WTF Wednesday: Reasons why Summer is the Worst...

It's summer time. Time to cue up the iPod's with all your favorite songs, stock up on lemonade supplies, crank up the AC and gather up the beach gear.  But also, let's admit that summer is the WORST. When the kids aren't in school full-time and it's hot outside our families take on a whole other level of crazy.  Let's list the ways that summer is the absolute most annoying time of year: image

1. No school? No Bueno.  The kids are bored as soon as the novelty of the "schools out for summer" mentality wears off.  By my calculations that's about 15 minutes post end-of-school-year-celebrations.  Boredom leads to messes. Messes lead to annoyance.  Annoyance leads to frustrations. And that, as we all know too well, leads to meltdowns...on EVERYONES part.  Surprisingly, there's a lack of day camps from the last day of school for about 2 weeks post-insanity.  That's two whole weeks of figuring out what in the actual F#*% you are going to do with your kids.  And yes, I realize we all would love more time with our kids to vacation and whatever, blah, blah, blah....reality is...they don't want to spend all day everyday recreating Norman Rockwell moments with their parents.  They want to hang out with friends and be preoccupied with teachers and counselors and activities.  Real talk: no school sucks!

2. The public pool is my own personal hell.  Really.  Let's add the beach to that list...and water parks.  All of that blows.  The pool is overcrowded with parents and kids seeking some sort of relief from the stifling heat.    Parents: please watch your kids at the pool.  Get off your phone, put down your book, and open your eyes! My little guy LOVES to swim and for a three-and-a-half year old he is a damn good swimmer (thanks for amazing swim lessons and A LOT o commitment on my part by taking him to the pool for daily practice and confidence building ::pat on the back::) but I would never take my eyes off of him or be more than 4 feet away.  OK, so your kids are bigger and older and so they can go do their own thing.  Sounds great, can't wait for that day, BUT my kid can't so help me out and make sure your raging preteen doesn't jump, splash, bump, hit or generally rough house around the little guys. Find somewhere else besides the kiddie pool for that!  There have definitely been times that myself or daddy have fallen victim to this type of crap happening around us or our son and it ruins the whole experience for everyone. Same goes for water parks except add asshole adults acting like previously mentioned goober kids and you have everyone's worst nightmare.  And the beach? Please y'all, I love the beach. Love.  Or should I say 'loved' the beach before I had a child...now it's more of a chore than a relaxing zen-like retreat.  Beach toys, umbrellas, chair, towels, sun protectant armor and lugging all of that crap down into the burning sand only to end up sitting next to a group of co-eds chugging brewskis and wearing less than dental floss.  Here in Florida, some beaches allow driving and parking on the beach.  Seems like it would be convenient.  I find it scary and dangerous.  Every year some story on the news about someone being run over on the beach...uh, no thanks.  And the sand....everywhere and anywhere it can be hidden...for weeks.  We went away a few weeks ago to a beach resort...I'm still finding sand in things and places that I'd rather not.  Ugh.

3. Camp!  Camp is good for the reason that it gets the kids out of the damn house and into some structured activities that easy the pain of boredom.  But camp is also a huge pain in the ass.  We have to send B to camp "swim ready" and pack clothes and a lunch for the rest of the day.  Only childless people would believe getting a 3 year old "pool ready" first thing in the morning is easy.  Putting sunscreen and swimwear on a little kid is like wrangling a greased pig and dressing it for one of Jacque Cousteau's deep water expeditions. Don't forget you must label everything.  If you don't, than just pull out some cash and burn it. Same thing.  Everything will end up lost in the ether of day camp craziness.  We like NameBubbles. And don't get me started on trying to survive the parking lot and the daily drop off/pickup systems of camp... AHHHH!!!

4. Ice cream.  We love us some ice cream and popsicles but good gravy...what a mess!!!  How is it possible to hand a child an ice cream or some other frozen treat and within 30 seconds realize it's in their hair, all over them and their clothes and shoes...then the realization that it's also all over you and in your hair and in your purse and...OMG...it's just everywhere.  The only solution is hose everyone off after a trip to ice cream stand.  I'm still cleaning a popsicle stain out of the car seat and surrounding areas from a disastrous and poorly thought out decison on my part.

5. The heat and all of the things that come with rising temperatures.  Luckily we live in Florida so we are prepared for year round heat and humidity, but 105 degrees in the shade? It seems like summer started WAY early this year and the heat has been worse than ever before. Maybe I'm imagining that but, ugh.  The car feels like an oven, your boob sweat is literally out of control, there's no point in even doing anything with your hair cause you know you are going to end up looking like Hagrid within 5 minutes of exiting the safety of your air-conditioned domicile, wearing less clothes means shaving your legs way more often than the lazy days of winter, and even the dog won't entertain the ridiculous idea of subjecting themselves to heat stroke. WTF?! I've never been so happy for daily rain showers in my life, but even those leave little relief from the oppressiveness of the climate outside.

All of that being said, summer can bring some good times and great memories and even though right now, at this very minute I hate all things summer, I still do them for the sake of love and laughter with kiddo...and for the simple fact that there's no escaping it. Also, thank goodness this year school starts incredibly early here in the sunshine state.

Good luck surviving the rest of the summer!

All Love,

W & B

Monday Fave Rave: Tis The Season

Tis the season for frantic shopping, assembling, wrapping, and stashing all of those gifts for the kiddies. But what about the adults? You know, the ones that wipe noses and asses, that run the errands and cook and clean, are up all hours of the night and rise with the sun to face the day head on…yeah, those people. Don't forget to get something special for the ones who do all the work and expect nothing in return.  I have a great little list of local places to stop in and find something for the parental units on your gift giving list this year that caters to every style.

  1. Got Karma? Major karma points for stopping in this unique and zen boutique to grab a great gift to keep the qi flowing.  Perfect for your hippy momma gal pals.
  2. Retromended is the perfect place for your throwback kings and queens.  I can always find the perfect accessory for my Mom Uniform.
  3. Rocket Fizz  is the perfect place to put together a special gift for your favorite sugar addict.  They have everything you could think of all in one awesome place that will bring you back to the old school days.
  4. The Lovely is a a beautifully put together boutique market that brings together both locally made artisan crafts and impeccably selected vintage finds brought to you by local entrepreneurs.  You will find something for everyone and probably some stuff for you too.
  5. Etoile Boutique has some of the coolest and one of a kind creations you will find in Orlando…or anywhere.  You can always walk out of this place with something special.

Try to remember to shop local this season.  You won't be disappointed and neither will your friends and family!

 

Good Luck!

