Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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50 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

People are always sharing this quote, especially when they find out you have young children: “The days move slowly, but the years fly by.” I couldn’t agree more. There are so many days that I look at the clock in shock that it is only 10am. How is that possible? We’ve eaten breakfast, read books, played outside, had a snack, watched Veggie Tales, had a bath…how is it only 10am! And how am I going to make it 3 more hours until naptime?

The “years fly by” part has never been more real to me than now as my boys are nearing the two and a half years mark. There are just so many signs now that they are growing up. Communication and language are huge parts of this as they say new words and longer sentences every day. It seems like yesterday they were pointing at their dresser drawer and today they are picking out a shirt saying, “Yellow shirt on Mommy.” It seems like yesterday they were dancing as I sang the ABC song and now they try to sing along and can identify A, B, C, G, O, and S. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was reading them books and now today they can identify every kind of truck in their truck book (I’m talking complicated trucks like big rig, airport fire truck, giant excavator, combine harvester, concrete mixer!)?

Of course we are so proud of our kids as they learn and grow and we know it is necessary, but there is a teensy bitter sweetness that leaves us grasping for their childhood like sand through our fingertips. These days I find myself stealing as many hugs and full on (usually snotty) mouth kisses as I can. I let my lips linger a few extra seconds on their delicate foreheads as I say a quick prayer for their protection. I force myself to slow down and enjoy the gentle grasp of their tiny hands as I help them down the stairs. I know these tender moments won’t last forever, but I just don’t want to forget them!

So, I decided to write down a few things that I never want to forget about my sweet two year olds. You don’t have to read them all, but I thought it might be a nice reminder for you to write down some of your favorites!

What do you absolutely not want to forget about whatever stage your little ones are at currently?

PicsArt_141574237063950 Things I Never Want to Forget About My TWO Year Olds

1.) Riding your bikes around the driveway, your little legs pumping so fast.

2.) Roo asking mommy for help, “A-Bu-Gee Mommy” (Help me please mommy).

3.) Tigger climbing into my chair when I’m not looking and then smiling that sneaky smile when I come back to sit down.

4.) Reading books together, both of you in my lap.

5.) When you put your arms around my neck for a “hard hug” .

6.) Kisses on the mouth.

7.) Tigger’s love of all things blue, Blue Thing (stuffed animal), blue socks, blue hat, etc.

8.) Your Shrek and Frozen movie obsessions.

9.) Roo’s fixation with Legos, a green block you call your phone, and a certain pink piece of plastic.

10.) Driving tractors with trailers up and down the hallway and all around the house with Daddy.

11.) You shoving your faces into deep into the corner during timeouts.

12.) The first time you said each other’s names.

13.) Tigger’s love of all things fire truck/fire fighter related.

14.) Roo and Baxter our dog = best bugs, Roo giving Baxter hugs.

15.) Feeding Baxter, one scoop each. And the time you nearly decapitated the dog by shutting the sliding door on him prematurely.

16.) You “helping” Daddy do dishes.

17.) You “helping” Daddy stir the pancake batter every Saturday.

18.) You both finding “Jesus crosses” everywhere.

19.) When you ask for Grammie and Grandpa, especially when mommy says no to something, “Grandpa!!!”

20.) Over and over, asking for your cousins, “Abby and Hannah, Abby and Hannah,” again, usually when you are mad at mommy.

21.) Running all over the house 15 minutes before bedtime, every night.

22.) Your preference for “blue jeans”

23.) Tigger, when you wake up to a potty accident and say, “Diaper all wet”

24.) Giving you one fruit snack after one lap around the driveway, for a whole pack of fruit snacks.

25.) Enjoying our grocery shopping trips together thanks to the huge free cookies from the bakery.

26.) Your first time trick or treating as a Chicken and a Duck.

27.) Roo’s obsession with all thing garage door, “garage door up,” “garage door down,” “garage door Mommy!”

30.) When missing daddy, “More Daddy go home,” “Daddy home”

31.) Hill running at Grammie and Grandpa’s house.

32.) “Helping” fold clean laundry. Mommy gave you one sock at a time to run to daddy in another room, daddy made the pairs, you ran the pairs back to mommy.

33.) The new winter Olympic sport you created: Olympic Snow Tricycle Riding

34.) Tigger being able to name all of the trucks in the big truck book.

35.) Helping us set the table.

36.) Sprinting to the bathroom in excitement when it’s time to brush teeth.

37.) Roo helping Daddy put your tricycle together.

38.) “Daddy up” & “Mommy up”

39.) Magically appearing in a room out of thin air, “Ello Mommy” (terrifying at times!)

40.) The magic of redirection.

41.) Packing your “valuable” toys in Mommy’s gym bag, so I can protect them.

42.) You using your mattresses as trampolines every morning. Happiest way to wake up ever!

43.) Squirting each other with water from plastic toys in the bathtub.

