Category Archives: Baby

Upgrading To A Big Boy Room | Starlight Baby Giveaway

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At what age do you change the theme of your baby’s nursery? When we first decorated Dent’s room, we made a very big effort to make sure we didn’t have to completely re-do every choice as he grew.  We made a few changes here and there to make the room easier to use and better for playtime. For instance, the perfect area rug was not quite perfect. No matter what anti-slider mats, stickers, glue, whatever we bought the darn thing slid everywhere.  It was such a hassle and a trip hazard on those late night feedings. 

We quickly took out the rug and never replaced it.  We also added room darkening curtains for those mid-day naps. A while back I created some wall art for his room. Do you know what’s great about making my own pieces?  When it’s time to change them out then it’s really simple.

Recently I’ve been thinking we need to upgrade a few pieces to make it more of a big boy room and instead of a baby room.  Now don’t get me wrong I am no where near ready to switch out for a toddler bed… and neither is Dent.  But I think we could do a few things to the walls to help the room grow with our boy.  I found these whimsical dinosaur vinyl wall decals from Starlight Baby and just fell in love.  They are absolutely perfect for our son’s room.

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You can watch the video of my first thoughts on the vinyl wall decals and what his new big boy looks like below or online:

James from Starlight Baby reached out to me and offered one of my readers a chance for a $60 store credit.  I couldn’t believe it. I love the idea of bringing such a great giveaway to you just in time for Christmas.  They have so many great decals, clothes, and more for your little one.  Starlight Baby offers something rare on their wall decals – they will customize the color for you.  If you have a color code from a paint color, wall art or any item then they can custom print your decals to match.  You just send the color code or color idea to them and they will work with you to make it happen.  How cool?! I love their customer service!

Enter the giveaway below. If you want to go ahead and check out Starlight Baby’s store, head on over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I did receive the wall decals for free in exchange for my review.  However, the opinions are 100% my own.

What To Pack Your Toddler For Your Next Trip | Tips To Staying Organized

It’s no secret I love to-do lists and planners. I pretty much have my whole life over on Google between using the calendar to keep our lives organized and with having our expense tracking on Google Sheets. I love having my life organized and detailed out.

There should be no surprise then that I have a go-to list for when we travel with our young son. We travel quite a bit, between visiting J’s family, to seeing friends and just getting away for awhile. We love going on adventures.

I realized early on that in order to not forget anything, I would need a list. With working full time, running a house, being the best mom I know how and a wife – I needed help.

I put together a list over on Google (duh!) and every time we go on a trip, I pull it out and print it off. In this list is a detail of everything we need to bring for no matter how long we’re going to be gone or no matter which part of the country we’re going to be going to.

You can watch this video online or down below to see exactly what I like to bring along on any trips for our son.

For more information you can check out these posts:

Tips For Road Trips With A Toddler

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Traveling With A Baby

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How I Get It All Done

how to do it all as a mom

First Trip to the Zoo and a GIVEAWAY of the Laguna Tide Travel Diaper Bag

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This past weekend our little family had the time of our lives.  My best friend from high school lives about 3 hours away, so after months and months of saying we would come for a visit, we finally loaded down the car hit the road. Their little girl is just a few months older than our son so they were able to play and have a blast together.  

It was so nice having a chance to catch up with my friend and to see our sweet babies becoming life long best friends.  Our little guy was exhausted come Monday morning when it was time to drive home.  He didn’t want to leave, but he needed a good long nap to get him back to normal.  This little guy was such a trooper.  All weekend we went, nonstop.  He napped only 30 minutes on Saturday and then only 30 minutes on Sunday, which is short for my sleep-loving child.

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On Sunday we all went to the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, MO.  We explored every inch of the zoo, we fed giraffes and watched the lions nap on a big rock.  Our little man is as independent as they come.  Our little guy did not want to be pushed into his stroller, even when he was too tired to walk.  He wanted Daddy to carry him while he rested then he was off again.  Little man preferred to be out front, leading the way for the rest of the group.

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I was asked recently how we pack our toddler’s diaper bag for a long day away from home.  

