Easter Eggs Without Candy

Last year we didn’t do much for Easter – we took Miss H to see the Easter Bunny and I bought an Easter basket from the $1 aisle at Target, which I filled with a few new books. It was cute and worked out perfectly for our almost-1-year-old.

This year, Miss H will be just turning 2 and old enough to get excited about celebrating the non-religious side of Easter: a bunny! A basket filled with goodies! An egg hunt! Exciting stuff for a little one. I upgraded her Easter basket to a nicer one that should hold up well over the years, and have bought some fun stuff to put in it: a new book, sunglasses, bunny ears, and a new sunhat. She’ll love all of it and I can’t wait for the, umm, Easter bunny to give it to her! But I also wanted to incorporate a little Easter egg hunt for her around our house for Easter morning. I know she’ll get a kick out of looking for the eggs and putting them in her basket! I’m really looking forward to it.

So while I was at Target a couple of weeks ago, I picked up this cute set of fillable eggs (it’s much cuter in person!).

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Our Ever Changing Family

Shortly after we adopted Isaiah, word got out that we’re good people who love kids, and we were approached by other birth moms who wanted to secure a safe and loving home to place their child in. We decided early on that we would never say no to a baby who needed a home, so we told the birth moms that we were interested. Ultimately they all decided to not place their child with us, and instead made the decision to parent.

Lately, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about when Isaiah will get to be a big brother. The answer is always the same. We aren’t pursuing another adoption right now, but our file is always current, and we will welcome any child who needs us. So in keeping with our word, we recently accepted a foster care placement of an infant boy.

You know how I love to share photos of Isaiah, so I hope you can understand this. I won’t be sharing photos of the newest member of our family. While he’s in our home, he is our family, but the fact remains that legally he isn’t, so I won’t be posting about him specifically.

This does not mean that he means any less to us than Isaiah. This means that we’re protecting him, and respecting him and the court system by not discussing his case outside of the legal system. While he is in our home, he will be treated the same as Isaiah.We aren’t treating his case as anything other than what it is. He is welcome in our home as long as he is placed here, no matter the length of time.

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Tantrum Threes

Since Drake turned three, we have been stuck in what I call the tantrum threes. When Drake turned two, everyone said that the twos would be horrible, but I’ll be honest and say I thought two was pretty easy, especially now that we are in the threes.

 Displeasure is starting

From eighteen months to about two and a half is what I always considered the sweet spot of babyhood. Babies can walk and talk and they are starting to develop a personality. It’s amazing to watch unfold, but they haven’t quite developed the total idea of independence and defiance. At around two and a half I felt that Drake suddenly learned that he didn’t always have to do what Mr. Chocolate and I wanted and started to test some of those boundaries.

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Staying Spontaneous – My Secret Weapon – Toddler Edition

In our family, spring signals the start of our warm weather adventures! Last summer I published this post about how we stored certain items in our trunk so that we were more easily able to jump in the car and head off for adventure without having to worry about forgetting something.

Now that Little Lion is officially a toddler, eating “real” food instead of breast milk or formula, and loves to run and play, our needs have changed in this department. I thought an update was in order. :)

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First-Time Twin Moms: Living in No Man’s Land

When your “first baby” is actually two or more babies, I have a theory that you are instantly transported to a no-man’s land where only other moms who had multiples first will ever live.  Let me take you on a little tour of the land of First-Time Twin Parents.

You get that positive pregnancy test and are thrilled and terrified just like most other women who get their first positive test.  You go to your first ultrasound, and BAM!  Twins.  Even with this bombshell dropped, your pregnancy proceeds similarly to any other first-time mom who’s high risk.  Sure, you have extra appointments, higher risk, and maybe a tougher pregnancy, but at the base of it, you’re just like every other soon-to-be mom.  You read voraciously about what to expect each month, about labor and delivery, about baby sleep, etc.  You google odd symptoms to make sure everything is okay.  You go to a lovely shower thrown by all your excited friends and family. You dream and wonder about who these little babies will be.

Then your little ones arrive, and you are suddenly a parent, but not just to your “first” child.  You are a mother of two children, who have different personalities, different wants, different needs, and different health issues.  You skip right over having one baby who is your universe, who is your sole worry, your sole focus.  You have lots of first-time mom worries, like how you’ll know if they’re teething, if your breastfeeding positioning is right, if formula is okay to give, and if this color of poo means something is terribly wrong.  At the same time, you’re simultaneously being that first-time mom to two babies, so you have to juggle two children’s needs, chase two children around, and consider what’s best for both of them, just like other moms of two kids do.

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Smothered Liver & Onions

I hesitate to share this recipe because I know that liver is not often a favorite dish. However, it can be a SUPER healthy one! If you buy liver from grassfed beef, you are eating one of nature’s best superfoods! It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get other ways. And of course, getting your nutrients straight from your food instead of from a supplement is the best way to absorb these nutrients.

Unfortunately, liver has a bad wrap. The texture is different, and you can’t cook it the way you would other cuts of beef. But, if you find a recipe that you like it can be quite tasty, and I love that it’s so healthy while also being pretty much the cheapest cut of meat. Just be sure you get it grassfed (organic if you can), otherwise you won’t get any of the health benefits. I’ve tried a few different recipes and combined some to get to my “go-to” liver recipes. We have it about once a month and even though I won’t admit that it’s our favorite meal ever, I definitely look forward to it now! And it helps that it’s pretty simple too.

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We’re Starting Potty Training – and you might be too

Potty training.  It’s one of the phases of parenting a toddler that I am dreading the most.  I just got home from an incredibly informative seminar where I learned a ton about the process (including some fabulous tips!), so I thought I would share the wealth of knowledge I stumbled upon.  The presenter was Janeen Hayward, a sleep and behavior consultant with Swellbeing, who broke down the potty training process into four simple steps: modeling, explaining, play and practice. When I started writing a post about potty training before attending the session, I wanted to title it, “Why We’re Not Potty Training Yet.”  After attending, I realized that in truth, we are already engaged in the process, even though Colin is still consistently in a diaper nearly 24/7.

In my mind, potty training began when we tossed the diapers, let him run around bare bottomed, cleaned inordinate amounts of urine from my floors and generally lived and breathed all things “potty.”  Alas, so much of the teaching happens before that stage, and C is learning so much already.

Steps 1+2: Modeling and Explaining

The ever-present joke about “never peeing alone” once you are a mom really rings true when it comes to modeling and explaining, the first two steps (which really go hand in hand).  For months now, when Colin tags along during my trips to the restroom, I will tell him about how mommy goes pee-pee in the potty and talk through some of the steps (pulling down our pants/underpants, doing business, wiping, flushing, washing hands).  Colin loves to tag along, and we have modeling down pat.  What I haven’t really tackled and will begin discussing is the “feelings” you get that make you realize you need to go.

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