Monday, August 31

Toddler Snacks!

Happy Monday!  In order to chase away the Monday blues, I thought it would be fun to talk about snacks!  Toddlers love snacks.  And mommies love snacks.  ;)  Dane is offered a snack mid-morning before lunch, and then when he wakes up from his afternoon nap.  Sometimes he eats it, sometimes he can't be bothered.  I mean - who refuses to eat a snack?? #toddlerprobs

We eat pretty healthy in the Carter house - or at least try to!  I would say that our meals throughout the week are usually on the healthier side, and then on the weekends we are a little more relaxed.  Dane has been an EXCELLENT eater so far, and I am really hoping that continues.  So with that, I try to offer healthy snack options...but keeping in mind that kids like kid food & sometimes Goldfish or a trip to DQ do the trick!

Below are some of our favorite toddler snacks.  Things that I know Dane will go for 80% of the time.  I would love to hear your favorite toddler snacks, too!  I am always on the lookout for variety.

Happy snacking!

If your toddler loves fruit, cha-ching!  My little D loves pretty much any kind of fruit, so I know he will always eat some diced apples, banana or clementine for a snack.  He loves peanut butter also, so sometimes I will add that to his apples or bananas for a yummy treat.  

I like the Sargento brand.  Dane is just now getting to be able to "string it" himself which he thinks is fun!

Kind of like a Fruit-Roll up, minus the 100+ grams of sugar.  Stretch Island is the brand, and there are a good variety of flavors found in the natural foods aisle of the grocery.  They are easy to throw in the diaper bag and perfect for a sweet treat!

I just started offering granola to Dane as a snack and so far he has approved!  Another mama friend posted that her tot likes granola with or without milk and I thought it sounded like a fun option.  This brand is called Love Grown & is gluten-free and non-GMO.  Of course there are a TON of granola options out there you can choose from!  I just give Dane a little bowl or cup of it and he goes to town.  I also like to make Chocolate Covered Katie's chewy granola bars for all of us good & you wouldn't know they are healthy!  

We love Stoneyfield Organic yogurt and have been buying it for meal times also.  But it is great for a snack alternative if you are in a bind.

Popcorn is one of mama's favorite types of snacks...and now Dane's as well!  I love the Skinnypop brand because it all natural - no butter, salt, etc!  It sounds gross when you have grown up on movie theatre popcorn, but it is actually really good!  Skinnypop now has several different kinds of popcorn out too.  It is great for movie theatre smuggling too - oops!

Veggie Stix are perfect for road trips, or just a quick snack when needed.  They are a better alternative than chips & Dane just loves them.  Found in the natural foods aisle in the grocery.  Veggie Stix also has an "Apple Stix" as well, which is yummy!  

What does your toddler love to snack on?  Please share!

Friday, August 21

Friday Favorites

Woohoo FRIDAY!  Here is what I am loving this week!

I mean, everyone loves Chick-Fil-A, right?!  #mypleasure  We really don't eat there much because it is expensive.  However, Dane and I stopped after a Children's Museum visit on Thursday and I was so impressed.  I was by myself with him, and after ordering I had about 3 workers follow me to the table, get a high chair, set out his placemat, put on his bib & deliver our food.  Definitely a Friday Favorites this week.

I snagged this little gem for Dane at Barnes & Noble the other day.  I was planning to wait and put it out with his Fall books, but I went ahead and gave it to him.  There is a series of these "First sports" books, and he LOVES this one.  The pages are simple with just one word and a photograph.  For example, "team" (picture), or "coach" (picture).  Currently Dane's favorite words to say are "huddle, coach, tackle, and I guess the book is helping.  I am excited to get the basketball, baseball, golf & soccer books soon!

I have been using this mascara since high school & it really is the best you could ever find.  I keep meaning to put it on the Friday Favorites list.  It makes my short, blonde eyelashes stand out.  I have gotten a few friends hooked on it as well, so Lancome can go ahead & cut me a check.

Fall is almost here.  I am just waiting on September 1st to come around, so I can throw pumpkins & leaves everywhere, light my Fall candles & turn on Hocus Pocus.  Love this quote about October!

What are your favorite things this week?

