Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our very own Prince Harry!


He loves his costume, and proudly exclaims he's a prince for Halloween anytime someone asks. He also loves that little pumpkin and has been playing with it for weeks.


Originally I was going to order a prince costume off Etsy, but the woman making them stopped taking orders before we got around to ordering it (it was so adorable, but the listing is gone so I can't link to it- darn!). I then found a lady making prince t-shirts and almost ordered one, before I realized, duh, I could make one that looks just as good and costs a lot less.


I made the entire costume- not including the pants we already had- for about $27. I bought the t-shirt at Target and the crown at one of those Halloween stores. From JoAnn's I bought pieces of felt, ribbons, buttons and tassels. I don't have a sewing machine so I hand stitched everything on to the shirt. A little time consuming, but it'll hold up better than fabric glue.


If you're wondering where I came up with the design for the costume, I modeled it after the outfit Prince William wore for his wedding. No real reason other than I liked that look and thought it was probably the most recognizable prince outfit.


Tonight we're planning on taking little Prince Harry trick-or-treating for the first time. I'm excited! We'll probably just hit up a few houses but it should be fun. We've been teaching him how to trick-or-treat so hopefully he'll get the idea when he does it for real.


Hope everyone has a spook-tacular Halloween!!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Zoos

Last Thursday we took a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo and on Sunday we met up with friends for "Boo at the Zoo" at the Brookfield Zoo. Both were lots of fun!

Lincoln Park Zoo
While Brookfield might be the "better" of the two zoos in the area, LPZ is still pretty awesome. The free zoo has a lot to offer and the architecture of some of the buildings just can't be beat. The whole place is like a time warp in the most amazing way. 


We had anticipated the weather being a little warmer the day we visited, but it was cold and blustery so we booked it over to the gift shop as soon as we parked to buy a blanket and gloves. Once we were all properly bundled up we walked through the exhibits. 


The coolest thing we saw were the gorillas. While we were watching two of them got in a big fight and were running all around their enclosure. The fight only lasted a minute or so and neither of them got hurt. The zoo has a small working farm, which was Harry's favorite exhibit. For whatever reason he loved the cows and got upset when we left their barn to look at the other animals. He also enjoyed watching the beavers and seal/sea lion. 

After we'd had enough of the zoo we walked down the street to The Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. for dinner. It was our first time eating at the restaurant, but we got one of their pizza pot pies to go a few years ago. The pot pies were a bit different than we remembered, but absolutely delicious! 


It took us for-freaking-ever to get home in the rush hour traffic, and we all pretty much crashed the minute we walked through the door. 

Brookfield Zoo
Sunday morning we drove out to Brookfield Zoo for some Halloween fun with friends. This was also the first time Harry got to wear his costume, Prince Harry! 

Crazy green screen picture we got at the zoo

Yes, I went there this year :). More on his costume to come on Thursday. Ant and I didn't really dress up, but we both wore crowns, which was fun. I want to wear my tiara every day!


As an events manager years ago I worked at Boo at the Zoo and remember there were tons of trick-or-treating booths for the kids. This year the "tee tee tee" part of the zoo, as Harry calls it, was really scaled down. There were still a few booths set up and Harry had fun collecting the treats. 

The funnest part of the trip was trying to get all the toddlers in a picture. Here's the best one.

Jessie from Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, the Big Bad Wolf and Prince Harry

We thought it might be easier to get a picture with all of them looking at the camera if we put them in a big cardboard box...


Haha, not quite! We left a little early because Ant had to do his old overnight shift starting Monday morning and needed to get to sleep. 

I think we might get a membership to Brookfield Zoo. Probably not until the first of the year, but it's something we're thinking about. The past 6 months alone we've spent over $100 on admission and parking at the zoo, which is more expensive than a yearly membership. Plus, Harry just loves the zoo so it would be wonderful to go as often as we like!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Legoland's Toddler Tuesday

Hi everyone! Long time no chat! For sanity's sake, I took a blog break the past 7 days. Even on days I don't publish a post I usually do something blog related, but I haven't logged on much the past week. I've been feeling really overwhelmed lately with everything I need to do so I put TAW on the back burner. I hate the constant feeling of needing 30 hours in a day, but I'm feeling a little better now so I thought I'd write about our trip to Legoland Tuesday. Ant has this week off so we've been trying to do some fun family activities as well, so we haven't been home much.

Before we hit up Legoland, GM was kind enough to drop off a brand new 2014 Buick Lacrosse for us to test drive this week. I loved test driving the Chevy Equinox in the spring and was so excited they offered to give us another car. I've been driving an SUV for a while now so switching back to a sedan was a little weird. But, so far so good! The car drives really smooth and all the bells and whistles are fun to play with.

