer ideas for toddlers

Electric toothbrush
Stickers and tattoos
Winter hat
Teeny-tiny hair bands for her almost-piggy-tails
Coloring book

So, I may have gone a little overboard!  We won't be buying her all these's called a wish list for a reason! 

I have a feeling this list for my two-year old, Leila, will be growing after I read the other linked up posts for this week's Toddle Along Tuesday.

What is on your child's holiday wish list this year?

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Tips for painting with toddlers

It's easier than you think, not nearly as messy, and more fun than you imagine. Over here at Leilaland, we keep it simple.  The projects we do are kid-centered and even the least crafty mom can implement them successfully. 

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Following these simple tips will make painting with toddlers a breeze.

  1. Choose two primary colors to paint with and the color they make when mixed.  This way your child's project will not turn out a muddy brown color.  Sometimes I add white paint into the mix if we're not painting on white paper.
  2. Choose simple painting tools.  I like to use Q-tips, sponge tipped brushes, or fingers.  Traditional paint brushes can be tough for little hands to manage because they usually have a long handle.  Brushes also require a light touch or your child will end up smashing the brush part down and painting with the hard handle resulting in torn paper. 
  3. Model how to use the painting tools.  Show your child what you expect them to do.  Show them what happens when you mix the colors and model different ways to use the painting tools.
  4. Use large sheet of paper.  You can see print (or draw) a large simple shape for them to fill in or have they paint a plain piece of paper and cut it into the shape you want after it's dry. (Check out our Lucky Shamrocks here.)
  5. Remove your child's clothing and put on a smock to protect their skin (and avoid an immediate bath).
  6. Lower your expectations.  Your child's paining will not be perfect.  They will get a bit messy.  They will paint out of the lines.  They may be finished in 5 minutes or love painting page after page. 
Happy painting!

Have you had success painting with your toddler?  What tips can you share with me?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great List {10.26.12}

This week flew by!  I can hardly remember what we did this past week.  That's why I love Friday's Great Lists.  I allow myself time to pause and think about all the great things that happened this week.  Even if I only pause for a few minutes, it's recorded here on the blog forever!

1.  Leila and I headed to a local Fall Festival over the weekend.  She rode a pony, picked put her own pumpkin, and jumped in the bouncy house.  I have said how much I love spending time with Leila, just me and her, but I think I've finally realized why.  When it's just the two of us together, doing our own thing, we are on OUR schedule with no start times or end times to make, no one else's time restraints, and we have the flexibility to do it our way.  I cherish these Mommy and Leila moments, maybe even more now that I know they'll be coming to an end soon.

2.  Our weekly trips to the Farmers' Market just got better with the arrival of Betsy's new puppy Olive.  She is only 10 weeks old and walked the entire two mile round trip to the market with us.  Olive was the hit of the market.  Leila hardly knew what to do without all the attention.

3.  A little shopping always puts me in a good mood, even if it's for someone else! This week Leila and I made a trip to the mall to pick out a gift for Betsy who celebrated her 32nd birthday on Wednesday and a shower gift for my pregnant sister, Kimmy, due just 10 weeks before me.  Leila is a super shopping partner. She carries she own purse and doesn't mess with anything in the stores.  This time she shopped without the stroller!  Cruising the mall with my favorite little girl put me in the best mood.

I hope you had a great week too!  Happy Friday!

Enjoy the little things in life, for some day you may look back and realize they were the big things. 
-Robert Brault

Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40

This is the new car seat by Graco that everyone is talking about...

Why?  Because it's the first of it's kind and it's amazing.

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40  is the first and only car seat on the market that allows your child to stay rear facing in the same car seat from birth to age two.  It has eight reclining positions and a foot rest (imprinted with the cutest little baby feet) to save your backseat from getting dirty.  

Could it get any better?  You bet.  The Simply Safe Adjust™ harness system is so easy to use.  As your child grows, you can just adjust the harness and headrest with one rethreading necessary. (Parents everywhere are cheering. Can you hear them?) 

Photos from The SITS Girls 
I was one of the lucky ladies invited to the San Diego Graco Safety Home party hosted by Theresa from Rock on Mommies and Tiffany from The SITS Girls.  These girls know how to throw a party!  We enjoyed sushi and wine (strawberry limeade for me) under the stars, while Tiffany shared information about the Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40.

Besides all of the innovative safety features I mentioned above, this car seat is luxurious.  The padding around the head will be perfect for my tiny little newborn's head.  The canopy has a vent and will provide the shade needed for our sunny San Diego days.  It comes in two prints, one clearly for girls and the other is gender neutral.  

