Tag Archives: Toddler

Summer Summary

31 Aug

Since its Labor Day weekend it definitely feels like summer is over.  We had a fantastic summer but I’m looking forward to fall.  Here are pictures of all of the fun things we did in the summer of 2013.



We spent lots of time in the backyard trying to keep cool.  There were many HOT days but Annaliese loves being outside so we made it work.


Chris loves to grill so we had many delicious meals this summer, including lots of corn on the cob.


Annaliese turned 2 so we had a party at the house.  Lots of family and friends helped us celebrate at her “Milk & Cookies” party.


We celebrated a really fun 4th of July right in our neighborhood.  Its “Good Neighbor Day” so we got to watch a 5K and 10K race in front of our house, walk down the street to a festival, and watch fireworks right in our front yard.


We announced to everyone that Annaliese is going to be a big sister in January!



We attended tons of fun MOMs Club events like riding the train and visiting the fire station.


We planted a small garden for the first time and had a little success.


We traveled to Bethany Beach where Annaliese enjoyed spending time with her family.  She really loved getting to know her cousin Madison.


Annaliese went to her first baseball game.  She liked the mascot and the food more than the actual game but it was lots of fun!


Annaliese moved from her crib to a big girl bed.  She’s impressed us with how easy the transition was.






Thanks to tickets and season passes, we went to many fun places:  Dutch Wonderland, Longwood Gardents, Camden Aquarium, Hands on House, and Balitmore Aquarium!  I don’t even think that is half of the list.  We were busy!


We had endless fun playdates with friends!  Annaliese became a lot more social this summer and loved having people over as well as going to their houses.


A Day in the Life of a 2 year old

30 Jun

A few of my friends with blogs do an update every once and a while to show what life is like at that very moment.  I love the idea and think it would be fun to look back at a typical day in our life at the time.  Here is what our Saturday looked like when Annaliese was just a little over 2 years old.

7:30 AM – I woke up and watched the news and checked facebook.

9:00 AM – I finally heard Annaliese making noise through the monitor and went to get her.  She has been getting her 2 year molars and sleeping like crazy!  She’s happy to see me and wants to help change her diaper.  She has gotten so independent lately.  She wants to do everything herself which is fun but also takes about 5 times as long.

We go in to wake up Daddy (he normally doesn’t sleep this much either, maybe he’s teething as well).  Annaliese is always happy when its the weekend and she can wake up Chris.  She gives him a lot of hugs and kisses and then starts putting on my headbands and belts.

9:20 AM – We have pancakes and bacon for breakfast.  Annaliese gets some chocolate milk which she thinks is such a special treat.  She eats a pretty small breakfast but we think that is part of her teething as well.

10:15 AM – We are dressed and out the door to walk on the Struble Trail.  We can access it from our house so its one of our favorite places to walk.  Annaliese rides in her stroller most of the way.  About halfway through she wants to walk for a little bit, but then we convince her to hop back in the stroller for the rest of the trip.  She is happy to snack on some raisins on the way back.

12:00 PM – We make it back home and Chris and Annaliese go next door to chat with our neighbor Floyd.  He is often outside and loves when we stop over to stay hi.  Annaliese likes it too!

12:15 PM – Annaliese and Chris go water the garden while I get lunch started. 


12:30 PM – We sit down to eat lunch together.  Annaliese has milk and an apple.  She doesn’t want much more than that.  She tries a bite of my rice but spits it back out on my plate…nice.

1:15 PM – Naptime!  We change her diaper and read Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?  We have two copies of the book so she likes it if I hold one and she holds the other.  Chris and I both give her a hug and its into the crib.

While she naps I shower, work on this blog post, do the dishes, and get ready.  I may or may not have slipped a nap in myself…

4:30 PM – Annaliese finally gets up from her nap.  This child has been sleeping an insane amount.  We change her diaper and put her shoes on.  Time to head over to Nana and Pop-Pop’s for dinner!