-W and Boo

 

 

WTF Wednesday: Toddler Toys Are The Worst

I would say nothing drives me more bat-shit crazy than a few of my son's favorite toys.  Seriously, who ever invented some of this crap needs a slap.  With Christmas fast approaching, my little guy is looking forward to receiving plenty of gifts from the big man in red.  I, on the other hand, am dreading it…oh, and conveniently we have a birthday right after.  Double to crap, double the pain in my ass. Look, it's not like we don't or won't buy or kids annoying shit.  It's just that we have to deal with them and we all deserve the rant.  So heres my list of "pain in my ass toys of 2015."

  1. Play doh.  What sick bastard thought that this was fun for anyone but a toddler? It gets everywhere.  You have to tell everyone (including the dog) to not eat the damn stuff. You will never have a nice area rug ever again if you imbibe in the play doh, just a fair warning.
  2. Legos…no surprise here.  We've all stepped on one and screamed a few curse words that may or may not be the reason your toddler says the "F" word in public to this day.
  3. The Fart Blaster.  Good gravy, this thing has pushed me almost to my limits.  There isn't anything more annoying than waking up to a toddler fart blasting you in the face with this very annoying gun-like toy that makes me want to run for the hills screaming and pulling my hair out.
  4. Anything with glitter on it.  Ugh, really? Like I need more shit to clean up, now we've added sparkle to the mix? Thanks.
  5. Anything that requires a PhD in Engineering for me to A) remove from the box or B) assemble.  Real talk: I'm too tired for that shit and my kid wants the damn toy, so why do they make it all so difficult to play with?

So do us a favor and don't buy us this stuff, OK? If you promise not to we will invite you over for birthday parties and pool parties and not complain when you eat all of our food or drink all of our wine.  Even better, we won't buy these for your kids.

Persnickety Palate: Trick Your Toddler

These days getting Boo to eat anything that isn't hotdogs or mac'n'cheese is basically a miracle.  He's pretty resistant to eat anything vegetable related…so I trick him.  I hide veggies in everything.  Is it just us? I mean, I feel like I hear other people saying that their kid will eat anything… I want to slap them.  I have worried myself sick in the past thinking that my child will end up unhealthy, but the fact is feeding them a balanced diet is possible. Here are my top tricks for sneaking in nutrients into your toddlers otherwise crap diet:

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  1. Replace lasagna noodles with zucchini ribbons, or make "pasta" with this handy little tool.  My kiddo will eat anything with a pasta sauce on it, so this is always a great options for replacing gluten and carb loaded foods with a veggie.
  2. Add frozen spinach to meatballs.
  3. Reduce ground beef, chicken or turkey portions and add ground mushroom.  This is a great boost of vitamins and minerals.
  4. Try adding a bit of pureed pumpkin or butternut squash to tomato sauces.
  5. Add steamed and pureed cauliflower to cheese sauces.  This can lighten your alfredo and mac'n'cheese considerably.
  6. Always add spinach or baby kale to your smoothies.
  7. This Airfryer is amazing.  We make a ton or sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, tater tots, etc. with little to no oil.
  8. If you have a juicer making carrot juice or beet juice to add to fruit juices and freezing into popsicles makes kiddos happy and cools them off.
  9. Add whipped avocado to puddings and brownie mix.
  10. When in doubt look for store bought items that add veg to the old standbys (just be ware of added preservatives, dyes and sugars!!)

Monday Fave Rave: Target Obsessed

Anyone who knows me know that I am totally TO (Target Obsessed.)  It's my happy place. A place I like to escape to while kiddo is in preschool.  I swear I could walk around in that red palace of impedimenta for days.  It's also just super convenient that they sell all of my favorite brands these days.  For busy parents with a multitude of tasks to juggle, we can all appreciate a one-stop-shop.  This also happens to be Boo's first choice in bigger retail stores too. I don't know about you guys but I'm kind of picky about what I feed Boo, use on our skin, or purchase for the home.  I try to go for the most organic, GMO free, artificial additive free, all natural as I can, when I can.

Heres my list of Target must haves:

  1. Annie's Organics everything.  From soup to snacks this brand is a go to for us and we can usually find our necessities on sale.  that's awesome since my picky eater goes through about 6 cans of Bunnies a week.
  2. Zarbees.  Holy crap, I love this brand!! Finding supplements and all natural meds for children is not an easy task.  Other brands on the market are homeopathic and give my son an adverse reaction at times.  Once I discovered this brands I fell in love.  Adults won't miss out either.  Personally, I can't take many OTC meds, but this stuff helps me feel a lot better when the germs get the best of me.
  3. Nature's Wick candles and home scents are so awesome.  I am officially nuts for them.  I love the wood wicks and soy based wax.  No stinky chemical doers when you blow them out and their unique scents, like bonfire nights, keep my whole house feeling all warm and cozy, even with stinky kids and a smelly dog running around from time to time.
  4. Pacifica is a great brand, but I specifically love these makeup remover cloths are super luxurious feeling and smell fantastic.  Keep these in your gym bag or purse and they are safe to use on the kids, too.  Trust me.
  5. Imaginext are the greatest toys ever.  I recently stumbled upon these for my 2.75 year old.  They are perfect.  Fisher Price hit right on the money with cool characters and infinite possibilities to encourage your little one's imagination and story making skills.  We have probably a million of these because I buy one to two "mystery packs" per trip.

Next time your in Target check these out and please let me know if there is a "must have" that you guys are obsessed with, too.  I am always down to try new brands.

Next week look for my have rave on local Orlando shops for all of your gift giving needs!!!! 

WTF Wednesday: Preschool is Killing ME

Another quick post, but I really need to vent on this issue.  Preschool is killing me.  Boo loves school.  Kinda like a puppy will eat anything, my son just blindly loves school.  It's pretty sweet, actually.  And as his parent I want him to like going to school.  As for me, I am dying.  Here are my top 5 reasons why:

  1. The obvious…germs.  Cough.
  2. I don't have enough room for all of the "art work." boxes and boxes of finger-painted "masterpieces."
  3. Mom-Cliques… I totally feel like I'm back in middle school (which BTW was the worst.) Admittedly, I am a little intimidated, I'm the only single parent and kind of feel like a social pariah.
  4. Daily feelings of parental failures. A day doesn't go by that I haven't left feeling supremely less than qualified to raise my own child because he "plays too much" or "talks about batman too much." Seriously, WTF?? He's 3 years old! Be lucky he keeps his pants on all day and hasn't flushed something important to you down the toilet.
  5. The Parking Lot is the fifth dimension of my own personal hell.  It's survival of the fittest.  You have a mad combination of children darting out into the path of oncoming cars, this one over here insisting on backing in her tour-bus-sized SUV into parking space made for a compact car, and multiple cars all backing up or around or whatever into one another.  Seriously…its like the parking lot at WalMart on Black Friday.

