Living life in the carpool lane..

Archive for January 2013

The dining room is probably the least used room in our apartment.  Ok, it’s not a ROOM.. it’s more.. a dining AREA. 

We purchased a square dining table when we first moved in, but have mostly used it to just place items on whenever we are too lazy to put them anywhere else.  It’s basically become a storage area.. not cool.

Since we hadn’t been using it, and we lack a pantry in our apartment, Hubby and I decided to get a small shelving unit to place in that area.  I’d provide a picture, but I couldn’t find any on the Target website, where we purchased it.

We pushed the dining table to the corner, leaving two sides available for use, should we need to.  We placed the shelves next to the counter.  That left us with tons of extra room, so we placed M’s little table and bench she received for Christmas there.  She now eats, plays, reads, uses her iPad on that table.  M and I have been known to have a rocking tea party there too..

I know everyone says how important it is to eat as a family, and we do.  In the living room.  Yes, unconventional, I know.  But right now, it works for us.  As my family gets older, I know we will start utilizing our dining table. 

We have TONS of room now.  M can run from the dining area and through the living room, uninterupted.  She and Hubby have so much fun chasing each other.

I’ve fallen in love with the apartment all over again.

Now we just have to tackle the bedrooms, and we’d be all set!

At the end of last year, I said that things were going to be changing..

One major goal for this year was to utilize the space of our apartment, reorganize, and make better use of our space.

We’ve been working a lot on our living and dining rooms and it’s marvelous!

For the living room, we replaced all the cardboard boxes we were using to store M’s toys with a piece of Ikea toy storage furniture:


And pink and white bins.. she’s a girl!

With all the toys and books that M had, I was really surprised that the Trofast holds it all. Using this instead of the cardboard boxes of diapers and wipes really made our living room look more organized, less cluttered, and so spacious!

M really loves the bins too, not only does she love pouring the contents all over the living room floor, she loves sitting in them, or climbing on top of them..

We also replaced the TV stand with an old one from my brother in law. It has a smaller footprint than our old TV stand, so it also gave us a little bit more room.

I’m loving our living room. M has so much room to run around, when she doesn’t scatter her toys everywhere.. and it’s so easy to just take and toss her toys into the bin at the end of the day.

I’m loving this reorganization!

This past weekend, I caught up on M’s laundry.

Usually, I try to do a load or two during the week, but that limits me to a load a day.  With the amount of clothes M goes through, it’s no wonder I found myself so far behind.

Luckily, I was able to catch up this weekend. 

I think a big reason why I was able to catch up was because M is starting to become a lot more independent and she’s also able to entertain herself a lot easier than before.

Granted, she still wanted me to be within eye sight, but it wasn’t bothersome. 

Sometimes, she’d just stand with me.  I’d pass her some items to throw into the dryer and she LOVED it.  She was my little helper and it was the cutest thing.

Sometimes, she just stayed in the living room while Hubby watched her.  She’d be scattering her toys, or watching TV, or both!

Other times, she would have her iPad with her.  She’d carry it to where I was and just sit in the hallway while I hung her clothes to dry.

Yes, I had THAT much laundry that I needed to do for her..

There were other domestic errands I was also able to do without much toddler distraction this weekend..

Its bittersweet.  She’s old enough that I can start to leave her to be while I pull more of my own weight around the apartment.  I’m happy that I can start feeling helpful again, but its sad that she isn’t my super dependent little baby anymore..

The family can start to have a little more routine now..

Once hubby and I became parents, it’s like we joined this club.

“First Time Parents With Small Children Club”

No special badge or handshake.  Just bringing the child is indication of membership. 

Last week, Hubby, M and I were at our local pho restaurant when we saw a father with his toddler daughter having dinner.

It was like the signaling beacon went off and we all felt the need to make contact with our fellow club member.

Throughout the dinner, we’d exchange glances between the father and Hubby and I.  That familiar smile of, “I totally know what you’re going through” during that evening’s dinner battle solidified the bond we had with this father.  Glances were even exchanged between our daughter and his daughter, as if they knew, “Our parents are new at this, lets make things as interesting as possible!”

By the end of dinner, a connection was made and contact was established.

Father:  How old’s your little one?
Me:  Sixteen months, yours?
Father: Nineteen months..

