Best Shoes for Toddlers and Standing Babies

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there are SO many adorable shoes out there for infants, babies and toddlers.  i went cray cray over mocs and sneakers and mary janes when C started walking.  i mean, what 10 month old doesn’t need 10 pairs of shoes right?  well, with over buying so many pairs and through trial and error, i’ve come to realize that not all baby shoes are GOOD for babies.  shoes are supposed to be flexible, wide and easy for babies to walk in so their feet and legs muscles strengthen and the shoes mold to THEIR feet, not the other way around.  Shoes you put on new walkers should be soft soled and be able to bend in half.  Anything else is not good for your little one’s feet.

i swear this was not common knowledge or something that lots of mommy blogs share.  i found out AFTER i bought a bunch of bad shoes for C that they were hurting, not helping her.  gggreat.

so a few tips for new mamas or mamas who may not know yet…

  1. let your child walk barefoot as much as possible while they’re learning to walk.  it helps their feet and leg muscles develop.
  2. when buying shoes, bend the shoes in half to see if there is enough flexibility.
  3. shoes need to mold to your baby’s foot so make sure the sole is soft.
  4. there should be half an inch in between the top of the shoe and your baby’s foot.  there needs to be room for your baby to move around and grow.
  5. make sure shoes are wide enough for your little ones feet (check for the pinky toes and see if they’re pink).
  6. check the straps on shoes.  some ankle straps or over the foot straps will cut into baby’s feet and cause blisters or cuts.

some shoes are SO STINKING cute but if they don’t follow the items above, they aren’t good for your babe.  the best shoes for babies are generally on the more expensive side, but i swear, it’ll be worth the investment.  you want your little one to master this huge stage with the right shoes instead of working with a physical therapist later on for under developed muscles/walking problems.

hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving!

 

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Friendsgiving

i had these REALLY grand plans of doing thanksgiving crafts with charlotte~ teaching her the history of it, painting pumpkins, painting turkeys, blah blah blah.  then she got sick and we got sick.  SOOOO instead of showing you all our cool art, here are some pics from my friendsgiving last night.  <3  food was bomb and hanging out with small group friends is always a nice treat!

as new parents, mike and i have very little free time (obvi).  and well we’ve each had to choose 1 thing per week we want to do for ourselves.  mike plays football on sundays with his Zog team and I go to small group on tuesdays.  it’s been the community and spiritual love that i’ve needed and i am just so darn thankful for these guys!  i go to small group tired and always leaving feeling refreshed, encouraged and filled.  it’s been a wonderful way to feed my soul and this year i’m super duper grateful for this group, this family and these friendships. <3

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Mommy Mondays: Busy Bags (win a free one!)

make sure to enter for a free busy bag at the end!!! 

oh lord, if you don’t know what a busy bag is… get on it.  i swear by them.  they keep little toddlers busy for about 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on what you put in and how old your child is.  i keep these in the car, in our home and in the stroller.  many parents will only use these busy bags for when they go to a restaurant w little ones but i use these babies EVERYWHERE~~even at home!

when i have to clean or cook and i need C to be occupied for 30 minutes, i just whip one of these babies out and she will play just outside the kitchen area where i can see her.  it keeps her happy and i get a few moments to tackle something on my list without her crawling all over me.


some ideas of what to put in:

  • blank paper/coloring book + crayons
  • stickers
  • legos
  • toy cars or dolls
  • small toys that C gets in gift bags from parties
  • barrel of slime and play-doh
  • bubbles
  • different textures objects
  • books (c loves ones with flaps and textures)
  • small wiffle balls + straws (like this one)
  • lacing bead games (like this one)
  • buckle toy  (like this one)

and SOOOO much more.  i recommend going to Daiso or the local dollar store and picking up some small items.  you keep them in an easy bag/pouch and pull them out whenever you need.  i personally make 5-6 different ones so that C doesn’t get tired of them and I can keep adding new things as we buy them or receive them as gifts.  when i know i’ll be out all day, i make sure to grab 2-3 so that i can space them out and keep her attention throughout the day.  it sounds like a lot of prep work but i swear it’s worth it.  just having things ready to go can be REALLY helpful when you’re in an unexpected, non-kid-friendly location.  for more busy bag ideas click here, here, here and here.