 

Persnickety Palate: Kid Friendly Local Eats

There are so many great options in Orlando to take the kids out to eat!! I'm making this a quickie post because I am knee deep in Thanksgiving Day prepping, but here is a list of 5 great places to eat with your kids in Orlando that doesn't involve the mouse-house, food shaped like animals, video games, or mascots.

  1. Tijuana Flats This is pretty much my kiddos favorite place to eat.  The food is good, the atmosphere is fun and the people are really accommodating to the tiny humans.
  2. East End Market We love to grab a smoothie and a pastry, walk around and shop, then sit outside and enjoy the Florida weather.
  3. Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa If you haven't eaten here, go now! Run Fast! This place is so good.  Boo and I love to get the 2 meat platter and share.  The atmosphere has a cool urban vibe and the people are really chill.
  4. Another Broken Egg is awesome for brunch on the weekends.  The menu is fantastic for both kids and adults.  There is plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the morning.  It's a great alternative to the staple brunch places in Winter Park or Downtown where you are more than likely to wait an hour to be seated.
  5. Pom Pom Teahouse and Sandwicheria They have something for everyone's palate.  Even picky eaters.  The walls are adorned with pieces from local artist.  The vibe is happy and friendly.  The teas are amazing and sandwiches will blow your mind.

Enjoy

W and Boo

Monday Fave Rave: The Mom Uniform

I swore to myself when I was pregnant that I would be a "cool mom."  I would dress every day. No pajamas at the grocery for me, dammit! Although it is tempting, don't let your style slip.  Often our kids are dressed better than we are but that's not fair (insert adult tempter tantrum here.) You wouldn't send them to school or take them to a birthday party wearing sweatpants and stained t-shirt, so you shouldn't for the sake of "comfort and ease" look like a disaster.  This is totally doable with little to no time to spare in the morning with the right combinations of school-drop-off-appropriate pieces, a 5 minute face, and a commitment to stepping up your style game even when you're tired.  We know it's easy to fall into a rut, but lets try to remember that you already sacrificed shapely figure, perky boobs, beauty sleep, and patience. From hospital to home, you can still look hot.  It's just takes knowing what works in a pinch. This is how I keep from feeling like a fashion failure.

Top 10 go-to pieces for my "mom uniform":

  1. Don't just throw on any old t-shirt.  There is a time and a place for your college team logos, free shirts from random work events, or that ugly thing you scrub the bathrooms in…please, just don't.  A tunic top that drapes and hangs nicely on all figures, is the perfect foundation to a great outfit.  I own this top in black, white, grey, navy and forest green.
  2. An exception to the t-shirt rule: vintage is always cool…I love Junk Food Clothing for this very reason.  These shirts look great with anything.
  3. Just say NO to "pajama jeans" or anything you see on an informercial.  Go for a legging.  They are versatile, comfortable and fashionable, but sony just throw on any old pair of leggings.  Look for and purchase leggings with some structure and detail such as faux leather, paneled, jegging in a dark wash, and moto style all offer the comfort and simplicity of a yoga pant (please keep the fitness wear for fitness…really.)
  4. If you just need a slouchy pant go for a boyfriend cut. Old Navy makes a great pair for all shapes and sizes.
  5. Gym shoes are for the gym, but I do love a sneaker.  Try a Converse All Star Chuck Taylor for comfort and they look great with legging, skinny jeans or a comfy dress.
  6. If you need a coat (we live in Florida so I don't get wear them as often as I would like) I am currently obsessed with this Lululemon option.  Sleek and modern…not frumpy and lumpy.
  7. Add a scarf any time and any season.  I like to get mine from Target or Old Navy.
  8. Need a dress option? Try this hot Faux Suede Shift Dress. So versatile and a better option than the same old back shift dress.
  9. If you just have to wear sweats…please…do an Adidas Track Suit.  Dope.
  10. And if you don't have to carry a diaper bag, try a small cross body bag like this one.  Black, simple, and goes with everything.

I know that some days are harder than others, but looking good is feeling good.

Let's Be Friends: What Not To Say To A Single Parent

Parenting is parenting, plain and simple.  It really doesn't matter if someone is single or married.  I am a person, a well-educated woman with many interests and a multitude of passions and talents.  One of those many things is being the best mother that I can possibly be. But I also love music and art, films and books.  I love to see my friends and talk about world issues or just crack jokes back and forth for a few hours over some food and a nice glass of Pinot Grigio.  I am a whole person. Look, I really want to like you and I don't want you to sound like a complete dickhead.  Here are some tips on what not to say to a single parent.  Then, maybe we can see each other's perspective a little better and we won't have those cavernous awkward moments that can fill a room when someone said something stupid or offensive.

  1. "How do you do it all?  I wouldn't be able to do it." Yes, you would.  Any of us would.  You love your kid; you take care of your kid.  That's it.  Like Tina Belcher says, " I'm no hero, I put my bra on one boob at a time just like everyone else."
  2. Please address me as a person.  Ask me how I am doing.  Yes, I know, you want to know how my child is doing, too, and that’s great.  I really do appreciate it.  Ask me how I am doing.  It's not very often that someone will actually care how or what I have going on outside of parenting, but can you just pretend?  The list is long and I kind of really want to talk about all of that stuff.  As much as I would love to talk about potty training, preschool germs, sleepless nights and temperamental toddler tantrums…give me a break.  Just ask me how I am doing.
  3. "I can relate." No, you can't.  Just like I can't relate to your issues.  I don't live in your house. I don't know what you're going through, so please don't assume you can relate to all the shit I have going on.  It's a delicate balancing act of emotions and circumstances, at any minute it could all crumble.  You can't relate to my situation, just like I can't relate to yours.  But I can empathize and I can lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on if you need it and if you offer the same, that would be greatly appreciated.
  4. "You should start dating again." Thanks for the opinion, but I'm really good alone right now.  When the time is right, it will happen.  Dating isn't a fix to single parenthood.  I don't want to fix it.  This is working for me, so please keep your opinion on my love life, or serious lack-there-of, to yourself.
  5. Back off of the ex.  It's none of your business.  If you aren't in my very, very tiny circle of trust, please keep any and all opinions of the ex to yourself.  Don't make drama where drama doesn't need to be or exist.  We don't have time for that mess.  Move along.
  6. I can't stand the terms "baby daddy" or "baby mama." We have names and identities.  At the very least you can call me "Boo's Mom." Its disrespectful to address either of us in such a fashion and I mentally check-out when it happens…so more than likely I have probably ignored all the words that came out of your mouth after "baby mama."
  7. "Make sure to take care of yourself first." Yeah, I get it.  The reality is that when you are a single parent taking care of yourself has to take a back seat to taking care of the kid, the house, the dog, feeding the fish, making dinner, running baths, doing your own laundry, etc.  Sometimes I just can't take care of myself first.  I forget to eat, or shower, or take my vitamins or apply my wrinkle creams, but I try to take care of myself the best I can and I don't need a reminder of priorities.  Mine are straight.  Thanks.
  8. "I bet you really need a vacation right now." This may be difficult for you to understand, but the minute you are away from your tiny terror you miss them and the thought of being away from them for too long makes every bone in your body ache with a pain that is so indescribable you often just opt for a weekend at Disney World rather than a spa weekend away with your girls.  There is no vacation from this life.  And I don't need one.  I love the chaos and crazy.
  9. Don't give me parenting advice unless I ask for it.  Just don't.
  10. "I feel so sorry for you." Really? How rude! Why would anyone feel sorry for me? I have an incredible life, an amazing child, a warm home, a full heart and the best and most amazing support system in the world.  Never feel sorry for me.  I got this.

