Our 5 Favorite Toddler Learning Toys

When I hit my 30 week mark of pregnancy, doing active or outdoor activities with Sammy became extremely difficult.

I always had “learning time” planned in her day but it was definitely increased since it was easier to sit with her on the floor or table and do activities.I went through various toys and such that she had for learning ABC’s, 123’s, etc. and wanted to share with you guys my favorite ones!

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  1. Leapfrog Lappup: I have mentioned this “laptop” before (there is a actually a newer model) but she use to play with it to listen to the songs setting. Now she likes the ABC setting and repeats the letters. Some letters she will even associate the word such as “F is for Fish.”22730048_10103208240582020_7401522389758979835_n
  2. ABC Magnetic Letters: My mom gave us these letters but you can purchased them anywhere (Walmart sells them cheap).
    • On the fridge I have the letters that she knows (except for E, she will say D or F). She already had ABCD down, so I added a letter every couple of days.
    • We’ll repeat and go over them in order or I will pick and choose a letter out of order to make sure she does know it.
  3. Melissa & Doug Puzzles: These puzzles have been great for Sammy to learn her numbers and ABCs. However, I found the magnetic letters have worked better for her ABC learning but I do like using the puzzle to change it up.Sam
    • Her numbers is a different story. She knows them quite well (though 6, 8 & 9 she’ll mix up sometimes) and this puzzle has been the reason! I will do the same concept as the letters of going in or out of order. abc
    • I also like to use some of her favorite things such as her mini Trolls or french fries to practice counting.
  4. Melissa & Doug Shape Sorter: Not only is this one portable, it has been a favorite for quite a while (maybe since she was 10-12 months old). At first she was using it to learn colors, but now we use it to practice shapes and, of course, sorting.toy
    • She pretty much knew all the shapes except for oval, diamond and semi-circle so we’ve been able to work on those!
  5.  Flash Cards: There are so many kinds of flash cards ranging from $1 to over $10. We use ones from Dollar Tree; they always have some kind in numbers, letters, shapes, first words and so forth20170912_153340We also have ALEX Toys ones that she got for her birthday but they are still a tad too advanced for her, but we will use them here and there.
    20171126_175549

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Sammy is two years old (and few months). As I mentioned, some of items toys she’s had since she was around 12/18 months old but now plays with them in different ways.

I always looked for toys that had a wide range because I knew it was something that would last. Be sure to check out some previous toddler posts:

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Welcome to the World Harrison & Alexandra!

Good morning friends!

Mama went into labor last week at 35 weeks and we now welcome the twins, Harrison and Alexandra! They were born on Sunday, November 12th. 20171114_114210Harrison came at 3:28pm at 5lbs, 4oz and Alexandra arrived at 3:33pm at 5lbs, 11oz.

Both are still at the hospital in the special care nursery but are doing great! Working on getting all food by mouth (and not needing a feeding tube).Harrison and Alexandra November182017-31It’s so hard to imagine to TWO babies were inside of mama this whole time. We are over the moon in love with our new editions.Harrison and Alexandra November182017-32Birth story to come.

Halloween Recap + Twin Prep!

Happy November friends!20171104_135336It’s been a week or so since I posted – I just have not been feeling too great on top of a million appointments for the twins.

Work had a Halloween party a couple of weeks ago that I was able to take Sammy too. After pre-term labor, I wasn’t sure what we would be able to do for Halloween.

Still pregnant 😉

We also were able to go to the library for an “Adopt A Kitten” party. They had Halloween crafts, treats and of course kittens! 20171028_105554I still wasn’t sure if Sammy was going to get to go Trick or Treating. 

The twins managed to hang on and Sammy was able to get some treats on her first Trick or Treating adventure! 23130589_10103216787468990_5154106919493751389_nShe was a fairy princess this year thanks to my mom. ❤

So as it gets closer to the twins coming, I’m trying to get a little better on meal prepping and doing some last minute “thangs.”

