Happy Easter Freshly Picked Moccasins

HOPPY EASTER WEEKEND

We packed our Easter weekend to the brim and my inner control freak was jumping up and down because we had multiple sets of plans and lunches to pack and there was no turning back.

We started the weekend off with a trip to pick up a new (to me) dining room table I found on Craigslist, while Coop hung out with his Grandma. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this was the longest Craigslist transaction in the history of Craigslist transactions. This was going on a week of back and forths and I was convinced it just wasn’t going to happen and then it did. We met the woman and her boyfriend at a “friends” house who just so happened to be her ex-husband. I don’t want to know.  Welcome to Moe's Then we stopped for a quick lunch at Moe’s where we saw a middle aged guy (with his wife!) ordering a burrito at the busiest time of the day IN HIS BOXER SHORTS like it was nothing. I looked at Corey and he just nodded without even saying a word. It’s like everyone was looking around like “is this guy serious?” Yup, totally serious. He even had questions, “What’s my burrito called?” “Do I get any sauce with this?” DUDE! You’re not even wearing any pants? How can you worry about salsa at a time like this?

After the shock wore off, we finished up and headed to my mom’s house for Coop’s first Easter egg hunt and a few pictures since we skipped the Easter bunny again this year.

IMG_9386 IMG_9399 IMG_9407 IMG_9410 Happy Easter Freshly Picked Moccasins I’ll have you know I cut and hemmed those shorts myself, on my sewing machine no less, and had a total I’m a real mom moment afterwards. Those two straight lines are so strangely satisfying. Even if they are a little wonky.

We attempted the nearly impossible task of getting a family picture.  Easter 2015 Close enough! IMG_9415 Then we went home and did a lot of this: IMG_9440 On Sunday we had the great idea to go to the zoo thinking it wouldn’t be too crowded. Well, that was stupid. It was indeed a Zoo out there. But once we stood in line for 15 minutes for tickets and waited another 45 minutes for a bike, we had a great time. Renting the bike really is the way to go. In the words of my mother, “do you really need another picture of the bear?” Besides, it’s a killer leg workout!  IMG_9446 IMG_9451 IMG_9457 IMG_9463 IMG_9460 IMG_9470

At the end of it all we were exhausted (Coop took a 3 hour nap!) but it was a day well spent.

These are the days!

Black bean face

EAT YOUR VEGGIES, KID! #chobanikids

A few weeks ago I got an email from Chobani asking if I’d be interested in participating in their #chobanikids campaign and share my thoughts, tips, and ideas on how to get kids to eat healthy. We don’t actually have any of the Chobani kids products at our Publix or Target (although after searching Chobani’s website I see that they’re at Walmart) but we’ve been eating it ourselves for years and why not?

I’m certainly no expert and Cooper is only 17 months old (today!) so I haven’t been doing the whole mom thing long, but making sure he’s getting all the stuff he needs to make him grow up healthy and strong is really important and so here we are.

This is what’s (mostly) working for us right now:

MAKE IT FUN

When it comes to babies, the one thing I’ve learned is that mess = fun. While I might be standing by cringing at the thought of washing all that black bean juice off his face and arms and legs and you get the point, if it gets him to eat the beans than I’m all for it. If I try and keep things clean and feed them to him, he just shakes his head and tells me no. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to reason with a 17 month old, but it’s pointless. So, I just put a few spoon fulls on his tray and let him go to work. Bath time is fun anyways!

Black bean face IMG_8406 Another fun option that Cooper is loving these days is popsicles! I’ve been buying the Outshine Fruit Bars since they are made with only real fruit and no added sugar. One of those popsicles only has 1 gram of sugar. And an added bonus, it keeps him occupied in the high chair for a good 30 minutes. In Mom time that’s like a lifetime!  Popsicle

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

We’ve reached the point where if we’re eating something Cooper comes running and demands that we share. I have no problem sharing and love watching him eat and try new things. That being said, I don’t think it’s fair to snack on chips and cookies and tell him that he can’t have any so we just don’t do it. If I’m having a snack when he’s around, I try to pick something that I’d be fine with him having too.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t indulge every now and then when Coop’s sleeping, but we try to keep it at a minimum. However, in our attempts to only keep healthy snacks in the house as a good example, I’ve found a few snacks that I literally can’t wait to open. The Chobani Flips are amazing. The key lime pie one has been a long time favorite but I picked up the salted caramel crunch flavor the other day and I was so sad when I ate the last bite. I’ll definitely be emptying the Publix shelf this week. IMG_9295

CHOICES, CHOICES, CHOICES

One of the things we’ve been doing for a while is letting Cooper pick what he wants to eat. If he’s going to have a fruit/veggie packet I’ll grab two or three out of the cabinet and give him whichever one he goes for first. Or if I’m going to cut him some fruit I’ll open the fridge and lay out his options. We don’t want someone dictating exactly what we have to eat, so why should we? IMG_9147 IMG_9005

Cooper’s not a huge fan of milk and is on toddler formula, per our Dr’s recommendation, but after giving him a few sips of my Naked mango juice one morning he just can’t get enough. Since it’s full of the good stuff, I’ll happily pour him a cup and now “juice” is the first thing he asks for in the morning although it usually sounds more like “ushhhh” but I gotcha, kid. DSC_0097

JUST GO WITH IT

There’s some days when getting him to eat all the fruits and veggies I want him to, just isn’t happening. So, if I have to bribe him with a few crackers I try to at least make sure they’re whole grain. Or, we’ll eat outside or in his room for a change or scenery. Sometimes I’m chasing him around the house with the plate saying “bite” like a crazy lady. It happens.