Tuesday, August 18

Show & Tell Tuesday....High School

A few of my favorite blogger moms, Andrea,  Shay & Erika, always do a Tuesday series called "Show & Tell" and they have a different topic to discuss every week.  Anyone can join and post the topic on their blog.  I have never done it until today, but thought this week's topic looked fun...and hilarious too!

What were you like in HIGH SCHOOL?

Classic over-the-shoulder Senior pic.  Devin calls my bangs "wings" 

 I graduated from Danville High School in 2000.  I grew up in Danville (a small town in the west side of Indianapolis) and attended school there Kindergarten-High School.  My mom was a Special Education teacher in the district, and Danville is the type of town where everyone knew everyone.  I graduated with about 130 students - so pretty small!  I loved high school & still keep in contact with friends through Facebook & even went to college with my best friend from high school, which was pretty neat!

I don't think we went tanning enough??

I was a good student and hardly remember having much homework.  All of us girls would meet in the cafeteria before school and do our homework together in the mornings, and I don't remember having to do a lot at night.  I loved to read (and still do) and would always have a book in my hand as well.

However, my life in high school was CONSUMED by this:  cheerleading.  I grew up participating in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading so was hopeful I would make the team my freshmen year.  I made Junior Varsity as a freshman and then cheered for Varsity Sophomore-Senior year.  I was super close to the girls I cheered with (one of their moms even made all of our that is talent!)  Cheerleading was the thing to do in my county, and competition cheerleading in the summer was even bigger.  The summer competition squad was another separate team to try-out for, and I made it my freshmen year.  #toetouch #herkie  We competed in numerous competitions all over the state, and even out of state as well.  But the big win for us was taking the county trophy that summer and beating out a squad that had won for years.  Of course now it seems trivial, but we thought we were on top of the WORLD when they announced us as winners!  My husband went to a rival high school just a few miles away (we didn't know each other though) & was actually at that competition watching his high school's squad perform.  #webeatthem #sorelosers  It is crazy to think he was in the audience that night!  

big winners.  
Cheerleading took up a ton of my time, and we would often have practice before school and after school as well.  My first cheerleading coach, Michelle, was the meanest toughest person I have ever met.  Like Jillian Michaels times 1,000 tough.  She was married to a Colts player and had been a Pro cheerleader herself.  You could always bet on about half of the squad either bleeding from falls, or crying by the end of every practice.  But, we were dang good.  Of course Friday nights were spent cheering on the sidelines of football and basketball games...although I still know very little about either sport.  I blame it on not being able to see over the players!  Our football team made it to state my Senior year, which was a huge deal.  I still remember my last high school football game, which was in the RCA Dome for the State title, and wondering if I would cheer for football ever again.  (I ended up cheering in college too - so yay!  Not my last game).  Unfortunately we were killed in the State game #catholicschoolsrecruit so we went home pretty sad.  

Top Right "flyer" 

On my way down.  

Our "before we lost State" smiles.  
Other than cheerleading, I was involved in FCA (Fellowship Of Christian Athletes) & Student Council.  My senior year Danville hosted the State Student Council Convention.  Otherwise known as  a ton of work.  Basically any student council in the state could register, and it was a weekend-long convention/retreat where councils learned about different types of school leadership, did team building activities and just had fun.  We had almost 1,000 students registered for the convention and the theme was "W.O.W."...or We Own The World.  I was in charge of host families for the convention, which meant I had to find hundreds of families in our community to each host several students for the weekend.    They had to be willing to pick their students up Friday night, feed them dinner and breakfast on Saturday and then transport them back to school on Saturday and repeat that night.  It was a TON of work and I remember being excused during numerous classes that Fall so I could work on organizing all of the host families.   Aaaaaaand, I may or may not have chosen the cute boys (each registration packet came with a school picture) to stay at my house.  OOPS!  

I wore my W.O.W shirt OUT.  Just ask Devin.  I just threw it out a few months ago.  
I didn't have much time for an after school job in high school, but I did work at a local car dealership on Saturdays.  I made coffee, answered phones, made appointments for salesmen, and processed new paperwork when vehicles were purchased on Saturdays.  I still can't believe they allowed a high school student to do paperwork like that, but oh well!  It was a great job and I loved the guys I worked with.  This was the time before cell phones, Facebook & texting, so all of us just talked and goofed off during the day.  Some of the salesmen even came to my wedding!  The best part of that job though, was choosing any car to go pick up lunch.  I always chose well.  ;)

Most likely the first & last time I will ever drive a BMW convertible.  

