Tag: Chill Out

11 Fun Things to do Inside with your Toddler when it’s Cold Out

Spring is just around the corner and it seems like we are hanging on to a couple more cold and rainy days as it approaches. We just can’t wait to get outside and yet, we have frequently been forced indoors. So what can you do when it looks nice and sunny out but it is still freezing? Time to find some fun things to do inside.

just-a-day-where-my-toddler-is-playing-with-kitchen-measuring-tools

The following is a list of super easy, super simple things that can make a rainy, cold or windy day so much fun!

10 Fun Things to do Inside

1. Play with Bubbles

My daughter absolutely LOVES bubbles! In fact, I try not to let her watch any shows with anything resembling bubbles because then she wants to play with bubbles. I blow the bubbles for her and she tries to pop them. She thinks it’s funny when they land on Grayson’s head. Sometimes, she will blow the bubbles too. We have hardwood and carpet and the bubbles don’t really make any mess at all. Maybe just wipe it up off the hardwood.

playing with balloons is another one on the list of Fun things to do inside
Balloons can be just as fun as bubbles! Just make sure you grab up the remains real fast if they pop.

2. Coloring

fun things to do inside involves coloringColoring books, scrap paper, newspaper, phone books, books you don’t care about, note books, walls… okay, I haven’t done walls on purpose. Let your toddler explore their creativity.

I even let my toddler use markers! *gasp* Because seriously, the fact that the color is instantly on the page and all you have to do is touch the tip to the canvas is enough to make anyone want to color. Do you think there is adult coloring because they are using crayons? No. Maybe colored pencils, but even that is a stretch. There is something so satisfying about watching the ink bleed onto the paper, or maybe I am just an office supply geek. We LOVE coloring.

3. Building a Tower

You don’t have to have fancy blocks if you want fun things to do inside. All you have to have, is anything! I have been amazed at the kinds of things my daughter will stack on top of each other and shout, “Tao!” Grab your old books, your shoes, your DVD cases, your old CDs (because you’re probably using your phone to listen to music now) and see how tall you can get it. This will be SO exciting for your toddler!

4. Talking Toys

Maybe your toddlers are like mine and they like to get a couple of toys, could be ANYTHING and give one to you and pretend that they are talking. My toy is almost always the Mama toy. And the conversation goes something like this:

playing with potato heads as a part of fun things to do insideSiena – Hi

Me – Hi

Siena – Mama (points to my toy)

Me – Oh is this the Mama Potato Head?

(she nods)

(The toys kiss)

Siena – Hug?

(The toys hug)

Siena – Hug!

Then the toys might drive off or we will have another conversation much like the one we just had. If you have the patience for this game, it will keep your child entertained for as long as you can endure it.

5. Make a Fun Treat

Siena likes to do anything that I am doing. That includes emptying the dishwasher, taking groceries in and laundry (except she likes to throw the socks and clothes all over the living room instead of fold-we’re working on that one).

So, I have learned that she LOVES to help mix things. I also let her dump in cups of flour or sugar and have her hold the egg while I crack it. She thinks the egg one is especially funny. Then, the best part is you get to eat your yummy treat with your baby. I’ve made Potato Wedges with Siena and she loves dipping them in Ketchup.

6. Build a Fort

This is on my list of fun things to do inside because I haven’t had the chance to do it yet! We don’t have couch cushions that pull out, but I have thought many times that we need to do this. Maybe one morning, when Grayson is sleeping we will get some blankets, kitchen chairs and pillows and make a fort to read some books in. Siena loves to read books and she would probably think I was the coolest mom ever!

7. Playdate

Having friends over does require someone to leave the house, but if you plan it right, that someone doesn’t have to be you. The best part about this one is you get to have a real conversation with a real adult! And then the kids can keep each other entertained. Now, there is the added pressure of having to play referee. But as long as both parents have similar parenting views, there’s nothing to worry about there.

playdate inside for fun things to do inside
These two are the cutest!