It takes a village to raise every child and every village is different.  I chose this life and I don't regret it.  My child is loved beyond measure by both of his parents, all of his grandparents, and aunts and uncles, cousins, babysitter, neighbors, friends, and teachers.  Are some days harder and longer than others? YES! This can be said for all parents, not just singles parents.  Please don't presume to assume that I'm alone or lonely, or sad and pathetic. I am not…and even when I am feeling that way.  I'm not.  So lets be friends, shall we?

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Things I Never Thought I Would Actually Say…But Now I Do

Being a parent has changed everything.  I say some shit that I actually NEVER thought would come out of my mouth.  I seriously sound like a crazy person.  I'm pretty sure I have heard saner rantings on the subway.  So here is a quick little rundown of the incredibly socially inappropriate things I find myself repeating.  Please, don't judge.

  1. "Don't lightsaber the dog."
  2. "Whose poop is that? Your's or the dog's?"
  3. "Stop licking things at school.  They think we're both crazy."
  4. "(Insert superhero name here) poops in the potty. Do we need to call him and ask him how?"
  5. "Dont poop in this pool, dammit!"
  6. "Don't talk about Grandma's boobies in public."
  7. "Don't put your hand in your diaper."
  8. "Please don't stand in the window naked."
  9. "Why does the dog have catsup all over her?"
  10. "Blankets don't fart, people fart."
  11. "Please stop letting the dog lick your butt."
  12. "Is that a floating Chewbacca in the tub or a turd?"
  13. "Please don't lick my face…its just weird."
  14. "No, you may not take your pants off at Target."
  15. "What is that smell? No, seriously…what is that smell?"
  16. "Teacher said you licked your own shoe today.  What's up with that?"
  17. "Please use the potty to pee in, not the shower."
  18. "What do you mean by 'don't touch my bubble'? I have no clue what that even is!"
  19. "We don't say 'fuck'…I mean YOU don't say it…you say 'fudge'…ok?"
  20. "Yes, Darth Vader probably has a penis, too."

WTF Wednesday: When Your Biggest Hater is Your Own Kid

My kid literally "can't like" anything these days.  His favorite toys, foods, clothes, going to school…even me, at times.  It SUCKS! All toddlers go through a growth period when they are changing and developing and some children are more sensitive than others, and that's ok.  There is an ever-growing list of shit that my toddler just "can't like." A few weeks ago I made his favorite meal of mac'n'cheese, he threw it in the sink and wouldn't eat it.  I try to put his favorite pjs on him; it's like wrangling feral cats. Loves the bath, then hates the bath. Plays with the dog, then tells her to go away. Wants to snuggle with me and in the same breath tells me he doesn't like me.   Freaks out at me if I try to leave, but doesn't really want me to stay.  It's kind of a mind-fuck, to say the least.  And as much as it bugs the shit out of me, it must be driving him a little bonkers too. I mean really, WTF?? The transition from two to three is tough. Some days my only respite is cranking up Steve Winwood's "Back in the Highlife" very loudly and belting out the lyrics in the shower and cry-laughing like a crazy person.  My only advise is to breathe and to repeat to yourself that they do grow out of this phase.  I give positive attention and positive reinforcement for positive behaviors and positive words.  Negativity and words like "I don't like you" or "I love so-and-so best, not you" are just attention seeking behavior.  Remain calm and share with your kiddo when they are hurting your feelings, then drop the subject.  Ignore it (although I know you're silently really pissed or hurt.) Won’t eat dinner? Than I guess he gets hungry. Don't want to wear pjs? No big deal.  Won’t wear his nice shirt for school? I guess he will just cry.  Doesn't want to go to school? Well, Boo just has to cry until he's done crying.

Crying is OK. Cry out those frustrations or anxieties (both of you…I just prefer crying in the shower.) Tears are just fine with me. Eventually these episodes will subside and he will eat, and wear pjs and do whatever.  But for right now…this blows! I ask Boo to take a deep breath and we keep doing that until he has calmed down.  I don't do temper tantrums anymore, and by that I mean, I don't stop all that I'm doing to play into his conniption fits. Once that became my philosophy we have had A LOT less of them, well…in public anyways.

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As a single parent I recognize all of my "invisible work" just isn't something my son can appreciate, yet.  He will one day.  He will be a strong, confident, and well adjust kid.  So for right now, go ahead kiddo.  It's alright if you don't like me at times because I know you'll always love me…and I will always love you.

Persnickety Palate: Popsicles

Who doesn't love popsicles? I mean, really? Everyone does, but there are way too many out on the market that are full of crap.  I am a firm believer in feeding kids "kid food" but without the additives, preservative, artificial colors and flavors, etc.  Living in Florida, popsicles are a staple in our house.  As summer turns to fall, and fall turns to cold and flu season, I will be stocking up on our favorite popsicles to help battle sore throats and fevers.  They're not just for the poolside lounging during the dog-days of summer. I know a lot of you uber moms out there probably pick, squeeze, blend and freeze your own healthy concoctions for your kiddos favorite frozen treats, but I just don't have the time or really want to deal with the mess.  Here's a little list of our choice icy treasures.  IMG_8468

  1. Ruby Rocket's  Yumm! These are our go-to for heat relief and to soothe an ailing toddlers bout of the yucks.  We found these at Union Market in Brooklyn and at Winn Dixie (yeah, you read that right.) These will work for anyone with gluten or dairy allergies, are completely vegan, have added probiotics, and no artificial junk.  Keep these on hand all year long, your kiddos will thank you.
  2. Lifeway Frozen ProBugs Push Pops A great alternative to ice-cream! These little beauties are frozen kefir with all natural flavors, gluten free, lactose free and have 10 added live probiotic cultures.  THese are great when my son has an upset tummy and isn't really interested in eating.  I can usually find these at Whole Foods and Fresh Market.
  3. Diana's Bananas because dark chocolate covered frozen bananas are the jam! An added bonus is that I usually run across these at Aldi on the cheap, so I load up.

