Gift ideas for a 2 year old girl

I made a very similar post to this one here . In fact it’s titled the exact same thing and is one of the most pinned posts on this blog. However, that post is over 2 years old and was made with a different 2 year old girl in mind. Now that I have lived through having a second 2 year old girl I thought a new list was in order. One with newer, fresher suggestions. I mean, at this point I’m basically an expert on what a 2 year old girl would want.

All these are linked below.

  gift ideas for 2 year old girl

1//First Words Book.  A very cool book if you have a little one that loves pointing and naming things. There are so many pretty object/animal/word illustrations in this book. They could spend hours looking at it..or you know… 15 minutes since that’s about their attention span. Here’s a post with more book suggestions.

2//Minnie Mouse Grocery Cart. Or as we Southerners call it, a “grocery buggy”.  To push around play food, stuffed animals and the random knickknacks that 2 year olds like to collect.

3//Cool plates.  I know it isn’t the most exciting gift but these plates are the most durable, picture friendly plates you will find (you know..for those lunchtime IG snaps) . We own lots.

4//Play food. For the girl who loves to cook. This is a great set with durable pieces. My girl loves the bread slices, mac and cheese and cereal bowl the best.

5// Little Bookbag. I love these book bags. They are small but not too small. Perfect for carrying on a road trip or just to the store with your little one. This same brand can be bought on Etsy too. We had ours embroidered with her name and that was the icing on the cake.

6//Play Kitchen.  I should have listed this before the grocery cart and play food. It would have made more sense. Every little girl needs a kitchen and this is a great one. It has 4 parts that open and close (oven, microwave, cabinet, fridge). It has a sink, a burner, a phone, a towel bar and the best part…a coffee pot. This is the most played with thing in our house.

7//Panties. Because it would be nice to think they will use them soon and they’ll be thrilled with the characters on them.

That’s all I have today! What are some things you think a 2 year old girl would love? Let me know in the comments.

Click here to read Gift Ideas for a 2 year old boy!

Alina is 2!

Over 1 week ago my second born turned 2 years old. I can’t keep up with how fast time is passing. My sweet, funny Alina girl is 2! I am finally getting some pictures up and a post that captures a little of who she is right now. I want to remember the details and small nuances that make her the bright light that laughs her way through everyday.

Name: Alina Dawn

Age: 2 years

Hair: White blonde, super straight all over with a few small curls at the end.

Eyes: Blueberry blue

alina 1

Favorite Food: Bananas, Cheese, Apples, Eggs, Sausage, Chips

Favorite Shows/Movies: Alina is an anomaly in that she has never really cared about a particular show too much…EXCEPT….!!…singing shows. She LOVES to watch youtube shows that have kids nursery rhymes. She blows us away with how many songs she knows word for word. My little singer.

alina 2

Favorite songs: On that note a few of her favorite songs that she can straight up sing word for word are: ABC’s, Baa Baa black sheep, Finger Family Song, Miss Polly had a dolly, heads shoulders knees and toes, happy and you know it, row row row your boat, twinkle twinkle little star, Barney theme song and just about 20 more songs!

Favorite toys : She has a few stuffed animals she loves. Her pink teddy (which used to be Emma’s), a blue pony, her Care Bears and Minnie Mouse to name a few. She has several baby dolls that she loves to clothe and diaper. She has always loved to mama her babies. She loves to cook in her new play kitchen and push her new Minnie Mouse grocery cart around.

alina 3

Play time: Alina is my inside kid. She prefers to play indoors most of the time. She does enjoy going to the park and playing outside sometimes but usually is ready to come inside before anyone else. She loves to play with Emma and is a surprisingly good playmate, going along with whatever story Emma sets up.

Clothes: She wears a 2T-3T in most clothes. A size 5 diaper and 2T pull-up. She wears a size 5-6 in shoes. I still dress her most days though she is learning to help.

alina 4

Sleep: 2 days after her birthday we went out and bought her a toddler bed. I needed the crib for Sera and we don’t want to own any big furniture right now since we are in a rental so we went with a toddler bed. I was a little worried about how she would handle it since she is much younger than I would have liked. But she has blown me away. She hasn’t tried to get up once. She has slept great in it! She sleeps 10-11 hours at night and still naps most days for 1.5-2 hours.

alina 5

Paci: We followed the same plan as we did with Emma and took away her pacis a few weeks before she turned 2. We talked about it in the days leading up to it as she likes to talk about things and she has handled it so well. She was sad for a few naps and nights but then she adjusted and has done perfect without them. I am glad to be rid of them.

alina 6

Potty: She is not potty trained. That is next on the list. We have a potty and pull-ups and we talk about it often and she likes to sit on it but it’s not serious yet. I’m not in too much of a hurry.

