Our Top 10

As I stated in this blog post, being a stay at home mom can sometimes be really boring. Well, after having my pity party about it, I decided that some day, when Judah is older and too cool to spend time with his mom, I’ll be wishing we were right back to those days. So, I decided to snap out of it and get my non-crafty butt in gear and utilize good ol’ Pinterest.

love Pinterest. I mean, seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I also love my new job working here, but if I could be a professional “pinner” I’d totally do it. It would be a dream. I definitely have my fantasy boards of a dream house, but most of the time, I try to be intentional about what I pin, especially when it comes to things for Judah, recipes, photography, or clothes. (Yeah, you better believe when we hit it rich I’m going on a major shopping spree and making that Pinterest closet of mine a reality. 😉 )

Anyway, I got on my “Baby Baby” Pinterest board and started to look at what I had and decided to try a few things out. Judah is a very curious baby, so I wanted to keep that in mind when picking out activities for him. Also, I’m not a big fan in buying tons of things that he’s only going to use for a short season. We don’t have the room, and I’m not made of money.

So far, we have done a few that I’ve looked up, and a few that we’ve thought of on our own and I wanted to share some of our favorites with you, because every year there is a winter where we are trapped indoors for far too long, and every summer there are those rainy, yucky days that you’re stuck inside. And when your child is continually going to the door and pointing at his shoes, you know it’s time to distract them or your in for one long, long day.

1. Simple exploration. I used to get super annoyed when Judah became mobile and would get over to our bookshelves and pull all our books down. Then I realized it was basically his favorite activity and he never damaged them, so why not? So, I moved our favorite books that we want to keep semi decent, in case he gets rambunctious, and left the rest for him to pull off the shelves and flip through. photo4 photo7

He also has a bookshelf in his room that he loves to do the same thing with. Can’t complain that he’s already into reading!

2. Finger Paints. I used a basic recipe from my Pinterest board. It was very easy, and it’s 100% edible, which is good because we definitely did this the first time when Judah was a bit too young. It went from lets paint, to lets eat the paint really quickly. There are several different kinds of make your own paints online, and we are definitely planning on doing this again soon!

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3. Sensory Play. Going along with finger paints, sensory play is great for the curious baby, at least my curious baby. I filled a left over turkey dish from Thanksgiving with some cream of wheat, threw in a few measuring cups and a spatula, and there you have it, a homemade indoor sandbox. Judah really enjoys feeling the cream of wheat and dumping it out of the container. Mind you, you will be vacuuming and cleaning up cream of wheat for a while, but it’s totally worth it in my opinion. And, it’s also edible. As you can see in this picture, my son ate this too.

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4. Laundry basket rides. So, one day I really needed to get the laundry done and Judah didn’t understand, “hey, follow me in here,” so I improvised. I put him in the laundry basket and made a game out of pushing him around our apartment while I got all our laundry put away. I don’t know if it’s the ridiculous train/car noises I make when doing this, or what, but the kid loves laundry basket rides now. Just today, I pushed him around for a solid 20 minutes. And bonus, it kind of works out your butt and quads.

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5. Treasure box. I think this one is Judah’s favorite, and I’m so sorry, but I don’t have a picture. Because he is so curious, he loves to pull things out of a box one at a time. The more stuff in the box, the longer it takes, and the more time I have to get something done! But seriously, this has been a great activity for Judah. We keep a treasure box (just a cardboard box) full of random things in a corner by my desk. It has some kitchen utensils, socks, a flashlight, containers, shoes, and some other fabrics. That way, if I need to work for a few minutes, he’s able to exercise his curiosity in a safe and supervised way. We also have a drawer in our bathroom full of other safe household items that he can feel free to explore while I get ready for the day. And, we keep most of his toys on the bottom shelf in our living room in an easily accessible basket for that very same purpose. It’s also a great learning tool because we can tell him the names of what it is he is taking out of the boxes.

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6. The classic big box. Okay, this one is so true, a cardboard box can provide hours upon hours of fun for a small child. Judah really loves going through tunnels. We happened to get a package delivered in a gigantic box, so we set it up like a tunnel for him and he was over the moon about it. He crawled through it so much that we had to get rid of it, so we did cave and bought him a real one for his upcoming birthday. We purchased this one and are really excited about it.

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7. Water games. Summer time is the best time. Thankfully Judah loves going outside and exploring our yard. Unlucky for me, our yard sucks and there are so many things he can get into, but he has not eaten dog poop yet, so there’s that. Also, he crawls like this outside.