5:15 PM – Dinnertime at Nana and Pop-Pop’s.  We have burgers, hot dogs, and corn with strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Annaliese does a great job of playing with the dogs and eats a pretty good dinner.  Corn on the cob is her absolute favorite.  She also gets to play the drums with Daddy for a little bit.


7:30 PM – We gather up our things and head home.  Annaliese is sad to leave but her tears go away quickly since she gets to show her grandparents how she can climb into her carseat by herself now.  She is so happy to show everyone how independent she is.

8:00 PM – We’re home and get Annaliese into the bath right away.  This is later than her normal night time schedule since we were out.  Let the bedtime temper tantrums begin.  These have been pretty bad lately.  Any little thing sets her off and then there is no recovering.  She cries all the way through her bath (maybe from being overtired, maybe from teeth, maybe because being 2 years old is torturous).  We finally get her to calm down after her pjs are on and its time to read books. 


She picks Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do you Hear?  We read it 3 times.  We say a prayer with the doll my mom made for her, Dot, and then hugs all around.  Finally got the lights out at around 8:45.


It was a busy but fun Saturday.  I will probably try to write another one of these posts but during a weekday.  Our weekends and weekdays usually look pretty different!


Week 11

15 Apr

Getting closer to the finish line!

Day 70 – Today was gorgeous weather so we spent a lot of time outside.  We are going to try out a little gardening this year so Annaliese helped us to get started.  We planted a few of our veggies in egg cartons to get them started indoors.  Annaliese liked the dirt part the best.

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Day 71 – Today we played with Play-doh.  Annaliese still can’t really figure out if she likes it or not.  She mostly likes pushing her fingers or other objects into it.  Its definitely a good way to practice her colors though!

Day 72 – As I was throwing away an empty tissue box today, Annaliese protested.   I decided to let her play with it since she showed such interest.  I let her stuff and un-stuff her cloth wipes in the box.  She really liked it; especially taking all of the wipes out and throwing them around the kitchen.

Day 73 – This was Annaliese’s first year of actually being able to dye Easter eggs.  I bought a kit for $2 at the grocery store.  It was a little messy but the end result was pretty cool!

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Day 74 – Daddy’s birthday is also approaching so we decided to make a gift.  I used a recipe for finger paints that I have seen passed around on facebook and pinterest many times.  It turned out pretty well…here is the link.

Annaliese painted a beautiful picture for her dad.

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Day 75 – With the coming of spring we have had a huge increase in wildlife in the backyard.  The birds, squirrels, and rabbits are everywhere!  Today Annaliese and I pulled up our bean bags to the sliding glass doors and just observed outside.  She was fascinated with all of the animals playing in the yard and it was nice to sit down for a few minutes 🙂

Day 76 – We took advantage of the nice weather again and headed outside.  We brought some of Annaliese’s cups and tea set items and filled them with water.  Our “water tea party” was quite messy but lots of fun.  Why is it that toddlers like pouring water so much?



Week 9 & 10

25 Mar

It has been a really long time since I’ve written one of my “weekly” posts, and I’ve had an epiphany.  I’m not really enjoying this 365 Days of Unplugged Play as much as I thought I would.  I still love playing with Annaliese obviously, but its been a lot of pressure to try to come up with new things every day.  Each time I sit down to write the updated posts I end up doing something else because I just don’t feel like it.  Who wants to read unenthusiastic blog posts?  I’ve decided I’d like to alter my plans a little bit and make it 100 Days of Unplugged Play and then focus my attention on something else.  I started this blog as a fun project and its getting un-fun.  Time for a change!

Day 56 – Today, like most Mondays, we went to Storytime at our local library.  This is one of our favorite things to do each week.  Its 1/2 hour of singing, books, and finger play geared toward kids under 2.  It is free but you have to register ahead of time.  I highly recommend checking to see if your local l library offers anything similar.