I also found a great free app for the iPad called Toca Monsters where you get to feed one of two monsters and you can microwave, blend, or chop the food too. It might not be super educational but it is really cute and Cooper loves hearing the monsters say “Yummm” as they chew and it gets him to take a few bites of his own food at the same time. Hey, whatever works. Right?

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LIFE, LATELY

IMG_9343 Life has just been moving right along around here. We are go go going and we’ve settled in this nice little groove and not having to leave the house loaded down with a diaper bag bigger than my baby is pretty rad. We’re coming up on 17 months (this Saturday!) and we’ve OFFICIALLY got a walker. Sure, he’s taken a few steps here and there but in the last two days it’s like he just woke up one morning and was all “Yup, I’m ready.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I am not ready! I changed my mind!

You’d think I’d have been so ready for this, I had 17 whole months to prepare for it after all, but each little step breaks my heart and makes it swell up inside my chest simultaneously. He’s mostly walking on his own inside the house but anywhere else we do the hold on tight to one finger walk. Today at the park I tried to encourage him to do it on his own for a second before I realized that he will be running away from me in no time, so I stuck out my pointer finger and tottered behind him as he led me around the park and under slides that “Mommy is too big to fit under” but I crouched down and didn’t even hit my head once.

Now that I think about it, that’s kind of how things have been around here lately. We’re ducking and weaving and trying to manage everything at once without getting knocked down. Corey’s completely engrossed in all things MMA and has been at the gym a few times a week and working late a lot on top of it and I’m working on a side project that I can’t decide if it’s brilliant or complete crap yet. I’ll let you know when I figure it out. The only problem is that by the time the whole house goes to bed and I can actually do something productive, that’s about the last thing I want to do. I actually have an episode of Shameless loading up right now. But at the end of a day like today, a get outside and run around until your forehead is shiny and your back is aching from all the bending and lifting an (almost) 19 pound boy day. A come home to your husband and watch all your missed shows on the couch while the boy naps and eat all the snack the boy can’t have (gelato!) days. A this is too good a day to not remember so I must sacrifice precious minutes of sleep to record it all kind of day. You just realize that life is damn good and as I sit here and look around this little cozy little nest we’ve created I know there is not a thing in the world worth complaining about. Not even the fact that the cat took a poop in the middle of the bathroom floor and then tried to cover it up with a mountain of litter. Nope, you can’t get me. Not today! (But maybe tomorrow so cut it out, Mister!)

And because you care, here is our day at the park in pictures

We started out on the swings…

IMG_9316 played a little peek-a-boo… IMG_9322 IMG_9324 breaked for a quick snack…
IMG_9328 and very important conversation… IMG_9338 did a few laps… IMG_9326 and a little sliding… IMG_9342 before he led me back to the stroller… IMG_9335 and came home for a 2 hour nap! IMG_9344

And that my friends, is how you do a Wednesday. LIKE A BOSS.

– Mama Tyler, over and out

IMG_9117

THE (UN)LUCK OF THE DRAW

IMG_9117 We got back from our trip on Monday and by Tuesday Cooper was mopey and clingy and not at all acting like himself. A persistent low-grade fever reared it’s head Wednesday – Friday, but I accounted all of it to the huge molar erupting through his swollen pink gums. He wasn’t eating right (but he never does when he’s teething) and wanted nothing more than to sleep on my chest like the good old days. I happily obliged and we even camped out in the living room every night for some extra cartoons because sleeping was hard and Advil and cold pickles can only do so much.

Friday night I didn’t feel good and spend the whole day Saturday on the couch but Cooper was finally acting like his regular hilariously sweet self and we were all just glad that was over. But then he started breaking out in what I thought was a rash from the fever. It happened before. We didn’t really bat an eye at it until my mom saw him on Sunday and asked, “are you sure he doesn’t have the chicken pox?” That’s when the Google frenzy started and it kinda sort did look like what was coming up in the image searches and the next morning we had the first available doctor’s appointment.

“Nope, not chicken pox. Coxsackie.”
“Oh?”
“I’ll be right back to tell you about it”

I Googled it the second she left the room.

It appears that at some point while we were enjoying the lovely city of Tampa and Cooper was crawling all over the park and touching everything and probably going down the slide with his mouth open and just being a generally disgusting baby, a yucky virus was attacking his insides.

In layman’s terms it’s hand, foot, mouth disease. Doesn’t that just sound gross? Disease. It’s actually just a virus and there’s not a thing you can do about it (or do to not get it either) besides hide in your house and try not to rip your hair out. And being the kind, giving person Cooper is shaping up to be, he passed his germs right along to me. Oh, you shouldn’t have, really. It’s not so bad right now except for the fact that it feels like I’m stepping on pins when I walk and yesterday my hands were incredibly itchy. Today they’re just covered in spots. Luckily, neither of us got it bad and Corey skipped it all together. But that doesn’t mean I’m not doubling up on my vitamins or drinking ACV like it actually tastes good.

You can only catch the germs from coming in contact with an infected person’s saliva (or poop! I told you it was gross) so we braved Publix real fast this morning (it was either that or we were having ritz crackers for dinner) armed with a purse full of hand sanitizer and baby wipes. I put Cooper in pants to discreetly cover his bumps, tried not to make eye contact and not let anyone see the palms of my hands. But of course I would run into one of the super friendly old ladies who were usually the only other ones roaming the aisles at 9am, and of course she leaded in and touched Coopers arm telling me how cute he is.

“Aw, thanks! …Oh, can’t forget your yogurt, Coop…Have a nice day!” I called over my shoulder as  I grabbed the cart and got us out of there as fast as I could.