A Day in the {Quarantined} Life

I love writing up the occasional ‘day in the life’ posts. Even though life is anything but normal right now, I thought it would be nice to document what our new normal looks like in these strange days of social distancing. This is definitely a unique circumstance and one day when this is all said and done, I think it’ll be interesting to look back and remember how we spent our days “quarantined” in our home (we’re not sick, so we’re not technically quarantined, but Indiana has a shelter-in-place order so we are not leaving our house for anything non-essential). I documented last Thursday – here’s what it looked like!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

I woke up around 7:00 am and quickly got dressed, did my quick 2 minute face wash+serum+moisturizer+contact lenses routine, and headed into the nursery to feed Vi. Once she was finished, we headed downstairs and I set her on the floor with a few toys to play with. This girl is rolling all over the place and in less than one minute was already this far away from her toys – we think she is close to crawling!

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I ate my breakfast and read my daily bible study while Vi rolled around and played.  Justin came down and grabbed a quick breakfast and kissed us girls goodbye before heading off to work around 7:30.

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LJ woke up around 7:45, so I went up to his room to get him and bring him down for breakfast. He chose two banana chocolate chip muffins that I made last week (trying especially hard not to let food go to waste since we’re not going out to the grocery store often).

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After breakfast, the three of us hung out in the playroom reading books and playing with trains.

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Right before all this social distancing started, Justin’s parents came to visit and brought some books that my sister-in-law was handing down to LJ because her kids have outgrown them. I’ve been slowly pulling out one thing at a time and it’s such a nice treat to have something “new” for LJ to get now that we’re stuck inside. This lift-the-flap tractor book is one of his favorite new things!

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LJ is big into coloring and using stickers right now, so we also spent some time crafting. He drew a picture and I traced Vi’s little handprints and wrote a short letter to Justin’s grandma so we could send her some love via mail!

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Around 9:15, Vi was starting to rub her eyes so I quickly fed her and put her down for a nap. In “normal” life, I get together with a small group of women every other Thursday morning. Since we couldn’t meet in person, we met via Zoom. I turned on Mickey Mouse on Disney+ to keep LJ occupied so I could meet with my friends.

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It was SO good to get to see other faces and hear how everyone is doing. We are all obviously dealing with this global health crisis in our own ways and everyone has their own struggles, so it was nice to just get to lean on one another and feel supported and loved.

Our call ended around 11:00 and I realized I should’ve known when LJ was being so quiet in the other room that he was up to something. Haha!

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Vi was up from her nap, so I went up to get her and change both kids’ diapers. I got some lunch around while chatting with my youngest sister on the phone. Sandwich for me, chicken nuggets, cottage cheese, strawberries, and an apple for LJ.

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Once we finished up lunch, we noticed that our neighbors across the road were outside with their tractors. We know them well, so we decided to take advantage of the warm sunny day and burn off a little pent up energy by walking across the road to say hi. I strapped Vi in our Ergo carrier and we set off!

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LJ is obsessed with tractors so he was so excited to go on a little adventure to see them. The day was perfect – sunny and warm!

We waved to our neighbors from afar and LJ got to get up close to one of the parked tractors. We watched our neighbors drive one of the other tractors for a while, then had to head back to our house for naptime. LJ was so cute about wanting to say goodbye to the tractors; he kept turning around every 5 steps to wave and say “bye tractor!” as we walked back down their lane.

We walked back to our house and brought the garbage can back in from the end of our lane. I love that LJ is in a stage where he loves to be a good helper!

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We spent a few more minutes soaking up the warm sunshine while LJ played in Justin’s truck. He loves pretending to drive and rolling the window up and down.

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Around 1:00 we headed inside. I put Vi in her activity center so I could take LJ upstairs and get him down for his nap. He’s starting to really stall when it comes to sleep so he wanted to keep reading books. We read a few books and sang a few songs and then I put him down.

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Back downstairs, Vi was also starting to look sleepy so I fed her while answering a few work emails. Once she was done feeding, she went upstairs for her nap around 2:00.

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Once Vi was in her crib, I headed straight down to our basement to get my Expecting and Empowered workout done. I have learned that it really helps keep my mental health in a good place to have some sort of exercise/movement each day and I’m more thankful than ever for at-home workouts. I completed leg day while listening to a podcast and it was a much needed boost!

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In between sets, I edited a letter of recommendation that my sister asked me to look over.