I’ve shared in this post what we bring, but I wanted to go into more detail about why I like to carry a diaper backpack on those long days.

I don’t know about you, but carrying around a diaper bag all day is so not fun.  The bag usually falls off my shoulder, especially when I bend over to pick up our son.  If I have it stuffed for a busy day then I usually lose a few items with each pickup too.  I saw online a few diaper backpacks and really wanted to give one a try.  I ordered one on Amazon not that long ago for our trip to Florida.  It’s a nice bag, but honestly I knew I could do better.  I had been trying to find a new one when I was asked to try out the new Laguna Tide Travel Diaper Bag. I jumped at the chance.  I looked at it online and thought this could really be the answer to my diaper bag problems.  So the people over at Laguna Tide were super nice and gave me this diaper backpack to test (and they offered you a coupon code for 15% off, keep reading to get the code!).  

laguna tide diaper backpack

This past weekend was the perfect time, too.  With all of the traveling and adventures we went on made sure this bag could keep up.  I recorded a quick video of my first impressions and as promised I’m sharing my final thoughts on this bag, too.

This diaper backpack is the real deal.  I loved so many features about it, but the best part was the actual backpack straps it comes with.  So many diaper bags (even ones I’ve purchased before) have such thin straps.  So by the time you get the straps adjusted and the bag filled, the straps just slide right back down when you go to pick it up.  It can be such a pain walking through the store with a diaper bag banging against your rear-end.  

This bag also came with some great insulated pockets so we were able to keep out little man’s snacks cool during the 80 degree weather, plus his sippy cup of water stayed cold while we explored the zoo.  The bag even came with a changing pad, which came in handy at the gross public bathroom at the zoo.  I’m not a real germ-a-phobic mom, but something about those public restrooms gross me out.  I was easily able to change our little guy, reach everything I need without having to take the bag all the way off and set it on the dirty floor.  That’s a huge game changer for me.  I always hate having to take off my diaper bag, sit it on the ground (because there is never a table or hook near those stations), dig out what I need all while trying to keep my busy toddler from falling off.  

Overall I give this bag 5 out of 5 stars!  It really was a huge help to have a nice, sturdy bag for a long weekend.  The people over at Laguna Tide and I are partnering up to off you a chance to win one of these bags.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run from September 8 through midnight on September 14.  So be sure to enter for your chance to win.  You can grab one of these Laguna Tide Travel Diaper Bags over amazon.  Make sure to use the coupon code: MEREGP15 to get 15% off.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

How To Balance Life When Your Have Kids and a Career

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I had been working on this post about how to balance life for a very long time.  I’ve had the idea scribbled in a notebook for months.  I’ve had a draft started, but not finished for weeks.  Yet here I am completely changing the whole premise of this topic.  

Let’s get real for a second – when you have kids there is no balance.  Sure you can feel like everything is rocking and rolling for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but it will come crashing down at some point.  I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it does.

For instance, I started this post off (then deleted it) talking about how to find balance you need to be a planner.  You need to have a list of everything that needs to get done, be able to know when to delegate and when to say no, and you need help.  But that was before our little boy spent the better part of 3 hours nonstop crying last night.  No idea why.  He just did.

I’m tired.  I’m dragging and I sure know that today is going to be rough.

It’s 8 am and I’m already sipping on a Diet Mountain Dew (it’s my version of coffee).  This post was supposed to be finished last night so it could go live this morning, but that didn’t happen.  Because no matter how hard I try to plan, prepare and schedule my day – it doesn’t always play out like I hope.  So instead of finishing this post last night, I sat in complete darkness holding my crying boy in my arms until he fell asleep.

And there is no place I would have rather been.


So maybe work life balance isn’t a fine balance act.  Maybe it’s having the ability to say no to some things so you can say yes to more important ones.

My son, my family and my well-being comes before anything else.  So on days like yesterday, I have to reschedule everything I had planned for the last 3 hours of my day, I have to go to bed later than I normally do and I have to wake up earlier than I thought was possible.

But to me balance isn’t doing it all and being perfect, it’s choosing what’s perfect for me.

I may not get it all done in the time frame I dreamed of and that’s okay.