My picky little eater loves all of these and even kids in our neighborhood eat them all with no complaints.  It's a great way to sneak healthy ingredients into any diet and can help battle the blahs of being sick this winter.

Enjoy!

-W and Boo

 

Monday Fave Rave: Faves for Babes

Some of us feel a little clueless when it comes to what you what you need for babies. What is trendy is not always best. What we are wasting our money on for baby?  It's all very confusing.  Our personal story is that we traveled A LOT in Boo's first year, back and forth between sunny, car-dependent, hot and humid Florida and cold, snowy, stroller-loving, brownstone-living Brooklyn.  Two totally different worlds.  I feel like that first year was a complete test in "let's see how much this poor bitch can handle." In that time I think I came up with a pretty great list of stuff that worked for us that I like to share with people whenever they are expecting or having just welcomed baby and have no f*#$ing clue what you need to have and what you should just go ahead and donate now or get out of your damn way.  Here is a little list of what I think made my life as a single mom just a little easier in my rookie year.

  1. Kickee Pants Basic Footies with Paws These are so awesome.  First, they are made from bamboo! Soft, sustainable and easy to wash! They also have hand covers to prevent scratching, lined feet for warm tootsies, and they come in cute colors (not just pink and blue!!)  They also grow well with baby.  They stay pretty true to size and you really want these to fit closely to the body for warmth but also to keep little one cool as well! Babies overheat easily the pjs are really breathable.
  2. MD Moms Baby Sunscreen Wipes  I love all of the products by MD Moms because as doctors and mothers they really have created products for babies and kids that are user friendly and healthy for the entire family.  I have been using this on my Boo since he was 6 weeks old (checked with my doc) and continue using these now that he's older.
  3. Honest Company Diapers and Wipes  Let's face it…because they come in really cute prints were my initial motivation.  I soon realized my sons sensitive skin was no longer bothered and these plant based, biodegradable diapers are better for the environment than other disposables on the market.  Honestly, the cute prints had me hooked though.
  4. I highly suggest a backpack diaper bag, especially if you're alone and need free hands. I like Petunia Picklebottom's Boxy Backpack.  It’s not unusual to think you need everything but the kitchen sink in the diaper bag, but you really don't.  A few diapers, some wipes, one extra outfit, one extra light blanket, feeding supplies, one extra shirt for grown up (trust me…spit up doesn't wear well.)
  5. Love this Ergo Baby Carrier!! I found it more comfortable and breathable than other brands.
  6. I literally love everything made by Holy Lamb Organics.  I made the decision to purchase the crib mattress for Boo.  These mattresses are chemical free and naturally water-resistant.  It should be a serious consideration.  The chemicals in our furniture are no joke!
  7. This One Step Babyfood Maker by Baby Brezza is so dope! I loved making Boo's baby food.  This little contraption made it so easy.  It steams, blends all in one step.  Just load, select the appraise setting for the food you're making, push start and walk away.
  8. Stroller Hooks are a total must.  You can hang shopping bags, or the diaper bag.
  9. Function and fashion meet with these Chewbeads.  When baby is teething he or she will want to put anything and everything in sight into their mouths.  These cute accessories are perfect for Mom and baby alike.
  10. And last but not least…this mamaRoo swing by 4moms is absolutely amazing.  Boo lived in this thing for 6 months.  It’s adjustable and pretty indestructible.  Hook up your iPod with soothing tunes and baby will easily nap in comfort.  Look on eBay or consignment if you can't justify paying a pretty penny for this, but trust me when I say it is a godsend.

Hope these are helpful!

W and Boo

10 Legit Tips for Boy Moms

Raising a tiny person of the male variety in a single mother household is challenging, to say the least.  When I found out I was having a boy I was elated. Truth be told, I never really pictured myself having a daughter.  I mean I was sure I could do it, but I just always knew I would have a son.   I definitely am not a pink sparkles and princess dresses type of gal.  But I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when it came to raising a dude.  I wouldn't change a thing about my life with my little man.  He's amazing and I feel proud to be his Mom.  That being said, there are some things that make being a boy-mom amusing and at times thoroughly sidesplitting.  Here are some ways life changes when you're welcoming a charming little gentleman into your world.

  1. Everything from now on will be about his penis.  Literally, from birth everything is about his member. To circumcise or not? Is a baby boner normal? Do I teach him to sit or stand to pee? Is it ok if he constantly plays with it? ALL NORMAL QUESTIONS FOR A MOM!  Their favorite pastime is to play with it. Once he figures out that its there and he has the dexterity, don't expect him to stop.  They can't.  It's their primal instinct.  Little guys will very rarely wear pants and are quite proud of their penises. Just go with the flow. Don't be embarrassed.  My only advice here is to actually call it a penis not a wee-wee or whatever. "That’s a penis and those are testicles and you really need to be careful when you're running around naked."
  2. Boys need to cry.  I am not a fan of telling my son not to cry.  Little boys need to feel their emotions.  For many grown men it is hard for them to appropriately express their true feelings.  We shouldn't be teaching our sons that it's not "manly" to cry.  When Boo needs to I reassure him that it’s ok to do so.  When he's angry we talk about why he's angry.  Tears are not weakness.  You are not making him a crybaby.  By allowing your son to express his feelings you are giving him the ability to relate to others on an emotional level.  You are creating a stronger man.
  3. Boys see superhero-potential in anyone and anything including themselves, the dog, a teddy bear, their friends and YOU.  There are pros and cons to the whole superhero fascination.  Teach them the power of standing up for what’s right, that ordinary people can do IMG_3543extraordinary things, and that helping others in their time of need is a superhero's duty and responsibility.  My problem with it all? Hitting and battling are playground antics that no one should stand for.  Sometimes "fighting crime" translates to just plain bad behavior.  It's a slippery slope that I think we all deal with when guiding the male gender. Roughhousing is innate, and boys are very physical in everything they do.  Try to reinforce the positive attributes by emulating a superhero yourself by finding teaching lessons when they present themselves, always reminding your little superman that a real hero never hits their friends and family.
  4. Little boys never sit still.  Ever.  Just when you think they may be ready to sit still, they run…and run, and run, and run.  I have no advice for this so, good luck with that.
  5. Farts are funny. Period.  You know it, I know it and they know it.  Being crude, rude and goofy is part of a boys right of passage.  Just remind him that there is a time and place for booger and poop jokes.
  6. They are going to wind up with  few injuries.  Hopefully nothing to serious, but its inevitable.  Little boys get hurt.  Invest in some ice packs and cool Band-Aid.
  7. You probably won't pee on a clean toilet seat for a very long time.  It's cool.  He will learn.  Be patient.
  8. Patience and staying calm are skills that will be tested hourly (or more) so don't lose your cool.  Try to remember that little boys are more sensitive than it appears.  Screaming at your son could do more damage than good.  Try taking a deep breath.  I taught Boo to take a deep breath with me and trust me it helps.
  9. Don't be shocked when your boy seems more dramatic than a little girl.  Seriously, little dudes are drama! Boo has had some meltdowns of epic proportions over some of the most random shit ever.  Little girls do not monopolize the market on sassiness.
  10. Little boys treasure their moms.  It’s a sweetness that isn't comparable to any other relationship they have.  They don't always like you at the moment and they will probably tell you that they don't like you (maybe even more than once) but they will always LOVE you. Remember that.