Day 57 – We have a few places in our house that are “off limits” for Annaliese.  Mostly the crawl space and attic.  Today, under close supervision, I let Annaliese explore this “forbidden place” in our house.  She loved running around in the crawl space even though she has to duck for fear of hitting her head.  We mostly use it for storage of her old baby gear and clothes so she was pretty excited when she found a few old favorites.   Here is a picture of her exploring:

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Day 58 – I got today’s idea from my friend Andrea.  She drove her 2 kids through the carwash one day and said it was a huge hit.  I decided to entertain Annaliese today while also giving my car a good $4 scrub down.  At first she thought it was hilarious that our car was getting wet.  Then it became not so funny when water started dripping into her carseat.  We have those sun shades that are clipped into the windows in the back and apparently they leave a tiny gap.  It was only a little bit of water so it was no big deal but Annaliese seemed a little confused by the whole thing after that.  Definitely fun, cheap entrainment though.  Thanks for the idea Andrea!

Day 59 – We had some semi-nice weather today so we decided to head outside.  We sat on the back porch to have an afternoon snack.  It was nice to switch things up a little bit and get some fresh air.

Day 60 – Today I needed some assistance while making dinner.  I put Annaliese on the floor with a colander and some dried spaghetti and let her go to town.  I showed her how to put the spaghetti through the holes and then let her explore on her own.  She played with this for a long time and it definitely bought me a few extra minutes to get dinner in the oven.

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Day 61 – Annaliese had a little accident on our comforter so we had to wash it.  Oops!  After it was dry I laid it out on the floor to put the duvet cover back on.  Annaliese immediately jumped on it and had herself a good old time.  We used it as a parachute, ran across it, and laid under it.  Didn’t know a comforter could be so much fun!

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Day 62 – Today we used some cheap Easter stamps to decorate pretty much everything we could find.  Perhaps the stamping got a little out of control but Annaliese had fun.  Stamp ink does come out of most clothing and wipes off of playroom tables 🙂

Day 63 – Chick fil a hosted a Daddy Daughter Date Night tonight so Chris took Annaliese out to dinner.  They had a great time.  Annaliese is a cheap date so this was a low cost way to get out of the house with Daddy!  Here they are before they left :

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Day 64 – It was rainy here today so Annaliese put on her rain boots and jacket and we headed outside anyway!  It was a little messy but Annaliese appreciates any time we can spend outside.  A little water never hurt anyone right?

Day 65 – Recently we discovered Springton Manor Farms here in Chester County.  It is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit.  It is a working farm open for free to the public.  I think Annaliese would spend all day there if we let her.  I highly recommend checking it out if you live in Chester County or looking for something similar in your area.   They have lots of baby animals being born over there and it couldn’t be cuter!

Day 66 – We got a little girly today and played “hairshop”.  Annaliese really wanted to play with all of her hair bows so we took turns making each other look beautiful.  As you can see, the end result was pretty great.

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Day 67 – Annaliese has recently developed an obsession with her sippy cups.  We joke that she is like the girl from the movie, Signs, because if she had it her way, all of her sippy cups would be filled with milk at the same time.  Today I gave her all of her cups to play with at once.  She actually really enjoyed trying to match the lids to the right cups.  I was pretty impressed!

Day 68 – We got a box in the mail today filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts.  You would have thought we won a million dollars.  Annaliese went crazy throwing them all over the dining room and stomping on them.  Here is some of the destruction :

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Day 69 – This activity was a little gross but went pretty well.  I put ketchup and mustard in two (very tightly sealed) ziploc bags.  I let Annaliese squish them around.  She was pretty into it and it was an easy clean up!  Sorry Chris, this is why we’re out of ketchup.


Week 8

3 Mar

So this week I was bad and took NO pictures.  Oops!  I guess this post will be a little boring.