Initial contact always begins with asking how old your child is.  It’s like verifying that you truly belong in the club..  AND it seems like you aren’t truly in the club unless you address your child’s age by MONTHS, not years..

Next form of contact establishes sympathy toward both parties. 

Father:  Oh, they are close in age.
Me:  Yup.. same age, same mess…
Father:  Tell me about it!

Once sympathies have been established, it’s time to get the kids involved..

Me:  Look M, baby!

Contact between both girls.. check and check!

Finally, the questions are asked.  I think this part of the conversation helps parties know that they aren’t the only one dealing with the trials and triumphs of raising a child.. a toddler in our situation..

Father:  Is your daughter persistent?  Like, if she wants something, she will ask and ask and ask and ask until she gets it?
Me and hubby:  Oh yes!  They want it on their time!
Father:  That gets to me sometimes.  I’m in the middle of taking care of something else, I can get to it when I can..
Me and hubby:  Oh we know the feeling..

This affirmation is followed by a quick laugh.. knowing that it’s totally normal for to go through those things with our toddlers and that our momentary feelings of frustration are totally normal!  Sigh.. what a relief!

We get things all situated and say our goodbyes.. til the next club meeting..

C’mon parents.. you know it’s happened to you too!  Share your experiences in the comments!


M’s new sippy cup has a simple plastic covering over the spout so when we travel, it’s covered up from all the germs in the air..  In her carseat, she wanted something to drink so I have it to her with the cover lifted up.  She started biting the cover so I took it off, but she asked for it back “ahn” (babyspeak for “on”) again.  I attached the cover back on, and covered the spout with it so she wouldn’t bit the cover.  She figured out how to remove the cover off the spout and proceeded to bit the cover.. TODDLER TRIUMPH!

M has tons of large toys that serve as a silent barrier to places that she isn’t supposed to go to.  A lot of these toys have wheels and can be easily moved, but for the longest time, she never realized this.  The other day, she took one of those barrier toys and wheeled it away.  She noticed the space it created and the area that opened up for her, and without hesitation, walks right into it.  Oh, the look on her face.. TODDLER TRIUMPH!

M loves those toddler cups with the straws (similar brand to the sippy cups we use for her).  I remember the day she realized that she can remove the straw to make a nice wet puddle in her highchair tray… TODDLER TRIUMPH!

These kids are definitely smarter than we give them credit for.  Their curiosity and need to touch everything and anything gives them the drive to discover things you wouldn’t think they were old enough to figure out.  The looks on their faces when then do figure them out is priceless.

Share your toddler triumphs in the comments!  I’d love to hear them!

I’m sitting here at the computer frustrated..

All of last night, I had an idea for a blog entry.  I was thinking about it all night while prepping M’s dinner.  I didn’t think to write it down or type it into my phone like I usually do.

But now, I’m sitting at the computer ready to blog, and I can’t remember what I was thinking about.

I know it ended in a question..

But I can’t remember what it’s about and what question that I wanted to ask.  All I know is that I wanted to ask a question.

All this hard thinking is making my brain hurt… yikes!

I hope I remember it soon.  I was interesting when I was thinking about it. 

Have you ever had this experience?  What did you do to remember it?

A few days ago, on Facebook and Instagram, I posted about finding little Dora the Explorer stickers everywhere.  Then, the other day, I took a picture of Little M’s arm all covered up in Dora the Explorer stickers.

That girl loves stickers, and she loves Dora The Explorer.  Obviously, she’s CRAZY about these Dora The Explorer stickers her grandmother (my mother) gave her for Christmas.

What’s with kids and stickers?!

I totally remember playing with stickers. 

I remember using those stickers that came with VHS tapes (remember those?!) that helped label the display side of the tape.

The great thing about having a little brother was that he was my canvas for all the stickers I would place.  We have lots of pictures of him as a toddler covered in stickers.  Yes, that was MY doing.

So, that picture of M with the stickers all over her arm?!  Yes, that also was MY doing.

But the stickers all over the bathroom?  That was ALL her!

Ok, I admit it.

I’m a little addicted to websites that offer points for doing things like reading emails, posting articles and printing coupons..