8. Dance Party

We live in an age where many of us can open our laptop, turn on our phone or go to the right app on our TV to get some fun music streaming into our living room. We use the TV because that has the best speakers and we get our Pandora on and rock out. Dancing is one of our favorite things.

Sometimes, I will turn on YouTube and try and do a work out dance thing, like Zumba, but usually Siena’s idea of a fun dance party involves me holding her hand while she spins or me holding her while I dance. So, work out dance doesn’t usually happen.

9. Bath time!

Think that baths are a pain? Me too, most of the time. But it is at the top of my toddler’s Fun Things to do Inside List. She loves splashing in the tub and playing with her toys. I just have to stay close to the bathroom to keep an eye on her. But, if you need to get the bathroom clean, what a great opportunity!

10. Snuggle Sesh!

snuggling with siena to have fun things to do inside
Snapchat Snuggles with a movie! Even better!

I don’t care who judges me for this one. It is, hands down, my favorite thing on the Fun Things to do Inside List.

My daughter LOVES to watch shows. She asks to watch television multiple times a day. We do watch TV. And, in my opinion, if you are selective about what your child watches, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. (Rant saved for another post.)

So, if my daughter wants to watch a show and I want nothing more than to snuggle with her, I bribe her. Yep! Show for Snuggles. We get to watch a show, if she will snuggle with me on the couch. She is always happy to oblige and so am I! If

I am exhausted in the morning, Snuggle Sesh! I know she’s not getting into things because I’m hugging her and I get a little nap. It is SERIOUSLY the best thing in the world.

11. Make a Home Movie!

Or you can be a total nerd like me and make a movie with your kids. As soon as I busted out the camera and told Siena to do something, she got super excited! And she LOVES watching it.

It was also a great fun way to save some of the memories of us just hanging out around the house, which is 90% of our lives.

If you need an idea, you can check out mine!

Beauty & the Beast – Mom Parody

Beauty and the Beast cover to get you excited
Here’s a the opening shot to get you excited!

Most Important To Do on your List Every Day

Cheesy Post Alert!!

Don’t care. Sometimes you need a little cheese. Today, it’s all about the cheese… and cute pics of my babies.

Most of my days end up just like today. I have a long list of things I should be getting done, but I don’t really get many of them done. But that’s okay. I think I did the most important to do on my list. I didn’t finish folding the laundry, or write this blog until super late. Dinner happened, but it was just Macaroni and Cheese, nothing special.

It seemed like a lot of things just got left undone. Some days I get even less than that done. But I always try and accomplish my most important to do. I try to remember to keep it at the top of my list. Because if I only do my most important to do every day, then my day is successful. If I accomplish it, I know that I am still One Helluva Homemaker.

In the House

Especially during the winter, most of the time we just hang out at home. Our home is our children’s world. They get to be in the place where they are most comfortable and can act like themselves the most. At home, it’s super easy to do your most important to do. And being at home all day, I love watching my babies just be. They are 100% themselves and they are so full of love!

toddler watching television in the middle of laundry
Sometimes, the laundry doesn’t get put away for a long time, so it becomes a nest for my toddler to watch TV in.
showing my toddler my most important to do
Her favorite spot to hang out while I try to whip together 3 meals a day.

My little boy

my daughter sporting some tude
I don’t know how I got a photo with so much attitude, but I absolutely love it!
most important to do in action from my son
This is what he looks like right before he goes to sleep. My heart!
Siena helping her brother
The little mommy helping her brother.
both my kids in the crib
Siena always loves to get in the crib with Grayson and play with him. He loves it too. I love watching them play together.

I love going out and letting them explore too. But, sometimes it is great to just be homebodies and enjoy being around each other.

