Category Archives: Toddler

What We Did For Halloween

Since this was Dent’s first year getting to trick-or-treat we wanted to make sure he enjoyed it.  We started the night off with heading to my parents house so my Mom could actually get a trick-or-treater for the first time since I was a little girl.  You see, my folks live a little ways out of town and we never had any come visit us for Halloween.  Every year my Mom would hope, but they never came.  

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So I wanted to make sure she had a least one trick-or-treater at her door.  He loved it.  He walked up to the front door and then strutted straight inside to get his goodies.  Afterwards we headed back to our house to trick-or-treat our street.  We knew he wouldn’t make it all night, so we just stayed close to home.

I know I haven’t been a kid in a very long time, but I don’t remember Halloween being such a madhouse.  Parents just rolling up to a house, kids running out of the cars and straight to the candy bowls then hitting a few more houses before sprinting back to the car for Mom to roll down the street a little more.  It didn’t seem fun, it seemed about it was all for the candy.  I remember being a little girl and walking the street as a group, which I spent most of my childhood Halloweens with my Grandma handing out candy, but the few years I did go – it was about having fun with friends.

Our little NASCAR driver loved walking up to someone’s house and being handed candy. He wasn’t quite sure what to think of it, but he loved it! He even started waving bye-bye to people as we walked away.    

Tips for Traveling With a Toddler

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With the holiday season fast approaching, we are planning for some road trips to see family.  Now that our little man is almost 17 months old (cue tears!) we travel a little differently than when he was first born.  Long gone are the days of him sleeping most of the car ride and we’ve replaced those peaceful days with fighting the car seat, boredom and counting down the seconds until we reach our destination.

I make it sound just horrible traveling with a toddler, don’t I? It’s really not that bad.  Sure some trips are better than others.  Some days he’s a peach in the car and entertains himself with a small toy and a few snacks.  Other days he can’t stand his car seat and is sure to let us know how unpleased he is.

But as I’ve told him over and over, Mommy and Daddy have to use the car seat because it’s the safest place for him to be.  He usually fights me, but I at least try to reason with him (HA!).

With J’s family living a few hours away, we tend to travel on a regular basis.  I wanted to share with you my tried-and-true travel hacks with you.  I want you to be prepared for those long car rides you’ll be facing and nights away from home.  Plus this time of year usually means the roads aren’t always the best, especially with temperatures dropping below freezing at night.  So I like to make sure we have our little guy nice and calm during road trips so that it makes driving a little easier on us.

Not too long ago I shared some of my go-to tips when traveling with a baby.  Now as he’s gotten older and a little more independent some of my tips have changed.  But if you have a younger baby then these tips could really help you.

Let’s get into today’s post – tips for traveling with a toddler.  Now don’t worry I am going to cover everything from the car ride to staying the night.  So let’s do it.

What to bring in the car:

Snacks

Few Favorite Toys – I typically bring one (or two) that makes noise and the rest are silent. I either bring a few balls, books or stuffed animals.

Diapers and wet wipes for any changes – I like to leave a few of these outside the diaper bag so I don’t have to dig around for an emergency stop.

Towel – in case there is a mess that needs to be cleaned up or we have to do a diaper change in the back seat.

iPad to watch movies

What to bring for overnight stays:

Pack-n-play – that way when it’s bedtime your little one has a place to sleep that’s all their own.  

Blanket – it’s nice to have something that smells like home and can be a comfort to them

Extra Clothes

Favorite Bottle or Sippy Cup – my little guy still loves a bottle in the morning.  We’ve been able to replace everything else with a sippy cup, but not his morning one.  Since he takes medicine I prefer not to fight him just yet.  

Favorite Foods – you pack snacks or non-perishable foods you know your little one likes.  This works great if you’re eating out a lot or not sure what meals will be prepared.

Bedtime Routine – it can be hard to stick to a similar routine that you have at home, but try.  Your little one loves having a routine and it makes it a lot easier on them if they are being put down about the same time each night and follow the same steps they would at home.  For us, it’s bath, brush teeth, have some water, snuggle for a bit then be laid down.

Morning Routine – again, try to stick to the similar routine you have each morning.  I know it can be hard, but just do your best.

If you plan on flying with your little one, then check out my tips here to make it so much easier on yourself and your child.

DIY NASCAR Costume for a Toddler

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This family loves NASCAR (well actually J loves it and I’ve learned to like it over the past 5 years). When it came time to decide on a Halloween costume for Dent, we agreed on a race car driver outfit.  Of course he had to be our favorite driver, too – Tony Stewart.  

I started searching online and the prices were ridiculous! $30 for a Halloween costume?!?! … No thanks…

The ones at Walmart weren’t NASCAR themed and had way too many fake muscles for my liking. Why do we have to put fake muscles on everything for little boys… what kind of message is that sending?? I don’t know, but I didn’t care for it.