You may not either and you have to be willing to accept it.  There are a few things you can do to help you not feel pressure to do things you HAVE to do when things you WANT to do come up.

  1. Plan your day.  I use Google calendar to plan out my family’s life.  Everything task, appointment, and reminder are scheduled in my calendar.
  2. Keep a running to-do list.  I am someone who will obsess over something until it’s done.  I have found that when I write a task or an idea down, then I can turn my brain off and focus on what I was supposed to be doing.
  3. Be okay with change.  Days don’t always go as planned and you have to be willing to accept it.  Let’s face it as Moms no two days are the same.  And if you think they can be, then just spend time with a toddler because they will correct your thought process in less than an hour.
  4. Build in buffers.  For me that means going to be later or getting up earlier (preferably not within a 12 hour period, but that’s mom life).  I also try to keep my lunch hour free to do other work.  I work full time so when my lunch break comes I usually run home to write posts, record videos or edit them.  This gives me some flexibility when my evenings or mornings don’t go as I hope. 
  5. Know your priorities.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in the hustle of life.  We get frustrated when we have to stop mid-thought to dig a toy out from under the couch just for your little one to do it all over again.  At those moments, just stop and remind yourself every day they are learning something new and one day they will be able to reach for a toy under the couch themselves and that day will be hard.  You may not realize it at the time, but it will be.  When our little one could finally hold his own bottle, I was happy until the day came that I wanted to rock him to sleep for nap time and he didn’t need me to any longer.  He could hold his own bottle and lay down on his own.

I may not be perfect with work life balance, but I don’t think anyone can be perfect when they’re a mom.  No matter if you’re a mom who works away from home, works from home or in between.  Any woman who mothers a child, runs a household and is making a difference will never have a perfect balance act.  And at the end of the day when you watch your little one sleep you realize that it’s okay because they are more perfect than you could ever imagine.

Dear Son (What I Want You To Know)

dear son, what i want you to know

Dear Son,

Dad and I are trying are best, but we don’t know everything.

I want to give you the world, but it’s fine line of learning to be independent and just taking care of you.

I love how big you are getting, but I miss my snuggly newborn some days.

I love that you sleep (most nights) through the night, but it doesn’t mean I don’t check on you at least 20 times a night.

Every day you learn something new and amaze me with your energy.

You make my soul, my heart and my brain smile. I love you more than any words can describe.

I want what is best for you, but I understand that I have to let you fall sometimes.

When I get upset or stressed, please know it will pass.

The nights you need a little extra time being rocked to sleep are my favorite.

I now understand how my mom felt when she tried to shower, put on her makeup or pee with an audience.

You’re curiosity amazes me.

You are loved more than you will ever realize.

I want you to know it’s okay to be yourself and not care what anyone thinks of you.

You can do anything you dream of. I will support whatever your choices are.

You’re lack of fear inspires me to let go of my own inhibitions. 

Know that your dad and I will always stand behind you. You have our full support – always.

How to Keep Your Toddler Healthy and Growing

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I’m a pretty slick ninja over.  I love finding new ways to sneak good, whole foods and ways to keep our boy healthy.   Especially since he’s in an in-home sitter’s care during the day around other kids.  I think it’s important to keep his immune system up (I know it still has a lot of developing to do) and keep him as healthy as possible.  I am very fortunate because when our little man is sick I can stay home or take him to work with me, but I know most parents aren’t as lucky.  So I keep that in mind knowing that not everyone can take off when their little one has a cold or running nose.  Now my sitter is great because if anyone is too sick or has a fever then she has a policy that they can’t be there that day.  And she’s not afraid to call and say you need to pick your little one up.  I know because I’ve gotten the text about him being sick, so she’ll do it.

I created a quick video sharing all of my favorite tricks and parenting hacks on how to keep your toddler healthy especially when the weather changes.  You can watch the video below or keep reading to find my favorite ways.  

Disclosure:  I am not a doctor so some of my ways may be different than yours.  I will explain why we use certain items and medicines for our little guy but all of the medicines came from our pediatrician’s recommendations.  So you need to consult your doctor before adding any supplements or medicines.