Day 49 – During our trip to Chicago, Annaliese was very interested in all of the details of traveling.  When we got home we expanded on her interest and did a little pretending.  She packed up her purse and backpack with all of the essentials (snacks, maracas, an onion from her play kitchen, one of her doll’s shoes, etc).  She liked getting in and out of her cozy coupe and pretending she was leaving and returning.  When she got out of the car each time she ran to give me a hug and then left again.  Usually when I asked her where she was going she would say “Gaga”, her word for Grandma.  She likes going to Gaga’s house!

Day 50 – We got creative today and made our own scratch and sniff papers.  I scrounged up some random soaps and things from around the house and drew a few pictures on some pieces of paper.  I drew a picture of a lemon and put a few drops of a lemony perfume on it.  I also drew a picture of a cookie and dropped little bit of vanilla extract on it.  Many of the  scents we used were from delicious smelling soaps I have around the house (apple, cucumber melon, etc)  Annaliese really liked smelling each of the pictures.

Day 51 – Today we had a good old fashioned dance party.  We put on the radio and busted out our best moves while we were getting dressed for the day.  Now it has become a morning tradition for us, and I love it.  I am a terrible dancer, but Annaliese doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

Day 52 – It was a rainy today so we felt a little trapped inside.  We decided to switch it up and sit on the porch to watch the rain.  Annaliese loves being outside and we are both excited for warmer weather to come.  Even though we didn’t leave the covered porch, it was nice to get some fresh air.

Day 53 – Remember how I taped up those empty boxes last week to use as big building blocks?  This week we used them to play grocery store.  It was so much fun.  Annaliese has a shopping cart so I set up her playroom as the “store”  I used some of the food from her play kitchen so she had lots of choices.  She liked throwing everything in the cart.  Cleaning up…not so much.

Day 54 – Today I used some of our furniture and some of her toys to set up an obstacle course.  I used our couch cushions to make a ramp for her to climb over, set up a tunnel for her to crawl through, and used some blankets to make an obstacle she had to jump over.  This was a great way to burn some energy inside!

Day 55 – My friend Jeannette, a fellow blogger, gave me this idea.  She posted one time about reading books with similar subjects so we decided to give it a try.  Annaliese loves reading and dogs so we picked out all of the books we could find about dogs.  She liked reading about her favorite topic!  We are definitely going to try this one again with different topics.


Hopefully I’ll have more pictures next week!

Week 6 & 7

22 Feb

I am combining Week 6 and 7 in this post because I am a little behind!  We were in Chicago for part of this time so some of the activities were hotel friendly as well.

Day 36 – My mom brought over some Valentine’s window decals for Annaliese.  We stuck them all over the playroom windows.  These are really cheap and can be easily used over and over again.

Day 37 – Today I let Annaliese play with some of my jewelry.  She is starting to really enjoy dressing up so I let her use some of my necklaces and bracelets.  Here she is deciding what she wants to try on next.

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Day 38 – Annaliese has been very interested in babies and pretending lately.   I let her lead the way today and she decided instead of taking care of her babies today she wanted to pretend to be one.  She liked trying to fit into her doll’s stroller and cradle, putting the blankets on herself, and even crying.  Her imitating a baby crying is pretty hysterical.

Day 39 – Today I went through some of my crafting supplies and found some big chunky beads.  I let Annaliese thread them onto yarn and we made some little bracelets.  This was sometimes hard for her but the beads were big enough that she could mostly do it with a little assistance from me.

Day 40 – Today we did a Window Tour.  Annaliese takes after her dad and likes to look out the window, so we decided to look out of every window in the house.  This was pretty fun and took up a lot of time.  We went from room to room looking out the windows and talking about what we saw.  She liked trying to look for birds and deer but we didn’t see too much wildlife.

Day 41 – Lately we’ve been working on labeling colors.  Annaliese pretty much guesses first that everything is blue, and her second guess is always yellow.  We’re working on it…. To sharpen her skills a little we went on a color scavenger hunt around the house.  We tried to find blue things first since it seems to be the color she understands the best.  Then we tried yellow, red, and green.  This was fun and active!