Then I decided to just make a DIY NASCAR costume for our son.

I even gave myself a budget of keeping it under $15.

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I headed to Walmart where I had hopes of finding a solid black sleeper, but wasn’t in luck. Then I found a long sleeve shirt and sweat pants that were under $4.00 each, so I spent less than $8 for the outfit.

Next we headed to Hobby Lobby to try to find some ribbon with a checkered flag. They had one kind and it was $4.00, but with a 40% off coupon it came out to be $2.40 for the spool. Perfect.

I knew I had some fabric glue at home, so I decided to just use it. I washed the clothes once we got home and then got to work. I took the ribbon down the sleeves, sides of the shirt and pants, which didn’t take long at all.  I let it dry overnight just to be sure the glue held.

It needed just a little bit more so I bought some iron-on transfer paper for less than $8.00. I googled Tony Stewart to see what type of sponsors he had on his uniform and went from there.  Once I decided on a few brands, I googled their logo and then uploaded them into canva.  I saved the sheets as a PDF and then printed them on an inkjet printer. 

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I had never used iron-on transfer paper before so I was a little unsure of how good it would turn out, but I followed the directions to make sure I was doing it right. It does say to wash it after 24 hours and turn it inside out, but honestly I didn’t.  I figured since I already washed the clothes when I bought it that it would be fine.  Now after he’s done wearing it then I will wash it, but I don’t want to take the chance of the transfer coming off in the washer.

Overall I spent right at $18.40 for the whole outfit.  I wasn’t under my $15.00 goal, but I only used two of the sheets of transfer paper so now I have it for next year’s costume or some other craft project down the road.  So I still consider it a win!

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We headed to a trunk-or-treat earlier this week and had a blast.  Dent loved getting candy from everyone and showing off his outfit.  We’re planning on walking around the neighborhood on Halloween. I can’t wait!

Focus on Family Month

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Happy October! They say winter is the most magical time of the year, but I think Fall is a very close second. This month since the temperatures will be starting to drop we’ll be spending lots of time outside.  There are a few pumpkin patches, corn mazes and other fun stuff we are going to try to do.

I figured this would be a great time to have another focus month.  If you remember, back in February I typically have a Focus On Finances month.  I always planned on having another focus month, but it never happened.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re a Mom – your brain is going a mile a minute, all the time and if you don’t write it down then it just won’t happen.

Anyways, I realized that October would be perfect for a Focus on Family month.  I put together a bucket list last year, but now that our little boy is older we’ll be able to do a lot more.  Last year we went to the pumpkin patch and he was barely 6 months old so there was a lot he just wasn’t able to do.  But now he is 18 months and is full of energy.  He runs, never walks.  Our sitter’s husband calls him Mouth of the South, which is some former wrestler that apparently never stopped running his mouth.

This month will be all about spending time together.  Fall is a great time to be outside, it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold yet.  Where we live pumpkin patches pop up about this time of year, so there is always a fun (and cheap) activity we can go do on the weekend.  I’m planning on putting together a new fall bucket list of things we are most excited about doing this year with our little man.  

But to get you started with the Focus on Family month, here’s a list of a few fall fun activities you can do with your family:

spend time together at the local pumpkin patch
go apple picking
attend a fall festival
plan a family themed Halloween outfit
have a few picnics outside
go to the park
have a movie night

What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?  Leave a comment letting me know!

Our Toddler’s Bedtime Routine

Affiliate Disclosure: 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. 

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Does your toddler have a bedtime routine you follow?  We do and I highly recommend it to every toddler mom.  Your little one will do so much better with a set bedtime and you will feel so much better having a little bit of time each night all to yourself.  Some nights I use my time wisely by taking care of dishes, finishing laundry and cleaning … then other nights I’m so useless and binge watch TV for a couple of hours.  But it’s my choice!  

We set the foundation for easy nighttime routines months ago when we worked on sleep training our little man.  I truly believe that is what made our nights now a lot easier.

I also know that some days are better than others when it comes to a toddler’s bedtime routine.

Typically our little guy’s routine doesn’t vary much.  We found that works best for him and for us.  Now, I am not going to sit here and say we are perfect every single day.  That would be a lie.  No one can be perfect 100% of the time.  However, we strive for some consistency because without it we are a mess.

Around 7:00 each night we start off with bath time, which our little guy loves.  We ask if he’s ready for a bath and he takes off down the hall pulling off his pants and tugging at his shirt.  If we’re not fast enough, he’ll get all the way down to his diaper and then start taking it off.  We may or may not have had to clean a few mistakes down the hallway floor a couple of times.

After bath time, we go straight to getting ready for bed with getting PJ’s on, drying his hair and then story time.  Now some nights if we’re running late on bath time or he’s extra cranky then story time is super fast.  Other nights it’s a bit longer.

