Art Supplies for Kids 5+

I did a huge roundup of must-have arts and crafts supplies last year, and Mrs. Tricycle recently wrote a great post on must-have Pinterest art supplies for toddlers. Charlie draws independently every day, and Olive is becoming a little budding artist herself. Her preschool teachers tell us that she always heads for the art table during choice time.

Now that Charlie is 5, we’ve been able to expand our art supplies beyond the basics. We have many drawing tools from which to choose, and both kids use everything — markers, pencils, pastels, colored pencils, pens — except crayons for some reason. I think we should just use them to make melted crayon art! Here are some items we’ve added to our art supplies:


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Newborn night wakings and Mommy Sleep – the 4-7-8 method

Sleep has never been my strong suit. Pregnancy insomnia hit me hard with both of my boys, and after Colin was born, the combination of night wakings, hormones, a nearly complete inability to nap during the day and being lousy at sleeping in general left me feeling exhausted all the time. I couldn’t take any kind of medication to help, since I needed to be able to wake up to tend to baby overnight, and after several months of prolonged sleep deprivation, I was basically a walking zombie.

Suffice it to say I was not excited about the newborn stage this time around.

So when I was randomly surfing Facebook one night while I was up feeding the little guy, I stumbled upon this link: How I Learned To Fall Asleep Fast. Since my trouble with night wakings was forcing my body to wind back down and fall back asleep, you can only imagine how happy I was to stumble upon this gem. And because it has actually helped me quite a bit, I can’t help but want to share it with all of you.

Essentially, the article explains a breathing exercise that is designed to slow down your heart rate and calm your body. It can be used not only to help fall asleep but in stressful situations (hello screaming baby, tantruming toddler – I have plenty of these too) to help relax. Here’s how you do it. Exhale completely, and then breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Then hold your breath for a count of 7 and then release through your mouth for a count of 8, ideally in the yoga style of a loud exhale with your tongue at the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Repeat for four cycles.

Laying in my bed at 1 a.m. after reading about this while feeding Asher, I tried it out. In for 4. Hold for 7. Out for 8. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I could feel my heart rate slow down. I repeated as I tried to clear my mind about the worries of how long I would actually get to sleep before he woke me with his hunger cries once more. In for 4. Hold for 7. Out for 8. Keeping my eyes closed, the lids began to feel heavier, and I felt my body relaxing. A few more rounds and I was out cold.

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Baby BunBun’s Birth Story

I loved everything about my labor and delivery with BunBun (well, as much as one could enjoy pushing out a nine-pound baby). This story is the opposite of her sister’s birth, and it honestly gives me hope for any future kids I may have. Dare I say it, but looking back at this experience, it was actually…fun!

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It all started on a Thursday night when we went out for dinner. I was 40 weeks and 5 days, and had an induction set for the next week. Braxton Hicks contractions were few and far between all week, and despite being 5 cm, 100% effaced, and trying every single thing under the sun to get labor started, I had zero signs that things would happen any time soon. But then we went out for dinner.

I was certain that my water would break since I was already so far progressed, and that’s how things would start, but instead, I started feeling cramps that felt strangely familiar…like menstrual cramps. I wasn’t sure if “that was it,” but I started timing them over dinner and they ranged from 6 to 15/20 minutes apart.

After we got home, I thought it could be the real thing, so I put Bunny’s babysitter on standby, and then we went to bed. Or, I should say Mister Rabbit went to bed; I tried to nap in between the cramps, but they quickly became too strong.

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Little Style Perfect for Easter and Every Spring Day After

However you choose to celebrate Easter or the day the bunny brings too much sugary chocolate is right around the corner. It’s fun to dress up for holidays, especially if you are a pint-sized human. I pulled a bunch of non-traditional Easter items which would make adorable attire any spring day. So if you plan to head to church, have a family get together, celebrate spring with a big brunch, hunt for eggs or head off to a parade, here are some adorable items for perfect for your little lady or man.

15 non-traditonal easter dresses1. H&M – 2. The Gap – 3. Target - 4. Target – 5. Gymboree – 6. Old Navy – 7. Old Navy – 8. H&M – 9. Zara – 10. Zara – 11. Joe Fresh – 12. Fawn Shoppe – 13. Tea Collection – 14. Osh Kosh – 15. Zara

And because a pair of shoes can make a little dress casual or a bit dressed up, here are some cute picks for whatever your Easter reason may be. Nothing too dressy so they can be worn all spring and maybe even all summer long!

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Big Kid Milestones — Goodbye, Baby Teeth!

I usually meet Lil’ CB’s milestones with excitement and awe…take for example, the latest milestones of beginning to read and write; it’s so fun to see!

But, there’s one milestone that I’m having a really hard time with, because I feel like, more than ever, it’s bringing us into true big kid territory. And what is that milestone? Loose and lost teeth.


As ridiculous as it sounds, I think the fact that the teeth kids start to lose are called baby teeth and that the new ones are called grown-up teeth make me sad. (I told you, it’s ridiculous!) It’s like actually seeing and saying goodbye to some of the last remnants of their baby years. And, not to sound totally shallow, but those huge-for-them grown-up teeth look so weird and awkward when they first come in, getting rid of that cute, tiny baby teeth smile! Seriously, I realize that I sound stupid mourning the loss of tiny teeth, but I really am sad.

But, regardless of how sad I feel, we must march on with these big kid milestones…and here’s how we marched:

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6 ways to help kids investigate their interests

A long time ago I wrote about sharing my passions with my kids. At the time that seemed tricky because I had to take my lifelong love of science and bring it to a toddler’s interest level. I loved it and had a great time doing it, but my children have gotten older and are now entering elementary school. As they meet new people and hear more stories, it has become clear they are definitely their own little people with their own interests.

When they show an interest in learning something new, I absolutely love it. It’s the teacher in me — I can’t help it and I can’t turn it off. When they ask me questions about new subjects, it immediately sets my brain in motion to try and figure out how we can investigate these interests further. I am constantly trying to figure out how we can learn more and have fun doing it. Sometimes it’s easy. Right now my twins very much align with things that I love. One of them is obsessed with dinosaurs and fossils and the other wants to know absolutely everything about animals. I can always find things to read or talk about with animals of today and the past.

My oldest and youngest are the ones that like to throw me curveballs. James is a history nut. I am pretty sure I created this little history monster when we took him to a battlefield while visiting my sister in DC last year. No matter how it started though, it is very clear that is what he is interested in. He wants to know every fact about every battle in every war ever fought throughout the whole of history. My daughter has also decided that she loves ballet and art. Doing art projects and home is fun and easy, but I know zero about dance.

So while I find it easy to help my twins develop their interests, I had to really set up a system for my other two so that I could help them find things that they love. Here are the six things I make sure I do for each kid and their current interest.

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Babywearing + Strollers – What Works For Us

In our house, babywearing and using strollers were never mutually exclusive gear choices! We went back and forth between a few different options and although we’ve grown out of the baby wearing (both boys are over 25lbs!), these were our favorite options.

stroller babywearing

When K was an infant, we wore him out in this simple (and inexpensive) Infantino carrier, primarily for errands and casual walks around the neighborhood. It was easy to take on and off, easy to adjust, and you can’t beat the price! We also started out with a great First Years umbrella stroller that has since been discontinued! The most comparable one I see now is the Chicco Capri. We never bought a travel system — K was born in the fall and we live in suburbia, with no necessity to walk around in the winter, so we figured we could wait until he was 6m to use a stroller and just babywear before then. That plan worked well for us!

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