NOW, for the fun part!  as i made a ton of busy bags for the upcoming holidays (and travel~ post on that coming soon), i thought it would be fun to give some away to my friends and readers! =)  all you have to do is subscribe to markel + me and leave a comment below.  i’ll be giving away 2 busy bags.  if you want to win another chance at the busy bags please go to instagram @littlelottieblair and look at the post on busy bags there. =)  YAYYYY  hopefully your little one will love it as much as C!

 

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Veterans Day

Had a little too much fun over Veterans Day weekend with play dates and too much good food 🙂

Posts will come soon!   For now just wanted to post this picture of our very own war hero and C.  Love these two to death.  Growing up I seriously worshipped my older brother and now that I see him dote on my little babe… wow heart bursting, rainbow sparkles everywhere.  Xoxo

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Sunday Adventures

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how adorable is this outfit??  the morning started off promising with this little one.  i prepped her about sunday school, i prepped her about leaving her in class and well… yet again…it was a major fail.  (read about our previous adventures here)

i stayed the entire day in class and she adventured out a liiiiiittle bit by playing with toys and coloring at the table.  it took a LOT of encouragement to get her to eat snacks with the rest of the kids.  sigh.  i know that so many parents would just leave their kids but i’m not sure i’m ready for that.  i’m not sure i’m ready to let her cry it out and make her feel abandoned.  ugh.  i dunno… we’ll see how this adventure goes.  i’m giving her three months and then i’ll have to start negotiating lengths of time that i’ll stay with her.

one thing we’re trying this weekend is a play date with some kids from her toddler room from sunday school.  i hope that if she plays with the kids outside of class she will feel more comfortable IN class.  if that doesn’t work…maybe asking one or two of the teachers to come babysit?  gah i dunno… this makes me sound insane.  i guess i’ll just see how this all goes and let her take the lead in acclimating to sunday school, new friends and new teachers.
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Rock the Vote!

here are our before and after pictures from voting this morning.  why do mike an i look a mess you ask?  BECAUSE WE WERE…

the line was CRAY long, parking was hard, C LOST HER MIND standing in line for so long and we got in trouble twice for letting her play in an empty courtyard at the elementary school we voted at.  (the parents who had a kid at the elementary school already were allowed to wander around with their little ones, but not us.  blahhh)

if you were at the elementary school with us and you heard a little girl scream over and over “ggah ggahhhhhh” (snack in korean) on the floor~ um… yea that was us.  hieeeeeee~~ hope you like voting in a small library with a child losing her SH*$ because she just wanted to run freeeeeeeee.  did i mention that there was one GIANT line and then you get towards the front and realize, wait… no there are THREE lines and everyone in the giant line is a SUCKER.  sigh.

anyway, this was a very very momentous family for our family since it’s the first time mike and i went to the polls together, the first time mike has VOTED (whoa) and the LAST time we will be doing this in person with an active toddler.  HeLLOOOO absentee ballots for the blairs!

fun fact: this was our third selfie below b/c i kept cutting mike’s face out.  HAHAHAHAHA  i couldn’t get my sticker and his face in~~ oopsies.  sowy mike!

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Mommy Mondays: Best Bubbles for Toddlers

i don’t know about you other mamas out there, but for my little 18 month old, bubbles are a life saver. they snap her out of bad moods, tantrums, and give her something to do while i sit and rest a bit. we blow bubbles in the bath, outside our front door, in the courtyard of our apartment, out in front of the junior high (next to us), and just about wherever we go. i’m telling you…bubbles are magical for charlotte at this age.

over the last few months i have become a bubble connoisseur (if i do say so myself) and here are some of my recommendations for you keeping you and your babies happy~

