15 Days of Mommy Play Toddler Edition

One of my new year’s goals see here was to be a more present mom, so I made this little challenge for myself to motivate me to make a habit of spending time with my kids each day–specifically my toddler. The challenge was to play for 15 minutes a day with my toddler for 15 days straight. I already completed this challenge and had this challenge on my instagram, but wanted to have it all in 1 spot for future use for me and anyone who didn’t do it and may want to.

I chose TOTALLY easy, not complicated things to do so it was doable and easy to actually accomplish. No random props, craft supplies, or store runs needed. I just had to make the time to do it. I figured it doesn’t matter what we do as long as I make time for him each day. I’ll be honest, there were a couple times when life would get crazy and I missed my plan for that day and had to do it the next day so it ended up being almost 15 days straight, but what can I say? #reallife 😉 #newmommaof4problems Don’t let it get you down, and pick up and do it the next day. A good real-life set up is to do it M-F with Saturday and Sunday as catch up days. {so it’ll be 3 weeks}

I started out focusing on my 1.5 year old because since having my new baby I was MOST worried about him feeling left out since he was my baby for such a short time. I am so glad I started with him first {he soaked it right up} and it was fulfilling for everyone. My big kids would sometimes join in which was great and just fine. I just kept my focus on my toddler so he felt like “the center of attention” while doing whatever we were doing. When B and J would join they naturally started cheering him on and making him feel even more like the life of the party. It was a blast. Enough Mandy ramble, let’s get to the actually 15 day round up.

Pick a day to start, and grab your toddler and play! Here we go::

 Day 1:: PLAY IN THE SPRINKLERS “with” your toddler today. {for at least 15 minutes} Nothing says summer more than sprinklers. I don’t know about y’all, but usually I set the sprinklers on and let the kids go at it while I go inside and get things done.  Not today! As you can see this was kind of spur of the moment–no bathing suit even {for either of us actually-but it was too hard to get a selfie in when we were both wet, lol} P was so surprised and excited that I was actually going to go IN the sprinklers and get wet WITH him.  He was thrilled and kept taking my hand and going through them over, and over, and over again.  It’s the little things and it was a blast.  
Day 2:: PLAY TRAINS. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the day, make time to play trains with your little one. This is nothing novel, but quality time doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be there.  My little guy LOVES trains.  So we connected multiple trains together, pulled them apart, and pushed them again and again for 15 minutes and it made him oh so happy.  And consequently, it made me oh so happy too. You can never her “choo choo” enough. 🙂
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Summer Organization

What can I say? I am becoming your typical “mom” because I now get giddy and visibly excited with random things that are organizational by nature….routine ideas, organizational gifts, bags with lots of storage, planners {although that has always been the case with planners}, calendars, shelf organizers, drawer space, you name it.

True to form, this desire to be more organized has seeped into summertime. I normally attempt to have a fun array of things for the kids to do when they get home the last day of school::

a bucket list all ready for summer with around 50 fun things to cross off throughout summer,

a couple inexpensive new toys to come home to,

a poster or bunting hanging to welcome them home for summer….


This year they came home to a NEW BABY–way cuter and long lasting. lol. However, lucky for them and me, I am slowly getting organized and in a much SIMPLER way.

Here are 3 of my SUMMER ORGANIZATION projects that have made ALL the difference::

#1:: Summer “I DID IT” Poster —

{my kids helped me name it}

Instead of feeling like I was failing every day with the bucket list I normally do or feeling like I couldn’t get everything on our list done I decided to come up with a Summer “I did it” list. Basically, anytime we do something fun, the kids can draw a picture and write what it was on this poster. Then, it becomes a show off of what we DID do and an ongoing craft and journal. At the end of the summer, we can look at it and remember how much fun we had.

That’s the goal anyway. I will say so far the kids are loving it and I am too. I feel accomplished instead of behind. 🙂 And, all you need is a poster and markers….if you are low key like me. I’m sure you could doctor it up and make it Pinterest worthy if you are into that sort of thing ;). For me, I’m all about KEEPING IT SIMPLE THESE DAYS. Getting fun, meaningful time in with he kiddos and throwing extra unnecessary effort out the window…because I don’t have too much extra these days. Ha!

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Meet Baby #4

He is finally here and I am oh so happy that he is.

Baby #4 was born Friday, May 12th and weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz! Can you believe that?! No wonder I felt so huge this time around. 🙂

Proof!! There I am the morning of at 40 weeks. The swing dress hangs a little further back than my body actually goes, but you get the drift. Check out that belly! I guess I did grow a Texas sized baby….and YES, I am getting to this post a MONTH later to the day that this little boy was born….let me tell you, 4 is amazing and amazingly c-r-a-z-y for me so far. Hence, I am behind in most everything right now. Ha. Anyway, back to baby O’s big day.

I was scheduled for an induction that morning, on my due date, because my babies NEVER come before my due date. And, let me tell you, I was d-o-n-e with being pregnant this time around. This pregnancy towards the end was just the toughest on  my body. It was hard to get around because I was my biggest and heaviest ever, this was my sickness pregnancy and I got multiple bugs and flus throughout+ a sinus infection the last month….I was ready to get this baby O U T!!

We really wanted to bring our oldest {our one and only daughter} to the birth. This is our last baby and it just seemed like the perfect final birth in our mind if we could have her there. We knew it wasn’t quite protocol to bring her in the labor and delivery room being only 7 and all; but, I had mentioned it to my rad doctor that I wanted her to be there. She’s my only girl and I thought it would be a special mother-daughter bonding time and a glimpse into womanhood and the amazingness of child birth. He told me to sneak her in and to NOT ask. We did JUST that. We woke her up at 5 a.m. and drove in the dark to “Daddy’s hospital”  to watch her last baby brother come into the world.  She was loving it all-waking up when it was dark, getting 1:2 time with us, going through the employee section of the hospital, everything. Then, upon arrival, we had about 5 different people tell us she had to leave. I was getting pretty worried thinking it wasn’t going to work out..and then, when I finally got into our room they said it was up to my nurse and the head of the nurses {can’t remember the official title right now} for the final decision. The mister and I were getting doubtful at this point that she could stay, but were trying to stay upbeat.

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