Lets see.. these are the following sites that I tend to frequent.  By the way, clicking the link will send you to a referral page, so if you think you want to join, click the link and I’ll get the referral! – They have various online offers.  You can shop, print coupons, play games, read emails.. all for points.  This is the one I use the most.  I’ve gotten lots of gift cards to Target from simply reading emails and doing surveys.  Even if you don’t qualify for a survey, they still give you 10 points for trying.  There is no referral link, so if you want to check it out leave me an email address in the comments and I’ll be happy to email you! – Writing articles, posting pictures and videos.. commenting on others content.  That’s what gets you points on this site.  I still haven’t figured out how they determine how many points to give but its fun reading articles.  I usually post scenery pictures so I don’t give away too much personal information, like family members and such. – This seems to be the hardest for me to get points from.  This one seems to take the most work, but I can get a few points throughout the day.  I’m not good at catching those “swagcodes” they require to earn points.  But, it’s fun to go around and look for them when you have the time.

I’m addicted to these point-accumulating sites because I love getting those gift cards!  Every little way to save money helps and those gift cards are just the way to help.  I’ve gotten lots of Target ones for our necessities and such.

If you have a little time, check it out.  And if you have any other websites, let me know and send your referral link!

I’ve noticed lately that whenever we go out as a family, the stroller is being used for holding our stuff than it is used for holding M.

Whenever she’s in the stroller, she insists she walk.. all you hear as you wheel her around is, “Ah-walk, ah-walk, ah-walk..”

The same happens when we are at Target or a grocery store and she’s in the shopping cart.  She’ll be ok for awhile, and then realize that she’s not walking and starts staying, “Ah-walk, ah-walk, ah-walk.”

It’s pretty cute because she’s pretty persistent..

So, early on in her walking days, I taught her that she had to hold hands with either me, Hubby, or her grandparents when she would walk around in public.

I’m so anti “baby-leash” and Hubby always wanted to try it because he was scared of her running off..

I told him to let me try to teach her not to do so..

It started somewhere public.. either a mall, grocery store, Church.. I forget the details..

She wanted to go down and walk, so I let her down.  I went to hold her hand, and she lets go of it immediately and runs off..

I chase her.. and hold her hand again..

She lets go, and runs off..

I chase her one last time, telling her that if she does that again, I will carry her.

She does it again.

I catch and carry her.  She cries a little.

A minute later, she wants down..

I tell her to hold my hand or it’s up in my arms she goes..

She tries to let go, I pick her up and carry her..

A minute later, she wanted down..

I tell her again, hold hands or carry.

And just like that, she held my hand and I took her where she wanted to go!

Now, when ever we go out in public and she wants to go down, she knows to hold hands..

She loves holding both mine and Hubby’s hand.. she’ll say “Han mimi, han Joe” as she reaches for one of our hands..

Now we don’t need a baby leash!  Gosh.. I hope everything that I’ll need to teach her about discipline and listening to us will come that easy.. one could only hope!

Every night, it seems like a battle.

Every night, it’s getting harder and harder.

Every night, it’s a question of will she or won’t she?

Every night, it makes me a little anxious and stressed out.

Dinner time.  Yes, dinner time.

M used to be a great eater.  She ate anything you put in a bowl and into her mouth.  She would eat a lot too.  She had the greatest appetite.

Ok, so she still has a great appetite, and when she likes what she’s eating, she’s a great eater..

But the reign of the pickiness is totally beginning.. sixteen months and she’s telling me what she wants to eat..

When did she get a mind of her own?

The other night, Hubby brought some food from his parents house.  I haven’t been cooking lately so I can finish the Save The Dates for my friend. 

It was good food, yummy filipino food. 

M wasn’t having it.

She’d either keep her mouth completely shut and turn away from me, or I’d get it in her mouth and she’d immediately push it out with her tongue.

So frustrating, but there was no changing her mind.  I tried everything. I tried to pretend feed her little princess toy that was with her, I tried to pretend-feed Elmo, I tried to pretend-feed the Fresh Beat Band she was watching on TV.


Thank God for frozen bags of peas and hot dogs..

We quickly heated and chopped up a hot dog, cooked up some frozen peas.. and she LOVED it!

She ate almost all of it..

I asked my mom about whether I should be doing that, or make her eat what we initially had.  She said that at this age, I should just cater.  I guess she has a point.  She’s a little too young to realize what I’m doing, but smart enough to know what she wants and doesn’t. 

All I know is that she can’t live off hot dogs and peas.. so I need to figure out more foods to cook that I know she will like..

Any suggestions and/or recipies?!

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