After installing Harry's car seat in the Lacrosse we drove up to Schaumburg for Toddler Tuesday at Legoland Discovery Center. We've been talking about taking a trip up there since before Harry was even born, and when we found out about Toddler Tuesdays we knew we just had to go.

Legoland is open for toddler playtime from 10am-noon on Tuesdays this fall. Admission was $7 each, and kids 2 and under are free. If you live in the area, check it out, we had a blast!


Obviously we weren't sure what to expect, but taking Harry on Tuesday was perfect. We got there about 10:15am and for the first hour it was pretty uncrowded, there were maybe 30 toddlers running around. With the discounted admission we didn't have access to the entire facility, but the area we did get to play in was fine.


There were plenty of Lego tables set up, a big jungle gym, a room with giant, foam Lego blocks, and a few ramps to race Lego cars down. They also played a short 4D movie for all the toddlers in their little theater. This was Harry's first time in a movie theater, and he did about as well as could be expected. He only kept the 3D glasses on for a few minutes, and the movie kept his attention for just a little longer. Had it been a regular movie he probably would have been more interested, but oh well.


We usually have library class on Tuesdays, but we're in between sessions right now. Next time we have a break I think we'll be going back to Legoland!



One more thing... the winner of last week's Mother's Therapy Organics giveaway!


Congrats, Angel! I'll email you soon :).

Friday, October 18, 2013

BabyBlankets.com

Chances you know someone who's about to, or has just had a baby. It seems like every other person on my Facebook friends list has announced a pregnancy in the past couple years (including myself, obviously). With the holidays fast approaching-- there are only 10 weekends until Christmas-- it's time to start checking people off your gift-giving list.

For your new-parent friends, a beautiful blanket from BabyBlankets.com would make a wonderful gift this holiday season! The site has all the popular baby blankets available, from super soft chenille to ultra cozy fleece, and more. Many of the items on the site can be personalized at no extra charge.

One of my current favorites is this beautiful cable knit blanket.


Such a sweet, classic design (it comes in blue and ivory as well). They even have a matching hat and booties set available. A darling set for baby to use while out and about this winter.

BabyBlankets.com even has a wide variety of organic blankets available, including this positively adorable pom-pom one.


I kind of want to cuddle up with that myself!

Along with blankets, the site offers many different gift items making your gift-giving extremely easy. Be sure to check out BabyBlankets.com today!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Babyblankets.com through Army of Moms. I am being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Harry Can Read

Well, maybe not read so much as memorize. Here's a quick video of us reading his current favorite book, I Love You Through and Through.



He knows nearly every page and loves to help out when we read it to him. I've even caught him going through it a few times on his own and "reading" it out loud. So cute I had to share!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Changing Table + Craft Distractions

Here's the earliest picture I have of Harry on his changing table. He was exactly a week old and had just come home from the NICU.


So teeny tiny! We didn't have many newborn size clothes so everything was so big on him.

To compare, here he is on the table just the other night.


At just a few weeks shy of his second birthday, Harry's officially as long as the changing table.

We're probably some of the only parents of a nearly-two year old who still uses a changing table, but it still works for us. Harry's always liked it and I know I'd rather change his diaper up there than on the floor. Obviously we don't have to stop using the table now but I'm guessing we've got about 6 months at most before we're doing changes on the floor (assuming he isn't potty trained by then, which I don't think will happen).

I also have a little tip we stumbled across recently... distraction crafting!! The other day we were at Walmart and I picked up a little pack of cute foam owls from the Halloween section. They're super easy to put together and Harry has a lot of fun with them. So anytime he's cranky or getting into something he isn't supposed to, we've pulled out the box and made an owl (the box came with enough supplies to make 24 and was only $3.97).


I hung them where he can see them while eating in his high chair. So now he points at them instead of eats :). They also had a turkey pack so I plan on getting those when we finish up the owls.

If you're interested in doing something similar with your toddler and can't find these, you can find regular shape foam stickers at any craft store.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weekend Stuff

This past weekend went by entirely too fast. And yesterday seemed to draaag. It's Wednesday, right? I wish.

We skipped our usual Friday trip to Target in favor of hitting up some Halloween stores to find one last thing I needed for Harry's costume. After finding what we needed at the second store we went to Smash Burger for dinner. OMG you guys, I'm obsessed. That place is so freaking good! Plus, we earned cash back on our meal through my Ibotta app, score! One of the workers was handing out samples of their milkshakes while we were there, too. It took a lot of willpower not to order a full raspberry sorbet milkshake because that thing was divine! 

On Saturday afternoon we hopped in the car, ran a few errands before meeting up with friends at Yu Kids Island in Schaumburg. 