Most Important To Do

That brings me to the most important to do. You could get absolutely nothing done ALL DAY LONG in terms of getting stuff done around the house, cleaning, shopping, whatever and still have a productive day as long as you do the most important thing on your list. Love your family. Just show your babies you love them. Show your spouse you love them. That’s all you got to do, and your day just became one of the best days ever. Literally, it is the BEST thing you can do every single day. That is what makes you One Helluva Homemaker.

most important to do shirt
Customize your shirt with different colors or choose from so many of the other products!

Remember it!

So, because I wanted you to have a way to remind yourself that you are amazing just because you loved your family today, I designed some shirts, water bottles and phone cases! I love how they turned out.

Check them out! 

 

Cake Smash Fail – Definitely Not Pinterest Perfect

In my days before I knew that I was not Pinterest Perfect, I thought it would be a great idea to make a cake for my daughter’s first birthday and we could do a Cake Smash! Smashin’ idea, eh? It was going to be brilliant! I made a cake that looked like one of the owls on her precious owl blanket. This was going to be so fun!

And then of course, being the photographers that we are, we were going to document every fun, messy second. Bring the Cake Smash on!

one-year-old-in-the-middle-of cake smash

Building the Cake

I did two layers. I know, I’m so fancy! There were different colors of frosting that I had made with cream cheese so not only was it going to look pretty but it was going to taste pretty darn good. I spent an entire afternoon creating my masterpiece and I wanted it to look just like her blankie.

All in all, I think I did a good job. It looked like a cake fit for my princess to smash.

cake smash-cake, my perfect creation!

Finding a Time

This was tricky, because my husband’s work schedule was busy, the Holidays were upon us and we didn’t necessarily want a big audience around while we went crazy with our camera. We ended up having to wait a couple of days after her birthday before we could do it... which affected the density of the cake

Finally, we got her in her cute little bootie cover and got everything all set up. Time to show off our cute, messy angel to the world.

 

The Cake Smash

This Cake Smash wasn’t exactly what you would call a success. First of all, our daughter didn’t seem remotely interested in the cake. She was more interested in the lights we had set up and the big giant cameras in front of her parent’s faces.

Well, the Cake Smash was a giant FAILURE! My cake that I had spent hours meticulously baking and decorating was hard as a rock and she tried everything to dig into it, but to no avail. 

 

1-year-old-pushing-down-on-cake smash-cake

1-year-old-trying-to-penetrate-cake smash-cake-with-teeth

Finally, we tore a chunk off for her and she at least got to taste it, but her interest faded shortly thereafter.

trying-some-of-the-cake smash-cake

 

We tried the cake too. It was now like a calcified brick with baby slobber all over the top. Needless to say, we ended up having to throw the whole thing away. So sad!

Lessons Learned

Sometimes it’s just better to pay for a cake. I am obviously not a Cake Smash baking expert.

Don’t assume your child likes to get messy. Ours hates it.

When it comes to kids, it’s okay to let go of expectations, because it is never going to go the way you planned.

You will still get adorable pictures though!

1-year-old-not-getting-to-enjoy-cake smash-cake

More Mom Fails!

For more Mom Fails check out: 5 Mom Moments That Were NOT Funny at the Time.

Or, enjoy my failure at trying to teach my daughter how to use the potty.

Most Days will be Just a Day

Just a day. Nothing newsworthy to report. No pictures to share with my friends. Only lame stories to share with my spouse. Today was just a day. It must not have been very significant.

I feel like there is this pressure to fill your day with activities that you can later share and brag about on social media. Or, perhaps not even to share or brag, but that if you don't keep up with everyone else online, you are somehow less than everyone else. It's easy to look into the rosy tinted windows of other people's Facebook feeds and think, "I didn't do any Funtivities with my kids today... we didn't go on any adventures... I didn't create a custom painting for my future baby's nursery... I haven't traveled anywhere that amazing..."