I love how easily it snaps in and out of the base.  We all know how long it can take to get kids in and out of the car...any time saving solutions are necessary. I am so excited to get it installed in my car!  I'm halfway done with this pregnancy and it feels great to have a NEW car seat for this little guy.  Especially one that will last him until he is two years old.  Glad that's checked off my list!

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

20 weeks! {Bumpdate}

How far along: 20 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  I gained two pounds this week.  I blame it on the lack of workouts.  I am up a total of seven pounds.  

Feeling:  Great!  A little round ligament pain but nothing a little stretching won't help.

Maternity clothes: You bet!  Even after my shopping trip with my mom I am feeling like I will be sick of these clothes in no time. 

Stretch marks:  Nope.

Sleep: I can still sleep comfortably and am very happy for that.

Best moment(s) this week:  I've really been enjoying this cooler weather.  It's starting to feel like fall!

Food cravingsNothing in particular, except once I decided on having Panera Bread's broccoli soup there was NO WAY I was going without it! 

Gender: Boy!  Boy!  Boy!  I get more and more excited every time I talk about it. 

Movement: He's on the move!

What I miss:  Wine.  I really could of used some the other day after a stressful day.

What I'm looking forward to:  More kicks, jabs, and punches from the little guy. 

Weekly wisdom: I am scared to death that I will end up a HUGE as I was with Leila.  I must continue to make good food choices and keep up my exercise routine.

Milestones: Halfway there!  Still a long ways to go, but it's a good feeling to be at the halfway mark

Due date: 3-13-13

Just for fun...
Here's me 20 weeks pregnant with Leila back in May 2010.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obsessed much?

My child obsessed?  You betcha.

If you have been lucky enough to witness one of the most hysterical Leila meltdowns ever, you know that "obsessed" may not be a strong enough description.

Leila is obsessed with having blankets on her head. (I can hardly write that without laughing out loud.)

It's not easy capturing this obsession with my camera.  And I certainly will not stage a photo opportunity because I know what will come of it...
Whining, followed by an epic meltdown, is the result of the blanket falling off of her head.  

Sometimes she trips over the blanket and it comes off.  Sometimes the blanket is too heavy for her and she can't manage to keep it on her head properly AND play. Sometimes she just forgets how badly she wanted the blanket on and carelessly lets it slip off. 

It's a scary sight when this happens.  The crying stops only when the blanket is put back on her head. (Seriously I am laughing again.)

We can go days, even weeks, without a single blanket being on her head.  But when she spies a blanket...and her head starts spinning, be prepared to laugh at what's to come.

Seriously exhausted from all the melting down.

Think this obsession is funny?  Head on over and visit the link up for more Toddler Obsessions ...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Two-year old Favorites {Food Edition}

There are vegetables on that pizza!
Leila is the typical toddler when it comes to eating habits.  One day she LOVES a food and the next she won't even try it.  She wants to do everything by herself, including cutting her food into pieces.  And she hates vegetables, but is still willing to try them.  By try them, I mean touch them to her tongue and spit it out.  

Typically she eats six times a day. She eats a lot of snack-like meals throughout the day instead of three big meals.  Once in a while she will skip a snack and that's when I notice she eats a bigger meal.

  1. Wake-up snack: She still loves our green smoothie with a daily dose of fruits and veggies.
  2. Breakfast snack
  3. Mid-morning snack
  4. Lunch
  5. After-nap snack
  6. Family dinner: She is offered the dinner that I make for me and Jeff with a few modifications if necessary.

Lately Leila's been calling everything "spicy" before she even tries it.  She's working the system here.  A cheeseburger is not too spicy, and broccoli, well, we know it's not spicy at all.  She has realized that if it's spicy she doesn't have to try/eat it.

There are some things we eat that are too spicy for her, so when she asks for some, we tell her that it's too spicy and that she doesn't want it. (When she insists on trying the spicy food, she spits it out than wipes her tongue repeatedly with her hand.)  Looks like we are going to have to change our wording!

So what does Leila's typical toddler menu consist of?  What are this toddler's favorite foods?  I am not proud of this menu.  Don't share it, pin it, or even try to feed it to your child.  I can only hope that like me, she too will come to her senses and expand her menu as she grows up.  (I was the pickiest eater EVER. Some would say that I still am pretty picky.)