Fluoride Tablets

This was a recommendation from our son’s doctor.  He doesn’t get city water (he never has) so we used store-bought gallon sized drinking water for his bottles and sippy cups.  Our home is on a well, which means we don’t get any of that added flouride most cities put into their water system.  The doctor recommended a fluoride tablet to make sure his teeth develop safely and are healthy.  So each day I crush a little tablet and mix with one of his bottles of milk.  He won’t need to be on this forever, but for now we’re sticking with our doctor’s plan so his teeth come in nice and strong!

Change Their Sheets Weekly

It’s so easy to forget to change the crib sheets, right?  There is so much going on and you usually remember when you’re placing your almost asleep toddler into bed.  Ugh!  Little ones drool and snot all over their sheets at night, not to mention how they may pee through their onsies during the middle of the night.  By keeping clean sheets on their bed you will cut down on the germs they face plant in.  If you’re little one gets sick or a cold then you should be changing your sheets every few days to stop the circulation of germs.  However, once a week is enough for a healthy toddler.  I recommend changing them first thing in the morning.  We keep our extra sheets in his room so each Friday morning I strip his bed down and pop on a new set.  Takes less than five minutes to get fresh, clean sheets on his bed.  

Vitamins with Iron Supplement

Our little guy tested low with his iron at his 12 month appointment.  Our doctor recommended adding in a daily vitamin with iron.  We use the Enfamil Poly Vi Sol Vitamin with Iron because we used their formula and felt confident with their products.  Now I fully know our doctor will retest his iron at his next appointment and may say to stop using these drops.  We also have increased the amount of iron-filled foods he consumes (or at least try to, but he’s one and is pretty picky). 

snacks for baby


I also create baby smoothies for our little guy on the weekends or lazy days around the house.  He thinks he’s getting a special treat (especially when I put it in the fridge and let it get cold), but I know he’s getting a nutrient packed smoothie.  I tend to use a specific sippy cup for his smoothies, too.  That way it’s extra special.  I got these Munchkin trainer cups during one of his showers and I love them.  They don’t leak and are super easy for him to hold on.  

How to Keep Your Toddler Healthy

Mix Pureed Fruits and Veggies Into Other Food

Is your toddler a picky eater?  Mine is.  One day he loves something and the next he treats it like it’s the most disgusting thing in the world.  It’s frustrating.  He does this a lot with fruits, which I think is a texture thing.  He loves the flavors of most fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and melons, but as soon as you give him a piece to eat by itself he will spit it out.  Usually they end up all over the kitchen floor with the dogs trying to get to them.  So after a few attempts I came up with a backup plan.  Just puree the fruit or veggie then mix with their other foods.  


This one is huge!  There is nothing worse than an overly tired toddler, am I right?  It’s exhausting trying to soothe a child who is so tired and still refuses to sleep.  So you need a bedtime routine and to work on sleep training your little one.  Sleep is vital for their development and their health.  Here is a chart for how much your little one should be sleeping at night and during nap time.  We aim for him to be in bed by 7:30-8:00 most nights.  Now we hope he sleeps until 7:00 the next morning without waking up, but it doesn’t always happen.  But I’ve noticed when he sleeps regularly and has a routine he does a lot better and he seems to bounce back when other littles have a cold around him.

What parenting hacks do you have to keep your little ones healthy?  Am I missing anything?  Leave a comment to let me know!

How To Keep Track of Your Baby’s Milestones On Your Phone

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As a first time mom I wanted to make sure I kept track of all the firsts for our little guy. The first time he rolled over, sat up and stood. I even wanted to get the not-so-fun moments since our little guy was in the NICU I wanted to make sure I tracked his weight and growth. I’ve talked about a newborn baby app I loved. It helped us track when he ate, how much he ate, when he pooped and more. It even had a nifty growth chart so I could track his weight and other measurements.

As a Mom you probably want to be able to keep track of and remember all of those firsts.  First time they roll over, sit up on their own, stand, and their first steps.  However, you don’t want to miss any of those moments.  You take pictures and videos to share with family and friends, but you want to know the date.  The specific date and sometimes time your little one conquered something new.  At least I did.  