Something as simple as putting a serving of cereal in a container + the fixings makes it super easy in the morning. For cereal I do Special K Original or Red Berries with pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.meal prepFor the oatmeal, it’s just a plain instant oatmeal packet + chia seeds, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pumpkin seeds mixed with water. In the morning, I’ll add frozen berries and a bit of peanut butter after I heat it up.

I’ve even whipped up some “toddler” muffins for Sammy to have a quick breakfast/ snack on hand. 20171105_133359 #ToddlerApproved 😛23031403_10103216787798330_7280472273085227599_nI was able to finish up the baby corner decor now that these letters came in from Michael’s.23130769_10103216787763400_4214589896345462251_nI spent some time yesterday sprucing up the house and disinfecting since Sammy and the husband are sick.20171105_090501 I made some “blankets” with a piece of fabric for Sammy’s dollhouse beds. She loves the ones from the library [since they have blankets].23131647_10103216787733460_7510339298492420508_n.jpgA little glue [gun] goes a long way!

That about wraps up what’s been going on in the last couple of weeks. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for weekly randomness of Fit Coffee Mom. ❤

 

TOL #15: Nesting, Toddler Learning & More!

After my Preterm Labor scare, my mood has not been the greatest; mostly due to pain.

I’ve been able to get around the house better over the past few days and not need as much help. I’ve been in a ton of pain but it’s more on and off versus constant from almost a week ago.

Not being able to move much does allows me to crack down on learning/ structured activity time with Sammy. 22730048_10103208240582020_7401522389758979835_nWe’ve been working on letters using this laptop, magnetic letters and stickers!

As I mentioned before, I am super thankful that the library is a few minutes away. Saturday they had a “paint-a-pumpkin” event and Sammy had fun getting messy with some paint! 22688610_10103206110331060_1724585902745613814_nBetter messy somewhere else then at home. 😉

A few weeks ago, I rearranged our bedroom to make room for the twins. Still working on the wall decor since I’m waiting for these letters to come.

We decided we’ll be using pack and plays as opposed to cribs. 22815636_10103207770314440_2512595421112388318_nSammy only lasted 18 months in a crib, plus we don’t really have the space for two cribs. Once they are ready, we’ll switch them to toddler beds with crib rails.22814210_10103207770239590_5978492626034277431_nI moved the bookshelf out of Sammy’s room for us to have a diaper/ baby station. It was also moved because her “gift” from her siblings is going to be this dollhouse and I wanted her to have plenty of room for it.22788642_10103207908253010_2175402390418805393_n (1)For now, she has her Little People dollhouse with some Trolls and furniture to play with til we give her the other one.22688842_10103208235412380_1775036951061394033_nI also rearranged her play are too. I’ve been testing out different variations throughout the week to see which she seems to “like” the most. 22789133_10103207908158200_5493926332812258431_nThis arrangement so far is the winner…

Well, that wraps up this edition of thinking out LOUD! If you haven’t already, check out Amanda over a Running With Spoons for all the details.Thinking-Out-Loud

Have a great weekend y’all.

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In case you missed it, check out the following posts:

TOL: #14: PTL, Coffee, Toddler Fun & More!

Hello friends!

I’m dropping by to share some things on my mind.

For those who don’t follow me on Instagram, this mama went into Preterm labor (PTL) on Friday morning. Of course it just HAD to be Friday the 13th.

I went from 0 to 3.5cm dilated within 10 hours.

Once I hit 2cm, I was transferred to another hospital because my hospital only deals with preemies that are 32+ weeks and I was only 31 weeks pregnant. I was in the hospital for over 48 hours and was given a couple of different medications to stop contractions. hospitalfoodThey were able to stop labor, which was fantastic and I was sent home on partial bed rest.

The next day I had an appointment with my high risk doctor and my regular Obstetrician. Both said the babies are doing well and measuring almost 4lbs a piece. With the steroid injection they gave me for their lungs, babies should be okay if I were to deliver early.31 weeksMy OB said it would be a miracle if I made it to 35 weeks, so it’s all a waiting game.

