3. The Extended Shower. I hope California isn't reading this...
This one works great for both girls now that Nora is walking around and becoming more able bodied on those legs. Some days when we're crunched for time, I'll jump out of the shower and let them stay in to play while I start getting ready.
And if you're really worried about water conservation just do what I do.. drink more wine.
Also affectionately referred to as, "Jail".
Sometimes I forget how helpful the high chair really is. Not only does it have straps so you can really lock them in there but there are so many different activities kiddos can enjoy in their high chair while you make yourself a decent lunch or paint your toes for the first time in 6 months.
Some of Hadley's favorite high chair activities include any type of coloring, sticker play, painting and play doh. Nora enjoys a bowl of something messy to go ape shit in. Like yogurt, applesauce or mashed potatoes.
Now that the warm weather is (sort of) coming around, a nice watermelon, popsicle or little bowl of ice cream will keep your kids occupied for at least 8 minutes.
I'm not above bribery.. especially with Hadley. These days everything is an argument or debate with her. She's coming up with answers to everything and I'm not going to lie, sometimes she has me stumped for a rebuttal. Little smartass.
So I offer her a treat after lunch or dinner for good behavior. And 90% of the time, it works.
There are soooooo many suggestions out there on how much screen time kiddos should really get. And I get it. When I watch too much TV or spend too much time scrolling Instagram even I feel like a brainless zombie afterwards.
But sometimes you just need Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to save the day.
We're Disney/Pixar lovers over here. Some of ours/the girls favorites are Frozen (ever heard of it?!), Tangeld, The Little Mermaid, Wreck it Ralph, The Book of Life (best music!!), The Lego Movie and Monsters, Inc.
Hadley is also a huge fan of old school Mickey Mouse cartoons and YouTube Kids has a ton of those episodes.
My newest favorite is Peppa Pig (also on YouTube Kids/Nickelodeon). It makes me laugh out loud with some of the banter between the mum and dad, and if I had my way I'd talk in an English accent all the time. So it's perfect.
Nora is getting more into some of the peek-a-boo apps you can play on the phone/iPad which has been nice if I need to distract her for a little at the grocery store or want a few extra zzzz's in the morning.
You can see a bunch of our favorite apps here.
And this iPad case is the tits.
7. "Let's build a fort, Ma!"
Hadley asks me to build her a fort at least once a week these days.
I'm not going to lie to you, the first time had me sweating. My skills we're embarrassing. The blankets kept falling, nothing was high enough and Hadley kept asking to jump on top of the fort. Sure, go ahead, find out how well that will work out for you, Hadley!!!! Time for a gravity lesson, kids!
But I think I'm becoming a master.
The key to keeping your fort together??!
Spend a few minutes building a fort castle and another guaranteed 30 minutes in kid-occupied bliss.
8. Balloon Bonanza
There are a few things I feel every kid loves.
Bubbles, stickers and balloons.
I always have balloons laying around from parties so when I need some reinforcements, I blow up a few (or a lot!) and let them go wild kicking them, throwing them and every once in a while... popping them. Popping balloons scares the bajesus out of me (I think it's the anticipation?!) but I'll deal if it means I can drink my coffee while it's still hot.
9. Picnic Time
Change up breakfast/lunch/snack time by laying a blanket out in the yard, on the deck or in the house! We did a little picnic time in Hadley's room the other day and the girls thought it was the most fun thing in the world, mostly because we had never done it before!
Put out a few mini chairs, toys, books and finger foods and let them have at it.
We got these little deck chairs from Bed, Bath and Beyond for just $20! And Wegmans has some cute plastic lawn chairs for just $12. Now we just need the sunshine to return, for realz.
Now I'm off to clean the crap out of this house and set up for Nora's 1st birthday party.
I can't believe it's been a year already since our littles babe joined the fam.
Cue the sobfest!!!!!
If you want to read about her birth story you can catch it in the featured post up in the sidebar. Or just click here for all Nora related posts.