My sales buddies always made me stop by for prom pictures.  

I also worked several class periods during the school day as an office helper and then graded papers for my biology teacher.  I'm not sure how I was able to manage missing several class periods in order to do that, but no one seemed to mind?  The typewriter I used in my office job was pretty sweet too.  

The office workers.  
High School prom.  Ahhh those were the days.  Prom just isn't the same anymore, from what I hear, and like half of the juniors/seniors don't even go I guess!  I went twice my Junior year and once my Senior year.  My junior year I went with a friend, and then again with a guy I worked with who went to another school.  That was a disaster though, and I think I burned those pictures.  My senior year I went with another friend, but I had just started dating my most serious boyfriend (haha, serious boyfriend), Kyle.  I was head.over.heels for him.  Sadly, he had already told someone else he would go to prom with them, so I went with a close guy friend.  BUT, Kyle redeemed himself by calling me one night and telling me to put my prom dress on because he was at my front door.  We took his dad's convertible and went out that night.  Ummm, boyfriend points.  Too bad we broke up right before I left for college & I cried myself to sleep for days.  I remember my dad telling me to get a hold of myself, I was graduating soon, and would find "The One" while in college.  I guess he was right.  ;)  The highlight of my senior Prom was my corsage though.  It was the talk of the night.  It had tiny little lights in it & lit up the dance floor when the lights were off.  Too bad the battery pack it was attached to was so heavy & made me have carpal tunnel by the end of the night.  #beautyispain

I doodled his last name as mine daily.  

Can you see the twinkle lights?  
High School was a fun time for me, and I have a lot of great memories from those four years.  I tell Devin all the time that kids are just different now.  I don't remember kids being mean or bullying others like they do now.  I'm sure it definitely happened, but I wasn't a part of it.  I remember at graduation wondering how college could ever top High School.  Boy, was I wrong.  I loved high school, but not the same kind of love that was given to college.  Maybe that will be another Tuesday topic soon!

Class of 2000

What were you like in High School?!  I would love to hear your stories! 


Thursday, August 13

Be Their Favorite Toy.

I think we have a cute house.  Not too big, not too small.  Of course there are things about every person's house that they wish they could change.  We would love to have a basement...maybe a one-story ranch with a basement.  And I would love to have a Carrie Bradshaw-sized closet.  #closetgoals  But, you make do with what you have & our house has been great for our little family of 3.  My beloved bright pink sunroom was one of my favorite parts of our house.  White leather couches, custom window treatments and no-boys allowed.  Not kidding.  But being that I live with one very tall boy, and one very small boy I knew deep down we needed a renovation.  A cute toy room for my little boy.  

So, the past 6 months were filled with Devin constructing a massive toy bench & custom bookshelves.  Because who wants to pay $30 for bookshelves when Daddy can make his own for a fraction of the cost?  #timthetoolman We decided to keep the bright pink walls & I think they work fine for now.  And who knows - maybe a little girl is in our future at some point?  :)

As we were putting everything together & moving toys over, I immediately thought of some recent advice I had been given.  My sweet kindergarten parents threw me a baby shower when Dane was born and they made a book of motherhood advice for me to read.  One note always sticks in my brain and I think about it all the time.  This mama's advice was to be my child's "favorite toy."  She went on to explain that when her son was in preschool they were asked by their teacher what their favorite toy was.  He said, "My mom is my favorite toy because she always plays with me."  Wow.  And I could just picture this mama doing that because she was that type of mom.  The lay-on-the-floor, play trains & dress-up type of mom.  The type of mom I want to be.  Sure - there are days when I check my phone too much & just want to sit & catch up with The Today Show, but then I always think about that note.  I want Dane to say that his mama is his favorite toy.

The days are long but the years are short, & before long the toys will be put away for good.  So let's read & dress-up & play trains & build blocks & color (in the lines, of course) while we can.