44.) Putting your “supplies” in the back of your tricycle baskets before you ride around.

45.) Tigger trying to carry two jeeps, two fire trucks, and two Legos around everywhere and insisting on bringing them all along when we leave the house.

46.) Roo’s love of oranges, “More ooonge please”

47.) Little butts in the air sleeping style.

48.) Tigger’s need to have TWO blankets for bed.

49.) When we tried to sneak out of church early and Tigger yelled, “Bye Jesus” (Mommy did the same when I was little!).

50.) When you try to put your winter hats on yourselves and they are all crazy with your little ears sticking out every which way.

It’s the small stuff right!?

Here’s to remembering what’s important.

What do you want to remember???

Love,

Natasha

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Finding Jesus Like a Two Year Old

My two year old boys are starting to put multiple words together and every time it happens you’d think they hit a grand slam, because of how excited I get! Single words were exciting; their first favorite words were: shoe, sock, milk, more, dada, car, caca (cracker), cheese. BUT double words are so cute and even MORE exciting; red car, blue door, dada home, go home, garage door, momma byes, more caca, more cheese.

Finding Jesus Like a 2 Year old

This morning I was standing in the kitchen, checking emails on my phone, when one of my little guys came up to me, pointed, and said, “blue gigi.” I honestly kind of ignored him until he kept pointing at me and saying “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!” Frankly, he was pointing at my waist area (and below) and I was thinking, “why are you pointing at mommy’s privates?” I ignored the weirdness of the pointing and answered, “yes, mommy is wearing blue jeans.” He persisted and got louder, “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!”

blue gigiFinally, I looked down there to figure out what the heck he was checking out. He was looking at the button on my jeans. The button was sewn on with blue string in the shape of a tiny cross. Then it clicked!  “Gigi” is how my boys say, “Jesus.” He was saying “Blue Jesus” in reference to the little cross on my jean button.

Geeesh! Thank goodness that is sorted out, because a gal can start to get paranoid when someone keeps pointing and yelling at your parts! A weird moment turned into a proud momma moment!

We’ve always taken the boys with us to church on Sundays, we pray with them before meals, before naps, and at bedtime, but frankly, I wasn’t sure anything was sinking in. During mass they are wiggle worms, they eat their weight in crunchy loud snacks, and they are packing up and saying “all done” before the final song starts. They fold their hands during the Our Father and point at “Gigi” up on the cross, but other than that I’m pretty sure they are really in it for the after mass donut hole (or two).

During bedtime prayer time they are usually riled up, jumping all over, running down the hallway and back, laughing, screaming, multitasking with toys, but we do it every night anyway.

Even though they appear to be oblivious to our attempts to bring Jesus to them, we remain consistent. And you know what…something has stuck with them, because they are finding Jesus in the smallest places…even on mommy’s jean button. That is a win!

On this same morning, we were reading a book about fire trucks, my little guy pointed to the medical cross on the ambulance and again said, “blue gigi.” Later outside, he pointed under his bike saying, “Gigi.” When I looked under his bike, I saw the pin holding the bike together was in the shape of a cross.

This little dude found Jesus three times in about an hour! I can go an entire day sometimes without seeing Him! How wise are our little ones!? How much more open are their eyes!?

sandbox jesusI snatched up the teaching moment and we embraced the beautiful fall-ish morning by building “Gigi” crosses out of things we found around the yard. We built crosses out of grass, rocks, in the sandbox. We even made crosses out of things that usually annoy me like the little helicopters that fall off of the trees and litter the lawn or the pine needles that blanket themselves over my landscaping. This was another reminder that Jesus is in everything (even the stuff/people we don’t like or that annoy us).

This is what usually happens to me. I seek to teach and am instead taught.

Thank you to my two year olds for finding “Gigi” all over the place! Thank you for teaching mommy to open her eyes to see Him better. Thank you for reminding mommy that He is not always where I want to find him, but He always is. Thank you for helping mommy see Him in nature, in people, and within.

Have your kids ever helped you SEE or caused you to have a Jesus moment?

Love,

Natasha

 


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Camping with Toddlers: Packing List

Camping with Toddler Packing List

I had never really camped before I was married. I guess there was that one time with the student council in high school where we did trust exercises, canoed, and tent camped a night. I remember three things about that trip: 1.) I was completely mortified and disgusted that I had to pee outside, 2.) I was positive I would break my back carrying that darn canoe on my shoulders, 3.) I rolled down a hill with what felt like a 100 pound backpack on my back and the water bottle attached to that bag smacked me on the face upon landing. Meanwhile the people carrying the canoe nearly dropped it, because they were laughing so hard (Thanks guys, I’m fine).

Come to think of it, that trip is probably why I passed on camping until recently! What better time to start than with two one year olds, right?! We went camping as a family for the first time when our boys were about 14 months old. Most people thought we were crazy and admittedly, a few times during the camp-tastic weekend, I thought we were crazy too! BUT, overall it was awesome and definitely one of the highlights of our year!