If you’re like me then you’re a slacker when it comes to craft projects. You probably dreamed of creating a beautiful baby book filled with pictures, milestones and memories to pass down. But then life happened. You got busy with work, raising your child and managing your home. The pictures and keepsakes are collecting dust in the dresser drawer and you were worried about forgetting those precious memories.

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I bet you don’t want to miss any of those firsts though.  You need something that is at the tip of your fingers, something easy to jot down so you can get right back to being in the moment.  

Here’s what us moms want:

Something quick and easy to use
Something we (more than likely) won’t misplace
Something we can backup for safekeeping

As a first time mom, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing a great new app (which I’m sure exists) or some sort of journal idea, but I couldn’t find anything.  After some trial and error, I figured what works best.  Today, I am going to share with you how to keep track of your baby’s milestones for free on your phone.  

Use Your Memo Feature in Your Phone

That’s it.  Using your memo feature to keep track of baby milestones is the easiest way to remember those important dates.  It’s super simple to use and more than likely you already have your phone with you either taking pictures or video of your baby learning something new.  

 I created a memo called “Milestones” then I pinned it to my home screen on my phone (I have an android so I don’t know if you can pin a memo to your home screen in the iPhone).  That way I can click the memo on my screen and it automatically opens to update.  I keep the listings super simple and to the point.  

Here’s what my listings look like:

Smiled at Mommy 5.16 (meaning May 16, 2016)
Outgrew Preemie clothes 5.1
Rolled from tummy to back 7.11
Sat up on own 9.15
First step without holding on 3.3

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You can even use this memo to keep track of your child’s growth from their wellness visits.  I know some day I will finish (or actually start) his baby book so I want to keep track of his milestones between.  I would be so upset with myself if I forgot when he took his first steps or when he said “Momma” for the first time.  I don’t want to forget any of it, but I know life is crazy and hectic right now.  So even if I tell myself I’ll remember this day, the chances are it will start running together.

Every few weeks or so just email the memo to yourself.  I use google and gmail for just about everything (the calendar feature and as a check register) so by emailing the list to my gmail account I know I will never lose it.  I can search for it by his name and it will pop right up.  I just keep updating myself with the new list every few weeks.

You don’t want to forget these special moments and there is no need to over complicate how to keep track of baby milestones.  What do you use to keep up with all of your little one’s firsts?  Leave me a comment, I love to know!


DIY Father’s Day Gift

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Father’s Day is about two weeks away and it’s time to treat the special man in your life to something nice.  If your kids Dad is anything like J then they deserve it.  Last year I wanted to create something special for him since it was his first Father’s Day and honestly, money was a little tight.  After NICU bills, physical therapy sessions, and so on I knew the gift needed to be something I could create with what I had on hand.  I thought about doing a DIY Father’s Day gift to add a little personalization to it so it would be special for years to come.  

I went to and created a simple image that just said Happy Father’s Day.  Then I printed it out.  I even made it in black and white so I could print it at home on our laser printer.  

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I updated the image to this year’s Father’s Day so feel free to click the image above to print out.

Once I had the image printed, I went to Hobby Lobby to look for a frame.  I had a gift card leftover from my birthday so I used it towards an 8 by 8 frame.

I headed home and dug out some ink I had from our wedding a few years ago.  We did a thumbprint painting as our guest book and I purchased several different color ink pads.  I kept them knowing I would use them one day.  I waited until Baby was sleeping then I pressed the ink pad on his foot then onto the page.  I repeated using his hand, too.

The ink pad made it really easy to use.  I didn’t have to worry about spilling paint everywhere and since it was what we used for people’s thumbs at our wedding I knew the ink would come off easily.  I had a wet wipe ready and as soon as I pressed his foot and hand onto the page I was able to clean him up.

I then made sure the prints were nice and dry before sealing into the frame.  I think the gift turned out great and it will be neat to have such a keepsake for years to come.

Road Trips With A Baby

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. Thank you!

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J and I love to go.  His family lives about 2 hours away, my sister is about 3 hours and the majority of our friends are in the opposite direction about another 3 hours away.  So we like to travel a lot on the weekends.  