During story time he gets a small bottle of milk and then it’s off to bed.  We typically lay him down while he’s still awake.  That way he can put himself to sleep and we’re not trapped for 30 minutes or longer.  When we first sleep trained him months ago I started off staying in the room until he was sound asleep.  But I found that I was keeping him awake longer.  I would rub his back and the moment I switched directions or changed hands it was an excuse for him to pop right up.  It was also killing my back.  Leaning over the crib for 30 minutes or longer was just plain miserable.  So I was moving around a lot, sometimes I would make a small noise and then he would wake wide up.  It was awful.  

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I finally realized I was the problem so I started laying him down when he was still awake.  He gets a small bottle, his favorite blanket and a few soft lullabies.  Then within 10 minutes or less he would be out.  

Most nights that’s all there is to it.  He sleeps quietly until around 7:00 the next morning.  

Now, if he’s not feeling very good or has a tooth coming in then we might be up a few times during the night to cover him back up and pat his back.  It’s very rare we have to pick up up from his crib once we lay him down for the night.  We only do that if he needs a diaper change or is sick.  For the most part once he’s down for the night, he’s down for the whole night.  

We do let him sleep with a small, light blanket.  He prefers to be covered up and loves the small swaddle blankets we received during one of his baby showers.  We also have a LeapFrog My Pal Scout in his crib.  It plays music for him to fall asleep to and he likes it.  So if he wakes up in the middle of the night then he sometimes will turn the dog back on to play more music (which was super creepy the first few times he did it because I didn’t know he could turn it on and I thought it was randomly playing at 3am).

Months ago I found this white noise machine that plays all night.  Our neighbor’s driveway is right by our son’s room.  Our little guy was waking up every time their teenage boy came home late or when they left early for work.  Now with the white noise he sleeps through it.

What’s your toddler’s bedtime routine?

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.

Winding Down Summer

I don’t know about you, but the end of August always marks the end of Summer in our house.  Now I know the actually first day of Fall isn’t for a few more weeks, which means we still have some Summer days left.  But it just doesn’t feel like it.  

School is back in session (even though our little guy isn’t in school yet, I still feel it), which means the town just seems quieter.  We’ve been busy soaking up the last few bits of Summer and it has been amazing.  

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meredith rines, merelynne, budget expert, toddler, superman, little boy, toddler boy

We have been working hard at crossing off everything on our Summer Bucket List before the temps start to dip too much.  We’re even planning a new list for next year.  I think since our little one is going to be 2 and J’s school won’t be as crazy then we’re going to make a bigger and badder list to conquer.  

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meredith rines, merelynne, budget expert, toddler, superman, little boy, toddler boy

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What are your end of Summer traditions?  

What to Pack In A Diaper Bag for Your Toddler

Affiliate Disclosure: 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. 

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Motherhood is one wild ride.  So many changes happen in the first year and then when we reached toddler status the changes just kept coming.  I’ve learned not to be so worried about the little things and to have more fun in the moment.  One of the biggest things I’ve changed is the super heavy diaper bag that was weighing me down.  It was such a relief the first time I carried this smaller packed bag out of the house.  I can’t tell you how happy I was when we had everything we needed, too.  Such a great feeling!

As our little boy gets older my diaper bag has changed from this stuffed tote for a newborn to a much lighter bag.  I’ve realized I don’t need to carry all that stuff anymore and it’s so nice.  Now don’t get me wrong as a new Mom I was very unsure about a lot of things (like a lot, a lot).  It was nice having everything that could be possibly needed when he was a newborn.  As I’ve become more confident with motherhood, I have been able to improvise on the fly.  I’ve also learned that as mothers, we don’t need all the stuff in the diaper bag we imagined.  It was a hard lesson to learn, but once I had the light bulb moment it brought a whole new perspective.

Now my diaper bag has changed quite a bit.  No more are the days of leaning over and everything falling out.  I recorded a quick video to show you exactly what’s inside and what I recommend to keep in your diaper bag for your toddler.  Take a look at what I carry for our very active 16 month old.

The diaper backpack I have is no longer available on Amazon, but you can find a similar diaper bag here.

The thirty-one bag can be found here (I have an older version).

My purse can be found here (remember this was a gift from J using his reward points from work – not that there is anything wrong with investing in a nice purse, but with a small child and living on a budget it’s not always possible).

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Some of Our Favorites to Include

Diapers
Wipes
Change of clothes
Sippy Cup that doesn’t leak
Book (similar set to what we have)
Small Toy (I prefer quiet toys for when we’re out to eat or in public places)
Snacks (Goldfish, crackers, Cheerios)
Snack Holder

What do you pack in your diaper bag for your toddler?  Leave a comment below with the details.

