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5 Tips For Getting Out of the House with Two

I remember how terrified I was to leave the house during the first month of brining home my first. With a toddler, there is no time to be terrified of anything! Especially getting out of the house. It's a necessity. Here are some tips I'm using to help get out of the house (super helpful on school days). 

  • Choose outfit the night before: Getting dressed can be a nightmare in the morning. Especially now that my toddler has preferences about what she wants to wear. Watch out #diva. We've started to pick out clothes the night before. This way we can spend a little time choosing the perfect outfit without feeling rushed and without feeling pressed for time. 
  • Make and pack lunch the night before: This saves me a good 10 minutes. Doesn't sound like much but 10 minutes in the morning is a significant amount of time. And one less thing to think about. 
  • Breakfast is what's served: I got into a bad habit of asking my toddler what she wanted for breakfast each morning. Even when I'd give her options, it would take 10 minutes for her to decide between eggs or cereal. Now I make breakfast and let her know when it's time to eat. The caveat here is if I say "I'm going to make breakfast now" and she says "I want to eat..." If she asks for something specific and we have it, I have no problem giving her what she's requested. 
  • Bottle feed baby: I'm breastfeeding my newborn, which typically takes about 45 minutes all around. And I don't have 45 minutes to spare on the days Reese has school. So I've started pumping before everyone gets up (yep, kind of a pain but totally worth it) and bottle feeding in the morning. This saves me more than 25 minutes. 
  • Use incentives: Call it what you will. An incentive or a bribe but it works. Reese is obsessed with cartoons these days. On school days when we're rushing to get out of the house I explain that after she gets dressed, eats breakfast, clears her plate from the table, brushes hair and teeth, she can then watch cartoons until we have to leave for school. So she gets about 15 minutes of toon time before school. Works like a charm...for now!

I'm still adjusting to two kids. Please share your tips with me. What tips/tricks do you use to get out of the house?


No Changing Station? Make One

My husband and I were out to dinner with my toddler and then three week old. We were at our local pizza shop, which aside from having no changing station, is actually super kid-friendly.
Not even half way into dinner my newborn needed a diaper change quickly. My first thought was to walk home (we live just a few blocks away) to change him and then walk back. This option is something I probably would have done the first time around. Not so appealing for kid No. 2. So I walked to that bathroom not knowing exactly how I was going to change him. There wasn't a chair, a table or any type of furniture for that matter.
But what I did see before I walked into the restroom was a pizza box! So I kindly requested a pizza box and ta-da, my very own changing station. Pretty clever if I do say so myself. 
Tell me! What's your best makeshift changing station? Or what's the craziest place you've changed your kiddo?

No Sleep 'Til Bedtime


I mourn the loss of the afternoon nap. It was that peaceful interlude when I could get some work done, fold some laundry, have alone time with the baby, or God forbid, sit down with Mad Men or a magazine for a few minutes. Alas, those times are gone. A blissful, surprise double nap!

Nic dropped his nap sometime after Christmas. It had been a long time in the making—an hour spent playing in bed before actually falling asleep, the occasional no-nap day—but now it’s the norm, not the exception. He goes strong all day long. ALL DAY LONG.

It’s fun having a lot of one-on-one play time with him, but it’s been a real struggle getting my work done, and as you may have noticed, blogging has taken a backseat. I miss the Interwebs, but mama’s got clients to service. (My husband says that doesn’t sound right. You know what I mean, right?)

And I admit it: Sometimes I just have to put on the Lorax. When I do that, there’s a 90% chance he’ll fall asleep while watching it—I have the pee-stained couch to prove it. 


Learning Fun


I’ve been trying to find fun and stimulating activities to do with Elle when Reid is playing happily or sleeping. We’ve done a LOT of puzzles – I love the big floor puzzles and so does she. I actually picked up about half a dozen at Ross for half their Amazon price (always a deal seeker).

Speaking of frugality, I was in the Dollar Tree the other day picking up some bubbles and saw some preschool scissors. Elle has been really good about leaving my scissors alone but I do see her pining for them so I decided to get these so she would have her own. In Costco later that week I found a fun activity set on teaching your child the alphabet through activities like coloring, tracing, cutting and pasting. I decided to give it a go and it’s been a big hit. It always feels so rewarding knowing that I’m teaching her something. I have realized how much I take for granted things like cutting – it really is tricky teaching how to use scissors!

In addition to the Alphabet activity set I also picked up some Kuman first steps workbooks that offer more cutting, folding tracing, pasting and other activities for two year olds and up. At as low as $3 a pop these are pretty cheap for some good old learning fun. 


Bedtime with Two


I can't believe our little guy is three months old. Boy, how time flies. We started sleep training around 10 weeks. We are using the same method that we used with Elle and thus far it seems to be working. Here’s the gist: spread feedings at about by 4 hours so you end up having four feedings during the day at 8 a.m., Noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Baby can nap except in the last four hour stretch so he is super tired and hungry by bedtime. I tell ya that last four hour stretch is tough and I usually have a screaming baby around 7:30. No one ever said sleep training was fun though. While this style helps alleviate cry it out for the most part, there is some crying going on when you are trying to push the feedings and not sleeping.

So, we are down to one feeding at night and then he usually wakes at 7 a.m. The goal is to slowly decrease the amount he eats at night so that eventually he doesn’t wake up for it anymore. Of course I’m still nursing so that makes it a little challenging of knowing exactly how much he’s getting. I usually try to look at how many minutes he’s eating. He’s taking about two – three naps a day. One long one in the morning and one around 2 and then sometimes I’m bad and let him have a teensy cat nap at 6:30. Hey – I’ve got to make dinner. So we are in the conundrum that all parents face of bedtime with both kids. We’re currently putting them down around the same time and my hope is eventually we’ll combine story time for both kids and then put them in their beds. I’ll probably be putting them down by myself on at least half the weekday nights so any tips on how you’ve perfected bedtime with two?