Leila loves to eat:

  • cheese
  • frozen waffles
  • fruit- her favorites vary by what we we have in the house
  • applesauce
  • crackers
  • quesadillas (plain cheese, with beans, chicken, or ground turkey)
  • pretzels
  • granola bars
  • raisins
  • Greek yogurt
  • beans
  • mac and cheese
  • grilled cheese (sometimes she'll eat it with ham)
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwiches (if I use the star cookie cutter)
  • avocado
  • mixed cereal trail mix with yogurt covered raisins
  • pasta with tomato sauce (if she can remember that she likes it)
  • olives
  • pizza

Pretty boring, huh?  Like I mentioned, she does eat whatever I make for dinner, but it would never make her "favorites" list.  Leila is good about trying something new or taking another bite of something to get more of what she wants.  It's a work in progress.  

I seen so many lists like these with much better ideas on them.  I've had great intentions to make these creative toddler meals I've seen online, but buying all the ingredients can get pricey just to find out she won't even try it!  Any suggestions on how to expand this toddler's menu without breaking the bank or having a lot of waste?

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Great List {10.19.12}

Happy Friday everyone!  It's time again to express my gratitude and find the positive in everyday things.
Pretending to be a pirate 
1.  This girl makes me laugh everyday.  Leila is funny, imaginative, sassy, sweet, and smart.  I love her to pieces!  Spending everyday with the same little person can make you nutty at times, but I truly appreciate and enjoy the little moments with her.  Why she decided that putting a pot on her head made her a pirate I will never know.  Seeing her smile with pride made my day!

2.  After a hot HOT week here in San Diego we are finally getting some relief. Today is perfectly breeze, cloudy, and cool (70 degrees).  I may not be wearing long pants yet but I can see that it will happen.

3.  I got invited to a private Graco Safety event for bloggers that was held this week.  It was a great opportunity to make connections, meet new people, and of course, learn about Graco's newest SngRide Click Connect 40 infant to toddler car seat.  I even got to bring one home with me!  You'll be hearing a lot about this car seat, if you haven't heard enough already.  :)

What's on your gratitude list this week?


Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playing the Name Game, again!

Naming a child is such a special and important job.  It's something only parents get to do!  Naming Leila was quite a process, but that is part of the fun!

I love looking in baby name books, online lists, listening for catchy names I hear on television, and of course, I love the names people share as suggestions.  Our list is growing and being edited on a regular basis.  

I have a strange set of name "rules" to be followed, so I have no shame in ruling out a suggested name.

This guy thinks I am crazy, but happily plays by the rules.  He's sweet...he just said that he likes that I am crazy.  "It makes you- you.  Otherwise life would be boring."
Want to suggest a name?  Please do!  Just be sure to follow the rules below and promise you won't get your feelings hurt if I tell you "no".  

My baby naming rules:

  • The name, when written, cannot go below the line.  No lowercase y, p, g, j, or q allowed.
  • There are also some uppercase letters that I just don't like writing so they are out too.  (Told you they were strange rules.)  I don't particularly like writing the uppercase letters G, Y, A, or F.
  • The name of my child my NOT be one of a pesky student that I had.  I taught for eleven years...that rules out a lot of names.
  • I will not name my child the same name as a friend.  Friend can be a loose term these days with Facebook, Twitter, and all the blogs I read.  Since I make the rules, I can decide whether or not this friend's child's name is a contender or not.
  • For those of you who know us personally, you know that our last name can be tricky to match up with a first name.  (Trust me on this one.)  It is a hard sounding, one syllable last name that starts with an S.  So guess what...S names are out too.  (Jeff would beg to differ, but I make the rules remember!)
  • My son and daughter will not both start with the same letter, so L names are out.  We are already Jeff and Jen...Leila and L-something would be too much for me.
So, think you could suggest a BOY name for us?  Or do my rules scare you? Think of it as a challenge and help us name this baby!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

19 weeks {Bumpdate}

Uh oh, this belly looks like it might be getting pointy again.
How far along: 19 weeks

Weight gain/loss:  I gained a pound this week!  I am up a total of five pounds.  

Feeling:  Fine, fine, fine. My feet got a little swollen yesterday walking to the Farmers' Market in my flip flops.  I blame the HOT weather.  So happy that my third trimester will be in the winter this time!

Maternity clothes: Yes!  I tried to wear a non-maternity top with my maternity shorts and the elastic waistband peeking out from under the shirt is not a good look.  I can wear them around the house, but not in public.

Stretch marks:  No thank you.

Sleep: Sleeping fine.  I go to bed really early and like it.  

Best moment(s) this week:  Seeing the baby at the ultrasound last week.  I was so glad Jeff was able to take the morning off work to come with me. 

Food cravingsSalty foods are a must right now.  I had a French dip sandwich for lunch three days in a row.  It was just what I needed.