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Once I was done with my workout, I settled into the couch to get work done for my job (I’m a part-time administrative assistant for a nutrition counseling company) and had While You Were Sleeping (one of my favorites!) on in the background. I stayed here until I heard LJ wake up around 3:45.

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LJ normally wakes up from his nap in a super cranky mood and he needs about 20 minutes to adjust before he’s back to his normal self. I still had a few emails to finish up so I did those while he ate a snack and watched an episode of Mickey Mouse.

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Justin and I had decided to support a local restaurant (and give ourselves a cooking break) by ordering carry out for dinner, so I called in to place the order right before going upstairs to get Vi from her nap.

Justin got home from around 5:00 with dinner in hand. We ordered Italian – I love a good spinach tortellini!

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After dinner we hung out as a family and then Justin took the kids upstairs one at a time for bathtime. Vi hates bathtime but she was all smiles once she was squeaky clean!

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I fed and put Vi down for bed while LJ had his bath.

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After his bath, LJ wanted to play hide and seek for a few minutes. I honestly love the two-year-old phase. He just has the sweetest, most fun personality!

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LJ chose me as the one to put him down for bed (he’s going through a bit of a mommy phase right now 😉 ) so we read a few stories together, then I sang him a few songs and put him down.

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Once both kids were down, Justin and I grabbed the monitor and headed out to the workshop for our DIY Date Night. We made two book ledges for the little nook under our stairs and it was a really fun way to unwind and spend some quality time together working on a project!

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Once we finished our project, we cleaned up the shop and headed inside for the night.

Writing this day down was pretty therapeutic for me. It not only documented what our life looks like in this strange time of shelter-in-place, but it also made me realize that our days aren’t quite the “groundhog day” situation they feel like. There are small ways to make each day unique and special, and I want to remember that too. ❤

 

 

Six Months with Our Girl

Yesterday, our sweet Vi turned six months old.

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It feels both longer and shorter than that somehow. I cannot believe it has already been half of a year since this moment when I heard the words “it’s a girl!”

. . . and yet, I can’t even imagine our family without her. It feels like she’s always been with us.

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It’s all going a little too fast for this mama’s heart to handle, so today’s post is all about this girl and what life is like with her these days.

Relationships

Vi is honestly one of the happiest, sweetest babies. She is so smiley – I can’t help but smile too when I see her face light up! She especially loves her core family members. As her mama, I know we share one of the closest bonds. Whenever she’s upset, just the act of me picking her up and holding her usually calms her down right away. I love spending my days with her!

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She is totally a daddy’s girl already. When Justin comes home from work, she gets a huge grin, makes happy noises, and starts kicking her arms and legs in excitement. She adores him!

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And speaking of people she adores, her big brother LJ also tops the list. Oh my word. These two make my heart all melt-y. LJ loves to smother her in hugs and kisses and she follows his every move. She smiles when she sees him, tracks his movements across the room, and seems to genuinely like being near him (which is a good thing because he doesn’t exactly respect personal boundaries ha!) LJ is one of the few people who elicits genuine giggles out of her – she will laugh at the silly things he does or funny noises he makes and he loves it! One of their favorite little ‘games’ right now is he’ll blow zerberts on her belly and they both laugh. So sweet!

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When it comes to other people, it can be hit or miss. Vi is starting to recognize “stranger danger” – she will sometimes get a huge frown and cry if she’s staring into a face she doesn’t know.  It will occasionally happen with a babysitter too but we’ve learned that I just need to hold her facing out so she can observe the new face from the comfort of familiar arms until she warms up to the new person and then it’s fine. She is beloved by the ladies in the church nursery though – she’s always sweet as can be there and they love having her!

Sleep

Vi didn’t really have a 4 month sleep regression and has pretty consistently slept 8-12 hours every night since we moved her into her room. She either sleeps 8 hours, wakes up around 4 am, feeds, and goes back to sleep, or she’ll just sleep the whole way through the night until 7 or 8 am. Obviously, I prefer those nights 😉 but waking up once at four isn’t bad either. Maybe once every other week or so we’ll have a night where she’s waking up more frequently than that, but for the most part, she’s consistent!

While she’s great at night, she’s less consistent with naps. She sometimes takes a morning nap, she usually takes an afternoon nap, sometimes both, rarely neither. I think her inconsistency comes because of our schedule: mornings are generally the only time we can get out of the house during the day so we’re not always home. She’s pretty go with the flow and will at least fall asleep in her car seat if we leave the house, so that’s nice!