The play place got super crowded and a few older kids were pretty aggressive, but our kids had fun running around. After a couple hours of unabashed playtime we strolled through the mall for a bit. Our stroller was in the car so we were "those parents" and rented one. Harry loved it!


He stayed in his little car the entire time we walked around and had fun pretending to steer with the little steering wheel. At dinnertime we all drove over to Bahama Breeze and enjoyed their delicious food. The two toddlers sat next to each other and it was cute watching them try to interact. When it was time to go they hugged and high fived... so adorable! 

We finally hit up Target Sunday morning and I spent most of the afternoon working on some freelance stuff. 

Don't forget to enter the Mother's Therapy Organics giveaway!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mother's Therapy Organics + Giveaway

Since cold season struck our house so early this year I've been extra diligent about making sure we are all washing our hands regularly and using hand sanitizer after touching germy things like shopping carts. When I was younger I got sick once a year like clockwork- right as winter was turning into spring. But the last couple winters I've gotten sick multiple times and am trying to break that cycle this year.

So when the awesome people at Mother's Therapy Organics asked if I'd like to partner with them, I was more than game. The Colorado-based company makes organic hand sanitizers, germ-fight'n lotions and regular baby lotions. 


I really love all the products. The baby lotion soaks in super fast and while it doesn't have any sanitizing properties it's always important to keep skin hydrated during the drying winter months. The germ-fight'n lotion takes a little longer to fully absorb, but since it's packed with citrus essential oils and extracts to fend off germs, it's worth the little extra time to keep healthy.

My favorite product has to be the hand sanitizer. It's packed with awesome ingredients like naturally-derived alcohol, aloe vera, goldenseal, lavender essential oil and echinacea. I love how it comes in both full and travel sizes, making germ killing on the go very easy. The hand sanitizer, which kills up to 99.9% of germs, is moisturizing and leaves my hands soft every time I use it. It also absorbs very quickly. 

All the Mother's Therapy Organics products have a nice, light cucumber-melon type scent. Very subtle and not overwhelming at all. 


I think the Mother's Therapy Organic products are definitely worth looking in to this cold season. I love that my family will be protected from germs with organic ingredients instead of harsh chemicals that dry out skin. If you're interested in purchasing any Mother's Therapy Organics products, the company currently sells through their Amazon storefront.

You can also visit their website at MothersTherapyOrganics.com

The company is also offering a family pack of their awesome hand sanitizers to one lucky TAW reader! Fill out the Rafflecopter box below and I'll pick a winner early next week (you have until 10/19/13 at 12am to enter).

Sorry, giveaway is open to US residents only.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I received all products shown free in exchange for this blog post. No other compensation was provided. All opinions and pictures are 100% my own. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mental Illness Awareness Week

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

I started this blog with intentions of writing about my mental illness, but I never really have. I've started at least a dozen posts on the subject but have never had the courage to press the "publish" button. And no, this isn't going to be the post where I break that cycle, but I did want to acknowledge that I've suffered with mental illness for a long time and continue to deal with it on a daily basis.

Okay, that was actually way more than I thought I was going to write about my personal experience. Whew... breathe..... okay, I think I can publish this post. It's good to be honest.

Anyways, I wanted to share some illustrations I found earlier this week that do a wonderful job of sharing how many people live their lives.

(source)

(source)

Social anxiety and depression are the two mental illnesses I suffer with, but the artist tacked a bunch of them, check out his blog here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Party

We got in to the fall crafting spirit on Tuesday with our family pumpkin party. Last week we each picked out a fun pumpkin decorating kit at Target and were excited to put them to use on the pumpkins we bought at Goebbert's.

Monday night I painted Ant and my's pumpkins so they'd be ready in time (I just used regular acrylic paint).

After our morning class at the library Harry and I drove up to Deerfield's Bakery to pick up some fun pumpkin-shaped cookies. In the afternoon I set everything up so we could get started right when Ant got home.



The Super Hero decorating kit was perfect for Harry, I highly recommend it if you're looking to do an easy pumpkin with your toddler! It's mostly just putting stickers on the pumpkins, something Harry had a lot of fun with. But, not as much fun as eating the cookie.



We don't give Harry a lot of sweets, so this was a treat. He was so excited to eat it and had been asking for his all day.

Here are the finished pumpkins!


Mine took the longest, I didn't finish until after the boys went to bed.

I love that we took the time to do pumpkins this year. We bought some last year but never decorated them. In fact, I think the last time we decorated pumpkins was 5 years ago, when Ant and I were just a couple o' kids... how things have changed since then!

The pumpkins are probably going to be the extent of our Halloween decorating this year. I had wanted to get some mums for our patio, but I don't think it's worth it at this point, they'd probably die within a month because of morning frosts. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Goebbert's 2013

Monday afternoon we drove out to Goebbert's Farm for some fall fun. Harry was excited all day for Ant to get home, he kept saying "pumpkin pumpkin."