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Anyway, besides the kiddie pool and sprinkler, which are always great, there are other ways to play outside with water. Judah loves splashing in the dog bowl (who wouldn’t? :/) so I created another homemade bin- a water table. I used a storage bin that is relatively shallow, put some water in there, threw in my trusty measuring cups and a few bath toys and there we have it, hours of outdoor water fun with things we had lying around the house.

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8. Coloring. Okay, this is pretty basic and everyone knows about it. Kids love to color. It’s pretty awesome and you get great works of art for your house! Plus, there are tons of free printables online.

9. Sorting. Judah is just now getting into this, but loves it. Anything you have that your child won’t swallow is game. Just put a few containers in front of them and there you go! You can play with different textures, shapes, and colors too.

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10. Bath time. Sometimes, you just gotta do it…a couple times a day. We try to mix bath time up a bit by adding bubbles, blowing bubbles, or adding different effects, like bath paints or glow sticks. When all else fails, sometimes time in the tub just does the trick.

This is our list of activities and we hope to continue to add to it as time goes by. I would love to hear about other things you moms out there do with your littles. Post a comment below with any suggestions, and good luck to you all on those rainy or wintery days!

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Father’s Day

We had the privilege of having some photos done this weekend by the talented Annie Cline of Furore Photography. This gifted mama gave up the better part of her afternoon and precious time with her daughters and husband to photograph several families and give the profits to Destiny Rescue, a ministry dedicated to fighting sex trafficking. It’s very near and dear to both our hearts, and I’m so happy there are people like Annie to help spread the word and support such a wonderful cause.

I realized that I never wrote a post about Kyle’s first official Father’s Day. I’m sure it doesn’t bother him, but I feel like his day deserves a little recognition on the blog 😉 We didn’t have any big “to do,” just a nice, relaxing Sunday at home. Judah and I made Kyle some breakfast and gave him a photo album full of some great father/son moments. It was a great family day.

This preview that Annie posted from our session just melts me. My husband loves his son in such an amazing way and he deserves to have an outstanding Father’s Day every year. He is patient, kind, loving, playful, and nurturing in all the ways a father should be. The way my husband loves our son is a beautiful thing. Thank you Annie for capturing this moment and for using your talents to further the Kingdom.

Photo taken by Furore Photography

Photo taken by Furore Photography

Kyle is a fantastic father, simply put. It’s such an honor to be able to partner with this great man in raising a family. Judah and I are certainly two lucky people to have snagged this one. We love you to the moon and back.

Massachusetts Take Two!

We went to Massachusetts this past weekend to meet our newest family member, my niece, Lily. What a beauty she is.

DSC_9768-2It was one of those weekends that is a bit of an out of body experience. We were surrounded by the beautiful New England scenery and breathing in that salty ocean air. That smell is like a drug; it’s instant relaxation for me.

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My sister and brother-in-law are amazing parents. They didn’t have the easiest ride into parenthood by any means, but I strongly believe the harder the journey, the greater the testament to a person’s character. They’re good ones, those two.

Seriously, this wasn't posed, just pure baby lovin'

Seriously, this wasn’t posed, just pure baby lovin’

My sister is a beautiful mama. She was born to be one, one of those women that is strong, independent, and so compassionate and loving in the best ways a mother should be. She was destined for this role, and it was nothing short of remarkable to finally see it being fulfilled. My brother-in-law is the business when it comes to being a new dad. He is patient, and just dripping with love for his little Lily bug. He’s got that tender, new daddy touch, and such a deep love and pride for his two girls. Watching my sister and brother-in-law this weekend, watching them as parents, just made my heart melt.

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Judah was amazing on our flights. He had everyone on our plane laughing and tossing aside their business-like demeanor for quick games of peek-a-boo and paddy-cake. It’s awesome to watch the affect this little boy already has on people. He’s going to do great things, this one.

watching the planes

watching the planes

I’ll leave the rest of the post for pictures. Lots of pictures. I think it’s the best way to sum up the beautiful, relaxing (minus Chicago traffic on the way home. Who booked the flight that got in at 4:30 during rush hour…woops!), family weekend we had. If this weekend was any foreshadowing into our summer, I think it’s safe to say, this will be our best one yet.

She's just yummy

She’s just yummy

:)

🙂

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First time touching the sand!

First time touching the sand!

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