And then the conclusions that you don't even recognize, but permeate your subconscious nevertheless. Those conclusions are things like, "I must not be a good mom, I must be pretty boring, I must not be very creative and I must be trapped in my life of poverty or obligations." These are the lies that siphon into our thoughts and create feelings of sadness, worthlessness, frustration, anger and jealousy. And when I say lies, I mean LIES.

The Lie of Just a Day

Suddenly, seeing the accomplishments or good times of someone else is determining my character? No. The very idea of that being the logical succession of actions is laughable. And it's not that you are actively comparing yourself to other people. You are just thinking, "That looks fun!" "Wow, I wish I could go there!" "How did she make that?" "That is so cool!" These lies don't come from you, that's why you don't notice them slither into your soul. They are suggested to you, and unless you recognize what is happening, you will start to believe them.

3-month-old-laying-in-mommy's-bed-like-most-mornings when it is just a day

‘Just a Day’s have been around for Forever

I have found that one of the best ways to combat the lies that so frequently affront us, is with truth. So, today, I hope to impart some truth about the lie of Just a Day. It is not JUST a Day

My childhood was full of days that many would qualify as Just a Day and I feel like I had one of the most incredible childhoods. My mother was amazing. She cared for us, let us explore, took us on adventures... but the most important thing, was that she loved us. She didn't have Pinterest to plan the perfect toddler craft. She didn't have Facebook to show her the latest recipes to make our meals look like farm animals. She didn't have YouTube to show us kid friendly videos.

And some days, I was downright bored. I would follow my mom around the house like a grumpy slug and complain of my boredom. I'm sure mothers of older children have heard the song. "Mom, I'm so bored!"

Sometimes she would just respond, "I'm sorry." And then we would be forced to try and fix our own problems, which is the last thing we wanted to do.

Other times she would try and give us ideas and we would always have an excuse to hurl right back at her. "No, that's too messy. It's too cold outside. I don't want to do that." But, if we were bored long enough on one of those, "Just a Day"s we would come up with something awesome and that is what we remembered forever.

What we did on the Days that were Just a Day

• We used to go out on the trampoline and use the added time in the air to perfect our Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Moves.
• If we had to do our chores, but didn't want to, we would make our stuffed monkeys do them for us.
• Once I convinced my siblings that it would be a good idea to run away with sleeping bags filled to the brim. We made it to the front porch and my dad found us around 3 in the morning when he went to let the cat out. My sister started laughing and we were caught!
• We made clothes for our dolls.
• We created food in the kitchen and to my poor mother's dismay, left the mess for her to clean up.
• We made a disgusting looking bologna casserole for a game show on TV. We were not selected.
• We played in a canal outside my grandmas house and my sister and cousin told me that a dead dog floating down the canal touched them... I still don't know if I believe that.
• We slid down the stairs in our sleeping bags.
• We paid my brothers one penny every couple of hours for them to pull us around the house in sleeping bags.
• We played princesses.
• We played barbies with the barbie house my Grandpa made for us... until once we opened the roof and a whole colony of earwigs was discovered.
• We stayed home while my parents went on a date night and cowered in the basement under a bed once because my brother accidentally admitted to someone on the phone that our parents were not home, so surely they were coming to break in or kidnap us.
• During a thunderstorm we went into our empty living room with blankets and would hide under them every time the thunder rumbled.
• We decided to race down the neighborhood on our scooters and bikes after dark and I broke my arm.
• We played outside in the sandbox and tried to build bridges.
• We made friends with the neighbor kids.
• We tried to invent things.
• We created mazes for our hamsters.
• We made cards, scrapbooked, and tried to figure out ways to fly.

just-a-day-when-toddler-girl-is-pajamas-and-eating-candy
Scripture-for-most-days-will-be-just-a-day

Why Just a Day is AMAZING!