Day 42 – This awesome suggestion came from my wonderful, creative friend Taylor.  She suggested that we collect empty boxes (cereal, crackers, etc) and use them as building blocks.  We had a blast with this one.  Annaliese’s favorite part was stacking them up and knocking them down.  Typical.

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Day 43 – Aunt Hannah requested some refrigerator artwork from Annaliese.   We got out our sticker collection and Annaliese made two excellent pictures to send.  She is always captivated by stickers so today was fun.

Day 44 – Today we did a Sound Search.  We live on a pretty busy street so we were able to go to the front of the house to listen for cars and trucks.  We also heard geese, the fish tank filter, the heater, and a dog barking.

Day 45 – Because Annaliese is getting good with her colors we did a Sock Matching game today.  I took out pairs of her socks, Mommy’s socks, and Daddy’s socks.  I scrambled them up and let her find the matching pairs.  She liked this one!

Day 46 – Today was the day before we left for Chicago so Annaliese got to play in the suitcase.  Honestly if I had let her she probably would have played in there for hours.  She liked just sitting in it, buckling and unbuckling the clip, eating a snack in there… I guess its kind of like playing a big box.  She was very sad when I actually wanted to pack things in the suitcase.

Day 47 – Today we had to get creative with some downtime in our Chicago hotel room.  With some inspiration from Aunt Lauragrace’s younger years, I created a pillow path for Annaliese.  I laid all of our pillows out on the floor and let her run along the path.  This could easily be done at home too.

Day 48 – We were also in the hotel today so we had some fun with the wheely (not a word) desk chair.  It was pretty much like riding a roller coaster for a toddler.  This could be done at home too if you have a fun chair.

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That’s it!  I’ll be better about posting instead of waiting for 2 weeks to build up!

Gasoline Lipgloss

11 Feb

I know I’m not alone in thinking that my child is the smartest one on the planet.   I try to limit my bragging to my husband, my in-laws, and my parents because I am sure its extremely off-putting.   Its not that I really believe she is smarter than anyone else’s child; its just that I’m constantly blown away when she obtains new knowledge.  I get so excited when she correctly points out something blue and says “boo” or correctly identifies a picture of a person she’s only met once.   Before you stop reading because you think I’m going to write an entire post about how smart my kid is, I want you to know that I’m going in the complete opposite direction with this one.  To keep things in perspective for myself, I’ve compiled a list of things she does that make no sense.   We are honestly baffled by this stuff.  One minute Chris and I are looking at each other like “future Neurosurgeon over here” and the next minute we’re like “there goes Harvard…”

Here is what I mean :

*Annaliese frequently opens the door to the gasoline tank of her Cozy Coupe, puts her finger in, and then licks it.   When we first saw her do it, Chris asked me if that was something I had ever done while getting gas in my car.  Actually no, I’ve never put my finger in the gas tank of my car and then licked it.  I can safely say she did not learn that one from me.

*On more than one occasion, Annaliese has reached into her mouth, pretended to pick something out of her teeth, and then wiped it in my hand.  I don’t even have a guess where she learned that or what she thinks she is accomplishing.

*Another bizarre behavior is when Annaliese will stand up, point to where she was just sitting, and smell the air like something might not be right.  Its as if she’s warning us, “Hey guys, where I was just sitting smells really bad so be careful.”    Its worth noting that this does not happen after she passes gas.

*Last but not least, she refers to a cat as “na”.  We are so confused by this because she can say the “c” sound and can also clearly say “hat.”  Logic would tell you that those two sounds could be put together to form the word cat.  We have no clue where “na” came from.


For the rest of Annaliese’s life, I will always think she is brilliant.  However, when she receives her PhD in Bioengineering, I might have to remind her that she used to use her gasoline tank as lipgloss.

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