Things to remember: The way she will catch my attention then just burst into laughter. She makes me laugh on a regular basis with her funny facial expressions and antics.

alina 7

She.talks. so.much….like all the time. She talks about any and everything. I promise she is the most talkative 2 year old you have ever met. The pediatrician said she has a very advanced vocabulary. I told her that was not news to me.

How she is her own little person. Sometimes she wants to just play by herself or do her own thing. I love that about her.

alina 9

How she says “oceeean”,  “nayyyup”, ” I do it by mysayyelf”,  “Geeraff” , “baby Seera”, “Pamana (banana)”

How she repeats everything you say to make sure she heard you correctly.

How she says she’s done with dinner but then always….always comes right back to ask for more.

How she asks Emma for help with everything. Not me….she asks Emma.

alina 8

How she comes up to me and says “I wuv you mama you’re so soft”

Lina Loo, you are a rare, precious little girl. You make us smile and laugh. I know you have a strong, vivacious personality and I can’t wait to watch you as you grow older.

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweetheart ,I love you!

Bedtime routine with a toddler and a newborn

 Emerald was 19 months old when Alina was born. I knew going into it that having 2 kids under 2 would be no easy feat. I would have to say that the transition was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be but I think that had alot to do with my husband having a 2 month paternity leave (can I get a high-five?!).

 Back to my point. I think that one of the most challenging issues was creating a bedtime routine with a toddler and a newborn. Once Jonathan went back to working nights that made it even more difficult since I was doing it alone most nights. I can remember in those early days how stressful it was trying to time it juuuust right where I would have time to do bedtime with Emma without a hungry or tired Alina interrupting us. I thought we would never figure it out and that our bedtime was doomed to chaos.

I am here to tell you that if you just hang in there it does get easier. As do most things when it comes to having 2 under 2. In the meantime I thought I would share some tips that may or may not help. Some of these may seem pretty obvious or irrelevant to you so if you read this and think, “That didn’t help at all” then just keep doing whatever you’re doing and eventually it will get better.

bedtime routine

1. Have a routine already in place. I can’t stress this enough. I tell people all the time that I am so glad we worked hard on Emerald’s bedtime routine and sleep issues BEFORE Alina was born. Newborns have crazy enough sleep schedules that you don’t need a toddler who doesn’t know how to sleep either. If at all possible, get your toddler in a good routine before the new addition arrives. Having this in place did wonders for our family. It was our safety net. If you’re curious to read  how we got Emma sleeping so well read here.

2. Work your new baby into the existing routine. Along the same lines as #1, don’t try to create a brand new routine once baby gets here. You are going to have a confused and stressed out toddler. It is much easier to work around the schedule in place since newborns are generally flexible in the sense that they won’t notice if their bedtime gets pushed back 30 minutes every now and then but a toddler most definitely will.

3. Pacify the baby before you start bedtime routine. Bedtime is always 8pm at our house. So If I knew that the baby was supposed to eat at 8:15pm I would always feed her a little early so she wasn’t squawking just as I was trying to rock my toddler. Same goes for diaper changes and burping….just get them situated so you know you have a clear 15-20 mins.

4. Include the baby. There were times when I just couldn’t time it right and I ended up rocking both at one time. That’s ok. If you have to bring the baby into the routine by having them lay on the ground on a blanket or in their Rock and Play while you read, sing or rock your toddler then do it. For us this wasn’t ideal in the beginning since babies can be noisy and exciting to a toddler who you are trying to get to bed . But you just have to do what you have to do.

5. Ask for help. If you are blessed to have your spouse home every night for bedtime then that is awesome! Get them involved. I know on the nights Jon was home we would take turns. One would do bedtime routine with Emma while the other hung out with Alina. If you are going it alone then don’t be afraid to ask for help from your mom, sister, friend, neighbor….anyone you trust. Even just 30 minutes to help you get through bedtime in those early weeks will help tremendously.

I hope these helped or sparked some ideas. Of course, they are geared more towards the early newborn weeks. Bedtime now looks much different with a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old. It’s a sister affair with baths together and snuggles together while we pray and do our routine as a family. Those days are coming soon. You just hang in there and don’t stress about it mama!

Gift Ideas for a 2 year old boy

I thought it only fair, since I posted my gift ideas for a 2 year old girl and a 9 month old girl  that I put together one for a boy. Of course, I don’t have a boy so I turned to my sister for help. She has 2 boys that are almost the same age as my girls. I said “I need you to tell me the top things your big boy would love for Christmas!”. She didn’t disappoint. Oh the wonderful world of boy’s toys. I love this list and I know many of you have boys that would love some of these things too! So here you have it, gift ideas for a 2-year-old boy.

boy gifts

Click on the links below to see where they can be purchased.

1.Drum Set//2.Thomas the train play rug//3.Balls

4.Loops N Swoop racetrack//5.Riding tractor//6.Wooden trains

7.Aliens in underpants book//8.Superhero toys

Gift Ideas for a 2 year old Girl

With only 8 weeks until Christmas I have found myself brainstorming for ideas for gifts ideas for the girls. It’s not that I am in a hurry for it to be here, no, I like to actually enjoy Thanksgiving and all the days until then. I just know that with 2 girls to buy gifts for this year I need to shop in advance so as to not spend so much at one time.