I hope you realize that no day is Just a Day, in the sense that every day matters. Every day is significant. Even though you may not see it now, there is something incredible about the days that are Just a Day. Not every day is going to be spectacular. Even if you spend the whole day lying on the couch, depressed or you just let your kids watch TV all day or your house is still a mess; the day was not wasted. That day was just a small note in a symphony that is shaping who you are. If every day was momentous, no day would ever feel special and we would become exhausted.

One of my favorite scriptures is "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength... therefore, all things must be done in order." - Mosiah 4:27

I don't need to have a playdate every day. There is no need to have an immaculate house every day. If I neglect cooking for a day, no one is going to starve. I could do absolutely nothing noteworthy or "post-worthy" and my 'just a day' would still be amazing! I would still have a home. My husband would still loves me. My kids would still be happy and healthy.

Today is spectacular because my baby got some sleep or I called that friend I've been thinking about or I didn't get frustrated. Perhaps I actually wiped off the counter or I could have forced myself not to move because I've been sick and didn't want to overdo it. All of these are a great! My day is a success! Just a Day is the best day.

The One who Loves your ‘Just a Day’ the Most

I look at my kids and see their little accomplishments. My daughter throws her hands in the air and yells "I did it!" when she has accomplished something great. She put on her shoe! She put the papers on the floor! She ate the bite of oatmeal! She colored all by herself! She gave her brother a kiss! She put her baby in bed! She got the cap on the marker! Even though these seemingly insignificant achievements are irrelevant, I know better. She's learning independence. Her confidence is growing. She is expressing love and her happiness infects those around her. She brightens my day just by being herself. My baby girl is perfect just the way she is and I can't imagine condemning her because she didn't do anything that would seem incredible on social media.

I don't think our Father in Heaven ever condemns us for having a hard day. It seems impossible to me that he would look down at us and shake his head in disgust for not accomplishing as much as we would have liked. His expectations are different from our expectations. He loves us more than we love our children. He recognizes more than we do, just how much good we are accomplishing for those around us. If all we do all day is wipe the boogers off of our sick child's nose, he probably metaphorically shouts, "you did it!" But even more significant, I think he is eternally grateful for the service that we rendered that child.

just-a-day-where-my-toddler-is-playing-with-kitchen-measuring-tools

And those who Love your ‘Just a Day’ who you will never know

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:37-40

You will never know how much you have helped someone just by living your 'Just a Day'. I can't count the number of times I have received a text, gotten a phone call, someone stopped by or said just the right thing that helped heal my soul. Most of these people don't know how deeply I needed them. And I guarantee that Heavenly Father was so grateful to His other children for helping me to feel loved even though they may have felt like they were having just another day'.

Don't ever feel bad about your "Just a Day". Your "Just a Day" could have been someone else's life changing answer to their prayers. Your life is never insignificant to Him and it will never be insignificant to those you are helping along the way.

If you would like to read about one of my ‘Just a Night’s click below:

Family Fun at the Farm & Mom Fail – Simple Outings are Easier than Complicated Ones

Why I decided on Family Fun at the Farm

Family fun at the farm wasn't something super planned, we just wanted to go and do something after a long winter. It finally warmed up enough to go and spend the day outside. Even though both of the kids had a bit of a cold, the three month long sick stay at our personal Residence Inn was getting tiresome. But what should we do?

One of the best things I have learned is it is best to just go somewhere. Get out of the house. Go do something. Even if you don't have anything planned, something is bound to happen and because when you do something out of the norm, it creates an experience.

Putting off the Milk

We left right after Grayson woke up from his nap. He had had a bottle a couple of hours ago, so I thought he would be fine until we got to the farm.

We drove up there and met my friend and my daughter’s future husband (if all goes according to plan…) to walk around the farm. Because family fun at the farm can be even MORE fun with someone else having family fun at the farm. Plus, they can also help with crowd control, because when one kid runs off, you have another adult keeping an eye on them. Thank goodness for great friends!

toddler girl running across the field after her boyfriend starting out the family fun at the farm
cold toddler for family fun at the farm

Mama’s Mistake

So, in the middle of February, this mama foolishly didn’t bring jackets because it was ‘so warm’. It was NOT so warm. It was tolerable by our house but when we arrived to the open plains of the farmlands, it was now a little chilly.

