My Favorite Things as a Mom:
1). Peek-a-Boo Owl. Watch.
Hilarious! Kendan and I were watching Disney Jr. one day and this video short came on between Clorox and Pampers commercials. We watched silently for a few seconds and then looked at each other and busted out laughing! Not only is it seriously cute (and bordering on stoner humor, whatever) but, Kendan thought it was funny. We're getting to an age where he gets it. I hear him chuckle at shows while I am making dinner or he'll recall funny things in conversations. It makes every day more fun. Any time my boys need a pick-me-up, I just play this Peek-a-Boo Owl and we're all giggling in no time.
2). Organic Soy/Coconut Yogurt. My children have a dairy allergy. I am not complaining because there are way worse lots in life; but, sometimes it can pose difficulties in the nutrition department. Not to mention, Kendan's two year boycott of all meat products (except chicken nuggets, *shudder*) made protein difficult to come by at times. I often thought, "I wish I could give him yogurt" seeing my friends supplement their kids' diets with the fun, fruity flavors of a protein and probiotic-filled snack. I don't know what took me so long to discover non-dairy yogurt! Soy (or coconut) yogurt is now a staple in our house. I can add a tablespoon of it to Damien's cut up waffle or hand Kendan a whole container; he'll eat until his heart's content. Loves it.
3). Soy nut butter. In addition to a dairy allergy, my children have a peanut allergy. Bubble boys much? When in search of protein sources everybody's initial suggestion is peanut butter. Nope! There are almond and cashew butters, etc. But, I need the boys' peanut butter to look like my peanut butter. Kendan will not accept that he is also having an english muffin with peanut butter if it doesn't look just like Mommy's! So, the nuttier, oilier, darker-colored versions of nut butters wouldn't work. Then I found soy nut butter. Jack pot! Looks just like mine. Spreads just like mine. And now the boys can eat PB&J like "normal" kids. Score!
4). Pat the Bunny. Weeks before Damien's first birthday I had a conversation with his Aunt Caili about gift ideas. She asked, "Do you have the book Pat the Bunny?" No... "Oh, it's a classic!" Two weeks later it was wrapped and in front of my birthday boy. Best baby book ever! To say it is Damien's favorite book would be an understatement. If it is within his line of sight he will throw whatever he is holding to the ground and reach for/whine for Pat the Bunny until he gets it. It was also the first book that he actually paid attention to and participated in the actions it calls for. "Pat the bunny," "feel Daddy's scratchy face", "read Judy's book"... Whatever the book demands, Damien obliges. It's adorable! We love that book.
5). Anything Super hero. DUH. Anybody who reads my blog, follows me on Instagram, or has met Kendan knows he is obsessed with super heroes. The super hero affect in our house isn't just cute shirts with attached capes and masks worn to every public place. Super heroes save us every day (as their definition implies). If I need Kendan to do me a favor, I call it a "rescue", and it's done immediately. Need to get him to eat his vegetables? Well, Batman eats his green beans every day! Every store has super hero paraphernalia so it is never hard to find a bribery tool *proud Mom moment*. And it doesn't even have to be a toy. Kendan has gladly done whatever he needed to do just to hold an Avengers napkin! It's awesome. Thank you, DC and Marvel.
6). Target's Dollar Section. Every mom who shops at Target knows the dollar section is where it's at; and every mom I know shops at Target. From snacks to books I can always find the perfect stocking stuffers, small gift additions, or just something to entertain the boys while we shop! They often sell coloring book/crayon/sticker packs featuring very popular characters from kids' shows. I pick one up in each character almost every chance I can. Those packs have helped us survive the DMV, restaurants, oil changes, doctors' appointments, you name it. The best part about the dollar section is I can buy my children whatever they want and the most it will cost me is $3; unlike in the toy aisle where the cheapest toy Kendan points to is at least $8. Money saver.