3 Times My Toddler Wasn't Your Problem

Fact: Sometimes adults act brattier than my toddler.  You think we're the assholes? I can't tell you how many times I have been in a situation where I felt unwelcome or uncomfortable out in the general public because I have my child with me.  Let me share something with you all.  Adults are rude, disruptive, intrusive, and inconsiderate.  So much so that I can give you three examples of when I was positive my child wasn't the problem.

  1. That time at the restaurant:  Sitting alone with my son eating a pleasant meal in an actual grown up restaurant.  No food shaped like animals, cartoon print paper plates or video games spitting our tickets for prizes you know you will be lost in the car by the time we get home. Boo is behaving and I am actually enjoying dinner for once.  It's nice.  I'm proud.  Then your herd of ladies (I use that term loosely) out for "ladies night out" bump into our table or seats trying to get the best group selfie.  Not only is photo session disrupting our meal but your language is atrocious and your topics of conversation are borderline pornographic in nature. Please remember we are in a public place so let's try to keep it together.  We have skip dessert, which was well deserved on my child's part, so thanks for that "ladies."
  2. That time on the airplane: Sitting next to a toddler on an airplane is not everyone first choice.  I get it.  I have been there.  It can be a nightmare.  Do you honestly think that I want to be on this tin can in the sky with a toddler who has been up since 4:30 am and has only eaten snack foods for breakfast? Do you actually think this is fun for me? Ummm, no.  It's not.  It’s even worse when you not only give us major attitude about sitting next to us, but also complain loudly to the flight attendant making a scene in the process.  All the while, my child is sitting and minding his own business.  And because you could switch seats with anyone on a full flight you proceed to complain on your phone very loudly. For an entire 2 hours and 27 minutes you have had a chip on your shoulder and my child has been an angel. When we land you step over him as if he's not even a human being.  Well, sir, this time you are the asshole.  When the entire flight of passengers compliments you and your addable little frequent flier on his beyond excellent behavior you should have chimed in, but instead you make your way to the front of the plane and leave me thinking "lets hope this dickhead trips and falls on his way out of this place."
  3. That time at Disney: This is an entire place made for children so why do adults insist on being complete douchebags at the "happiest place on Earth?" Not only have you taken up every seat on the monorail but you've hit them with swinging backpacks while they stay restrained in stroller, pushed them out-of-the-way to get to see the parade and generally disregarded their existence as they stand line at park dedicated to their memory making.  What is that about?? You're the grown up and so I would expect you to have some class and decorum.  Please try to act more like a civilized human being and not like a rabid animal in a fanny pack.  I am trying to teach a tiny person how to act in public and you're making this difficult to explain.  Get a hold of yourself people, because it's this type of behavior that ruins family trips for many of us.

My toddler says and does a lot of inappropriate things at a lot of inconvenient or inappropriate times, but he doesn't roll his eyes when he sees you enter the room, or complain that he doesn't wanted to be seated near you or even worse, completely ignore your presence, so please try to offer him the same amount of respect.

WTF Wednesday: The Diaper Bandit

WTF Wednesdays are when we get real, and by real I mean TRUTH.  Every week I will post a parent fail, rant, complaint, or questions about parenting as an opportunity for some full disclosure venting.  This thing we are doing, raising children, is hard. And for some reason we all want to pretend like its easy.  It's not easy, nor is it always a clean, organized execution like we would lead others to believe.  If you're about this life of child rearing you are well versed in how easily things can go wrong.  Not terribly wrong, but like "crayon in the laundry" wrong.  I want all of you to know from the start that I do not profess to be the most perfect single parent on the planet.  We're alive, we're happy, we're healthy…but there isn't a day that goes by that i don't think to myself "seriously, what the f%#?!?!?!?!" WARNING: This post involves talk of poop.  If you have children you already know this basically makes up about 75% of what we talk about with other parents anyways. Especially if you're child is preschool age.  I just wanted to warn you that if you have a weak stomach, don't read on.  But seriously, I am sure worse has happened to you….this is just my WTF moment for the week! 

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Yes, that is our dog Spirit.  And yes, she's in the shower. And yes, there is  a very traumatizing story behind this picture.  So, here we go...

Boo is potty training.  He's got the whole peeing in the potty thing down like a pro, but pooping in the potty…well, not so much.  For some reason he's afraid to poop in the potty.  I resist putting Pull Ups on him and keep encouraging him to try to poop in the potty.  We've tried stickers, M&Ms, bribery with toys, trips to Disney, ice cream, EVERYTHING! Nope. He's just not into it.  And I can't force him.  He's 2 years and 10 months old and i keep telling myself by 3 he will be pooping in the potty, so just chill out and don't give the kid some sort of complex that has to be fixed by many years of intensive therapy.  On this special day Beckett wore underwear to preschool for the first time and made it all morning with no accident.  When he came home he asked for a Pull Up, but because I didn't put it on him he decided to put it on all by himself.  So he did.  And he pooped in it. Next, he decided that he could take off all by himself as well.  I let him.  Boom! Parent fail #1.  He smeared that mess all over himself and the rest of whatever was anywhere near him.  I threw the dirty diaper in our Ubi (parent fail #2 and didn't even realize it) and escorted little man into the shower to rinse off.  We had a nice long conversation about how much easier and less messy it would be to just use the toilet.  Get kiddo out of the shower and all dried off, dressed, smiling, cleaned up bathroom.  Ok, cool.  Time to relax and play some lego duplos.