We’re also the crazy people that prefer to take our three dogs with us on road trips.  With such a crazy bunch we’ve learned a few tricks to help us keep our sanity.  

Here’s how we take road trips with our little guy:

Prep your bottles before leaving the house.  Baby Boy was formula fed for the first year so I liked to have at least 3 big bottles filled with water and 2 small ones filled.  We bought these formula dispensers and they have been a lifesaver.  One is for 6 oz. bottles and the other one is for 2 oz. bottles.  Now he’s on milk so I use a small ice chest that is tall enough to hold his bottles.  I fill a bottle (or two) with milk and put it on ice for the road.  Now I don’t have to try to pour while driving and I can quickly grab a filled bottle to soothe a cranky child.

There has been (almost) nothing better than the day our little man could hold his own bottle.  It was a miracle!  Now when he gets hungry, we can just hand him his bottle, he feeds himself.  When he’s done he typically puts the bottle on the side of his car seat so I don’t have to worry about it leaking everywhere.  The only time I have to crawl in the back is when he wants actual food.  We use the pouches, but he hasn’t quite mastered feeding himself those yet.  

A few weeks ago I went to KC to visit a friend and her little boy who’s about the same age as our man.  Her little man can feed himself those pouches, but our guy hasn’t quite gotten it yet.  Anyway… we were driving back to her apartment and we thought they both had fallen asleep.  When we pulled in, I went to get my guy out and noticed this orange liquid all over him, the ceiling, the door, window, inside his car seat and the outside of his friend’s seat.  Yep, her little guy was being nice and handed my boy his pouch of food.  Of course he didn’t know what he was doing so he squirted food everywhere!  It was pretty funny and luckily hadn’t dried yet.  So with a quick wipe down with a bath towel, we were all good to go.

Now we’ve been working on feeding ourselves those pouches ever since that weekend.

Get your diaper bag ready.  I typically like to keep my diaper bag light.  I hate over packing it with things I know I will not need in the car.  So I keep it filled with just the necessities.  Bottles, formula, one toy, a change of clothes, plastic baggie filled with wipes, and 2-3 diapers.  Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  But trust me, it’s not compared to how I used to pack a diaper bag.

I recently ordered a new diaper bag from Amazon and I’m in love.  It’s big enough to carry what we need, but it’s not too bulky that it drives me crazy.  I had been using a thirty-one bag I bought back in my early twenties, but with flying for our next beach trip I wanted a bag that would zip fully closed.  This bag doubles as a backpack, a messenger bag or has handles on top.  It also came with stroller clips, which has been a huge help.  I always hated shoving the bag in the bottom of the stroller.  I didn’t want my pre-filled bottles to leak or stuff to get unorganized. 

Pack the baby’s food items together in a separate bag.  The first trip we took I packed Baby Boy’s formula in our suitcase.  That was a big mistake!  I had to crawl all the way in the back, balance the suitcase on my leg so I could get the formula out.  I’ve now learned my lesson and keep all of the baby’s items in a separate bag that’s easily reached.  

In this bag I have a tub and soap to wash bottles, pack of formula, baby food, spoon, highchair cover for restaurants, table cover for restaurants, diapers, big pack of wipes, blanket, and a few more toys.  This bag usually goes behind the driver’s seat so the passenger can still reach it.

Baby Boy is usually pretty good in the car, but we’ve learned that it’s important to keep a seat open next time him just in case.  In a past trip we were headed to Springfield, which is about 3 hours away.  We were almost half-way when Baby Boy woke up starving.  He is so much like his Momma when he’s hungry.  There is no appeasing him until there is a bottle or food in his mouth.  J had to pull over along the side of the highway and I had to hop in the back.  Since I had his diaper bag ready to go with filled bottles that boy was happy within seconds and this Momma wasn’t shaken by the screams coming from our little man.  

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Keep a handful of small toys close.  When Baby Boy is bigger then obviously the toys will change, but for now we try to keep a few chew toys and ones that light up in the car.  I also tend to bring a few because sometimes he gets excited and will launch a toy across the car out of arm’s reach.  I started keeping a basket in the backseat that is filled with a few toys – light up ones, rattles, plush toys, and so on.  The basket keeps the toys together and gives them a place so the car doesn’t look a bit junky.