My Favorite things as Me:
1). LOFT Jeans. I hate buying jeans. Pants in general, really. I am "pear-shaped" and have to buy bottoms two sizes bigger in the waist to fit my rear and thighs. It doesn't help that many of the super skinny, low-rise styles are not flattering on my body type and create an unnecessary "muffin top". I often find myself near tears because all stores size pants differently. How can I be a size 4 at one place and a size 10 at the next? It's frustrating. But! I finally found them. The jeans that actually fit and feel great! LOFT's Curvy Straight Leg jeans. They are a better style for my frame and the fact that I am an almost 30 year old, mother of two. Perfect!
2). XM Radio. I should start by explaining that we do not actually have a subscription to XM radio. But, they often do free trials, the most recent of which lasted over two months! Prior to having my children, music was very important to me. XM reminds me of my love for music. It also seems as if new music is played sooner on XM stations, and certainly more frequently. There are so many bands that I didn't know existed that I now cannot wait to hear (and blare) during my daily errands. We may have to buy the service...
3). Yoga. I love yoga for so many reasons. I first started going for exercise. I do much better with little, or no, impact exercise and yoga fits that bill perfectly! But, with yoga, I have gained so much more than a way to get fit. Yoga clears my mind. For one to two hours per class the only thing I am thinking about is breathing. It's so freeing. Yoga also steadies me. I am typically a frantic, worried, stressed out person. Yoga has taught me to just be. Be calm. Be still. It has helped me with restraint and patience. And my body feels better than it ever did with high-impact exercise. I now recognize how important it is to be strong, lean, and supple. I hear about gym classes called "body attack" or something equally as threatening and think to myself, "why would you want to attack your body?!" I prefer to heal and strengthen my body through yoga.
4). Kale Chips. I'm addicted. I make a pan a day, sometimes two pans. I have also started to branch out from my typical salt and pepper seasoning to Salt and Vinegar and BBQ. Sound delicious? Anyone? I had heard so many people talk about kale chips and thought they were insane. Then I tried them. Whoa. They have replaced regular chips for me. Something that I was a full-blown addict for and had to do a 30 Day, No Chip Challenge to stop eating! Now, I eat kale chips with my sandwich at lunch or cook some up when I have a craving during nap time. The best part? Kendan loves them too! Also, side note, I am not a health freak. If I were writing this post two months ago the number one favorite thing on my list would be Blue Bell ice cream! Blue Bell is still a MUST, just not daily. Try out kale chips if you haven't!
5). Bloody Mary's. I'm drinking one as I type this *whoops*. It's a Sunday favorite. .... I can't help it if Saturday is also "Sunday" in our house! We've perfected the recipe and all the garnishes that decorate the glass. It is also the only alcoholic beverage I feel comfortable drinking before noon. And, let's be honest, some days (with kids) you want to drink before lunch! If you haven't made Bloody Mary's a regular thing then, please, do! Play around with ingredient and garnish ideas. You cannot go wrong!
6). Target Dollar Section. ...... making its second appearance in one blog post! Target is my sanctuary. If I am ever not sure what to do for the day, we go to Target. Feeling cooped up and just want to burn some time before dinner? Target. But, specifically, the dollar section makes the list again because I always find the best deals! I usually love their kitchen gadgets. I recently purchased rubber spatulas, 2 for $1. And they were cute to boot with patterns, colors, and sayings on the handles (in typical Target fashion). I am also now the proud owner of about ten fruit and vegetable bags. I didn't even know I needed them and now I don't know how I lived without! They are just mesh, drawstring bags for produce and I am hooked. Hope they're still in the dollar spot so you can pick one up.... for only a buck!
Well, there you have it, my current list of favorites. As our children grow up and all of our tastes change this list will also change. Favorite foods and pastimes will be replaced faster than Kendan can change out of a Batman shirt and into a Super Man one. But, it will be nice to be able to go back and read this post. A reminder of what our lives were like today, the things we enjoyed, watched, ate. What made us laugh. What made us happy. What made us "us". All of the items listed above are approved by our family and recommended for yours. Enjoy!