Food

We’ve just recently started introducing solids to her. Her very first food was avocado and she was … less than impressed.

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She’s also had some tastes of banana. So far she’s not really interested in food other than just playing with it or watching us eat.

She still does really well with breastfeeding and has always fed on demand. She started out wanting to feed every 60-90 minutes, which was exhausting for me. Nowadays, she will occasionally still want to feed that frequently, but she’s also able to go up to four hours in between feeds during the day. Similarly to LJ, she took a bottle well really early on, but once she got a little older and recognized she was drinking from a bottle, she wanted nothing to do with it. Now that she’s finally able to go longer in between feeds, I’m able to leave her with Justin or a babysitter to run errands or have time by myself which is good for both of us.

Activity

Vi is so interested in her surroundings and is always in motion, interacting with whatever is near her. If we put her on the ground, she’ll roll all over to reach and play with toys. She also loves playing in her activity center and is generally content to play there if I need a safe place to put her while I get some other work done.

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She also loves to look at herself in the mirror. I love watching her watch herself – she’s so proud of herself when she stands! (And those scrumptious leg rolls!!)

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She experienced her first snow but she was more interested in watching us than she was at discovering snow.

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While Vi is generally sweet, happy, and easygoing, she does have her moments. In particular, if I’m not home and she gets fussy for Justin or a babysitter, it’s generally because she wants to breastfeed and refuses a bottle. She will also sometimes get cranky when she’s overtired and we have to be conscious of putting her down in her crib when she shows signs of fatigue.

These last six months have been an adventure and I’m looking forward to making many more memories with this sweet girl.

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We love her so much!

Reducing Waste: Snack Time

One thing I am passionate about is reducing waste. Whether it’s finding plastic alternatives, avoiding single-use items, using products made of recycled materials, choosing bulk items with reduced packaging, or just consuming/buying/using LESS, I like to try to make choices that are a little better for our environment. I thought I would start sharing some ways that I do this here on the blog in case anyone else is looking for some ideas about how to reduce waste in their life too. Today I’m focusing on a specific area of reducing waste that’s big in my life right now and that is: toddler snack time.

Before getting into this, I need to share a disclaimer. Part of me hesitated to write a post about reducing waste because I know there are other things I could be doing in this area. While I would love to use the best, most environmentally-friendly option for everything, it’s just not always realistic. There are barriers like expense and time that are prohibitive and I’ve had to make some decisions with what to prioritize. In some cases, I know I’m not making the most environmentally-friendly choice. But have you heard the parable of the starfish? I think it applies here – just because a change is small, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a difference. I’m just trying to do the best I can with what works for our family, and I know that is all anybody can do. If these small changes I’ve made inspire anyone else to make a swap and reduce their waste in even one small way, I’m happy!

Now I love snacks and so does my toddler, but there can be a ton of waste when it comes to food. Obviously, some of it is unavoidable and I’m certainly not perfect here, but there are a few little changes I’ve implemented that make a difference.

Reusable Snack Containers

20200206_151316When it comes to dry snacks, I buy the bulk package instead of individual serving size packages. Then at home I’ll just pour some into a reusable container like this or baggie like this and LJ has an appropriate portion to carry around and eat. This is a quick (literally takes a few seconds) super easy option both for home and travel, as both the container and baggie can easily be thrown in my diaper bag.

20200206_152939I also like to use these stainless steel containers when I have something like fruit to take along as a snack – it keeps the food fresh and protected from getting squashed.

Reusable Food Pouches

20200206_152116When it comes to applesauce, LJ is borderline obsessed. When it’s served over lunchtime, he’ll eat it from a bowl with a spoon but when it’s served as a snack, he loves the pouches. Honestly, food pouches are a parents dream – so convenient, so easy to use, and a mess-free way of delivering different nutrients. The problem is, with the plastic top and individual packaging (compounded by the fact that we go through so. many.) pouches feel really wasteful to me. I found these reusable pouches online and they are a great alternative! I can buy applesauce in bulk or use my mom’s canned version and pour it into the pouches; it’s great because I can choose the type of applesauce (I choose unsweetened, but you could get different flavors or use homemade purees) and the amount that goes into the pouch. Plus they’re dishwasher safe!