I didn’t bring many blankets (just one for the shade and my daughter’s blankie), didn’t bring jackets and we were all wearing short sleeve shirts. Smart.

Cows

First we visited the cows. It wasn’t long before Siena was yelling, “cow! Cow!”

“It is a cow!”

“Mooo! Moooo!”

This conversation happened about 4 times in a row. And as a sidenote, last summer we went to the farm and every time we approached an animal bigger than a chicken she started sobbing and trying to climb around me to hide from the cows, sheep, goats or horses.

When we were standing by the cows, Grayson was suddenly not happy anymore. I realized he still hadn’t eaten, so I shook up a bottle and fed it to him. He guzzled it down, but slowly. As he was eating, we wandered to the sheep, with me awkwardly holding the bottle up for him to eat.

toddler looking through bars at a cow during family fun at the farm
toddler girl and her cows to start off the adventure of family fun at the farm
toddler girl looking through bars at a farm at sheep
toddler looking at a sheep through bars in a farm as part of the family fun at the farm

Sheep

We made it to the sheep and Siena insisted on screaming, “Baaaa” at all of them and then was confused when the sheep ran away from her.

Then, Grayson started fidgeting. He spit up all over himself and I tried to catch it with my spit-up rag. He probably had more coming, so I quickly got him out of his car seat and tried to burp him. Of course, this was the exact moment that the wind picked up and took his breath away. He screamed; I felt terrible.

I wrapped him in the blanket that I had brought, but that was not enough for him. It was still too much for his face that was exposed to the elements.

No more burps, no more spit up, just more sad baby. I put him back in his car seat and buckled him in, hoping the pacifier would do its job. It did not. I wrapped him in Siena’s blankie, without her seeing and covered his car seat with the bigger blanket. The sun was blinding and had to shade his eyes.

From then on I was consigned to constantly moving the stroller, or he would cry out in protest.

infant boy unhappy with bubbles out of mouth while his sister is having some family fun at the farm

Bunnies! & Chickens

Siena loved looking at the chickens and bunnies, especially the bunnies. She loves bunnies. She jumped up and down when she saw the bunnies and shouted, “bunny! Bunny! Bunny!” I rocked Grayson back and forth while trying to get the occasional picture of Siena.

toddler looking at chickens during family fun at the farm
toddler looking through chicken coup fence during family fun at the farm

Playground

Then she went to the playground and ran around with her “boyfriend”. I paced around the perimeter trying to sedate my angry child. This was especially difficult when Siena wanted to slide down the big slide and the only way to get her up there was ‘spot’ her as she climbed up the bars to get to it.

toddler girl sitting on wooden horse in playground after having some family fun at the farm
toddler girl on playground during family fun at the farm
toddler girl on spiderweb at playground during family fun at the farm
mom & toddler selfie, proof of family fun at the farm
toddler girl on playground spiderweb during family fun at the farm
toddler girl going down the slide after having some family fun at the farm

Picnic

After they were all done playing, Grayson had fallen asleep and we sat at the picnic tables to eat lunch.

After a couple of bites of Siena’s sandwich, the wind picked up again and my little toddler sat quivering on the bench.

“Do you want to eat in the car?” I asked her.

“Okay.”

toddler girl enjoying sandwich at picnic table after having family fun at the farm with all of the animals

Going Home

And that was the end of the farm trip. Just ninety minutes later, we were heading home.

I guess the family fun at the farm was still family fun. It didn’t matter that I had forgotten coats. We still had fun, my babies are both still alive and well and I got some pictures to remember our eventful trip. All in all, not bad. Mom fails don’t matter as much when you’re just trying to be One Helluva Homemaker.