Bedtime with Eric Carle


My favorite time of the day, is bedtime.. when Clara's clean from her bath, we're snuggled up with our jammies on, and we read some books together.  I've always been a book worm and I hope that she becomes one as well!  She has a good collection of books from when I was little, and even a couple from when my dad was a kid.. and then a lot of new ones, of course.

Eric Carle has always been one of my favorites, and I love that The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of her favorites.  I also love that the World of Eric Carle and Gymboree have come together to create an awesome line of clothing and pajamas.  I got these super sweet PJs the other day, and I just can't even handle the cuteness.  They have all kinds of fun designs available for boys and girls!  I let Clara pick these out and she really liked the balloons on this pair.  ;)

We also snagged up this sweet flower shirt from the Eric Carle line.  It was hard to decide between this flower one and the butterfly design!

Some other fun things...

You can print out some super fun Eric Carle printables and coloring sheets for your kiddos here.  And from 9/2 - 9/30, they will be hosting a photo contest, where they are encouraging parents to help their little ones take a photo of what they see (inspired by Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See).  You can submit a photo via Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr using the hashtag #WhatDoYouSee.  Inspired by Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, from 9/2-9/30, we will be hosting a photo contest, where we are encouraging parents to help their little ones take a picture of what they see.

Entrants of the #WhatDoYouSee contest will have the chance of winning one of ten Eric Carle gift baskets including: A House for Hermit Crab book, a signed copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, figurines, stickers, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sippy Cup, Chunky Colored Pencils, Match and Munch Game, Place Mats Book, and Stage & Play (Approximate Retail Value $144.99).

This is a sponsored blog post, I received compensation from Gymboree.  The opinions and text are mine.

Potty Training Must-Haves


Potty training Clara was, thankfully, way more easy that I anticipated it to be.  I can only pray that the second child will be as easy!  But I know that every child is different and they each may need a different approach, may be ready at different times, or need different things to help them along.  These were the must-haves for Clara...

  • 1.)  A little potty.  We used the green froggy potty that you can get pretty much anywhere, and it's cheap!
  • Pull Ups!  I love that these adhere at the sides also.
  • M&Ms.. these were our incentive candy of choice.  Two for #2 and one for #1.
  • A princess potty seat.  Super affordable, and it helped when Clara was ready to sit on the "big potty".. she was scared of it at first.
  • A stool!  It helps my munchkin be able to wash her hands independently and get up on the potty by herself at first.
  • Big girl panties.  She thought she was pretty special when she got her first pair.  ;)

Clara was potty trained shortly after she was 2 1/2, though I did try a little bit earlier - she just wasn't ready before that.  The biggest piece of advice I can give someone who is thinking about starting to potty train their child is to just wait until they're ready.  For some that might not be until they're 3.  For some, maybe that's at 2.  Every child is different, just try not to get frustrated with it!  Clara was terrified of the toilet for the longest time.  And then one day she just up and told me she wanted to sit on the potty.  Obviously I knew she was ready to start then!

She did really good, and actually only had a couple accidents since we potty trained her.  It took not quite a full week and she was wearing big girl panties at all times, and only Pull Ups at night.  The Pull Ups were super nice at daycare also, because these ones are able attach/detach at the sides.. which made it much easier on her teachers.  :)

The scariest part, to me, about the whole thing.. was taking her out in public in big girl panties.  I just really did not want to go through the mess of an accident in the middle of the grocery store or something.  But I'm proud to say, she hasn't had an accident in public.  Whew!

If you need some extra tips or help with potty training, I suggest enrolling in the Pull Ups Big Kid Academy!  If you're absolutely stuck and are about to lose your mind, this website has a lot of resources and strategies you could be taking advantage of.  It also has a nice collection of some fun activities for you to browse!

Thanks to Pulls Ups for sponsoring this post and creating a great product!

First Trimester Recap


Since I didn't announce this pregnancy until I was well into the 11th week... and as of today, I am 13 weeks and welcoming the second trimester.. I thought it would be fun to do a little recap of the first trimester.

This pregnancy, so far, has been completely opposite from when I was pregnancy with Clara.  I really have nothing to complain about so far.  I have not once gotten sick (where with Clara I threw up about 3x per day in 1st tri).. the only time I feel a little nauseous is when I'm hungry, and as long as I eat right away I'm good to go.  I've been a little sluggish lately, which is to be expected when you're growing a baby and chasing a toddler - though I haven't been overly exhausted.  Going to bed a little earlier than normal helps usually.

I haven't really had any food aversions yet, but what sounds good to me majorly depends on my mood which makes my meal planning very hard.  I normally have a big sweet tooth.. and still have one.. though I can't seem to handle as much sweets as I used to (probably a good thing, ha!).  And the one thing that I love the absolute most... ice cream... seems to be not agreeing with me, although it's gotten a little better the past week.  Almost like I've been lactose intolerant or something! 

Other than that, I've been feeling pretty awesome - and I'm very thankful for that!  Clara seems to be excited about having a baby in the house.  Every now and again she'll stop and say, "Mama, you have a baby in your belly!" and she will touch my stomach.  So sweet, she will be such a good big sissy!

As for other baby related things... no one will know the name until after baby is born.. which is how we did it with Clara also.  :)  I'm not 100% positive if we are going to find out the sex yet or not - my husband really wants to and a big part of me wants to also.  However, there are only so many things in life that are really a surprise, and I just think it would be amazing to be surprised like that!