 

Check out more posts about parenting a toddler, even help with being a new mom and overall the whole motherhood thing.

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.

Truth.

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.

Why I’m Glad Our Son is Growing Up With Dogs

growing up with dogs, dogs and kids, dogs and babies, kids and dogs

Before getting into the many, many reasons why I’m glad our little boy has three dogs to call his best friends I want to tell you a story.  This story took place when I was only nine.  My best friend in the entire world was a Rottweiler named Storm.  We did everything together – played in the mud, laid in the grass, played ball, and he even watched over me as I rode my bike up and down our street.  The best thing Storm did for me every day was walk me to and from the bus stop.  Each morning I would load up my backpack and head out the door with Storm right beside me.  He would wag his little stump of a tail as I talked about all the fun things I was going to do in school.  He would sit patiently at the end of the street until the school bus came, then he would walk home to wait until it was time to pick me up again.  No matter the temperature or weather conditions, Storm never failed.  He was always by my side.  

One day while waiting for the bus like we had done hundreds of times before, a man in a red SUV pulled up.  He didn’t live down my street and I had never saw him before.  He rolled down his window and started talking to me.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  There was no one else around, so I answered.  He complimented by dog and me.  At this point Storm was now standing a little in front of me with my hand on his back.  He was keeping a close eye on this new stranger.  He told me he liked to take pictures and would love to get one of me and my dog some day.  I replied with the fact the school bus should be pulling up any minute.  He then asked if I would go with him to get his camera so we could come back to take pictures.  All the red flags and alarms were going off in my head.  This was a BAD man.  

Within moments he had started opening his door.  My hand left Storm’s back and next thing I know my protector had jumped through the car window towards this man.  I took off.  I ran as fast as I could back to my house.  Screaming for my Mom and Dad.  By the time I reached the front porch Storm was by my side.  

I told my parents what had happened and they immediately called the sheriff’s office.  To this day I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but the man did live in the neighboring subdivision and within a few months he moved out of town.  

Storm saved my life.  I truly believe he saved me.  I know I couldn’t have out ran this grown man at only 9 years old, but because of Storm I got away.  

That story is the main reason I want our son growing up with dogs.  Dogs that will protect him, walk with him and keep an eye on him.  Just like Storm did for me all those years ago.  

Now there are many other reasons I want our son growing up with dogs, which aren’t as scary as my story.  

growing up with dogs, dogs and kids, dogs and babies

Dogs are loyal.  The moment we brought our son home our three dogs knew he was theirs to take care of.  They get up through out the night to sleep by his crib or just to peek their head in to make sure he’s okay.  Tiny, who is my scared-of-everything dog has to be near him at all times.  She follows him, and if he cries she’s the first on by his side – often pushing me out of the way.

Dogs teach responsibility.  Dogs are a huge commitment.  It’s important for our son to learn to care for another being.  He is learning how to pet gently, play with them and will eventually learn how to feed and take care of their water bowl.  At an early age it can help your child feel needed and they can learn the importance of having a few small jobs around the house.

Dogs help with learning new skills.  I can remember sitting on the front porch until it was too dark to see reading a new book to Storm or one of my other dogs.  Reading out loud to your dog can help your child learn new cognitive skills.  Kids who talk to their pets show improved cognitive skills and imagination.

Dogs can help your child be healthier.  Dogs want to play, a lot.  Chase toys, run in the backyard or just keep your child moving around the house.  By having a dog (or in our case three) we’re never short of a dog wanting to play.  Taking our son outside in the backyard with a bunch of dog toys will keep him and our dogs occupied.  This give him a chance to be outside in the fresh air, play with more than just those annoyingly loud baby toys and shows the dogs just how great their new human brother is.

growing up with dogs, dogs and kids, dogs and babies

growing up with dogs, dogs and kids, dogs and babies

Dogs can boost a child’s self-esteem.  This goes back to teaching responsibility.  By having our son help with a few tasks each day he can feel proud of what he has accomplished.  Not only is he taking care of a living being, but he’s helping out Mommy and Daddy around the house.  I can think back to where my job growing up was cleaning up the yard (you know what I mean….).  It was dirty and smelly, but I knew it had to be done.  I felt proud knowing my dogs yard was clean and healthy for him to be in.  My parents were proud because I helped (and because they no longer had to do it).  I knew what it mean to pitch in and help out, and that was pretty great.

I know it’s important for our little man to have dogs in his life, just like I did growing up and just like J did.  To me a dog is a best friend, someone who knows all of your secrets and never judges you.  Someone you saved the last bite of your grilled cheese for and laugh when you get slobbered with kisses after being gone all day.  That’s the love I want our son to know and feel.  The protection at the bus stop will just be an added benefit and will give me a peace of mind.  

growing up with dogs, dogs and kids, dogs and babies