Nope.  Not at all.  Not when I noticed that our loving, affectionate, curious and slighty mischievous little terrier rescue is carrying the dirty diaper down the hallway and showing you how she has rolled herself in it. This wasn't some random weird thing dogs usually roll in out in the backyard that would warrant a hosing off.  This was shit.  Human shit  and it was all over her.  And then it was all over me as I grabbed her to get said shit off of her.   Apparently I didn't close the diaper pail and while we were in the shower she decided to steel the diaper and violate whatever was left of my last nerve that day.

Heres what was going on in my brain at the time:

"Umm, what does the dog have? Oh my god, thats a diaper.  Holy crap! AHHH!!! Ok, clam down.  Just breathe.  Gross. Grab the diaper and throw it away.  Close the damn diaper pail, idiot.  Grab the dog.  Get her in the shower.  Oh, this is so disgusting.  Why?!?! No, seriously…What in the actual f*%#?!!!"

So there you have it.  A real parenting story.  A parent fail of epic proportions.  Some days we feel like we're up to our necks in it, and here's proof that somedays that is literal. At the end of the day, we love our dog.  I love her like she's my other baby, so cleaning her up after something like this is not that big of a deal.  I do it for Boo, why not her too.  Bright side to all of this: both babies bathed by sunset.

Please feel free to share a parent fail, frustrations, or questions with us by commenting below.

For information about where we got Spirit please check out Poodle and Pooch Rescue.

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Persnickety Palate: The Smoothie Addition

Every Tuesday I will post a recipe, snack and meal ideas, or restaurant reviews all relating to my picky little eater.  When I hear other moms say, "oh my precious little so-and-so will eat anything I put on his/her plate" I want to scream and pull my damn hair out.  HOW?? How the heck do you do this? Boo can be particular, to say the least. And it sucks!  When the Boo was a baby I made homemade organic baby food.  I bought the most expensive and healthiest brands on the market.  He really ate anything.  Right around the time that I could foolishly join ranks of moms who can brag "oh my precious Boo, he will eat anything" he started eating...NOTHING! It didn't matter if it was his favorite food or something new, he threw it down or refused to eat it. Not for lack of trying on my part either.  I cooked and created and cried until I found a meal he would eat.  It felt like I was doing that all day, everyday (somedays I still do!) Thankfully, we have smoothies.

I started making smoothies for Boo around the same time that I introduced solids (cleared this with his doc and got the OK as long was we stuck to foods that didn't include nuts, honey and other allergens advised against in the first 12 months.)  He instantly loved them and the liquid meals kept him full and happy. We made this part of his daily routine and now when he wakes up a smoothie the first thing he asks for! I call it his "baby coffee" because he's not fully awake and ready for the day until he has had at least 12oz of yummy fruit and veggie medley.  Added bonus: whenever Boo won't eat a meal that I have cooked,  or is sick/teething and doesn't seem interested in actual food,  and especially when "the incident" happened and Boo had to live in a spica cast for 10 weeks we LIVED on smoothies.  Dense nutrition, easy to make and portable!

**It is very important to me to feed Boo organic fruits and veggies, non-GMO (if I can find it), no added dyes, artificial sugars or sweeteners, etc. which I know can be expensive.  Costco, Aldi and Winn Dixie all offer Organic, Non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup products at a lower cost than other grocery stores.**

For recipes and tips on smoothie making I heart this book big time!

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Heres what I do to prep smoothies for the month:

Wash and Dry baby spinach and baby kale (I find these easier on Boo's tummy while offering the same benefits as mature kale and spinach)

Break out your favorite frozen and fresh fruits: dark cherries, pineapple, mango, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, citrus, apple slices etc.

Using quart size freezer baggie and add a heaping handful of spinach or kale and any combination of fruit.  Squeeze excess air out of the the baggie.  Typically I can get 2 days worth of smoothies out of one baggie.  Just add half the bag to the blender with your liquid and additions.  The frozen spinach or kale blends very nicely and no one would even know it's in there by taste! In my house we make enough for one smoothie a day for at least 30 days or more.  The goal is between 15-20 baggies. If you have any left over greens freeze them in snack bag size portions for soups, sauces, extra boost to smoothies, etc.

Our daily morning routine:

I add a fresh (not frozen) ORGANIC banana or fresh avocado daily.  In my opinion, these blend easier and give the drink a creamier constancy if added while at room temp.  For a liquid base I like to use kefir for added probiotic benefits. You can also use coconut milk, sambazon juice (yum) or water.

Add in some extra love:

I like to add in a dash of cinnamon, a generous glob of local honey, a couple of 60% cacao dark chocolate chips, or a spoonful of nut butters (almond, cashew, etc) **DO NOT add these if your child is UNDER 12 months or you suspect any allergies.  Check with your pediatrician before adding new foods like these into your kiddos diet. 

Mix it up: Currently I use a NutriBullet which is easy to clean, blends fast, and takes up very little space on my counter.

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Toddler eating habits can drive you crazy so best of luck!

-W and Boo

Monday Fave Rave: Hanna Andersson

Welcome to our first Monday Fave Rave! Every Monday we will be spotlighting one or a few of our favorite brands or products to share with you.  Boo and I have lived in both Florida and Brooklyn NY so we have had access to great products and over the last three years I have become a real "pro" at testing the tried and true performance of everything from mattresses to toys.  I'm excited to share our faves with you every week and look forward to hearing from you about some NEW things we can test out.  So let's get down to it. This weeks Fave Rave is all about Hanna Andersson brand clothes and shoes.  We absolutely adore this quality, functional and fashionable clothing line! From their use of organic cotton to toddler friendly zippers and velcro, I have found this brand to be our "go to" when shopping for school, camp or special occasions.  The brand has Swedish roots and European sizing so their focus on color and durability and long-lasting wearability helps justify the higher price point. Also, if you really love to dress your family up in coordinating PJs or outfits for holiday pictures the FAMILY SHOP offers everything you need for a totally awesome snapshot for this year's cards and gifts for Grandparents!

Our fave of this fave rave are Hanna Andersson's shorty pjs, amazing rash guards and swim trunks, and completely and undeniably adorable undies!

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Pros: 

unique designs, bold colors, classic prints and limited edition collections with recognizable characters such as Star Wars, Disney, DC Comics, Peanuts, Pippi Longstocking, etc.

