Toddler House Chores {5 ways to introduce your toddler to helping around the house}

Posted on: Friday, November 21, 2014

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Anabelle is such a little helper. She follows me around and watches closely to everything I do. She always wants to help or participate, so lately I’ve been finding little ways to teach her how to pick up, clean, and cook with Mommy. If Mommy is doing it, then it must be fun, right?! Better take advantage of this apparent thought process while she’s interested… And why not start teaching her to clean and take care of herself early. It’s not like she’s going to have her own apartment any time soon, but I know that when I did move out, the easiest way for me to clean, cook, organize and do everything else that is involved with being on your own, was to fall back on what I knew from as far back as I can remember. Sometimes enlisting Anabelle for help means the task is going to take twice as long as normal. But the lesson she picks up from trying makes the extra time worth the trouble. Eventually she learns, and eventually it will actually be quite a help.

She may only be 16 months, but these are 5 ways that I’ve been starting to teach Anabelle how to help around the house:

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1. Swiffer. Swiffering was one of the first things I was able to introduce to her. She always wanted to play with that big, green stick that Mommy pushes around the floor. So I bought her her very own Swiffer! I took out a couple attachments to make it a little smaller and vuola! A toddler-size Swiffer! To keep her interest, I only give it to her when I pull mine out so that she can copy me and help clean the floors.

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2. Throwing away trash. Months ago, whenever I threw something away, Anabelle liked to open the trash can, pull out the piece of trash I just put in there, and look at it. So I started to tell her, “no, put that back.” Pretty soon I started giving her the trash, instead of throwing it away myself, and started telling her to put in in the trash. It took a little bit of guidance, but soon enough she was helping Mommy. Sometimes I still find the empty box of noodles across the house, but she’s learning.

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3. Dusting. When I’m dusting she follows me around with her hand reaching up yelling at me. So I alternate giving her the dust rag and the feather duster. She likes the feather duster way better. So she copies me and we dust the house together. Might be investing in her own feather duster soon…

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4. Cooking. Right now she is going through this phase where she likes to sit on the counter while I cook so she can see what I’m doing. I love it, but she’s starting to grab at the things I’m doing, which is not good when you are cutting. So I started giving her tasks to keep her busy while she sits and watches. For example, if I’m cutting the veggies for chicken soup, she moves the veggies from the board to the bowl. Win and win. And I’m teaching her to love cooking! Although I need to get her to stop taste testing pieces before adding them to the pot… And that sneezing…

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5. “Put that back.” I taught Anabelle the meaning of this phrase months ago. I have these bookshelves full of books and nicknacks. Anabelle loves to get into the bottom few shelves. I keep some of her books on the bottom shelf and I have some stacking dolls that she loves to play with on the second shelf. When she is done playing with my dolls, I tell her to “put that back.” And then I take her hand as she hold the doll and we set it back where she got it. I realized that she was really understanding it a while ago when she brought one of the dolls across the house to me. I told her to put that back before she could have her bottle and she left to go put the doll away. Success!

Anabelle is still making a thorough mess every time she pulls out her  own toys, but when she spills something, or takes something off the shelves that isn’t hers or does anything that’s not in her realm of playtime, she has to pick up after herself. We will eventually get to cleaning up her mess, but for now, her toys are the mess she is allowed to make.

4 Ways to Wear Plaid

Posted on: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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Apparently Fall arrives and all I want to wear is plaid… And not just little plaid button ups. I tend to wear it any way I can! It’s a practical yet stylish pattern. Here are my top four favorite ways to wear plaid.

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1. Elegant Plaid! A plaid skirt is such a fun concept, especially a maxi skirt! Adding a little lace top can make it a little more elegant.

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2. Casual Plaid. A button up is just classic. But my favorite way to wear my softest plaid button up in the cool days of Fall is by layering up with an open cardigan style look.

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3. Cozy Plaid. This plaid scarf seems to be all the rage this season, so I just had to join in on the fun. And it’s probably the coziest way to pull some plaid into your daily look.

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4. Warm Layered Plaid. This poncho works wonders on the chilliest of fall days. Keeps me toasty and warm when I’m spending the afternoon outside!

Teething Toddler

Posted on: Friday, November 14, 2014

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This poor little girl (and her poor parents…) have had a rough week. She’s teething. And apparently this one is worse than any of the last ones. She only shows signs at night. She’s usually great at sleeping through the night, but when she teeths, she wakes up multiple times and so we just end up bringing her to bed with us. She sleeps pretty well at first, and then after 3-5 hours, when she starts tossing and turning, we move her back to her crib. After several nights like this, once she finishes teething, she goes right back to sleeping through the night. Well this time around has been a bit different. She only lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in her crib, and she stays with us till morning. Can I just stress how cramped it is to share a full bed with not only a husband, but a toddler too?! Even before she joins, if you want to lay on your side and hike your legs up at all, you have to coordinate which way you are both facing… It was fine when she was a baby. She hardly moved and she was teeny tiny. No problem. But now this girl may as well be a third full grown adult in our bed. She takes up more space than both Kevin and I, and there is no leg hiking room.  Plus she wants to sleep on top of the covers… Last night, we finally switched it up and Kevin slept in the guest bed, while Anabelle took his spot. My goodness, finally some sleep for us all! Hopefully this little girl’s teething lets up soon, but it has made one thing terribly clear. We need a bigger bed like yesterday! Finally gave us the push we needed to do a little research, and now we may be shopping this weekend. King, come to me! And who knows?… We might finally paint and put blinds in the guest bedroom now too…

Fall came and went and we loved it!

Posted on: Thursday, November 13, 2014

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It’s funny how quickly time passes. How did Fall basically already come and go?! October was absolutely stunning around here, and Anabelle loved it! She was trotting, strutting, running, falling, and rolling in all the falling leaves! We have two huge trees in our front yard so we had leaves coming down for weeks! But now it’s all pretty dead, and everything is pretty bare, plus the temperature has dropped and we are cuddling under blankets, so thank goodness I pulled out my camera this one time!

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Great Grandma’s visit

Posted on: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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Thinking back on the weekend, we spent a lot of time around the table… Mamo, my Mom’s mother, came into town last weekend to see my sister march in her band competition and we kicked off the visit with coffee, followed by a delicious steak lunch and shopping, followed by the band competition, followed by a big family chili dinner, followed by Mass, and then a big, fancy brunch and then followed by a campfire and s’mores. It only seemed right to wrap it up with a little Monday lunch of buttered brussel sprouts and sausage (better than it sounds). Anyway, I listed that out, because I really was wondering what percentage of our time was spent eating, and… It was a lot. But don’t the best family moments happen around the table? Here are just a few pictures wrapping up our weekend!

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Brunch was sooo delicious Sunday. Eggs benedict was that first picture. The second was a breakfast pizza with bacon, eggs, hot sauce and syrup. Weird at first, but awesome combination! And that last one was pork and donuts with an egg on top!

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