The weather was beautiful, but the sun was so bright so most of my pictures didn't turn out great. But the memories are what's most important, right?


This was our second year going to Goebbert's (see last year's post here), and with Harry being the curious toddler he is, we had even more fun this time around. We brought in our stroller, which was pointless. Harry stayed in it for maybe 5 minutes before deciding we weren't pushing him around fast enough.


Trying to get a cute picture of Harry with the pumpkins proved difficult this year. He kept trying to pick up the pumpkins and wasn't interested in putting his new cheesy skills to work.




We decided on picking smaller pumpkins this year and selected 3 pumpkins from the "pie pumpkin" patch. After buying our pumpkins we put them in our car and headed over to the Animal Land, something we didn't do last year.


I had no clue Goebbert's had such a variety of wild animals. I remember the giraffes from last year, but they also have monkeys, tigers, bears, ostriches, zebras and more.


Harry's reaction to a giant pig, LOL!
After seeing all the animals Harry ran around the Play Yard. Definitely the highlight of the trip for him, he had a blast!


A lot of the activities in the Play Yard are geared towards older kids, but we had fun playing with the firetruck, slides and the mini haystack maze. And lots of running around the field.


Yesterday we decorated our pumpkins and they all turned out so cute! I'm going to try and post them tomorrow, so stay tuned.




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

23 Month Update

Harry's 2nd birthday is less than a month away... WHA??!?!?!?!

10/7/13

Weight: If he hasn't passed 25 pounds yet, he will soon I'm sure.

Height: He seems a lot taller this month, so I'm guessing right around 36 inches, a full 3 feet!

Diaper Size: Size 5. As we near his 2nd birthday I'm sure I'll start to get asked potty training questions. I'm really in no hurry to work on it. We don't even have a potty for him, though I'd like to get one soon. I love this one- I know he'd get excited about sitting on it. 

Clothing Size: We're in an awkward phase as far as sizes go. He's tall, so all his 18 month pants that fit him in the spring are too short, yet the 24 month/2T ones we have are way too loose around the waist. As far as shoes go, his flip flops barely fit, and we got him 2 new pairs of shoes for the fall/winter- size 6 and 7.

Eating:  Harry's been an alright eater this month. He's loving grapes at the moment. And macaroni and cheese. We've been getting the Annie's brand and I usually add some corn or green beans. A typical schedule:

     Breakfast: 8-9am. Either eggs, pancakes or a breakfast bar with fruit.
     Lunch: 11a-12p. Always yogurt or smoothie with a fruit or veggie and crackers or a sandwich.
     Snack: 1-3pm. Usually cheese with applesauce, fruit or crackers.
     Dinner: 5-7pm. Whatever I make.

Sometimes he'll get hungry at other times so I'll put a few crackers, Craisins, or freeze dried fruit in a snack cup for him.

Sleeping: Still cosleeping- no surprise there. Bedtime this month has been a little later, usually between 8:30-9pm. He's up for the day between 7-9am, but we usually hang out in bed for a bit before getting up. He only missed one nap this past month, but a few lately have been really short.

Teeth: 20!!!!!! Yep, he is D.O.N.E. with teething! All 4 second year molars popped up just after the last update. So glad we don't have to deal with that anymore :). 

Communication: Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk! All day, every day. Still mostly nouns, and not really stringing two words together on his own. He does good saying multi-word phrases if we've specifically taught them to him, though (I love you, I don't know, on Tuesday, etc). 


We've also started teaching colors, which has been fun. He knows the words for all of them, but doesn't always get the color right when we ask him what color something is. The best tool for teaching colors have been his foam letter and numbers he plays with during bath time. Our set has all the rainbow colors, which is what we're focusing on now.

A couple other developmental things...

- Harry is super OCD about some things. He hates when cabinets and drawers aren't closed and when chairs aren't pushed in. He won't put just throw a cluster of Legos in his bin when playtime is done- he has to pull them all apart first. And when he gives me an Eskimo kiss he has to give one to Ant too before doing anything else. I think a lot of toddlers do similar things so I'm not worried. 

- He jumps now! He gets both feet an inch off the ground every few attempts, it's so cute.

- He's started to love books again. Right around his first birthday he was loving his bedtime story but as he got older he became restless and wouldn't sit still for them. Now, he loves them and will sit sill through an entire (short) book, and asks us to read them over and over.

- He throws everything. This is one new development we're not thrilled about. He's got a pretty good arm and nearly broke Ant's glasses last week. We've tried time outs when he throws things but I'm not sure it's really sinking in with him. Any tips on how to get him to stop would be appreciated


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