Euro sizing goes by height (waistbands are adjustable) so finding the best fit is easy.

Organic cotton!

And as an added bonus they have an unconditional guarantee and 20% off when you refer a friend.  Sweet!

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Cons:

Brick and mortar retail locations are few and far between so online and catalogues are pretty much the only options for ordering.  (Some people need to see and feel the product before they buy, personally, I do not.)

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Quick Tip: The "brooklyn" bath tub

Just a quick tip: When Boo and I lived in Brooklyn we didn't have a bathtub and the sink was not large enough to bathe him in properly.  Well, thanks to quick thinking by my Mom we came up with the "brooklyn bathtub" which is just a clear plastic storage container that I filled approximately 1/2 of the way with luke warm water and baby wash. Instant bath tub! It was like a luxury soaking tub for baby.  What are your favorite quick tips? bam1 IMG_5875

"The Incident" Part Two: How to survive dealing with a toddler in a Spica Cast...

IMG_1078 I know what you're thinking by seeing the picture above. You're thinking "how in the actual f*&% do you survive that on your toddler?" Well, I am here to tell you that you can and you will...if you're ever faced with this like I was.  Boo's spica cast ran from chest to toes with a big bar between his knees.  There is an open hole in the cast large enough for his "little man parts" and "toosh" to be exposed for "bathroom purposes" (I will explain diapering below.) Remember, boo's leg break was a spiral fracture of the upper femur, a pretty sever break, so the cast kept any rotating joints from moving and disrupting proper healing.  They did place him under anesthesia to put on the cast.  We had no issues with that at all, thank goodness.  After the cast was on, the most important thing is to try to keep it clean and dry. That seems like an impossible chore, but trust me it can be done (for the most part.) We had to deal with our spica cast for 10 weeks, and if that doesn't seem like enough of a nightmare, the healing after is a whole challenge in itself.  I will also explain how we recovered from cast removal and rehabbing little man in enough time for the ever important SUMMER CAMP!

**Ask for two things before leaving the hospital: A wheelchair and a specialized car seat. The hospital may have resources where these can be donated to you only for the duration of time the cast needs to be on.

First thing's first: DIAPERING!

When Boo's cast went on we were potty training. We decided to put that on the back burner.  Heres how I would diaper him to keep him clean, dry and healthy. **You may find yourself diapering a lot more than you used to before that cast, that great! Keeping the little ones hydrated and their tummies healthy is an important part of healing. Boo did not feel like eating much at all the entire time he was in the cast which is very normal.  In the future I will post a blog on smoothie recipes that keep Boo full and happy.  We lived on these for the 10 weeks during the cast.**

  1. Create a diapering area on the floor. I used his old crib mattress but you can use an old changing pad as well.  This worked better for us.  I could diaper him, sponge bathe him, "dress" him and brush his teeth all while sitting and not throwing my back out.  (These casts are heavy and you'll be carrying them everywhere when they aren't in the wheelchair so save yourself the pain of a back injury.)
  2. Supplies: 2 different size diapers: I used a size 3/4 diaper and a size 6 diaper, AquaphorHonest Soothing Bottom Wash, wipes, and Moleskin Padding
  3. Place the the moleskin padding around the edges or the opening to prevent the cast from rubbing on the skin. (Your nurse will help you in the hospital. But it's nice to have replacement moleskin for cleanliness.)
  1. Tuck the smaller diaper back to front into the hole in the cast.  Make sure the diaper is tucked in as for as it will go into the back and front to prevent any liquids from touching the cast.
  2. Place the large diaper over the other diaper and securing over the cast.  The double diaper ensures dryness also looks ridiculous, but it works.

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Bathing a kiddo in a Spica Cast:

I felt like this was very important to keeping our "nighttime routine" of dinner, bath, pjs, bedtime in tact. We did this on his diapering area.

  1. Warm bowl of water
  2. Johnson's Washcloths
  3. dry hand towel

Using the bowl of warm water, wet the washcloth and beginning with the head wash kiddo and dry each area one at a time.  Face/ears, neck, chest, arms and arm-pitters, hands, then the diaper area, then…last but not least…stinky piggies.  This cast is going to get dirty (despite all of our best efforts, it does and it SUCKS) but keeping their skin clean in paramount to good health so just try your best here.  The Washcloths are also helpful in washing kiddo hair, but we didn't need to do this more than once a week, given nothing weird ended up rubbed all over his head.

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Keeping kiddo entertained:

i propped Boo up on the couch with a series of pillow configurations that worked (it took a while to figure this out, but you will) and purchased a lap tray for playing Playdoh, legos, coloring, etc.  Also, we have an iPad mini that was essential.

I used the wheelchair for meals, snacks, a change of position, etc.  By placing two pillows (one to sit directly on and one to rest his back against) I created a more comfortable sitting position for him and used this travel tray to place these amazing PB Kids plates.

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Like I have said.  You make it work.  My ways may not be exactly what you need to do for your situation, but trust me, I tried a many different solutions only to end up at the point where i had finally found what worked for Boo and I ran with it.

I actually took Boo to Walk Disney World while he was in the cast and it worked out pretty well.  it was a short and sweet little trip and Disney made the whole experience very special and happy for all of us.  I will eventually post a "how to" on Disney with the cast and Disney without the cast.

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Healing post Spica Cast:

Don't be shocked when the cast comes off…I was.  Your child will cry so have Motrin on hand at the doctors office.  I used the special car seat on the way home.  Remember, your child will feel very strange after the cast comes off so offer lots of snuggles and prepare for a long day ahead.

My sons skin was raw and red and it looked horrible. it was very itchy!  I coated him in organic coconut oil with a drop of lavender oil added in for good measure.

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Once he was home I got him into a luke warm bath to clean the areas well.  He had a hard time sitting up, just a heads up.  But he was extremely happy to be angle to get into the bath again!

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Walking was very difficult at first.  I used this Pewi YBike to help him move freely and regain strength in his legs and some confidence.

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The key to our rehabbing Boo was swimming.  The day after his cast came off I got him into the swimming pool.  He was intimidated at first (which was new for my little fish) but once he realized how great it felt he became more comfortable and was smiling in no time.

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Just remember that before it gets better , it gets harder.  It takes a lot of physical and emotional work for these little guys to regain their full abilities.  He would walk perfectly one day and the next day be unable to stand.  You've got this! Just breathe and allow them to work at their own pace.  Our doc didn't not think we needed the physical therapy so I was left to figure it all out on my own.

I really hope that this post can help someone navigate the world of what its like to deal with a situation like this.

Good luck and much love!

-W and Boo