Gender: It's a...BOY!  And I am already having issues with it.  You can read about my shopping dilemma here

Movement: The doctor at the ultrasound said I should be feeling movement any day now because of the way my placenta is positioned.  I have felt some flutters, mostly in the evening, but am waiting for some major kicks to say it's official.

What I miss:  The only thing I gave up was alcohol (I don't eat sushi and rarely eat deli meat) so I don't miss much food wise.  I do miss kicking back with a glass of wine though.

What I'm looking forward to:  Fall.  Come on already San Diego, summer is over. 

Weekly wisdom: People are now noticing that I am pregnant. I like the attention right now since I am still small enough to be cute and not too big so people give me the sympathy smile.

Milestones: Baby is the size of a large heirloom tomato and may be able to hear my voice now.

Due date: 3-13-13

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking back {Our wedding}

Jeff and I started dating in high school.  We actually went to freshman year homecoming together back in 1991.  (I bet you wish I had a picture to share!)

We dated on and off like typical high-schoolers, then went our separate ways in college, but always remained friends.  We began dating again after college once we were both in the same hometown again.

In 2003 we packed up and moved across the country to fulfill my dream of living near the beach in San Diego.  We lived together for many years before he proposed in the winter of 2009.  

I knew I did not want a big wedding, and was perfectly happy jet-setting to a beautiful beach destination to tie the knot.  It quickly dawned on me that we already live in a beautiful beach destination!

After searching the city beaches for the perfect spot, we decided to get married just a half mile from our home at the Catamaran Resort and Spa.

Here's how it went...

November 21, 2009

I saved my favorite picture for last...

It took us eighteen years to make it official.  And of course, we wouldn't change a thing!

It's Tuesday and that means I am linking up again with Melissa from Growing up Geeky. Head on over to take a peek into other bloggers' weddings.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Simple Toddler Craft {Fall Pumpkin}

This pumpkin craft couldn't get any easier.  It required no prep on my part, just a quick trip through the Target dollar bins and a few seconds gathering supplies.

The girls were occupied for about 25 minutes, which is hours in "toddler time".


  1. Explore the flow of the white glue
  2. Develop fine motor skills
  3. Work independently


  • I found the foam pumpkins at Target (10 for $1)
  • Washable white glue
  • Washable markers
  • Bits 'n' pieces (sequins, pom-poms, foam shapes, ribbon squares)
I have a pretty big collection of what I call "bits 'n pieces",  because I am a teacher.  I found most of these items throughout the year in the Target dollar bins.  I store each type in a Ziplock bag and use shallow paint cups to distribute them as needed.  The sequins were the biggest hit.  What girl can resist some sparkle?!

Check out Leila's serious crafting face above.

The point of this project was the process, not the product.

The girls got to do each and every part themselves.  I stepped in when Charlie made a large glue puddle, and showed her how to make dots and thin lines instead.  When Leila was sticking her bits 'n pieces in places with no glue, I showed her that they didn't stick there.  Other than that they were completely independent!

I am a big fan of child-directed projects like this.  Check out my Toddler Art Ideas page for more crafty ideas to do throughout the year.


We'll be doing more simple toddler-appropriate crafts in the coming weeks...I did get 10 foam pumpkins!  I would love your suggestions on what to do with the rest of the pumpkins.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

The Great List {10.12.12}

This has been a super exciting week!  

Amy with Kennady (17 months) and me with Leila (2 years)

1.  We are having a boy!  I couldn't even wait until the next day to share the news.  I really have no idea how people could be "team green".  It's not in my DNA to wait for anything, let alone such life changing news.  To top off the good news we got, my long-time BFF found out she is having a boy too!  Our boys are due just THREE weeks apart.  It's seriously too good to be true.  

2.  I mentioned last week how great it was to have my parents in town.  This week proves to be no different, except that my aunt came to visit too.  Living away from family is hard, but luckily we live in a nice vacation destination!

3.  SHOPPING!!!  I got so many cute fall/winter maternity clothes this week when I went shopping with my mom.  Now let's just hope this weather stays cool so I can start wearing it all.

4.  Jeff got a new job two months ago and is still loving it.  He wakes up early and comes home late without complaining.  I love that this new job is allowing me to stay home with Leila (and baby boy).  Being a stay-at-home-mom has been better than I ever expected.

5.  The name dropping has begun.  Val and Betsy have been email and texting me BOY names since the minute we found out.  We have a list growing list of possibilities and we will be sharing as soon as we decide.    I love looking in name books and searching names online.  Naming your children is a fun task!

I'm happy to have made it to Friday!  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 

Come back here each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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