However, I’ve been is so much more pain since Friday which has made things difficult, especially caring for the toddler. SambutterflyI am so thankful to have my family who has helped us during this whole time; between watching our daughter, getting us groceries and just being there if needed.

I’m so glad I picked up a box of Green Mountain pumpkin spice K-cups a couple of weeks ago. Hot coffee is a definite must during the Fall and Winter. 22406051_10103193580920100_6933838994826272983_nI also picked up more of these Late July peanut butter crackers that Sammy loves.22049800_10103182410979750_6086182310672712345_nThey have been great to use as a “snacky” lunch since I don’t have much energy to make something “fancy and hot” every day for us.

FYI… if you send the company an email requesting coupons, they will send you some! #moneysavingmomhack

The library has been one of our favorites as well. library playBeing almost 32 weeks pregnant with twins makes it difficult to chase a toddler around. The library is contained and Sammy loves playing with the doll house. libraryWe purchased one for her as her “present” from her siblings using Toys R’ Us giftcards from her birthday. We ended up getting one by Kidcraft.

I liked that it was similar to the one at the library and is of good quality. Plus all the kiddies will be able to enjoy it at some point.

I’m linking up with Amanda over at Running With Spoons for thinking out LOUD Thursday. Thinking-Out-LoudHope everyone is having a wonderful week and cross your fingers that I AT LEAST make it to 34 weeks. #wishfulthinking ❤

 

TOL #13: Mom Life: “Weekly Routine”

lyOne day away from Friday… Friday the 13th to be exact!

*Cue spooky music*

Any who, as I mentioned before, my work schedule has dwindled down more to avoid too much pressure on my leg. With my hours shortened, it’s been on my mind to share with y’all my new weekly “routine” since I am now at home more then at work.

This routine is what working two days a week looks like as a “part-time” stay at home mom. Getting into a routine helps build good habits and keeps mama sane.

Mondays aka family day: My husband and I don’t do any crazy cleaning on this day (or Saturdays) besides the basics. We do breakfast or something simple with what ever is left over in the fridge for dinner since grocery shopping is done on Tuesdays.21753271_10103171653328170_5183275201569820216_oTuesdays: In the mornings, I usually (last week was my last!) go work out at Pure Barre [5:30am] and enjoy some coffee and “me time” after. I head back home in time for the hubs to leave for work [7:30am].listI break down the cleaning between three days so I’m not doing it all in one shot. Plus I’m eight months pregnant and only have SO much energy. 😉

Regardless of what day it is, I’ll do any dishes (with this soap) and clean the kitchen after Sammy eats breakfast. I then make a list of anything that needs to get done. Tuesdays is laundry (one load) and grocery shopping day.21686365_10103171116154670_2535651322312839546_nTuesdays is also pizza night. A spot near us has a “beat the clock between 5-8pm.” The time you call is the price you pay. Obviously, mama doesn’t cook on this day. 😉

Wednesdays: Mom goes to work until 8:00pm. During my break, I usually blog, read or run errands if we need anything. Dad will cook and get any household things done.

Thursdays: Sammy and I go to story time at the library at 10:30am, so the morning is “busy.” During the afternoon, I’ll sweep and cook early. I also vacuum the living room and Sammy’s bedroom [as those are the only two places with a rug].21762325_10103169342299490_8282209215757452896_oFridays: Mom and dad both work while Sammy goes to playschool! Depending on the day, Pat or myself will take her in the morning. I usually get out of work before 3:00pm then head to get Sammy.

Once we are home, we take it easy. Dinner is usually something easy like a rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes or stir-fry steak in a wrap.

Saturdays is another family day and was also my second day to get a Pure Barre class in (too pregnant now). I would go to the 7:00am class, grab Starbucks and head home to relax with the family.