In the interest of full transparency: I do not solely use the reusable options. I do still buy the individually packaged ones (included in the picture above) because the reusable ones need to be refrigerated since I opened the bulk container. Refrigerated options are not always feasible for taking along outside the house. When it comes to reducing waste, I think the important thing to focus on is reducing. I’m not perfect, but I think any effort still makes a difference. Hypothetical situation: even if LJ eats 500 pouches in his life and 400 of them are single-use packages, that still means I saved a landfill from 100 extra pouches by using the reusable option and I focus on the positive of that 20% waste reduction.

Misc. Items for Restaurants

20200206_152525When it comes to eating outside the house, I have these items stored in my diaper bag: a food-grade silicone mat, reusable utensil, and silicone straw. We don’t eat out very often, but when we do it’s nice to have these options instead of using disposable plastic items from the restaurant.

20200206_152638When Vi is a little older and eating food as well, I’ll throw a silicone bib and reusable spoon + case (I love the ones pictured from the brand RePlay because they are made from recycled milk jugs, helping with the waste problem again!)

20200207_080329While we’re on the subject of meals, at home we use RePlay’s plates and utensils. These are also made out of recycled milk jugs, which means my purchase kept a few more milk jugs out of a landfill. I believe there is power in the purchasing dollar and I will gladly support companies trying to find ways to create quality products out of recycled materials and reduce our society’s overall waste.

Paper Towel Alternatives

20200206_152742I was gifted these Swedish dishcloths (similar ones here) from my mother-in-law and they are awesome paper towel alternatives! Perfect for cleaning up toddler spills or wiping LJ’s hands or mouth. He doesn’t like when his food gets really sticky on his hands, so I usually wet one of these dishcloths and put it next to his plate for him to wipe his hands as needed. These are easy to clean and reuse, which is great! When we do use napkins at home, I have actual cloth napkins that can be washed and reused or I buy these napkins made out of recycled paper.

Also, when it comes to reducing waste around food, I try to reduce the waste of the actual FOOD. Making sure not to buy more than we’ll go through, trying to use produce before it goes bad, keeping track of expiration dates – all these things are important too. Again, I’m not perfect but I do think the effort matters.

What ways have you found to reduce waste around snack and mealtimes? I’d love to hear other simple changes to implement!

 

Marriage in the Little People Years

On Sunday, I drove to Ohio to celebrate my grandparent’s 62nd wedding anniversary.

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62 years!

When I think of all that Justin and I have gone through together in our 6 years of marriage, I can’t even imagine what we’ll feel when we’ve been married 10 times that long!

In 56 years, I hope I’m like my grandparents and celebrating our 62nd anniversary surrounded by our kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids. We have so much life left to live and I’m excited for all of it. Right now, Justin and I are in the thick of the “Little People Years.” We’re not just Justin and Sarah anymore, we are also Dad and Mom. These Little People Years are such a fleeting time in the grand scheme of our lives, but they can be challenging years. They can seem long and hard. Our kids are so young and need us for so much. And in these years, it can be so so easy to focus on the kids instead of one another. But these little people are here today because Justin and I fell in love first. They are here because we decided to commit to one another and spend our lives together. I cherish my marriage, and I’m thankful for all the growth we have had as a couple in the last 6.5 years, but I want to keep growing, connecting, and strengthening our relationship.

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As I previously wrote in this post, our marriage is the foundation for our children’s lives. It’s important that we keep our marriage and one another a priority. That can be hard to do in these Little People Years, but it’s so very important. Today I thought I’d share some of the little ways that we stay connected in these demanding years. They’re just some of the ways that work for us personally – I encourage you to find what works for you, even if it’s not the same things that work for us!

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A Year of Us book

There are days when Justin and I just naturally talk and connect in the evenings, and then there are days when we’re both just so exhausted from our individual days and kids that once the kids are asleep we both just basically become zombies on the couch and barely say two words to each other. I bought this book on Amazon because I thought it looked like a fun way to be intentional about still connecting on days where we’re too tired to come up with anything and don’t want to just scroll our phones or mindlessly watch TV the entire evening. The prompts are all over the place, and sometimes we don’t even know how to answer them but they always have led to good conversation. Sometimes we only talk for 5-10 minutes, other times it’s sparked a 30+ minute discussion. Sometimes it’s a lighthearted and silly discussion, other times it’s deep and meaningful. We don’t do one every day, but I do feel like it’s been a great way to be more intentional about connecting in the evenings!