2 year olds are so fun to buy gifts for, especially Emma. She loves pretty much anything and gets so excited when she sees something that she likes.So I have thought of a few things I think she may like and wanted to list them here in case it gives anyone else in the same boat a few ideas. I will do a separate post for gift ideas for a 9 months old.

bitmap

1. Princess Cozy Coupe + Trailer . We actually already have the pink Cozy Coupe but I think the trailer would be so fun! Emma loves to put things in a bucket and carry them around and then unpack them , then re-pack them. She would LOVE a trailer to pull around with her various babies and random rocks inside.

2. These adorable felt finger puppets from this Etsy shop. There are so many sets in her shop, I know I will have trouble picking just one.

3.  This Double sided art easel. One side is chalk and the other side is to color with markers. Emma LOVES to draw and I know she would have hours of fun with this.

4. Frozen. Need I say more?

5. This broom and dustpan set. Emma loves to help mama sweep, but she’s constantly knocking things over with a full-sized broom. She needs something more kid friendly.

6. Trampoline. We decided against a full size trampoline since we don’t want to have to move it next year. But this kids size could still be a lot of fun!

7.  She has recently gotten interested in taking a purse with her when we leave the house. She says “Oh Mama, my purse” and goes and gets this felt bucket that she carries around. So I think a purse like this would be a hit.

I doubt we will get her all of these things but these are just some ideas I am tossing around.  I’m sure I’ll think of more.

What are you getting your little ones?

How we got rid of the pacifier for our toddler

paci

I feel funny blogging about things like this as if I have loads of wisdom to share with other parents. I don’t, in case you were wondering. I just know that whenever I am trying to make a decision on how to go about doing something that involves my babies, I find reading others experiences so helpful. So here is our experience in hopes that it will encourage someone.

Emerald took a paci immediately, we’re talking hours after birth. I had a love/hate relationship with the thing until she was able to find and reinsert it in her own mouth in the middle of the night. This happened around 7-8 months. After that I loved it as much as she did. It looked cute and always calmed her down, helped her sleep though the night, helped her sleep in the car…etc. In my head I thought I would take it away around the 1 year mark, well that time came and went. I didn’t feel good about it in my mommy heart and it wasn’t causing any problems so it stayed. As she neared her second birthday I felt like it was time. I let her keep it during the transition of gaining a baby sister and moving to a new house. I wanted her to have that comfort and mostly I just wanted her to keep sleeping like an angel. Which she did.

1 month before she turned 2 years old I decided it was time. Day #1 I got them from her crib in the morning after she woke up and put them away (didn’t throw away yet). Nap time came and she asked for her paci. I told her “No more paci, they’re broken”. I didn’t feel like she would understand much more than that explanation. That first day was rough. She cried her whole nap and couldn’t settle herself. That night she fell asleep without trouble because she was so tired from having not napped. She woke at 11pm crying( which she never does) and we had already decided we would go to her if she cried. Her dad rocked her and put her back in the crib awake. She slept the rest of the night fine.

Day #2 She took about 20 minutes to fall asleep at nap with some minimal crying. Her nap was about 30 minutes shorter than normal as well. That night she had no trouble falling asleep and slept through the night fine.

After that we had 2 days of smooth sailing .She only asked for them occasionally and seemed to understand that they were gone.  I thought to myself ,”that was way too easy”. I was right. For about 4 more days she had rough naps, short naps, temper tantrums, meltdowns and night wakings. It really freaked me out because this is not how my child acts. She is normally very sweet and happy and an excellent and dependable sleeper. I thought I had ruined her good sleep habits.

Week #2. Things settled down, she became more attached to her stuffed animals and no longer cried at naptime or bedtime. She occasionally asked for them and we talked about how they were gone.

Present Day: Emma sleeps just fine if not better without her pacis. She doesn’t ask for them anymore and doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that her little sister has one. The rash is gone from around her mouth that was always there when she used pacis. I get to see her beautiful smile and cute teeth. She even has taken a few car naps.

She has become a little attached to having a ball with her when she sleeps. Yes, a ball…not a doll. She doesn’t play with it, just cuddles it so we’re letting her have them. It’s kind of funny actually. She has a crib full of stuffed animals that she loves and still she chooses a ball to take everywhere.

It’s a personal choice deciding how to go about this transition. Every child is different so what works for one may not work for another. I decided to go about it the way we did based on her personality. I knew cold turkey was the way to go, and also not making a grand affair of it (i.e  the paci fairy, sending them to babies who need them, santa taking them, cutting the tips off..etc)

Overall, I’m glad we did it when we did. I’m happy we didn’t force it sooner.