We’d either go fruit-picking, farmer’s market, the park, visiting my in-laws, have a date night… you get the idea. 😉parkNow we are getting festival and doing various fall activities at our local library!

Sundays I call my “deep clean-meal prep-cook” day. I tackle the kitchen, fridge, bathroom and living room (using this cleaner). For deep cleaning in the kitchen, I scrub down the stove, microwave and cabinets.21618019_10103171116124730_2642515715086589343_nFor the fridge, I toss any “bad/ expired food (rarely any),” see what we have and give it a good scrub down. In the bathroom, I tackle the toilet, floor and sink. My husband takes care of the bath tub when he comes home from work.

We only do two loads of laundry a week (lights and darks using this detergent), so this is my next day to get the other half done while I clean our home. The “meal planning” I do while Sammy is napping. I’ll check what we already have, plan dinner and my grocery list for the week.21765279_10103171116069840_5854505582740454933_nNow this may seem like I am cleaning forever, but trust me I am not. In total, my Tuesday and Thursday cleaning takes about 45 minutes (not including the laundry time washing/ drying or shopping).

Sundays about an hour (again not including laundry time).listI used to try to tackle everything in one day… that’s just not realistic. As a mom you have to cut yourself some slack, especially when you don’t finish your entire “to do” list!

Life goes on… 😉

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda over at Running With Spoons for thinking out LOUD Thursdays. Thinking-Out-LoudThanks for hosting!

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If you want to check out more on the toddler’s routine check out the links below:

Third Trimester [Twin Pregnancy]

We made it to the third trimester… HOME STRETCH!20170901_224450{27 Weeks}

Weight: My pre-pregnancy weight was 155lbs, now I’m at 178lbs for a total of 23lbs gained. So far I weigh a bit less in the third trimester then I did with Samantha.

Mental Health: Zoloft has been a blessing. I have been able to think clearer and have less anxiety about becoming a mom of three [under three].

I didn’t know how my body would react to it but for me it’s a peace of mind. IMG_20170908_142332_980I can analyze things better, plus not to mention read again without having my mind racing.

Fitness: Still managing to get in 2-3 workouts a week!

My current “goal” is to do Barre 1-2 times a week (I now teach 1-2 Barre classes a week) and try to take at least 1 Pure Barre class, plus teach my Tabata class (modified for me, of course).

Barre has been awesome because it focuses somewhat on calf strength building. My leg has felt much better (plus the compression stocking is super helpful).27 weeks{29 Weeks}

Here’s what my current fitness routine looks like during the week:

  • Monday: Active Rest Day (or Pure Barre)
  • Tuesday: Pure Barre (or Active Rest Day)
  • Wednesday: Barre & Sculpt Class [I teach]
  • Thursday: Rest Day (usually go for walks with Sammy/ Supermarket)
  • Friday: HIIT or Circuit Workout
  • Saturday: Pure Barre
  • Sunday: Rest Day

I try to keep moving regardless if I don’t make it to a class or get to workout. I’m still trying to focus on eating as healthy as I can.

Food: Still craving cookies like mad!21768013_10103178192358900_6419514306492671448_nBut now with the fall upon us, the body craves pumpkin EVERYTHING. #DontJudge 😉haloRing: Still able to wear my wedding band! Some days my fingers are a tad swollen, so I’ll put on my pearl engagement ring which is a tad loser than my wedding band.

Clothing: I finally needed to get a couple of large and XL tank tops and moved into my medium sized leggings from smalls.21762826_10103169413007790_8740627558854539078_oI’m not as big as I thought it would be compared to other twin moms. That makes me feel better entering winter, clothing wise. So far my coat still zips, I’m sure that will change by next week. 😉

I can tell my energy level is going down a tiny bit each week, which I was told would happen past 28 weeks. For now, I am enjoying the energy that I do have hanging out with the family and giving Sammy that special “only child” one on one time.20170813_200252***

Twin Pregnancy Updates:

First Trimester

Second Trimester ❤ ❤