Little words = Big difference

Don’t underestimate the power of a few sincere words. It is so meaningful to me when Justin just writes a quick note saying how much he appreciates and loves me and leaves it somewhere for me to find. Several years ago we purchased some window crayons to decorate a friend’s getaway car at their wedding, and we still have the crayons. Every once in a while I’ll use them to write a little note on Justin’s bathroom mirror as a fun, silly way to tell him I love him. It doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture – even a sincere text of appreciation for something they did or just to say ‘I love you’ can be a huge boost to the other person. Over time, all these small efforts have made a big difference in developing and strengthening our relationship.

And while we’re on the subject – it’s always nice to say thank you but I think it’s imperative to say it during the Little People Years. You are both stretched thinner and doing more. Little ones are very needy and demanding on your time and energy.  It’s easy for all the focus to go to the little ones and leave very little room to focus on each other. Noticing and appreciating your partner’s efforts is such a nice way to communicate that you see him or her too.

Can’t leave the house? Date in a ‘different’ spot

Life with kids is very routine based. Our evenings especially have a pretty straightforward pattern: Justin comes home from work, we have some family time, eat dinner, have a little playtime, and then he takes LJ for bath/books/song/bedtime and I take Vi for feeding/swaddling/bedtime. We get into a daily rhythm and it works really well for my kids. But what is a wonderful routine for my children can feel like a rut in my adult life. Anytime I’m feeling like we’re in a little bit of a rut, just a small switch-up in routine feels like a big change. In the summer, this might mean eating dinner on the patio (bonus if we can hold off on our own dinner until the kids are asleep and then eat together out there) or taking a glass of wine out on the porch swing after the kids are asleep.  Or instead of hanging out on the couch in our living room, we sometimes have a “basement date” where we watch a movie in our basement. It’s literally the exact same activity – sitting on the couch watching TV – but because we’re in a different place from our usual, it feels like a special little date.

Get creative with babysitters

It can be hard to actually go and have a date sans kids. It not only requires finding an evening that works for you both, but then finding someone to watch the kids and it can get expensive when you add up the cost of dinner/movie tickets/admission to a concert/whatever activity you’re doing plus the cost of a babysitter. My parents are willing to help, but they live out of town so it’s not always possible for them to drive in and watch the kids for us. In this blog post, I talked about some of the ways we have found to lessen the cost of babysitters, whether through swapping watching each others’ kids with another couple (or multiple couples) or sharing a babysitter and splitting the cost.

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Personally, I’m pretty excited to see where Justin and I are in 56 more years. But I don’t want to wish this time away in the meantime – I plan to fully enjoy the journey. 🙂

What little things help you feel connected to your partner?

Merry Christmas!

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas. This season has absolutely flown by!

Today I wanted to share our Christmas card, where we decided to stay true to what our life with two small children really looks like right now. We *might* have been able to get a good picture with everyone looking and smiling, but this crazy blooper reel felt much more like us. 😉

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Last year, on Christmas morning, we found out I was pregnant. Now, as I snuggle my sweet little four month old daughter while we both look at the Christmas tree, I am feeling all sorts of happy and content. It’s been wonderful to mostly unplug these past few days and enjoy the time with my sweet babies and our family.

From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy holiday season. ❤

Santa Train!

I love Christmas and doing Christmas-y things, but I never want us to get so busy we don’t really enjoy the season. I’ve been very intentional about just picking a few things to do as a family in this season so we can truly enjoy without being overwhelmed.

LJ is completely obsessed with trains right now (in case you couldn’t tell based on his Halloween costume and birthday party theme). When I discovered that a local railroad historical society puts on a train ride with Santa, I knew this was definitely something Christmas-y that had to be on our to-do list! My parents wanted to come too, so we all got tickets and went this past Saturday.

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I had no idea what to expect with this ride, but it actually was perfect for small children. There were two caboose cars and one engine and it just went out the track and back. We boarded a caboose (ours was 60 years old and the other caboose was 100 years old!) and it was all decorated for Christmas. Santa was in ours to start with, and he passed out candy canes and let kids sit on his lap and take pictures. The train stopped halfway through and then Santa left to go visit the other caboose. The ride was supposed to be 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back, but it was a little shorter than that, which was fine by me since it was pretty chilly.