  1. Gymboree bubbles are THE BEST.  they float really high, they stay in shape for a long time, and they don’t pop easily on their own~ making it extra fun for little ones to try and pop them in the air or on the ground.
  2. Gymboree bubbles come with this wand (pictured above) and a little dish.  the wand is AWESOME and the dish is small so you can tote it around with you anywhere. one fun tip Gymboree told us about was that you pour in a tiny amount and let it “rest” or “breathe”. it somehow yields more bubbles that way and over pouring the liquid actually inhibits the max amount of bubbles from being blown.  *shrug *
  3. the pink wand above came with the Happy Summertime Touchable Bubbles. this wand creates a TON of tiiiiny bubbles that dance in the air and then rain down gently on C.  she giggles as she tries to pop them and catch them in her hands.  LOVE this tiny wand and the touchable bubbles are ridiculous!  they are harder to pop which means C can hold them in her hands and play with them.
  4. this cat bubble container is the cutest thing in the whole world.  C got it for her for her first birthday and even the wand is in the shape of the cat body~ so that when you’re holding the top it’s the head and the body want.  LOVE the attention to detail.  for the life of me i can’t find this one anywhere online so if ya’ll have seen this before please let me know where i can get more!

for mamas who need a very simple activity to keep their toddler busy, i recommend BUBBLES.  c asks for them ALL THE TIME and it makes her so happy.  she loves to blow the bubbles herself and hold the dish (which can be messy).  if you pour the bubbles into a tiny cup (we use the kid cups from ikea), it helps with spillage.  since this activity can be messy, we do it in the bath. =P  that way if c spills or gets it all over herself~ oh well~ she’s already in the bath.  hehe

happy monday folks!  i hope ya’ll have a wonderful week~~

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Family Photos for Holiday Cards: Outfit Ideas

i can’t believe Christmas is already around the corner!  what the heck.  i made an appointment to have our family photos taken in early october and soooo many things are running through my head…what do we wear? how can i make sure c is in a good mood?  i need to crash diet and lose 40lbs before the photos or people are going to think i’m pregnant w baby #2.  do we bring the dog?  should i get my hair and makeup done?  should i look at card templates to make sure what we wear and the photo “theme” all match?

in the grand scheme of life these are obviously very very trivial things, but that doesn’t make me stop obsessing over every tiny detail.  in the age of social media and (hellO!) blogging~~ these are very important issues!  i’ve been scouring pinterest, google, social media and clothing websites to figure out the perfect storm of outfits, accessories and colors.  i’m torn between going very traditional (red and white) or more rustic/relaxed (mustard yellow, chambray/denim, wine, cream).  mike just says “uh, lay out my outfit that morning and i’ll wear it”.  grrrrreat~ thanks for helping.

here are some fun ideas that i found from pinterest~~ let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions!

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Beyonce Themed Bachelorette

I’m going to a Beyonce Themed Bachelorette this month and I’m so exciiiiiited!!!  First of all Queen Bey~ do I even need to say more??  Here are some fun party ideas from Pinterest that I’ve been drooling over~~  I’m especially to wear my Tshirt!  I picked “Slay” or “Flawless”.  =D WAHOOOOO

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For more pics and ideas, click here for my pinterest board!

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Halloween Celebrations

sooo…i may have gone just a tiiiiiny bit overboard this year with halloween.  shocking right?  i am pretty sure mike and charlotte are completely halloween/costumed/pumpkin-ed OUT.  thank goooodness for thanksgiving and christmas! hehehe

i packed this weekend (thurs-mon) with big school parties, intimate pumpkin carvings, trick-or-treating with friends and one final trip to the pumpkin patch and petting zoo. =P  C did SUCH an amazing job that I just could not believe my eyes.  She was very serious at all of the new functions b/c she was trying to take it all in and just process what was happening.  Normally C HATES things on her head but sometime about the costumes…she wore it without any complaints!  It was AWESOME.

some cute moments from the weekend:

  • C loves hip hop music
  • C loves to watch the big kids and copy them
  • C is VERY into painting and glitter (glitter is my worst nightmare)
  • C is a champion at wearing costumes
  • C LOVES getting treats from people (went back for seconds many times)
  • C tried raisins + yogurt covered raisins for the first time~~ HUGE FAN of them
  • C tried some hot dog + meatball for the first time this weekend~ she did a happy dance after her first bites
  • C loves petting zoos, riding horses, and throwing pumpkins around

 

Here are some of our fun weekend adventures below!!

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her daycare class above and her “boyfriend” below.  heheimg_2952
her first experience trick-or-treating!! xoxo

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