Category Archives: At Home

Backyard Birthday (and other ways to draw blood)


Size 8 toddler shoes (and toes) all around. The swing was full of laughter and crumbs, the best seat in the house! One of B’s friends has a little sister who invited us to her 1st birthday party, we were happy to join in the fun! Rain showers threatened and then dribbled but not for long. Every child there was eager to share the cake AND presents. The birthday song was the cutest chorus I’ve ever heard. It was a perfect backyard party, until…

B decided to wipe the patio with his face. I mean when does the instinct to put your hands out in front of you as you fall begin? I know toddlers are top heavy with their wobbly legs and balloon shaped noggins but, seriously!? Apparently he was playing with an excavator (no longer just a truck, these kids are specific and discerning) when he started to run to show it to someone and tripped. The excavator was completely unharmed in this incident. B on the other hand may be scarred for life.

He cried one of those cries that starts out as long silent inhale, mouth agape, but ends up as a blood curdling horror film worthy screech. My heart dropped. I heard the thud of his over- sized head clunk the pavers like a ripe melon. After we calmed down and wiped him clean, all was well. One of the fathers there is a physician and examined B. No stitches or MRI’s needed, “just keep it clean and he’ll be fine”. In the end all he needed was a hug and a lollipop. I wish all troubles of the world could be as easily solved.

Have you had any bad “ouchies” with your little one?


Rain Barrel Gardening

My husband hates this monstrosity. He is only going along with my romantic idealism that having a rain barrel makes me a conservationist so I don’t bother him about buying more signage for his man cave (seriously, that’s another story all together). He drilled a hole into one of our gutters and now this massive barrel sits in wait for me to fill up my watering can seven times (yes, I counted) to water every single potted plant and herb in our yard every day.

It would be much easier to use the hose, but I am stubborn and want to prove to my neighbors (a.k.a my in-laws) and my friends that I’m not just taking up valuable deck space with this thing but actually benefitting the earth. As I do this routine each night I offer B to hold the can and pour the water (you know, teach him how things grow). He was into it the first week or so, but two months in, he’s OUT. I’m beginning to wish I had just stuck with my original plan of paving my entire yard.

I am hating my plants right now. They are so needy. I even had to beg someone to come over and water them when we went away for the weekend. I secretly hoped the person would forget and they would all die and I could be released of my nightly obligation. Why can’t I commune with nature? I want to be “earthy”, but I’d rather be doing almost ANYTHING else. I’m beginning to see the allure if that green grasslike indoor /outdoor carpeting. Am I losing my mind?


Pinterest Shminterest!!

I like Pinterest. Just like I enjoy going on a shopping website, filling up my cart and then leaving the page. I just like the idea that I could if I wanted to, but have chosen not to. At least that’s what I tell myself.

After pages and pages of well organized “pins” on how to make a delicious-easy-family-meal-everyone-including-the-toddler-will-lick-off-the-plate-that-is-nutritious and low in sodium alongside creative bath activities to inspire your toddler to looooove getting that hard won dirt from their crevices, I just started using my own brain. I came up with a fun game of my own where I didn’t have to buy water beads, ivory soap or baking soda.

We are so lucky to have a local dairy still in business in our area that delivers their fresh milk to your door every week in glass bottles. I love, love, love them! Thank you Calder Dairy in Carleton, MI (I swear I have a point). The glass bottles are returned weekly, but the caps are not. So, of course I wash and save them. All of those hours on Pinterest weren’t totally wasted, see?! I also have a few plastic wash bins from the dollar store because my child looooves pouring water. Well, that’s what he calls it. It could be called spilling, spitting or even spraying water by an onlooker, but, those are just semantics. I am trying to delete reduce screen time (rather abysmally) so I try to have tasks games readily available that B can engage in.

Here is my little game! My crappy handwriting and black magic marker in all its’ glory! I used a ping pong ball (ummm, no I don’t have a ping pong table but I have been known to play a mean game of b___r pong) and B loves throwing things as well, so I thought it would be a hit… I was correct!!

Points to consider:
1. If you get hit with a ping pong ball it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting hit with a golf ball.
2. You could write any thing (letters, draw shapes, colored dots or put pictures of family) on the bottom of any tray/bin with tape.
3. The fun part is throwing the ball and trying to “score” (which is what we yell when B sinks one).



He’s learning how to recognize numbers up to twenty. The white and pink are divided into odd and even numbers although that is something we have yet to start talking about, I was being ambitious.

What games have you and your toddler created?

Toddler Yoga (favorite books)

These are our favorite yoga books to read in the morning or afternoon. Whenever we can sneak in some “at-home” yoga.

Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga

You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses

What are your favorite yoga books or DVD’s to practice with your toddler?


Construction Vehicles!! (Books & Activity)

They say there are only two seasons in Michigan: Winter and Construction.

That’s fine with us!

B is totally fascinated with construction vehicles. If we see a construction site, he absolutely must stop and watch. He loves how big and noisy they are. He loves how they can rip an entire tree from the ground by its’ roots or crunch concrete like it were a piece of tissue paper.

This is my own compilation of B tested and approved books with a sensory bin that has been a total hit with every toddler (and most adults) that have come in contact with it.


I found an “under the bed” bin on clearance and stowed it in the laundry room until all of my bin materials could get pulled together. I used:

1. An old 5lb bag of flavored coffee beans that have been in my freezer for at least three years.

2. White beans that were on the bottom shelf and on clearance at Kroger. (You could also try the bulk aisle at Meijer).

3. A 5-pack of CAT construction vehicles from the toy aisle at Target for $6.00, totally worth every penny!

4. Some old fake moss rocks I had in a bowl on our coffee table before B could walk. They had been “retired” to the bookshelf collecting dust for over a year.

5. We colored a paper plate blue, cut it out (together) and taped it to the bottom at one end of the bin for a “lake”.


Easy and cheap for ALL of the ten minute intervals it has given me.

What works in your home to get those “ten minutes”?






What are your toddlers favorite books?