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Vi seemed to enjoy Santa . . .

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but LJ was very unimpressed ha!

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LJ may not have been impressed by Santa, but he was ALL about the train ride! He was absolutely fascinated with looking out the window to see passing landscape or looking at how the cars were connected and how they moved during the ride.

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My dad is a history buff and he and LJ were like two little peas in a pod geeking out over the train.

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After the train ride, we went inside their warehouse, where they store their engines and had set up a mini Christmas village. There were lights strung up, a few little booths, a little food truck where you could purchase snacks and hot cocoa, and of course, trains. It was a cute little set up! You could go inside their biggest engine, which LJ loooooooooooved. The lighting wasn’t great, so my photos are low-quality, but getting to pretend to drive the engine was a highlight for LJ for sure!

We stayed about an hour in total and then loaded up the car to go get some lunch. Leaving was pretty tough, as we had a strong-willed toddler who was not ready to say bye bye to the trains. Haha! Safe to say it was a huge hit and is definitely something I can see us doing as a little family tradition each Christmas. I’m so glad my parents were able to join the fun too!

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Do you have fun Christmas traditions you do with your family/children? I’d love to hear what you enjoy doing each year!

LJ’s Second Birthday

Well, it’s official: I have a two-year-old!

LJ’s actual birthday was Friday so we had a little mini celebration as a family. After Justin got off work, we went to Culver’s for a little family date. LJ received a few birthday cards in the mail from family so we let him open those one at a time throughout the dinner. (Sorry for the terrible photo quality! I was actually videoing him opening everything so these are just screen grabs from the videos).

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My grandparents always send some dimes for his piggy bank – so sweet!

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We also got a book for him so that he would have a little present to open during the birthday meal. He loves trains and lift-the-flap books so when I saw this during a friend’s recent book party, I knew it was the perfect choice.

After finishing our meals we each got an ice cream for dessert. LJ usually just shares his dessert with one of us so the fact that he got his own cup of ice cream with sprinkles was a big deal for him. He was so excited and definitely enjoyed it!

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Instead of a bunch of gifts, Justin and I decided to get one big gift that he would really love: a train table! We received a hand-me-down table from a friend and saved it until Saturday morning. Justin woke up early and got it all set up so it was ready to go when LJ woke up. He was SO excited to see it in his playroom and played with it all day!

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On Saturday after LJ’s nap, some of our family came over for his little party.  I stuck with the train theme and just grabbed a bunch of things around the house to decorate. I bought a “happy birthday” sign from the dollar spot at Target back when I was teaching and it gets brought out for every party. I re-used the train and conductor’s hat from LJ’s Halloween costume, grabbed some books and trains we already had, pulled out my white serving dishes and letterboard and voila!

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My friend Amber made some amazing train cookies and I bought a little 4 inch cake from a local grocery store to put candles in. We served super fancy cuisine – Papa John’s pizza, chips, and a veggie tray. LJ loved it! 🙂

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Now unfortunately, once the party actually started, I was so absorbed in it that I lost track of my phone and didn’t take pictures! Justin snapped a few, but overall, we were all just enjoying ourselves without phones.

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I did manage to get this one of my sister and Vi – how sweet!

Justin and I made the decision a few months ago to have a “no gifts” party for LJ. We did this last year and wanted to do it again this year. We agreed that not only is LJ still too little to really understand gifts are typically given on birthdays, but his birthday is super close to the holidays and he will be receiving a lot of things then. Also, we are minimal-ish people: we’re not trying to live with 5 things or be super controlling and never accept more items, but our home is a more pleasant place and our lives are more enjoyable when we’re not overrun with stuff so we’re intentional about what comes into our house.  Because we still wanted family to be involved and participate in his gift, I bought unpainted trains and asked our family members to decorate a car instead of giving a gift. Some did their own, some couples shared one. We painted trains during the party and those that couldn’t make the party had theirs made and sent to us ahead of time.

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This idea worked SO well and it was so fun to see the creativity (check out my brother-in-law’s “hippopotamoose-caboose” ha)! They were all so unique and reflected everyone’s personality. LJ loves them and it’s sweet to see him play with all of them.

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Happy birthday, my sweet LJ! It was such a joy to celebrate your life (and bribe you with one more cookie before bedtime when I realized I hadn’t gotten a picture with you – haha!)

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