We generally camp Friday to Sunday (2 nights, 3 days) in a pop-up camper, so that is what my “Packing List” is based on. If you are up to the challenge, I definitely recommend camping! It provided our family with rare quiet moments, enjoying the outdoors and each other. The best thing about camping is that there is nothing to do (no laundry, house projects, yard work, etc.). You just sit there and enjoy the sunshine. You take trip to the playground…go swimming…walk around and look at everyone’s camping set-up…participate in a campground activity…no pressure, no timelines…just enjoying family!

There are so many awesome ideas for camping food these days! Some day I’ll try them, but for now, the boys keep us busy, so we keep food simple. If you are camping with multiple families, you can assign each family a meal or two to bring and prepare.

Lastly, if I had to give a single piece of advice for camping with toddlers, it would be: go with the flow. Be prepared to be flexible with your normal schedule. The kids might not take great naps and they might go to bed much later than normal, but it’s just one weekend and you are creating amazing memories!

Camping with Toddlers: Packing List:

Needs specific to Kiddies:

  • Any special kid food (ours basically eat what we eat)
  • Lots of milk/water
  • Sippy Cups
  • Little people utensils
  • Stocked diaper bag (diapers, wipes, clothes, PJs)
  • Sun hat
  • Kids Tylenol/syringe
  • camping cribBaby gates/fence (we set-up gate around one of the pop-up beds, works great as a crib)
    Blankets
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Baby bug spray
  • Rainmaker
  • Stroller or wagon
  • Favorite toy/blankie (comfort item)
  • Swim suits/towels
  • Highchairs/boosters
  • Toys (washable)
  • Dog bed/Dog stuff (yes, he is one of the kiddies too)

Needs for Breakfast: We keep breakfasts simple and make eggs, toast or English muffins, and fruit with instant coffee or “real” coffee for the adults and milk for the boys.

  • Eggs
  • Bread/English muffins
  • Fruit
  • Milk
  • Butter/jam
  • Instant coffee/“Real” coffee
  • Coffee pot/Coffee filters
  • Water for coffee
  • Toaster
  • Cereal

Needs for Lunch: For lunches, we do one day of sandwiches and one day of hot dogs and aluminum foil potato packs and beans.

  • Bread/Buns
  • Sandwich Meat
  • Cheese
  • Pickles
  • Veggies with Dip
  • Chips
  • Potatoes/Onions/Garlic
  • Hot dogs
  • Ketchup/mustard
  • Can beans

Needs for Dinner: For dinner we make foil packs with steak, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and seasonings. We usually have quite a few leftovers by the last night, so we do leftovers one night.  Other ideas: grilled cheeses with the pudgy pie makers, brat/hamburgers, corn on cob, desserts with pudgy pie maker (peanut butter, marshmallow, banana between two pieces of bread). Anything you can put on your grill, you can do over the fire.

  • SteakCamping high chairs
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Seasonings
  • Corn on the cob
  • Butter
  • Bread/Buns
  • Cheese
  • Hamburgers/brats

Needs for Snacks / Beverages:

  • Marshmallows, Chocolate, Graham Crackers
  • Granola Bars
  • Fruit
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chips/other snackies
  • Bottled water for drinking
  • Beer or adult beverages of choice
  • Milk

Kitchen-y Stuff:

  • Cooler with ice
  • Tupperware containers (for leftovers)
  • Can opener
  • Paper Towel
  • Paper Plates/Cups (our camper is stocked with “real” plates/cups, so we just wash as we go, but sometimes paper is easier)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Scissors
  • Grate for fire/Tools for grilling
  • Newspaper/kindling
  • Firewood (you can buy onsite)
  • Matches
  • Beer/Wine opener
  • Dish bins/dish soap/washcloth/towel
  • Pudgy pie maker/Marshmallow sticks
  • Garbage bags (for garbage and dirty clothes)
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Plastic table cloth
  • Cooking pots
  • Cooking/eating utensils
  • Kettle/tea pot
  • Coffee cups
  • Sanitizing wipes

Other Adult Stuff:

  • Clothes (for warm and cold weather)
  • Toiletries
  • Shampoo/Conditioner, Soap
  • Walking Shoes, Shower flip flops
  • Swim suits
  • Towels, washcloths
  • Medicine (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Tums)
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Flash light
  • Rope/Clothes pins (hang clothes line for wet clothes)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sheets, Pillows
  • Phones/chargers
  • Bag/Lawn chairs
  • Toilet paper
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Tarp (to sit on if wet ground or to make shade protection)
  • Cash / Quarters for shower
  • Blanket for laying on ground
  • Fan
  • Radio
  • Lawn games/playing cards

Hope your family enjoys camping as much as we did! Put the smart phones away and just enjoy each other! Our rule is to bring the phones, but only use them for emergencies, to take photos, and as a flashlight at night!

Love,
Natasha