Bring a bath towel with you.  A towel works great if you have to use the backseat as an impromptu changing station or if you pull over at a not-so-nice looking gas station.  We’ve also had to use the towel one time I spilled a completely filled bottle all over the backseat.  Babies aren’t the only ones that make messes! Also, those towels work great on cleaning your car’s ceiling from baby food that gets squirted everywhere (see above for story).

Keep empty plastic bags or grocery sacks in the car.  I hate messes, especially in confined areas.  Nothing feels worse than having stuff everywhere.  So I try to keep things organized as best as possible. Typically I have an empty grocery bag we use for trash, one for dirty bottles and another for any spoiled clothes.  That way we can keep everything together and off the floor.  

Traveling with dogs is a lot easier.  We drive a bigger SUV so we put the dogs in the very back.  Years ago I was given or found (not sure which) a giant dog bed.  It actually fits perfectly in the back of the car.  Now we can put the pillow in the back and all three dogs are able to lay down and be comfortable.  

If we’re going long distance then we use the seat behind the driver for our suitcase and put the dogs’ food and bowls in the back with them.  That way they still have plenty of room to lay down and we still have an open seat in case one of us needs to be closer to our little guy.

If you’re planning on a road trip to a beach, checkout my beach tips post for all the great things to take with you!

What do you do on road trips with a baby?  Leave a comment letting me know, I love to learn more tricks!


Getting Your Toddler to Eat Fruit {Without Throwing a Fit}

I don’t know about your little one, but if they are anything like mine you have to be sneaky. I know my guy just turned one and some foods are still a little strange to him.

For instance… most fruits. He doesn’t care for the texture. But I can’t really blame him because I am the exact same way!

The texture of some fruits just throw me off. I like the flavor just fine, but the texture is a whole other story. I’ve been trying hard to get over my weird issue so that I don’t pass it on to my son.

But I’m not being successful. I’ve even eaten the fruit trying to show him it’s good.

For instance.. strawberries. I have tried it at least once a year since I was a little girl and I still can’t get over the way it feels. I love the taste just fine, but not the texture.

The other day our boy was fighting me on eating strawberries. I cut them up into small pieces, mixed them with fruit and still nothing. He would literally pull the strawberry piece out of his mouth and drop it to the floor… while looking directly at me and laughing.

You can’t make me eat this, Mom!

I just looked at him – I get it, son!

I resorted to a new tactic. Nothing super scientific or even that clever, but at 7am one morning I was pretty proud of myself.  Here’s how I’m getting my toddler to eat fruit:

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I took the strawberry chunks, put it in my magic bullet with a little bit of milk and pureed them. Not super fine, still some chunks. Then I mixed it with his oatmeal.

Do you know what?

He loved it! He ate the whole bowl!

So the next morning, I added more strawberries and he gobbled that up too!

I knew I was on to something.

Every morning I’ve been taking his fruit and pureeing it a bit less. I’m trying to get him use to the texture of strawberries, blueberries, mangos and melons. If I make them too big, he’s sure to tell me with that direct stare as he feeds it to the dogs, but we’re working on it.

I thought it was pretty ingenious to blend them together with a little milk or water and each week just blend a little less. I’m hoping eventually he’ll like eating them just chopped into smaller pieces over pureed, but at least he’s eating fruit!

What’s one way you have gotten your little ones to eat healthier foods? I’ve been trying to get him more on table foods, but he’s not that interested in all of them yet.

Here’s the bottom line… I want my son to eat healthy, which means he needs his daily serving of fruits and veggies.  Sometimes us Moms just have to be willing to be a little mischievous in getting our kids to eat the way they should.  Let’s be honest, we understand the health benefits of eating fruit, especially at such a young age.  If you are looking for new fruits to introduce, check out this resource by Nutrition Advance – they sharing 50 different types of fruits and all their health benefits.  It’s a great tool to have when you’re trying to find fruits your little one will eat.